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Facing your demons

There are many unsavoury reasons why middle aged men meet on mountain top lay-bys but none quite so worrying as meeting to play wargames. You know you have come to a truly rural area when you can’t even see one building with lights on. James did explain that there was an old farmer who lived nearby but he had a stroke and fell into a pigsty- where his prize pigs ate him! We were in the country……

James C is a force to be reckoned with in the Despertaferres organisation. Being quick to anger and taking a “generous” attitude to written rules, James is often to be seen at events casting a disapproving eye over youngsters enjoying themselves with armies post the execution of King Charles. But, what a collector…

When competition organisers are straining to ban the scourge of earlier L’art de la Guerre armies, a certain type of player senses opportunity. On his lonely mountain top, James has collected a Crusader army in double quick time. He is a most prolific painter. He has avoided bright colours and really captured the flavour of an army on campaign. The bright flags and capris on have faded and every piece of kit seems well worn. I wish I could avoid my habit of adding garish colours.

Two commands of medium knights would be a challenge for my Late Romans. The poor state of my Maths meant that I was not certain whether my fedorate foot would stand. My hope lay in my bow armed cavalry acting ‘a la jinete’, wearing the Knights down through shooting and evading.

I did have a third command Od auxilia but medium infantry in the open against Knights? Only the archers would be venturing out onto the plain. I needn’t have worried, I didn’t need a plan, the Christian host had their own, charge! Avoiding the need to look up the effect of difficult terrain on Knights by simply moving the hills, James surged forward….

His infantry stopped on his left. The central command of Knights had my barbarians in mind. Could my cavalry live up to their reputation as the must have troop in LADG? This is where I realise my limitations, James skillfully slipped his turaco poles behind my retreating horsemen and they were trapped in front of Knights!

But, the archery from my horsemen had removed some of the impact. Joy of joys, my cavalry held their own. In the centre, after an almighty charge, my barbarians were gaining the upper hand in the resultant  slaughter.

God was obviously displeased with his earthly followers. My army had more than held its own. We had to call time at this point, as the drug smoking teenagers replaced the “man-dates” on the hills above Bridgend, it was time to drive home (avoiding looking at the scenes right and left). My thanks to James and to you dear reader!



  1. Awesome collection; very jealous. Well done James. Looks like a mountain top wargames holiday centre 😎🐏🐏🐏 book me in for next summer.


  2. If you guys were in the hills around Maesteg you were in one of the areas purported to be where King Arthur fought Mynydd Badon so at the very least there was a running theme of putting foreigners to the sword in your game! πŸ™‚ A great looking collection! Very jealous πŸ˜€


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