|You've Gotta Roll With It...|
vs MEDIEVAL GERMANS
Flying in the face of fashion
dateline Roll Call, T-2weeks and counting
"Lets go up on Friday night - with an early start on Saturday, it'll be lots better - we can get there late, as it's not worth leaving London until after 7ish, so we'll have time for a couple of pints and then maybe sneak in a Curry, and be raring to go Saturday morning"
dateline Roll Call, 8:30 Saturday morning
"Gawd I feel rough - just how many pubs did we get to before we had that Curry? And why was I drinking Stella instead of cooking lager? Can you remember what time the hotel bar actually shut...? Now, what exactly is in this army, and what should I be doing with it?"
dateline Roll Call, 9:30 Saturday morning
"Glad I got up early to get here for 8:30, so I was in time for the draw that's just been posted!" *
"So, medieval Germans eh? No point in looking at the list, lets just see what they are.....OK, a load of auxilia on the left, they'll probably take that wood over there on the flank then, a ruck of Kn (I) double based (ouch...?) an ally with some (O) knights in the center (lets hope they don't get too many pips or they will be on the hill in the central sector before me), next is a couple of guns and over on the far right a line of better knights, extended by 6 LH"
dateline Roll Call, 9:50 Saturday morning
"tell you what, lets get my Knights on the hill first, skirmish on the left to stop the auxilia breaking out, skirmish against the Kn (I), and charge the LH on my right... they'll almost be enough to take the command down alone!"
dateline Roll Call, 10:20 Saturday morning
"Those bloody allied knights have been maneuvering all game with a row of 5's and 6's - they must be due some bad luck, and they are almost at the foot of the hill - lets lob an expendable LH(O) into the General and pull him out of line - it'll be a larf, and it might cause some trouble"
dateline Roll Call, 10:22 Saturday morning
"Oh - I lost - surprise!"
dateline Roll Call, 10:24 Saturday morning
"Oh, they have rolled a 1...a nightmare for the Germans!"
dateline Roll Call, 10:29 Saturday morning
"Oh, the general is all alone .... and in reach of my block of Knights - CHARGE!!!!!"
dateline Roll Call, 10:36 Saturday morning
"Oh, he has rolled another 1....please remove from play immediately!"
dateline Roll Call, 10:40 Saturday morning
"Oh, the command has rolled a 1...remove them all immediately from play please"
And with a huge unfillable hole opening up before my Teutonic and Polish knights in the middle of the German line, and with my Cavalry and LH (S) chewing up the right flank, the game was all but over.... 10-0
Arriving in the nick of time for the afternoon game, I find myself facing up against Bruce "call me Bruce" Bruce, and a wall of LH (S) across the table. Well, to be precise, across about 2/3 of the table. To be more precise, across the 2/3 of the table that my main Cv & LH (S) command isn't deployed on. Fortunately my bizzare combination of (O) troops seemed to have fazed the Leicestershire lad ("It cant be that crap, there must be a trick?") and he advanced cautiously whilst dispatching a handful of LH to delay the arrival of the LH-chewing-up-command. Desperately short of sensible options, I piled on the pressure on the left, where my Tartar allied Cv(S) and (O) gave me a real edge against the LH(S) and 3 Kn(O) command facing them.
In a moment more reminiscent of a Saturday night OAP's linedancing outing than a blood and thunder clash of medieval empires, the elements of both armies shuffled sideways across the table to get to the edge first - and I won! As Cv(S) faced off Kn(O), a column of cavalry piled into the LH extending the Hungarian line, and started to gouge a horrible hole alongside the Hungarian general, whilst towards the center the battle line was edged by a LH (F) creating an overlap. With the middle getting messy, Bruce made the decision he was later to regret - the Hungarian ally, a Cv(O) general, piled in - and stuck like glue. Ooops!
The LH (F) pulled out to be replaced by an (O), and the general was sucked deeper into the maelstrom - flank supports melting away on both sides. In a move with all the grim inevitability of the way a Saturday night Chinese follows a Friday night Curry, he was flanked, he rolled low, he died, his command rolled low, and they too melted away...much to the relief of my knights, who were thinking better of the concept of taking on LH(S) frontally.
