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Justinian and the Reconquest of the East (delayed)

Today is the second anniversary of trading at Bristol Independent Gaming. No other excuse was needed for the Tercio to send their legendary L’art de la Guerre display team to the heart of the West country’s wargaming world.

The store has a well stocked retail area plus an upstairs with six gaming tables. The rear area doubles as a fitness centre but today the area was covered by a range of gaming systems that included Flames of War, Bolt Action, Wierd War Two and even a Dinosaur game. B.I.G. Is investing in cloths that are a delight to play on. I pre-ordered two within minutes.

My opponent today was the maestro of the competition circuit, Mr. Colin ‘the hollow shell of a man’ Cavanagh. Always anxious to recruit the most fashionable army, Colin opted for Nikephorian Byzantines with Georgian allies. This gave the West Country genius spear/ archer combinations plus elite heavy cavalry with bows. Georgians gave him shock horse but at a risk…….


Regular readers will know that my current competition favourite has morphed from Late Roman to Patrician Roman to the current Early Byzantines. 

Corps One: Brilliant commander, four Boukellaroi heavy cavalry(impact bow elites), one light horse with bow and two foot bowmen units.

Corps Two: Brilliant commander, two Hun elite light cavalry, five skoutatoi (heavy swordsmen with support)

Corps Three: Competant commander, four Kavallarioi heavy cavalry (bow), one light horse with bow.

Colin was the attacker and chose the plains. I did manage to get some files in front in order to disrupt his horsemen. My right wing Kavallarioi were seriously outclassed and outnumbered so deployed ready to redeploy to the centre. But, the dice gods are always fickle, the fickle Georgians rolled and were unreliable…

The umpire was called at this point to confirm that Colin had indeed thrown a one on the dice. Colin made the best of it by questioning the source of the yellow dice and whether it actually was flat. Undeterred he sent his Byzantine hordes to swamp my evacuating Kavallariori. My hope was that my skoutatoi could crush the spear/archer combinations in the centre. My mistake in putting Huns in with a foot corps. In a couple of turns my Hun scouts were unhorsed and worse still the Georgians had become reliable.

Mistake number two was to divide my elite Boukellarioi to both sides of my infantry line. The Georgians swiftly changed flanks and positioned themselves to roll up my foot.

Elite heavy cavalry are tough though. The Georgians were held up long enough for my swordsmen to slice through the Nikephorian foot. Two more units of Boukellarioi held up the Nikephorian horse in the orchard. Colin sent in more and more cavalrymen but the thin line held and skewered the rash general.

My small army was suffering from too many disruption points to stay in the fight. The suicidal abandonment of my camp had cost me dear. My thanks to Colin for a great game. All that was left was to seek solace with Andy Unwin’s dungeon saga, oh the shame!


  1. Mark

    Getting Mr Unwin’s opinion on whether the dice actually showed a 1 or not was a good move. He has much experience of seeing that particular digit appear regularly on his own dice, so is ideally suited to a roll like that.

    I am sorry I missed all the fun & games, especially with me living in Brizzle ‘n all, but I wuz away on holiday in Madrid & will also sadly miss the next LadG 28mm competition occurs over the Xmas/New Year period. All this foreign culture is going to be the death of me I am sure!

    But fear not fans, my slot is booked for Cardiff in early Dec … & the new army is progressing very nicely (thanks for asking) :))

    Liked by 1 person

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