|Picts on the left, Northumbrians on the right, Forlorn Hope and Van up the top.|
Kevin was Bridei and I was Ecgfirth. The Picts had the advantage for the first two game turns and their cavalry made a wide detour to come in on the flank of the Northumbrians as they faced the Picts on the nearby heights, the Pictish forlorn hope which had lured the enemy on now stopped and threw in a wild charge on their pursuers, things had started well for the wild men. As the cavalry maneuvered, the centre of the Pict line raced downhill and clashed with the Northumbrian right, Ecgfirth looked around in dismay as his hearthguard battled to their front.
|The Picts advance.|
Despite some of the Northumbrian cavalry being defeated and the second unit being forced into a death ride against Bridei's hearthguard the Northumbrian infantry began to get the upper hand. The Pict forlorn hope was held then routed in a surprise melee result while Ecgfirth's hearthguard beat and caught their opponents. The Pict cavalry and Bridei's companions defeated everything in front of them and opened a large gap between the Northumbrian van and the rest of the line, another Pict unit although losing bodies in the centre, simply refused to run.
|Picts threaten the Northumbrian rear, but then pull back.|
On the Northumbrian left the Picts were heavily defeated and put to rout which left several Northumbrian units to turn and advance on the centre, Bridei was losing the numbers game and as his army started to disappear over the hills he decided to pull back and reform, blocking the way home for the enemy. But first he had to destroy the Northumbrian van, despite all the odds this unit held the hearthguard then turned the tables and routed them, with their king and best fighters seen falling in the heather the Pictish cavalry could do nothing more than ride into the sunset.
|Bridei and his hearthguard die in the centre.|
The game was kept simple as I don't think there are army lists out there for the Picts and Northumbrians in 685AD, so both were typical of the period in that they were all unarmoured apart from the hearthguards and cavalry, we know there were armoured cavalry at Nechtansmere. All were armed with shield, spear and javelins and had average morale apart from the king's bodyguard. I only used two small skirmish units in each army as this was a stand up, brutal, Dark Age combat. Things played out well, the Picts took advantage of their opening moves and threw in several charges, sadly the infantry did not do as well as the cavalry, for the Northumbrians it was the opposite, their infantry fought extremely well while the cavalry were dispersed early on. I am glad it turned out a good game, I would like to fight Clontarf next but sadly do not have nor will be getting a pile of Vikings, but you never know.