Tim at the Nationals 2000
Game 1 - Friday Night - Some horrible Cm(S), Wb(F) & Cv (S) army (Christian Nubians - ed) The time at which this battle took place was perhaps the key element in it's outcome. This is not to say that "time of day" rules played a big part, but that I had been in the bar for about hours by the time it started, and so was well tanked up by then. The terrain was not ideal either, with my compulsory wood sat right in the middle of the table (green bit) and 3 gentle hills (yellow)
Me, well tanked up at the Nationals... My Left flank ended up being the decisive area of the game, with the Allied Crim Tartar's Cv (S)/(O) and LH (S)/(F) plus the CinC's LH (O) plus 4 Kn facing off against the Camel Corps - who nearly - but not quite! - filled the gap between the wood and the edge of the board.
At this point General Lager took command, and one of the CinC's LH (O) decided it would be a great idea to split the camels up by charging one right in the center of the line - in front of the Arab General - giving the Crim Cv time to wheel to the side of the table and bear down on the LH extending the Arab flank. The CinC's Knights (by the hill) do a little wheel, just to get ready to break up the Arab advance. Of course, the LH(O) managed a draw - despite being 4-0 down, and end up stuck there! Nightmare dice followed for the Arabs, and the camels took off in all directions at my army - suddenly the Crims find themselves at risk of being flanked by Cm(S), and the Teutons & Poles are forced into action as well. Cm(S) hit the angled Knight line, and whilst they are at risk of being pushed back into the LH vs. Cm combat behind - SURELY he can't survive again double overlapped???? He Does! The Kn get a pushback, and it's camelburgers on sticks all over the shop!!! "You're going home as a vacuum- packed ready meal in a Lithuanian Shopping Trolley"
The Crims are encouraged by this, and despite their poor pip dice, decide to go for some flank action on the Camels as well - "so what if we can't recoil either, its only a game". They win, and the Camel Command is racked and stacked. In the meantime the Warband have lost control, and gone for a nature ramble through the woods. On my right, they are steaming up the hill, and I decide it's probably a great idea to dismount my Cv (O) and shoot at them. Well, Wb (F) die in droves to Bw, we all know that, eh?
Two turns later, when my Cv haven't had the pips to remount and pull out, and are being battered back over the brow of the hill by hordes of screaming Arab foot…..I start to sober up and realize that I have been playing like a total maniac. Luckily there are some Auxiliary lurking around to help the bowmen out, and they wade in to the Warband and turn a few flanks. On the left, the rest of the Arab Warband had decided it was far more sensible to rush through the other side of the wood and take on the Teutons…. In the open…..erm, nah. Game over , 10-0! Time for another well deserved pint!
Game 2 - Saturday Morning
Later Hungarians We all know Later Hungarians, right? A few dead good knights, some highly expensive foot, maybe a few War Wagons, and bucket-loads LH(F)? I'll avoid the foot, ride the LH(F) down and then chip the rest away - no problemo, they cant catch me....right? Erm, guess again! The Good Burghers of Niall's particular Hungarian Province prove to be almost as "Light-Horsed Up" as me! 4 Commands, - all with just a couple of Knights in each. Ho Humm. Having had an incredibly hard fought game in Roll Call against Niall, things looked interesting to say the least! The terrain was almost a copy of the previous game, with a central wood - not ideal either! Woods - (green bit) and 3 gentle hills (yellow) At the off, I am still thinking there will be lots of Knights for me to play with, but as deployment starts to happen, it all becomes clear. As we always like to say... "Its a game of skill" LH vs. LH all across the board - the Hungarians start playing "can I get my (S) into your (O)?", whereas I am equally enthusiastic about "Can I get my (9 in total) Cv into his LH", and "can I get my LH (S) into his LH (F)". In the center it is a face-off - the wood is crawling with Ps (S), and my Auxilia (O) aren't exactly enthused with the idea of moving up the evolutionary ladder from "padding" to "potential game winners"...or "game losers" more likely! I deploy L to R with Crim Tatars, CinC (The Knight command), with its Ax facing off against the wood, the nurdler and then the Cv (O)/LH (S) command. facing me is Lh (S), LH (O), more Ps (S) than I have ever seen making a bee-line for the wood, and then 2 more LH (S)/(O)/(F) commands. Its nip and tuck all across the line - at basically 2-2 everywhere, any overlap could be vital, and it often is - as soon ay you are 0-2 down, the 6-1's are guaranteed to come out of the bag and turn the tide, and a more than a few happened! The poor dice must have been worn out, with about 4' of combats in play.
Traditional "game of skill" highlights included my Cv (O) beating back a Hungarian general on the right and my entire Crim Tatar command taking about 2 weeks to align themselves perfectly to steam down the hill on my left into a line of LH (S) & (F) - and then not winning a single combat when they got there! View from a Regular Kn (O)'s General's rear view mirror The tension is getting to both of us - first to crack is the small Hungarian command on the far right - those Cv (O) are really deadly! Then my CinC goes down - the Kn prove to be the weak link - falling over vs. LH (O). The Tatars are starting to make some headway - but they have no safe right flank - and the hole on the left isn't quite big enough to exploit, as the Hungarian general teams up with the remaining Knights and holds up the Cv (O) command. Every element is vital - I am even forced to risk LH to pick off single Psiloi as they occasionally fall out of the edges of the wood.
My CinC's Command Eventually, another Hungarian Command goes! The game is over - 8-2 to the Lithuanians...and I have lost 30.5EE - -break point of 31.5...what a corker!!!