Historical Overview Section
This list stretches from the 55 BCE (Julius Casear's tentative invasion of Britain) to 500 CE (the reign of Fergus Mór, legendary king of Dál Riata ), and is split into three sections, one of each ethnic group in the list title.
The Caledonians, living along the Moray Firth, Loch Ness and Loch Lochy, were the descendants of the tribe smashed by Agricola in 83 CE at the battle of Mons Graupius. Tacitus in his Agricola, Chap. XI describes them as a red-haired and large limbed people. Their name had become a catch-all among the Romans for all the tribes of the North — the Caledonii themselves, but also neighbouring tribes, Vacomagi, Taexali and Venicones' — and although never firmly conquered by the Romans, suffered another heavy defeat at the hands of Septimus Severus in 209 CE.
The origin of the Picts is shrouded in mystery, but they emerge on the historical scene in the third century CE, perhaps absorbing the survivors among the Caledonians following their defeat in 209 CE. Pict became the Roman term to describe all the tribes living north of the Firth of Forth and means 'painted', a reference perhaps to their practice of tattooing themselves. The Picts won a celebrated victory against the Anglo-Saxon Northumbrians at the Battle of Dun Nechtain in 685 CE, slaying their king Ecgrfrith and a greater part of his army, ending Northumbrian political influence over the North and permanently establishing the independence of Pictland.
The Scots-Irish are the Scotti or Gaels , originally from Ireland but who crossed the Irish Sea and settled in Wales, on the isle of Man and in Scotland, where they formed the Kingdom of Dál Riata. During the reign of the Gaelic King Kenneth MacAlpin, Dál Riata subsumed the neighbouring Pictish Kingdom and formed the Kingdom of Alba, the political nucleus of what would later become the Kingdom of Scotland, and getting his own ADLG list, the Scots.
The Attacotti , a particularly ferocious tribe of warriors available to each of the sub-lists here as medium swordsmen impetus elite, feature prominently in Roman accounts of the Great Conspiracy of 367 CE, in which a seemingly coordinated attack by Picts, Attacotti, Scots-Irish and Saxon invaders simultaneously attacked Roman Britainia on its north, west and south-eastern borders, overwhelming local defenders with ease and enjoying a period of anarchic control of Roman Britain, before being defeated by Count Theodosius , a Roman general serving under Emperor Valentinian I and the father of the future emperor Theodosius the Great . The Attacotti must have impressed the Romans in particular, as soon after this upheaval, four units bearing their name appear in the lists of the Notitia Dignitatum , enrolled to serve in the Roman army on the continent.
Using the army in ADLG
- Although the list is divided into three sections, they are all essentially javelin-armed Light Chariot and medium swordsmen impetus (elite) lists. The Picts field light cavalry in place of most of the chariots found in earlier lists.
User-contributed links about this army.
- A useful article about the Pictish style of warfare.
- The legendary figure of CuCuhulain , a demi-god who features as a possible sub-general in the Scots-Irish list.
- The episode of the rightly-famous History of Rome podcast dealing with Great Conspiracy of 367 CE.
15mm Pictish miniature lines:
- Essex carries a line of Caledonian and Pictish minis.
- Forged in Battle
- Old Glory
- Splintered Light Miniatures .
15mm Scots-Irish miniature lines:
Sample army lists for this army
- 3 of these
- 4 of these