In my first game I had just got into a favourable position and begun to launch an attack from a difficult hill when time was called. 40 – 45 minutes just isn’t enough time for me. However, I only had one other draw throughout the rest of the day. But two draws and two losses saw me out of the competition at the end of the group stage. Three group winners and the next highest scorer went through.
Games yesterday were slightly longer than in the PAWS afternoon-only tournaments; 45-50 minutes from when the last pair of players settled to start.
There were only 8 draws out of 40 group games, although one player drew all 5 of his games.
Congrats to Arnopov for winning both the Open, and consequently the SoA UK DBA League, all in one hit. 👍👍👍 Pics will follow...
Any chance there were some Elephants 🐘 involved 🤪
There were, at least for the group games, but they don't seem to have been overly effective. Arnaud did win his group but was the lowest scoring of the group winners and only won his group by half a game.
There were no elephants in any of the playoff armies.
A fine day of gaming in Portsmouth, with sixteen players attending, plus organiser/umpire Bill M. Bill split us into three groups by army year date. The BC group was six players, self contained. The two AD groups were 5 players each, so occasional cross over games between them kept some balance, and we all played five games at this group stage. The three group winners, plus ‘best of the rest’ went on to play semi’s and the final and third/fourth play-off. Bill provided medieval eastern European armies for the contestants to pick between for this part of the competition. In 4th place came Martin Myers, using Early Russian. In 3rd place was Peter Ellis, with Lithuanian and Samogitian. Finalists were- 2nd Lindon Paxton, using Teutonic Order, and in 1st place Arnaud M., with Early Polish. The final was very tightly fought, and nip and tuck all the way.
My choice for the group stage was Patrician Roman plus Early Ostrogothic (Herul) ally. This gave me an Equites (3Kn) general, 1 x Clibanarii (4Kn), 1 x Equites(Cv), 1 x Hunnic types (LH), 2 x Legionaries (4Bd), 1 x Auxilia Palatina (4Ax), and 2 x archers (1 x 4Bw, 1 x Ps). The allied Heruls supplied 2 x noble cavalry (3Kn), 1 x javelinmen (Ps) and a propensity for marine activities, and hence ‘littoral landing’ capability - always handy.
Game one saw Arnaud’s Classical Indians arrive in Eastern Rome. A coastal fort anchored my flank, and some enclosures and boggy ground broke up the field, making it less user-friendly to elephants and heavy chariots. The Heruls landed near the Indian flank, with the nobles launching an early assault on Indian chariots, while their javelinmen stung massed elephants into pursuit. Arnaud’s general was extremely inert for a while (1 for PIPs , three times in a row) so he was unable to counter effectively. The Equites and archers now attacked the exposed elephant column and struck lucky, with the front elephants recoiling into the rear ones, which included the Indian general. Chaos ensued, and also a fortunate Roman victory (3g-2).
Game two was an ‘out of group’ game, vs Richard Pulley’s Venetian Condottieri, knights, archers, crossbowmen and spearmen. We invaded on a flat coastal North Italian plain. At the last minute Richard realised the Heruls were avid sea-goers (ie ‘littoral’), and deployed to fend off any naval assault. The Heruls landed but were countered effectively, and elsewhere things didn’t go at all well for my Romans, with a decisive defeat (0-5g....ouch!!).
Game three, we defended vs Phil Barrington’s massed Tibetans, mostly cataphracts, with the worrying ability to dismount as spearmen. With a fort on my left and the sea, and associated rough terrain, to my right most of the action took place in the centre. Legionary archers took a significant toll on the cataphracts, while other psiloi ganged up on some enemy spearmen in the rough terrain, the see-saw mid-field melee leaving me with a win (4-1).
Game four, and we again defended, this time against SoA man Phil Steele’s Early Lombards - massed noble cavalry (5 x 3Kn), foot sloggers (4 x 4Wb) and archers (3 x 3Bw). A city formed my right flank, first time I’d used one in a tournament, and was garrisoned by legionaries (4Bd). The coastline was on the left, but in this game the allied Heruls landed in our rear left, rather than risk a drubbing from Phil’s inconveniently placed bowmen. A protracted struggle then ensued between my skirmishers and Phil’s archers through some fields near the beach, while the warbands and nobles closed on my centre. The Patrician general and some legionaries had some success, but around them the Lombard nobility did similar damage upon the Roman foot. We eventually ground to a halt at sunset (timed out), with a 4-4 draw. In retrospect, my archers could have manned the city walls to good effect, and would have been hard to defeat, if the Lombard bowmen had remained on Phil’s right. 20/20 hindsight...
Game five, last of the group stage, was against Maurikian Byzantines, led by SoA member Paul Clair. This was a mix of cavalry, spearmen, archers and artillery. I defended once more, but Paul’s deployment precluded a decent marine assault. The game was somewhat scrappy, with no-one risking much, and a somewhat inconclusive fight in mid table while my archers and cavalry forced back the Maurikian mounted facing them on the right. Just as my general and a Byzantine bow element clashed, with ‘instant death’ potential for both sides due to surrounding elements, we were timed out on a 3-3 draw.
A plate competition kept the non-finalists busy for the latter hours. I was rapidly knocked out by a nasty attack of the Tuaregs (Terry Ellis), with my rash general pursuing into a swarm of camels after running down Tuareg warband.
Plate finalists were Mark Skelton (Spring and Autumn Chinese, Wu), and Colin O’Shea (Celtiberians). A tightly matched game, the Spanish eventually nabbed a win by surrounding Chinese warbands with some caetrati. A good game to watch, with a coulle of excellent players demonstrating how it should be done 👍😊.
Firstly, thanks to Bill for efficient on the day and through the year organisation and to all of our sponsors, in particular the SoA.
Last Sunday was an excellent day out. I took the Later Achaemenid Persians and despite starting with a draw, was lucky enough to follow up with four wins to top the BC group. It didn't feel like it. The games were not easy. They were all nail-biters, I felt I had lost at some point in all of them.
I had first choice of the Mongol invasion armies for the finals, and had no idea what to choose. Having completed an analysis, they are prima facie well matched. The Teutons are slightly the strongest and the mongols the weakest. I chose Early Russian to control terrain, but managed to make my choice of elements the weakest army in the finals...
Semi-Final vs Arnaud's Early Polish was declared part way through to be the league decider. Another gripping game it was too... Having placed the terrain, I started with an array of knights trapped behind woods...My Light Horse made many a Sally from board side to board side, hoping at some point Arnaud would suffer a PIP drought I could exploit. He didn't! Early combat in the woods saw my two Psiloi both destroyed straight up. From 3-0 down I finally started getting my spears and knights engaged and pulled it back to 3-3 before Arnaud masterfully polished me off 5-3. The third fourth play off did not go so well. I advanced rapidly on Pete's Mounted Samogitians and promptly collapsed to a resounding 4-0 loss.
Congratulations to Arnaud on the double..,Open and League champ! Hope to see many of you at the Tarrington Tourney next weekend.