The Mercenaries Preview
Welcome to the third preview of The Song of Taliesin! We're quickly progressing and in September you can expect first public release! In this preview we will show you a large variety of mercenaries, coming both from foreign countries and the mod area. These only the first one we did, there are over 20 more and we'll show you them in the next preview!
Aeðelings and their household guards, rising from among the HalfDane dynasty that bridged the Baltic Islands between Jutland and the Anglian controlled area west of southern Sweden, the actual home of the Danes. Named after an avatar of the god Frey who took the name Scyld Scefing, and whom allegedly ruled over and led the Danes to greatness. These men are fierce and experienced warriors that many chieftains seek to hire to bolster their forces. Unfortunately, they are treacherous and unreliable, but so long as they are used correctly, they can be a deadly attacking force on the battlefield, as well as an expendable one.
Dark Ages Britain was a perfect land for bandits and mercenaries. Without strong enough powers to keep them quiet, warriors of this kind were plunddering the land. Expert in ambushing, they fight well with their spear but they can take their sword if needed.
The spear was a very popular weapon in Britain, even with those who could afford swords instead. The well equiped retainers of the noble class carried both sword and spear into battle making them exceptionally versatile and a challenging adversary.
These warriors (litteraly 'rabble') were generally criminals who had been kicked out of their tribes. They would be ill-equipped, unreliable, but available in large number for very little; they'd also actually be found more outside of Ireland than inside. While criminals were hired sometime in a pinch, most of the time law-abiding Gaels were more than happy to just kill them, so they usually took foreign employment.
The deep valleys and big hills and mountains of the southern Cambrian (Welsh) kingdoms was the perfect terrain for archery and ambush, as such in Gwent and Glywysing these tactics were favoured. They employed swift skirmishing archers, who, similarly equipped to rhyfelwyr elsewhere, carried a bow, a sword and leather armour. Their bow was special though, it was a powerful fore-runner to the longbow, making this unit particularly effective on the battlefield: the extra range and power of their bow meant that they could rain death on the enemy whilst staying out of range of their archers.
The Saethwyr were peasant levies with a skill for archery. Skill with the bow was a way of life during the dark ages, particularly amongst the Britons. Hunting was a popular passtime and this developed the archery skills of the populace, at this time other sports were often banned in favour of archery practice. Archers were generally the mainstay of the armies of the Britons, the terrain of Britain suiting mobile ranged units far better than sluggish heavy infantry and cavalry. The Saethwyr are equally adept at a guerilla role or as a ranged component of a larger army, but a commander would be wise to ensure that they avoid closer combat.
Babuanna ('Paid Fighters') were professional mercenaries; they would be much better equipped and trained, and far less likely to flee, but also more rare, and more common in Ireland than outside of Ireland.
The fierce Picts of Cait and the Orcades preserve different styles of dress and warfare to their southern cousins, as well as retaining a pagan ferocity frightening to the southerners. These warriors dress in long, thick robes and carry square shields, short spears and javelins. They fight in a loose formation, hurling their javelins at the enemy before closing to demonstrate their famous charge.
Horses in Connaght are scant. Making due with what they have available, the Connaghta make use of their terrifying whoops and yells by coupling it with great speed. The confusion brought about by the sudden appearance of an ambushing force of Connaghta axemen on horseback is unsettling. Even seeing them approach can be horrifying. Rather than skirmish, some Connaghta horsmen serve as shock cavalry, and are great to augment cavalry of a Gaelic army, which is usually fairly light of horsemen.
And now the battle between our mercenaries versus Briton army, near the Cumbrian coast!
Our scouts reported presence of a large Briton army, led by the king of Elmet - Gwallawc Marchawc Trin. They are marching in our way, so we must quickly set off on a journey and ambush them!
Our army march out from the camp.
Our army climb on the high hill and encounter surprised Briton infantry. Gwallawc Marchawc Trin and his cavalry are on the tail of army, so the warriors uphill won't have the support of cavalry!
Our warriors are eager to fight!
The enemy approaches...
Our warriors charge on the enemy infantry, while they are trying to climb on the hill.
The heat of the battle.
After long fight, the rests of Briton army flee from the batlefield. Our warriors chase them in small rain.
Once again we are victorious! The rain has stopped to fall and the sun appeared, to set after few minutes.