Last Modified 01/20/07

WAB Singles Tournament

Day Two Friday- WAB tournament-
First let me say that it has grown! I think last time I was at HCon (2001) there were 28 players. This time there were 44 in three groups. The Lampeter
room was cool and comfortable but the tables were too close together... It was quite difficult to move around. But I was glued to the gaming tables
anyway so this wasn't all that bad. I was excited to get in some more gaming. I just wish there was time to see more games in progress, there seemed to be alot of really well painted armies on display.

My tournament list was based on the AoA Alexander and his Successors list, it followed loosely an early Successor
style army, the goal was to bring units that would also be usefull in the Alex demo game on Saturday.

Early Seleucid Army for WAB tournament (AoA Alex)

ARMY GENERAL ...... Seleucus     175 points Save 4+ 186 pts 
Equipment: Sword. Heavy armour, kontos. Warhorse. Special Rules: Army general.

ARMY STANDARD BEARER ...... Antiochus    80 points Save 3+ 89pts 
Equipment: Sword. Light armour. Large Shield. Warhorse. Special Rules: Army  standard bearer. Total 275 pts

CAVALRY Up to 50%
10x ROYAL GUARD .... 33 points per model +Leader +Standard + musician 15  Save 4+ 345 pts
Equipment: Armed with sword and kontos. Shield and Light armour (heavy
armor). Special Rules: Stubborn. May fight in wedge formation.

8x LIGHT CAVALRY ............ 19 points per model +Leader +musician 10 Save 5+ 162 pts
Equipment:Armed with swords, bows, and shield. Throwing spears. Special
Rules:Light Cavalry.

Total 507 pts

INFANTRY At least 25%
25 VETERAN PHALANX..... 15 points per model +Leader+Musician+Standard +15 Save 5+ 390 pts
Equipment: Armed with sword, pike, light armour and shield. Special Rules:
Phalanx formation. Veterans are stubborn.

25 REGULAR PHALANX..... 10 points per model +Leader+Musician+Standard +15
Save 5+ 265 pts
Equipment: Armed with sword, pike, light armour and shield. Special Rules:
Phalanx formation.

48 LEVY PHALANX..... 5 points per model +Leader+Musician+Standard +15 Save 5+ 255 pts
Equipment: Armed with sword, pike, light armour and shield. Special Rules:
Phalanx formation.

Total 910 pts

9x MERCENARIES ...... 7 points per model Save 6+ 63 pts
Equipment: Armed with hand weapon and bow. Shield at +1 pt. Special Rules:

9x MERCENARIES ...... 6 points per model +Leader +5 Save 6+ 59 pts
Equipment: Armed with hand weapon and javelin. Shield at +1 pt. Special
Rules: Skirmishers. Total 122 pts

1x ELEPHANTS ...... 150 points per model 186 pts
Equipment: Elephants have up to three crew (+24) armed with bows and pikes
(+6). Light armour (+6)
Special Rules: Elephant, Save 4+ to the front only. Crew in howdah 4+.

Total 186 pts

ArmyTotal 2000 pts

Army Selection

The army was selected mostly for balance. A modest amount of firepower could be generated by the elephants and skirmishers.  TheVeteran  phalanx could grab onto something and hold it there long enough for help to arrive. I chose the Agema horse because I wanted their leadership of 9, with stubborn these guys can operate away from the general. I expected lots of levy phalanxes as opposition, so I felt that my general would need to hang back and command- as Onasander says "The role of the general is to command not to fight at the front"... My General  would mostly be conducting activities and not getting "stuck in" (in fact during all three games very few opportunities arrived for the general and ASB to charge).  The twelve peltasts are a cheap and useful unit, their missiles can help buttress the firepower when needed, and reforming and charging units in the flank can somtimes be a game winner.. but their main role is covering the flank of the phalanx, not troops do that better.  The big 48 levy phalanx was taken because it looked really cool at 8 figures wide by 6 deep. Eventually levy phalanxes will be suffer penalties unless in large units, so this was showing the wave of the future. The Light cavalry were slaughtered in every game.. I don't know if these new Vendel Sogdians are just an unlucky unit... they even routed in the Alex Demo as well.. maybe they could roll better leadership if I paint them a standard!   The elephant was by Newline designs and was my army's central showpeice, it is a very nice model, enhanced by very cool Dark Age Designs tranfers on the shields.

