Hail Caesar, The Dark Age Sagas

Hail Casear: Anglo-Saxon Thegns

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Standing shoulder to shoulder in the shield wall, the thegns of Anglo-Saxon England fought to defend both king and country!

Unit Type: Clash: Sustain: Short Range: Long Range:  Morale Save: Stamina: Special:
Heavy Infantry Thegns 7 7 3 0 4+ 6

The word thegn means soldier or retainer. Like the knights of the later feudal period, these landowners were required to provide military service in return for their grant of land. These (usually) wealthy men were well armed and armoured, with some even able to raise bands of ceorls to fight alongside them.

Our Thegns are depicted as you might see them on the Bayeux tapestry – in thigh-length coats of mail, with a mix of round and teardrop-shaped shields and conical nasal helms. We’ve also chosen to give them luxurious moustaches – as was the fashion with the discerning Anglo-Saxon of the time.

Thegns are perfect for strengthening your shield wall, with high clash and sustain values allowing them to mix it up with berserk Vikings and disciplined Normans. The unit can absorb fantastic amounts of punishment, weathering missile fire before bearing the brunt of a charging enemy.


Hold the Line!

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Thegns in Battle

Mail-clad thegns fought in English armies from the days of King Alfred. One of their greatest triumphs would come during the twilight of Anglo-Saxon England, at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.

Harald Hardrada was one of the many pretenders to the English throne in 1066, and he invaded the northern part of the country to press his claim. After defeating the earls of Mercia and Northumbria outside of York, the Norwegians moved to consolidate their hold over Yorkshire. Hearing of the invasion, King Harold marshalled his force of huscarls and thegns and marched northward.

While the English fought on foot, King Harold’s army travelled on horseback, allowing them to cover 185 miles in four days, taking the Norwegian army completely by surprise.

Forced to cross a narrow bridge to engage the bulk of the Norwegian army, Harold’s forces were stalled by a gigantic Viking warrior, who slew forty men with his axe before being brought down by a spear-thrust. This gave the Vikings time to form their shield wall, but it would not be enough to prevent the English army from punching through their line of battle and annihilating them.

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Tom Mecredy
Tom spends most of his time buying books and painting miniatures. He enjoys putting animals on the bases of his miniatures and half-finishing side projects. Some say that he lives in a tower on top of some windswept northern hill with his wife and cow-patterned cat, Spaghetti.