Sunday, 11 May 2014

The Battle of St Walburgha's Day

What better way to spend a day of the recent Bank Holiday weekend than by getting a few chums to come and play some Dark Ages War & Conquest? The armies total roughly 5,000pts per side. The scenario can be found here.

"Early Summer in the the year of our Lord 934, on the blessed St Walburgha's day, the cruel Pagans did form an alliance between Norseman and Dane, and make war upon our realm. Having visited much slaughter and rapine upon the good people of Mercia their numberless host crossed into Wessex. Brave Aethelstan of Wessex, with aid from the stout men of Kent, led by Uhtred Dane-Slayer, formed their shieldwalls beside the steading of Ultfun and the monastery of St Aethelbert. A great battle was fought and many good men did perish. Praise the Lord that the Heathens were stopped and their invasion crushed."

Here are the armies lined up and ready to do battle. You can also see Prize-Winning Phil (did I mention that he picked up TWO prizes at Legionary!) about to offer Rob the benefit of his great tactical acumen.

The Danes (led by Jenny) face the Saxons of Wessex (Rob) with the monastery of St Aethelbert between the armies.

The Norse Vikings of Jarl Lurkus the Bold (led by Steve) make ready to take the steading of Ulftun before Uhtred's Kentish men (Prize Winning Phil) can reach it. Surely the monks will have hidden their gold amidst the midden heaps?

A view along the Viking line.

And now the Saxons.

The armies get moving. The first few turns see the shieldwalls getting into the most favourable positions whilst skirmishers clash ahead of the main fight.

The Danish Hirdmen and Bondi secure their flank on the monastery.

Here we see that the Hirdmen (in the foreground) have charged the Saxons but the Thegns and Ceorls have held. Further across the field it appears that Prize Winning Phil's brave men of Kent are finding the Norse to be a very tough foe!

The Hirdmen are flanked but stubbornly refuse to break.

The remnants of Uhtred's Kentish army are swiftly butchered by Lurkus' Norse. Uhtred himself fell bravely in battle, surrounded by the bodies of his loyal hearthguard - what else can you expect from an heroic Saxon leader?

Alas, I didn't take any more pics but I can tell you that the men of Kent were slaughtered, as were the Danes. This left the men of Wessex to deal with the rampant Norse. After a few more turns of ferocious combat the Norse Jarl also fell - sword firmly in his grasp. With that the badly battered army of Wessex took the field.

All jolly good fun and a real pleasure to host. My thanks to Jenny, Steve, Rob and Prize Winning Phil for being such splendid players. More please!


Phil said...

Great looking game, nice buildings!

Neil Scott said...

fantastic looking game

DeanM said...

Nice game and troops - the local crew where I am used to play a lot of Dark Ages - with WAB.

Lurkus Spleen said...

Nice one mate, one minor point though the Mighty Nordic armies were the victors if I remember right, with my Jarls unit destroy Robs Huscarls including his general in the final combat of the the Saxon lover to get it wrong ;o)

Cheers, Steve.

ps: thanks again for a great days gaming :o).

Matt said...


Still, history is written by those ... err ... who write it!?

Thanks for the correction.

Glad you enjoyed it!

David Toone said...

Brilliant background intro Matt and inspired points system! Might steal that for our games here ;-)