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His life was one magnificent parade, which, when ended, left only an empty plain.
— History of the English-Speaking Peoples, by Winston Churchill

Richard I was the King of England, and England's holdings in mainland Europe, from 1189 to his death in 1199, and a major Christian leader in the Third Crusade. He received the nickname "the Lionheart" for his reputation as a warrior and a leader.

Richard was born in 1157, the son of King Henry II. As the third eldest of his father's sons, Richard was not expected to ascend to the throne. Richard and his brothers had little loyalty to their family, and were often at war with with their father and each other. Henry and Richard's older brothers died over the course of these conflicts, leaving Richard as the new King of England.

In the Holy Land, the newly formed Ayyubid dynasty was quickly conquering territory under the leadership of Saladin, including Jerusalem itself. Upon his ascension, Richard began plans to lead a crusade to reclaim these lost territories. He built an army and a fleet, and after dealing with some opposition in Sicily, arrived in the Holy Land.

Richard and his army won many victories against Saladin, including the Battle of Arsuf and the Siege of Acre. However, Jerusalem remained in Muslim hands. After years of inconclusive skirmishing, and much quarreling among the Christian leaders, Richard agreed to a truce with Saladin. Their agreement ensured the Crusaders would keep the territories they won, and allowed Christians access to Jerusalem's holy sites.

To avoid travelling through hostile French territory, Richard returned home through central Europe, but was captured in Vienna. He was kept as a prisoner of Henry VI, the Holy Roman Emperor, until England was able to raise the funds for his ransom. Richard spent his last years at war against the French. In 1199, he was wounded by a crossbowmen during a siege, and died of the resulting infection.

Battle vs. Vlad the Impaler (by Cfp3157)[]

Richard has abadoned the Crusasdes. He has now begun a campaign to capture all of Christian Europe. His armies tear throguh France, Germany, and now he begins fighting in Wallachia. At the moment he is laying siege to Bran Castle. The siege has been going on for a month now, and Richard is on a hunting trip in the Wallachian forest surrounding the castle. Vlad has, unknowingly to Richard, escaped and is running with five soldiers to fight another day. So now the battle is set.

Richard: 123456

Vlad: 123456

"Wonderful shot William!" Richard yells as he pulls the arrow from the deer his best archer has just killed. "If you wanted, you could kill me in from 100 yards away in my own castle!" he exclaims. "If you say so, your majesty. But not one person no not one person would want you dead. No sir, not one soul in all of England." he says. As one of the Crusaders slings the corpse over his back, the three men walk back to their camp for the hunting trip. "Why, how was your catch your majesty?" one of the Crusaders asks. "Just fine, John, just fine. Allen, get this here meat and cook us a good meal!" Richard orders one of the Crusaders.

Vlad and his five soldiers watch the scene unfold. Vlad nods and his two crossbow begin loading while the had cannon stands by. Allen starts to skin the deer when he hears a strange sound. He looks and sees the six men watching them. "Aye! Who do ya think you are?" He yells at Vlad. The noble snarls and nods to his hand cannon. As the Crusader draws his broadsword, the soldier lights the match and the bullet enters Allen's head.

Richard: 12345

Vlad: 123456

"To arms men! To arms!" Richard yells. As one of the crossbow soldiers finishes reloading, William aims his longbow and the arrow quivers inside of the man's chest.

Richard: 12345

Vlad: 12345

The hand cannon soldier quickly drops his empty cannon and shoots the Steel Crossbow. The bolt soars through the air and penetrates deep into William's eye.

Richard: 1234

Vlad: 12345

As the men charge at each other, John takes his Battle Axe and charges at the other crossbow man. He drops the slow weapon and attempts to draw his Kilij, but it is to late as the Battle Ax brutally splits the man's skull.

Richard: 1234

Vlad: 1234

John turns around to see Vlad coming at him with his Pike. As he takes the ax out the Wallachian, Vlad makes his name true as he thrusts the Pike deep into John chest and impales him on it.

Richard: 123

Vlad: 1234

Another Crusader swings his Mace at the hand cannon soldier. The man keeps dodging the Mace and then strikes the spike into the man's skull.

Richard: 12

Vlad: 1234

"My God, these men are barbaric!" the last Crusader yells. "Take heart, Jack. We'll pull through." Richard yells back. He then ducks a swing from the hand cannon soldier and then bashes his skull with his Mace.

Richard: 12

Vlad: 123

Just as quickly the Crusader parries a Pike and hacks off the Wallachian's head with his Broadsword.

Richard: 12

Vlad: 12

Vlad quickly dons his shield as he faces the last Crusader. The Crusader swings with his Broadsword, but Vlad blocks it with his shield and cuts the man throat. But he doesn't let him go down easy. Vlad thrusts his Kilij so deep into the man's chest that almost all the clip point is prodding from the man's back.

Richard: 1

Vlad: 12

Richard wayches all of this in horror. "My God! You are a man without God!" he yells. "Are you scared, Richard?" Vlad sneers. He then withdraws his Kilij and literally starts to suck on the blood. "I am a terrible man, and so you will die a terrible death." Richard charges at him, but the last Wallachian gets in the way. He thrusts his Pike, but Richard blocks it with his shield and smashes his skull with his Mace.

Richard: 1

Vlad: 1

Vlad yells loudly and starts to hack with his Kilij. All the strikes land on Richard's shield, and Richard just stands there to take it. Finally, he just sidesteps to the right and tears Vlad's Achilles tendon. As Vlad falls down, Richard whispers in his ear, "May you enjoy hell, you dammed soul," as he places the Broadsword behind his throat. Vlad just laughs. "I have no soul." he remarks and Richard thrusts the sword to the pommel through Vlad's throat.

Richard: 1


Richard looks at all the carnage around him looking at the body of Vlad, William with the crossbow bolt in his eye, poor John impaled on the Pike, and Jack, who stands lays there, practically disembowled. Richard drops to the ground and begins to sob as he looks at the true colors of war.

Expert's Opinion[]

The reason Richard won was simply becuase of his much calmer battle state. Even with Vlad's seemingly important technological advantage, he was just to insane to cope with the better leader, Richard.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battle vs. Alexander Nevsky (by Владимир Эльясов)[]

Somewhere in Eastern Europe.

Richard I the Lionheart, King of England, with a small group of soldiers chased a rebel Knight of the Temple. But it seemed that he had ridden away...

“Where is that damn Templar hiding?” Richard said angrily, and turned to his knight-squire, “Ivanhoe, do you see some trace of him?”

“Yes, my Lord! Hoof marks go to the East ... I see there is some kind of ruins there ...” “ It must be that the thief decided to take refuge there, but I'll find it or I do not call myself the Lionheart, go!”

“Wait a minute, I see on the hills… coming down ... warriors, six men, armed ... sir, they’re going towards those ruins!”

“Who are they?

“I do not know ... maybe the lord of this land?”

“It doesn’t matter, they are clearly in collusion with the Templar thief; it is no stretch that they came here to help him.”

“My lord ... it seems they are getting ready to attack!”

“To attack? Well, I'll show them what it means to ATTACK! Ivanhoe follow me! Infantry, keep up! Charge!

Alexander, the son of Yaroslav, Grand Prince of Vladimir together with his soldiers patrolled the far border. The villagers said that some of the Knights… possibly Teutons or Livonians again decided to top off their purses by looting. Or maybe it was the usual bandits ... or one of the neighboring princes. Whoever it was, this riddle must be solved. After all, if the enemy is not properly identified before an attack, it risks a new war on the Russian land ... Suddenly Alexander saw a lone rider in white was racing at full speed right at his men! Seeing a band of soldiers on their way, the rider pulled up and fled to a few ruins.

«Scout, Messenger? » thought Grand Prince «No, does not seem ... it seems that he's running from something … or someone... perhaps, from the bandits?» He was distracted from his thinking by the voice of his Vityaz, Ratimir.

