Last Modified 01/20/07
Once again Don Effinger was kind enough to ferry me to Historicon and make all the arrangements. We also picked up Rob Broom of WHW and chatted from JFK airport to central Pennsylvania about Warhammer Ancients, supplements, miniatures and games. I couldn't wait to game this year since I missed last year because of work, and for the last year an a half I've been really busy with an overloaded work schedule and then a book release! All I wanted to do is game a little and connect with many of the gamers that have helped me put the Alexander the Great book together. It was great to see Mike Bruck, Vince Salvato, Tony Edwards, Tom Opalka, Mike Reardon, Steve Schifani, all major players in getting the Alexander the Great supplement done. At least I was able to buy them a couple beers! There were plenty of others there I recognized from the past, and new people to meet as well too many to mention, but it is all too much fun and goes by way too fast!
My adventure started with packing up all the miniatures I would need... I spent the good part of a Sunday packing pikemen, and cursing their
long spears. My solution was to pack an aluminum camera case with everything I could and put that into a large suitcase with clothing and books, scenario
packs etc. I had a cheap plastic toolbox for the four elephants I was bringing. (Three Indians ones for the Alex demo and one for the tournament). My Companion
Cavalry have plastic spears so I felt more comfortable hand carrying these in the toolbox. All the models were magnetized so they would sit upright on a metal plate at the bottom of the toolbox. My biggest fear was that the big suitcase would be searched and the monkey-handed goons would be pulling out my foam padded figures dropping them on the floor with folks crunching them into oblivion... Luckily that did not happen.. The big bag went on the plane...
Unfortunately, the plan with the toolbox wasn't as acceptable to the security officers as they made me unpack the whole thing so they could
re-X-ray the metal plate.. They were nice enough about it as I slowly went about the task...(not that I didn't have a frown going...) Oh well once searched it was onto to the non-stop to JFK. We arrived and found a nice gathering of familiar faces, had some beer and then retired to our scattered rooms.. I went to work unpacking the armies to see how much breakage occurred.. A little bit, but less than I expected.
Thursday saw us spending most of the afternoon vending and spending.. I did my share, but never ran across a copy of Duncan Head's Montvert Persian
book....someday I'll find one! After early dinner we gathered our minis for the Doubles. Don and I decided to pool our list so he had the cheesiest
bunch of pikemen on his half, and I took the cheesiest bunch of wedges and elephant on mine. It was lucky we took this as our first match up was
against Mike Reardon and Tony Edwards who displayed a solid wall of Greeks. An alliance of all the city states with Spartans and Athenians and Argives. Not one cavalryman amongst them. Such a solid wall was going to render all my wedges useless... Luckily I concentrated really hard and their 4D6 oracle
roll only served them up half a dozen oracles... I'll take mind control over luck any day!
Tony as you can see is
disturbed, probably thinking "I can't believe we are going to lose to these
guys!" Mike has already selected the unit that will roll up our battleline! Don and I presumed we would still lose, but we pressed on, knowing that
his skill at dice rolling would offset my lack of skills- we were a team with a plan- a
scary thought! The game was very chesslike for the longest time. Our goal was to
stretch their line, allowing my cavalry wing to find flanks and gaps. On my extreme right
wing, my light cavalry got nowhere as unlucky Ld rolls keep rolling them backwards. In the
center Tony rolled a fear check for his skirmishers to charge the elephant, they failed..
Only later on did we remember that skirmishers were "Used to the beasts" for
this game.. It was an unfortunate error since if Tony had driven off the elephant, things
may have gone better for them later.
On my left, Don lost our flank guards (who cares! he can roll dice!) and I got to do a double take as I realized our own paltry force of six staff slingers were fighting our own elephant! Mike's Spartans were about to contact the levies... Euuuuu......With a growing sinking feeling happening,I decided I needed to get rolling in
the center and charged Tony's general's phalanx with the elephant and my one phalanx.. The wedges just sat and watched.
Don unleashed the "Secret Weapon" a toy elephant that made noise and stomped on the table... Tony and Mike were obviously terrorized by Don's desperate
ploy... But the toy elephant did work... Soon not only was Don reaping the benefits of "Idiot Luck", but it was rubbing off on me as well! Both of us were HOT HOT HOT and as the Greek oracles ran out they were NOT!
Notice Don's expert dice rolling technique, caught on film for the first time! Mike's Spartans just hammered away at the levies and couldn't break them... The other phalanxes next to them grinded ad nauseum... This amused us to no end as our lack of any skill at maneuver was paying great dividends now as the whole enemy line was gobbled up trying knock out a few of Don's levies :)
aimed one phalanx that was close enough to charge in with the elephant. This was the
center of Tony's line and he had his general there, I kept rolling hot myself and eked out
wins. After a few rounds my troops busted through the Greek center phalanx
and they fled with their general. Eventually I ran them down..Which brought the game to a
close. Don added up the score and we awaited the next game. We had a plan! Well sometimes
it's better to just be very lucky.
The next game was against a Biblical alliance army consisting of Assyrians under Doug Ray and Hittites under James Langley. We found ourselves in the likely spot of being in the top escelon of this two game doubles format. I faced the Hittites, under James, who wasn't showing his name tag... Vinny told me his name was Dave.. So poor James had to endure me calling him that the whole game-- he was nice enough not to call me a big fat idiot to my face... But again my apologies.. He probably didn't hear me anyway as the game room soon got noisier than a disco in TJ.
So Biblicals won the the first turn and James ran out gobs of chariots out to my right flank. His general and standard were with them... I had no real choice
other than to ram them with wedges... Eventually enough hammer blows did them in, but only after enormous casualties to both sides. The chariots were in disorder,
his general and ASB destroyed and my few remaining troops running rampant (I lost 50% of my points) Near the game end, James' Hittites were few and far between.
Don and Doug toodled on the flank and the Assyrians weren't keen on advancing. Ultimately since James and I had such a bloodletting, and the
(unstoppable duo of Tom Opalka and Steve Schifani dropped their game), Don and I ended up winning the doubles... A truly unexpected coup that nauseated
Vince, something we will remind him of..... As long as possible! Much praise to Vince for putting on such a massive event with so many
players involved, I am in awe that he was able to keep us going without chaos breaking out! (Afterwards I realized we had 22 teams!). His scenarios added some new interest to the games-- but in the last game we had troops show up late.... Ultimately we didn't need them.... But then again it was a CW army against our cheeseball doubles AoA killer Mac lists-- not really an even matchup.
Created by Jeff Jonas 08/03