Game 1- Brian Holmes with Carolingian, Khitans Invade (No piccies for this game)
Terrain was pretty minimal, A small piece of rough butting onto my right table edge on Brian's side of the half way line. A 1 EE wood on my left side touching the table edge and the half way line. A rough going hill in Brian's right sector, on the table edge, resting next to the centre sector. Basically the rough hill and rough going gave Brian a secure line to deploy between.
Brian's army was three commands, each breaking on 7.5. Cinc with 5 reg Kn(F), 12 sp(I) , 7 hd(O) and a ps(O). Sg with 2 cv(O), 1 lh(O), 7 irreg kn(f) and 12 sp(I). An Aquitanian Sub with 3 reg Kn(F), 8 bw(I), 4 hd(O), 3 ps(O) and 6 lh(O).
Brian deployed his CinC on my left, his aquitanian
sub on the right with his 3 ps(O) in ambush in the rough. His other subbie
held the line between the two with a solid line of sp(I) and Kn(F).
I deployed my CinC across two thirds of the table, bd in ambush in the wood, then lh and artillery with the hd(I) taking up positions opposite the irreg Kn(F). The Knight command deployed on the right, lh forward and kn's in column to the rear. The cv(S) command behind the hd(I), again light horse forward cv(S)/cv(O) to the rear.
My basic game plan was to smash through the
central command and turn on his Cinc's flank while pinning the aquitanian
and cinc's commands in place with lh. Too many pips (3x6) in the second bound
saw me doing fancy things with the bd(F), marching them out of the wood towards
the centre sector, hoping to fall on Brian's central sp(I) while the hd(I)
went forward to break-up the Kn(F). My cv(S) forward hoping to get a shot
at his cv(O) on the flank of his central spear block. The Khitan Kn(F) and
their general moved to the centre to await developments.
Brian reacted by bring forward his Cinc and 2 Kn(F) along with his sp(I) to close down my bd, the remaining 3 kn(F) looped out through the rg hill and positioned themselves 4" away from the rear of my bd column (whoops!).
I moved my knights from the centre to my left to counter the threat on my blade, a single lh slipped behind his kn(F) to stop them marching away. The blade moved closer to the centre. 2 elements of Hd(I) advanced into his irreg kn(F) charge range, one element moving its full 2", the other slightly short. Lh from the cv(S) command filling in the holes in the hd(I) line.
Brian's threw lousy pips, his irreg Kn(F) ploughed into the 2 hd(I), his line was now already in two as the hd(I) were not lined up. My cv(S) were fighting a losing battle against cv(O) supported by spear. His Cinc and 1 kn(F) were attempting to make short work of my blade. Brian pulled two of his kn(F) away from my knights but was forced to leave 1 behind.
Brian's CinC inevitably won against the bd he was fighting putting him slap bang in front of my light horse reserve. Just as inevitably his kn(F) support lost and recoiled. His Irreg Kn(F) both win against the two hd(I) leaving his knights in penny packets. My turn and my single lh behind his kn, decided it was worth the risk and charged his 2 deep column of kn. My knights mug his delaying knight, my light horse mug his Cinc. My hd(I) turn 3 of his kn(F) on the flank, with light horse coming up to provide the overlaps. Brian's Cinc dies, my light horse kills the two kn in column, my Knights kill his lone delayer and the hd(I) take down 6 irreg Kn(F) due to the zones of death.
Brian's CinC command had lost 4 that turn and failed their demoral check. His central command needed 1 more to go (I picked up another element somewhere, the solitary lh I think). Time was called at this point, 8:2 to me
STICK TO THE PLAN! My mucking about with the bd really cost me in pips to try and extract them from a really stupid position. I had no need to move them at all, at least not until his CinC's knights were occupied. That said it lured out 3 elements to be killed but that was luck due to Brian's lousy pips when it counted.
Game 2- Dave Fairhurst's Khazars, Khitans Invading.
Deployment (see piccie of my first bound)
All hills gentle, as befitting two nomad armies.
My basic plan, muller his left, hold the rest
of the line with hd(I), art, bw and bd(F). Then work my way through the baggage
and the rest of his army :o)
As piccies are worth a thousand words etc, I have scribbled on my one in focus picture.
Ended on a 6:4. Followed the plan but took too many ciggie breaks, At the end I needed 4 EE from anywhere, had 2 cv(S) waiting to throw themselves at the baggage. I had the dice in my hand ready to throw the pips when time was called.
Game 3 Robbo's Chinn Chinese, He invades
Deployment (see piccie)
My basic plan, invade! When that didn't work, prayer (that almost worked). That said I took my best shot and threw my bd(F) and kn at his left flank and my cv(S) into his bw. Yes they were my best shots! At one stage I thought I might manage a command off Robbo but it didn't come about.
