Thursday, 3 November 2016

After lunch on Friday, the group returned to the gaming room/shed/garage where our game master explained the background to the Battle of Hastings - pretty well known to us all I am sure.

Whilst Harold and his Saxons were in the north dealing to the Vikings, William the Bastard of Normandy had slipped across the channel, accompanied by most of the land grabbing titled scum of Western Europe, to steal his country.

The Saxons force marched back south again and have taken up a defensive position on Senlac Hill...let battle commence!

The view from Senlac Hill - looking out towards the massed Norman Heavy infantry in the centre

A lengthwise view of the battle from the Norman left/Saxon right in the foreground

Looking up towards the Saxons on Senlac Hill from the centre of the Norman positions

William " the Bastard" removes his helmet to prove he is still alive - figure based on a legend of the battle

The Norman right wing advances - Breton light cavalry charge in to pepper the Saxon Huscarls with javelins. This plan did not go well however, and soon three units of this light cavalry had quit the field

The Norman left wing advances at the other end of the table

The Norman plan was to move heavy cavalry from the left flank and centre to the right, reinforce the Breton light cavalry there and batter away at the Saxon left until it was destroyed the roll up the rest of the English army from their exposed flank

Meanwhile, the Norman centre comprised mainly of archers and heavy infantry advanced and commenced firing a storm of arrows at the Saxons opposite - keep your safety glasses on 'Arold!

By mid afternoon, despite early reverses, the Norman plan was working, as the cavalry and some infantry support whittled down the tough resistance of the Saxon heavy infantry on the Norman right/Saxon left

Here the Saxon left has been destroyed and the Norman heavy cavalry are on the hill and turning inwards to roll up the Saxon flank - a broken Saxon heavy infantry unit can be seen retiring before the leading Norman cavalry unit

William and his contingent of heavy knights on the hill

The leader (on round base) is the sole survivor of the original Breton light cavalry right flank - but they did their job and helped the Norman heavy cavalry overwhelm the Saxons, just as planned

At the eleventh hour, the umpire insisted that as William and Harold were adjacent to each other, they must fight a personal duel.... I held my breath as we turned our cards, but fortunately, the Saxons were unable to snatch victory by a flukey turn of the cards!

A final view of the centre, where the Norman heavy infantry was advancing to contact with the remaining Saxons

So once again, we had managed to recreate the historical outcome of the 1066 battle, and this time, as I was on the Norman side, playing William, I was quite happy with this fact! The following day, it was to be my turn to put on the games, so after we had cleared the table of dead Saxons, I set to and spent about 90 minutes on my own getting the table and troops ready, while my brothers in arms demolished a full bottle of French Calvados between them - mind you, it was not a huge bottle!


  1. We did leave a little bit of Calvados for you!

  2. Very true Mark - but not for Ricardo!