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Raids in Salisbury during Anarchy


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So, your players have refused to pay the Saxons tribute, and the sea wolves are annoyed. You decide (as a GM) that they're going to raid Salisbury. How do you explain that all the manors in Salisbury are raided? Wessex (and Port, later on) are the only Saxon kingdoms close by to send raiding parties, Sussex can make it through Silchester due to their alliance, but how about the rest? Also, how would Wessex make it to the northern parts? Sailing the Avon would mean that they'd be spotted. Sure, they could send hundreds of Saxon warriors running all over Salisbury, but wouldn't they be caught and taken out piece meal if they need to hit every manor? The easy option is to say that only the border manors are raided, which while unfair to those players with manors on the border, is realistic.

So I guess I am interested, how have you solved this in your campaigns? :) 

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10 minutes ago, Luna Guardian said:

So, your players have refused to pay the Saxons tribute, and the sea wolves are annoyed. You decide (as a GM) that they're going to raid Salisbury. How do you explain that all the manors in Salisbury are raided? Wessex (and Port, later on) are the only Saxon kingdoms close by to send raiding parties, Sussex can make it through Silchester due to their alliance, but how about the rest? Also, how would Wessex make it to the northern parts? Sailing the Avon would mean that they'd be spotted. Sure, they could send hundreds of Saxon warriors running all over Salisbury, but wouldn't they be caught and taken out piece meal if they need to hit every manor? The easy option is to say that only the border manors are raided, which while unfair to those players with manors on the border, is realistic.

So I guess I am interested, how have you solved this in your campaigns? :)

I wouldn't have then raid all the manors. Not unless Salisbury was so weak that they could pull it off. I'd probably start with the border manors and see what happens from there. If the knights all hole up in their manors then there are less people to defend and their forces are spread out too. That would allow the Saxons to push deeper in. 

There there is something of a time to react issue and a wearing down issue here. If the Saxons attack from two directions at roughly the same time, with a large force, then it would take the Countess a few days to get up a force large enough to drive them off. Plus a few more days to get to them. By that time those Saxons would probably be back over the border, and the knights would find out about the second group and have to spend a few days riding to get to them.  And while they are doing that, the first group could come back, or a third group show up.

Oh, and if they do go through Silchester, I'd probably have Ulfius send someone to Salisbury to alert them that the raiders were coming. In an indirect way. He's allied with them only out of necessity.

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It may be useful to consider the purpose of the fortified home (manor, castle) was to protect the personal property of the lord long enough to demand a siege, at which point raiders would have to risk 1) the concentration of responding forces, 2) lack of food, 3) disease.

Staying on the move means that a raiding party sweeps through fast enough that concentrating forces is challenging and they can forage, plunder and keep camp clean. Most of the time the noble family would retreat into their fortification and wait--if they could salley against the raid that would help, but probably lacked the forces to do serious damage. They would, however, keep the raid itself nervous and moving--covering ground but probably not taking everything of value.

So in Salisbury you could have a raid in force appear and sweep through much (but not all of course) of the county before leaving again, if the Countess and her knights are not able to respond in sufficient force. The moment of vulnerability comes when the raid slows under the weight of its plunder, and knights are able to catch it or maneuver to force a real fight. 

 

--Khanwulf

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Yup. Typically its come in quick with a force too large for a local knight to resist, grab what you can, burn what you can't take with you (if you want to be nasty about it)  and then get out again quick before the reinforcements show up. If they don't show up, or are delayed elsewhere raid some more. 

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For my campaign, I'm also imagining wily Saxons sending small parties to harass and distract: traveling up the Avon on small boats at night, camping in forests, striking quickly, killing and burning but not plundering (too heavy, slows them down), and disappearing off into a nearby forest again. Considering the speed at which information travels, the population density, and the time it takes to travel, it's reasonable to expect that a raiding party like this could strike and disappear well before anyone capable of dealing with them could be informed and arrive. I have no idea if Saxon Guerillas are at all historically accurate, but Saxons are the orcs of KAP, and such attacks make them even more annoying and dastardly than just "oh. These guys again" when the players see a Wotanic biker gang across the field of battle. ;)

 

Edited by Sir Mad Munkee
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14 minutes ago, Sir Mad Munkee said:

For my campaign, I'm also imagining wily Saxons sending small parties to harass and distract: traveling up the Avon on small boats at night, camping in forests, striking quickly, killing and burning but not plundering (too heavy, slows them down), and disappearing off into a nearby forest again. Considering the speed at which information travels, the population density, and the time it takes to travel, it's reasonable to expect that a raiding party like this could strike and disappear well before anyone capable of dealing with them could be informed and arrive. I have no idea if Saxon Guerillas are at all historically accurate, but Saxons are the orcs of KAP, and such attacks make them even more annoying and dastardly than just "of, these guys again" when the players see a Wotanic biker gang across the field of battle. ;)

 

Yea that works. It's just tougher to get the troops to do it. Lotting and plunder is really the main reason for them to want to do this, and not taking stuff would place a finacial harship on

 

But for the logistics of of things, it takes a day or two for a rider to reach Sarum from anywhere in the county. Then it takes a minimum of  two days for the Count to raise any sort of sizable force. THen anaother day or two to get to the place that reported the raiders. So that's a minimum of four to six days, and that's with the minimum effective force under idea circumstances. 

