Speculative War Game between Fictional Nations

Aug 2018
Hi everyone! This is a "Speculative War Scenario" or you can call it "War Gaming". It is set on random fictional world but heavily based on real world history for making it easier to relate and simulate. We will try to be as realistic and neutral as possible.

The "Imperium" is a vast empire equivalent to Roman Empire in 120 CE. It has a centralised government, with emperor at the top assisted by imperial council, provincial governors, trained bureaucracts etc with a population of 50 Million and ruling over 2 million square miles/ 5 million square kilometers.The standing army of the Imperium is around 250000 professional soldiers, divided into infantry, cavalry and artillery. The standing navy has around 50000 professional sailors with around 200 Galleys of various sizes.
Around 3 years ago the the Imperium had conquered a mineral rich coastal region and has turned it into a province. The new province has a good potential but soon after its conquest the territory started to be regularly raided in their longships by a "Vikrangian" tribes who from their island of Vikrangia located some 25 miles/ 40 km, northwest from the coast. As the territory became more organised and wealthy under the Imperium, the Vikrangian raids became more frequent and dangerous. The Vikrangians needed to be defeated if this new province is to prosper. At that time a young new emperor succeeded to the throne and he decided to conquer the island of Vikrangia itself and told his generals to make a plan for the invasion.

Vikrangia is a medium sized island with numerous smaller sized islands located north west of the Imperium. It is equivalent to Viking Scandinavia in 900 AD. The island is around 10000 Square miles/26000 Square Kilometers and has a wet and windy climate. It covered with mountains and highlands in the north and forested plains in the south. Most of its 1 Million population are farmer and fishermen. They are politically divided into 8 to 10 tribal kingdoms and numerous semi nomadic clansman, who are continiously fighting against each other. However, they have a strong national and cultural identity which allows them to unite against foreign enemies quickly. Due to a population rise in the last hundred years, ambitious adventurers made seaborne raids to neighbouring territories. All freemen of the island has some basic knowledge of fighting and wars. The various kingdoms and tribes lack a standing army apart from a small household guards who are very well trained and experienced. However the local rulers can raise almost all able bodied male for short scale warfare if needed. In case of serious emergencies around 50 to 100 thousand soldiers can be raised if all the various kingdoms and tribes united.

Opponents: Imperium vs Vikrangian tribes
Government: Imperium - Centralised Imperial State with efficient public administration. Vikrangians - Tribal Chiefdoms with low centralisation.
Military: Imperium - 250000 Professional Standing Army and 50000 Sailors with 200 Galleys. Vikrangians - 50000 soldiers can be easily recruited and may be up to 100000 in an extreme case if all the kingdoms and tribes united.
Combat Area: Island of Vikrangia with nearby smaller islands.

I wish the the members to discuss potential war plans for both sides and outcome of the war in as much realisticly as possible.


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Forum Staff
Aug 2016
Traditionally in naval warfare, like fights like. The Imperium navy will have to build long ships and learn how to sail them and fight from them. I doubt the Imperium galleys could fight the long ships. Long ships are weaker than galleys but faster so they could always avoid battle under disadvantageous circumstances. To bring the long ships to battle, the Imperium must have long ships of their own.

You could study the way that the Romans and Anglo-Saxons used coastal fortifications to defend against North Sea raiders. These fortifications might make it possible to defeat, or at least deter, Vikrangian raids without an Imperium navy.

One advantage the Vikings had was their ability to land, plunder, and sail home again before the local defense forces could arrive. The Anglo-Saxons invested heavily in rapid-reaction forces such as mounted infantry that could quickly march to the point of crisis before the Vikings left. The Anglo-Saxons also had spies in the Viking lands to warn them of raids before the Vikings even set sail. The Anglo-Saxons also built and maintained systems of rapid communication, possibly including carrier pigeons that could carry messages hundreds of miles in just a few hours. Evidence of carrier pigeons in post-Roman Britain is scarce to non-existent, but we know that Romans used carrier pigeons in Britain.

Barbarians were also pretty knowledgeable of events in the empire or in post-Roman Europe. They would time their raids to coincide with internal distractions that would slow their enemies' response. Both sides could use merchants that traveled between Vikrangia and the Imperium as a source of intelligence about the other side. There might even be some merchants who worked both sides. Merchants usually care more about money than politics. Some naive merchants might not even know they were being pumped for intelligence, and just assume their hosts were just being curious about the world. You can only have merchants trading back and forth if both sides have products that the other wants.

You can make Vikrangia farther away than 25 miles. Ship technology and navigational skills both existed in Roman times that allowed for longer voyages. The farther away Vikrangia is, the more likely they are to have products that are in demand in the Imperium. I like that they are in the north. This gives Vikrangia the opportunity to produce furs and other products. Britain and Scandinavia could not grow wine grapes so they drank beer instead. Wool, similar to fur, is another northern product.

While minor raids would be almost continuous, Vikrangians should wait until an Imperium civil war breaks out before making a lot of big raids. The Vikrangians could also ally with one of the Imperium factions, for a price. The weaker faction in an Imperium civil war would have a strong motivation to ally with Vikrangia. They might have to promise territory or plunder as the price of alliance.