Ly Bon (also known as Ly Ban, Li Bi and Ly Bi) is recognised as being the leader of the first attempt of the people of what was to become Vietnam to rise in rebellion against the Chinese. He overthrew the Governor of what was then the Giao-chao Province and captured the capital at Long Bien the following year.
|Now part of Modern Vietnam used to be the Kingdom of Champa|
The area that Ly Bon ultimately commanded was vast by the standards of the time and was comprised of most of what today is northern and central Vietnam, much larger than the actual province he liberated. Before this though he had to defeat an invasion from the Kingdom of Champa (now southern Vietnam) in 542.
The following year he named himself Emperor and his rule was recognised by all the nations in the Red River Delta. He named his Empire Van Xuan, the meaning being it would last One Thousand Springs.
However this was not meant to be and just four years later he was defeated by a Chinese Army in a battle to the north near a village called Chu Dien. The defeat must have been complete as he fled to Laos but a local tribesman killed him and sent his head back to the Chinese.
So ended the first attempt to gain independence but two more attempts to throw off Chinese rule were made in less than 50 years but it would be another 550 years before it would be realised.
Wargaming the period.
I can only assume that figures would have to be based on the Chinese of the time, though I would use more auxiliary types of units rather than the more exotic or centralised unit types for the Chinese. For the Van Xuan forces I would start with mostly light and medium troop types but come the battles with Champa I think something between those of the Chinese and the Korean of the period for both sides.
Information is so sketchy it has to be made up as you wish. I can't see the Chinese accepting the loss of a province for six years and have to assume at least one campaign against Ly Bon each year and given Le Bon gained the recondition of surrounding Nations you have to assume that this was done by defeating other Nations armies.
All in all an interesting side project for anyone who already has figures from this period. The only souce material I could find being George C Kohn's Dictionary of Wars and Britannia.com.