Sunday, July 16, 2017

Austria again...

So far as blogging,  I'm struggling with motivation.  Part of the problem is that I'd like to write more interesting thought pieces, but I don't really want to deal with the negativity I've had from people in the past if I've had the temerity to dislike something.  It seems to me one ought to be able to express ones' point of view, but maybe I'm too sensitive to say f*** it to the inevitable backlash.  There are a lot of things in life trying to bring a brother down, without volunteering to put yourself in the line of fire, yes?

So, in the mean time.  Here's some Insurrection Hussars I did to add to my 15mm Austrians

  
 Such is the distribution of Warrior Miniatures cavalry units, I needed to add an extra commander figure to this regiment, so one of the models is a dashing cavalry captain in Bicorne.  I don't think this looks at all out of place in the unit though.

  
Scratching through the figures I still have for this project, I could add another regiment of Cuirassiers, and a battery of Horse Artillery.  But not much else; I think I may need to order a smattering more models if I get going on these again as 6 Regiments of Infantry and 5/6 of Cavalry doesn't seem quite enough.



Saturday, July 08, 2017

Up from the Sewers!


So I had about a month off the blog.

During that time I have done some painting, but not so much gaming; life takes its' own course and other matters arose.  I do have a backlog of games to write up if so inclined as usual of course.  But let's jump forward in time somewhat.

These are the last fantasy models I'm painting for the present, switching to a few historical projects for a change of pace for a while.  Here though, I present the Brothers Grax.

 
A pair of trolls for an elite infantry slot painted to match my Dungeon Delving Kobolds force and its' miscellaneous allies. The brothers Grax are Sewer Trolls from the pallid depths of the Underhive, where at least turning to stone in the sunlight is never an issue for them.

They'll join the Kobolds on raids, even venturing above ground; though it is fair to say they often are happier to fight with each other...

 
Both models are from the Reaper Bones range, and scale up well to other ranges of Trolls.  The painting was pretty straightforward; though at the very end I decided to add a wash to the scales.  This could have been tidier but it seems to do the trick.


Monday, June 12, 2017

The Invasion of Ireland - a Megagame Experience

What is a Megagame?  Imagine if you were able to play a boardgame on a truly grand scale, with a player count in the dozens, scores or even hundreds?  What if you were able to play out a wargames campaign with a full range of interacting commands, their conflicting missions and agendas, and get a conclusion within a day.  What if you didn't need to worry about the bulk of the rules because that was handled for you by an active team of umpires instead.  What if you play huge games with all the uncertainty and hidden information of real life?

This would be a Megagame.

I last played anything like this probably more than 20 years ago, and in that context back then, more of a live role playing experience.  But this was my first experience of a 'professionally' run event, and my first that could be considered a traditional military strategy game.  Some thirty players were gathered for a treatment of the French invasion of Ireland in 1797.  In this game we reflected a more concerted effort by the French to raise rebellion and place a thorn in the side of the British.


Add caption
 Myself and my friend James were recruited to part of the French army, as a French general and Aide de camp respectively.  When I arrived James and most of the French command were already in talks about what strategy to adopt, and so I was swiftly dropped in on a half formed plan to land in Bantry Bay and head for Cork.  I wasn't sure if this was the only place our navy (read, the umpires) would permit us to and or if this was the choice of our commander in chief, but it seemed a safe if rather distant location to begin.

Our command tokens on our period map
 With a team of umpires to handle the rules, of a free-kriegsspiel format, the location of the various factions of troop and conflict or communication amongst all of them, it was rules light for the players.  Which meant we could focus on the things that really mattered.  We initially were able to discuss our mission and strategic objectives as a group; agreeing to a column of march on Cork and then further movements to break British control of the south.  To this end each individual commander wrote his orders and passed them the the umpires to execute.

