Guest contributor: Eddie Glew, Jefe of the Bristol Columna
I have been asked to write about my over zealous Early Germans in L’art de la Guerre. My brother said to me once “I never understood you and dad’s love of impetuous armies” But I will try to explain to the unbeliever!As a child I remember reading about the Gauls and Germans, and my imagination just ran wild with the description about them, half-naked, long hair flowing and towering over the legionaries. Shouting and leaping on to the roman lines. Bringing their swords crashing down on to the enemy, hurling showers of spears smashing straight through the shields. It is raw strength and power you see in your mind, the intensity on their faces as the legionary opponent is just trying to hold his nerve.
Now my brother’s words come from the DBM ruleset where “Impetuous” or “Warband”were not simple or easy to play, whereas in ALDG they are fun and once you play with them a dozen times you start to realize the rules aren’t that complex. Below are my reasons to choose the hairy German as an army choice.
1. We love spears and pikes! With the impact bonus and add then furious charge, they are a force to be reckoned with. Both bonuses realistically play to their strengths of wanting to hit head on with little dancing around. The German aims are put simply to crash into and power over the opponent. But, your opponent may be wise to your plan. This reminds me of my last game using my Germans where Steve Price, as an unsporting Alexander the Great, decided pitching a 200pt tent in one corner surrounded by impassable terrain, steep wooded hills. Discretion was the greater part of Macedonian valour, absolutely making sure his small army pike army could never be hit in the time, with so many speed bumps and so few command points. But I forgive you Steve!
2. You win Big or lose Big! Due to them being unmanoeuvrable and the low CP, and my own inexperience, you can never cover all holes once they appear meaning 2/3 holes quickly become 6/7 but the other hand the big sledgehammer can go through a battle line in 2 turns.
3. They want to attack and so you have to. I was fighting Andrew Whitby’s Hindu Indians, and the smirk on his face should of told me not to even roll a dice. Mike was meant to be my number 2 commanding my ally but I must of rolled a 1 because he was to be very unreliable. Andrew’s centre was made of elephants and impetuous medium swordsmen, with big hill between the two of us. We both ran as fast as we could, but Andrew got there first and poor roll of dice meant I had to charge uphill, leading to Andrew rolling 6s down the whole line and I couldn’t even roll over a 3. When the smoke had cleared on the first round, my battle line looked like a vomited bratwurst from a pissed German and Mike was too scared to to face the Heavy Cavalry! Impetuous againt medium swordsmen only, my Cavalry where thinking they could take on there heavier opponent’s as I was Elite and he was not. This would only be true if i did well in the first round because of their armour. Germans need to win as quickly as possible. I turned to Mike with my mouth on the floor and instead of a rallying cry I got a shrug of the shoulders!it was mercifully the quickest game i have ever had.
4. In the 120 point variant, they are even better. Warband are relatively cheap and retain their hitting power. With a smaller army but the same command points, it is a simple army and a real delight to fight with.
5. No compromising here. With Early Germans, as well as the Galatians, your army can pretty much be 26 units or more.All your battle units can be Elite and that is cool all by itself. With other armies you have to think hard about who is elite and how that is going to work in grand scheme but not here! The whole army is elite and load of Light units to bulk the army up and your done.
So in conclusion, uncivilised barbarians are my choice for wargame fame. It might not be the fame of victories but for excitement and sheer fun, choose Germans!
Don’t forget : Wednesday evening is locked down quiz night: 19:00 hours Spanish time.