Battlefield is a playground game about the Norman invasion, developed as part of the BBC’s Normans season for their Hands On History series of activity packs.

Our brief was very specific: we were to create a playground game that worked for children aged 7 to 11, required a minimum of equipment, taught its players something about the Normans. It had to be expressed in a simple ruleset that could be distributed to teachers and play leaders who would be working in a wide variety of different types of location: schools, organised groups, after-school care, anywhere ten or more children might gather.

Over the course of the project we tried out many different games, with an awful lot of running around, playtesting, rules-tweaking, beanbag-throwing, and flag-making. The final game, Battlefield, is a quick-paced active game that simulates the Battle of Hastings, introducing children to the idea of the Norman invasion and to the tactics of the different sides.

The pdf ruleset is available for download here. (And in confidence, it’s quite good fun for adults as well…)