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Sunday, 17 May 2015

A furore normannorum libera nos, Domine

'Save us from the fury of the northmen, O Lord'-- The prayer of Christians faced by Vikings.

Today, we did a Dark ages skirmish, pitting a Norman army against Anglo-Danes with Viking allies.
We had a lot of players today, six! - On the Anglo-Danish side, Ian had his Saxons, Andy, his generic Dark Ages figures, and Lawrence his Vikings.
On our side, I provided Rod's and my Normans, Phil used his own Bretons.

Ian had an appropriate T-shirt on!
The battlefield, fairly wooded and hilled! (The Normans deployed on the left of this picture)
The Vikings deployed in the woods
Andy's men set up to their left.
Ian had his Saxons on a hill, forming the Anglo-Danish left.
My Norman knights deployed on our left, with Infantry on their right.
Phil's Bretons took the middle.
Rod's Normans were on the right.
At game start, I marched to support the centre, otherwise the Vikings opposite would have overwhelmed me!
Phil advanced in the centre on Ian's Saxons.
Opposite, Andy's nice (Gripping Beast plastics) troops also advanced.
My Knights caught up with my infantry as they moved behind Phil's Bretons.
These were plodding forward, their armour slowing their advance.
Rod's light troops on the right advanced to take a hill on Phil's right.
Opposite Phil, Ian sent some missile-men forward.
The rest of the Anglo-Danish force also advanced.
On our side, the Norman force was coalescing nicely.
Lawrence's Vikings forged on through the woods.
Andy managed to get through first, and would be facing the Normans alone!...
...Except for Ian's Saxon archers and light troops.
The archers shot...
...but the arrows did not hurt Phil's armoured men.
My archers were mixed with some infantry armed with Danish axes, and were detailed to protect the wing of the Norman attack.
Phil's crossbowmen, supported by Rod's archers and spears, climbed a hill near the Saxon archers position.
A crossbow bolt wounded one of Rod's men.
The Norman force continued up the road.
My men, though, moved through a wood to Phil's left.
Ian's archers were now threatened by Phil's infantry.
Their arrows were having no effect, however!
Andy's slingers were now shooting at Phil from the flank.
The Vikings now finally arrived opposite my position to find I had moved!
One of Ian's men was killed by a crossbow bolt from the hill. They looked in a hopeless position.
The Normans were streaming towards Ian.
Ian now realised he would have to retreat or be surrounded!
My archers now got through the wood to shoot at Andy's slingers.
Norman archers are quite good!
The Normans now left the wood to advance with Phil...
...The Vikings were turning our flank...finally!
Andy's slingers were still shooting at the mass of Norman infantry crossing in front of them.
They were matched by long ranged Crossbow shots.
The slingers were now suffering casualties.
Ian's archers had been forced to leave their wood as Phil's spearmen outflanked them.
On the other wing, the Viking archers and slingers began shooting in support of Andy.
Their first volley wounded 2 of my spearmen!
My archers wounded one of them in return.
My axes and bows now stood alone against the vikings and Andy's men.
Andy's men stayed in the wood and shot at my flank guard.
..it was a Viking sling bolt which killed on of my armoured axemen with a lucky shot, though.
Some Viking spearmen threatened my flank guard, but my Axemen charged them, leaving the archers to hold the viking missile-men!
The Viking spearmen broke! - though they rallied around their lord quickly.
My axemen could not believe their luck!
The rest of the Vikings, and Andy's men, now massed to attack me.
My force was smaller, and had taken some wounds, things did not look good!
One of my archers fell to a slinger.
My men still held and shot off 2 Viking shooters.
...though the crossbowmen did claim them as well!
Phil had now rounded the wood and attacked the Saxons.
My spears attacked Andy's men, the second block of viking spears attacked my flank guard, though they looked to be ridden down by my knights soon!
The whole line of infantry was now heavily engaged, at this stage, the Saxons had a slight advantage.
Sadly, and due mostly to the mass of maneuvering preceding battle, we had to call it a day due to lack of time. A rather unsatisfying draw was declared, with honours even.

Ah well!