“Prince, look, there's more riders, seems knights... but it is not clear what...”

“White clothes, red crosses. Hm… What have the Crusaders forgotten here? The Holy Land is far away from here ...”

“Maybe that alone rider was running away from them?”

“A crusader runs away from crusaders, it's weird… warriors, prepare weapons. Ratimir and I going to negotiate...”

“Alexander, the Knights let their horses in a canter, they attack!”

“Well, looks like there’s no negotiation this time…” here Nevsky grinned “Brothers! You want to give these Knights another lesson of combat?”

“Yeahh!!!!” all Russian warriors rise their weapons to the air.

“Archers - take a tower, aim at the soldiers with crossbows, spearmen - cover archers. Ratimir, take out your bow, we ride around and draw them in. And let God bless us! Forward!”

And so the battle begins!

Alexander Nevsky: YellowYellowYellowYellowYellowYellow

Richard the Lionheart: RedRedRedRedRedRed

Russian riders took to the right of the ruins and raced toward to the Knights. Ratimir started shooting. The first shot - miss, still far away. The second - hit the Ivanhoe’s shield. Riders too close ... The third shot - right on the horse's head, she stumbles and knight fall to the ground, nearly crushed by his own steed. But Richard is near, Vityaz takes away the bow and takes out his sword, trying to hit the enemy. However, the Richard’s longsword strikes first in lamellar plates, punch was strong, somewhat bent plates, and one of them even came off. However Ratimir almost unharmed. The King of England did not stop and hurtling towards Russian Grand Prince. But Alexander avoids combat, maneuvering, leading the king away from his soldiers. Ivanhoe was stunned, but rise up. He took off his helmet, take his shield and sword, preparing to strike of Ratimir.

Meanwhile, the infantry move toward each other, trying to take a dilapidated tower first. British infantry were slower, because rus archers shot fast and move protected by large shields of infantrymen. However, one of the crossbowman has decided not to fire into the infantry, but in the rider. Ratimir twice attacked Ivanhoe, but he was able to resist. Attack for the third time failed ... crossbow bolt hit the vityaz's shoulder and he fell from his horse. Ivanhoe, by last effort, rushed to the fallen enemy. Ratimir tried to get up, but Knight knocked the sword out of his hands and he fell again. Ivanhoe take the sword with both hands, and pierced lying vityaz chest. From such strike no armor can save Yellow. Crossbowman who shot was distracted for a few seconds and immediately caught the arrow by his eye. He scream, but second arrow hits the chest and his down Red .

Ivanhoe was breathing heavily. He heard the sound of hooves approaching him; he turn around... and fell down dead. Prince‘s axe easily struck mail coif and stuck deep in the skull Red . Archers have already climbed the almost destroyed stairs to firing from above. Russian spearman guard the entrance in ruins and British infantrymen attack them.

Rogatina puch english shield through, but footman just throws it down, and then take Billhook by both hands and strikes directly over shield, wright in the neck. Moving back and spurted blood flow from a cut artery Yellow. But revenge is not long in coming, the second Spearman strike a mighty blow to the hip, where ends chainmail, tip come in the flesh to its full length. But the second strike is not followed, the second footman knocked the spear from his hand, narrowly missing arm. Spearman stepped back and drew his sword from its sheath. The Englishman with his formidable billhook rushed at him, threatening to kick the legs. But Kite Shield is well protected from such blow. Soldiers exchanged blows, but the hits were inaccurate, or fought a shield ... no one reached the opponent. Except one of the archers on the tower, and the English infantry fell down with arrow in the spine. Russian warrior got rid of cracked and broken shield, picked up his spear and mercifully finished off both footmenRedRed . Then he nodded gratefully to archer ... and gasped. Soon as he nodded back, his head was impaled by crossbow bolt Yellow. Crossbowman shot, and again hid behind a tree. In which there immediately struck by arrow.

Meanwhile, Richard continued to chasing Alexander. They faced several times and exchanged blows. Richard even managed to hit the lamellar plate and cut several rings of chainmail from balaclava. Armor twice saved the life of Alexander, but in the long mounted battle he could not stand against the king-giant. Then Alexander changed his tactics. He saw that the English crossbowman just fired and reloaded. Nevsky rode to a tree behind which hid marksman and dismounted. Crossbowman has not had time to reload the crossbow and drop it, but take his battle axe. Strong and long swing strike... miss. Alexander easily dodges the blow, and then cut opponent's hand, and hit his head with second strike Red.

Richard rushed to the ruins under fire a few arrows sat down in the shield, another powerless bounced off the helmet. Eventually the archer on the tower has no arrows in the quiver. But spearman stand up between the king and the prince, the Richard horse reared up and rogatina pierced horse’s neck. Richard managed to safely get off the dying horse. Russian warrior attack Richard with rogatina. But the king was able to intercept the spear, pulled him over, and with his sword cut the warrior's throat Yellow. And now Richard the Lionheart has finally stood face-to-face with Alexander Nevsky.

"Spear - weapon of the soldier. Sword - weapon of the knight" - said Richard take off his close helmet and returning sword into sheath, - "Now I'll show you the weapon of the King!"

With these words he took out his battle axe and rushed on Alexander. The Prince tried to dodge, but the king was much faster than the crossbowman. Two strikes almost chopped kite shield. After the third hit axe little stuck in a board. Richard grabbed the edge of the shield with one hand and pulled it out of the hands of the enemy, while receiving in return sword strike on his thigh, not fatal, but hurts. Alexander stepped back and attacked with a sword, but Richard parried. Then the King of England dealt a crushing blow, let it just touched Nevsky helmet, but it was enough to send opponent into light knockdown.

"Well, you were a worthy opponent, stranger." - Richard said to Alexander lying on the ground, - King of England, will not tolerate anyone who helps this Templar. "

"The Templar?" - Alexander asked, surprised. - "You're about who was running away from you? We do not know who he is. I just patrolling my land."

"Even if so ... what's your name, brave warrior, I want to know the name of who will kill to send an apology to relatives."

"My name is Alexander, son of Yaroslav, of the Rurik dynasty, nicknamed "Nevsky", the Grand Prince of Vladimir ... and you, fullish king, will not be those who kill me!"

Already angry, Richard raised his axe and wanted to finish off the enemy ... but then he took an arrow in the knee. Archer, of which King of England forgotten came down from the tower, picked up a few arrows, and shot now "the first knight of Europe", saving his Grand Prince. Battle axe instead of flesh just hit the ground. Battle ax instead of flesh hit the ground. Richard Alexander again tried to hit but he was already on his knees blocked the strike. And then Richard take another arrow, this time under the shoulder blade. King grimaced in pain, loosened his grip. This enabled Alexander is risen from its knees and disarm the enemy.

"You killed my men, and you will pay for it, even if you are the King of England!" - Said Alexander Nevsky, breathing heavily.

Even wounded, Richard wanted to continue the fight, quickly took out his longsword, he desperately lunged at the prince. But this time Alexander was faster sweep of the sword of Richard's throat slashed, after King got another arrow in his back and fell dead on the ground Red.

"My Prince, you are safe?" - Asked, running up archer.

"Alive, and it's good," - Alexander smiled weakly. - "Thank you, warrior! I will take you to my personal squad, when we return home!"

"But we have not found those who plundered the villages ..."

Suddenly, out of the ruins left the same lone rider. According by the clothes, it really was a Templar.

"Aim at him, but do not shoot without order." - said Alexander quietly.

Templar was approaching, and Alexander saw in his hand a casket... But that is another story ...


Expert's Opinion[]

Richard had a slight advantage in close combat, through experience, strength and a longsword. But lamellar armor were more effective then chainmail armor, and large kite shields were good protection even from crossbow bolts. Besides, rus tight composite bows were only little inferior to the power of the crossbow, Alexander’s archers were much more mobile and have much faster rate of fire. But the most important was the fact that the fast and furious onslaught of knights - that is exactly what Alexander was able to resist. He was smarter, better use of he’s advantages and he’s troops cooperated better - and this is the main reason for the victory of Alexander Nevsky over the "First Knight of Europe".

