|Boernward masses his force|
Boernwar formed his troops together with his new champion Gudrum of Ellenfoot seen here carrying the banner. As a pitched battle you can roll for special events so Boernward broke open the beer barrels in the hope of giving his men some extra courage. It worked giving them an additional D6 in each first combat (it would have been good if I had remembered this).
Ivar's horde came running out of the trees splitting their units in two, in what looked like an attempt to surround Boernward outside the town gates.
|Battlefield set with Northmen entering from the left|
|Boernward orders his men to lock shields|
|Bracing for the first clash|
On the other side of the battle field the Vikings seeing their Lord charge in advanced towards the Cumberland levy. Was the order mis-heard or was it the magic mushrooms ? we'll never know but in the confusion of battle they immediately charged headlong into the levy shield wall. Although much better quality troops they were out numbered and the Levy not only weathered the storm but pushed them back suddenly the Vikings were looking shocked and anxious.
The question now was how would Boernward convert this good start. It is really difficult to push forward an advantage in shield wall formation, which is slow and inflexible. But Boernward was determined to use his early advantage calling his troops out of their defensive formation and aggressively charging forward. Clearly Ivar had not been expecting this and the shock was immediate.
|English levy shield wall holds firm|
Suddenly the Vikings were being pushed back on both sides of the battlefield. Things were turning nasty. Ivar sought to rally his units on the left trying desperately to pull them back in some order and re group. In the confusion Gudrum of Ellenfoot stepped too far forward and was cut down, luckily this prevented Boernward being wounded himself by the thrust. With a roar Boernward shouted for revenge, there was to be no mercy now and his men rushed forward not allowing Ivar to reform. In the struggle that ensued Ivar was lucky to survive (some say it might have been better if he had fallen!) with two wounds he limped and was carried from the field by his bodyguard.
|Ivar wounded twice and forced to flee|
The loss of Ivar and his champion, together with both nobles being wounded meant the morale of the Vikings had all but disappeared. The remaining Vikings shocked to see Ivar being carried from the field also decided to break and flee. But Boernward wasn't in the mood to let them away (declining the option to end the battle and choosing to pursue) , pulling his best troops forward he moved across the field seeking to block their retreat back to the coast. The vikings were already week and badly shocked. It was now only a case of how many would survive as they ran.
|Blood lust - cutting off the retreat|
|Exhausted Vikings turn and flee for their lives|
Footnote : not sure where it all went right but luck always plays a part. Choosing to pursue was a great option as I was able in the last few turns to collect 5 pursuit cards in my hand which massively boosted the victory up to +8, this far outstripped our previous best.
Boernward will now wait to see if Ivar has the will to raid his lands again !. Check out the Hobby horse for more pictures.