Thursday, April 5, 2012

24th - 25th March, Ascot

The BHGS Challenge

The BHGS Challenge is an event not often found on my blog - it usually clashes with Salute, and anyway, it is one of those competitions I'd decided to give a miss.

It is singles ... it doesn't offer lighter games like Armati, Impetus or DBA ... it has the nightmare 3 back-to-back games on the Saturday ... it is a touch rough and ready ... and the catering is not what it could be.

Still, never say never - and some of the locals were all for going.

As a spur to tidying up the last of the groundwork (all the bases now have their flowers and shrubs ...) I rejigged the good looking if underpowered Italian Condotta.

(Hawkwood's Florentines arrayed before the earlier English)

And splendid they looked.

And I got 5 very pleasant games - and despite being an open competition, the c.1400 AD Florentines drew a pretty reasonable series of opponents - 3 virtually contemporary, the other 2 western medieval at least.

(packed in, shoulder-to-shoulder, to fend off the wily Ottomans)

Florence is a city of fashion and culture - and the name means city of flowers.

After the Peace of Bretigny in 1360, the English Captain, Sir John Hawkwood (Giovanni L'Acuto) plied his trade in Italy, ending his career as Captain General of the city of Florence. The football team is known as the vilolets.

Hawkwood is celebrated in mural tomb by Paolo Uccello in Florence Cathederal, an icon of the Italian Renaissance.

(a collage of pictures from the Italians' weekend at the BHGS Challenge)

And, aside from the last game (in which I got 'Sunday afternoon-ish' against a small but tough Free Company), the army performed well enough - pushing, even, towards ultimate victory.

Plantagenet English, Ottoman Turk, Later Sicilian, Santa Hermandad Nuevo Castilian and Free Company. Not a bad mix. A couple of 'tigers', a couple of my favourites and an oddball.

(Chinese, Britons, Middle Plantagenets and Ghaznevids against more Chinese)

The biggest event was, as ever, the 15mm Field of Glory (Ancient and Medieval) ... FoG-AM.* I was very impressed by the variety of armies ... Ancient British and Waring States Chinese in there - mixed up with the Dominates, Turks and Hungarians.

There was also Flames of War, DBMM, FoG-R and FoG-AM 25mm.

In the end, I still don't really like the formula. FoG 800 point games take too long - as a rarity, even all 5 (yes, all 5) of my games were drawn.

Appropriate, you might think, for Hawkwood's mercenaries at work you might think ... but I like to finish my games off within the time limit, and then chat and put away over a leisurely drink.


Doubles and bigger armies seems to cure a lot of the problem - and I'm happy enough with two long games per day. Or three shorter ones (like Armati, say) ...

(FoG-AM 25mm)

The top places were ...

FOG: AM 15mm ... 1. Graham Evans 94 points; 2. Ian Stewart 81 points; 3. Dave Handley 76 points;

FOG: AM 25mm ... 1. Richard Collins 95 points; 2. Richard Jeffrey-Cook 83 points; 3. Simon Elliot 79 points;

DBMM ... 1. Greg Mann 91 points; 2. Mike Bennett 89 points; 3. Jer Morgan 84 points;

Top Junior ... Byron Emsen 71 points

(RJ-C presents Society awards. Everyone got a complimentary packet from Fluttering Flags too: nice one, Graham)

Honorary Treasurer Richard Jeffrey-Cook presented prizes on behalf of the Society of Ancients.

FOG: AM SoA Annual Champion 2011 ... Dave Handley;

DBMM SoA Annual Champion 2011 ... Tim Child

FOG Rennaissance SoA Annual Champion 2011 ... Alisdair Harley

See the BHGS website (and click the e.g. 'Challenge' ... and 'past results' navigations) for full details.

Back next year? Well, stranger things have happened. But these studious and indecisive tournament singles games are not really what I am looking for in a weekend of wargaming.

* 32 FoG-AM 15mm (+ 12 in 25mm); 28 Flames of War; 25 DBMM; 16 FoG-R. Everything 15mm except the FoG 25s of course.

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