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Battle vs. William the Conqueror (by ILoveBattles)[]

William: Darkred Darkred Darkred Darkred Darkred

Richard: Blue Blue Blue Blue Blue

Richard the Lionheart and 5 soldiers get off a boat and see William the Conquerer on a hill. Richard points at the leader and the two archers fire. They miss, but hit William’s horse in the leg, rendering it useless. The Conquerer runs down the hill, and the Crusaders quickly follow.

William’s soldiers come out of nowhere and start attacking the crusaders. One shoots a crossbow bolt into another archers neck. Blue

The full blown battle begins as metal and steel clashes. Richard the Lionheart flies in on his horse and impales a soldier on his longsword. Darkred

The battle becomes more clear as William the Conquerer is almost defeated by a Crusader, but he pulls out his seax and stabs him in the stomach with it. Blue

Richard comes back around for another attack, but is whacked off his horse by a pike. He tumbles and slowly gets up. Meanwhile, William the Conquerer is also injured as he lumbers away and grabs his broadsword. A crusader archer shoots at him, but misses and kills one of William’s soldiers instead. Darkred.

William attacks and breaks the longbow of the archer. The archer pulls out his war axe and swipes at William, but it’s no use as William decapitates him with the broadsword. Blue

The crusader guards Richard as he readies his Longsword. Both of them charge and they meet the 3 remaining soldiers. William stays back, but Richard skillfully dispatches one while the other Crusader kills William’s other soldier with his billhook. Darkred Darkred

To retaliate, William finds his pike and kills the other Crusader with it. Blue

William and Richard stare at each other, both injured from the battle. William attacks with the pike, but Richard quickly uses the tip of his longsword to knock it off the hill. He allows him to get up, and grab his broadsword.

One clash of the swords and Richard pulls out his war axe and chops William’s leg off with it. William begs for his life, but Richard grabs the sword with two hands and thrusts it through his chest.

He pulls the sword out of William and kicks his corpse off the rocky hill onto the beach. Darkred

Richard limps away using his longsword as a stand, but lifts his war axe up in triumph.

Expert's Opinion[]


To see the original battle, weapons and votes, click here.

Ancient Real Life Grail War (by Wassboss)[]

This warrior won an Ancient Battle of the Decade Award
This warrior won a Battle of the Season Award
This warrior won an Ancient Battle of the Year Award

Richard the Lionheart: Yellow

Honda Tadakatsu: Red

Yue Fei: Green

Genghis Khan: Brown

Rashid ad-Din Sinan: Black2

Harald Hardrada: Blue

Gilles de Rais: White

Gilles de Rais could have never expected this. He had figured that surely God could not possibly support the choices he had made, the innocent lives he had taken. It never used to be this way, he was as pious as the most devout of Christians during his army days but that could never make up for the darkness that lay within his heart. As he looked into the crowd of angry faces, his titles stripped, his guilt unquestionable, the flames licking as his feet, the rope tight around his neck, he was sure he was destined for the fiery pits of hell...

But then the voice came to him.

A flash of light and Gilles was no longer dangling limply from a hangman's noose but instead inside a blank white expanse. He had been confused, frightened even but then the soothing voice had comforted him, made him feel at ease. Now stood in the expansive area of a castle banquet room he knew exactly what he had to do. There are six other souls like his, brought here to this place, to see whose heart was the most true, to see who was worthy of being granted their ultimate desire. But Gilles' burden was light and his mind was clear, he would be the one to win this battle.

After all, he'd already been saved once...

Meanwhile, inside a small decrepit looking building within the forest, the great Mongol Khan checks his weapons. Drawing the string of his bow back he smiles inwardly as it presses into his fingers firmly. His sword is sharp and his Mace is rock solid and as he eases the string back he could only have wished for a horse to make him feel complete. After all didn't that voice say he was the "Rider" class whatever that is supposed to mean? How the hell could he be a Rider class without a thing to ride. He'd feel much better about having his wish granted with a mount, after all he almost brought down the whole of China from the back of a horse, it'd only be right to destroy the rest of it in the same manner. Peering out of the window, Genghis checks around for any of the other enemy combatants and satisfied that he is alone, he exits from the front door. It is at this moment he hears a noise he recognised instantly, the whinney of a young mare. A horse is tied up by the wall right out side the entrance, saddle all ready and set for riding. This time Genghis let's a grin creep across his face.

Just let them try and win against him now.

Rashid ad-Din Sinan gazes in awe at the sheer number of books adorning the wall of the library of the great castle. The knowledge contained within these pages is more than any one man could know in his lifetime. Perhaps there might be something on the six other men he would have to face this day. Sinan frowns. Knowing your opponent is half the way to defeating him and being thrown in against a group of total strangers does not work in his favour and is not something he relishes, especially his with ageing bones. Sinan had no regrets in how his life was lived, he had humbled the great Saladin and garnered great respect and status for his sect. Tempting him with riches or promise of being reborn had meant nothing to him and the being who had brought him here had found little to offer the wizened old man it had selected. However learning of the destruction of his beloved Hashashin's by a brute of a man with no respect for the status and power of others was too much for him to bear. How could he not at least try to restore his sect back to power once more.

Knowing he is likely to find little usage in the library Sinan decides to explore the castle, checking for any possible ambush points and ways he can trick his opponents. Sinan hopes that this man Hulagu is one of the men brought to this arena today, then he could kill him and avenge his fallen brethren. The thought lightens his mood as he walks.

After almost an hour walking around this confounded forest, Richard I of England can feel the anger begin to rise inside of him. Lugging around all his gear and covered in heavy armour is surely no way for a King to go about his business he ponders. Could his Lord have not provided him with a horse or at the very least a young squire to help him carry his equipment when he brought him to this infernal place. After all surely he would want his wish granted, to bring the holy land back under the rule of God, not some grubby little heathens with false idols? The towering walls of the castle loom up in front of him and he instinctively heads for them, knowing that is likely to be where the other combatants are situated. As he finds himself staring up at the conical towers he gets a sudden feeling of unease, as if somebody is watching him. Spinning around he see nothing but darkness and empty forest. Drawing his arming sword he issues a challenge.

"Who dare goes there. Are you too afraid to face me? Are you are coward who slinks around in the shadows? Come out and face me for I am King Richard of England and I will smite you in the name of God!"

"Hmph. Not another false claimant to my rightful throne," a gruff voice answers. Richard pinpoints the sound to a thick grouping of shrubbery which parts to reveal the challenger. It is a giant of a man, almost half as high again as Richard himself, with wild red hair and a dangerous steel in his eyes. Harald Hadrada hefts his axe over his shoulder and examines the man before him. "You certainly have the arrogance of all the other pretenders to my kingdom. I will not be beaten again by one who claims what is mine." Richard suddenly remembers a tale told to him by his father, about a monster of a man who opposed his great great grandfather's own rule, a man of huge stature and fiery red hair.

"I believe I know of you King Harald of Norway." Richard says and Harald looks surprised at this making him chuckle. "Yes that's right I've heard stories of you from my father. You are nothing but a tiny spot of ink of the history of great men, a tiny inconvenience to a man my own ancestors defeated. Now I know who you are I have no reason to fear you." Harald clenches his fist in anger.

"I will show you the follow of your arrogance" he growls and hoists his spear up, ready to fight. He hurls the spear with all it's might and it sails through the air towards Richard, who raises his shield to block it. It cushions most of the impact but the sheer force with which it was thrown is still enough to drive him back a few paces. Harald grips his axe tightly with both hands and charges at Richard swinging it wildly. Even in full mail armour Richard is able to avoid the highly telegraphed attack but his viking opponent swings it again and again, forcing Richard on the back foot as he struggles to find an opening. He backs up further and further until he feels the solid mass of a tree behind him. Another swing which he is able to duck under sees the blade of axe embed itself in the tree. Harald tugs at the axe but to no avail, it is firmly stuck in the tree trunk. Richard swings his sword in an upwards arc which rakes across Harald's armour, not doing any real damage but forcing him to abandon his axe. Drawing his own sword he let's out a bellowing roar which sends a chill down Richard's spine...

