|Initial Saxon positions|
Oswald gathered his men about him as he outlined the plan to his followers. A full 30 warriors, along with 4 bowmen, answered his call and he would seize the treasure of the Britons holy hall today. "I will take the Gedridht with a single unit of Geoguth, commanded by Aella, in support. Aelfwald will take the remaining Geoguth and loot the building. You bowmen just annoy the enemy when they arrive."
The Saxons had 3 turns of movement before any Britons would arrive. This got them half way up the table, heading straight for the church. Oswald on the left, then Aelfwald and Aella on the right.
|The Britons arrive to spoil the Saxon plan|
The Britons arrived at the start of turn 4. That is, one unit did. To keep the army together, I sent the archers on first, keeping everybody else back. The Saxons advanced, with 12 elite foot and 6 warriors facing the gap between the church and village, while the remaining 12 warriors headed for the church. Turn 5 and the rest of the Britons arrived. Constantine led the best of his force (6 elites and 12 warriors) in a shieldwall facing the Saxons, while the levies split up, 6 in the village and 12 behind the church. The archers and the new skirmishers milled about facing the Saxon line, but didn't do much.
|Saxons ready themselves as the Britons arrive|
Oswald swore as he say the Britons appear from behind the orchard and, already, gather themselves into the accursed shieldwall. "Thats no way for men to fight" he muttered as he loped forward. Suddenly a hail of javelins and arrows hit his formation. "FORWARD" he shouted and lead his men in a sudden charge against the archers. As they ran, he saw the shieldwall suddenly start forward. As his men paused, panting for breath, the close order Britons smashed into them. Spears darted forward, axes and swords were swung and shields were splintered, but not a single man fell on either side. A pause in the battle, then another surge and, suddenly, Saxon warriors were falling. A few Britons died, but more Saxons fell and, with a howl of dismay, Oswald was driven back with his men.
The Saxon elites attempted to charge the Britons archers, but came up just short. (hehehe) The archers and skirmishers then moved aside and the shieldwall advanced. I didn't expect it to reach the Saxons, but it did. After 2 rounds of melee, not one kill was made. The Saxons solitary kill was negated by the shieldwall but lots of shock was spread about. The Britons faired better as they had 3 units in the fight, while the Saxons were pushed back by excess shock with the shieldwall following up. The Saxon lord card came up and the battle started again, but this time the swords swung true and men began to fall. The shieldwall again saved the Britons and the Saxons were driven back 6" with 7 shock per unit and gaps appearing in the line.
|Less Saxons than before.|
Constantine steadied his line, then ordered the archers and skirmishers forward again. Arrows and javelins fell all around Oswald, but no Saxon fell. Suddenly a roar sounded and more Saxons charged from the left. A quick order and the shieldwall smartly stepped back. All those hours training paid off as the Saxon charge fell short. Then the shieldwall stepped forth again and more Saxons fell.
|British skirmishers get around the flank|
|A closer view of the Saxons, Lots of shock!|
Oswald watched and raged as more of his men fell before that damned shieldwall. He cursed as he watched Aelfwald stagger back from a wicked sword blow and watched in disbelief as his warriors broke and ran. Even as this happened the enemies skirmishers were getting around behind him and more javelins fell on his men.
The breaking of the Saxon warriors spelt the end of the battle as Oswald decided discretion was the better part of valour. Losses were not too high, 7 for the Britons and 12 for the Saxons. At the end the British won by 3, gaining a bit of loot, a new priest and regaining all their losses. Nathan will have a month to lick his wounds, then return to the raiders lifestyle. One thing he has learnt is to stay away from frontal charges against shieldwalls, unless he has the right cards in his hand. He was unfortunate in the location of the church and the fact that the Britons came on right behind it.
It is now June in the first year of our campaign. The only Saxon doing well is Colin who has won his 2 battles, gained a unit of skirmishers and has a Princes Chest in his treasury. Nathan has lost 2 battles but gained with a free raid so now has a Tribunes Tribute in his treasury. Zob has lost both battles and gained nothing. He needs a good result in July or he may be in trouble with his liege lord. The Britons have had mixed results too. Andy has won 1 and lost 1, with a Tribunes Tribute in his cash boxes. I have won 3, gaining skirmishers and holding a Patricians Purse. Panjo has only had 1 battle, but got thumped by Colin. He has a Thiefs Horde and needs to fight soon to gain some money.
At the moment the Saxons are losing more than they win, but they gain money each time a Briton fights and doesn't thrash the opponent. Two of the three Saxon players have gained by getting free raids in while the Britons muster new troops to replace losses. Basically, its all in the balance.