Would it be too much of an exaggeration to compare day two at Devizes Wargames ADLG competition to the stand of Finland against the Soviet behemoth ? Could two games of toy soldiers really bare any resemblance to the stand of Gallant Texas against Santa Anna at the Alamo? I leave this to you dear reader…….
You may only see the hollow shell of a man above, racked by year’s of heavy drinking and carousing around the hostelries of ill-repute. But, to those gamers on the West Country circuit, the very name Unwin sends grown men to despair and after the “car-gate” fiasco, he was without a game on the Sunday morning. Like all the top L’art de la Guerre blogs I would usually refer to an imaginary guide to discuss my performance but today I will give you a flavour of what it is like to play with the self proclaimed Wargames King of Berkley Vale Fall-out Area.
Game three was against Chris’ Indian army. Chris wore the much feared SELWG colours and talked in the arcane talk of the professional competition gamer. As he sat down on his pillow, I noticed that he had deliberately brought the biggest elephant models he could find. To add to the psychological discomfort, he had scrawled all sorts of offensive Hindi messages over said pacaderms. Sitting between two plantations the army was a potent combination of elephants, bows and impetuous swordsmen. I looked at the detail on one of the mahouts, you could even see the bits of food in the elephant drivers beard in 28mm scale. Then I realised that Chris was now sitting on two pillows and had fallen forwards.
“Mike should have secured his flanks and charged but I doubt whether Lardy boy had even thought of dismounting his heavy cavalry!”
The Byzantines advanced and fought long and hard. We were both within a unit of defeat, nail-biting stuff! A crowd gathered as Unwin pronounced my doom. But, I had what wargamers call “the full aeroplane!”
The full aeroplane refers to a situation where you have an overlap either side of your opponent, your general behind and another unit attacking your opponents rear. Like Brazilia, which was also built in the shape of an aeroplane, and was also an unqualified disaster. Chris shook out the crumbs from his beard, from secondly breakfast no doubt, and six-owned me! Instead of charging in and supporting my Slavs on the other flank, I had retreated out of bow range. Despite the Indian elephant almost being extinct on the field of battle, the Justinians were defeated.
And for some unknown reason, the umpire was rubbing his hands………
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article then please contact the Samaritans online. Tabletop bullying is a real issue and must be addressed by suitably nervous counsellors.