I went down 0:10, that said the army held until 15min before time was called, my cv(O) were bearing down on his lh(F) on the flank and they had nowhere to run. This is possibly my favourite game of the weekend. Robbo is a brilliant opponent and we both had to work bloody hard at the game. A few more pips or the right combat result and it might have been different. Even with the result I think this is one of the best games I have played. I screwed up my deployment and delayed going after his lh but it was still a 5:5 right up until the last possible second.
Game 4 Darrell Pearce Greaco-Indian, Khitan invade.
Deployment (see piccie of rather late in the game)
If there was a game I should have won, this one
was it! All of Darrell's terrain (wd, 3 rg hills, rgoing) all landed in my
centre sector with a roll of 1-4 for placement, as the wd hit first only the
small rgoing stuck. So a billiard table, Khitan's with a massive mounted superiority
and regular troops v's a predominantly irregular foot army.
Anyway deployment puts Darrell's two large infanry commands on the wings with his centre held by a good sized infantry block and a Kushan ally. Mine was fairly typical, CinC up front, rest grouped centrally behind.
My game plan on seeing deployment was crack the Kushans while putting the bd into the central infantry (3 dbe bw(X), 4 pk(O) and 4 bw(O)). I committed quickly with the cv(S)/cv(O) and they were 4" away from the Kushan Lh and looking mean. I made a mistake with the bd(F) and over extended their attack, cost me no casualties but it meant the columns flank was hanging out with no light horse to cover it. This meant Darrell was able to stall my bd for at least three bounds with a couple of carefully placed lh. These was especially annoying as I had engineered fleeing one of his light horse by my artillery so it burst through his bw(X) fleeing two dbe elements. The bd had a clear run into combat with no shooting!
My tiger tank Cv(S) annihilated the kushan Kn(X) and took a couple of their lh with mine in 2 bounds ,breaking the command. So by bound four there is a massive hole in the GI line, no supporting troops to fill it and two infantry commands with no flank cover. It was all going my way until my pips dried up and my combat dice went south :o( Fair play to Darrell his pips had also dried up but he was in a more coherent state and managed to threaten sufficent elements of my army to stop me doing anything other than token attacks. For once its not the pips to blame but my choices on how I spent them. Initially I continued to attack aggressively which was a mistake I should have reordered and pulled elements out of the danger zones. Basically I over committed and could not recover, eventually going down 4:6.
A disappointing game for me as I should have had a good victory here. Darrell out played me significantly. After the initial loss of his Kushan, apparantly a reoccurring theme through out the competition, he applied pressure just where it was needed and took the initiative. I could have stalled this quite easily by being more focused on my priorities.
Game 5, Richard's Early Armenian, Khitan invaded
Deployment (see piccie)
All the terrain pieces are rgoing hills, bar
the irreg curved one on Richard's side which is just rgoing.
Richard was using the late version Armenian with the cv(S) and from his baggage (8 bases) I guessed a Hunnic ally. This is a game where I should have been handed my a&se on a plate. Having looked at the table I thought he would flank march as the table looked too cluttered to fit 4 commands on, so I gambled on flank marching my cavalry command. Whoops no Armenian flank march. I'm left with 8 Lh(F) on the table, 5 knights and shedloads of hd(I) and (O) to hold the line.
Was I in trouble! Turn 1 the Armenians get great pips all along the line. Here it comes I thought Swamp city, Richard pulls back his right flank's mass of lh(S) and lh(F)! and goes for a long series of march moves to get the ax into my left flank. Ok fair enough, eventually the ax are on the hill and faced off against the hd(O). Now here it comes I thought. No movement from the ax at all. His cv(S) in the centre makes for my Hd(I). Much mangling occurs, no cv die but his line is nicely messed up, so more time spent reorganising this. We are now in the last ¾ of an hour's play. I have lost all the hd(I) and Richard nothing. My flank march finally appears after 15 straight bounds. It marches onto the table, his huns et al scarper through the rgoing out of the way. I trade 2 Lh for 3 of his, end of game a straight 5:5
I broke my cardinal rule of not flank marching and should have suffered for it but Richard was very cautious and never exploited the massive difference in combat troops. Ax(S) frontally into my Hd(I) supported by cv(S) would have ruined my day, especially as his Huns could have had my flank in a turn. So all in all I was very lucky in this game.
My Khitan handled the weekend well, as their general I did less well. I need to break my nicotine addiction as it turned two games from 10:0 into less than sterling efforts. I once again proved the hard way deployment with the Khitans is everything. I was also once again surprised by how many people were willing to commit 'capital' troops in a slug fest with Hd(I). They ratcheted up a grand total of 7 kn(F) and 4 cv(S) over the weekend. Well the Khitans will be trotting out for the Team Challenge later on in the year, so we will see if I have learned anything.