Hot lead on Sunday 12th July was, as always, great fun!
Round 1 was against Andy Cummings' Welsh. I had 1000pts against his 1500 and was attacking and trying to 'despoil' an abbey! He deployed a character and his Teulu leader in the abbey as per the scenario. I decided that the only course of action was to get my Teulu into the abbey as fast as possible, killing both defenders in the process. Once in, I had to be 'unmolested' for 2 turns to score 500 bonus points. It was a very close game! Andy killed or panicked all my army except the Teulu, but I kept the abbey and enough of his troops were running or dead at the end to give me a small victory. I was pleased with that! A good start and Andy is a great guy to play against.
Round 2. I was assaulting a defended river with 1500pts of Welsh against Paul Rebel, a Dutch gamer with 1000pts of Kingdom of the Isles Vikings. Paul is a really nice guy and the game was ok, but his army was the nastiest I have ever played!! At 1000pts he had frenzied hirdmen + berserker (with about 46 attacks each!) a unit of bondi led by a f***ing Godi (!!!) So, sh*t troops become unbreakable...great!!! And a unit of Gestir, plus a unit of thralls. You can guess what happened. I didn't know about the Godi so got embroiled there, the Gestir ate the Teulu for breakfast, chasing them down and killing the Welsh Rex. The Hirdmen never even fought! I did manage to get 2 units over the (very difficult terrain) river and score points and I even slaughtered the Gestir with combrogi (!!!!!????? Paul's dice failed him on that combat!!) but I got thrashed!! By Paul's admission, his army was 'a bit cheesy' and I have to say that it was a tad out of place in such an event. Paul came joint first, which doesn't surprise me, as, if his force that hard at 1000pts, what would the full 1500pts have been like? Please note: I'm not critcising him. Everyone is entitled to take what army they like, but I did feel that I was 'out-armied' rather than 'outplayed' and the fact that I even got 2 units over says a lot!! So, despite a trouncing, I was rather pleased at the outcome of round 2 considering what I was facing!!!
Round 3: This was 1000pts of Welsh against 1500pts of Shieldwall Flanders in the 'Sacred Shrine' scenario I played in last year's Hot Lead. However, unlike last time, this time I got trashed!! The combination of charging heavy armored milites plus armoured infantry led by the dux slaughtered my shrine guardians to a man. My teulu managed to kill a unit of spearmen and panic the light horse, but it wasn't pretty. My opponent was another Dutchman called Frank. He was a great opponent too and it was very encouraging to fight an army of Normans that actually wasn't Normans - no ferocious charge - but they didn't need it anyway!!! Dead Welshmen everywhere!!!!
So, three games played: one minor win and 2 defeats...hmmm...last place beckoning again..
Round 4: 1500pts of Welsh against 1000pts of Almoravids. They were arrayed in 2 giant units of spear/bow in a camp, with 10 berber horse prowling outside. I had to get my army standard into the camp to gain 400pts, with each additional standard counting 100pts if inside. Sadly, the camp was fortified, so all my attacks would need 6s to hit!!!
This time my opponent was again a Dutchman called Kees. He was the nicest opponent of 4 very nice chaps (which says a lot actually, as all my opponents were really splendid chaps!) and it was one of the most tense but most enjoyable games I've ever played. It went to the last throw of the leadership dice in his last turn before my Teulu finally broke in. He had destroyed 2 of my units and the remainder were all down to around 25% of starting strength, having repeatedly charged and been beaten back from the barricades. His poor use of light cavalry was his undoing, though, as he foolishly left them open to a charge only 3 inches from the table edge - feigned flight from THAT one and stay on the table :-)
To be fair, Kees threw several outrageous successful break tests and I threw a succession of above-average lots of 6s to hit throughout the game and he was in some ways unlucky to see it all fall apart on the last turn. I was unlucky in that a few failed warband tests saw me having to charge his general's unit from the front when I was actually doing a far better job of fighting to its flank only... So overall it all balanced out and I ended up with a win.
So, 2 wins, 2 defeats. I ended up about 3/4 way down the league table, which is decent for me. And as we all know, these events are not about winning, but rather are about enjoying a good game and I certainly did that on Sunday.
No pics this time, as I was too busy gaming to take photos. Darrell won the 'fave army' award - he was tied for first place with me and Martin wisely awarded him the prize. I've already won that far too many times and anyway, Darrell's Byzantine army does look rather magnificent!!!
I'll be back for Cold Steel in January...which army shall I take? Is it time to move away from Age of Arthur and try something else? Maybe...we'll have to wait and see.....