"It's A More Boring Army than The Rus" Shocker!!!!
Paparazzi journalists descended on two locations in North and South London this Monday morning amid reports that the Boy's Owens & Porter had taken a mainstream sensible army list to the recent Oxford Doubles competition. In a statement made earlier today a lawyer representing the pair denied any such attack of so-called "purplejacketitis" had in fact taken place. "Its simply not true" said the spokesman - however the rest of his statement was drowned out by furious cries of "Patricians, Patricians, Patricians" from a small crowd of demonstrators who had gathered early on Sunday evening. Reports filtering out from the games hall indicate however that there may be a degree of truth in both sides of the story.
Right from the off on Saturday Morning, Thane "Tang-meister" Maxwell and his partner Chris "Thane, you let me design the army list, so if you don't like it, put up and shut up!" Barras had been literally rolling in the aisles as hordes of Wb (S) and then - amazingly - Irr Kn (F) had emerged from the stygian depths of the Owens/Porter tin box to land unceremoniously on the table. When they were followed by an (O) artilleryman and - gasp - only 7 Auxilia (S) with - gasp again - only 6 supporting Psiloi their merriment was complete.
(Comment from the T'ang-meister himself..."Just for the record, it's Chris 'You designed this bloody army, so you can have the undersized spear commands' Barrass...")
The Tang game plan was simple - rush forwards at huge speed and shove the mounted Sp(O) right down the throats of the Foederati Irr Kn(F). The Patty plan was equally simple - rush forwards at huge speed and shove the Foederati Kn(F) right down the throats of the mounted Sp(O) (Shurely shomeone hash made a mishtake..?)
So, over on the right, whilst this debacle of skill and cunning was occurring, a dozen LH, 2 Reg Kn (F) and 2 Cavalry (O) are facing up against a screaming horde of mounted asiatic barbarians - (thanks Mick - maybe I'll do our deployment map next time??).
On the left Chris's plan was effective...but unfortunately for Chris, ours was even more effective - the first spear block to arrive at the crime scene found itself a road traffic statistic - 8 Chinese Speed bumps (with rice) were served up to the Kn(F) - a command to us (6-4!).
On the right my plan was proving ineffective also - however crossing ones fingers is not ever that good against more Cv(S) than you could balance on a wargamers beergut, so no great surprise there really. First the Alans went down (5-5) and then the mixed bag command - (4-6) all whilst we were chewing ever larger holes into the other spear command on our left, which had gone into full scale reverse mode as they became bedazzled by the all-too-rapidly approaching headlights of the Uber-Warband block.
With the game finely balanced as a contest of finesse, skill and tactical ability, we decided the tactically ideal next move was to do something outrageous and pray to the gods of luck. A demoralized LH(O) from the mixed bag threw itself into a Cv (O) who had pushed forwards into overlap extending the Tang line towards the center, whilst a LH from the Kn Command flanked it. Behind more suicidal and demoralized Alans turned a couple more elements - the dice rolled, we won, a floating ZOD took out 3 more Tang cavalry, and with them the command! The game was ours 8-2
After this tremendously fortuitous draw, we were paired up against another couple of duffers in the afternoon session - Eric and Kevin!!!!! Thankfully Eric remembered that he owed me ₤30 from Burton, and in a (vain) attempt to persuade me that he was criminally insane, so I should let him off, managed to screw up his deployment in a way in which only Dave "pants" Everett could hope to emulate. Just for the record, can you spot where on this map you would choose to deploy a Kn (X) & LH (S) Command? Clue - all the hills are rough or difficult....choose position a, b or c.
Well, with a significant chunk of the Zenobian army neutralized, we were all set for a draw - and that's what we got - 5-5. The highlight of the game was when a LH(F) got caught frontally by the Warband block, plus two overlaps, plus a LH in the rear - a total of 5 vs -1, with us superior and them being fast. We won that one...
Best match up of the weekend was Sunday morning - after a pleasant evening spend in a country hostelry, we faced off against Dave and Linda Fairhurst - again with Zenobia's legions (but with Dave in command of Zenobia - not exactly sure what that implies about him, but its worth thinking about anyway!). The terrain fell fairly well for them to defend, and defend they did - a line of Kn(X) stretched about 10 elements wide between two hills, and a huge Bw/Bw/Bd/Ps block sat on the right , soaking up army points like a new tie soaks up curry stains.
We promptly stuffed every Kn(F) we had, all the Wb, all the blades, the kitchen sink and a small pile of Scottish per decimal coins found down the back of the sofa one wet Wednesday evening into this tempting target. Mick's Kn (F) hit first in a blaze of glory, bravado .....and almost total ineffectiveness. I them decided enough was enough, and shoved in the Warband plus a couple of regular Kn (F) - a 6 EE wide frontage that almost instantly (well, 6 dice rolls later) translated into a 24cm empty gap, the Fairhurstmeisters army....and gameplan! Just to set off this attractive feature, it also contained at it's center a Zenobian-shaped dent in the desert sands. Game over (bar the mopping up) 10-0.
Afternoon saw us against Briggs and Robinson - with a sensible Patrician army with an Ostrogoth ally. The game plan went all pear shaped early on, with their huge line of Knights facing our rather smaller line of Knights - plus assorted LH(S), (O) & (F). However the pear-shape proved to be a somewhat bitter analogy, as the sweet taste of success was in the mouths of our LH, as the Ostrogoths and Romans were butchered like dogs by the Alans and their mates whilst my 2 unattended Reg Kn (F) went over their auxilia line. With the Foederati in full stream towards anything that was still moving, the Reigatian Roman general managed to knock down a command before it all finally caved in - 9-1 - the sort of game where you are glad you are using the same dice, otherwise people would think yours were crooked!!!