Burton is the home of beer, however we attempted to change that by taking as much away as we could.
We had selected Khmer, on the basis of our astonishing result in Leeds last year where in a similarly themed "Book 4 datelines" competition we had ratcheted up a massive 118 BHGS points.
The army was tweaked slightly to be even more entertaining, and now contained 2 elephant mounted bolt shooters, because they are really funny. Its here
First Game vs Khitans:
Khitan list here
Well, in a stroke of originality, our plan was to slap down a couple of big woods, form a coherent line of alternating Elephants, Bd (F) and supported Ax (S) and advance against anything we had in front of us.
The Khitans gamely attempted a rather complex redeployment of their Kn (F) command to attack our left, but this exposed a block of Bw and Bd in the center. Despite fighting bravely and causing considerable damage to our left flank command, the army was not able to stand up to the losses sustained as our CinC and Burmese ally steamed into the Khitan pedestrians. With a couple of El (X) shots on the bowmen to boot, it was 10-0 and down the pub inside 2 hours (a theme to be repeated several times throughout the weekend as it turned out...)
Game 2 vs Hindu Indian
A game that revolved around a real, meaningful piece of terrain - just like the real thing - shurely some mistake here methinks???
The Indians had elected to put down an attackers gentle hill as their last option, and with many of our woods falling ineffectually, but cluttering our right, the aforementioned hill duly appeared front and center of the Hindu deployment zone. We guessed they'd try and rush up and fill if full of bows, so with few other options we teed ourselves up to try and take it back.
However the Hindu general tasked with taking the hill also had 2 elephants, and (crucially) 8 Irr Bf (F) (seen here facing our Burmese) to manage, and with a desperate initial couple of pip rolls soon we were fancying our chances of claiming the hill for the Glory of Greater Khymerria!
Again the El (X) played a significant part on our left, breaking up Bd (F) lines, who eventually lost formation, but became becalmed, as their impetuosity evaporated given a table where it was impossible not to contact elephants !
The Khmer center was doing a good job of occupying a hull down position behind the hill, when the second El (X) came into play.
Sneaking round behind the Burmese, it fired off a shot at the block of 3 elephants, nailing first one, then - after a cowboy-style duck and roll - the General (with a 6-1 to boot!), and finally the third of the bunch.
The El (X) had truly proved their worth - and even after surviving the loss of their general, the command was effectively hamstrung, and could do little to stop the Khmer advancing down from the hill into the hapless and helpless bowmen. 10-0 to the Khmer - and off early to the pub again !
Game 3 - vs Serbians
The Serbs decided to try and be clever in this game, eschewing the usual "charge like maniacs" they instead went for a "lets hope the flank march arrives after all the elephants have gone past but before the squishy stuff has also left the scene". And by golly gumbdrops it did just that - leaving some Auxilia marooned in no-mans-RGo with apalling pips (at one stage my command had had just 4 pips in 3 bounds, and was facing 2 Serbian commands who had rolled 35 in the same period!), whilst a desperate blade vs Blade & bowman battle went on (by the red dice in this picture).
Key moment of the game came when my two fast blades (wearing red) took on 2 Serbian axemen in front of their bowmen. The Serbs lost the initial combat on the left (where they had an advantage), and then the Khmer rolled up to kill the now isolated blade, causing panic to occur back through his own bowmen - a swift death later in my turn and we were on the flank of the formation, bringing the command to its knees.
A desperate struggle ensued as Mick attempted to recover from his hangover and open a childproof bottle of Ibuprofen all whilst also controlling my garishly painted day-glo troops on our right, but eventually we did just enough - hanging on against the flank march and running down whatever we could catch in the center. Another 10-0 to the Khmer!!
Game 4 - vs Sicilians
The Sicilians had decided that attack was the best form of defence, and on a billiard table bordered by a lake (now, you dot see that all that often, do you? Certainly might liven up snooker on TV if they brought that little innovation into it eh?) attacked in the center and also on the weaker Khmer flank with some redeployed regular knights
Again a fairly desperate struggle ensued, resulting in our CinC's command just falling at the last hurdle, and our flank command surviving a few dicey moments as well. 8-2 to the Khmer allowing us to snatch 2nd place (ie instead of 1st) courtesy of the "losses in the last bound" tie-breaker system, with Steve Charlton + 1 running out winners with a 10-0 in the last game bringing them up to 38 as well.