Home Forums Medieval [Argad AAR] The war of Angles and Picts in the Vita Gobrieni

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    Avatar photoPatrice

    This game was played on October 28th (yes the AAR took some delay) at “24 Heures du Jeu” games festival in Theix-Noyalo (Brittany). Ruleset: Argad.

    Action takes place in the 5th century in the north of Britain. It was a sequel to previous games, the most recent of which was related there:


    There were 7 players and a GM. Player characters:

    – Nectan mac Uirp a Pictish chieftain and his daughter Gweninn (same player, Nectan was badly wounded in the previous game and most diplomacy is done in the name of his daughter). They live in the Pictish hillfort.

    – Bran mac Taloirc another Pictish nobleman of the same family, who runs his own village.

    – Drustan map Fergus, a SubRoman British chieftain, leader of a village which trades with the Picts. Drustan’s liege is lady Marwena (NPC in this game although she was PC in previous games) a SubRoman British lady whose son married Gweninn daughter of the Pictish chief.

    – Gobrien, leader of a group of monks who want to repair an old monastery and evangelize the heathen.

    – Eogan Mac Fintain a Scot (Irish) chieftain who has been trying to settle in Caledonia since previous games.

    – Two Angle chieftains / mercenaries in search of lands to conquer.

    There were 3 gaming tables (two 2x2m and one 2x1m). Characters and troops were free to pass from a table to another.

    The Pictish hillfort and village (on the smallest table):

    Another view of the hillfort; in the background a second table with Drustan map Fergus’s village and the stone huts of the monastery.

    On the third table, a ruined broch which already saw many fights in previous games.

    Most of the pictures were made by the monk player and commented from his point of view, so this AAR will be remembered as part of Vita Gobrieni (The Life of Gobrien)…

    Gobrien and his group of monks arrive at Drustan’s village to ask for help and support to rebuild the monastery.

    Drustan map Fergus welcomes them although he feels trouble coming. He trades with the Picts who are quite friendly and he fears that religious disagreements could cause trouble.

    The Picts and their hillfort.

    The quaint Pictish hillfort is a charming holiday location, complete with heads on stakes and welcoming inhabitants.

    A few mounted Angle warriors have been sighted far away. They certainly are scouts from a larger troop on foot.

    Drustan accepts to send some warriors to the old monastery with the monks.

    The monks explore the stone huts. They have heard that the previous abbot and monks were killed but they don’t know how it happened.

    Gobrien finds a head on a stake and he thinks it could be the previous abbot. He immediately decides to call it an Holy Relic and to advertise that the previous abbot was a saint.

    …Um in fact it’s probably the head of a treacherous SubRoman British chieftain who was killed in a duel by an Angle chieftain there in the previous game, but don’t tell him…

    One of the monks goes for a walk and wants to examine a standing stone near a stream spring. A mounted Pict quickly arrives and waves him away. The Picts don’t want any monks to meddle with the sacred springs.

    Gobrien diplomatically orders the guilty monk to guard the monastery pigs for some days for punishment.

    A group of Angle warriors arrive near the monastery. Drustan the SubRoman British chieftain hastily sends a large patrol to fight them if necessary.

    Rather than a fight, Gobrien tries to evangelize the Angles. The Angle chieftain watches the British warriors then he accepts to be baptized.

    Gobrien goes to the village with the British warriors.

    Then Lady Marwena and Gobrien, with an escort from the village, go to visit Gweninn (daughter of the Pictish chief) and her husband (Marwena’s son) in the Pictish hillfort.

    There’s some argument between Gobrien and the local druid… But Gobrien understands that Gweninn still has no children and that it’s worrying for Marwena and for the Picts too. The old chieftain Nectan (Gweninn’s father) is hostile to the monk, but Gweninn accepts to be baptized although she would not fully reject her old faith.

    Then they come out of the hillfort to go to the village with a Pictish and SubRoman British escort.

    The druid comes with them because on the way Gweninn wants to pray a stone idol by a sacred spring. Even Lady Marwena, although Christian without doubt, shows respect to the idol. Gobrien is very unhappy with all this but is wise enough to avoid open opposition.

    Gobrien is even more unhappy when, some time later in the woods, he has to witness a public ritual of love between the old druid and an old female healer

    …during three game turns: the red hearts are turn markers.

    Far away from there, near the old broch, trouble is brewing. The Scots are restless, and a second group of Angles become threatening. Drustan map Fergus arrives with his troop and prepares to fight the Angles.

    The first troop of Angles, whose chief had accepted to be baptized by Gobrien, changes sides and allies with the hostile Angles. Their chief was still near the village and is immediately killed on Drustan’s order. The fighting goes on.

    Drustan keeps the Angles far from his own village but cannot prevent them from advancing towards the Pictish hillfort. Angle scouts on foot and mounted begin to harass the Picts.

    Nectan the old Pictish chieftain charges some Angle mounted infantry but falls terribly wounded.

    There’s a ceremony in Drustan’s village to celebrate the baptism of Gweninn. The village is well guarded now and the Angles don’t come near (and they don’t need to, they are busy attacking the Pictish hillfort).

    Nectan has been brought unconscious near his hut on top of the hillfort and the druid is helping him.

    A short time later, the Angles storm the hillfort. The druid and an old servant commit suicide by jumping from the top of the hillfort, carrying the body of their chieftain with them. Only a few children manage to climb down the cliff and to escape.


    Avatar photoMike

    Crikey. It is like a Netflix mini series!!

    Avatar photoNorm S

    A beautiful table and a good read, thanks.

    Avatar photoSteve Johnson

    That’s one lovely looking table!

    Avatar photoOh no….

    Very impressive terrain and scenery……….. I love the hillfort and rock outcrops.

    Avatar photoDeleted User

    I can’t tell you how much I love the look of this. Well done to all involved.

    At the risk of being picky, couldn’t they tell the severed head wasn’t that of a martyred abbot because it wasn’t tonsured?


    Avatar photoPatrice

    Thanks guys. Unfortunately we don’t have pictures of the main fightings, it seems players did forget to take pictures when they were involved in fast action.

    At the risk of being picky, couldn’t they tell the severed head wasn’t that of a martyred abbot because it wasn’t tonsured?

      Others have asked that too, however some (campaign) time had passed since the previous game (although I don’t remember if the GM precisely said how many weeks) and the crows could well have removed a part of the scalp.

    Anyway it was part of the strategy of the “monk” player to have holy relics in the monastery as soon as possible. The fact that it’s not the abbot’s head has been mentioned yesterday in the AAR thread on our (French language) forum; the monk player quickly rejected these heathen lies and reacted by inventing a long and miraculous legend about the abbot’s head. He wants to run a monastery complete with its holy relic at the start of the next game.


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