Greeks in Switzerland !
What a mistake - somehow I'm in the UK A team for the Nations Challenge at Gransdon in Switzerland ?
Me .....and 3 good people...... are taking on the world !
With 4 players and 4 books its a question of what I'll be allowed to take. The process goes something like this:
Step 1/ The Young McNeil gets to take patricians, because he always does, and he always wins with them. Logical, so can't argue there.
Step 2/ Graham Briggs gets to take Franatic Burpers, because he always does, and he nearly always wins with them. Again, the logic is inexorable.
Step 3/ Simon Hall gets to take Abbasids, because it clearly states on page 24 of the rules that if 3 people from Reigate are gathered together in competition, at least one must field Abbasids. Better than Logic, it's in the rules.......
Step 4/ I have to play in Book 1, however I also have to be responsible and pretend to be a grown-up, as I'm in a team with 3 good people. This kinda rules out most of my book one armies. In quick succession a team decision rules out Makkan ("too many knights will be around"), Spring & Autumn Chinese ("Ax (X) are too vulnerable, Irr Kn are too risky"), Thracian ("grow up Porter"), early Vietnamese ("We told you already, and we won't do so again - just grow up"), Early Carthaginian ("too many Sp (I), can't get a good list at 400ap").... so then we get to Early Hoplite Greek ("at least it'll be hard for you to lose, so go on then...". Again, Logical...
The weekend gets off to a very poor start. Dave Handley has forgotten his team T-shirt, and has to put it on in the middle of the playing area.
After this unfortunate and regrettable incident we start playing - against Greece 1 and Spyros Mpogdanos with list #34, Later Hebrew, 750BC, Israel army. He attacks, and manages to get a 1.5 FE H(S) in the middle of his central sector, as well as a number of other H(S) on his left.
For deployment I think long and hard, and come up with a daring, innovative, exciting and adventurous plan. I will line all my troops up in a line and march forwards, whilst one command does a flank march ("Plan A").
Clever ! He'll never think I'll do that, eh ?
My deployment has been with the expectation of a concerted charge with all the knights in the open plain to my left, so I have refused the flank on my right with the Thessalian LH screening it off, and also used excess spearmen to screen off the central hill - if we don't go up, the auxilia certainly won't come down! The Hebrew deployment is fairly complex - lots of auxilia take immediate control of the H(S), whilst on the left their Sp (O) are kept well back - the handful of Kn are very much in reserve, as a screen of single and paired LH is pushed forwards.
Clearly this isn't going to be too effective against me - the spear line eases forwards, occasionally lurking out with Ps(O) to harass them even more. In front of them - in the far distance - is a formation of Bw (I), theoretically acting as filler.
Nice theory ! But - Guess Again .........
In the center its a total face-off - and over on the right the Thessalians are still mucking about - tempting the odd Bw (I) out of the hills to start shooting them away before they can threaten the increasingly exposed flanks of the Hebrew spearmen.
Then - The flank march arrives - to be honest it's almost too late, as the on-table spearmen bear down on the Bw (I) block - but at least it makes it look like an even funnier picture ! The Bw (I) are treated with contempt, and a wave of Ps (I) are thrown at them . Well - actually they are still a bit far away for the spears to get to them and time is running out, so we need to throw in something faster !
|Historical Note - playing against a Greek team teaches you something important - Psiloi is pronounced by most people I know as "See-loy". Apparently this is wrong, as in Greek the "oi" is pronounced "eee", so it should be "See-lee". Watch and learn !|
The Hebrew right flank command finally collapses as it's Bw (I) are nailed to the back of the table - with one command up a 2-1 victory is mine under the Grandson scoring system I think - so, with nothing to risk, lets throw in some expendable Thessalian LH (O) into the Bw (I) - if we lose them, who cares, but if we get really lucky we might just be able to turn the whole game!
They charge in, make a few dents, but are repulsed - and the game ends. A good start, 2 points.........but NO! The scoring system not only requires an advantage in commands to record a 2-1, it also needs a 20% or greater difference in losses, and our difference is........19.84% Oh No - my incompetence and ignorance has cost us a point !