It’s very hard to be a top competition wargamer. Lesser mortals may worry about bills and squeaky car brakes but the true enthusiast can only think about his wargames army. What better way to test your metal than to visit our old despertaferres pal, Richard Bodley Scott.
My Late Romans would be facing his early Persians. I had bulked up my legionaries and moved almost all of my horse to one command. Richard had a central command of mixed spear and archer units, including three elite sparrabarra. Two commands of mounted archers and bow armed mounted skirmishers could perhaps have been predicted.
Despite his vast fortune, Richard avoids all terrain that cannot be a) carried in his briefcase and b) cannot be purchased from a 1970s Hobbycraft. The deployment of the armies in L’Art de la Guerre is crucial. The armies were deployed and then RBS claimed the “I didn’t know that” rule that meant he moved his right hand command out to the flank…
I thought my only hope was to defend against these interlopers around my camp whilst crushing his medium infantry with my gallant legionaries. Could my foot accomplish this before Richard flanked me?
My legionaries didn’t make it to the central rough ground before RBS. How I wished I’d given my troops armour. Perhaps strangely in the rules some troops have armour protection factored in but not my swordsmen. On my right, German heavy horse and cataphracts pushed Richard’s skirmishing horse back but the infantry assault was already faltering.
My Alans avoided a head on clash with the Persian light horse but being behind the lines, RBS did not push home the assault on my camp. Rather, another formation of horse slaughtered my auxilia who lost the race to the central rough ground. Particularly note worthy were my ballista who certainly kept RBS honest.
He’d broken my host. It had been quite surreal explaining a new rules set to his majesty of the rulebook. Interestingly LADG does have that air of familiarity for DBM and Field of Glory players. The idea of cavalry being able to shoot was indeed what RBS was proposing for the future of the much admired DBM all those year’s ago. It’s always a steep learning curve playing Richard. On re-reading the lists, I’ m going with more cataphracts and the armour makers are going to be busy in Rome!