Tuesday 14 September 2021

Chalgrove 2021 - The Cheesy Indians in action!

At Chalgrove I completely failed to take any photos of my Indians from the front. Howard Litton has very kindly sent me some images from the game we played. Howard has a lovely Aventine Miniatures Polybian Roman army (once mine, some minis painted by David Imrie IIRC). That's me, by the way.

Here's a side-on view. I massed my elephants mostly in the middle of the line, Howard had to veteran quincunx on the left of his line with veteran velites in support,  and lots of scruffy filler on the right, including an African elephant who (below) looked somewhat lonely as he was facing 8 much superior units of Indian elephants totalling 16 models

Above, Howard had lots of javelinmen- both massed light infantry and formed ones. The Aventine Oscans looked particularly effective. Below, both armies began a steady advance in line. Below, frustratingly, my left stubbornly refused to advance. 

Below, frustratingly, my left stubbornly refused to advance. This was a pity as I'd spotted an opportunity to cut off and potentially kill Howard's Numidians, but they got away. :-(

After this, alas, the photos peter out. What happened in the game was that Howard advanced with the veterans on his left, and fell back with his right, so fast that I couldn't catch up by the end of the game. This did, however, give me an opportunity to get onto the wing of one of his quincunxes with my elephants. Unfortunately time ran out before we could see whether I could kill his quincunx before his other quincunx killed my longbowmen. 

Above- an uncomfortable tactical position for this quincunx. 

Thanks so much to Howard for the game and for the photos!

PS the last photo demonstrates why I developed my wobbly-edged bases- they blend into the cloth rather better than do the straight lines of traditional bases.

Sunday 5 September 2021

Chalgrove 2021 - Cheesy Indians

Here's a quick pic of the army I took to the To the Strongest! Worlds at Chalgrove, yesterday. It's an Indian army, with most of the minis painted by Dan Toone, Shaun McTague and myself, with basing help from Ian Notter. It's not quite finished but you get the drift- later I'll take some closeups.

It's a most unusual army which I built to maximise the number of elephants I could put on the table (16), just for the fun of seeing what it looked like and experiencing how it might work. To achieve this I represented eight small units of elephants each with two elephant models. I think I probably had more elephant models in this one army than have been used in all of the previous Chalgrove tournaments, added together. Tim described it was a cheesy army, on account of all the one hit elephants, so I've named the senior general King Mutar Paneer and the various princely subordinates after other spicy cheese and vegetable dishes.

Due to nightmare travel problems I missed the first game but arrived shortly after the start of the second, and Steve Dover very kindly agreed to play me. He had a Spartacus army with masses of mobs and skirmishers- it was huge. At the start I shot his army up but I had trouble breaking the three hit units- my elephants "bounced" and then one rampaged, carrying off a second one and a general. It ended in a draw with Steve slightly ahead on points. Alas I took no photos!

My second game was against Howard Litton with his (formerly my) Polybian Romans, it was super to see both him and them again. We just weren't fast enough to reach a conclusion- I squeaked narrowly ahead on points in the final round. 

I had a sense that I might have won in another few turns - but with this army there's no degree of certainty, it's almost as dangerous to itself as it is to the enemy.

My third and final game was against old chum Tony Horobin. He had Pechenegs- they rode up and shot at me, I shot back at them and before the archers duel was complete we ran out of time. This was an odd game as I kept my elephants in reserve because they were vulnerable to shooting and not fast enough to catch his light horse- they barely moved. Tony almost took my camp, though, attacking uphill, over fortifications, from a wood with cavalry! Again, it was a draw but I was a little ahead on points.

I found the Cheesy Indians to be a really interesting army to use- powerful but extremely fragile- a single failed save can lead to a casade of rampaging nellies. I don't think it's a tournament winner but it stood up well enough, and I'll have another outing at the London GT tournament on September 25th- the tickets have sold out but if you email me I might be able to fit you in, especially if we have a cancellation.

Congratulations to Peter Ryding who won with a Marian Roman army. Huge thanks to Steve Dover and the South Oxfordshire Generals for running the event and keeping the teas coming, it was, as ever, a great deal of fun and so good to catch up with so many friends after such a long Covid-related interval. I know Steve's already looking at ideas for 2022...