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The Victory Secrets of Despertaferres….

With apologies to Wess Roberts, PhD…….

In my line of work one is often faced with tearful teenagers. For some, it might be their home situation or a lost romance that is causing the problem. For others they may fret about turning on their mobile phones or social media for fear of what someone has written and it is these unfortunates with whom I now identify. Being of a certain age, the last few weeks have not been easy. Nevermind the fact that apart from Boss Cat, no television personality from my childhood is not in prison. No, those who I once thought of as casual aquaintences have now turned on me ( even one who resigned after his first competition foray because the other players were nasty to him!) I’m talking of course who take winning games very seriously. They may not have noticed that I have gone up six places in the HGMS ADLG rankings. They may sneer at the fact that balanced scenarios never historically happened, they may laugh at those who are accompanied by piles of dead units but let them take careful note of just what was learned from last weekend’s L’art de la Guerre soirée at Bristol. Modestly, I refer to this collected wisdom as the Victory Secrets of Despertaferres….It is the distilled essence of how I have gone from last but one in the rankings to last but six.

  • If a chieftain ignores top performers , they lose their winning edge. If a chieftain ignores weak performers, they never develop a winning edge.

How my face dropped as the man mountain that is Don McHugh stepped forward to greet me. His Italian medieval Knights and bow/spear combinations would make mincemeat of my Assyrian horse so I attacked Don’s communal spearmen with my heavy swordsmen.

My chariots struck the Italian centre but the impact was less than impressive. Don’s Knights rolled up the line of chariots whilst his mixed units charged to scare away my supporting horsemen. My fault for not remembering that mixed units can’t charge mounted but shooting is very effective at unhorsing those within the quite generous bow range. My elite guards swordsmen were worth their weight in gold, they had broke the Italian line of spear.

Seeing the chariots disintegrate was enough for my Assyrian heroes to cease the slaughter of effete Italian towns militia. Time to salivate over the other, more successful, armies.

  • A chieftain who consistently inspects the work of the Warriors and Huns finds out that they consistently produce better results

  • Chieftains who assign two warriors the work of one wastes resources. They also lose the support of warriors who don’t appreciate the recognition and rewards that go with doing half a job.

Against my next opponent I would have even less of an excuse. Mr. Claxton, of Claxon Enforcement “Services” is of course well known on the South-west circuit. What followed wasn’t pretty. My chariots on the left couldn’t catch his shooty horse and my shooty horse could be caught by his elite shooty horse! In the centre my swordsmen took too long to get in against his mixed units and it wasn’t long before I brought up a stool to the painting bar and started prepping my plastic legionaries!

  • A warrior never abandons his cause. So a wise cheiftain makes sure his warriors support the tribe’s cause.

David was bringing the redoubtable Free Company to game three. How I laughed as a solid wall of foot Knights and longbowmen took the field. Dave was happy to claim the hill for his archers and my cavalry weren’t going near. In hand to hand combat my swordsmen were outclassed by mercenary armour. My chariots and supporting cavalry bow shots took Dave’s mounted Knights down on the left but the heavy battle wagons turned into the rear of Dave’s centre just as the last Assyrian guardsman  fell

  • Rebels and grumblers must be chastened or they will undermine tribal unity.

The last game and who should it be but  Mr. Whitby, causing fear through the liberal use of snorts and repeated ‘ how do you feel about that then?’. The samurai screamed towards me but I had the answer…………two and a half hours of running away. I ended up with my whole army on his baseline! Surely a moral victory?

  • Often when warriors fail to achieve what is expected of them , their chieftain has failed to convey his expectations of them.

I had thoughly enjoyed the weekend. I had led my Assyrians to defeat after defeat and still I love this game. In open competitions I have definately decided on a heavily armoured later army but that’s after my Late Romans are finished. So long as the BHGS keep adding players below me I’m happy. I will be seeking the community’s advice before the next competition. Thanks for reading and please remember to send hate mail to the eventual winner, Mr. Andrew de Unwin😓😫😫😫 what a complete winner! (My god I’m turning into a troll myself😳)



  1. From the “Leadership Secrets od Attila the Hun”. Wess Roberts PhD

    Chieftains who lead our Huns must have courage. They must be fearless and have the fortitude to carry out assignments given to them – the gallantry to accept the risks of leadership. They must not baulk at the sight of obstacles, nor must they become bewildered in the presence of adversity. The role of a chieftain has inherent periods of loneliness, despair, ridicule and rejection. Chieftains must be longsuffering in their duties – they must have the courage to act with confidence and to excel in times of uncertainty or danger as well as times of prosperity.


      • Colin C

        I sense a disturbance in the force, young Padawan ignore these bric a bracs that these lesser players throw at you and continue on your quest of self enlightenment and remember when all else fails

        “Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war”.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Just saw your message re Friday, was very busy and assume you meant last Friday. The quote comes
    from a book I have had for nearly 20 years and it is brimming with what can only be described as truths.


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