As we set off though, problems began to arise.  Our commander insisted on column of march with each man carrying two muskets, intending to distribute them to local rebels.  This action slowed us to a crawl, and after travelling less than ten miles in two days, we found ourselves dumping the spare arms to a cache, and splitting the army to allow for more 'Napoleonic' parallel movement upon our objectives.  Now we were at range and could only communicate by messages.

I took the opportunity to try to taunt the enemy.  You would, wouldn't you?

The term 'Trolling' of course would be anachronistic
 For a couple of hours all was uncertainty.  We did not know where the enemy was, our Irish allies however were pleading for help to the North where an uprising in Limerick was developing; but our commander in chief seemed determined to hug the coast and head east.  In the end an agreement was made for about half our forces to head north.  In the end all but our commander would move in that direction.

Contact was made with the enemy earlier than we assumed, and it transpired that they must hav had forces in the area we landed.  News reached us that the cache of arms was discovered and destroyed.  Not a good start; by this point morale seemed low amongst the French and our commanders' abilities, in doubt.

But intercepted letters from the British gave clear clues to their movements, indicating our move north to Limerick was a wise one.  These gave me my own ideas, and I started seeding my messages with information about a fictional french regiment landing at Wexford.  Our own commanders would know it was false, but if intercepted it could confuse or distract the enemy (unless they were in Wexford at the time).  Whether this worked I have no clue, but hen I found my brigade operating as rearguard in the hinterlands, it kept me entertained.

My Aide de Camp was the first of us to be drawn into battle, having been sent ahead with two of our regiments to support the siege of Limerick.

 
 One feature of the combat system was that you could only know the size of you enemy by contact, scouting them was unlikely to reveal any details, but once encountered you could keep them in range and adjudge what you could expect; shared information with your allies would fill in the picture of what was local to you, friend or foe.

A major engagement at Limerick saw the British heavily defeated, and forced to retire.  But elsewhere smaller engagements had been going their way.  Still French troops marched into the port, and a brigade was sent further north in pursuit of the British.

Add caption
 Meanwhile, I was covering our rear with 600 men.  Kicking my heels marching to and fro looking for purported loyalist Irish militias.  Suddenly I was called to battle, realising I would be alone in doing so.  I was facing due south and discovered two brigades with some 3,000 men facing me.  In keeping with the rules I chose to quit the field as soon as it was clear I was massively outnumbered; and dashed north sending messengers ahead to warn of the pursuit.  I met James' portion of our brigade soon after and we briefly stalled the British advance south of Limerick, giving time for our allies to return to the city.

Again we disengaged without a fight, being outnumbered still two to one.  Our commander in chief was somewhere to the south and his letters of command were arriving two or three days later than the operations in the field.  We intercepted the rest of our army outside Limerick and an operational briefing was held.  Aware that now both of our major formations were being pursued by forces that thought they outnumbered us heavily, we were able to pull troops out of the port and make a decent stand.  At last a major engagement for me, and perhaps the most critical battle of the day.

French in Blue, British in Red
 My brigade was the meat in the British sandwich, but this was to allow our other divisions to take the British rears; the formations were moved into the battlefield dependent on their relative positions as judged by the umpires, as it was we surrounded the British, after a fashion.

We had to make some hard choices, one was that James was to bait the British to our right, a single battalion to face a brigade.  This would allow me to take the main force to hit the flank of the other British brigade.  I wished James 'Bonne Chance' and bid him au revoir, fearing it was more likely 'adieu'.  Remarkably though James field orders saw him maneuver clean past the enemy, who clearly never expected him to advance on them (vive la France!).

The glory of France!
 He then went on to fight an extraordinary rearguard action, holding the British at bay for the rest of the day.  The unabashed hero of the day, as his action held up an entire Brigade and allowed the rest of us to exert maximum force on the enemy.

My battalions rolled up the British flanks, my lack of involvement in previous engagements meant that I had the freshest, strongest troops.  This proved critical when I faced the traitorous Irish Grenadiers as the light faded.  A grinding battle saw them fare worse, whilst the British regiments were being forced back and badly mauled.

The sun sets on the British
The sun set and the two forces disengaged, it was also the end of the game as a whole.