Meanwhile even deeper into the forest, Yue Fei the great Chinese general pushes aside yet more low hanging branches in the thickness of the forest. There is allegedly a castle around here somewhere but he has yet see anything apart from layers upon layers of trees. "That's what you get I suppose for listening to a mysterious and vaguely threatening voice" he ponders to himself. His right arm suddenly feels no resistance and as he pushes his way through yet another patch of tree branches he finds himself in a large clearing, with the scattered foundations of long destroyed buildings dotted across it. "Finally a little change in scenery" he thinks as he steps out into the area. He becomes aware of the sound of movement, making him reach for his bow and notching an arrow in anticipation. The sound gets louder and louder, much louder in fact that seemingly one man could make by himself however the reason for this becomes quickly apparent as the head of a horse pokes its way through the trees on the other side of the clearing. It reveals it's rider as it enters fully into the clearing and Yue Fei recognises the features of the savage tribes that infest the regions far outside of the Sung empire. Even from this far distance he sees the man's face curl in distaste.

"So they send a Chin dog against the great Genghis Khan do they?" he says mockingly "and they arm him with a bow he cannot shoot? This is truly laughable"

Yue Fei grits his teeth at the nerve of this savage. "I am not of the Chin you flea-ridden dog, I am Yue Fei the greatest archer of the Sung empire!"

Genghis snorts. "I have yet to meet one of your kind who can fire as well as even a child of my people."

"Ha! Such arrogance verminous little savage," Yue Fei retorts. He lets loose the arrow he has been holding for the past few minutes and it arches through the air at the great Khan who is forced to manoeuvre his horse in order to avoid the shot.

"Hmph. Perhaps you are not as bad with a bow as the other Chin I have encountered," he says begrudgingly "But no matter, let's see how well you can do against a moving target." With a sharp "Chuh" he spurs his mount into action, snatching up his bow from where it dangles by his feet and notching an arrow in one swift movement. Firing back an arrow of his own with the same accuracy it narrowly misses Yue Fei by a hair but he feels it nick a disc on his armour. Another arrow swiftly follows it and this one connects properly, knocking Yue Fei flat on his back but not managing to puncture fully through the armour. Dusting himself off he narrowly sidesteps yet another arrow and finds himself only 20 metres from the charging Mongol. Acting quickly he looses an arrow of his own and this one hit's bullseye, right smack bang in the middle of Genghis' breast plate. It punches through the armour and almost unhorses him but he just about manages to hold his footing. The arrow itself is caught up by the silk undergarment and he easily yanks it out. Cursing to himself he spurs his horse on again to close the distance further, firing an arrow at almost point blank range.

Yue Fei drops into a roll to avoid it and finds himself stood right in the path of the charging horse. He throws himself to the side as the horses hooves come mere moments away from trampling him. As Genghis begins to turn his horse around he fires another arrow which thumps against the khan's armour but it doesn't quite have the same strength to it and the impact is once against absorbed by the silk garment. Undeterred another arrow soon follows and this one has more success as, despite missing Genghis himself it does manage to nick the string of his bow, snapping it and rendering it useless. He clenches his fist in anger at the loss of his most prized possession. "You cur!" he snarls, tilting his body to avoid another arrow "You will pay dearly for that you Chin bastard."

"I am Sung not Chin! Were you ignoring me earlier are you too stupid to understand me?" Yue Fei exclaims angrily.

"I don't care what you dogs like to call yourself, your people are all the same, pitting my people against each other for your own cowardly gains." The mongol leader unsheathes his sword and digs his heels into his mounts side to force a burst forward. Yue Fei fires off a number of quick fire shots but Genghis either swerves his body to avoid them or let's them thump harmlessly into his armour, judging the power of the shots to determine his response to the incoming projectiles. He is closing the distance between the two quicker and quicker and Yue Fei's shots becoming increasingly erratic as he tries to stop the charge. Just then, out of the corner of his eye, Yue Fei sees a flash of light from the darkness of the underbrush, right next to Genghis and his horse. Before he can even react to what is happening he is thrown from his mount and lands heavily, cursing loudly as he twists his ankle from the fall. Looking back over at his mount he is shocked to see that it has been almost completely decapitated, it's head hanging on by a slim thread of muscle.

"You said your name was Genghis Khan right?" comes a voice from the darkness as a figure steps out from where he has been hidden. Dressed in head to toe in traditional Tosei-Gosuku armour and carrying the biggest spear either Genghis or Yue Fei has ever seen the most striking thing about him however are the majestic deer antlers sprouting from his helmet.

"I did. Why do you ask stranger?" Genghis asks as he gets tentatively to his feet.

"I have heard about you and your people's failed invasion of my country. This tells me I have little to fear from you, if my ancestors bested you then I'm sure I can do the same. Especially now you don't have you precious horse to help you."

"And who are you to make such bold claims?" Genghis snaps incensed by the insult.

"Tadakatsu Honda of the Tokugawa shogunate."

"Well then Ta-da-cat-sue," Genghis says struggling with the pronunciation "I will show you what it means to be a conqueror born."

From one of the windows of the Einzbern Castle, Sinan watches the battle of the two kings with great interest, glad to see a face he recognises. Even from this height he can make out the physical features and personalised armour of Richard the Lionheart. He smiles as he remembers the letters the two exchanged while planning the assassination of Conrad of Montferrat and he secretly hopes that Richard is able win this battle. "As well as being a good man if he's the last one left I know enough about him to have the best chance of asassinating him," he ponders. He has no idea who the wild demon whom he is fighting with is but he's seen brutes like him before many times and they are quick to fall to those not intimidated by their strength. Right on cue a wild swipe with the sword gives Richard an opening to bash him with the pommel of his sword and sweep his legs out from under him. Sinan leans forward expectantly as Richard brings his sword down in a powerful downward chop but the blow is expertly blocked by his opponents shield, which is somehow still holding up under the onslaught.

Engrossed in watching the fight Sinan only just barely hears the creaking of the floorboards behind him. His Khanjar instantly leaps into his hand but even as he turns he is too slow to avoid the sword that slams into his stomach, piercing his left kidney and sticking out through the other side. Shuddering in agony his eyes meet that of his killer, Gilles de Rais, who is grinning gleefully. "You're a bit old for this sort of thing aren't you?" he says mockingly "And besides you're one of those Arab heathens with your false god. What ever made you think He would bless you with victory." Sinan stabs feebly with his knife in an attempt to take the Frenchman down with him but it is easily batted away. Gilles uses his spare hand to take out his Barquemard and draw it across Sinan's throat, ending any chance of a Hashashin revival. Black2

Withdrawing he peers out of the window himself to see the battle unfolding. It's plain to see that the bigger man is beginning to tire and Gilles can sense the battle is almost at it's close. Leave the corpse of Rashid ad-Din Sinan to rot he climbs down the stairs to the castle entrance, ready to greet the victor.

Richard parries another attack from Harald as he circles around. The battle has been long and he tries to keep control of his breathing during the relative lull in the combat. He is pleased to see his opponent is suffering more than he is, his breathing is ragged, he has sweat dripping down his face, his shield lies broken at his feet and his latest attacks have been much slower than the earlier ones. There were moments when Richard feared the relentless ferocity of the attacks would overwhelm him but his confidence in his abilities and remembering his training had allowed him to weather the storm. Still he wasn't getting many openings himself with which to punish the viking king. As the sweat continues to pour down his face Harald blinks heavily as the liquid drips down into his eyes. This is the chance Richard has been waiting for and he draws his sword back to bring it up in an upwards slash. Harald raises his sword in anticipation but it is merely a feint to mask Richard's true intent and he instead swings it horizontally, slamming into Harald's arm. The blow cuts deeply into the Brachial Artery and blood spurts freely from the wound and releasing the grip on his sword which clatters to the ground. Already becoming weak from blood-loss there is nothing Harald can do as Richard stabs him several times in the heart, felling the gigantic warrior like a great oak tree. Blue

"So much for your claim to the throne then" Richard says wryly. Taking a moment to regain his bearings a little he looks around to see if any of the other combatants have showed up. Disappointed not to see anyone he shrugs and continues on towards the castle, hoping to find an opponent there.

