Nennius – “The 11th battle was on the Mountain Breguoin, which we call Cat Bregion ”
The Picts have crossed the Antonine and Hadrians walls and are heading south looting and pillaging as they go. However when they reach Bremetennacum there is a surprise awaiting them. This fortress at Ribchester in Lancashire was the home of the legendary Sarmatian cavalry. Arthur the Dux Bellorum and commander of the Sarmatian Cavalry has ridden North from the South where he was fighting the Saxons diversionary raids to push back the Picts and their Angle allies. At his Fort he has mustered the forces of the Northern civitas and together they aim to hold then push back the Picts before they can reach further into Roman Britain: or more importantly to the local commanders before they can get away with their loot!
This battle will be fought using the To the Strongest rules. The armies will fight over a fairly level, clear plain in sight of a Roman watchtower. To the East a tributary stream of the river Ribble lies in flood creating a line of marshy ground crossed only by a bridge and a ford which count as open ground.
The Roman forces consist of the veteran “professional” infantry from Eboracum and the famed Sarmatian cavalry from Ribchester backed by a mix of troops from the garrisons along the wall bolstered by less well trained and equipped infantry drawn mainly from the citizens/ tribesmen of the Romano-British North (Hen Ogledd). The Picts consist of the Pictish warriors armed with long-spears and their harassing cavalry backed by some fearsome Angle warriors armed with Angons and Fransciscas.
Above: the Ribchester Helmet from the Roman fort itself.
You can read the refights of this battle against Mike here.
Then read about the Second battle in our Campaign, the Battle on the River Tribruit here.