Well what a weekend – we had had two really intense full on challenging battles, one rather frustrating indecisive game, and one very decisive win. As with previous BattleCry events games were generally played in good spirits and the environment was great. The new venue at the ASB Basketball Stadium was fantastic and I look forward to future events being there… Once again Philip and Andrew had the ‘most ancient’ army present, and special thanks to Battleline Miniatures for the competition prizes.
One interesting result of the competition was only one team achieved more than 1 win – that was Ivan & Dickie with the Portuguese who got 3 (albeit costly) wins out of 4 games, their fourth game being an advantageous draw. We were next best with the one 25-0 decisive win and 2 advantageous draws, followed by Philip & Andrew (Kushites) with one 25-0 decisive win and a losing draw.
Sunday afternoon saw us facing the Kushite Egyptians of Philip Abela and Andrew Hunter. For deployment we placed two very large open fields and 2 roads to try and restrict their terrain placement (see the green & brown areas in the photos below) and force them to deploy in the open. However they were able to get two patches of scrub into their deployment zone and consequently corner sat with their force crammed into less than half the width of the table on the Kushan right. They also had a command off-table which we expected to flank march on on the Kushan right (see photo below) to support that deployment. The Kushite’s also pulled out a Guides Stratagem (again) and placed a hidden track through the scrub on the Kushan extreme right.
Sunday Morning saw us facing Andrew “Benny” Bennetts and Al “the Spartan” Donald, running Hannibal’s army from Zama, complete with Hannibal as the Brilliant C-in-C. Cam and I switched roles for the second day, and I’d command 2 fighting Commands and he just 1 plus the baggage. Faced with the Carthaginians mass of Expendable Elephants we were a bit gun shy and we basically had our worst game of the tournament – being both indecisive, excessively complicated in our plan, and overly cautious (although Cam may argue the last game was definitely our worst). Terrain had come down very conventionally with nothing affecting the game other than a convenient piece of scrub in the Carthaginian deployment area (see below).
For our afternoon challenge we were assigned Ivan Truong and Richard “Uncle Dickie” Foster, and their dastardly Medieval Portuguese. Personally I have bad memories of the latter army from back home in Christchurch in the early nineties (playing DBM 1.1 & 2.0), and my 15mm Minoans & Early Mycenaeans getting regular drubbings by it from Corbon Loughnan! Anyway Campbell and I were a bit concerned by this army, I was actually of the opinion of being prepared to risk our Kn(X) Cataphracts against the Irr Kn(O) but Campbell wasn’t so keen as we would be fighting at a disadvantage due to being graded ‘I’ (inferior) against them. In the end we took a cautious approach and decided to try and pin them in place with our Chionites and hold back our Heavy Kn(X) and Elephants for when we could be confident of a decisive strike where we’d have an advantage – after all this could end up being an ideal opportunity to use a “Feigned Flight” stratagem too…
First up we drew John Calnan & Lance Knighton running Sassanids – this was exactly the same army that had undone us the previous year in the last round of BattleCry 2008 (BC’08 Round 4: Sassanid Persian with Sabir Hun Allies 463AD)! We endeavoured to congest their deployment area with Marshes, knowing they would have the edge on us with Elephants, so as to then be able to concentrate our Cataphracts where their Cavalry could, with some reliability, be expected to be deployed.
Yet another successful BattleCry has gone by and congratulations to Karen & the AMERICA team for organising another great event, although the usual copious amounts of “loot” were a bit less (to be expected with the current economy) and I didn’t see any T-Shirts available this year! As with last year Benny (Andrew Bennetts) organised and umpired the New Zealand 25mm/28mm DBMM Doubles as well as playing in a team – it’s always a trade off and occasionally a thankless task – and thanks to Mike Campbell in Wellington who vetted the lists pre-tournament so Benny could be free of any ‘prior knowledge’ cloud over his head! The DBMM competition was enjoyable and went pretty well (with lots of exciting tension filled periods in our games), although it had a couple of flat bits on the second day for me personally – mainly because my brain just went into zombie mode and stopped working at a couple of crucial times in tense games!
Here in Auckland it’s that time again – BattleCry 2009, the premier Auckland Wargaming Convention hosted (as always) by the AMERICA Club from Auckland University. As always this year includes the 28mm Ancient & Medieval Doubles Competition, New Zealand’s original and first Ancient & Medieval Doubles Tournament – and the only one in 25mm-28mm scale! As with 2008 this year will be played with the DBMM Rules (2007 and previous years having been played under DBM), and Battleline Miniatures will be sponsoring the competition. BattleCry is over the weekend of the 21-22 February 2009.
