In my quest I was to be aided by some local Andalusians as we united to rid the land of infidel Christians. My fellow general was Lawrence, a man brimming with plans, ideas and dreams of glory. Sadly for him (and indeed the hopes of the Muslim cause as a whole) Ibn Coldir was appointed supreme commander and Lawrence was destined to play Toshack to my Keegan, Rodney to my Del Boy or, more realistically, Ernie to my Eric.*
Facing us across the table were some turncoats from the true faith in the shape of Jim's Andalusians allied with the Infidel in Chief - El Cid - in the persona of Gary.
I concocted a plan brilliant in both simplicity and elegance (elegant for Lawrence, simple for me - play to your strengths I say), one that both Lawrence and I agreed would bring us success, riches and the acclamation of our fellow men.
Then I forgot what we'd agreed and plonked my soldiers down in a way pleasing to the eye.
There now follows some eye candy...
On my side of the table the newly painted, much vaunted, mercenary Christian Knights of whom much was expected once more failed a mercenary test and were subsequently routed by others of their faith.
Much shooting went on from my men to little discernible effect and the battle was proceeding in the expected manner (Gary deploying tactics and skill, me removing dead men) when El Cid, defender of the faith, bravest knight in all Christendom, scourge of the Almoravids and all round man of steel found himself in easy charge range of some Black Guard, with his First Charge still unused. Despite the obvious mismatch, Ibn Coldir put his faith in Allah and taunted the Campeodor to charge. After a brief pause all that could be heard was "beeep-beeep these knights are reversing, beeep-beeep these knights are reversing" as El Cid, defender of the faith, bravest knight in all Christendom, scourge of the Almoravids and all round man of steel soiled his armour and backed off.
Over and over again.
Tragically in the next turn El Cid, defender of the faith, bravest knight in all Christendom, scourge of the Almoravids and all round man of steel charged the Black Guard in the face and handed it out big style.
Ibn Coldir, a man as brave as he is tactically inept stepped forward to challenge El Cid, defender of the yadda, yadda and at this point the campaign organiser and author of the El Cid supplement popped by to tell Gary that I was, in fact, cheating and that the Ibn Coldir's stats were being greatly inflated! After a dignified and adult discussion that didn't include any exchanges that sounded like this "noitisn'tyesitisnoitisn'tyesitisnoitisn'tyesitisnoitisn'tyesitisnoitisn'tyesitisnoitisn'tyesitisnoitisn'tyesitis" it turned out that James thought that wily old Emir Ibn Coldir was, in fact Imran the Imam and we were therefore both right.
Then El Cid killed Ibn Coldir and all his Black Guard.
Another splendid game on fantastic looking scenery with three top chaps. 10000 points of beautifully painted models (well, 7500 plus the ones I'd finished the night before) looked absolutely terrific, and I think I may possibly be ruined for regular sized games from here on in.
The next instalment will feature a flooded bath, the glorious charge of the Kamel Korps and Lawrence and I get a chance for rewenge!!!
*Readers of a non-English persuasion (or indeed those under the age of 30 or so) are directed to Google to work out what the heck I'm on about.
**insert your favorite "Worlds Shortest Book" gag here***
***I would like to point out hat this is an anti-fundamentalist joke, not anti-Muslim. I am even handed in my mockery of fundamentalsts of whatever stripe, be they Christian, Muslim or fans of Wargames Research Group 6th Edition.