AD 485 (continued)
As Spring draws to a close and Sir Owain's wounds gradually knit together enough to allow travel, he and Sir Nidian are joined by two squires, Lug (played by Jeremy) and Teryrnor (played by Dale).
They are still in Sarum after the knighting ceremony, listening to rumors of a large contingent of Saxons having landed in Sussex, when Earl Roderick announces that a summons has arrived from King Uther. Uther plans a major offensive against the Saxons and all knights are summoned to join him at Silchester.
The military contingent of Salisbury prepares and moves out. Arriving at Silchester, they find that they are part of the largest army they've seen so far. But many people are grumbling -- apparently many lords have chosen not to make an appearance, begging off with some excuse or another. Nonetheless, Uther is determined.
The army winds its way south to Mearcred Creek and encamps. Across the field they see a Saxon army. The four heroes are nervous. Their first real battle!
At dawn the next day, the lines are slowly formed. The horns sound, and the charge begins! The Saxons are almost all on foot (luckily for the knights). The fray is joined! Swords! Lances! Laying about into the enemy!
[I feel like I got a TON of things wrong in the rules for large scale battles. :( Hints, advice, links to actual play would be greatly appreciated.]
Some mighty Saxons warriors were dispatched, along with a berserker that came within a whisker of eviscerating Sir Nidian.
Then, just as it felt like things were hitting their stride, the horns were sounded for the retreat! The knights gradually pulled back, as did the Saxons. The two sides eyed each other warily as small contingents moved out to gather the dead. Then Uther's army went back to Silchester, having lost a moderate amount of troops. The Saxons let them go -- apparently their losses were significant enough to not want to pursue them. Overall, a push.
Camping back at Silchester, the mood is foul. News has come of a definitive Saxon victory at Caercolun. That, combined with the standoff at Mearcred Creek, has made for a tough year. Britain now has more Saxons than ever, and now they'll be here for the winter and beyond.
As the Salisbury contingent packs for the return trip to Sarum, Earl Roderick rides up and tells Lug and Teryrnor that they comported themselves well on the field of battle, and he has decided to reward them by knighting them. He briefly apologizes for not doing the full ceremony, but he is just too damn tired. Arise, Sir Lug! Arise, Sir Teryrnor!
At Salisbury, the knights part ways and return to their manors for the winter. We went through the complete landholding system from Book of the Manor. It was pretty straightforward. Sir Lug squeezed his peasants for extra cash. He has Concern (My Commoners) at 2. Perhaps we'll start a betting pool for when his peasants go into open revolt.
John (Sir Nidian) remarked that the dynastic nature of the game, combined with developing your manor, makes it feel like an RPG with a Civ game element, which is awesome. I agree.
Overall, a good session.