Game 1 vs Later Seleucids
My first game was against Don Manser's excellently painted Later Seleucids. Right off the start I was getting a great looking historically matched game- that's what I pay my money and take the long trip for! Don's black primed technique really looked great on his Argyraspids and other armor, the army looked unified with similar tones, what a scene! (Too bad I was going to be forced to crush him ;)... Or so I thought!)

Don's forces were similar to mine, two regular phalanxes, two levies, shock cavalry, an armored African elephant, a unit of peltasts and Thracians. This was a take and hold scenario. Don moved first so he got the jump on the relic at the center of the table (was it Alexander's gold wreath? The Sacred Shield of Achilles? A sacred gourd? Who knows.. we both wanted those extra VP's).

I decided to push with my left flank and outflank his right. I would try to hold up his left wing with my Royal Guards- a dumb choice, as we will see. At the start, Don's peltasts put up a determined fight on his right wing, sending off my light cavalry ... Eventually my peltasts wore down his equal sized unit and faced off against his Thracians, neither of these risked a charge. And they resorted to pelting each other.  I isolated my veteran phalanx against his left wing phalanx, but the elephants could not reach, so they fought stubbornly to hold on. Eventually the elephant charged in, the advantage swung to my side,but his
troops held. The pikes pushed solidly back and forth in the center.  Further to the right the levies hurled insults at one another, neither side risking a charge.

On the right flank things got ugly for me.. My Royal Guard cavalry could not make a
4+ save (to literally save their lives) and were whittled down to 5 models by the elephant's archers! They
routed and then rallied but this force was useless without a way to get rid
of that elephant. I had made the mistake of not getting skirmishers over
there to help I was paying for it.

After turns of chesslike balance we headed for the last round. Suddenly I could not roll wounds and my front started to creak.  My general panicked..
and the line crumbled up... My soldiers were throwing away their shields and pikes and heading back into the toolbox!

Don had inflicted my first ever Historicon tournament defeat!! It was a great game and he was a great opponent, someone I would gladly play again and again!  That game was money, my favorite singles tournament game ever!

Game 2 vs Greek Alliance

Game two came against Dan Perez's nicely painted Greek alliance consisting of one Spartan phalanx and three Athenian or allied phalanxes. Dan was new to
the rules but certainly was not a novice painter as his figures were excellent for a first army- especially the hand painted shields- something
that is always impressive for the Greeks. He deployed well enough but since hie was a novice, his initial moves gained me some advantages especially when his plodidng Greeks matched against the zippy Macedonian phalanxes. He was holding well along the line until he charged my Royal Guards with his unarmored heavy cavalry. To make things worse the Royal Guards were upslope. This combat resulted in his cavalry routing and his left wing phalanx. My Comapnaions were now rolling into his rear areas on his left. Over on my left flank my elephant and light cavalry were also threatening his right wing. In
the center Dan was able to charge his remaining 20 Spartans at the 48 model levy phalanx, this combat went well for him as I needed a 4 or less on a break test to stand. The first roll failed but the re-roll of 3 held . The last turn saw his Spartans get clobbered front flank and rear, but they stubbornly held. The
score card gave me a full victory as I had lost only skirmishers and I had run down anumber of his phalanxes and most of his light troops and cavalry. Dan seemed to realize that he pushed a little too aggressively, I hope he learned some valuable lessons for his next games. Tournament learning can be a rough taskmaster! He has a super Greek army, and with some more practice his PanHellenic host will be a formidable force to deal with.