The umpires adjudged it a draw, and we had a half hour or so of group debriefing, in which it was confirmed some of our communiques were being intercepted, our rebels had harried the British lines, but equally some of our supposed allies had switched sides.  In the end, the French were desperately short on supplies and wearing their welcome thin with the locals; but the British were fought into the ground, and would have to await reinforcements from England before being able to carry out any further action.

So was it fun, would I recommend Megagaming?

Absolutely.

This event reflected elements that a single battle would never manage, and tackled the most interesting elements of a campaign in a tight format.  We had fog of war, communication issues, logistics and all the rest to tackle, all enabled by a team of umpires with a god like view of what was really going on.  forces operated in little teams and the communication between them, negotiation and the issuing of orders felt authentic and evocative of the confusion in the field one might expect.  No plan withstands contact with the enemy.

It cannot be as granular as a full campaign, but it is probably a lot better than many simple narrative campaigns people sit down to, and the interactivity feels much greater and more immediate.  I would certainly recommend you consider one some time.

There are many providers of such events nationally and around the world, with themes varying from military to political or social, historical, fantasy and sci-fi.  Pennine Megagames were this events' organisers and did a good job of it.

A day well spent.


Thursday, June 08, 2017

Here be Gerblins...

I've been working on another batch of Reaper miniatures recently, with a view to expanding my retro-dungeon and Dragon Rampant forces in parallel.  The most recent output is the squadron of Pathfinder Goblins:

 These have a distinct look compared to the more traditional goblinoid appearance with shades of somebody familiar...

To this end I'm dubbing mine 'Gerblins' as a sub-species.

As models, I really did not enjoy the process of painting these, something about the details did not appeal.  One criticism of the Reaper Bones plastic is that the detail can be ill defined compared to the metal originals, a great many of the models were made in metal first and not everything works in the transfer to different materials.  There is a lot of layering of details here and I don't think they all pay off, they do ensure a fairly tiresome job of painting and retouching, endlessly...

Nevertheless the finished result looks alright.



Monday, June 05, 2017

UK Games Expo 2017


So I had a nice weekend away.

Just one part of the main hall 
The UK Games Expo is the largest event of it's kind in the UK, I suppose if you are pedantic, and some wargamers surely are, you might argue Salute is bigger, I can't say other than that as I understand it Salute is a Wargames show.  Expo is Boardgames and Roleplaying games first and foremost, with Wargames a distant, but present, third.

The Forgeworld stand 
I've said in the past about how when I go to a wargames show, it is all about eye candy and shopping, and is generally an exercise in getting through the throng as quickly as possible.  Two or three hours is generally enough, and i will not play demonstration games (unless I'm running them!).

Rumbleslam fantasy wrestling 
I find in my limited experience the opposite is true at boardgame shows; I want to hang around all day, and I'm actively looking for new games to play.  There are two strong reasons for this: firstly you can learn the game in the most effective way possible, in the hands of someone who really understands how it works, and so can teach it well; and secondly, if you like the game, you can almost certainly buy it there and then and take the whole thing home.  Play a wargame and enjoy it, likely to be an entirely different commitment to get your own version up and running, and if what appeals is the sumptuous scenery and figures of the team running the demo, well it may not even be more than a pipe dream
.
One of many open gaming halls 
Even then I didn't play a huge number of games 5 or 6 over two days, but the pace and leisure of the expo is very different to most wargames shows.  Here was an even that on its' Saturday ran from 9 to 6pm in its' main hall followed by talks and open gaming until after midnight.  For those who want it there were also many tournaments (including Saga, Infinity and Fields of Glory), interactive games, reenactors, cosplayers, bring and buys....

 Rune Wars 
 The Walking Dead Miniatures Game
I think the real difference, is that on top of the ability to shop, board game shows strike me as more social and more welcoming experiences.  Wargames shows in the UK could learn much from the approach, but at the same time the audience has much crossover, but remains distinct in many ways.  Small events can be very like this in wargaming, but Salute aside would it ever be possible for a wargaming show in the UK to have 15-20 thousand individual attendees over a weekend?

