GURPS: Casus Belli

1x03, Clash

Act I

  • 19 June 456.
  • The band has escorted Paulus to the royal villa of Chedworth where a convocation of priests has gathered to discuss the lack of an archbishop in this region.
  • Word reaches them that a great warband of Saecsens is on approach!
  • Acting as quickly as they can manage, the band assumes command of the warriors in the region but events outpace them and before they can adequately prepare the defenses, the Saecsens swarm over Chedworth, catching the Celts by surprise.
  • Bradan serves as the overall commander, but there are simply too many Saecsens, too few defenders, and the Celts are out of position. Pressed hard and overwhelmed, the defenders are ultimately forced to abandon Chedworth and retreat, leaving the villa to Saecsen pillagers who seem uninterested in further pursuit.
  • The band does not escape unscathed: only Heddwyn and Paulus are unwounded and Meadhbh is very badly injured.

Act II

  • Retreating from Chedworth, the survivors angle toward the king’s city, Corinium.
  • The presence of a large band of bloodied warriors on approach results in Corinium defenders, led by Artorius, to rush out to meet them. Upon identifying them, Artos sends one of his riders back to have his personal physician prepare for wounded. Marcus gives him a brief rundown of the Saecsen force before the prince leads his combrogi on to Chedworth with an intent to harass the attackers.
  • Upon arriving at Corinium, the band is escorted to Artos’ domus, which strikes the band more as a barracks than the home of a nobleman. Physicians stand ready to lend assistance and the band agree to spend all of the next day recovering.
  • Artos returns late in the evening, revealing that the Saecsens burned Chedworth to the ground and then retreated. He, Bradan and Marcus spend several hours discussing the battle and the Saecsen tactics.
  • The following day, Heddwyn spends many hours seeking out rumors and innuendo regarding the king, the Artos-Aurelianius camp, and public perception regarding Baron Caddell. At Angus’ suggestion, he also begins work on a propaganda campaign regarding the events of the Chedworth battle to ensure that there is no political blowback on Bradan regarding the defeat.
  • Paulus also begins researching Church law to formulate how to best craft the letter to Rome regarding the election of a new archbishop. He intends to have Brother Maius write the letter once they return to Caer Tarian.

Act III

  • The return trip to Caer Tarian takes three days, even though Meadhbh has borrowed a horse from Prince Artos.
  • Upon arrival, they are greeted by Lord Caddell.
  • Fourteen days elapse as the band recovers and attends their kingdom leadership duties.


    GM Notes: The Mass Combat at the beginning of the game did not play out as I expected. A critical failure on the initial Recon role ended up being catastrophically bad for the PCs. Their force spent the first round “Confused” (per the rules) which allowed the attacking Saecsens to use All Out Attack. We played out three rounds, during which time the PCs were suffering from the usual Fantasy Grounds II dice woes and had a resulting minimal affect on the Significant Actions portions of the battles. In the end, the decision to retreat was necessary as the PC force had already suffered 55% casualties.

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RigilKent

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