Thursday - a long drive ahead. I live my life in the city, there's no easy way out, but the M6 Toll road certainly made the trip round Birmingham a lot easier.
Getting to Manchester and it was raining - a taste of things to come. You could wait for a lifetime to spend your days in the sunshine were you a student at UMIST I reckon!
The weekend got off to a flier (or a crash-landing sort of controlled perhaps if you were a lucky paratrooper) as we set up and launched into a massive 3-table WW2 game of PBI - unambitiously attempting the entire Arnhem campaign in 10mm with a skirmish level set of rules using a scenario from here.
When the routine bites hard and ambitions are low having a change of game is always a good refresher really. Well, to put it another way at least it wasn't as tedious as getting in a few more games of DBM - each time I play PBI now I start to wonder is it my imagination, or have I finally found something worth living for?
Then a big night out - before the competition even starts, to a rather interesting club called Mutz Nutz. After that there is sleep, and in the morning I need a little time to wake up.
PBI continues, the XXX Corps pull up short of Arnhem stopped by a Tiger 1 on the main road - - it has been a bridge too far....
Then we are into Big Day Out number 5 for the Carthaginians at 350/400 points. The list was here Sounds good to me..
Game 1 - won 9-1 (I think) vs Hsien Pi, with 4-5 blocks of DBE Kn who charged into my warband and got killed by my elephants & Ps (S). Maybe this sounds unlikely, or just lucky but at the end of the day you gotta make it happen.
Gonna stamp out your Knights, gonna punch out their
Don't you know he can make you forget you're the man
You're a dead-man
Of course the joy is not the same without the pain - and these results are in the rules under the bullet point about elephant generals losing to LH (F)) and who's flanks were protected by Sp (I) - not ideal combination against Wb(F) & Elephants really. Anyway, something to talk about eh? And also (I think) I did lose the warband command eventually? Is this a winning start ? Can they keep up the luck and roll on to win all 6 games? In my mind my dreams are real....
Game 2 - Ch'in
Having again drunk too much I scoff some aspirins - but the drugs don't work, and soon my head pain is enhanced by another nemesis army - Ch'in, using the warband & Irreg Kn option. My brain walks down a one way street and I guess doubly wrong on deployment (ie I guessed spears, and then guessed wrongly where the Kn would go down so had no elephants there to face them off).
Deployment left all my failings exposed, however I actually lost the game as my 5 Ps(S), 2Ps(O), 2 Ax and 3 Wb pretty much died to a man trying to beat a 1 wide column of Bw (O) in a wood. My opponent - and people playing on tables either side of me who has seen the setup - all said this was rather unlucky.
This man said "it's gruesome".
I even lost 2 or 3 Ps (S) to shooting....... in the wood. Only a few hours earlier in the bar I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour, but heaven knows I'm miserable now, and Warband to blame again!
The rest of the army fell apart when my Cv command eventually got pushed off table by the 7 Kn as 3 Cv (O), 6 Numidians and their general were unable to beat the 4 LH (F) & 2 Cv protecting one of the Kn block's flanks (the Numidians lost the general to an unlikely series of head-up 2-2 victory in my turn, followed by another 2-2 flank attack to kill the general and then rolled <4), and my LH were unable to kill any Kn at all when harassing the other flank. The Wb didn't even get into contact ! 0-10 - it's a bittersweet symphony this life!
Game 3 - Another Ch'in.
Having lost my previous 3 games to Ch'in armies they certainly were a thorn in my side.
This time however I was to be a real Rock n' Roll star as I won 10-0 by redeploying the Wb daringly across the face of 14 spears, and fighting their way through some LH in the process all in order to set up an attack some Bw on the opposite flank to where they had started. Sounds good to me!
During this , and by having 2 El (I) march towards his baggage, forcing the Reg Kn to spend millions of pips getting away, and killing every LH they came up against with distain and ease. My Cv command chewed up a 7 LH command eventually also to help. Another short game, allowing me time to go back to my room - but the only thing on was the test match, and I don't like cricket! Oh No!
Game 4 - vs Jez's Famous Spearwall
He's gonna step on you again, he's gonna step on you again
He's gonna step on you again, he's gonna step on you again
This late in the day and tiredness is starting to catch up - anyone seeing me in better lighting would realize that I'm feeling very sick and ill today. With a line of spears, no terrain as I defend, and me with better spears and Wb (F) the obvious plan is to charge - do I try anything super clever? At this stage I'm contemplating thinking about thinking, but soon realise that it's overrated so just get another drink. Now, watch me come undone...
In a game of no real skill on either part - lady luck is holding us both at her mercy and we are at the point where our fortune stands on shifting sands, the scales held in her hands, and the wind it just whips her away and fills up her Brigantine sails and it was all over 0-10 as my warband failed to go through Jez's spears.
I lost 10 Wb for 2 Sp (O) in combat over about 4-5 turns, with virtually no overlaps in Jez's favour - and to add insult to injury time my Reg Sp (O) lost 7 for 2 against his Irr Sp (O) in the same timeframe. I give a silent sigh and move on
Anyway, off for a Chinese, after which I really should walk away in silence,
but the lure of another night of clubbing drags me down - there's not enough
hours in our day!
The advantages of history - I play a Mithraditic army driven by a player who has fought my carthos twice before with other armies. But on the internet anyway word will travel, oh so quickly, travel first and lean towards this time and everyone will know my army anyway, so who cares?
The Carthos do quite well this time, killing all 5 Kn (F) and with them the CinC's command, and all 4 Kn (X) in the allied Armenians. With all the dangerous stuff dead Hannibal is thinking that we got everybody and he's finally gonna stick it in the goal, but...
The problem comes with a column of warband who had sneakily been trying to outflank the enemy army by steaming through an undefended long patch of RGo on the flank in a column. They have realised that for the Mithraditics there's only one way to beat them / Get round the back. They are only opposed by Armenian LH, who should also have been spending pips on attacking the spears with the Kn (X) and saving the off LH from advancing elephants.
However despite these handicaps the Wb were gradually torn to shreds by 2 LH - mostly in the RGo - and then finished off by 2 Bd (I) ! The fires of defeat are rising around me as I sink down the leaderboard and to be honest now I know how Joan of Arc felt, as the flames rose to her roman nose and her iPod started to melt!
This is a testing time when the choice is mine, do I slide away or resurface?
The MIR deployed in the middle of the table with no flank protection on either side, so 12 warband still decided they needed the glory and went full speed into 3 unsupported & 3 supported blade with an overlap as soon as turn 3. Not the best tactic maybe, but the only one I know.
They were broken by turn 6 having killed only 3 blade.
This used to be a great army - the warband used to just roll with it and roll over everything in their path? AAARRRGGGHH!!! As desperation takes hold I start to think how is it something so good just can't function no more?
However, in rather timely fashion my cavalry wing rolled up the other 2 commands as the spears occupied their attention frontally, and even as the warband fled the field they were heard singing "Yippee-ippee-ey-ey-ay-yey-yey, I had to crucify somebody today!" - even if they hadn't really done the business themselves ....
After living through 26 games at 400 or 350, and getting 25 decisive results,
won 17, lost 8, plus an 8-2
"draw" the dice loom large in your view of your results, and you're
seeing the world through cynical eyes. It's certainly been fun but after this
for the Carthos and me quite frankly I can't see much of a future - unless we
find out what's to blame for the losses! What a shame!
Right Here Right Now I need to Sit Down and decide that it is probably not that bad a point for Hannibal to retire on. Something different will be wheeled out from now one - Carthaginains are just too exciting !