Or, “God Save Us From the Fury of the Northmen.”
As I wrote earlier, I went out to Toledo to play DBA at Drums Along the Maumee 2007. Many thanks to John Lawitzke for running a fine tourney. My Thracians were anxious to prove themselves as an open tourney contender, and prove themselves is what they did. I apologize ahead of time for not having my opponents’ full names, but I will plug them in after the official results are posted. We had 22 players competing in 4 rounds.
On to the report:
Completing my 2hr drive from Cleveland, I arrived at the Clarion Hotel around 10:20AM and signed in. I got to meet the friendly Mike Demana in person at the registration table. Mike is a frequent poster at Fanaticus and is the indefatigable editor of The Herald. After signing in I browsed the vendors and watched as John Lawitzke finished up his DBA school.
John angrily confronting a newbie.
(Just kidding, John is very patient and does a great job teaching the rudimentary basics to new players wishing to play in his games. Great job John!)
First Battle: II/32. Later Carthaginian
I was a little nervous going into this fight. The Carthos are a well balanced fighting machine, and this army had some extra stompy power with two elephants. My plan for whole day was to win the terrain (Thracians are Ag. 1), place two forests and a steep hill. Unlike my previous games with my Thracians, I put the hill on the flank instead of the center.
An Early Turn
It was a race to the center patch of bad going as the Cartho general put his bad going troops on his right wing and center. Luckily, he deployed them in his main battle-line and they were slowed down, allowing me to get there first and reinforce my Aux. with Ps. to get the bonus vs. his Wb.
Above is a shot of the battle for the center of the board. My Aux. and Ps. vs. his Aux. and Wb. My Thracians killed all of the Cartho bad going troops, winning the game: 4-0.
Second Battle: II/33. Polybian Roman
My Thracians continued their tour of the Mediterranian and wound up in Italy to face the Republican Romans. This was the second time my Thracians have faced the Polybians under the command of a pre-teen. So with some trepidation on my part, the battle commenced. The nine-year-old Ian came into this fight having defeated a veteran player (tee-hee, you know who you are!) and was eager to add to his body count. Again, I won terrain and the battle was fiercest in the center. I was able to dispatch his Ps. and a couple Bd. and Sp. to get to 4 dead elements, I thought I would go without losing any elements…
“Please mister., if you let me win I won’t kill your light horse.”
Observe my Lh. trying to make a get-away on the right in the photo. Ian’s Ps. and Bd. are in hot pursuit.
A “Parthian Shot.”
Making good on his threat, Ian dealt the death-stroke to my Lh., recoiling them off the table! I won the game 4-1.
Third Battle: IV/82. French Ordonnance
Going into this battle I told myself: “Here is where I die, so much for a chance at first place.” However, I was a bit premature in my estimate of how the battle would go. I was very lucky to win the terrain again against the moderately low aggression French. I used my same terrain strategy with the hope of of my opponent breaking up his line into manageable chunks. He kindly obliged…
At this point I managed to kill 2 elements of Knights by pulling them into the bad going against my Aux. and cutting off any means of escape with my Lh. You can see this on the left hand side of the pic. One of the Lh. got ZOC’ed by incoming Ps., but the other element was able to make a run at the camp, taking it, and winning the game: 4-0.
Final Battle: III/40. Norse Viking and Leidang
The final round. I went into this last match 3-0 (2 others had the same record), with only one element lost. I was feeling pretty invincible. As usual, I won the terrain and placed it exactly as I had all day. I placed my units and then watched with glee as my opponent Bob placed his Bd. in 3 big clumps in the bad going closest to him, and a lone Ps. in the center. One half of my army was on the other side of the board, but I figured I could deal with his columns whil I pulled my other Aux. into position. My Lh. was on my right flank and began the long run to his camp-mistake #1.
Around the Third Bound
I moved my Ps. up the left flank to delay his Bd. as the Aux moved in on his center Ps. and killed it-that made the Vikings very angry. At this point I started to run into PiP management problems. My Lh. were now far enough from my general to start sucking 2 PiPs. Bob saw what was up and sent an element of Bd. to run interference. One of the Lh. charged the Bd. and the other took the camp — I was now up 3-0.
So at this point I was pretty confident that I had this game in the bag–mistake #2. What I soon realized was that my Lh. were going to be counter-attacked in the camp-I took it too early. Also, my Ps. were in trouble from advancing Bd. Who overlapped them and managed to kill them in separate combats. To make matters worse, his Bd. emerged from the woods to face off against my Aux. in the bad going. They came out into the gap between terrain features and promptly formed a kinked line. This effectively caused a stand-off: he wasn’t going into the bad going, I wasn’t going to charge a kinked line of blades in open ground.
My 3-2 lead wasn’t looking so solid anymore. My Lh. fended of 3 attacks on the camp (with me forgetting to add the bonus-mistake #3) before being killed. Now it was 1-3 and looking bleak. By this time everyone else was done, so it was time to force a decisive moment: I charged a lone stand of Aux. against his Bd. line and locking in combat. On his next turn he closed the door on my Aux. The dice were rolled: I rolled a 6! So did he…it was over- a very disappointing loss. But as Mike Demana said, it was a bad draw, so what can you do? I was hoping to at least place 3rd, so I could qualify for the NICT at Historicon. No such luck, since scores were based also on elements killed and I killed only enough to win the matches, with no dead generals either. I’m not sure where I placed, but I’ll find out when John posts the final scores. All in all, I had a great time and it was nice to see Dan Joyce field his Byzantines, and to meet Fanatici Mike Demana and Mike Stelzer (Stelzone). I was pretty happy to go 3-1 with Thracians in a 22 person open event, and thanks again to John for running a great event. I look forward to next year!