So from this point we made everything else up as we felt .........this was a large and bloody battle so I apologise for so many photos 🙂
The overview of the battlefield
The bulk of the Saxon Forces around Hereford
A view up towards Hereford the poorly trained Saxon cavalry in the foreground
A close up of Hereford where one of the residents is putting on a show for the locals.
A better view looking down the battlefield
Ralph de Sudeley in the foreground with his ‘Norman’ forces facing off against the hordes of Welsh
The Dublin/Irish Vikings
Aelfgar and his small retinue of Saxon Housecarls
The battle now begins with a general advance
Both sides seeking to get some terrain advantage, the meadow/poorly drained area will slow movement but only slightly, we agreed three objectives the bridge, the cross and the church at Holme Lacy. There was an unspoken extra objective for the welsh/Vikings to get into Hereford itself
According to the limited history of the battle the Saxon cavalry were reluctant infantry so we ensured they had a lower than average morale, despite this they charged straight towards the enemy in front of them
Close to the cross the Real Norman knights have also decided to charge headlong at the welsh
Closer to Holme Lacy the Normans look on as Welsh Berserkers charge down the hil
The knights smash into a horde of welsh
Looking from behind Holme Lacy the welsh light cavalry is causing havoc in the Norman battleline
The reluctant Saxon Cavalry charge into the Irish
A sense of the wider battlefield developing
The Saxons commanded by AEthelstan slowly move forward happy to use the meadowlands as cover
Everything is starting to break up to the right with individual units slugging it out in combat
After a couple of turns of combat the knights have broken through the welsh....this could be decisive in the same turna second horde of welsh flees the field
Strong Saxon Forces in front of Hereford
....but the Vikings are getting closer as the skirmishers out front are brushed aside
The Norman cavalry having made a break through is then ripped to shreds by a pack of Wardogs, who knew that wardogs are most effective against cavalry !
Ralph de Sudeley has galloped up to capture the cross but is surrounded by welsh light archers
Despite their initial reluctance the Saxon cavalry is making some headway agains the Vikings
A unit of welsh light cavalry attempts to hold the far end of the bridge but they are chased away by skirmishers with javelins and short bows
Oh dear it was bound to happen the Saxons gallop off
A view down the battlefield, much of the Saxon army not yet tested
Gruffyd and a single welsh warrior (female) charge in against Ralph
The Vikings and Aelfgar’s small Saxon retinue have now reached the meadow, will the Saxons have the strength to hold them back ?
Closer to the cross another welsh horde is crashing into the Saxon flank
Vikings on the bridge !
True to his later nickname Ralph the Timid flesh the field !
But the Saxon Housecarls holding in front of Hereford haven’t noticed and they remain in place
The defence line is finally starting to break and the only force remaining in front of the city gates is a regiment of levy townsfolk
At Holme Lacy the Normans have control with crossbows keeping any further welsh advance at bay
The bridge is being hotly contested but Athelstan is on the scene to hold the defence together
The Vikings do break through but only have enough time for a single round of combat and the townsfolk hold
A final view of the battlefield you get a sense of the blood which must have been spilt and the carnage as these are the only troops remaining as darkness falls it will no doubt take many years for the blood to wash away from the meadows.
A tremendous battle, fierce and bloody fighting as befitting a Dark Age battle. Technically it was a draw with the bridge contested and one objective each. Historically Ralph’s force didn’t do so well and abandoned the field leaving Hereford at the mercy of the welsh. 😀