Bart and I met up in his fine wargaming attic to put our Warhammer Ancients armies into action again. We’re both convinced that the new ‘Age of Arthur’ is one of the best gaming source books and inspirations around.
For his part, Bart has a splendid Arthurian army, led by Comes Bartholomeus Grassus, new Count of Britain (following the glorious exploits of his ancestors in darkest Germany) and foreshadowing great adventures of his successors in the distant future. Facing him are my Saxons, a little Alfredian in character it has to be said, but now at full strength (ie painted and based).
Bart set up a scenario from the source book, a Saxon raid on a British village (featuring Bart’s very nice hillfort). Basically on the right side of the table is a village in a corner, leaving that are three carts of plunder that have to exit the other side of the table without being intercepted by the British. Defending them is the mass of the Saxon army.
I won’t bore you with a blow by blow account of the battle. Basically, the Saxons set up a battleline with their elite armoured troops on the left, two massive units of Ceorls (peasants with spear and shield) on the right and some skirmishers in front. My ‘plan’ was to rush the baggage off table while attacking with my heavy infantry and holding with the rest.
Regrettably, Bart had a much better plan. He rushed his two cavalry units to my left (to where the baggage are racing) and quickly launched a dashing attack into my flank, sweeping away both my best unit and the King’s brother, attached to them. On my right, a melee between my Ceorls and a unit of Arthurian spearmen was a bloody grind, my men holding out unexpectedly well.
Regrettably, Bart had in reserve some very good quality spearmen units which he proceeded to throw into the battle. They swept away my other unit of Ceorls and the subsequent rout led to my entire army panicking and running.
Yet another defeat for the Saxons. Well Rosemary Sutcliffe (author of the best Arthurian novels available) would be happy, I suppose.