It had been a hard weekend, with all the games being fairly challenging and the last 2 having been particularly hard fought battles. Our final result was 64 VPs, and 2nd Place – probably not bad for a team made up of a first time DBMM’er (Campbell) and a notorious over-aggressive under-achiever (i.e. Me)! Ivan & Andrew did magnificently to win, although I think the huge Warband force (69 German and 14 Gallic Warband elements) may have overawed some people (see BC’08 Round 1: Early German Cimbri & Tigurini Gallic Allies 102BC Report)! John & Lance with their Sassanids and Brett & Lawrence with the Medieval Germans also did well and it was a constant tussle each round with two of these 4 teams in first and second place after each of the rounds (Ivan and Andrew managing to be first in the third round and stay there, being 1st after the most critical one, the last)!
Our (winning) Draw (if you can call it that) in the third round put us on 54 VPs and in 2nd place; 5 VPs behind the new leaders (Ivan & Andrew; whom we had played in the first round) and 8 VPs ahead of 3rd place (Brett & Lawrence whom we had just played). As a result our final opponents were John Calnan & Lance Knighton, who were currently in 4th place with 44 VPs; and were running a force of Sassanid’s with lots of Cavalry(S) and (O), Elephants(O), and Knights(X).
Caesennius had not managed to leave home before the Sassanid’s had wandered into the Eastern regions of the Empire!
Our big win in the previous round put us on 39 VPs, and top of the table (1st place) at the halfway mark, our next opponents were Brett Preston-Thomas & Lawrence Antill, who were on 36 VPs and currently in 2nd place. Caesennius decided to venture north and wander into the lands of the Germans (not to mention about 14 centuries into the future as well) – what was this obsession he had with invading Germany?! Anyway in true style he found a suitable area to set up camp, and then proceeded to relax, as was his want, and not be too hasty. However he rather unusually camped amongst some woods and vineyards, in front of a fairly open plain, so left his army with less than ideal terrain to deploy in.
Our Draw in the first round put us slap in the middle of the pack, 14 VPs ranking us 2nd Equal with 2 other teams (so effectively just in the top half of the table), and resulting in Philip Abela & Andrew Hunter (who were similarly ranked 2nd equal) being our afternoon opponents. (If I recall correctly) Caesennius found himself defending Rome’s Eastern environs’ from encroaching invaders this battle! And the dastardly fiends had decided to attack along a River, no less! However this soon suited Caesennius, who found the edge of a suitable plain to encamp on, forcing the Egyptians to deploy in an area thick with Marshes and an Orchard, with the River running through their deployment area, and Vineyard on their flank next to the River.
On the first morning we drew Ivan Truong & Andrew Fergus for our initial game. The morning actually got off to a slow start with some fluffing around, and all 4 games being played in the first round probably lost about 20-30 minutes of game time, plus took excessively long to do terrain placement and deploy. Once underway Caesennius, the Roman C-in-C, soon managed to invade Germany for whatever reasons, we presume in the South-East perhaps? Anyhow, Caesennius managed to encamp on the edge of a German plain forcing the Cimbri to pitch tents in an area of poor terrain that was mostly Marsh (3 features of such in the German deployment area), while the Roman’s deployed on the adjacent open plain – but perhaps the Germans preferred being amongst the wet boggy muck and the joke was on Caesennius?!
Well another successful BattleCry has gone by and congratulations to Karen & the AMERICA team for organising a great event, and providing the usual copious amounts of “loot” for people to take home! Also thanks to Benny (Andrew Bennetts) for organising and umpiring the New Zealand 25mm DBMM Doubles – it’s always a trade off and occasionally a thankless task. The DBMM competition was thoroughly enjoyable and went really well in my opinion. Several players were reasonably new to DBMM but picked up things pretty well from what I saw, and the overall standard of army presentation was very good to excellent, and made all the games visually appealing to the greater extent. I must confess I like the new scoring mechanism in DBMM for tournament play and think it really achieves what the original DBM and it’s various subsequent ‘fiddles’ with didn’t – a balanced system that rewards winning over drawing but still distinguishes winning well from winning poorly or expensively (i.e. your own casualties degrade the value of your victory, so cherish your troops)…