Sunday, 11 September 2011


10th September saw Colours wargames show at Newbury racecourse. I have said before that I really like this venue. Although the multi levels is not ideal, the glass front to the Grandstand makes it feel really light and airy. While the club put on our FoW game again I joined the Skirmish Wargamers for a 54mm Al-Andalusia game with Hail Caesar rules.

Pete had organised the game, even getting figures from members who could not make it and did a magnificent job. He and Beth had set up some brilliant looking terrain and written out cards for all the units so everyone had everything they needed. Myself and Alan played the Muslims, while Beth and Ted were the Christians and Pete umpired.

The first nice touch is Pete let me and Ted (as C-in-C) pick our units by flipping and coin and then alternately selecting units. This resulted in Ted placing a preference in missile troops, while I found myself with a mass of heavy cavalry and infantry, which I hoped would give us the edge. I took command of our cavalry on our right, while Alan took the infantry on the left with the lights planning to move through the marsh. The enemy deployment almost mirrored ours, with Ted having the cavalry opposite me and Beth the infantry opposite Alan.

Above: Muslim cavalry, below: Muslim infantry
Above: Christian cavalry, below: Muslim cavalry
While the Christian forces dallied (or failed many command rolls), the Muslims hurried forward to attack the infidels. I angled part of my cavalry to either side of the wood, chasing down and catching the unfortunate horse archers on the outer edge and preparing to charge the enemy infantry in the centre (below).
While I fought off the majority of the enemy cavalry, and drew the attention of the rest on the other flank Alan harassed them with his skirmishers, while the Frankish infantry (presumably gold had outweighed their faith to their God) formed a second line behind the cavalry that then took its turn to stand around doing nothing before finally charging in just dribs and drabs (below).
By now my flanking force was truly surrounded (above), but in the centre after some viscous push and shove, we had broken though and were sweeping left and right to open this hole in the enemy lines (below).
The remains of the enemy infantry tried valiantly to hold against the Frankish heavies, but were gradually pushed back (above), and with the cavalry behind them their fate was sealed,while all the Christian cavalry could do was face off against the Muslim cavalry and watch their infantry be cut down behind them, resulting in a famous victory for the Muslims.
This was a great fun game and ran fairly smoothly for a first run through of the rules, mostly thanks to Pete's organisation and I really look forward to playing the rules again in any scale, although the 54mms really do have visual effect nothing else can achieve.

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