 

According the the Book of the Estate p. 44  it takes about four days days to raid and a week to pillage , assuming you have about twice as many men as the defender, with the time being reduced with a greater numerical superiority. So a large force of Saxons could come through, split up into groups and raid and pillage several manors in a day for three days or so, and be out of the area long before any help could arrive. 

Now the reading probably wouldn't be equal. Some manors close to Sarum might not get raided at all, and one on the border might get hit multiple times, or suffer more severe results, but not much could be done to prevent it.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Yea that works. It's just tougher to get the troops to do it. Lotting and plunder is really the main reason for them to want to do this, and not taking stuff would place a finacial harship on

Yup. I'd imagine a purely tactical raid like this would be paid for by their King, out of the tribute Salisbury is paying him (dastards!). But, being greedy Saxons, I'd probably give it a 50/50 roll to see if they ignore orders and plunder anyway, slowing themselves down. :P 

Edited by Sir Mad Munkee
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1 hour ago, Sir Mad Munkee said:

. Yup. I'd imagine a purely tactical raid like this would be paid for by their King,

I doubt he could afford it. At around 2d per day for a spearman, and higher amounts for those of higher station, even a band of 100 raiders is going to cost £1/day. That';s just to feed them. He's probably have to double or triple that to make up for raiding. Ransoms, are where the real money is won or lost, but the Saxons didn't seem to get in on that idea so much at first.  

But they would have to raid, both to feed themselves and do do any sort of damage to the defenders. It doesn't take them any more time to kill the livestock,burn down the grain, and then forage for food, as it does to eat the livestock and grain and skip foraging. 

Edited by Atgxtg
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Exactly: they'll come in, take whatever food items aren't nailed down, some valuables if they can find them (such as iron tools), a few females... and then move on. Either eating the forage or hauling it back to the boats. When the boats are full they have to leave. 

A malicious raid burns things as well in order to make the point that it's cheaper to pay. More thoughtful raiding amounts to sudden and unexpected tax collection.

"No one expects the Saxon tax-man! Ha!"

 

--Khanwulf

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51 minutes ago, Khanwulf said:

Exactly: they'll come in, take whatever food items aren't nailed down, some valuables if they can find them (such as iron tools), a few females... and then move on. Either eating the forage or hauling it back to the boats. When the boats are full they have to leave. 

A malicious raid burns things as well in order to make the point that it's cheaper to pay. More thoughtful raiding amounts to sudden and unexpected tax collection.

Yes but the trade off there is that the more mlicious/severe forms of rainding (pillaging, plundering,etc) actuallyinflict more permantment damage, which will reduce thier income and make it harder for them to be able to pay. So if you want tribute, you don't want to reduce their income. 

51 minutes ago, Khanwulf said:

"No one expects the Saxon tax-man! Ha!"

--Khanwulf

"Cuz he's the Sax-man, yeeahh he the Sax-man, and your working for no one but he --SAX-MAN!"

Ow, I think I hurt myself with that one. 

  • Haha 2
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17 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Yes but the trade off there is that the more mlicious/severe forms of rainding (pillaging, plundering,etc) actuallyinflict more permantment damage, which will reduce thier income and make it harder for them to be able to pay. So if you want tribute, you don't want to reduce their income. 

Yes, but do it once, and others will think twice about not paying, especially if the reason why is spread.  Inflicting the more permanent types of damage also reduces the willingness to live there, a possible prelude to eventual occupation to take the land.

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5 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

Yes, but do it once, and others will think twice about not paying, especially if the reason why is spread.  Inflicting the more permanent types of damage also reduces the willingness to live there, a possible prelude to eventual occupation to take the land.

Oh yeah. I agree. I was just showing what happens and what it means. If Cerdic  wants punish someone for defiance, or wants to make a example of somebody so that everyone else will keep in line and pay up then plunder is certainly on the table. 

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Just to toss a quick thought to the mix... I deliberately ensured that the PK manors would be grouped together geographically, since this gives them more reasons to cooperate. Also, during Anarchy, it made for some nice intra-Salisbury politics, with the Eastern Salisbury very concerned about the Saxons and Levcomagus, while the Western Salisbury was more concerned about the Forest of Gloom.

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