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1066-Battle of Hastings

Author File Description
Alan Spencer
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Normal
Title: 1066-Battle of Hastings
Version: 1.00
Map Type: Invasion (Battle Map)
Install to: stronghold/maps
Scenario Length: Approx 10 yrs.

Victory Conditions: Survive!

Credits: Inspired by 'The Battle of Crecy-1346'
by Yasluk (

The Year is 1066. As Harold, King of the Saxons, you have
recently defeated a large Viking invasion at Stamford Bridge
in the north of England, only to learn that an even larger army
under Duke William of Normandy has landed on the south coast.

Swiftly marching south again you arrive near Hastings in
Sussex, but many of your best troops are still strung out on
the long road from the north. Ignoring the advice of your
senior earls to await the arrival of these troops, you deploy
your available forces on Senlac Hill and offer battle,
supremely confident in the strength of the Saxon shield wall.

At stake lies the fate of a kingdom.

Harold lost the Battle of Hastings, during which he was slain,
on October 13th, 1066. William the Duke of Normandy became
King William I of England, thereafter known as The Conqueror.

With him Harold had his elite Royal Guard (represented by the
Pikemen) and the Saxon Huscarls (Macemen) but the bulk of his
army was comprised of the hastily-raised shire levies from the
southern counties (Spearmen and Bowmen). Archers formed only a
relatively small portion of the army, arrayed behind the shield
wall. Had Harold awaited the arrival of the rest of his army he
would have outnumbered the Normans by far and would probably have
won the day. As it was, the Battle of Hastings was still a close
run thing and the end might still have gone either way, but in
the final attack Harold was himself mortally wounded and his men
lost heart. When the battered and demoralised shire levies fled,
the Royal Guard and the fearsome, axe-wielding Saxon Huscarls
formed a circular shield wall around their dying King and fought
to the last man.

Typical of the times, the Normans at Hastings attacked in waves,
each wave comprising mainly a particular troop type. Their
superiority in archers was used to great effect, against which
the Saxons had instructions merely to huddle behind their large
shields rather than break the shield wall. The risk in charging
out to engage the archers in melee was that this might create
dangerous gaps in the shield wall, or at least a thinning of
the line through which the mounted Norman knights might break.
As a result, Saxon manpower was steadily drained by waves of
archers, wearied by beating off waves of foot solders, and
then shocked and finally broken by charging Norman knights,
once the famous Saxon shield wall had grown too thin to hold.

Senlac Hill, on which the Saxons made their stand, is a large
hill near the edge of the Sussex Downs, a range of chalk hills
with thin soil covering. The lack of trees in the area and the
steep ridges surrounding the hill itself makes this a good
defensive position, with excellent visibility in all directions.

Unlike the Normans, the Saxons did not fight on horseback. Many
rode to war but they dismounted to fight on foot with spear,
greataxe and shield wall, as their forefathers had done. For
this reason you do not have any mounted troops.

At the start of the battle the Saxons were supremely confident.
They had recently utterly routed a huge Viking army and their
faith in their King bordered on hero worship. To represent
this fact, at the start of the battle there is a scattering of
'Good' statues and suchlike, providing a useful combat bonus.

However, to maintain this bonus for as long as possible it will
prove necessary to hold the starting line of the shield wall. If
you are forced back to create a tighter wall (eg. through losses
dangerously thinning the ranks) then in doing so you will expose
some of these 'Good' features to enemy attack. As these get
destroyed, so will you begin to lose the combat bonus, meaning
that the morale of your troops is not so strong now that they
have been forced back... You might need to fall back two or three
times during the course of the battle to maintain the shield wall.
Each retreat will expose more of your combat bonus features to
loss, reflecting the falling morale of the Saxon army as their
losses begin to mount and their position becomes increasingly

Also scattered about the battlefield behind your intitial shield
wall will be found fletchers, poleturners and blacksmiths. These
will provide new troops during the course of the battle. They do
not represent recruits as such, but instead may be considered to
be fresh supplies of arrows, throwing spears, replacement shields
and other arms being brought up to the shield wall from the rear.
As your shield wall is forced back, so will you lose some of these
'ammo supplies', further reflecting the chaos which ensues for the
losing side in a battle as equipment and ammunition is left behind
in a fighting withdrawal.

