…and so to the last tournament of the year, a return visit to the Scottish Open. I was second in this tournament last year, but as I had painted a new army and was suffering from a lack of practice with it, I would be happy with a top half finish.
The list I used was as follows:
|Ordinary Commander (inc) (unrel)|
|Cavalry Impact Elite (inc)||1|
|Light Cavalry Bow||1|
|Heavy Swordsmen Impetuous Elite||2|
|LI – Bow Elite (Cretan)||1|
|Thracian: Med. Sword 2HW||1|
|Theureophoroi: Medium Spearman||1|
|Thracian: Med. Sword 2HW||1|
|Theureophoroi: Medium Spearman||1|
|LI – Bow||1|
|Light Cavalry Javelin||1|
|Cavalry Impact Elite||1|
I hoped it would play in a similar way to my French Ordonnance army, albeit with terrain troops, but that wasn’t the case and my lack of practice showed early on in the tournament. Even as soon as the draw came out, I realised that my lack of light foot would be an issue against shooty armies, and so it proved.
On reflection, I would have dropped the Strategist to Brilliant, and downgraded the Elite Galatians to Ordinary, adding 2 more units of light foot to help- screen the pike.
Having said that, I did get the hang of the army after a couple of games and very much enjoyed using it, so it will definitely be an option for the future.
Game 1 vs. Koryo Korean
This was exactly what I feared in my first game – an army where there were a lot of heavy foot shooters…I was right to be concerned about a lack of skirmish screen as a number of units were disordered by crossbow fire before they were able to make contact.
Though I was able to make a significant breakthrough on my right flank, my losses were mounting up in the middle.
I thought I was going to get away with it and hang on for a draw, however, I lost my last cohesion point the second that time was called….close, but no cigar! The Koreans were only 4 or 5 from breaking themselves, so I needed to find a groove with the army in future games to tip the balance…
Game 2 vs Classical Indian
This one was a tough draw for me – more things that shoot, and loads of elephants, though there was a slight surprise when 3 Heavy Chariots were deployed!
I don’t think I played this one particularly well with hindsight, and this is where my lack of experience with this army kicked in as I misjudged a few things and allowed my opponent better positioning. He did a good job of keeping my pike block out of the game, though I managed to keep his chariots out of the game as well.
You would expect to won a combat with a double overlap though!!!
He slowly ground me down though, and this was my second defeat…the penny dropped on how to use the army now though, so hopefully the next game would be better…I needed a victory!!!
Game 3 vs Early Successor
A wall of pike – just what i needed…!!!
Actually, this one worked well for me – my opponent had 6 units of pike in the centre, so my plan was to delay him for as long as possible, and push on the flanks, hopefully taking advantage where I was strongest.
This is pretty much how the game played out, and I did enough damage to gain a healthy lead, before the centres clashed…just as well, as I lost most of the ensuing combats, and the galatians remained unimpressive in their performance…!
I got some cheap points when my opponent advanced his skirmishers too far, so I was able to prevent their evades, and the losses eventually mounted up on both sides.
It was getting a bit hairy, as my centre was crumbling, but I managed to get the decisive points and break the Successor army…!
If I could improve even more on what I had learned, this may not be such a bad weekend after all…!
Game 4 vs Alexander the Great
Another pike army for Sundays first game, again, with 6 units of pike….still, I had handled the first one ok, so putting into practice everything I had learned, let’s see if we could widen the margin of victory.
My opponent deployed a fearsome block of pike deployed in the centre, with some medium troops (thracians and spear) to their right, and cavalry (companions) to their left.
He decided to redeploy his cavalry, and push on his right flank – something i was happy about, as I knew I had enough there to hold my own.
Again, I caught some skirmishers that had advanced too far forward to get some cheap points – these might be invaluable later in the game…!
I held the line, and did not advance too far forward in the centre, so I could delay the combat until I was in position.
Meanwhile, my left flank marched towards his now open right flank…2 Xystophoroi, 2 medium foot, a bowman and an elephant…this could work…
…and so it proved as my opponent was unable to cope with the flank pressure…once in position I pushed my centre forward, and his army quickly broke. A good win!
Game 5 vs Carthaginian
Carthaginian isn’t a bad draw for me, and I was quite confident going into this one…the army was fer large though, and my opponent was very cautious, so it was going to take some quick play on my to get a result!
The terrain was almost all in my opponents half of the table, which was bad news, as it gave him somewhere to hide – however, I was able to pin him whilst forcing the pace on both flanks, as I had in the previous game.
It was tricky for him, as I pushed though the terrain, and gained a decent foothold…he had heavy spear facing me, so he couldn’t affect my progress on this flank, and I was going to outnumber him.
I had total superiority on my right flank, so had to make it count. Eventually i pushed into the terrain, and his Impetuous Medium foot (who Hannibal had been preventing rushing off for most of the game), now had to react to this new threat.
His losses mounted, but not quickly enough, and he was 4 away from breaking (break of 27) when time was called. I had only lost 7 or 8 attrition points. A winning draw.
So I finished 12th overall out of 30 players….after a stuttering start, I got to grips with the army. The make up could certainly be improved, I didn’t need the Strategist, and I would have benefited by having more light foot.
I will certainly be using the army again, but need to spend some time getting the balance right. I enjoyed using it though, it is interesting, with lots of variety….
…so on that note, I have a few new units to paint up to give me more variety, and an Indian ally for when I use the “Alexander the Great” list…!
Lots coming up soon, as well as painting up more Classical units, I will be working on both Early and Late Achaemenid Persian armies over the coming months, as well as putting something together for the Burton Doubles tournament in February.