Preparation is Key
Well the first thing was to prepare the Terrain. For an Open Day we need some impressive terrain so I tried using Ziterdes Modular Terrain.
Next research was needed. There is a lot out there and more we need to do ourselves. This is still ongoing but here it is.
Then we needed to create the Armies. I already had some Saxons so that was a good start. However we needed more and some Leaders to pull the theme together.
Finally we needed to choose the rules. Hail Caesar seems perfect. The lists might need some changes once the new Army Lists come out.
Preparing for the Open Day: Action
Having amassed our Armies we set out to test the Army Lists and Terrain. The first time we played we found the Mercian Welsh allied infantry far too weak to stand up to the Kentish Saxon Heavy Infantry Thegns. Also the armies moved too quickly across the battlefield which looked a bit sparse. After all we wanted the battle to last a little while on the day!
So the second time round we made use of the Combined Formation rule and the stats from the Brunanburh battle from the main rule book. This meant that the Welsh Teulu would make up the front ranks and class as heavy infantry until they were shaken. We also made the marsh rough ground (one move only for formed units) and introduced the old ruined Roman cemetery along the Pilgrim’s way leading into Otford (one move only again). Ironically this time the Welsh javelinmen managed to push back or disorder the opposing Saxon Thegns so we never did see how the new Combined Formations would turn out. In the centre Offa faced against Ecgberht and was wounded with his Hearthrtroop being destroyed! Let’s hope his dice rolling is better on the day!