Monday, January 31, 2011
Usk, 22-23 January
The (semi-formal) first outing of the new year for the Society is Richard Bodley-Scott's annual Godendag tournament in Usk.
A weekend of moderate impact Doubles (these days mostly FoG with some DBM and FoG-R) coupled with less than moderate quantities of food and drink. A very convivial start to the year, generally amongst old friends but always with some new faces.
The main event is a FoG 15mm tournament, alongside which a DBM event continues to be well supported and FoG-R now has been added. The mix of FoG-R and DBM seems to keep everyone coming including those who didn't really take to FoG ancients.
(There are a couple of pictures from the FoG-R tables on my ECW page)
This year the ancient and medieval theme was pre 1042 and excluded knights.
A harrumph from me, then (I'm never convinced these very intricate 'manoeuvre heavy' wargames get infantry right but generally enjoy the games they give in the Dark Ages and beyond ...)...
It is a bigger exclusion than might first appear: it means no Normans or Norman type mercenaries (and so takes the punch out of a number of armies that are not, per se, knight armies). It doesn't exclude Cataphracts, of course, and these proved a popular choice.
We entered with Palmyrans, amongst 2 Palmyrans, 2 Parthians a Kushan and some 'Cat heavy' Graeco-Bactrians and Later Seleucids. Indeed the year of the Cat. Dave Handley and Nik Sharpe won with their Parthians. We played against fellow Palmyrans, Huns, Bactrians and Khazars.
We played quite well against the first three of those and gave the Huns a good battering.
Playing against Khazars commanded by Pete Dalby and Lance Flint and (me, at least) not being able to pass Cohesion Tests (however good or bad the circumstances) is never going to be easy: in fact I was on the back foot from the start ... but thanks to Pete and Lance, it was one of those games you can enjoy even though it didn't ever look like we were going to win (well not on my side of the table - Chris had quite a good game against Lance, but was never going to compensate for the attrition points I was surrendering to Pete).
Doubles continues to be my preferred format for tournament play. It is, of course much better if the two partners play their own sides without too much conferring (play like co-operating generals rather than as a beast with two brains). It is more fun and the game rattles on more quickly.
I'll move on, but will just leave the thought that our one defeat was to a team that gets on playing independently (Pete and Lance), and the event was won by a team that plays like-wise (Dave and Nik ... so long as Nik does what he's told!).
There is a great Doubles event at Burton in a few weeks, of course. And Knights will be allowed.
See you all at Vapnartak.
York Racecourse. We will be running 'Greyhounds in the Slips'.
If you move quick, you might just get your 2011 Society of Ancients subscription logged before the Membership Secretary completes his January Slingshot list (and qualify for this year's free game) ...
www.soa.org.uk (follow the 2011 membership banner)