In essence, it is in your own interests to maintain the shield
wall at its starting location for as long as possible, thereby
keeping the morale / combat bonus for as long as possible, and
also being kept fully 'supplied' for as long as possible! However,
be wary of allowing the line to thin too much as the Normans will
charge these weak spots with knights and might break through...

Harold and his Saxons lost this battle so it will not be easy
for you to win on 'Normal'. I have done everything possible to
make the Saxon shield wall the most important part of your
defence, to force the player to fight the battle historically.
Also, you will find that due to the scale of the battle you
cannot afford to merely sit back and watch things develop. You
will need to rush troops to danger points, maintain a steady ammo
supply (new recruits), and preserve the lives of your archers for
as long as possible. You will find that different waves of attack
are best dealt with in different ways, but with each method still
using the Saxon shield wall as its basis... Even such as the
timing of stance changes (eg. a particular group from defensive
to aggressive), at exactly the right moment, will all make a real
difference and will definitely increase your chances of winning.

Finally, due to the fact that I've used many signposts for the
Norman attacks each replay of the battle plays very differently.
Sometimes the enemy will concentrate against only one area of
the shield wall, and sometimes they will hit several areas all
at once. Through all my many test battles I've come to the
conclusion that the AI for open battles is even better than that
for scenarios with huge walls to hide behind...

Have Fun!

Alan Spencer

PS. If you enjoy discussing strategy games check out the above url!
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Panthrjd Superb map, very fun to play. However, my soldiers (wisely) decided not to obey their orders and stay in the shield wall, as they ran up and dispatched any enemy archers and other troops for that matter before they decimated my line due to the player's own meager supply of archers. With all the weapons production, I was able to plug any holes in my line before they became too big of a problem. The reserves that come in in the later part of the mission is definitely a plus, as they were needed. (Is the monk that always comes with them making fun of robin hood?) Very good map and its fun to play, however it spanned a bit more then 1066 (mission ended in about 1074 I believe).
ultima_spock a very good map. i played it at that normal level and was able to beat it without too many difficulties. just move your troops to outnumber the enemies. not always possible but still a very good approach.

tried it at the hard level, but was literaly crushed by the enemy long before the end of the battle.

the authour could raise the difficulty of the battle at the normal level.
Map Design5.0
a very good map.

beat it a the normal level of difficulty without too manu hassles. moved my troops to concentrate them.

was crushed long before the end at the hard level.

the author could reinforce the invasions at the normal level to raise the fun!
The Reinforcer
Map Design4.0
It's hard not to get mashed in this one. They just keep on coming. Even if you withdraw to the very centre, they thump you eventually.
Dragons Rider Hey! This looks good! Rating when I get the time!
Dragons Rider
Map Design4.0
Playability: 5
Wow! I just love the way that this map will change very single time you play it. Sometimes they will all concentrate on a particualar area. Sometimes they will simply charge head on in an all out brawl. And yet some other times they will hold some back and send them in behind. Something new evevry time I played which really enhances the map and makes "recycable", for lack of a better word. In regards to the actual challenge, I found the map a job well done =). I worry and tither about some parts, but I can get through on normal. I am not going to talk about my enterprise on very hard on this map. Let me just say I was rather embarressed. More seasoned Vetrans and Generals than I will be able to comment more int that particular area.

Balance: 4
Troops provided were perfectly adequate to defend the hill, and kept in with the whole overall mood of the map. I as mention ed above in the playability section, It was an entirely different map every time you played which contributed greatly. However do feel that some of the troops could have been marshalled closer together in terms of time. When it came to the enemy troops, I had no real complaints. There were not enough Crossbows and Knights, but that is just a personal opinion, pay no real heed to it.

Creativity: 5
Incredible! The only map on this site that actually deals with the beginng of the Stronghold era. (If you don't know what I'm talking about I mean the date 1066). I liked the idea that there were "supplies" coming in to support you in the war.

Map Design: 4
No complaints here either. The was a bit on the bland side but the lower land and the river made up for this. The only thing missing was a touch of eyecandy....

Story/Instructions: 5
A very in-depth story that gave very clear instruction as to the where, when and why. A round of appluase here.

Additional Comments:
Sir, I give you my sword. I will be proud to fight alonside such a worthy map-maker!

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