This is the shield wall, this was the classic tactic used by the saxons and the vikings. The idea was to stand shoulder to shoulder with the man next to you, with your shield overlapping the next. This creates a solid line (as long as holes dont appear in the lines through casualties or through panic and flight) with the front rank resisting the charge and their comrades behind hurling missiles (spears, stones, axes and anything else that could cause harm) over the top at the advancing enemy. They would swing their long two-handed axes over the heads of the front rank, cleaving enemy soldier and horse alike. The King remained present and fought in the ranks with their men to inspire them to fight harder.