Five fun but challenging games at the PAWS tournament yesterday, attended by a dozen players (including seven SoA members, I think), plus organiser Bill. From the Late Crusades 1201-1300 AD theme there were 3 x Lusignan Cypriot, maybe 4 x Later Crusaders, 1 x Nikaian Byzantines, 3 x Komnenan Byzantines, and 1 x Knights of St John. No ‘eastern’ / Saracen forces chosen (possibly because most players had knightly types available to use). My army was Lusignan Cypriot, with 2 x knights, 1 x Turcopoles, 4 x solid crossbows, 2 x fast bows, a couple of spearmen elements and an arriere-ban horde. Games I played were:-
1. v Peter Phipps, who brought Nikaians. Defending, I was on the open side of the board while Peter’s army was jammed between a coastal steep hill and the inland board edge. A head to head clash ensued, which was closely contested but went the Cypriots way, though the Lusignan leader died charging Byzantine bowmen near the end of the game. (4-2g win)
2. Invaded now, against the Knights of St John, led by Neil Alexander. Lots of woods on the board, again channelling most of the fighting into a defile, though the large number of enemy psiloi had a nice leafy playground to scamper around in. A fun littoral landing caused a bit of chaos for a while in the enemy rear, but was then squished. Bit of a slow game due to the terrain, ending in a 3-3 draw.
3. Komnenan Byzantines, Knight Kavallarioi, Skythikon light horse, tight packed archers and a Varangian detachment, all led by Lindon Paxton, for game three, in which I defended. A small steep hill near the coast was occupied by my bowmen, who disembarked nearby, leaving the arriere-ban horde to move against the nearby enemy foot... until mown down by Byzantine archers. However, Lindon’s advance threatened my bows, and they moved inland to face the Byzantine heavy horse. The Komnenans charged in but had little luck, as the bows proved resilient. Meantime, a counterstrike against the Varangians by the Lusignan knights saw the northmen run down, ending the game on a 4 to 1+Hd Lusignan win.
4. Now a Cypriot civil war, against Society LVP Matt Bennett, who had called in Mamluk allies- cavalry and artillery. My littoral landing saw the arriere-ban horde launch into the flank of the Mamluk artillery and overrun them....a lucky move. The accompanying bowmen created a bit of carnage with the Mamluk horsemen in the enemy rear, but not enough to secure a win, as we were timed out on a 3 to 2+Hd winning draw.
5. Finally another Lusignan civil war, this time against Phil Barrington, a recent joiner to the Society of Ancients. The arriere-ban had a bit of fun against enemy crossbowmen, but then pursued into enemy knights and were destroyed. Clashes all along the line, on a coastal plain between the shoreline and an inland village, combined with some deadly massed archery, saw things go well for my bunch, resulting in a 5 to 1+Hd win.
A well run tournament, and a lucky run for my Lusignans (three wins, two draws), including four SoA Championship games.
Do we have the final standings from Saturday Bill?
Not yet. I don't know when Lindon and Paul plan to play the final.
I'll total up the 'also ran' scores at the weekend though.
Great stuff......Bill, while you’re number-crunchin’, any chance of collating those Society of Ancients games from Saturday? I think I played four, all of which are valid (ie not played the opponent twice already).
Finalists top seed - Lindon Paxton (Komnenan Byzantine) second seed - Paul Clair (Later Crusader with Syrian allies)
Others 3rd Martin Smith (Lusignan Cypriot) 4th Phil Barrington (Lusignan Cypriot) 5th John Saunders (Komnenan Byzantine) 6th Peter Ellis (Later Crusader) 7th Andrew Wilkinson (Later Crusader) 8th Mark Skelton (Komnenan Byzantine) 9th Peter Phipps (Nikaian Byzantine) 10th Paddy Green (Later Crusader) 11th Matthew Bennett (Lusignan Cypriot with Mameluk allies) 12th Neil Alexander (Knights of St John)