Friday 27 May 2022

The Battle At Battle And the Battle Afterwards

   One of my favourite podcasts, the British History Podcast, reached his mythical target of 1066 with a episode based on each event in the year, culminating with the Battle of Hastings. I spent a long journey to an office out of my way, for a team meeting, listening to the episode and the meeting itself thinking about it, with led to me arranging a day out with my family to the battlefield.

   I've been there before, probably 8 or 9 years ago, and we spent more of this trip to the battlefield stopping a certain toddler playing with sheep poo, chasing said sheep or just picking a direction to wander in than I remember from our last trip, but it's still an amazing place and between re-listening to the episode on the journey down, reading The Battle Of Hastings by Harriet Harvey Wood and visiting the site, I am well and truly enthused to do something with it.

Entrance gate to Battle Abbey

The English view down the hill

The Norman view up the hill

   I managed to do quite a bit of painting on the back of this trip, none of which will be on this post as I need to work out which figures they were as they were mixed into my army for the game below . . .

Based on the version of the battle given in the podcast - which I think makes a lot of sense - I set the English up on the top of the hill (imagine the hill) with the wood at their back. There was a reserve on the other side of the road hidden from view from the Normans - whether this was a hidden reserve of stragglers that arrived late is unknown.
The Normans are set up at the bottom of the slope with the marsh and stream to their backs.

The Saxons are all fairly elite, with no fyrd and no missile troops as everyone that made it in time was probably mounted for the journey. The Normans are very well equipped with missile troops. . .

The view down the hill. Aetheflead's banner is there for effect . . .

Gryth is pulled out of line and goes down surrounded by Normans.

The final hurscarls meet a sticky end as William charges their line.

The battle was a short affair in our game with the Norman's surviving fairly intact. I suspect this is due to how effective the missile troops were and me having to break my line to force a hand to hand fight, but its always fun to get really into a project then see it on the table in short order.

Thanks for reading

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