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Salisbury Alliance with Sussex


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During the Anarchy when faced with triple tribute demands the PKs decided to pay Wessex, tell Essex to go pound sand, and ally with Sussex. I believe they were afraid of Wessex, thought Essex was weak and distant, and wanted to align themselves with Silchester who had also allied with Sussex (per the GPC). They were mostly worried about finding themselves facing Duke Ulfius across the battlefield.

I decided old King Aelle would accept one campaign of troops from Salisbury in lieu of one years tribute AND Salisbury verbally backing Aelle's claim as Bretwalda. I felt Aelle was negotiating from a position of strength, and some opposed courtesy/intrigue rolls for negotiation were a draw.

My question is how do you veterans of the GPC see this playing out? To me this looks very bad for Wessex. They are mostly surrounded by Sussex, Silchester, and Salisbury.

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I think it looks bad for Wessex. Probably not very bad though. Cerdic will probably get raided, or maybe lose a minor battle -- possible pay Aelle some tribute at the worst.

The thing is while three against one sounds bad for Wessex, in reality, everybody is still weak from St. Albans, and they all still need to keep some soldiers at home to defend against raids from others. They can barely hold onto the land they have so I can't see them trying to take over Wessex as it would leave their home counties too vulnerable.And there is only so much Aelle can do in 40 days.  Meanwhile Wessex, while of the defensive can have a greater number of it's warriors ready to defend, since it is their home territory, and they benefit form any fortification they have, and can be expected to resist for as long as it takes..

So  probably Aelle & Aliies get to do some raiding, skirmish a bit, but not much more than that. But then, that;s probably all they really want.

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2 hours ago, SaxBasilisk said:

Would that requirement be binding to the Saxons?

His, or allied? It's also a matter of logistics. It costs to keep an army in the field. If Ulfius has to field an army for more than 40 days then he will have to pay for it. THe "pay" received by solider past the 40 day limit isn't "overtime", it's upkeep for the soldiers and their mounts. Keep an army in the field for too long and the effect ends up being as bad as if you got raided yourself. It's like paying tribute. If it costs more than what you would lose if raided, then why pay it. Just get raided instead. If Aelle pushes too hard, he risks the Brits rethinking this whole alliance thing. 

2 hours ago, SaxBasilisk said:

Couldn't he push for a longer period of service in the negotiations, if he's got them over a barrel?

He could try but, does he have them over a barrel? I mean based on your description Ulfius is the key figure to the whole thing, and Aelee probably couldn't force more out of him without risking Ulfius allying with someone else and taking Salisbury with him.

There is typically a limit to the amount of time you can spend on campaign. It isn't just a matter of rights, but also of logistics. An army on the march gets very hungry and can eat up all the food in an area pretty quickly. 

Plus again, everyone else is going to find out about this eventually, and realize that Salisubry, Silchester and Sussex are all under defended, and decide to attack them while thier leaders off off in Wessex. That is one of the main reasons why the Saxons don't take all of Britain during this time, or why the Brits can drive the Saxons out. No one can turn thier back on a neighbor for very long.

 

If you really want to have Aelle conquer Wessex you can, but that would probably upset the status quo, and leave Aelle the big player at the table. 

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1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

If you really want to have Aelle conquer Wessex you can, but that would probably upset the status quo, and leave Aelle the big player at the table. 

Not really. It depends a bit when this happens, but there are strong indications that Wessex actually does become subservient to Sussex past 505, probably around 508 when Sussex can simply ask how much Wessex really wants those reinforcements (roughly half of the total army with Wessex being less than 20%) against Nanteleod?

Aelle looks to be primus inter pares in 502, leading the Saxon coalition against Angles. He is the unnamed bretwalda in 510, and explicitly so in 518.

So depending a bit how early this is, it might be that Cerdic, being a smart cookie, realizes which way the wind is blowing and is rather the second-most powerful Saxon King rather than a king of ashes. Combined, Sussex, Salisbury and Silchester are strong enough to seriously hurt Wessex, even crush its army if Wessex is stupid enough to make it a field battle. Sussex might be able to do it by itself, if Kent doesn't get involved, and with the help of the knights from Salisbury and Silchester, the odds are heavily against Wessex. Additionally, it is not just Cerdic. The various Saxon aethelings (petty kings of kingroups) will see the writing on the wall and start flocking to Aelle's side rather than see their kinsmen slaughtered and kinswomen enslaved in raids.

On the other hand, what you might see is a stronger Wessex-Cornwall alliance, in order to put pressure on Salisbury's western flank, as well as provide a counterbalance to the Triple-S alliance. King Idres of Cornwall doesn't want there to be a strong Triple-S alliance in southern Logres, blocking his conquests. I could very easily Wessex making overtures to Essex and Kent, too, pointing out that if they allow Sussex to swallow Wessex, then Kent is next, and then Essex. We can see in 502 that the other Saxons are quick to unite against Angles when Angles try to claim the title of a bretwalda.

