My Battle of Hastings: 14 Oct 1066

The Norman conquest of England began when William the Conqueror's army of cavalry and bowmen overcame king Harold II's static shield-wall.

I've played out the battle of Hastings c. a couple of dozen times as a miniature wargame simulation. Also, I have "fought" in the battle, and might do so again (English Heritage invites internationals to participate every five or six years in the battle of Hastings reenactment held in Battle, East Sussex).

Norman knights ride to the Battle of Hastings
- detail from the Bayeux Tapestry

Shortly after William the Conqueror won the battle of Hastings, the Bayeux Tapestry was created to teach the (politically correct) Anglo-Norman view of why the Norman conquest had to happen.

A rather detailed and lengthy monograph is offered below (with notes and my sources). Covered are: the main historical elements and events that set the stage for the battle of Hastings and Norman conquest: an examination of potential and realistic army strengths: orders of battle provided, including a breakdown into troop types for wargaming.

As the subheading of this site suggests, my focus upon the battle of Hastings is from a wargamer's perspective: that is, the details of the battle are checked and either refuted or corroborated through "play-testing" the battle of Hastings in miniature. For those interested specifically in the wargame aspects, a shortcut is the Wargame appendix.

If you are also interested in the rules I used to play these battles -
The Art of War, Tactical Warfare in Miniature for Pre-gunpowder Armies -
click here
The Art of War, Tactical Warfare in Miniature for Pre-Gunpowder Armies

To access the complete monograph (including the wargame appendix), which is in three parts, click on king Edward the Confessor for part one: click on king Harold II to open part two: click on king William I the "Conqueror" for part three.

click on king Edward the Confessor to open part one
Obverse silver pence of king Edward the Confessor.

click on king Harold II to open part two
Obverse silver pence of king Harold II.

click on king William I the Conqueror to open part three
Obverse silver pence of king William I the "Conqueror"

Three refights of the battle of Hastings as a miniatures wargame: photos and narrative (using The Art of War wargame rules)

More wargame photos

Maps of the battle of Hastings

Calendar of events for the year 1066

Viking battles according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

1066 the Year of Battle: Wargame the entire campaign

"Schlumborg" a medieval wargame town

Free (PDF) late medieval skirmish rules; plus pics of a "knights of the dinner table" mini campaign, in six Chapters NEW: CHAPTER SIX

Tom Lovell's painting of the battle of Hastings

ARE YOU (as nifty as) WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR? Play this interactive "adventure" and find out.


The battle of Hastings reenactment, 14, 15 October 2006

Battle of Hastings 2006 wallpapers

Ricky's Norman conquest slide show

Links to other places:

My novel, Jackals In Iron, is now available as a second edition Kindle e-book:
read Jackals In Iron

Last updated on 9 April 2014