BHGS Challenge 2005
a brief report and list of lists...
Game 1 saw me play a Chinese Early Tang army, and selected that list as I fancied attacking Bw (X). The Tang initiated and lost out in a Lh lottery on its right against my mounted wing, and then the cavalry lost out to the supported auxilia in the center just before the warband managed to close on the Bw(X) 10-0. Good start!
Semi-interestingly I was recording pips to allow me to keep track of bounds in case of blitz (its the only way I've found to make sure I record bounds as I forget if its just marking down a 5-bar-gate tally) and this was how the game looked - lots more pips for the Tang, but a very simple Roman plan (attack anything in front of you) made possible by good matchups at deployment.
Next game I play Greg Mann's Hindu Indians. With lots of Bd (F) and elephants I again choose that list, and we had a desperate struggle which I finally won 9-1, largely because I attacked with and this gave me the matchup advantage at combat, and my pips were better. Also my artillery played a minor role - targeting his general at deployment caused the central command to lose control of a Bd (F) in turn 1, leaving a hole in the line which the Indians were never quite able to fill.
The chart shows a decisive "Pip Swing" my way in bounds 5 and 6, when the armies really started to get to grips with each other, allowing me to micromanage the matchups in my favour. Total pip scores over the first 8 bounds (I won in my bound 9) were 99 for me, 111 for Greg, however adjusting the Indian total down by 25% to allow for the extra command gives me a 99/83 advantage.
Next game I also used that list and then lost a close 0-10 to Mr Briggs LPIA (although I had all 4 of his commands within 1.5EE of breaking...doh, smacks of incompetence !). In this game I attempted to dash the Kn (F) command to inevitable but gradual destruction on my right, to buy time for the warband and auxilia to press home a hopefully decisive advantage in the middle and on the right.h h
This was not to be, as the Statto-like Pip Analysis shows - the Arabs consistently outscored the Romans in almost every turn, allowing them to deal with the threats and press attacks themselves at will, redeploying almost the entire camel force across the width of the table to fight my 4 knights and overwhelm the accompanying Lh, and then pressing onto the baggage whilst their center managed to fight off envelopment by a mass of impetuous warband.
Pip totals were 125 for the Romans (over 11 bounds) vs 164 for the Arabs, (or an adjusted total of 123).
Game 4 was a hideous nightmare - my first defenders game, and again vs the Hindu Indians. With the list that had previously been successful I set up an aggressive deployment, hoping to tempt the Indians to a mass attack, when hopefully I could rely on the greater flexibility of the 3 regular commands to reorganize the matchups in my favour at the point of contact.
As the chart shows, this was not to be - the Indians started with enough pips to get their entire line to 200 paces from mine, and then scored a massive 5-5-5-5 in the decisive turn 3 when I was hit by 18 BdF and the best part of 9 elephants. With only one command scoring a "1" all game, and out-pipping me throughout, my plan was in tatters and my figures were soon back in the box, although I did manage to nail the CinC at the death after my LH overwhelmed the Indian cavalry on the end of the line.
Game 5 saw this list appear for the first time and lose a close 1-9 to Bruce Brown's E Byzantines - I was 2 elements off getting his army in a massive Kn/Cm vs Kn/Cv(S) lottery across the middle of the table, but the larger Byzantine commands outlasted my smaller but more numerous ones and we went down.
I outscored Bruce comprehensively in this game 95/56, or 71/56 adjusting for my additional command, but was unable to press the advantage as all my frontline troops were committed to combat from bound 2 onwards!
Basically my army was rubbish, and I hadn't practiced enough to learn how to use it properly - but I also suspect that "using it properly" would have required a degree of self discipline and defensive play that I quite possibly don't possess (and a different list)!
However it was a load of laughs, if I'd have managed to nick the game from Graham it could have been very different, and playing 4 games with my 2nd string list wasn't really in my plan - I had been expecting a few knight-ey medieval armies to surprise with the Camel Corps - oh well !!! No more Patsy's for me!