Historical Overview Section

Britain 1016-71 After the Middle Anglo Saxons lost control of the country to the Vikings, rule over England fluctuated between the descendants of Æthelred and Viking Canute for the first half of the 11th century. The first act in the drama came in July 1017, Cnut wed Emma of Normandy, the widow of Ethelred, and daughter of Richard the Fearless, the first Duke of Normandy elevating his line above the heirs of England's overthrown dynasty in the eyes of the Normans; Emma's sons by Ethelred, Edward the Confessor and Alfred Atheling went into exile amongst their relatives. Cnut, a Viking, was to be one of England's most successful kings. His statesmanship, and the protection he lent against Viking raiders - with many of them under his command - brought in a prosperous era of stability for the people. Obedience of the Anglo-Saxons, and the pedigree of his Danish heritage, meant he was eventually able to manoeuvre an overlordship within Scandinavia, and substantial parts of the British Isles too. The very last Danegeld ever paid, a sum of £82,500, went to Cnut in 1018. After their staunch resistance, as well as the fact of their prosperity, £10,500 was levied from the citizenry of London alone. Cnut felt secure enough to allow his Vikings to return to their lands in Scandinavia with £72,000 in payment for services the same year. He, with his huscarls, and the no doubt grateful earls, were left to control England. The wars he fought to secure his kingship were an opportunity for some of his English subjects to prove their worth. Godwin was one notable figure; by the lengths he went to for his king in battle with his enemies, Cnut thought it good to award him the earldom of Wessex, and the role of he and his family was prominent in English affairs until the Norman Conquest. One of his sons was Harold Godwinson.

Norwegian King Olaf Haraldsson and his ally the Swedish King Anund Jakob took advantage of Cnut's absence in England and began to launch attacks against Denmark,but when news of these events got to Cnut he brought together his fleet at set sail for Denmark, to restore himself and deal with Ulf, who got back in line. In a battle known as the Holy River, Cnut and his men fought the Norwegians and Swedes at the mouth of the river Helgea. 1026 is the likely date, and the apparent victory left Cnut as the dominant leader in Scandinavia too.

Cnut died in 1035 and Harold Harefoot - regent in England 1035–37 - succeeded to claim the throne, in 1037, reigning until his death in 1040. Eventual peace in Scandinavia left Cnuts successor from Denmark Harthacnut free to claim the throne himself in 1040. and he brought the crowns of Denmark and England together again, until his death, in 1042. The house of Wessex was to reign again in Edward the Confessor, whom Harthacnut had brought out of exile in Normandy and made a treaty. Like in his treaty with Magnus, it was decreed the throne was to go to Edward if Harthacnut died with no legitimate male heir. In 1042, Harthacnut died, and Edward was king but ultimately this resulted, by 1066, in several people having a claim to the English throne. The most powerful Earl in England, Harold Godwinson, claimed the crown on 5 January, within a day of the death of Edward the Confessor, and was confirmed by the English witan. However William of Normandy, who was a descendant of Æthelred and his second wife Emma, and also Harald Hardrada of Norway (who invaded Northumbria in 1066, two weeks before the Battle of Hastings, aided by Harold Godwinson's estranged brother Tostig) laid claim to the crown. Another claimant, Edgar the Ætheling, was prevented by his youth from playing a large part in the struggles of 1066.

Hastings 1066
The battle of Hastings is incredibly well known so in general, a Norman army estimated to number as many as 8,400 with around 2,200 cavalry, 4,500 infantry and 1,700 archers and crossbowmen started with archers to soften the Anglo-Danes, followed by a general advance of the infantry, and then a cavalry charge. The Norman army was composed of nobles, mercenaries, and troops from France and Europe, including some from Southern Italy. The English army is usually thought to have numbered roughly 7,500 and consisted entirely of infantry. It is most probable that all the members of the army rode to battle, but once at the appointed place they dismounted to fight on foot.

The battle was a decisive Norman victory. Harold II was killed; traditionally, it is believed he was shot through the eye with an arrow. Although there was further English resistance, this battle is seen as the point at which William gained control of England. The famous Bayeux Tapestry depicts the events before and during the battle. An abbey, known as Battle Abbey in East Sussex, was subsequently built on the site of the conflict.

Invasion was the result. Harold Godwinson defeated Harald of Norway and Tostig at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in October 1066 (the death of Harald Hardrada and the massacre of the Viking army was such a devastating defeat that England was never again menaced by the Vikings); but he fell in battle against Norman William at the Battle of Hastings a few days later.

Using the army in ADLG

  • Very simple, very tough - but protecting your flanks is tricky
  • hint 2

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Army Lists

Sample army lists for this army

300 Points
Harold Strategist
Qty Troop description Troop type Quality
3 Light infantry Light infantry bow ------
3 Mounted huscarls Heavy cavalry Elite
3 Norman Knights Medium knight impetuous Elite
Tostig Competent
Qty Troop description Troop type Quality
2 Light infantry Light infantry bow ------
2 Huscarls Heavy swordsmen armour 2HW Elite
4 Fyrd Heavy spearmen armour ------
Ally not an ally Arthur Ordinairy
Qty Troop description Troop type Quality
2 Light infantry Light infantry sling ----
1 Huscarls Heavy swordsmen armour 2HW Elite
4 Fyrd Heavy spearmen armour ------
Ally Scots Ewan (McTeagle) Ordinairy
Qty Troop description Troop type Quality
1 Nobles Medium cavalry ------
2 Light infantry Light infantry bow ------
1 Thegn Heavy spearmen armour Elite
6 spearmen Medium spearmen ----

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