Huge thanks to Martin for organising and running another excellent Alton DBA tournament. The finest entertainment possible!
Thanks also to Colin for most generously providing two beautifully painted armies as prizes. Much treasured by those lucky enough to win them. Much desired by those that do not.
Congratulations to Martin M for another competition win. Hope the mantelpiece is big enough for the trophy!
Excellent to see some new faces and old ones who had travelled some distance to participate. Both wonderful and terrifying to see Pete D again ( luckily did not play him ) back in Mercia where he belongs.
Some very close games all of which were tremendously enjoyable. Annoyingly everyone else seemed to have beautifully painted armies. I fear my painted figures from 1990 are looking a bit jaded in modern company.
Rather disturbingly my off table antics seem to be turning me into some kind of DBA comedy conjerour. Alarming dice rolls available on request. Not all need apply. I shall be imposing an exclusion zone around myself in future.
Thank you. Martin, you run an excellent event, it is good to see it so well attended. The spread of trophies and prizes is second to none. I had an excellent day and some luck of course, despite Mr Wilson's attempts to jinx my dice yet again!
I brought "Hastings": 4 Norman Knights, 2 Breton Cavalry, 3 milites and 3 Bow versus 3Huscarls and 9 Anglo-Danish Spears. Playtesting saw Harold's team the strong favourites. First up Claudius Gothicus, who chose the Anglo-Danes and deployed a vast waterway to narrow the field and little else of note. William personally inflicted most of the damage in the first of the day's six close games and Won the title of Conqueror.
My second game used Phil Steele's beautiful Marian-Gallic pairing. As ever, the camps were superbly inspiring. I chose the Gauls, even though they had many solid warband. The game was largely decided early on, when a 1 for PIPs at the crucial moment forced me To take a risky Cavalry move on my left flank, which succeeded. Whilst the outcome was always in doubt that move ultimately made the difference and victory for the Gauls.
Third, John Saunders, who also chose to be Harold. Again my plans were stymied by too few PIPs at the crucial moment and my Norman mounted crashed home with no obvious advantages. Fighting was nip and tuck, but probably helped by the Anglos having extended to protect both flanks leaving not much as a second wave to mop up any lone knights breaking through. William conquered again and Harold paid the ultimate price.
After lunch I played Neil's' Feudal English Civil War as the Royal faction. The early honours went to the Rebels, but then my outrageous fortune with the spotty cubey things, saw the Royals reverse the trend and push on home to victory.
The final Hastings re-enactor was Pete Duckworth, who chose to be William on account of slurs on William's parentage. I deployed a waterway, a hamlet on it and a boggy section with a road through it. The Bretons charged along the road and delayed the Spears from deploying to protect their right flank that was not covered by the waterway. Meanwhile the Bow advanced through the hamlet, whilst the milites using the bow as flank support charged the shieldwall. Slow going And eventually the score reached 3-3 with William exposed marauding behind the Anglo shield wall. An attempt to win the game against a loan spear unit saw him pushed back against Harold. The spear followed up and Harold piled in on the rear and William went down...a dramatic finish!
Finally Peter Phipps' Pair. I took the Spanish and unexpectedly won the terrain. I placed a tiny edifice in the centre and ended up with a large wood on my left. The Andalusian advanced their light fast troops towards the wood, meeting my Psiloi and the gap between wood and edifice filled with spear. Meanwhile my knights and Cavalry went around the edifice the long way. The Andalusian had left a pair of Light Horse cleverly in reserve to counter this. Much combat left no casualties, but when they came they came fast. 3-3, with 1 PIP as time was called. A Spanish Spear closed on an Andalusian knight that had recoiled into the edifice, but the spear only forced another recoil. A close run draw!
Thanks also to Colin for most generously providing two beautifully painted armies as prizes.
Slight correction needed here - the Nubians were Martin Smith’s work; I gave the Tahirids.
And very nicely painted the Tahirids were too.....Martin M commented, when I asked which prize he wanted as winner, that he couldn’t resist the option of choosing a ‘genuine O’Shea’ 😊. Who was it who coined that phrase? Denis G or Denis McM, or someone else?
