And so, once more down to Evesham by mini for another Hot Lead at Gripping Beast Towers.
Scrivs kindly picked John and myself up and we passed the journey in the traditional manner, Scrivs and I "putting the wargaming world to rights" while John lay in the rear seat with his fingers in his ears begging us to shut up for the duration.
On arrival in beautiful downtown Evesham we played again the much loved "Hunt the Golden Arches" game that we like to use to pass the time as we've arrived too early. Several roundabouts later we were sitting in McDonalds tucking into a McHeartyRepast or somesuch and getting third degree mouth burns from the coffee.
Suitably revived we made our way back to GB Towers, only to find the gates barred against us! Fortunately, before the assembled wargames fraternity began to fight over the conch shell and make fire, Martin arrived in his car, and something vaguely resembling a heavily tatooed and even more heavily hungover member of the human race stumbled from the passanger seat and let us in. Morning Darren!
For this event I'd decided to give the Early Saxons a run out. Mainly because I'd played with the Almoravids at a few recent GB events and fancied a change. To add extra spice I also decided to use the Sea Raiders list from Age of Arthur. To make it even more exciting I decided to only write the army list at ten pm the night before the event and not play any games with the list at all. Ever. A plan without flaws I'm sure you'll agree.
So after the usual meeting and greetingI was directed to table seven to play the Abbey scenario against James and his Almohads because Martin had assumed I'd be bringing Almoravids and that would be a good and historicalish match-up. The benefits of not writing a list writ large. Ahem.
Anyway James had just flown in from the US of Stateside and so had borrowed an army. One that he'd never used before. And he'd not played any WAB since Hot lead last year. That's taking the "no preparation" approach to a whole new level. Respect. Sadly he'd been in the country for about five days, so my hopes that jet-lag would kick in half way through the game leaving me with an easy victory were to be dashed.
Actually I've played James at least a couple of times at events before and always had a good time, he's a great chap and it was nice to see him back in the country again, so I was looking forward to the game.
After some confusion sown by a nameless former owner of Wargames Illustrated I established that I was the defender and would be using my 1500pt list, attempting to stop the dastardly Arabs from annexing the church and adding a minarette or two. Though quite why my rampaging pagans were defending a church we never quite figured out.
My list was as follows
15 Gedrith in light armour
8 Mtd Gedrith led by a Thegn
13 Skirmishing Geoguth
By sticking the three foot characters in the Gedrith I was able to ensure that almost the entire army was Fierce and would be failing Warband tests on a 1 or 2. I find this helps with those tough "Shall I charge or not?" decisions.
The Almohad side had but 1000points and was a couple of large mixed units of spear and bow, some skirmishing slingers and a unit of the reliably irritating Andalusian horse.
Anyway I despatched Bob Dillaen, my Scop to defend the building, James set up his army and we were off.
At this point I got all excited and forgot to take any more pictures.
In the end I managed to keep the marauding Arabs from the Abbey. Bob Dillaen acquitting himself well against the skirmishers. This was a pretty good scenario for me, my fast moving open order troops were always likely to get to the building more easily than the big Almohad blocks and I was able to keep enough troops alive to deny James a win, despite some rather hairy moments.
A good start to the day against a splendid opponent.