Yue Fei watches in fascination as a Mongol Khan and a Japanese Daimyo duke it out. Honda is making great use of the massive reach of his weapon and Genghis cannot seem to find a way past the spear head in order to get within striking distance of his sword. Using sweeping swings to keep the Mongol at bay he occasionally throws in a jab to try and catch him off guard but his opponents light armour makes avoid this fairly simple. Yue Fei has an arrow notched and ready to fire but can't really find an opening to hit either of them. An unusually sloppy stab from Honda gives Genghis the opportunity to step past the range of Tonbokiri's head. Immediately abandoning his beloved weapon he waits patiently for Genghis to lunge for him before unsheathing his sword straight into an attack. The swiftness of the blow almost works but Genghis is just about able to twist out of the way so that instead of slicing into his face it instead cuts off his ear. Grimacing at the pain briefly, he quickly adopts the cold face and swings with his own sword which rattles off the samurai's armour. The pair settle into a series of attacks and parries, with Honda focusing more on deflecting the attacks while Genghis relying on his lighter armour to dodge many of Honda's strikes. Yue Fei continues to watch carefully and let's loose and arrow when he thinks he sees a good opening. The arrow whistles over Honda's head, right between the two deer antlers.

Shooting him a glare Honda deflects another attack from Genghis and quick as a flash strikes out at Genghis' neck in an attempt to behead him. Amazingly Genghis somehow manages to turn his deflected attack into a defence by catching the blade with the pommel of his sword and drives a kick into Honda's groin. He buckles under the kick and Genghis takes advantage by slashing at Honda's neck himself. He misjudges the strike however and the sword bounces off the shoulder guard and puts him off balance. Seeing yet another chance to fire an arrow Yue Fei sends one arching through the air and it buries itself deep into Genghis' side. Letting out a deep gasp Genghis has a brief lapse in concentration and looks towards Yue Fei. Honda wastes no time and at the second time of asking, separates Genghis' head from his body with one lightning slash. Brown

"Are you going to be firing any more arrows Archer?" Honda asks sarcastically. Yue Fei reaches back for his quiver but his hand clasps on empty air.

"Looks like I'm all out" he replies and draws his Jian. "While I'm glad the barbarian is dead I'd have much rather have killed him myself for the insult to my people. I'm afraid honourable one that I am going to have to kill you for the sake of my country."

"Country? You mean your wish is not for yourself?"

"Of course not. All I want is to put right the betrayal of that coward Qin Hui and restore the true emperor to his throne. I Serve the Country with upmost loyalty after all," Yue Fei says, echoing the tattoo on his back.

"Your loyalty is truly commendable." Honda can't help but smile. "I will not take pleasure in dispatching you but I have my own wish to grant." The two Asian generals look at each other with a new found respect as they clash swords.

Back at the castle entrance Richard calmly readies his crossbow, pulling back the string and slotting the arrow into the groove. Tipping it downwards slightly and satisfied that it will not slip out it is at this moment the door to the castle creaks open. A dark haired man in heavy armour strides through and Richard hoists the crossbow up ready to fire, until he sees the man already has something aimed at him. "Another knight like myself" Gilles says "Unfortunately He has already blessed me with victory of the grail."

"What makes you so sure of that?" Richard retorts. Gilles merely smiles in response and Richard eyes the weapon pointed at him. It appears to be nothing more than a tube on a plank of wood, a strange type of bow perhaps? As he is thinking this the barrel flashes and a terrifying noise crackles across the area, stunning Richard into shock. "What is this weapon that harnesses the sound of lightning" He instinctively looses his crossbow bolt as something tears through his armour, tearing through his body and right into his rib-cage. The crossbow bolt unsurprisingly flies way wide of the mark and embeds itself in the castle door. Richard doubles over in pain, he can feel whatever has hit him moving about inside of the wound. He digs into it with his finger and removes the offending projectile and is surprised to see it is little more than a small iron ball. "How could such a tiny thing cause so much damage" he ponders to himself but has little time to consider the mechanics of such a weapon, what it more important is stopping his opponent from firing it again. He discards his crossbow and draws his sword, charging at Gilles who is trying to reload the hand cannon. Seeing he has little chance of achieving that with Richard bearing down on him he likewise draws his sword, settling into a defensive stance.

Turning away the first swing from Richard, Gilles uses his slightly longer blade to keep Richard from being able to actually hit him with his own sword. The English king's sword swings are slower than they would otherwise be owing to the sharp pain whenever his ribs are jolted by his movement. This is not lost on Gilles who notices him putting less weight on the side of his injured ribs. Pinning Richard's sword to the ground he drives a kick into his side and feels them crumple under his boot, making Richard shout out in agony and drop his sword. Gilles swings his sword down in an arc which clatters off Richard's helmet, disorientating him. Gilles senses the moment is right and moves in for the kill.

Honda is quietly impressed with the warrior before him. His blocks and counterattacks are all carefully measured but not to the point of simply sitting back and waiting for an opportunity. In fact just as he is thinking this the blade of the Jian drives straight for his throat, forcing him into a block. He responds with a flurry of jabs to put his Chinese opponent on the back foot and finishes it off with a arching upwards slash from his left hand side, which Yue Fei just about manages to deflect away. Feeling his hand start to cramp up Honda loosens his hand on the hilt slightly and noticing this, Yue Fei chooses this moment to strike, not aiming for Honda himself but his sword. Honda is caught off guard and as he brings his sword up the downward momentum from the Jian manages to knock the katana out of his hand. Momentarily weaponless Honda is at the mercy of Yue Fei which he takes full advantage of, striking at Honda from all angles. The samurai backpedals furiously as the blade lashes at his armour. "I can't keep this up for long, sooner or later he's going to find a gap" he thinks to himself and just as he does Yue Fei rakes across his sword across his abdomen drawing blood.

Knowing he has to get a hold of his Chigiriki from where it is slung over his back but without leaving himself wide open he waits for Yue Fei to commit himself to a powerful slash attack and leans into it with his shoulder. His shoulder plate cushions the blow and he jerks it up as the blade connects, knocking it back and throwing Yue Fei off guard. This gives him the opportunity to grab hold of his weapon, the weight in his hands comforting. Yue Fei to his credit is not fazed for long and resumes his offence. Now with a something to defend himself with Honda has time to think about his next course of action. Out of the corner of his eye he spots Tonbokiri and an idea forms in his head.

Allowing Yue Fei to push him back, he cleverly manoeuvres the pair towards where his spear is lying. As he steps over it he makes a block with the staff of the chigiriki and theatrically reels it away, making it look as though he is vulnerable. Yue Fei takes the bait and goes in with a stab but this is exactly what Honda was expecting. Swinging the chain around he ensnares his opponents hand with it, trapping them and the sword together. Using his foot to lift the spear into his hand he yanks down suddenly to bring Yue Fei to his knees and grasps Tonbokiri with both hands, raising it above his head, bringing it down and...

Richard swings his war axe at Gilles but the desperate attack is easily turned aside. Gilles plunges his longsword right into Richard's chest, straight through the armour and into his heart, tearing it free to draw it across his throat at the same time as...

Honda Tadakatsu cleaves the great Chinese general clean in half.GreenYellow Honda bows respectfully to the body of his opponent, showing honour to a man of great loyalty and conviction. "I can only hope the others are as noble as this Yue Fei" he mummers as he retrieves his Chigiriki and Katana.

