It was early afternoon when the rider rode into Brudes. He demanded to see Therad, the local chief, saying he had important news of enemy raiders in the area. Therad saw him immediately.
“Where are they?” Therad asked, letting the rider sit on a bench by the large hearth in his hall. The rider drank deeply from the goblet a servant brought him before speaking.
“Near the Sicin heights, two days ride away.”
“Did you see who they were? Did they bear a flag?”
“No flag, just a band of men. Some were mounted but most were on foot with pikes.”
“Could be Runissians.” Hrod, Therad’s cousin put in put Therad ignored him.
“How many?” Therad continued his questioning.
“I don’t know, I can’t say. They were spread out when I saw them.” Therad nodded then turned to his cousin.
“Assemble my retinue and call the men to arms.” Hrod nodded dutifully and left.
For this battle I used the Lord of the Rings strategy battle game, modified for my fantasy world. Here, Therad, a Border Lander noble, has intercepted a band of mercenaries ravaging his lands. With his retinue behind him, he is determined to destroy the scum and make his lands peaceful once again.
The mercenaries start the game in a column of march, heading to their next target. Their cavalry is in the lead while the captain follows with the foot and few crossbowmen.
Therad leads his band onto the field, on the mercenaries’ right. The ragged looters turn around and form up around their captain, levelling pikes and loading crossbows.
The two war bands line up opposite each other and hurl insults and curses. The mercenary cavalry start to move around the right of Therad’s line to attack the rear and archers.
Battle is joined! The mercenary pikes give them an advantage early on and they manage to kill several of Therad’s Hearth guard in the opening minute of combat. Therad’s men step back but hold firm with lifted shields and iron determination.
As the fight grinds on, the Border Landers’ heavier armour begins to show its worth and the Hearth guard begin to carve into the mercenary phalanx. The two leaders meet and fight over the dead bodies of both sides. On the right three horsemen attack the archers, but two are hacked down by the vengeful farmers and the last flees from the field.
Soon, both sides are broken and morale tests are taken by all. Therad holds his men together but the archers disappear. The mercenary captain, not having a sense of honour, then runs, taking the last of his men with him. Too tied to purse, Therad’s men taunt him and finish off the enemy wounded.
The battle was won, but at a cost for Therad. As night fell across the field of battle he walks to the place where many of his men now lay. Brudes is safe, for now.