Mike took charge of the Saxons, Andy the Welsh.
The Saxons advanced steadily whilst to their right flank the Picts drove the Welsh skirmishers from the Marsh.
The British held their ground. The Picts then turned and exited the marsh supported by their cavalry in the open to their left who threw javelins to good effect against the Welsh Combrogi infantry facing them. The Combrogi formed shieldwall and then suddenly avanved driving the Picts back into the marsh. The Picts turned and rallied only to be charged again and dispersed. The Pict crossbowmen ran back for the safety of he rocky hill in terror. The Pict cavalry also fled t the sight but later rallied.
Meanwhile the Saxon advance had stalled amidst rumours of a flank march to their left. The Welsh failed their arrival roll a couple of times but eventually their cavalry arrived.
The Welsh cavalry charged bravely against the Duguth who had formed shieldwall whilst the light cavalry scattered the Saxon skirmishers. The Duguth held their ground thanks to their rank bonuses and closed order! Meanwhile on the Saxon right the Geoguth had been put to flight by the Welsh Teulu infantry.
Then it all went wrong for the Welsh. In the second round of combat they inflicted very few casualties on the Duguth, both now resorting to drawn swords. The Saxons pulled Arthur from his horse in the melee and he was slain (rolled two hits despite Welsh armour and then a six in the morale phase). Even though Cunedda’s own Teulu infantry had put the Aethelings hearthtroop to flight at the sight of Arthur’s death they and the whole Welsh army fled.
At this point almost the whole Welsh and Saxon armies were in flight. Aelle rallied his forces around his banner and the strength of his own indomitable Hearthtroop. Cunedda managed to hold the infantry but the cavalry fled the field.
Victory points were calculated (about 104 to 38). The Saxons had won an incredible victory the greatness of which would echo through the ages. The British would be forced South of the wall. Cunedda would take his people to Chester and North Wales. This Welsh Arthur was heavily wounded or even slain and his fame in tatters. Aelle and his folk would gain a strong foothold in Bernicia and the Gododdin would no longer be a force to fear.
I think the Welsh force lacks the Cavalry to capture the feel of Arthur and his horsemen from history. Next time I would give them at least shock cavalry status, like Roman medium cavalry or even arm them with Kontos like their continental and Sarmation equivalents at the time. The Saxons were great but they lack the punch to break through a shieldwall. If the British can form a shieldwall maybe I need to arm the Hearthtroops at least with Franciscae.
Shieldwalls are very powerful. I even found a message on the boards stating they can even move just like they can charge. I had not realised this.
I really liked the Clash of Empire rules. They seemed fun and of course familiar, but with clear explanations and diagrams.