Copyright © 2020, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2020, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Battle of Catraeth

Today at Partizan at Kelham Hall in Newark we re-fought the Battle of Catraeth (Catterick).

Just like the original fight back in February - which will feature in the upcoming Wargames Illustrated issue 300, we used the Hail Caesar rules to replay this game with a few flavourings of our own. and James Morris as usual did all the hard work putting this together.

This time around the commanders were:

Saxons: Tom Webster-Deakin, Matt Moran, Andy McTaggart
British: James Morris, Andy Hawes, Steve Jones
Ready to get to grips: Tom, Matt, Andy M, James, Steve, Andy H

I would umpire, take photos, record the events and generally get in the way.

The poem Y Gogodin tells the tale of the Battle of Catraeth. King Mynyddog Mwynfawr of Goddodin has raised a company of 300 British and Pictish noble cavalry, after feasting and training them he gives them mead for a year and unleashes them onto the Saxon Kingdoms of Deira and Bernica. The British take Catraeth but are besieged by an army of ten thousand Saxons (as this is poetry, we can assume like marketing this number is greatly exaggerated). The army of 300 British nobles ride out to their doom and their heroic deeds are recorded in the Y Gogodin.

As this is a very one-sided game, there is no way that the British should win the game, however, that is not the victory condition. Instead glory will be awarded for heroic actions through out the game, for instance for breaking enemy units, leading gallant, but doomed charges and for dying heroically. The player with the most glory would be mentioned by the bards in more likes of Y Gogodin and would gain fame thereafter as the tale was retold.

At the end of the game, the slaughter - as can be expected - was enormous and the British had failed to break the Saxon line. The glory had been awarded as follows:

Tom - 23 glory
Steve - 22 glory
Andy M - 17 glory
Matt - 16 glory
James - 14 glory
Andy H - 13 glory

A great day was had and I caught up with many old friends at Partizan and have talked myself hoarse giving descriptions to the many visitors who showed an interest.

Don't forget to read up on the original game we played in February in the next Wargames Illustrated.

Here are a load of photos from todays' game, unfortunately although a great venue, Kelham Hall does not really lend itself to photography with a cheapo digital compact.

The British form battle line outside Catraeth

The battle lines are drawn

Another long shot of the starting positions

The Saxon left

The British left

The Saxon left

Saxons - thousands of em

Extreme close up

The British lines up close

The British center under James

The Saxon center

The British advance on the Saxons

Getting to grips

Action in the center

The lines clash

The Saxon right

The Saxon center

British light horse

Going at it hammer and tongues

Saxons of Deira

The Saxon right clash with the British

Long shot

Around the half-way mark

Saxons on the right

The British take the ford and it takes the loss of three units of Saxons for them to recapture it

British skirmishers try to draw the Saxon battle line

The Saxon right

The walls of Catraeth

Saxons - extreme close up

British foot - extreme close up


  1. My vote for Man of the Match goes to Steve's Trebor Knights, who destroyed three Saxon units on and around the ford. I shall never dare slight the minty ones again!

  2. Great. A massive battle and a fiest for the eyes.

  3. I said WOW on TMP and I'll say WOW again here

  4. Fabulous game and easily one of the best on display mate.

    Kudos to all involved!