The battle was on an 8x5 foot table and the armies were 3,000 points. I decided to live dangerously this time and plan for a swift advance and clash of arms, I took no cavalry and recruited more men into some of my warbands so that I would be almost guaranteed that advantage in a fight, I also recruited the Franks once again, despite my misgivings as they have performed a lot better since I gave them more men and put their wages up. I had two household units along with the Franks to provide the backbone of the army while the rest were average troops. The Carolingians brought two cavalry units, two elite foot units and the usual suspects.
We set up at opposite ends of the battlefield and although I wanted to advance quickly a small field could hold my left flank up. I decided to quickly try and drive away the enemy skirmishers then send the archers to the right to fend off some cavalry while the main line ignored them and plunged forward. Stewart formed this cavalry into skirmishers which took some pressure off me although they can be a real pain behind the lines. I was two battle formations short so someone was going to be hit in the flank at some point, but I hoped to overwhelm the enemy left and then bring my victorious units back to even this shortfall.
|The Saxon host.|
The battle began and my archers did not rise to the occasion taking a couple of moves to rout one of the enemy skirmish units, I then had to move them to the rear as the Carolingian cavalry were fast approaching. The rest of the advance was going really well and as the crises approached I won the initiative and threw nearly ever battle formation I had at the enemy, I had to leave one on standby as there were two units to its front and I was unsure which one to go for. As the Saxon wave crashed against the Carolingian wall my plan seemed to be working, the enemy right flank cavalry were defeated and the Franks destroyed their target while the rest of my men slowly grabbed the upper hand in the desperate melees. It looked like an overwhelming Saxon victory was on the cards as one of my hearthguards routed and dispersed another enemy. Within a short time however the Carolingians awoke to the danger, the men on the hill now fought back with renewed vigour and stood their ground as my weary men began to waver. My second hearthguard had met the Duke's and both refused to give ground and were to fight until the end, not giving an inch while they fell in ranks. Now that flank charge I had hoped to circumvent hit one of the Duguth units and although my boys fought bravely it was too much to ask and they fled.
|Saxons advance and their left hurries to catch up.|
|The armies close.|
|The Saxons charge.|
I had won on the right but had been too successful and my men were too far away to intervene quickly, the Kings household refusing to change formation did not help either as he berated them to move, the same happened on my left, the victorious Ceorls also could not get close enough to help their comrades on the hill who also broke and ran. As night fell honours looked even as the fighting drew to a close, although having been two battle formations down I felt my Saxons could march home with a smile on their face. There was also a good chance the Duke would have succumbed to his wounds during the night as he had lost two out of his three lives.
|The flank attack I had been fearing.|
|Both household troops fight to the death.|
We haven't played in a while as I said and forgot some rules but nothing which would have turned the tide of the battle in any dramatic way. Once again War and Conquest provided an excellent game and an enjoyable, tense and exciting afternoon.