In other words, it is Anarchy. Feel free to make it your own. :)

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This is happening in 499. I think I will have Aelle threaten Wessex with his dual alliance, if nothing else just to show off his strength and thumb his nose at Cerdic, and Cerdic will hole up in fortifications due to the overwhelming threat. Sussex will raid, giving the PKs the choice to get some negative trait checks for loot if they participate as well as earn a grudge score increase with Wessex if they do. This plays nicely into the interactions already scripted into the GPC in the upcoming years, the PKs can play the Saxons off against each other in the coming years which the GPC seems to heavily hint at.

Thanks again for the great ideas!

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19 minutes ago, stryker99 said:

, the PKs can play the Saxons off against each other in the coming years which the GPC seems to heavily hint at.

Just make sure that it is not all roses for the PKs. Sussex might call a big chunk of Salisbury knights to fight and die for him against Kent which might leave Salisbury open for a revenge raid from Wessex. And so forth.

Edited by Morien
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8 hours ago, Morien said:

Not really. It depends a bit when this happens, but there are strong indications that Wessex actually does become subservient to Sussex past 505, probably around 508 when Sussex can simply ask how much Wessex really wants those reinforcements (roughly half of the total army with Wessex being less than 20%) against Nanteleod?

I think a lot of that, towards then end is because the Saxons realize that they need to start banding together now that the Brits are getting their act together. 

 

Now yes, it's possible that Sussex takes over Wessex, but I don't think it's a sure thing just because Sussex, Silchester and Salisbury attack. Cerdic would hav e to commit to a battle for that to happen, and I think the most likely outcome would be rading and skirmishing. 

8 hours ago, Morien said:

Aelle looks to be primus inter pares in 502, leading the Saxon coalition against Angles. He is the unnamed bretwalda in 510, and explicitly so in 518.

Probably becuase he is older, more established king, and not tarnisehd with a reputation fortreachery. 

 

8 hours ago, Morien said:

In other words, it is Anarchy. Feel free to make it your own. :)

Yup., although things can only go so far to esnure that the main timeline can be continued. If the Saxons overrun the place before Arthur appears, things could go very differently. If London falls Merlin would probably  need to move the Sword in the Stone elsewhere. 

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57 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

If London falls

London does fall in 503. Duke Lindsey liberates it in 507.

But I get your point. Sure, if the Saxons manage to overrun the whole isle so that there are no Logres left for Arthur to become the King of, it derails the campaign somewhat. But it is possible to fiddle with the timeline and places even then. Even if London is in Saxon hands, as you point out, Merlin could move the Stone to like Carlion. Other than the Tournament and the Sword in the Stone, London does not play a major role.

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6 hours ago, Morien said:

London does fall in 503. Duke Lindsey liberates it in 507.

But I get your point. Sure, if the Saxons manage to overrun the whole isle so that there are no Logres left for Arthur to become the King of, it derails the campaign somewhat.

Yup,  after a point it makes it harder for Arthur to find an people to lead. I mean if the Saxons unite in the 498 and roll over the county and Arthur has to start and Tintagel and work his way out, it becomes somewhat harder to believe and even more magical. Long before that, though, it will become problematic for the GM, who will have to make some significant diversions to keep things on track.

I'd be hesitant of letting the Saxons get too unified, or any one Saxon kingdom get too powerful, as it could lead to their "rolling up Logres" before 510. Although, at least with Aelle, he probably won't take over his allies. He seems to be the most trustworthy of the Saxon kings -mostly due to a lack of association with Hengest.

 

Quote

But it is possible to fiddle with the timeline and places even then. Even if London is in Saxon hands, as you point out, Merlin could move the Stone to like Carlion. Other than the Tournament and the Sword in the Stone, London does not play a major role.

Yup. It comes down to how much the GM is willing to diverge from Mallory and the GPC. There are legends that place Arthur in every other part of Britian, and a GM could just pick one of those alternatives and go with it. A  Cambrian Arthur,  who makes make Caerleon his Camelot, and moves the" Sword in the Stone" to Glevum/Gloucester.

 

 

Edited by Atgxtg
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9 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I'd be hesitant of letting the Saxons get too unified, or any one Saxon kingdom get too powerful, as it could lead to their "rolling up Logres" before 510.

Fortunately, there are other levers of power at work. Clearly, Kent and Essex have good relations since the founding of Essex, and they cooperate together in 503 to take London. And more than that, the appearance of Nanteleod will break Ulfius off from the alliance and likely makes Salisbury rethink it, too, while pushing Wessex to Sussex' arms if they haven't already. So there is a clear reset button option there.

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Pretty much. I think that's sort of why the anarchy lasts as long as it does. Everyone is weakened after St. Albans, and nobly feels ready to commit to an all out, so they bide thier time and form alliances. Then after a few years some factions start to move, but are countered by other factions. By the time Arthur arrives, the whole thing is a giant powderkeg just waiting for a spark, and Merlin rolls out Arthur, the equivalent of a thermite grenade.

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