Birmingham Alabama - The Games
Game 1 - vs Dan Hazlewood
After an epic flight ... (well, starting in the BA lounge at Gatwick did help..)
and drive from Atlanta to Birmingham (thanks to the Truck of Mark Faircloth)..
we ended up in Hooters restaurant with a load of Americans where our new friend Hollie helped us choose from a wide selection of chicken wing-based menu items:
Big wheels keep on turning
The next day arrived rather too early, however after a 25 minute wait for the doors to open before we can get in (which I've now done this in the UK, Spain, Greece, France, Italy AND The USA.....) I found myself facing Dan Hazlewood and Dynastic Bedouin.
I was attempting to update my blog in real time throughout all 4 games, so if you want to see how this went, link to it here and scroll down to the end to start.
I was using my traditional Lithuanian lists. As it was, I only used one variant all weekend.
The first game had no terrain except in one corner (my side). Oh, and Dan had (of course) seen my list on this site! No surprises there then! The battlefield was dominated by some rough ground in the middle. Rather than commit auxilia to it, I chose to flood it with psiloi and push on my right.
The Arabs were set up with lots of bowmen, who can find themselves as a target against large parts of my army, but they were initially well to the back. We had also both deployed our main strike forces asymmetrically, with most of my punch on my right, and the balance of Dans forces on my (refused) left, where the presence of the Artillery (S) had come as a nasty surprise (obviously he had not been reading this site carefully enough...)
My heavy-hitting right wing moved imperiously forwards, as Dan attempted to redeploy his bowmen (and X-bowmen) to face my knights in the center.
Poor pips bedeviled the Arabs, making the redeployment glacial in the face of my onrushing solid lines using the traditional "go straight forwards" tactics. It was to be nearly an hour into the game before any of my troops wheeled.
The Arab cavalry sat well back throughout, but I was optimistic of catching the left hand Arab command as all the good pips were being soaked up by the redeploying bowmen.
On my right, the thin skirmish screen was still holding firm, as even superior numbers of arab light horse would surely be reluctant to enter the gap between the forest and the rough ground occupied my my infantry.
The arab bowmen completed their redeployment, but found that they were no longer likely to reach the Teutons, who had moved forwards and out of sight. Instead my infantry command of bow-munchers were in their place. Seeing the bowmens opportunities diminish, and also seeing the rear edge of the table approach rapidly, the Arabs committed their main cavalrymen on my right.
The Arabs had better troops in the front line, but the Lithuanians had reserves, and also numbers on their side as well as the rock solid flanks provided by the wagons.
Eventually, the weight of numbers theory proved better than the quality theory, and the Arabs left flank command collapsed.
But the rest of the game was starting to look very bitty, with both sides swinging their main fighting troops round too slowly to engage the enemy. By now a very large block of bowmen had assembled, and my CinCs blades were struggling to get to grips with them as his attention was distracted by the need to withdraw psiloi in good order from such impressive firepower.
Meanwhile, my artillery park was proving a difficult obstacle to remove
Soon there was furious bow-on-blade action in the centre - who would falter first?
With both sides hunting elusive elements, me to win the game, Dan to take down my CinC's command, even the Teutons were sucked into the relatively undignified sport of hunting psiloi in rough going - and if you look carefully in the distance you will be able to make out a Teutonic Touchdown as one of the Brethren hammers some hordes on the Arab baseline.
Finally, as time was called, neither side quite reached a decisive point in the centre - so the game ended as a 6-4 to me.
Post match summary
Not a good matchup for the Arabs this one, but with worse pips throughout it was harder still. Both armies guessed wrong on the deployment, and committed their main forces to places where the enemy had chosen (largely) to refuse to fight.
I also made the mistake of forgetting that the flank command of Arabs was only a 12.5 EE command and not one of the 2 larger 19 EE commands, and therefore committed too many troops (especially some of the Teutons) against it as well as delaying initiating combat a little too long - at 12.5 I could have afforded to start a "LH Lottery" far sooner with my own 21.5 EE command, allowing the Teuts to wheel inwards rather than split in two sections.
All in all though, a great first game, with chances for both sides to win.
Post Match Expert Analysis