Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Hot Lead 2011 - Battle One

And so once more I set forth to Beast Towers full of joy, hope and youthful optimism, kind of like George Orwell on his way to the Spanish Civil War. Would I return as beaten, embittered and disillusioned as him? My regular readership (thank-you both) can probably guess the answer, if you’re new here – read on to find out!

The journey down was largely uneventful, although Scriv’s Sat. Nav. took objection to being asked to locate a McDonalds for breakfast and took us on an entertaining and informative tour of the less travelled environs of greater Evesham.

Fortified (if that’s quite the word) by pancake, maple syrup and processed pork produce we arrived in plenty of time to locate tables, opponents and old chums. I was drawn to play Ian, who I’d not met before and had some form of Saxon Shieldwall army (Mercian?) with some scary looking Viking allies. Martin had prepared some cunning scenarios and we would be playing Watch Your Flanks for this game. I’d given this some thought, so kept my mounted troops in reserve and placed my spear blocks in a horseshoe shape in the centre of the board at my table edge. Come and get me…

Try getting past this, Infidels!
Unfortunately although I’d given it some thought I’d apparently not given it much reading, with a result that my cavalry came on inside my defensive horseshoe, disrupting my clever plan and generally getting in the way.

Out of the way you fools!
Fortunately for me it was not all going Ian’s way either. His flank force took a while to turn up and in the meantime he charged one of my spear blocks with a cavalry unit. Some lucky javelining and some poor dice rolls later and they were fleeing and would play no further part in the battle! Meanwhile in back field my tribal skirmishers were dealing with the Saxon archers, my plan seemed to be working!

Steady, warriors of Allah!
On my comand, unleash heat seeking javelins!

Random shot of Andy v James on the adjacent table. Niiice!
However Ian’s forces were closing in, particularly his fearsome looking Vikings who eventually crashed into one of my units of Berbers. Ulp! Imagine my surprise when they proved to be armed with comedy foam swords and rubber spears and Ibn Coldir’s regulars were able to beat them and run them down!

 It's all going too well...

 Send them to Valh-Allah!

Not wanting to let this success go to my head I spent the last turn reorganising my forces to what seemed like a safe position, confident that my spear block on the right could handle the onrushing warbands.
Sadly, however, I am used to playing my games of WAB using either El Cid or AoA, the first of which doesn’t feature warbands, the second of which modifies their rules. So to my horror the Berber block succumbed to the dreaded “autobreak” rule and fled from the board, taking their Sayid, Abd Inuff with them and turning a 300 point winning position into a 40 or so point loss!

A great fun game with a good guy opponent. I felt I’d actually played pretty well and was annoyed with myself for not remembering about warbands and autobreak, though to be fair I remembered in subsequent games but was unable to find an effective counter.


  1. Nice pictures and fun report. Indeed, one must be careful of warbands! I never have liked the auto break rule.


  2. Sounds like good fun. Very nice troops you have and great game photos.