(includes the list we used...as it has been superseded and has gone forever!)
Mick, caught in Assyrian Chariot Headlights
Having arrived back from a week in Florida at 10am Friday morning, waking up at 7am on Saturday to go play toy soldiers in Colchester, probably against 4 Rolls Royce - style Sargo-syrrians wasn't exactly my idea of fun. Meeting Mick by accident in a McDonalds on the A12 was clearly a portent of some sort, but being unable to read the meaning into the entrails of a half-eaten Bacon & Egg McMuffin, I was unsure of exactly what it would foretell.
Game 1 - vs Paul & Steve's Sargonids
Surprisingly, our first game was against a 4 command Sargo-syrrian monster - commanded by the (no link intended) Steve & Paul combination. Given the Steve had wriggled out of a pasting in my last competitive game (well, arguably...!), something was bound to happen.....
We defended and checked out the usual 3 small brushy hills, one big one and a small wood - narrowing down the board so that the S-A cavalry couldn't take advantage of our rather outgunned chariotry and Numidians. The Sargo's appeared to be commanded by the little known ancient general Samhammann rather than Sargon himself, as it was "Route One" straight down the center of the board for the Kn(S) chariotry towards the rather nervous spear wall. To their right was a block of Sargonid Uber-Spearmen (different to ours in that they were (S), Supported, Well painted etc etc) facing off against the Gallic Nutters, to the Sargonid left was a wall of Cv(S), somewhat compromised by the need to avoid the rather obvious Ax(S) ambush on the left flank hill.
Over to our left the Carthaginian cavalry wing was sensibly deployed well out of the way behind a hill, chasing away a scattering of LH(F) who had come to pin them back where they wanted to be. On this side the main entertainment was to come from the Si(S), who started to enthusiastically chase a handful of Ps(O) all the way back to the baggage (and horde-wall) over the big hill....
In the center the Kn(S) hit, (the Greek Allies being 4 deep by this time, and hence fairly narrow in frontage terms) and bounced off the Sacred band, the Greeks and the CinC's Spearmen as well. Further to our left the Warband were also bouncing off the Uber-Spears (it was like ladies semi-final day at Wimbledon ... in a strange and undefined sort of way...). Eventually the tide started to turn our way, as the flanks of the Kn(S) block (a single rank of spearmen to the right, Cv(S)) to the left) started to weaken in the face of the inexorable Carthago spear wall. With no real reinforcements, Samhamman was forced to throw in Generals and Ax(O) to plug gaps as the Kn(S) and Sp(S) were gradually vaporized...
Over to the left the Ps(S) pinned the Ps(O) against the back of the table, and ably assisted by 2 Numidians who had snuck round to help, managed to start losing ... against Ps(O), against Hd(O), and eventually (but less embarrassingly) against some Cv(S) who had been drawn away from support duties to save the baggage (which probably would have been well able to live on its own had it ever been tested).
However with the Kn(S) lost, the Sargonid game plan was in tatters.... and eventually the islands of Sp(S) and (O) were enveloped, a few Cv were caught, and the game was over - 30-2
An identical deployment for us saw Cav Command, CinC (Sp+Wb), Greeks, and the Foot Sub (Sp(O)/Sp(S)/Ax(S)) commands line up against ... Knights, Bw(X), something else and some Bw(I). Fairly swiftly spotting where our favorable matchups were (oh, string winds hampered the bab shooting too....) it was game on. Fairly swiftly it looked even better, as the Bab chariotry insisted on pushing forwards straight past a large rough hill to our left, which was stuffed full of Ps & Ax hiding behind crests and in the rocks. Being able to enclose them on all sides, forcing dodgy pushbacks, the situation looked too good for me to believe... and so it proved, with poor dice meaning that the cavalry command was soon taking a real kicking!
However the Ax(S) got into the Bw(I), and the Wb fought 3 combats against the Bw(X) (who broke on 5.5) Game over, 30-2
Rather tediously, an identical deployment saw us facing a mixed Uber-Spear & Chariotry command (facing off a big hill fairly clearly covered with our auxilia), a Median supported Spear block with cavalry, a wall of Knights and a load of Auxilia.
Battle was joined fairly swiftly, when the Sargo psiloi went to investigate the hill, and were charged by 6 Ps(S) coming down into the open. In the center the LH delaying tactic backfired when we managed to flee a LH(F) through the middle of the supported spear block. On the right it was face-off time, as our Ax up the hill stared down a the sargonids below, and the Sargonid Kn(S) drank copious amounts of Red-Minotaur and Vodka in a bid to psyche themselves up for the largely unsupportable charge at the Sacred Band and Africans.
The Carthaginian cavalry command were being gradually fed across the hill to harass the flanks of the sargonids, prompting a large scale redeployment of the Uber-spears and Median cavalry. As the sundial ran down, battle had been joined across the table for a fair while, with the Medes in most trouble, losing 2 files to the gauls, and with cavalry under pressure across about half the table. In an attempt to tip the balance, Mick threw in the Ax(S), counting on one overlap across a frontage of about 6 or 7 to give us the edge. Bizarre dice later, and we finish 6-4 as winners...the medes live, the outflanked sargos live, but the Ax(S) command loses in the final round! (19-13).
erm, isn't it annoying when you turn up with one army list, and then find yourself playing against someone with the same list, but probably a better (and ballsier!!) combination....
Another Carthaginian army, this time with 2 Allies - absolutely hordes of Greeks in the center, a mixed (and interlaced) Wb/Sp command on their left, a Numidian ally (which I hadn't thought would have been allowed at all.....) between them, and a fairly lightweight LH & Ax command on the right.
It initially looked like a fairly good matchup, but good initial pips allowed 4 auxilia to re-deploy into the center of the Spear command - directly opposite our Wb. Equally good pips sent the entire Numidian command screaming across our front into virtually acres of open space on our right wing.
We wriggled like fishes on a big hook as the Numidians whirled like dervished, and our spearmen shuffled sideways like wounded crabs .....but it was never to be exploited fully, as we got our Wb into their central spears, piling over the Auxilia like they were spearmen, and then breaking through into the spearmen behind.
Mayhem ensued in the middle, as the Gauls caused mayhem, including a single FZOD with 4 tiers of knock-on's (nice!). The scene looked likely to be repeated on our right however in the near future, so the pressure was on.
the spears and Wb almost made it into
contact, at exactly the time my cavalry command had got round a
contested wood, and got themselves into range