Conquest 2018, Pt. 2

13 November, 2018

After lunch on Saturday I had a chance to get my newly painted Syrians out. I realised, with relief, that they would not have to face Eric’s Hussites, and, with disappointment, that they would not meet Robin’s Ottomans. I’d had a couple of games the Monday before with Grant facing Normans impersonating WotR English, as there were two of those armies here, and I’d not learned how to face ranged elements well. I did better in the second of the games with Grant, which buoyed me up somewhat.

  • 1. War of the Roses English (Keith)

Their first encounter was with the Keith’s WotR English. And sure enough, I was defending. However, the English did not go for too much terrain.

The Syrians.

I deployed my Adath militia on a dificult hill and the rest of my army spreading out to the right of it.

The English.

Facing them the English deployed their artillery next to an enclosure (RGo) and on their open right flank they had a solitary cavalry, although their reserve would be able to reinforce it.

I hoped to attack the artillery with my javelinmen and archers; and I succeeded in getting the two Bedouin behind their lines, where they destroyed an element of billmen. The archers attacked the artillery on its flank, forcing it to turn to face. The English commander and the reserve billmen responded to the Bedouing threat. Overlapped by the billmen and attacked by the general, one of the Bedouin nearly won the battle, rolling 6 to 2. It was a stick!

Bedouin get behind the lines.

On my next turn, I rolled 5 PiPs and becoming shaken by the enemy shooting (one of the Syrian cavalry had broken), I charged into the echeloned enemy line. It was a disaster. I’d somehow miscounted the enemy, and my elements did not end up facing the ones I thought they would. My general outdid the English one, rolling a humiliating 1 to lose the game.

In hindsight, the attack was folly, but it it uncomfortable receiving fire, and I couldn’t see a way of improving the situation for the Bedouin (the Turkomans might have been able to join them).

  • 2. Aztecs (Colin)

For my second battle I was more comfortably defending, and I did not make it easy for the Aztecs, chosing a small hamlet (BUA), a gentle hill and a road.

The Aztecs, splendidly painted.

The Aztecs massed their hordes on their right flank and their psiloi on their left. I had the luxury of deploying to choose my targets. My javelinmen and the horde faced the psiloi, while cavalry faced the warband and blades. My light horse screened the hordes.

The Syrians.

On contact the general destroyed some blades and the warband went down to some ghulams. Elsewhere their general recoiled the other Ghulams, as did their psiloi my javelinmen.

Contact!

Their general opted to retreat to the hill, while the hordes flanked and destroyed a Bedouin LH. On my turn, the ghulams destroyed another blade, and the javelinmen and archers got a psiloi to break the enemy’s resolve.

Victory!

That was the last outing for the Syrians, as my next round was a bye. I was sitting second by my count, but my hope of winning rested on Keith’s English defeating Eric’s Hussites, as he had secured two more points in his defeat against me than I got in my defeat to Keith. As it turned out, his Hussites proved too tough for the English and I came second. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day — good opponents and good games played in a good spirit. I’d like to thank Keith for organising it!

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I took a morning flight to Christchurch, which all went smoothly. I even saw Comics Compulsion, the shop that hosts Conquest, while catching a bus from the airport. The first day was six games using ancient armies for the first three and medieval for the last three.

  • Morning games (Ancient armies)

My Carthaginians were my army for the morning. With an aggression of 4, I was pretty sure I’d be the attacker most games, and I was. I fielded 2 Cv (cmd), 1 El, 1 LH, 3 Sp, 2 4Wb, 1 4Ax and 2 Ps.

  • Game 1: John (Polybian Romans)

As expected I was the attacker against John, who was borrowing Keith’s Polybian Romans. I should have made him deploy on the side with the wood. It proved to be a handicap to me.

The Carthaginian deployment is cramped by a large wood.

The Carthaginian deployment is cramped by a large wood.

The Romans advanced rapidly, and I lost my Numidians by foolishly trying to get them in front of the woods when before the Roman cavalry arrived. My troops fought doggedly on the right flank, and I started to win on the left, but that needless loss of the Numidians cost me the game, which was a 3-5 loss after the warband was broken, and the auxilia and a spear.

The end, after casualties on the right flank, but success on the left.

The end, after casualties on the right flank, but success on the left.

  • Game 2: Mark B (Palmyrans)

I was the attacker again against Mark’s Palmyrans. I was nervous of his cataphracts, but he was even more nervous of the elephant. He deployed near the camp and spent time manoeuvring. I rushed forward, reasoning that I had more hope of catching him before he’d finished his manoeuvres. As it turned out, I won a decisive victory in record time, as his general went against Androgeus while overlapped. 3-2 odds with knights against warband is good odds, but with is back against the wall, Androgeus 6-1ed the unfortunate general and added another head to his collection.

The Palmyran deployment.

The Palmyran deployment.

  • Game 3: Jim (Greco-Bactrians)

My last game of the morning was against Jim’s Greco-Bactrians. In this game I was able to extend my left flank enough to destroy three elements, but in the last turn I couldn’t find any more there, and my centre was buckling to the pikes they faced. I lost again, 3-4.

The Greco-Bactrian deployment.

The Greco-Bactrian deployment.

  • Afternoon games (Medieval armies)

In the afternoon I deployed my Komnenan Byzantines. These are similar to the Carthaginians in their use of mercenaries. They differed in having aggression 1. I fielded 4 Cv (cmd), 4 LH, 1 3Kn, 1 4Bd, 2 4Bw.

  • Game 4: Gus (Mongols)

First up I was the defender against Gus’ beautifully painted Mongols. I achieved a very rapid victory; 4(G)-1, I think. I can’t remember the details, except that my dice were very strong.

The Mongol deployment.

The Mongol deployment.

As the game was over so fast, we had a rematch. Again I was the defender. Again it was a quick battle, but this time it might have gone Gus’ way, but my monks clearly were praying harder, as my dice again stayed strong. At one point our generals were each overlapped, but it was mine that triumped in a 4(G-2 victory!

The Mongol rematch.

The Mongol rematch.

  • Game 5: Brian (Medieval Scandinavian Union with Medieval German ally)

My next game was against Brian’s Medieval Scandinavian Union with Medieval German ally. I was the attacker this time, and Brian had to use a waterway. I knew Brian was a tough opponent, and when I saw he had a party set aside for a littoral landing, I stymied it with my light horse, that deployed up against the waterway in two columns.

The light horse patrol the beach.

The light horse patrol the beach.

The landing party of 3Bd and Cv off to the side.

The landing party of 3Bd and Cv off to the side.

The landing party had to deploy behind the main body of the Scandinavians. Low PIPs made the initial contact slow, but when it came the Byzantines continued to roll high in combat and broke an element of 6Kn, and then another. It was 3-0 to me. However, getting the final element was not easy, and when Brian got his spearmen into combat I lost both the bow. In the final turn I finally got my fourth element, only to lose my knights (I think) to a 6-1 going against me. The battle ended as a 4-4 draw.

  • Game 6: Keith (Wars of the Roses English)

I was the attacker in my final battle, against Keith’s Yorkists. Tired after the last battle, and bereft of inspiration in the face of unattractive terrain, I nevertheless attacked (the artillery made it hard to sit back). I foolishly got my light horse destroyed and lost 0-4.

Facing the English.

Facing the English.

The Yorkists.

The Yorkists.

I enjoyed the day greatly. I was very pleased with the way I played against Brian, who I’d played before some years ago. He finished first. I was surprised to finish third, as I had only two wins, but these were big ones, and all but my last battle were hard-fought.