Friday, March 9, 2012

26th February, Tonbridge

CAVALIER 2012Parking seemed easier than usual at the Angel Centre/Sainsbury's car park this year (has the recession hit Tonbridge, now?) ... A better than usual start to what is always a good show.

This year we were parked back in the Jubilee Room rather than the main Hall. Have we upset someone? I surely hope not - the Society's mix of enthusiast meeting point and tabletop exploration of ancient history certainly seemed as constantly popular as ever.

This year, the Sabin-Cruttenden-Waller team was reconstructing the Lost Battle of the River Bagradas, the catastrophic First Punic War defeat of the consul Marcus Atilius Regulus at the hands of Hadsrubal and the Spartan mercenary Xanthippus.

(click on it for an enlargement)
I was invited to play Regulus in the second game, and did my best to thwart the in-built (on table) advantage the bullish Roman took on.

In Lost Battles 'points' the Carthaginians have an edge of around 15% (for what it's worth*). That's enough to mean the Romans are outnumbered, in particular on their flanks, where it is almost impossible to hold the ground.

(Big, big, trouble for the Roman flanks ...)

The Roman strength, of course, is in the Legions - but the battle sets a real challenge in how to bring that strength to bear before everything collapses around it.

(Roman and Italian infantry - the heart of the Roman array)

In the following photo, I have marked in the sweep of the Carthaginian flank under Hadsrubal - almost unopposed. You can see how much trouble the Romans are exposed to:

(this was the position after a couple of turns in both of the first two games)

My instinct is that when, earlier in the campaign, the Carthaginians wanted to make peace on reasonable terms, Regulus should probably have given it more consideration.

Historically, of course, this is the Regulus who was captured by the Carthaginians after the battle, then subsequently released on parole to argue for peace and prisonner exchanges: he argued strongly at Rome for war, then kept his word and returned to Carthage. They put him to death.

You'd have to call him inflexible.

Also in the Jubilee Room Loughton Strike Force presented a good looking Alamo Participation Game with appropriate gusto all day. It seemed much appreciated by a good mix of veteran wargamers and yougsters. Excellent

(storming the Alamo)

In the Bring & Buy hall, more good games on show, including the HOTT mini campaign in Bronze Age Mesopotamia ...

(Kingdoms in the Dust - SEEMS)

I often don't get much in the camera on these great show pieces ... so here's a couple of 28mm eye candy shots ...

Otherwise, there were some good WWII games, amongst them Staines/Tim Moore's 'Climb mount Niitaka' Pearl Harbour raid (a follow up to the successful Taranto game) ...

While in the main hall 'Defending the Bridge at Obourg' featured a very popular (but appropriately fragile) flying machine ...

(there are more flying machines on my 20th Century blog P.B.Eye-Candy)

(a typically chatty moment chewing the fat over the crowded Lost Battles table)

Meanwhile Bagradas got played throughout the day, very much to the satisfaction of those with a soft spot for the infanticide Carthaginians ... indeed Professor Sabin rattled through a final game taking the role of Regulus himself - he did better than me, but he didn't beat Xanthippus ...

A very enjoyable day out - as always at this well-organised middle sized show.

South Coast next ... Bournemouth and our annual Armati event ... I'm sure you can't wait.

*about half the advantage Alexander enjoys in his battles against the Persians, since you ask ...

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