1718: Death of a King
The game is a strategic level analysis of the Swedish invasions of Norway in 1716 and 1718.
After the disastrous loss at Poltava in 1709, and a long period spent as the guest of the Ottoman sultan, Charles XII returned to Sweden and was eager to revive fortunes in the Great Northern War which had turned decidedly our for the Swedes in his absence.
The first attempt took place in March 1716, when Charles XII led a Swedish invasion army across the border into Norway. After heavy skirmishes in the border areas with Norwegian forces led by Col. Kruse, the two invading Swedish forces joined up and forced their way to the capital of Norway, Christiania (Oslo). Here they occupied the city and laid siege to the mighty Akershus Fortress. The Norwegian forces chose a defensive strategy, establishing fortified lines west and north of Christiania. After several attacks on these lines, the Swedes sent a force of 500 cavalry to outflank the lines, but were discovered by Norwegian spies and met heavy resistance by farmers militia and dragoon units at Harestua, north of Christiania. At Norderhov, the entire Swedish flanking force was surrounded and captured by Norwegian units. The Swedish position became untenable as time moved into April, especially since they had left strong Norwegian fortresses at Frederikshald (Modern day Halden) and Fredrikstad, that were now used by Norwegian forces as bases for guerrilla patrols and attacks on Swedish supply and post-lines back to Sweden. On July 8th 1716, the Norwegian commander Petter Wessel Tordenskiold took his squadron of just seven ships and defeated a Swedish fleet of 44 ships at Dynekilen, capturing or destroying 25 of them including all the heavy siege artillery. Charles XII promptly abandoned his siege of Akershus fortress, and, save for an attempt to storm Fredriksten fortress at Halden, the Swedish army returned to Sweden by the end of May 1716.
In 1718 Sweden invaded Norway again, hoping this time to capture an important bargaining chip for peace talks with Denmark.
In the north, Gen. Armfeldt led a force of some 10,000 men into Trøndelag county in Norway, aiming to capture Trondheim and thereby cutting Norway in half. The Swedish force skirmished with strong Norwegian defensive positions, and were forced to manoeuvre around the county in search of food and fodder- a task that became increasingly difficult. Upon hearing of the death of King Charles XII, Gen. Armfeldt led his force back across the mountains into Sweden,in what has become know as the Carolean Death March. Continuously harassed by Norwegian snipers and guerrillas, the Swedish army started crossing the mountains in the dead of winter, and on January 1st they were surprised by a heavy blizzard. 3,000 Swedish soldiers froze to death in the mountains, and stragglers were still arriving in Swedish villages a month after the disaster. Even today, one can still find remnants of the lost army in the mountains.
Charles XII once again led the southern army of some 30,000 soldiers himself, this time determined not to repeat the mistakes form 1716. His first target was the mighty Fredriksten fortress in Halden, which had caused him so much trouble in 1716. On November 30th, he peaked above the siege lines and was hit by a bullet to the head, killing him instantly. Where the bullet came from has never been conclusively established,although most likely it came from a lucky shot from the fortress. There were however, and still is, speculations that he might have been shot by one of his own officers.
The war dragged on until 1720, with the Norwegians, commanded by Tordenskiold, going on the offensive and capturing the mighty fortress at Marstrand in Bohuslän in 1719.
Pre-order the games in the Scandinavian Wars Trilogy now
1 game £50, 2 games £90, all 3 games £110
Games to the EU will be shipped from within the EU to avoid customs issues after Brexit.