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Wednesday 15 July 2009

Hot Lead

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.....

Wednesday 1 July 2009

Bretwalda, Round 4-6

Two posts in two days...what is the world coming to??

Anyway, here is the round 4-6 summary, plus the latest poetry...

Round 4: As Gavin had pulled out of the campaign, this left me having to field 2 warbands each week in doubles matches when everybody else played singles. So, in Round 4 I played Rob and Mark with their Saxons at the River Glein. Despite Loyalty and hatred, the main Teulu died to a man and I was unable to kill anything. Mighty victory to the Saxons. Shocking game: dreadful dice rolling and I was outplayed!!! Grim, grim, grim...

The Annals of Connaught
Darkness fell and the groans of the wounded and those about to die filled the air. Bloody slaughter it was - the last remnants of the Saxon host had gathered around their lord to make a stand on the hill. Conn'Ann and the Red Shields watched them satisfied that their men held the Roman buildings and had scattered the rest of the saxons to the winds. They wouldn't try coming down this road again! Conn'Ann had no use for buildings - he would take what he wanted and then burn it to the ground - let the ruins be a warning to all enemies of the fate that awaited them.

(Grahame Middleton, after a long and savage fight against Carl Fisher’s Saxons in the Old Roman Waystation scenario.)

Of The Fight At The River

And Uther did come to the fight at the river
Numberless the enemy host
From the Eastern and the Northern Seax
Heroic sword-song did come this day
In mighty carnage at the ford
Cut down, the dragon,
Cut down our lord
Carried from the field, sword red with the blood
Of a score score of heathen enemy.

May the bards sing of the courage of the Cymri
As death came among them.

All hail to Uther Blackheart
May his wounds heal
May his righteous vengeance
Smite all who oppose him.

(Andy Hawes, after a ‘right royal tw*tting' at the hands of Rob and Mark’s Saxons in the River Glein scenario…)

Round 5: pairing up with Rob, my destroyer from Round 4, against Richard Westley's Saxons and Reuben Turner's Welsh (the 'Faithless Warband of the Cymri'). We played Land Grab, my own scenario. I was lined up opposite Reuben and managed to catch him in a right old fix, my Teulu finally, for the first time in the campaign, doing what Teulu should do and killing all his Teulu, his slingers and a unit of combrogi. I lost about 8 models all game! Sweet! Rob did his bit too, killing virtually all Richard's army. Mighty victory of the mightiest kind!!!! That's better!!!!

Of The Second Fight At Duribrovae
Hail to Uthr the victorious,
Mighty lord of Cymri,
Protector of land and cattle,
His name is known across the land,
His praises sing through the mountains.

Death to the sons of Cystennin,
Faithless Warband of the Cymri,
Despoilers of women,
Craven curs,
May the bards ever sing of your treachery.

Hail to the Teulu,
Faithful Warband of the Cymri,
Protectors of their lord,
Of Cymri, land and cattle,
A hundred hundred fall to their spearsong

Of the Faithless Warband of the Cymri
None remains,
Spear song shatters their treachery,
Swift swords strike black hearts from the breast
For the carrion crow and the raven beak.

Hail to Uthr the victorious,
Mighty lord of Cymri,
Protector of land and cattle,
His name is known across the land,
His praises sing through the mountains.

(Andy Hawes, after his Welsh warband (allied with Rob’s Saxons) faced Reuben’s Welsh (allied with Richard’s Saxons) in ‘Land Grab’ and where Andy’s Teulu (comitatus) finally managed to kill something…errr…no…make that ‘kill EVERYTHING!!!!’)

The Annals of Connaught

Mighty was the valour of Niall the Bard. The enemy champion stood in the ford daring all before him. Conn'Ann put on his war gear to teach this upsart a lesson but Niall stepped forward begging his lord for the chance to show his skill at arms. The contest raged long and hard - blow for blow Niall struck before a cruel trick from his foe brought him down. What glory can the enemy gain from beating a bard? Songs will be sung of Niall and his courage that day whilst the name of the enemy is not remembered.

(Grahame Middleton, who ‘heroically’ sent his bard to fight (and die) in the single combat in the ‘Bassas Ford’ scenario which ended in a bloody draw!)

And so to Round 6 on Monday: Due to another person pulling out (sigh...) and two not being able to make it we played 'proper' doubles. - no using 2 warbands for me this week! Huzzah!! I was paired with Dan who was using Romano-Brits against Reuben (again!) and Grahame's Scots Irish, who are ridiculously effective in this campaign.

We played Cat Coit Celidon and we attacked. It was all going well until my combrogi, who had spotted a gap in the enemy line and were rushing forward to exploit it, failed a warband test and had to charge some slingers, who fled, leaving them open to attack from all and sundry. Despite suggestions that we really should avoid fighting and just get off table as per the scenario, Dan cheerfully walked into a stand up fight with Grahame's kick-ass Fianna....with predictable results!!!!

My Teulu then got embroiled in a slog with Reuben's, with my ASB killing his ASB in a challenge, my Uchelwyr fighting and killing his General and his Teulu dying to a man..well, one was left!! I then hunkered down in the far corner of the table so my general couldn't be caught and killed, thereby denying the enemy a mighty victory... Great game, but grim result!!

The Caledonian Forest
Hail to Uthr the Mighty,
Heroic lord of Cymri,
Protector of land and cattle,
His name is known across the land,
His praises sing through the mountains.

Death to the sons of Cystennin,
Faithless Warband of the Cymri,
Despoilers of women,
Craven curs,
May the bards ever sing of your treachery.

Cruel ambush in Celidon woods
In treacherous alliance with men of Connaught
The host of Gethin waits
Faithless Warrior
Son of a craven dog
May the bards sing of your cowardice

A warrior named Derfel,
Clad in gleaming iron in the front rank,
Wearing the brooch of his people
Sword reddened with traitor’s blood
Death to the son of Custennin,
May his spirit never know God’s Grace and Glory.

A warrior named Dogmail
Clad in gleaming iron in the front rank,
Carrying the Dragon of the Cymri
Death-dealing sword-song
Now the Faithless son of Custennin
Gluts black-beaked ravens in Celidon.

And the band of Uther returns to its people,
Roman allies avail them not,
Many Cymri lie forever in Celidon
Their bones bleach under Northern snows
Many the tears, loud the lamentation
May the bards sing to their memory.

(Andy Hawes, after failing to exit a single model as the attacker in the Cat Coit Celidon scenario and after virtually all Dan’s allied Romano-Brits had died after being suckered into fighting Grahame’s killer Fianna comitatus…Ugh!!!)

The Annals of Connaught

The enemy were spread across the fields and woods - the last remnants of those thinking themselves Roman were dead or fled - the Red Shields had put them to slaughter. Conn'Ann had relied on his allies to deal with the leader of the enemy alliance and valiantly they engaged the foe. Few of the enemy escaped as they were swept from the field but their base cur of a warlord kept his head as he ran away. Thus are destroyed all who would stand against the mighty Conn'Ann.
(Grahame Middleton - The same game from the victors’ point of view…)

Round 7 in 3 weeks...the final round!!! Watch this space!!