June 19, 2010

Saxons Are Coming!

Upplagd av Minondas

It was at the end of last year's autumn that first rumors about yet another huge Saxon host causing all sorts of mayhem and destruction reached the court of our lord, Severius Borus. News like that have become more and more common over last couple of years - ever since the Saxon revolt that took place almost a decade ago, everybody in our domain was worried about growing numbers of the invaders. We knew that sooner or later we would have to fight those barbarians. As more news about burned villages and overrun strongholds reached us from the east, or Lord decided that this time has now come upon us. It was better not to wait for same fate to befall on our domain, but rather to meet the Saxons on a field of battle and smash them before they could cause us great harm.

During the winter, messengers with a call to arms were sent to all corners of our lands. Trusted men were sent to our neighbors, urging them to join us and oppose the Saxons. As winter slowly turned into spring, our lord had huge force at his command. Foremost among all troops were commanipulares of our lord - experienced warriors with many battle scars proving their veteran status. All of them were equipped with best armor and weapons, their horses the best in the realm. Enough men gathered to the call of our lord to form two companies of milites. While not of the same status as commanipulares, they were good soldiers, some of them serving as youths in Roman legions, before those disapeared from Britannia for good. Last but not least, a huge mass of peasants, some with spear and shield, some with bows and arrows or simple slings, obeyed the orders of Borus. Our lord, in his wisdom, trained those who had proper equipment to stand and fight in a shield wall formation. The rest was instructed to act as scouts and cause whatever harm they could to the Saxon foe.

Finally the day of departure came and our splendid army moved out to meet the Saxon threat. News about their destructive deeds reached us with alarming regularity during the winter. Those who survived their encounter with the barbarians told us about a host as numerous in horsemen as it was in warriors on foot. They were lead by a man who was called 'Bear' - apparently a horrifying, huge man who possessed almost unnatural strength and who could drive a spear through three men with a single thrust. We all discarded those stories as something to scare children with, but our lord valued the information about the location of the Saxon host.

Apparently, the Saxons had their spies in our midst, for the news that reached us told us they were moving rapidly in our direction, leaving a track of destruction in their wake. It took us less than six days of march to find the Saxons, or maybe for them to find us.

On the day of the battle our footmen were formed in three battles consisting of milites and pedes. Foot commanipulares acted as a reserve to the rear. Peasant skirmishers were sent to our right flank, where rough going would protect them against Saxon hordes. After making sure that our battle line was formed to his satisfaction, our lord took personal command of mounted commanipulares and rode round the right flank, with intention of smashing Saxon hordes once they were softened by our footmen.

WAB_1 Saxon army

WAB_2 One of Saxon cavalry units

WAB_3 Roman battle line

It was a sound plan, yet somehow everything went horribly wrong. As our heavy cavalry maneuvered to hit the flank of barbarians, it was swiftly met by the best cavalry of the Saxons. While far from being as splendid as our warriors, it was numerous and acted confident, even as it met our best warriors head to head. Bear was leading them and all who could see the clash of horsemen quickly understood that the tales about that man were all true. Using his huge sword almost as a club, he stroke down everyone who dared stand in his path. His men rode into the holes he ripped in our formation and just like that, our warriors panicked and turned around. With Saxon horsemen slashing at their backs, few managed to keep their lives. Fortunately, our lord was one of those who managed to retreat to safety.

WAB_4 Clash of cavalry…

WAB_5 …and the aftermatch

Meanwhile more Saxon cavalry appeared at our other flank, forcing one of our battles to turn to the left and face that threat. Even as our milites scrambled to form a new shieldwall, Saxon infantry smashed into the middle of our battle line. I was there and witnessed as Saxons charged our men and barely made contact before our troops, terrified by the savage onslaught broke ranks and run away. Panic spread like plague and the rest of our men followed the cowards who started the flight!

WAB_6 Initial contact between infantry

The only men who stood their ground were the foot commanipulares. Those valiant med didn't hesitate for a moment and rushed forward in an attempt to stem the Saxon flood. They managed to stop the Saxons for a couple of valuable moments, thereby buying valuable time for our troops to recover from the initial shock. The price was however heartbreaking - commanipulares died to a man, some being slain where they stood, the rest was simply swept away by the Saxon horde.

WAB_7 Last stand of foot commanipulares

By that time it was apparent that our lot lost their heart and could not stand up to the Saxons. Our lord gave signal for a retreat and from then on it was 'every man for himself'. Saxons pursued us half-heartedly, scattering our once mighty host into all directions.

WAB_8Bear victorious

Twelve days have now passed since the great disaster and remains of our army have gathered at the stronghold of our lord. There are few of us, but we will stand our ground and defend our land to the last. Pray for us, for Saxons are coming...

2 kommentarer:

David Dormvik said...

I like your ground cover. Some form of gaming mat?

Minondas said...

One of TerrainMat products.

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