Saturday, 24 June 2017


I had hoped to get a few more troops than I did for 3,000 points, I ended up with two elite Gedriht units to which I attached my Cyning and Thegn, then some average troops with some Ceorls bringing up the rear, I also took some skirmishers, one unit of cavalry as a possible reserve and once again paid good money for Frank mercenaries, after all they had actually won their last combat so fingers and toes crossed. The Carolingians only showed up with two cavalry units despite the larger table, but they were large ones, the rest were some elites, some good infantry and a unit of fairly average troops, although the Saxons could in the main use shieldwall they lacked armour behind it.

We decided on a pitched battle between the forces and the deployment favoured me as Stewart had to basically deploy all his troops first, on seeing this I decided to lead with my left flank and centre and hold my right. This caught the enemy out and the Carolingian left was a long way from where the fighting was obviously going to happen.

Saxons on the left, Carolingians on the right.

I won the initiative in the first few turns and Stewart lost several Strategy Intervention Points trying to get it off me, I managed to chase off his right flank cavalry but my pursuers didn't pursue far enough (twice) and caused a traffic jam which did not allow the Franks to fall on the enemy flank as I had envisaged. I attacked the centre with my Cyning and his bodyguard and although winning the melee did not win it decisively, it was at this point that the Carolingian archers raced downhill at my Geoguth unit, that surprised me, what was even worse was that they thumped the young warriors who only just held.

Both sides advance.
Saxon left.
Carolingian left.
In hindsight the turning point of the game came when the archers routed the Geoguth in the second round of combat and punched a hole through my centre, both my units on either side were in combat and winning but not quick enough. I had also lost most of my skirmishers and my right began to suffer from volleys of javelins and slingshot, it did not help that one of my skirmish units blended in so well with the little hamlet that I completely forgot about them for two moves! I glanced at the dead pile and there were more Saxons on it than Carolingians, something was going wrong.

Crises in the centre.
 The Carolingian archers now turned and hit my brave Gedriht in the rear, and despite this the boys formed up around their king and fought with such ferocity they almost managed to turn the tables but the archers fought like Trojans. My second Gedriht unit defeated their opponents and one of those moments turned up, I could hit the enemy to their front with both the Gedriht and the Franks who were now in a position to do some damage or leave it to the Franks and turn on the survivors who had cut down the Cyning, they would not stand an attack by Gedriht. Yes, I chose to depend on those utterly useless Frenchies, and they were soon running for the hills.

Archers about to charge the rear of my bodyguard.

A small window of hope for the Saxons.

My whole line now apart from a couple of units and some skirmishers had gone, the Carolingian left was almost untouched and I now had nothing on my left to stop the men who had seen off the Franks, my cavalry had chased off their opponents but it was tit for tat there and it suited the enemy more than me, I threw the towel in.

It is all over.
The White Horses die with their king.

It was a great game but I made some mistakes, chief amongst which was relying on the damn Franks, the event which doomed me was the success of the Carolingian archers who were without a doubt the men of the match, close behind them came my Gedriht, who, charged in the rear, disordered and surrounded held out until they were cut down to a man.


  1. Fine pics and a fine game, or not so fine if you are a Saxon ;~) The Gedricht will be lauded in the great hall no doubt, the Franks well the less said the better perhaps.

    1. Both Stewart and I thought I had the game in the bag, but that is the beauty and frustration of wargaming, you just never can tell. Those archers will die the next time if I lose the whole army doing it. And those Franks, aaaagh! I had a beer for the departed king, albeit 0% :)

  2. What a great looking game, wonderful minis and terrain, and useful maps...congrats!

    1. Thanks Phil, it was an excellent game to play as well.

  3. I second Phil's comments. As The European Union has been described as a relaunch of the Carolingian Empire I hope your battle was not a pointer to the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

  4. Well, in an effort to make you feel better I would have to borrow from Monty Python and say, "Nobody ever expects the charging archers"! As a gambit it may perhaps lose some potency in repetition. Having said that your battle reports on WAC have shown me to be woefully under-provided on the archer front. My Greek mercenary army, for example, follows Xenophon's description of the Ten Thousand, viz, 8000 hoplites, 2000 peltasts and a measly 200 Cretan archers. I am sending out my recruiters forthwith with orders to get a couple of decent archer units. Luckily, as my armies are Greek, Successor (or Pyrrhic), Roman republican and Carthaginian, I reckon I can use the same archer unit with them all.

  5. Best laid plans and all that... Nice looking game and the usual interesting report and observations. Better luck next time!

    1. It all started so well. Despite the Saxons being the underdogs they are looking for a rematch, sans Franks of course.