Monthly Meeting & AGM Saturday 2 May 2003

after action reports


Well a splendid turnout (even bigger than last year) and a great time was had by all, with a variety of successful competitions.  But first, the annual team photo:



and the traditional curry buffet:



The minutes of the AGM are to be found here.


And onto the competitions:




A competition of 5 rounds with victory to the player with the most points at the end of the day.


And the winner is . . . Pollux Poon, whose report appears below:


My Dark Elves first battle was against Philip's Empire Army.  This was Philip’s very first battle with his Warmaster army.  (I had a very lucky start) I started the battle first and all of my units obeyed my orders.  I saw Philip's steam tank and cannon put close together without the support of any other units.  I got my harpies ready to charge them if his units were not well supported by other units in the next turn.  On Philip's turn 1, he had figured my plan already but he decided to move his cavalry units first.  When he tried to issue his first order, he rolled an 11.  All command halted.  In turn 2, my harpies killed the cannon and steam tank unit.  On my left wing, my cold one units prepared to charge Philip’s pistollers and knights and eventually destroyed them.  His army retreated due to the heavy causalities. I lost half a unit of cold one and harpies.


My second battle was against Tom's Lizardman.  Sorry, I can't remember too clearly how I won this battle!


My third battle was against Simon's Lizardman again.  In this battle my army suffered the heaviest casualties.  All three cold one units were destroyed by Simon's cold one with T-Rex. My army looked hopeless to win.  Very luckily, the arrow of Dark Elves shot the cold-one with the T-Rex unit being driven into my harpies and destroyed.  My War-hydra killed another cold one.  I won less than 100 points after 6 turns of battle.


My fourth battle was against Chu Sir's Chose army.  We took high precautions against each other and nothing happen for 4 turns.  Before this battle, Chu Sir was leading in total victory points and I was second.  Therefore, he was hoping he could keep our game as a draw result.  On turn five, he made a mistake by moving his units of 3 chariot and 1 knight within 60cm of my cold-one charge range.  I used the combine effect of cold-one and harpies to destroy them all.


My last battle is against Simon Au's Orcs and Goblins.  This army is not an easy army to fight if they put themselves in defensive position.  Since Simon's usual style is charging the enemy whenever possible, I didn't need to move my units too close to his main force to prevent a counter charge.  Due to the low Ld, his attacking force could not get into attack position at the same time.  I could therefore take down all his units charging my army one by one.


Finally, I won all my battles and got a total of 1800 victory points out of these 5 games.  I enjoy the day very much.  To be the champion of the day made it even better.  



And the runner-up was . . . Albert Leung, whose report is as follows:


I started off the game quite late and my first battle was against Terence the Thunder Beast. Terence is a veteran player and I didn't expect an easy battle.  Terence was using High Elf and I was using Tomb King.  Terence’s army was well balanced, spearmen backing up archers, cavalry, chariots, eagles and blot throwers.  My army composition was very similar, skeleton backing up archers, cavalry, chariots, carrion birds and bone throwers.  However, as the Tomb King’s troops are inexpensive I could have one Tomb King and one Liche Priest and two very important magic items - Ring of Power to cast a spell automatically and Orb of Majesty to re-roll a leadership check once during the game with ldr 8.  Terence's troops were outnumbered as he had only one general and 10 troops to my 14 troops.  However, the High Elves had the better leadership and a better troop profile so I thought I could not win the war by a frontal assault.  So my strategy was very simple, I traded troops one by one with Terence and tried to outflank him with my cavalry reserve.


As the battle developed, I placed most of my infantry on top of a hill on my right flank with two of my cavalry reserves.  Actually, the right flank was looked after by my Liche Priest who only managed to give an order to the infantry brigade once to move to the hill and subsequently failed all other leadership tests for the remainder of the game.  On the left flank I exchanged blows with Terence.  First he destroyed my bone thrower with his eagles and counter charged my left wing cavalry and chariot reserves.  Next I pushed my remaining infantry forward and used them as bait.  It was a war of attrition and I think I finally understand the maths behind it.  The Tomb King has the upper hand even if I trade 2 units for 1 High Elf unit.  Near the end of the battle when we were both at the limit of retreat, Terence took the risk of charging my fortified infantry on the right flank with three chariot units.  If it had been open ground I would probably have lost the defense.  However, chariots lose charge bonus for an up hill charge (not on open terrain) and it required a 5 or 6 to hit me as I was in a fortified position.  Due to Terence’s bad die rolls, the chariots lost the fight and retreated. That was close as both my archer units had only one stand remaining.  If they had lost and the chariots had overran into my infantry units I would have lost the battle.  As the morale was high the Tomb King decided to break the High Elf.  The Carrion birds were ordered to charge the blow throwers and destroy them no matter the loss.  A cavalry unit was asked to charge the flank of Elf cavalry, who had run in too deep into my territory, and destroyed them. The over running cavalry charged into the retreating chariots and destroyed just enough units to break the High Elf.  It was a most interesting battle and it very close, as I could only get 80 points from Terence as we had both suffered heavy losses.