The courtyard of the Einzbern Castle is bathed in a golden hue as a small golden goblet floats peacefully above the circular centre. Gilles de Rais kneels before the Holy Grail in awe of it's beauty. "You must be the gift God has bestowed upon me," he mummers. Entranced as he is by the Grail he is not deaf to the sound of crunching footsteps in the gravel. Turning his head slightly he watches as Honda Tadakatsu walks up the pathway before stopping at the entrance to the circle. "At last you have made it" Gilles remarks.

"Are we the last two?" Honda asks.

"I would think so. Assassin and Saber are dead by hand and Berserker's body lies just outside the castle gates. I have yet to see any sign of Lancer, Rider or Archer yet mind you."

"Archer and Rider are dead" Honda says bluntly.

"Ah. Then you must be this Lancer He spoke of. You are the last thing standing between me and my duty." Gilles rises to his feet and strikes a match on his armour, holding it to the touch hole of his Hand Cannon.

"What?! You think you can beat me with that primitive tool" Honda snorts as he looks at the weapon. "Even if it doesn't somehow misfire I can deal with a weak shot like that any day."

"I'll see that smirk wiped off your face" Gilles snarls as the ball is launched through the air at the Japanese general. Honda calmly swings Tonbokiri in an upwards arc, slicing clean through the metal ball and sending the two halves dinking harmlessly to the pathway below. Enraged, Gilles lunges at his opponent in a rage, swinging the Hand Canon as a makeshift club. Honda is unfazed and swings his spear in a circular arc which Gilles narrowly ducks under. Maintaining the momentum he swings it back around again at ankle level to sweep the Frenchman off his feet, following this up by bringing Tonbokiri down vertically. Gilles tries to block it with his Hand Canon and succeeds in diverting the blade away at the cost of badly denting his weapon and rendering it unusable. Getting hurriedly to his feet he draws his Longsword as the spear clips the side of his bacinet to send him stumbling.

Honda has worked up a rhythm with his weapon now and the swings come in fast and furious as Gilles ducks and weaves around waiting for an opening. He soon works out the pattern of the swing and uses this to step forward just as the spear head sails past him. Moving past the bladed tip he grabs the shaft as it comes back around again and steadies it for him to snap it in half with a powerful chop from his sword. Shocked at the destruction of his legendary weapon Honda is distracted long enough for Gilles to twist around and thrust his sword forward, piercing his armour and ripping into his shoulder. He twists the blade to do further damage and Honda yells out, lashing out with his fist and catching Gilles on the side of his helmet, rocking his head back. Yanking the blade out of his shoulder he grasps hold of the helmet and swings his opponent around, releasing him to send him tumbling into the flowers nearby.

Testing his shoulder, Honda draws Nakatsukasa Masamune from its sheath with his uninjured arm. "I must admit I'm impressed you managed to injure me. No other man has ever done that before." Gilles staggers to his feet, his bacinet lying on the ground nearby. "But I can still beat you even with one arm" he continues striding towards his opponent. His strike is blocked and Gilles laughs mockingly.

"God has already blessed me with victory," he retorts lashing out with his sword.

"How can you be sure? How do you not know your God has sent me to defeat you? What if he has already forsaken you?."

"I often wondered that myself actually," Gilles says. "When I was a young man I was a model Christian. Everything I did He smiled down on because of my faith. I fought against the forces of England with honour and bravery." Honda tries to take advantage of his opponents distraction but his attacks are easily batted away. "But something changed on the 30th May 1431 when our beloved Jeanne was executed. How could God possibly allow his most fervent believer to die such a wicked death? Nothing made sense to me any more. I turned to the Devil's dark magic, I took young virgins and did the most despicable things to them. What surprised me the most was how much I enjoyed it. It had been hidden away inside of me for all those years. And when I was caught, put on trial and sentenced to death I was certain that I would face the Fallen Angel himself in unimaginable torture for my actions." The distracted look in Gilles eyes is replaced with childlike wonder and his face twists into a smile.

"But I was not. I was rescued by God. Sent to this place to fight for my deepest desire. That is when I realised it was all in His plan." Honda sneaks a stab past his defences but it deflects off the armour. "Why else would he save me. Sacrificing children. That is what he intended from me. I thought what I was doing was wicked. But then He saved me. And I knew he approved. I knew he understood the beauty, nay the art of ripping the life from his subjects." Honda looks on horrified at the rambling lunatic in front of him.

"You are insane!" he cries out and kicks away the Longsword, bringing his Katana up to draw it across Gilles' throat. Gilles turns his head slightly and the blade scrapes against his neck, breaking the skin but only leaving a shallow scar. He draws his Barquemard and grabs Honda by the antlers on his helmet, using it as leverage to plunge the blade into his stomach. Honda coughs up blood violently from his mouth and Gilles stabs him repeatedly before letting the Samuari drop to his knees. Looking up the last thing he sees is Gilles punch the blade into his mouth, tearing through his throat and exploding out of the other side. Red

Leaving the body of his opponent haemorrhaging blood on the ground Gilles returns to the Grail. Reaching put to claim his prize a black blob drips over the side of the goblet and onto his hand. Confused he notices the Grail has filled up with a black sludge which is now spilling over the side and dribbling into a puddle below. He recoils away in surprise as the puddle grows bigger and bigger, flowing around his feet. He feels a warmth spreading through his body and his confusion is replaced with elation. No longer fearing the black goo swirling around him he knees down in prayer as it envelops him, burying the Baron de Rais within it's evil.


The stench of death lingers over a dark, damp room, located in a large orphanage in the south of France. Light leaks into the room through a crack in the ancient curtains, barely revealing shapeless figures in the darkness. All of a bright blinding light illuminates the room as the large double doors are thrown open and Gilles de Rais strides into the room, the walls behind him splattered with blood. The figures are revealed to be huddle masses of frightened children, dressed in tattered clothes and clinging onto each other in fear. He surveys the room his eyes taking in the children hungrily. "I knew there were more of you" he says. "I bet you thought you could hide from me in here didn't you?". The orphans just sit there silently. "Well you were wrong!" he giggles. Without warning he grabs the nearest child, a young boy of 10 years old. The poor child tries to struggle free but a a series of vicious slaps to the face stops his meek resistance. "You will make a fine sacrifice for our Lord."

All of a sudden a figure bursts from the group, wrapping itself around the boy protectively. Gilles draws his sword to strike down the foolish child but as he raises it the figure looks up at him and he lets in a gasp of surprise. The figure is a girl, no more than 16 years old, with large blue eyes and long golden blonde hair. Her eyes bore into his very soul and the sword falls from his grip, clattering on the flood loudly. "Could it be?." Gilles heart begins to race. "Lord have you brought her back to me?". "What is your name" he asks his tone softening. The girl looks at him confused at the sudden change.


Winner: Gilles de Rais

Expert's Opinion[]

7th Place: Rashid ad-Din Sinan, 11 Points.

Sinan came in dead last in this battle royale. His lack of armour and old age gave him a disadvantage against the other warriors right off the bat and left him relying entirely on being stealthy and ambushing his opponents. However even this was difficult because he knows nothing of the battle arena or the other warriors so couldn't plan accordingly. While certainly a skilled assassin and leader the scenario simply worked against Sinan too much for him to achieve anything.

6th Place: Harald Hardrada, 15 Points

Harald came from the earliest time period of any of the warriors and this put him at a disadvantage in terms of technology. He lacked a long range weapon and his armour didn't offer all that much protection and when combined with his aggressive fighting style he struggled against the better armoured and more patient contestants.

5th Place: Genghis Khan, 16 Points

Genghis had a good set of weapons but the problem was he was too used to horseback combat and was unused to fighting in dense forest or indoors. His armour reflects this, being designed for speed and mobility over protection and on foot this left him lacking when compared to the remaining warriors.

