Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3rd-4th March, Bournemouth

Armati by the Sea 2012

(I have edited the title onto the deployment screen in my first game: this how Armati-by-the-Sea begins - in anticipation of what what will be revealed)

Many thanks to host Peter Barham and sponsors The Society of Ancients for another excellent Armati scenarios tournament. 5 great games; great company and everything provided; followed by an optional Monday excursion for those on longer trips (Fort Nelson, this year) ...
The organisers lend everything you need ... armies, dice, rulers, hit markers, the lot (a special approach developed in the early days of the Armati League with particular regard to those travelling by air, and so restricted on what they can transport) ...
The armies are mostly from Roy's huge collection (with a little help from scenario editor and event umpire Mark Fry): 46 armies to cover the 23 scenarios (and that's quite a pile on the army pool tables)!
Here are some of the toys ...

(all 15mm figures, of course - I fought against these warriors)

(lovely Assyrian army: maybe I'm biased - I won with this one!)

(French Crusaders being outflanked by Mamluk Egyptians)

(one of many favourites in the Armati-by-the-Sea draw)

All the games are drawn at random from a series of fixed scenarios (no choices allowed other than dismounting etc.). A coin with the scenario number on it is drawn from a bag by one of the players, then flipped to see who has which army.

The players then collect the armies and specified terrain, lay up the table and set the screen ... then (more often than not) scratch their heads trying to decide how to deploy an army they may never have commanded before ...

(the screen is lifted!)

It is a great leveller, of course, as the other player is no more likely to be practiced with his army!

It also allows the scenario devisers to throw in balanced games between less fancied armies (as they control both sides): I have not seen either Transalpine Celts or Etruscans taken to a tournament, for esample - but, against each other, they made for a great game ...

(Pete plays Craig)

It's a formula which attracts a couple of dozen players - a mix of familiar faces and newcomers, locals and overseas visitors ...

(Bruce plays Matthew)

(President Roy Boss presents the prizes on behalf of the Society of ancients)

Vincent Auger won, followed by Malcolm King and Craig Tannock (with me a distanct fourth ...) ... they all got book tokens along with their trophies - Mick Owen killed the most generals, and Richard Shilvock got best newcomer ... and an army pack for his efforts ...

(tournament winner, Vincent Auger (France) relaxes after the event with a game of DBA!)

Those of us who stayed over enjoyed a relaxing evening and an excursion on the Monday to one the Palmerston forts ringing Portsmouth - Fort Nelson - restored and run by the Royal Armouries ..

(a postcard from Fort Nelson)

A brilliant event, well-conceived and well-organised. My thanks to all involved. If you have even a passing interest in Armati, you really ought to do this one!

There is an extensive post on Fort Nelson and a selection of pictures from the gunnery collection on my P.B.Eye-Candy blog ( Fort Nelson ) ...

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