On Sunday I, and eleven other stalwart TtS!ers, visited the The Lee Valley Athletic Centre to participate in the London Grand Tourney.
Here's a shot of the main hall. It was BIG; rather more than 1000 gamers? Tons of Warhammer 40K players. We TtS!ers found ourselves in splendid isolation on the stage (below) - perhaps in recognition of our disdain for the dice used on the other 680 tables. ;-)
Setting up- that's Tim Thompson, and Simon Purchon. Below, Tim is admiring Ian Notter's Arthurians. The detail on these is stunning- I'll post some pictures, eventually.
Above, Ian Notter's Arthurian-themed Feudal French face Colin Bright's Free Company.
Below, Iain White's Venetians face Simon Purchon's Nikephorian Byzantines.
Above, Dene Green with Later Crusaders vs. Gareth Humphries' Yorkists.
Below, Peter Ryding (Tibetans) vs Tim Thompson's Italo Normans (which latter had ridden down my ambitions at Roll Call).
I must apologise for the partizan nature of the rest of the account, I was so preoccupied with my games I didn't see much else that was going on!
My first game was against Iain White's Venetian Italian Condottieri. I'm afraid I was so "in the zone" that I failed to take any photos. I recall crashing through the gaps in the Venetian line, riding down all manner of skirmishers, and then knights, whilst busily avoiding a big scary mass of bristling Swiss pikemen. It went splendidly.
My second game was also against Venetian Italian Condottieri, this time in the hands of Michael Guest (above). Who knew there were so many Venetians? There were rather fewer Venetians, though, after around an hour. ;-)
Below is the table after Michael's first move (I was out-scouted). This was a particularly good-natured game between two matched armies and two broadly equal players, and I was lucky to secure a win. I think the fact that I had more knights, and was able to successfully dance around yet another scary mass of Swiss, decided it. I was also very lucky at the end.
I ran into Simon's Purchon's Byzantines, myself, in round three. I was lucky enough to out-scout them and this enabled me to out-deploy them. I went for a head-on clash near his baseline and the extra weight of my charge told. Again, it was pretty 50/50, his troops all being veteran and mine only seasoned, albeit clad in shiny Milanese-patented later-knight steel. That's the first time I've ever beaten Simon.
My final game, indeed the final, was against Chris Winter. I've never played Chris before but his reputation preceded him, that and the fact that he'd scored almost 600 points, the maximum possible, in the three previous games.
Chris had a Feudal English army, led by Edward the First, as a great leader. His army was a fifty-fifty mix of knights and spearmen. I won the scouting and made a good plan, but Chris literally rode rings around me and it all went Pete Tong. I won't say exactly how he beat me, since he will, no doubt, want to do it again to someone else. And I might too! :-) I was very lucky to take 4 medals off him.
Ian Notter narrowly won the battle for the wooden spoon. I gave him a rather lovely Roman dromedarius; I'm not sure how that will fit in with his Arthurians- he'll need to start a new army. :-)
I don't have the full breakdown of the results, yet, but Steve Dover (English 100 Years War) came third- unfortunately I don't have a photo. I must find out how he did it, what with longbows having a somewhat bad reputation, just now.
Above, I was delighted to come second- my best ever result, which I put down to being familiar with the army (my third tournament with it) and not playing too many Aces! ;-)
And finally, Chris Winter (Feudal English) took the laurel crown. This was a particularly well-deserved win, based on four decisive victories and not far from the maximum possible point score. The man is a machine! I'll get him, next time, though. ;-)
It was a splendid day of good-natured gaming. Thanks very much to everyone who came, and particular thanks to Tim Thompson for checking all the army lists and doing the scoring. Oh and the London GT and BHGS organisers, too, they did a cracking job! Particular thanks to BHGS Dave Ruddock for the lovely presentation glasses.
I hope everyone had as much fun as I did- if so I'll see if we can run it again next year- possibly with a Medieval theme, or perhaps with Biblical chariot-era armies, by way of a change.