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Trial by Battle Scenario: Battle of Hastings 1066

Here’s another historical scenario for Trial by Battle. Bit of an obscure one this time …

You can also download the scenario for Battle of Hastings 1066 as a PDF:  Battle of Hastings 1066.

Battle of Hastings 1066 

Perhaps the most famous date in English history and one of the most famous battles of the Middle Ages, the Battle of Hastings will be familiar to many people. The background is simple. King Harold of England was resisting the invasion of Duke William of Normandy who had recently landed on the south coast of England. King Harold had marched quickly south to respond to the invasion after beating a Viking invasion force at Stamford Bridge in the north of England. He brought his elite huscarls with him and recruited other men on his way south.  

Harold chose the battlefield well: a defensible hill (Senlac Hill) flanked by brooks and dense vegetation on each side with a steep slope to the rear of his position. William had only one option – a frontal assault up the hill. There are a few different versions of what happened in the battle, but it seems that the initial assaults were repulsed by the English. In their enthusiasm some of the English left their position on the hill to pursue the Bretons, Normans or other French allies down the hill. There they were cut off and destroyed by Norman cavalry. This may have been an intentional tactic by the Normans or an accident, but whatever the explanation it served to weaken the English forces on the hill. The Normans tried similar tactics to draw off more of the English and progressively weakened them until they launched a final all arms assault on the English and overwhelmed them. King Harold was either shot in the eye by an archer or killed personally by Duke William. And thus, a new phase of English history began with 1066 and all that.  


The English objective is to resist the Norman attack. They can sit on their hill and defend for the whole game if they wish. As such the Normans have a time limit in which to achieve a victory by breaking the English army. If the Normans have not won within 10 turns, then the English win the battle.  



  • 2 Foot Knights Units – Huscarls 
  • 4 Infantry – Fryd 


  • 2 Mounted Knights 
  • 2 Infantry 
  • 2 Archers 

First Turn 

The Normans take the first turn. 


One third of the battlefield should be taken up with a large sloping ridge on which the English army is deployed. No other terrain is necessary given the scale of the battle on a 3’ x 3’ table. A suggested layout and deployment is provided below. 

Battle of Hastings map



See the map above. The English can deploy on the large ridge on the north side of the battlefield before the battle. Duke William’s army enters from the table edge on their first turn.  

Special Rules 

There are no specific special rules for this scenario, but it is strongly suggested that the New Optional rule Cavalry Disengage is used:  

Cavalry Disengage 

All Cavalry can disengage from melee with foot units after the first round of melee with that unit. They need to take a Unit Courage Test to do so. If they fail, they take 1d6 hits which may cause them to take another Unit Courage Test to avoid being removed from play. They will also remain engaged with the enemy unit. 

Additionally Light Cavalry may disengage from Cavalry of any type. 

Duration of the Battle 

Until one or both armies fail an Army Courage Test or 10 Rounds, whichever is first.  

Victory Conditions 

An army wins when the opposing army fails an Army Courage Test and they do not. If both armies fail an Army Courage Test the battle is a draw. If the Normans have not won by the end of Round 10 the English win.  

You can also download the scenario for Battle of Hastings 1066 as a PDF:  Battle of Hastings 1066.