With a relatively narrow table, I faced the unholy alliance of Jesus and his Late Roman Army. I had been tipped off that he was a relatively defensive player, meaning this game would require a "come to Jesus" approach. Luckily I had brought along a Late Carthaginian army - the ideal combination of being vaguely competent, which had historically invaded Spain, and which would not need me to use any clever maneuvers that would be hard to explain in a language where my main abilities are concentrated around ordering beer, cheese and ham.
As is usual when playing abroad, the army was an unusual composition.
I decided, as was the tradition with the Carthaginians, to attack like a looney. This mirrored their approach in all previous games, and caught Jesus by surprise, as he had expected me to nurdle around and play tricky light horse games like the dastardly foreign dog that I was.
The Roman light horse screen thus suddenly found itself in trouble, as a tide of unwashed warband descended on it, pinning it between the two battle lines. Likewise the Roman Kn (X) found elephants rammed down their gullets, and fought several rounds of desperate combat as they tried to deploy, and then to stand their ground in front of the legions.
With the middle of the game looking positive, but balanced I decided it was time for a light horse lottery on the right, as my 7 LH (O) from my 18.5 strong command took on the Arabs with their Lh (I) and (O). However Jesus' Arabs proved the better as I went down 3-0 in the first round, leaving Hannibal looking somewhat foolish!
In the middle the Kn (X) were continuing to defy all expectations, and were slowly chipping away at my warband - eventually the elephants and warband broke through, but they themselves were now also on the brink of being beaten without having fatally damaged the Romans.
This meant attention shifted to the left of the table - where my other warband command was committed to the fray against auxilia and bowmen, whilst trying to catch light horse as well.
The general melee ensued, as by now I had all but delegated all responsibility for winning the game to my impetuous fast warband. Roman flanks were opening up, but the boys in red were holding firm.
Everyone was being sucked into the fray - even a Roman general joined in against Carthaginian auxilia, as the CinC was also in combat against warband.
The situation had gotten so desperate that even Carthaginian Light Horse (O) generals were in the front lines.....what could possibly go wrong with such brave leaders in the vanguard ?
Finally, the game finished, as both Carthagian warband commands finally expired. The Romans having taken a battering and having lost one command, but remaining unbowed had recorded a 9-1 win. Hail Jesus !
Post Match Summary
The Carthaginians had been bold - probably far too bold - in initiating the light horse lottery at the beginning of the game, and suffered when the dice didn't break their way. That trend repeated itself throughout the game, as the Romans escaped from several very hairy situations across the table, and then gradually ground their way through the brittle warband to gain the upper hand. After the LHL had failed, I had then bet the ranch on making a breakthrough against the Kn (X), who's early demise would have killed a Roman general and opened up a large hole in the middle of the Roman army. Again, the attack failed, as they Kn (X) stood up against the elephants and warband. As time ran out, I was forced into a battle on my left with LH against Wb which I really didn't fancy - and again the brittleness of the warband caused me to struggle without a decisive breakthrough to start with.
So, anyway, plenty of time to watch the news on TV in a handy bar.