3rd Place: Yue Fei, 35 Points & Richard the Lionheart, 35 Points

Unlike the 3 warriors before him Yue Fei didn't have any major disadvantages. His skill as an archer gave him an edge over the other combatants at a range and his Jian and Qiang gave him some solid close quarters options. The only thing he really lacked in was armour which didn't give as much protection as Honda or Gilles. He was a well rounded combatant but just lacked that little bit extra to get him into the top two.

Richard was in a similar position to Yue Fei in that he didn't have any glaring disadvantages. His armour was one of the most protective out of the warriors, his crossbow gave him a deadly ranged option and he also had good melee options with his sword and axe. What kept him from getting any higher was his lack of experience, only having a year fighting in the crusades.

2nd Place: Honda Tadakatsu, 40 points

Honda was the most modern of the warriors and had an impressive set of weapons, including the legendary Tonbokiri spear. He was an skilled and experienced fighter with over 100 battles under his belt which gave him a big edge over some of the other warriors, who were commanders first and warriors second. His lack of a ranged weapon was a problem and while his armour did give good protection it just simply couldn't compare to Gilles.

1st Place: Gilles de Rais, 45 Points

Gilles was overall the most well rounded warrior here without any real disadvantages. Having the only black powder weapon meant he could penetrate the others armour easily and other than Honda none of them had experienced blackpowder weapons so it gave him a psychological edge as well. His armour was the most protective out of anyone's and his 8 years of fighting in the 100 years war gave him a wealth of experience to draw upon.

To see the original battle, weapons and votes, click here.

Battle vs Ragnar Lodbrok (by BattleGames1)[]

Grey x 10 - Richard the Lionheart

Blue x 10 - Ragnar Lodbrok

Richard and his foot soldiers could not believe their eyes at the sight that beheld them at the top of the hill. It was all in shambles, the coastal village. Rooves and walls were punched through with holes; the bodies of men, women and children were scattered all over the area - some breathing but expiring fast, and others just completely slashed open. Some fires were raging as well, even the monastery had smoke emanating from its stony structure.

One of Richard's men pointed to the Viking longboat that was docked nearby and because it was a fair distance away, the Viking raiders were hard to make out... but Richard could make out one Viking warrior with a fancier-looking helmet helping out his fellows with the loot. "It appears that the legendary raider Ragnar has shown himself" he muttered to himself. He noticed that the Vikings were in a hurry. Indeed the messenger that brought himself to Richard's knees while out of breath said that he got out just as the Vikings started pillaging the monastery.

Looking to his men, Richard ordered them to stay in their usual tight formation as they prepared to strike. He ordered his crossbow wielders to fire upon the Vikings before the charge.

Down by the ship, Ragnar and his men were scurrilously transferring the loot from the monastery to the ship. There was lots of chatter and laughter among them knowing they've lived to fight another day... but Ragnar himself noted that the loot they gathered was very meagre in comparison to their prior raids. He thought to himself 'I guess that is what happens when Mommy drained England to pay for your bail, King Richard' and with a chuckle, he tossed the last bag of coinage up into the ship.

When suddenly, an arrow darted through the air and pierced the bag while it was near the ship, the bag's contents spilling out all over the ground. Ragnar and his men acted on the defence as a couple more arrows darted towards them. All the Viking men raised their shields and lucky they did for they blocked the arrows from getting through.

Raising their shields to see the crossbowmen and foot archers reload but the rest of the English infantry advancing towards the village, Ragnar and some of his men took up their weapons and started charging at the soldiers.

As the crossbowmen shifted themselves towards the centre, a flurry of arrows started coming their way - Ragnar had some of his archers fire off their own volleys hoping to take out the competition. Fortunately, their own shields blocked the barrage. One of them even had the benefit of Richard personally standing in front of him to take the blow. Turning back to his companion, Richard himself said "Don't be scared of any foe. You're backed by the Trinity" before turning to face the front.

The English managed to get themselves near one of the workshops before Ragnar and his men finally made contact with them. Some of the men struggled to keep their shields up while keeping their other hand on their own weapons to counter. Richard, feeling adventurous and empowered, lowered his shield and charged towards one of the Vikings harassing his soldiers. The Englishman stumbled to the side as Richard engaged his foe with his battle axe. Although the Viking swung his axe against Richard's stomach, Richard didn't stumble backwards allowing him to swing down his axe on the opponent's shoulder close to his neck (Blue x 9).

With no time to waste, Richard barked for his men to get behind cover before the Viking archers struck back. The English archers broke formation with the square of infantrymen and attempted to hide behind some haystacks. Unfortunately for one crossbowman who tripped over while carrying his kit, he was shot by a Viking archer who managed to get a lucky strike in the eye slits (Grey x 9). Seeing red from his fallen comrade, an English archer stepped out and aimed for one of the Viking archers on the boat. Although another Viking arrow managed to pierce his hauberk, the archer was able to fire off his own shot and kill the archer back (Blue x 8).

Ragnar tossed aside his English opponent when he saw this and with frenzied rage, rushed towards the archer. The archer tried to run back but he was too slow and Ragnar managed to throw one of his smaller axes into the archer's back. Before Ragnar could run up and finish the job, he was pushed onto a wall by an infantrymen with a fauchard. Staggering onto his feet and unsheathing the other small axe, Ragnar faced down his opponent and the two clashed blades.

As the fight was happening, Richard himself assisted another of his men in taking down a raider - striking his axe down at the man's legs while the footman finished things off with a decapitation (Blue x 7). Richard then went over to another duel but before he could interfere, he saw the archers fire from the boat towards his and his infantrymen's position. Seeing the archers huddled up near the haystacks, Richard shouted at them "Strike like a cobra! Make it for the hills!". Although he felt comforted by his square defence formation earlier, he knew that the couple of archers on the boat were going to be a menace so the archers had to move.

Ragnar concluded his duel with the fauchard-wielding soldier by kicking the man against the wall and when the soldier was stunned, took off his helmet and stabbed the man in the face (Grey x 8) but not before telling him "I'm sacrificing you to Odin, while drinking horns of mead!". Although he got blood on his face, Ragnar felt like he could still keep going. Licking his lips, he set his sights on Richard but before he could charge towards him, he could see the archers bolting for the hills out of the corner of his eyes. Looking back at Richard he said "I'll come for you next..." before rushing towards the archers.

The melee between the remaining Englishmen and Vikings led to a lot of traded blows and clashed metal but no-one making any headway - the Vikings were using their shields and light armour to dodge the Crusader strikes from the fauchard and longsword, while the bigger tougher brutes in the suits used their own armour to the advantage. Eventually, the Vikings had to leg it away from the fight hoping to use the town ruins to their advantage.

Meanwhile the crossbowmen tried to reload and aim their crossbows hoping to cover the two archers that bolted for the hills. One of them, with rather shaky confidence, stepped out and aimed directly for one of the archers on the ship. Holding his breath, the archer fired... and the shot connected, causing the Viking to fall off the boat and onto the water (Blue x 6). The crossbowman went back to his colleague who had just finished loading in his arrow onto the bow. He was confident enough to step out and do some more damage but before he could, a Viking spear was violently thrust into his back (Grey x 7). Impulsively, the crossbow fired but the arrow flew into a random direction away from the Viking. The other crossbowman dropped his bow and charged at the assailant with his own sword drawn while shouting "For the Lord!"

The Viking heard the charge and, after letting go of the spear, countered with his own shield slam, sending the footman to the ground. Taking the spear out of his latest victim, the Viking proclaimed "For the Allfather!" before thrusting it towards the man's face. Luckily for the Englishman he was able to roll out of the way and kick the Viking man and sending him down onto the floor. The Englishman tried to get up onto his feet but unfortunately the Viking man was quicker and despite the crusader crawling towards a corpse hoping to use it as a shield, the spearman came down on him like a tonne of bricks (Grey x 6).

