Themed tournament, with a Ottoman Wars theme. I took Lusignian Cypriot as I didn't want to take Ottomans, Serbs or Hungarians, and I wanted to use some new ships I had got from Peter Pig, some Catalan Almughavars from a Alain Toullier, and also try out loads of bowmen as a tactic myself. No-one else took it...
After getting to Milano and losing a practice game to Lorenzo I ended up drinking far too much on Friday night (erm, 2am, pears pickled in ethanol, think I got a taxi, Steve had a tac-chunder in the restaurant). This late night alcohol frenzy was a feature of the weekend, and so apologies for the sketchy descriptions of the matches....
I was facing Wallachian in the morning.
|BwI||14||Irr Bd O||4||LhS||10|
With me attacking I deployed lots of steep hills to neutralize the Wallachian LH, and the terrain fell to create a corridor down the center between steep hills. Then the rain came down for a few bounds, and also a strong wind blew from directly behind me (no, not the pears in ethanol). With a Bw(O) & Sp vs Bw (I) matchup, sometimes in the rain, it was eventually all over 10-0 to the Cypriots as virtually all three Wallachian commands were beaten - but their shooting had done significant damage to me as well. I had won my first ever (of 3) game with them !!
Next I played Arnaud with the Mameluks
|HdO||4||CvS Gen||1||CvS Gen||1|
Very difficult matchup here for the Mamluks, with nothing really capable of denting my army. I won 8-2, which must have meant I killed the CinC's command, and I seem to remember my knights doing well. I'm pretty sure I was just a few elements off the whole army when it finished.....
The I played Paolo with Ottoman
|CvS Gen||1||CvS Gen||1||CvS Gen||1|
This was likely to be my toughest game of the competition, against the favorite to win the whole thing. Unfortunately by this time my brain had almost totally seized up through exhaustion and I had lost the will to do anything other than sleep. However I did get to defend, allowing the WW to be deployed, plus hopefully enough other crappy terrain to force the Ottomans into a crapshoot against my line. But, every piece of terrain fell in my side of the table, in one flank sector which also contained the WW - except for one rough hill which landed in Paolo's forward central sector, hardly helping me at all.
Left with a largely open table, I opted for my most mobile Knight command on the open flank, with the bowmen in the middle and the spears on the waters edge. This allowed Paolo to gang up all his Cv against my Kn (who put up a brave fight) and to get his Janissaries to shoot up my Bw (O) - which the duly did to great effect. Right at the death I was still in with a chance of killing one, or possibly even 2 commands, but it would have needed a rather outlandish combination of luck to pull it off. In the end I came close, but no cigar, and no points... 0-10
After a night of wanton sausage eating and Heineken at the rather unlikely sounding Napoleonic Wars themed pub "La Belle Alliance", it was Serbs
|Hdf||10||PsO||1||LhI||2||Irr Sp O||8|
|AxO||6||Gen Bos Ln||1||LhO||7||Hd O||4|
|KnS||6||BwI||8||LhO Alb Gen||1||AxO||2|
This seemed the most frightening and possibly best put together army I faced - in the UK the two allied (are Bosnians allies?) generals would not be usual, but as it was I was actually outflanked.... by the Bosnians, who started in ambush behind a hill (the Albanians tried a similar trick on the other flank, but could not get an effective number of LH past my Catalans, who were acting as Catalan Alpini rather than Almughavars).
In a game played mostly in my bad French ("le bibliotheque du Strategy Serbi est une maison plus petit, n'est pas?") My plan again involved maximum steep hills, which created 2 Serb-sized corridors on the table. I filled one with bowmen, and one with spears and waited. There was intermittent rain, but it abated and the battle raged. The long and the short of it was that my mass of bowmen did rather better than my mixed spear and bow command, who also had to contend with being shot at from the rear by Bosnians. Frantically redeployed LH & Ps managed to ambush the Bosnians, but my CinC's spear command was unable to hold against the Kn onslaught and went down. By the end of the game both Serb commands were within 1 element of breaking, but I couldn't quite get either, and lost 7-3.
Finally I played an Ungario Tardo army (the Italian version is far better than "Later Hungarian" - although not as good as the translation of Golden Horde: "Ordo del Oro" - or the "Sarf London Mongols to you, Chief"):
3 Ps O
5 Ps (S)
2 Bd (O)
1 Kn (S) General
2 Kn (S)
6 Sp (O)
2 Lh (F)
LH (S) Szeckler General
5 LH (S)
4 Bw (I)
3 LH (O)
Kn (I) General
1 Kn (I) Front Rank
2 Kn (I) Rear rank
6 LH (F)
1 Ps (O)
2 Bw (I)
4 Kn (S)
1 Kn (S) Serbi Ally General
2 Lh (O)
1 Ps (O)
The Ungaro's put down a river, forgetting I had a WW, and so the game was played on a 2' strip of table. The Ungaro foot command deployed in one rank of supported Sp and Bd and charged my bow command by the river edge, whilst the Serbs made a bee line for my spears in the center, and my knights tried not to get involved with the LH command by the WW.
This time the shooting of the mass bow block again proved decisive, holding back the foot charge sufficiently to allow some of their colleagues to get over the tricky river to harass the rear of the Unargo pedestrians, although they were ably supported by the blades and the end of the spear line. As the Ungaro foot command broke, my spears were thoroughly shaken by the Serb charge, and the Serb general went through 4 rounds of opponents as spears, psiloi, and even horde were thrown at him in an attempt to stop his charge.
Meanwhile the Kn were frittering themselves away to delay the DBE advance, and with all three of my commands looking shaky, finally the Serb general broke through my entire army to find himself facing 8 Bw (I), who promptly dispatched him in a hail of arrows to win the game 10-0.