Thanks again for all the work creating the army, and donating , Colin. It really IS appreciated 👍.
Photo’s on Yahoo will follow, once I return from the sandpit 🐪.
I played in the other half of the draw to diades, but had the same excellent experience of Martin’s outstanding organisation. I had brought 4 newly armies to blood - a pair for Christophori (Poles vs Teutons) while I chose the prettier pair and Bannockburn. Note to self: this is not tactically sound way of choosing armies.
In the first game I was playing English against a Paul Clair’s Scots. Open terrain exposed his flanks and allowed me to hit his Blade, Warband and Fast bow overlapped with knights (including Gen) in GG. So pluses and QKs to me. But with an overwhelming chance of victory my general preceded to bounce switching the overlap situation and then I got 6-1ed as my other knight fell on his sword. I had met with Paul’s Jedi like powers to control the chance cubes and preceded to roll no more than a 2 for combat in the next 4 turns. I went down to a 4-3 loss.
Next up was against Simon Wilson’s 10mm Ottomans vs my Wallacians. I won terrain wooded up the center with gaps for spear. My shooting took out a Cav early on then his shooting with a clever choice of target took out a bow. Spear and knights took out more Cav and a LH and Ps assault carried the field 4-3. A good game.
Last game before lunch was against Colin the Hittite’s English. I closed down the terrain to narrow the battlefield but with a hindsight lesson from Colin didn’t then use it well. This allowed his bow and Ps to control a wood to anchor his flank rather than me contesting it with my fast troops. Hoard supported by knights then rolled down a road hit my center. I think I got stuffed 4-1 and my 1 was consolation. No complaints - Colin taught me a few lessons!
Game 4 was Demetrius vs Ptolemy against Mark Skelton. Playing Ptolemy I won terain and put down a waterway, BUA and a marsh which all ended up on one side of the board. After recovering from the shock of realising he we were both Littoral I opted for a defensive landing while Mark was super offensive between me and my camp. This created a very interesting rule situation which will need more discussion. The on table ruling going my way I eventually wiped his landing force and killed an elephant to win 4-2. A fun game.
Game 5 against Richard Pulley’s English was played on fenland he weighted a flank with mounted. So I made a hinge and rushed it with pike and blade. I took out a Knight and Hoard and was flanking his knights and while my Warband bounced off bow. The game hung in the balance when my knights doubled his spear and won me the game. Then, just before the hand shake, Lyndon Paxton (watching) interjected to correctly point out that we had inadvertently used the wrong factors factors in an earlier combat so we rewound it all returning the score to 3-2. Richard then rolled a 6 for PIPs, hard flanked a pike block and it ended 4-3 to him. A tight game.
Final game was against Phil Steele’s good looking Gauls with some nicely painted Marian Romans. I took too much terrain for my army but then in the first 3 rounds rolled 18 for PIPs against Phil’s 4 which put my army in an ideal position. My blade did a job on the Gallic Warband and Cav slicing them up. It ended 4-1 to me.
Overall I ended in mid table with 3-0-3. I lost all battles with my own armies and won when playing with borrowed ones. However, 6 more games under my belt against good opponents, many friends made, lessons learned and useful tactics witnessed, many armies envied and only 4 dice thrown out the window (3 in the first game alone.)
Thanks Martin for a good tournament - most enjoyable.
losing with your own armies and winning with your opponent's is pretty much par for the course. I had a similar record for about four years on the trot. It a fiendishly difficult meta game to choose a "matched" pair which favours yourself.
...and I finally know how to win a tournament.....share a sartorial secret with the organizer!
Appropriate for a Hastings pair.....English Settlement!
In case anyone was wondering, that’s a reference to XTC t-shirts, which we both coincidentally wore:- two Martins, in two English Settlement* logo shirts, despite the fact that the group stopped touring in 1982......spooky.
*English Settlement, one of the Swindon demi-gods’ finest works 😎