As the game got more and more messy, Bruce was left with effectively 2 operational commands - one of which had a general in combat (and soon to be dead, as he pushed his way through the Lithuanian lines, attached all the time to a Cv(S) to his front), and the other who had a defacto compulsory 2 pip move each turn to keep the skirmish screen out of danger. With all hands to the pump, the Hungarians were in fully defensive maneuvering mode. With time running out, a particularly poor pip round left their now general-less right flank teetering on the bring, needing as it did over 47 pips to survive, and so when they rolled a 3 (oh, the general is now dead as well...), it was a case of Goodnight Budapest! 10-0
A game of two halves, Brian - however both of them were the same. The Lancastrian's dug in, defending one flank with a bit of rough and an orchard, and the other with Bw(S) , (oh - the first flank was defended with Bw(S) as well, but in terrain...). I spent 2 & 1/2 hours simulating the Blue Danube sequence from Stanley Kubrik's "2001, A Space Odyssey" as columns of LH, Cv, Kn, and even Auxilia - and dismounted Bw - maneuvering my army into the best possible attacking position & formation I could imagine, and then spent 15 minutes waiting to roll enough pips with the CinC's command to execute the plan. I didn't roll the requisite 5, so with what I thought was time running out I chucked a handful of LH(S) into the end of a Bw line to see what would happen.
I gave up
We agreed a draw.
I found out later it was a 3.5 hour game, so I might have had a chance... but I was also kinda glad I didn't....
(commentary from Steve in RED)
So, all tied at the top of the table, me in 3rd, with only 2 points separating me and Simon Hall (with a Lancastrian sandwiched between us). I find myself fighting Steve "call me Steve" Steve, with another Hungarian, as beside me Simon pours endless streams of Auxilia (S) down a hill into the Lancastrian lines.
Clearly I'm hoping for a
repeat of game 2, and it all starts fairly well. "Bloody
hell they have twice as many troops as I have". A big hill in the
middle of the table proves an irresistible magnet for the
Hungarian Knights to sit on top of, leaving a swathe of LH(S) away to my
right, stretching into the distance where they peter out into a ragged
edge of LH(F) "Jesus there is a lot of
those Lithuanians and the Golden Horde well that
Over on the left it's an almost similar picture - the Tartars wade into another line of LH(S), leaving a flank hanging that the Hungarians can only save by bringing their General down from the hill to shore up. The lines crash, "Now if I can just roll this dice high I might have a chance of survival" the dice roll, my 2 deep Cv are recoiled (erm, lets run that by me again), my 2 deep Cv are recoiled (I thought you said that!) and I lose 2 LH(S)....doh! Advantage turns to stress, as I am shoring up a command with a B/P of only 5....that is engaged along the line....
The right is going well, but too slowly - the Cv blow away their opponents too quickly, and can't take advantage - we are back to a 2-2 lottery situation on far too much of the board...
Eventually the right cracks, but I am ragged - and have left gaps. Steve throws LH into most of them, and a repeat of Leeds flashes before my eyes....
......but this time the dice are kinder, and we live! "Doh - all those expensive regular generals and I still roll two 1s and a 2". (there is a strange smell of curry in the air for about 15 minutes, but that's a totally unrelated co-incidence). The right collapses, and I pour forwards as LH pour backwards...
The Kn general is tempted off the hill and into a Cv (S) - he pushes them forwards into the danger zone - I throw in the flanks, but he also survives! (Something tells me Steve had a Chinese on Saturday...just don't ask me how I know..).
With time running out we move into the end-game. One Hungarian command is down, the Tartars are on the brink, the general is engaged , they think... "its all over" ... I need 2.5 elements to win the game, so with no other options the tartar general throws himself into one last attack on the left as I attack everything I can across the table ..... which is basically 3.5 elements. I get one, but the Tartars need 2 things to happen to allow them to survive Steve's last go - outrageous luck in combat, and a pip score of about -3 from all the 3 Hungarian commands.
Steve gets enough, and it is back to 5-5. There is one combat left - if my Knights can push a Hungarian tin can up the hill, he recoils into an engaged Psiloi and both will die. The odds are long. in fact to be more accurate, the odds are far too long, and it doesn't happen and the clock runs down to zero. 5-5 it closes, I've lost 33% to Steve's 48%, giving me an extra point.
Its a 4 way tie for 2nd place... but my better %age kill/loss ration pulls me through! I'm 2nd - placed at Roll Call for the first time ever!
(* Sorry Dave!)