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Later Welsh

Historical Overview Section


This list covers Welsh armies from 1100 to 1197 in the south and from 1100 to 1283 in the north. At the eve of the Norman invasion, Wales was divided into five kingdoms : Powys and Gwynedd in the north and Deheubarth, Brycheinog, Gwent and Morgannwg in the south.

Initially, the Normans rode down the Welsh easily. Gwent was overrun in 1070, Morgannwg in 1091 and Brycheinog around 1093. The prince of Deheubarth, Gruffydd ap Rhys, was forced into exile and the king of Gwynedd,Gruffydd ap Cynan, was captured.

By 1094, however, the Welsh revolted and began to take back their land, with the help of a viking fleet which just happened to be there. The revolt ended successfully in 1136 when Owain Gwynedd, allied with Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth won a crushing victory over the Normans at the Battle of Crug Mawr in 1136 and annexed Ceredigion. He was able to profit from disunity in England, to extend the borders of Gwynedd further east than ever before.

Powys remained independent, but was split into two principalities (Powys Wenwynwyn and Powys Fadog) in 1160.

In the south, Gruffydd ap Rhys was killed in 1137, but his four sons, who all ruled Deheubarth in turn, were eventually able to win back most of their grandfather's kingdom from the Normans. The youngest, Rhys ap Gruffydd, died in 1197 and his sons quarreled, ultimately becoming clients of the north.

Under Llywelyn ab Iorwerth (c. 1172 – 11 April 1240), also known as Llywelyn Fawr, Gwynedd became the dominant power in Wales. His son, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (also known as Llywelyn the Last Leader) was recognized by the Treaty of Montgomery in 1267 as the effective ruler of a large part of Wales.

However, Llywelyn's claims in Wales conflicted with Edward I of England, and war followed in 1277. Llywelyn was obliged to seek terms, and the Treaty of Aberconwy greatly restricted his authority. War broke out again in 1282. On 11 December 1282, Llywelyn was lured into a meeting in Builth Wells castle with unknown Marchers. He was killed and his army subsequently destroyed. His brother Dafydd ap Gruffudd continued an increasingly forlorn resistance. He was captured in June 1283 and was hanged, drawn and quartered at Shrewsbury. With him fell the last Welsh kingdom.

A revolt, led by Madog ap Llywelyn, was defeated in 1295 at the battle of Maes Moydog, and another, led by Llywelyn Bren, in 1318. After that Wales remained quiet until Owain Glendower's revolt in 1401.

Allied Contingents

  • Early Plantagenet English : only from 1150 Oath of fealty 90 : the knights can be useful but will be difficult to coordinate with the rough terrain loving welsh spearmen. The mandatory defensive spear are basically useless.

  • Norse Irish : before 1150 Wolves from the sea 57 : the heavy weapon armed irishmen can do a lot to compensate for the lack of decent armor in the army

  • North Welsh : only North Welsh Oath of fealty 75 : since only North Welsh armies can have this ally, it is basically more of the same... if you want a cheaper general.

  • South Welsh : Oath of fealty 75 : up to 32 longbowmen can be quite useful to a North Welsh army.

Using the army in FoG

  • The first problem is to choose between South (aka wall of longbows) and North Welsh (aka wall of spears).
  • You definitely want rough terrain, which does not entail an IC. You are more at home in fields and broken grounds than in marsh and forests.
  • Your troops are cheap, so you can have a lot of them and outwing your heavier adversaries. They can also be surprisingly mobile, especially in rough terrain.


15mm Manufacturers supplying figures suitable for Late Medieval Armies

You can see some of the figures in the Ancients Photo Gallery also on this site

  • Essex Miniatures - vast range of generic medieval figures
  • Donnington C15 Europe Range, 36-strong WOTR range, & new 100YW range launched 2009

Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army

A North Welsh army used, with abysmal results in Rueil in 2013

1x IC
2x TC
1x Early Plantagenet TC
4X MF spearmen 8 stands
1x HF defensive spearmen 8 stands
1x MF longbows 6 stands
2x CV prot, 6 stands
2x English knights, 4 stands

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Created by damienperrotin. Last Modification: Friday 07 of February, 2014 10:23:59 GMT by damienperrotin. (Version 12)
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