I've been following his painting on his blog for a while now and was really looking forward to seeing the models in the metal as it were.
Sure enough I wasn't disappointed, the army looked fantastic.
As it was the first outing for the Spanish I thought it only right and proper to use my Almoravids for that authentic "in supplement" feel. I'm not planning on taking the Almoravids to Hot Lead as I feel like giving the Early Saxons a run out, but I'd always rather play genuine historical opponents when possible, and to be honest no amount of practising is likely to make me any better at the game come Sunday.
We randomly generated a scenario from the list on the GB web site and deemed that I would be defending a ruined pillar of great value and interest to Moorish Imams. Meanwhile the infidel Spanish would be doing their best to defile it in the name of their god.
My 1000pt list included
2x23 Berbers with Large shields
9 Berber horsemen
As I type this up I've just realised that I overspent on characters. So I cheated. Sorry Scrivs.
Scrivs 1500 pt list was:
Infante General and Arminger ASB in a unit of 10 Caballeros Hildagos
Infante in a unit of 11 Caballeros
21 Peones and 7 Aqueros
9 Peones Light Infantry with throwing spears
He hadn't cheated.
I deployed with the two units of spear flanking my Enormous Column with Archers by the hill on my right, skirmishers skulking in the foliage and the Berber horse over on the left.
El Scrivs took the first turn and signalled a general advance.
The rallied Caballeros crashed into the Berber cavalry despite their attempt to flee.
And the skirmishers clashed on the fringes of the wood.
The Hildagos, clearly stung, thundered home into the skirmishing archers.
However the Berber Cavalry were holding their own, with the Caballeros clearly most afflicted by "newly painted" syndrome.
In the centre the Peones and Arqueros peppered the guarding units with sharp objects. Cleverly staying far enough away to stop the nominated Shrine Guardians from charging.
The Hidalgos reversed and charged into a unit of Berbers. Fortunately the jinettes failed their test to charge home and add weight to the combat.
However El Scrivs issued a challenge and Imran the Imam reluctantly stepped up to the plate.
In the final turn the Christian forces closed in on Ibn Coldir's Enormous Column and Ibn Coldir launched himself at the Caballeros (who had finally disoposed of the Almoravid cavalry) hoping to break them and secure the column for himself. Sadly it was my turn to be afflicted with rubber spears and I was actually lucky not to break and flee.
As the clamour of battle died down. We totalled up the victory points. El Scrivs had most men nearest my Column, so claimed 500 extra victory points. Which was enough to gain him a narrow victory. In truth my final charge had robably cost me the game as it reduced the unit below half strength and killed another four men who would have been close to the pillar.
However as I cheated in my army list a Spanish victory was clearly the correct result.
It was, as usual when playing Paul, a great game, with all the good stuff I like about WAB: see-sawing throughout with the result in doubt until we'd done the maths.
You can read El Scrivs own version of events over on his blog
Really looking forward to Hot Lead now.
If any of this has got the juices flowing for playing some El Cid games, don't forget El Scrivs and I are running an event at Maelstrom later in the year. There are still places left. Link at the top of the page or click here.
Elsewhere at Maelstrom there was this rather lovely big Napoleonic game going on.
No idea who or what any of it is, but it looks smashing doesn't it?
Must. Resist. Napoleonics.