DBM Club Tournament 2004
A Player’s Perspective

Battle 3 – Wars of the Roses (Yorkists)

Hmm…I was up to fight the Sciri here but some last-minute mismatching saw me taking on another ‘castle’ army. This meant I had to take the field without the massed artillery I’d normally use against such a foe so I wasn’t hopeful of a victory. Once again I was the invader and chose only a bare gentle hill (handy to hide a little surprise behind. Jim chose two patches of rough ground (which both ended up on his right flank) and a river across his deployment area. Now, I have nightmares about rivers as they tend to be raging torrents when my troops get to them. This was England in autumn so this particular river was in flood, making things even worse. Fearful that my force would be stuck across a raging, impassable river, I chose to do something else I normally avoid – a flank march onto Jim’s open left flank. Jim arrayed, defending the riverbank with blades and bowmen, held the rough ground to his right with Welsh auxilia and guarded his exposed flank with a reserve of knights. His left flank was held initially by a mixture of psiloi.

I arrayed my traditional screen of light horse and held my CinC back in reserve with the hordes of battle slaves. Probing the river, only one section, opposite the Yorkist psiloi on my right, was actually crossable (the rest being far too treacherous to risk a crossing). In any case, the defenses Jim had set up in these sectors was far too tight to even consider. The river on my right flank was paltry however and I flung some light horse across to cut down the psiloi before they could escape. Jim, sacrificed them and took the time to secure his flank here while I cleared off his light troops. I then sat back and waited for the cavalry to arrive. At least 12 bounds passed before they finally turned up; too late to make a difference, and as the time ran out a tedious stalemate of a game came to an end in a 5-5 draw.

How different it would have been with my artillery in play. The flank march would have been unneccessary as my longer range would have inflicted losses he could not match. If Jim had sallied out to stop me, the light horse would slow down the sections where I didn’t have strength while my cavalry took him apart piece by piece…but it didn’t happen that way. Ah, fate.

Jim is a…uuuh…careful player, taking immense care that he has covered every possible option for each tiny move or each pip expended. While this makes him a tight player with a good grasp of position and formation, it can be highly frustrating to play against. A chess clock would be good when playing against him! That said he’s very mild mannered and a good, sporting opponent (despite my gruffness and snapping at him). He just moves in a geological timescale.

After three games I’ve amassed a huge 9 points (out of a possible 30) so I’m languishing in the ‘3rd division’ at the moment. Oh dear.

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