The next battle was against Simon Au 's Orcs and Goblins.  The battle was short and painful for Simon as he made a careless mistake during his deployment.  Simon's army was also quite well balanced.  He also had two heroes to compensate for the low leadership.  I understand the biggest disadvantage for Orcs and Goblins is their low leadership so I would not let my troops commit too soon so that they could counter charge with initiative.  The mistake I mentioned earlier was the placement of a rock lobber on his right flank.  The rock lobber was placed bit behind the main battle line.  He even let me go first . . .  the rock lobber positioning was just like waving a "Charge ME!" banner at me.  I promptly ordered my carrion with two orders to charge the rock lobber for one easy unit count.  Adding insult to injury, my birds overran into an Orc and Goblin unit and destroyed two more infantry units.  As I expected, with my single unit deep in enemy territory, leadership was further lowered and it failed with just a unit of chariots moving forward.  The Tomb King took this chance and moved my army forward in an aggressive stance.  My archers shot the remaining Orc and Goblin units and put them into confusion as they were grouped too close together.  My cavalry promptly charged into the disarrayed Orcs and got two more units.  I still needed one more unit to make the number.  Simon's lone chariot unit charged my home back birds for revenge but gave an inviting flank for my reserve cavalry units.  I still had three units readied to charge so it was almost suicide.  I finished with the wolf chariot unit and the Orcs and Globins broke.  I think it was a good lesson in learning how to place your war machines (Herbert's cannon battery is always guarded by two spearmen units side by side). And flyers are very very useful in Warmaster.  Too bad if your list doesn't have one . . .


I won the battle with just the loss of half my carrion bird units.  However, I also picked on Simon's weakest units (I left the trolls, black orcs and boar boyz untouched, he, he . . .) so the difference was only 300 points.


The last battle was against Philip's Empire army.  Philip's army has reliable cannons and solid cavalry troops.  He deployed his cavalry units on the right flank, steam tank and cannon in the middle, guarded by a unit of crossbowmen and 4 units of infantry supporting each other on the left.  My deployment was nearly the same.  If it works why change it.  I was getting greedy as I knew I had to maximize my points if I was to get a place in the competition.  So my target was Philip's expensive cavalry.  Philip's cavalry consisted of two pistollers and two knights with different armour.  My plan was to use my archers to send the enemy back with to confuse and break their battleline.  However, Philip placed his troops too well so that there was no space for my cavalry's flank charge.  I tried a frontal assault and also failed as my command failed. On the right flank my archers were having a shooting contest with the crossbowmen.  Since I am in defended position my losses could be sustained.  My plan to capture the enemy cavalry units failed as turn after turn went by.  At that time Lawrence called to end the game shortly, so I decided to use my old tactic and switched the main target to the enemy infantry.  Two units of cavalry reserves charged from the middle of the battle line to the flank of two infantry units.  It destroyed them and pursued into another two infantry units and destroyed them too. The game ended with this final charge.


I guess if I had had to face other veteran generals like Lawrence, Chu sir, Simon or Poon (sorry I can't list them all), I would have been beaten badly and could not have gained those marks so easily.  There is always a factor of luck in war . . .


I hope to challenge my arch enemy Pollux some time later . . . "I am the Dragon, before me you tremble."


Battle Cry


This year's board competition was a round-robin using 4 copies of Avalon Hill's excellent game of the American Civil War.  A hard fought series of rounds saw Paul Harrison carrying off the prize for the day.  His version of the event appears below.


Somehow I won 7 of 7 games in the Battlecry competition and Andrzej kindly presented me with a copy of the game as my prize.  It was a bit of a fluke as in many of the games I came so close to loosing. The actual games themselves are all a bit of a blur, alternating between the blues and the greys and four different scenarios, took its toll on my brain cells, I do not think it was the alcohol.  So I cannot provide individual battle reports, but for many games I thought I would not make it.


The game is very simple and playable, though my first game with Deiter we did not get some things completely right.  Each Infantry unit is represented by 4 figs, cavalry by 3 and artillery are fragile by only being 2, one piece in each unit is a flag bearer, and generals are just a flag bearer.


The board is a hex system and terrain is hexed and used to place on the board to create any one of several scenarios. The board is divided into two wings and the centre


Movement and shooting can be incredibly infuriating and there is an aspect of luck as it depends on cards drawn.  Typically you only have 4 cards (this is scenario dependent) and if you do not have an action card for a zone and your opponent is having an onslaught there, you are in trouble.  For example last night I lost, for the first time ever, against my wife’s 8 year old daughter, who also loves the game (I’m doing my bit to address the sex imbalance in the club, she likes painting figure’s too).  I was the grey’s recreating Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg .  I had many centre attack cards, pushed her to the edge of the board destroying several units and then it all dried up, I only got cards for the left wing where I had no units and she was able to defeat me. You loose when 6 of your units (represented by flags) have been wiped out.  I recommend the game as being an easy to play fun game.





Unfortunately, the report seems to have been mislaid, however, the knockout was as successful as ever with the trophy going to Peter Hunt and last year's winner, Philippe Buchle being placed second.




Painting Competition


A good variety of entries this year with the winner in the historical category being Herbert Wong and in the fantasy/science fiction category prize going to Michael Withington.  A very high standard of painting indeed - well done both and better luck next year to the other entrants!



Warhammer 40K


A friendly game - no competition this year - a few photos of which appear below.



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