Game 3 vs Achaemenid Persians

Game three was against Colin Van Dongen and his early Achaemenid Persians... Close to a historical match, three for three woohoo! Seleucids, then Greeks,
then Persians. Can't ask for closer historical balance than that! Colin's nicely done OG figures set up their Spara across the board, they were
flanked by cavalry. I set up in a giant column with the simplistic plan of busting through his right wing. We got moving but the long range fire was
unmerciful.  My skirmishers barely survived, I sent my elephant around to rear to save it. My phalanxes ground forward. In one turn my Companions
lost 8 out of 10 models. Surely we were advancing into the valley of death!
I peeled off some troops to fend off an attempt by the Immortals to hit my right flank and those troops faired well in stopping them. Finally with time running out (in the tournament not the game). I was in reach of the enemy line on turn five. I was ready to call it quits since Don Effinger was calling a five miniute time limit, as the game was mostly a draw and Don was asking for score cards, but Colin insisted I exact some revenge for all the deadguys on my side of the table. Hesitantly I charged with my levies and regulars. The Persian levies in front of the regulars broke out of fear and ran. The levy pikes crunched into the spara wall and ended up inflicting two wounds, the Persians came back and caused three, so my pikemen lost by -1. With the general and ASB nearby things should have been ok, but an 11 followed by a 10 re-roll sent them routing.. A disasterous spate of panic tests then followed as seemingly everybody wanted out of there (visions of Albert Salmi in Paths of Glory continued to flash in front of my eyes "It's just hopeless, sir!").. Colin gained a decisive win as my
army melted away.. Certainly the most amazing flip-flop I've seen in many games on the last round!

Luckily all my opponents felt pity on me and rated me highly enough to win second place for sportsman! Winning the best painted was also a great
honour, my only regret was not having time to add much new stuff to my Macedonians since my painting time went to finishing Indian models for the demo
game the next day.. But I promise by next year I'll definitely have a completely new army to show.. That's my goal!

All I can say is that I had three great visual games, each one was a different challenge, I'd rate the game with Don Manser one of the best I've
played.. And memories like that are what make the long flight, expense, and long wait for Hcon to roll around worthwhile.

So I finished the WAB tournament 1-2.. No big deal. All the games were challenging, visually appealling, and fun, that's the most important
part. All my opponents were having fun, and so was I , and that;s what it's all about! There were tons of prizes, from signed Perry prints to plaques and miniatures and Dark Age Design Decals and shirts and Black Library books... Thanks to Rob Broom, Don, Tony Edwards (Dark Age Design), Larry at Brookhurst hobbies for giving out so much booty! My score from Brookhurst was some bags of 1st Corps Persians which will work well in my "next year's" army plans.. Of course that's if other projects like Indians and Thracians fall by the wayside!

Later that night, once refreashed and fed, myself and Mike Bruck decided we had time to play a Epirote Roman rematch. I haven't seen Mike in three
years, since he missed Hcon 01, and I missed Hcon 02. So with about 2700 pts. per side we set up a quick Pyrrhus vs. Rome 2. Mike's cool Republican
Roman army had withstood Pyrrhus 1, but only by the barest minimum.. Republican Romans have a tough time against phalanxes especially at 2k. This
with a few more points Mike's maniples covered much more ground.

The table was about 7 feet long, with woods and hills covering the flanks mid way in. In the middle there was about four and a half feet of maneuver
room.. Plenty of room for the 16 fgiure maniples and four (one big levy, one regular and two veteran) phalanxes to deploy in (we used the points from AoA
but mostly used the new rules from the upcoming supplement for wedges and phalanxes). The initial clash took place on the flanks where the velites
charged and pushed back the Epirote skirmishers. The centers lined up and began to lurch forward. On my right the velites were eventually held as my
light cavalry charged Mike's Italian horse, his horse reeled from the Samnite cavalry. On my left the Epirote and Thessalian combined horse swept
back the velites and then crushed the Roman cavaly, as some triarii stood and watched. In the center the maniples could not make headway against
either the Tarentine levies or the regular phalanxes. A group of Samnite peltasts on my left were able to reform then charge the Roman lines in the
right flank, this broke their will and the Romans retired but the Tarentines and other phalanxes failed to agressively pursue them. As night began to
fall, the Epirote cavalry was turning into the Roman rear. But the phalanx was disjointed and a late counterattack by a fresh maniple broke the Epirote line and stopped all further pursuit. Mike's Romans retired to their camp unhindered as night fell. This time with a slight advantage over the
invaders, there would be no march on Rome this year, but they hadn't yet kicked Pyrrhus out of Italy

Another fine fun and great to look at game, Mike's Republcian Romans are a wonderful sight arrayed in "triplex acies" and someday we are going to do a really big Epirote Romans challenge.. that will be one for the books!

Late to bed after the imbibing and getting the troops ready for the big Alex Demo game the next day, kept me up late.. Saturday would be the first public unveiling of rules and lists from the Alexander the Great supplement.

Created by Jeff Jonas 08/03