The Viking archer left alone on the ship decided enough was enough and he was going to get a piece of the action... but before he decided to do that, he took aim at Richard who was still going at it in a duel with another Viking raider a little further away from the dock - near the monestary in fact. Repositioning himself towards the gangplank, the archer fired his shot. Alas the arrow missed and landed near the Viking raider's feet. The berserker turned his face back to the ship but before he could yell at the archer, an axe blade was embedded in his neck (Blue x 5). Richard himself then took off for the boat.

Meanwhile on the hill, the two archers readied themselves to hail fire on the ship hoping to snipe out the Viking man. One archer managed to fire on the ship but the other one was keen enough to see Ragnar come charging at them so he turned to fire his arrow at him. Ragnar held up his shield and let that take the brunt of the damage... and yet the force was great enough for him to land backwards down the hill, out of the archer sight. Of course Ragnar held himself steady, discarding the shield and crawling low among the grass and using the low height to hide himself. The archers continued to fire off their shots at the ship as they saw Richard race towards it, some of their arrows tearing at the sails.

Sneaking up behind the archers, Ragnar leapt up and threw his remaining axe squarely landing a hit on the head of one of them (Grey x 5). As the archer fell to the ground, the other archer tried to aim for a headshot but was too slow as Ragnar tackled him to the ground. Scrambling to get up, Ragnar crawled over to the fallen archer and dug out the axe from the flesh before standing over the remaining archer. As the archer moaned and struggled to get back on his feet, Ragnar towered over him and basically taunted the man saying "Your king threatening me like this is very bold... for a weak king!" before swinging his axe down and once again slamming the blade onto the face (Grey x 4).

In another area of the town, a Viking raider and another fauchard-wielding man were duelling it out - the Viking axe slashing and parrying the blade of the fauchard. The duelling became very intense as the berserker kept pushing forward and forcing the slower crusader to take steps back. It got to the point where the crusader was tired but the Viking was prepared to keep on going. Feeling driven by the power of Christ, the crusader made one final move and as the Viking man leapt forward to try and put all their force into the smash, the crusader thrust his fauchard forward with all his might, planting it deep in the Viking's chest past the gambeson (Blue x 4).

Meanwhile, Richard boarded the longboat and found the Viking archer there armed with his shield and now a sword. Staring down his opponent, Richard offered the Viking one chance "Tell Ragnar that if he quietly surrenders, you can all sail back north with his barbarian goons or else I'll tear down his legacy and leave it ruins". The Viking man simply stood there and huffing himself up. Richard, deciding that he would now require the use of his sword, dropped his battle axe and unsheathed his own holy sword. The Viking man charged with his sword and the two engaged in a pitched duel trading more slow and heavy wood-scratching blows. Eventually Richard is able to get the upper hand over his more inexperienced swordwielding opponent and with one final slash aimed at the man's torso, Richard was able to kill the archer (Blue x 3) and send him also flying out of the ship and onto the dock.

Unfortunately for him, he looked over to see Ragnar finish off his two archers. As Ragnar retrieved his bloody axes, he looked over at the boat and saw the single figure of a well armoured man stand atop it. "Well well well, King Richard..." he mutters to himself before rushing down the hill and calling to his two remaining men to head for the forest. The two men - who had been running around and dodging the crusaders swinging with their sword and fauchard for a while - followed their leader's lead and bolted for the trees. Richard ran down as fast he could from the longboat and yelled out to his men to pursue them. The three crusaders then chased after the Vikings with Richard coming up close behind them.

As soon as they got to the woods, the warriors discarded their shields knowing that their pieces were too cumbersome when moving into the woods. The 4 men traipsed very slowly in a line with Richard at the back. The four of them carefully looked around them noting the points of the wooded area where they suspect the Vikings could take cover in. The rustling of leaves in the distance also kept them alert.

Soon, one of the Englishmen tapped a tree with his fauchard but in such a manner the staff dropped to the ground. Taking advantage, a Viking berserker jumped down from the trees and swung his axe at the unlucky mam, bashing away at his neckpiece until blood spewed out from the mail (Grey x 3). The other Viking berserker and Ragnar simultaneously leapt out and slammed into the armoured men with their weapons (Ragnar his axes, the other berserker his sword). To Richard's surprise, all three of the Vikings looked like they discarded their clothing and armour, leaving only their shields and arms. The Vikings didn't care as they felt really high from the rush of adrenaline - all they cared about was that their speed and dedication would get them far. They dodged every swing and blow that Richard and his men dealt. Eventually it got to the point where the king acceded into letting himself and Ragnar duel it out themselves without interference. Richard chased Ragnar deep into the forest following his trail.

The two-vs-two fight that Richard left behind was just as brutal as the duels in the village but this time, the two Englishmen worked together to defeat their opponents. Using their thick armour to their advantage, one of the men threw themselves at their opponent and although the Viking facing that man dodged the throw and leapt up for the kill, he was too slow to realise that the other soldier struck him in the back with his sword (Blue x 2). The other Viking opponent jumped onto the back of the soldier but the two of them fell backwards onto the ground. The heavy armour of the Englishman pinned the Viking to the ground and as he struggled, the other crusader slowly but surely got back onto his feet and carried his sword over. With the trap set, the crusader rolled out of the Viking's way and as the Viking gasped for air, the crusader slammed his sword into the Viking's chest (Blue x 1). The crusader standing helped his fellow up. "Let us follow our highness and see if he needs help" he said. His friend replied "We need to move quickly..." but his sore leg meant the fast walking was going to be a bit impossible. Nevertheless, the duo trudged forward into the wilderness.

Fortunately for Richard, he was able to find a conveniently placed clearing where he thinks Ragnar led him to. Bad news though; Ragnar was nowhere to be seen. Richard lowered his axe and shouted for Ragnar's name. "You're a wannabe, mon ami, kneel down and honour me!" he added when he shouted to the tree tops. Naturally, Ragnar taunted back "I'm not a linguist, but I think the King of England should probably speak English!" having noticed that Richard's speech had a hint of Breton to it. Richard himself struck back with "You might have the axe, but I make a body spray!" Silence. Then Ragnar said in a booming voice "You want to battle me? Take off the tin shirt. I'm here in my birthday suit, going berserk!" and with that last word, Ragnar rushed out from beside Richard and swung his axe at him. Instinctively, Richard swung his sword to block the axe... and in doing so also scraped the edge near Ragnar's face. This made the Viking really angry and thus he tried to bash the King's head in with his shield. The helmet however protected Richard's head well enough so that he just jerked his head and made him stumble backwards for a while until Ragnar switched to his axe once more. As Ragnar readied his swing, Richard lifted up his own arm to block the move. The block was only effective for a few seconds because Ragnar lifted his axe arm again and attempted another swing. Again, Richard blocked the move with his arm but even with the mail, it still felt painful.

Then on the third attempt at a powerful axe swing, Richard punched Ragnar in the chest, causing the Viking to stumble back and wheeze before Richard himself swung his longsword around and, with such force behind it, swiped at the neck... essentially decapitating the Viking (Blue x 0) and fulfilling his earlier threatening promise. As Ragnar's body fell to the ground, Richard walked up to the severed head and taunted it with "I guess I will announce at the next of your Things that I've chopped through you like a boneless animal".

The two remaining foot soldiers eventually joined Richard in the clearing. Seeing his colleagues still alive, Richard decided to bend down on his knees and pray to the Lord Almighty. The two crusaders followed suit and together, they all thanked God for granting them the strength and courage to defeat the Scandinavian menace.

Expert's Opinion[]

The experts agreed that although the scenario helps Ragnar out for a while due to the enclosed nature of the field, Richard's win was secured by his superior weapons and armour as well as his slightly superior X-Factors, especially when you consider that he and his men have got greater tactics and professional training than the Vikings.

If you think this battle is unfair in any way, shape or form, please feel free to ask me for permission to rematch this.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.