The Fall of the Big Men
Having just finished painting and basing my DBA Early Russian army I started looking for historical scenarios to adapt. In the Novgorod Chronicle I came across the betrayal of Captain Yadrei. In 1193 Captain Yadrei rode with his force from Novgorod to the Yugra, on the lower Ob where he took a fort. He then camped with his men and waited for a nearby settlement to surrender. But Yadrei had not reckoned on one of his men, Savko, who betrayed him to the Yugrians. Captain Yadrei was persuaded by Savko not to attack the settlement.
Russ warriors from Gripping Beast
The Novgorod Chronicle tells the story of the death of an army.
We are gathering silver, and sables, and other precious goods: do not ruin your serfs and your tribute", said the Yugra, but in fact they were collecting an army".
Then they said, "Select your bigger men and come into the town". And the captain went into the town taking with him a priest and Ivanko Legen, and other bigger men: and they cut them down on the eve of St. Barbara: and they sent out again and they took thirty of the bigger men: and these they cut to pieces, and then fifty, and did the same to these.
On Savko's orders more men were killed and then the Yugrians sallied out of their settlement to attack what was left of Captain Yadrei's force. Only eighty men returned to Novgorod the following spring.
A sad tale and one unlikely to be re-enacted on the wargames table. Some rules allow for treachery but few games would allow for this sort of betrayal. So at least my newly painted Russians won't face the same sad fate as the Captain's men. If they lose it will be in honest combat on the wargames table.
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