Early Sunday in the  main hall
Well, anyway, musing aside, if you are at all a board gaming fan I would heartily recommend a visit, if you are solely a wargamer there may still be enough to interest you; but at least give something different a try to see what our biggest wargames shows should perhaps aspire to learn from.

As to my shopping, obviously mainly I picked up board and card games, though with a few miniatures oddments in there too (more baggage from Warbases for example).

My swag
Of interest to the wargamer crowd here is most likely to be The Grizzled, a cooperative card game for 2-5 players set in WWI.  Players represent a group of friends enrolled in the French army, trying to get through the war alive together.  It is well regarded and I look forward to playing it.  Also bordering on a conflict system I guess is Superstar Showdown, picked up for all of six quid!  A 'better than it has any right to be' card driven combat game.

Additionally I had some other positive outcomes of meetings and sessions I had at the weekend, but more on that in due course....


Thursday, June 01, 2017

Ombakane revisited

Sometimes you find you've set up a game and it's essentially a retread of a previous action.  Looking at the photos and recalling this battle it occurred to me that this game set up was almost identical to the scenario I last played with Gav two years ago.

This is always a risk with my Zulu wars armies.  I think I need to add some more variety to them so some other situations can be tackled; of course that means painting a bunch more of the buggers!

Anyhoo...

So myself and Paul met for a battle and decided to eschew the Ancient and medieval in favour of something more recent, still featuring spears and shields, but also alongside Martini-Henry rifles and 7lb Mountain Guns.

Paul took command of the British column, whilst I played the hidden Zulu forces.  The British had to deploy as if on the march, with their Horse to the front and Artillery train to the rear.  Their object, to make a crossing of the river.

Opening deployment
 Native horse to the front, and the Light company in skirmish order to the columns' right:

 
 Sensing trouble, and let's face it, in a wargame why wouldn't he, Paul ordered a redeployment to a company wide march, whilst his cavalry was to dash forward to the river.

initial  movements
 Immediately there was a blunder though (once again we used Black Powder, my favourite rules for covering a wide range of actions in a gentlemanly manner).  The Natal Native Horse caught scent of something and galloped off to their left over a small, scrub covered hill, in doing so proving suspicions correct, they stumbled upon several hundred Zulu moving to the British flank.

Discovered
 This resulted in the Zulu unleashing their trap, with their main attack blocking the route to the river.

 
 At the same time masses of Zulu appeared on the long ridge from another wide copse of scrub-land, and a smaller attack approached the British rear; swiftly engaging the ammunition train and forcing the artillery to retreat.  Paul sent urgent orders to his horse to protect the rear, whilst his main infantry force formed a battalion square.

Calm in the face of nearly 3,000 Zulu.
 The square suffered a dreadful blow in the face of the coordinated attacks, with the natives on three sides of them.  Holding off the largest, most obvious groups with measured rifle fire, a surprise attack from the scrub made it home the the Left side of the square and in a sharp action, rendered it inoperable.

stand firm!
 Soon the Square had to collapse for it's own good; becoming a vague line instead.  Nevertheless, the weight of fire was enough to keep the majority of the Zulu at bay.

 
 To the rear the Ammunition train had been scattered, and young Zulu warriors were busy gathering new weapons and cartridges.  On the long hill the light infantry company had also been put to flight.  But the main battalion of the British had managed to reorganise, and driven off the main threat of its' enemy.

 
 The Zulu came down from the hill and attempted to break the weakened British, now low on morale and ammunition.  Dense volleys of fire exchanged at 50 yards or less.

  
 This would continue for the rest of the battle, with the British firefighting tattered morale and slowly withdrawing onto the river.

Meanwhile the Zulu rearguard was trying to find some way to engage the Artillery, which was taking pot shots from half a mile or so away...

The wider field
 As night fell the British were divided, but just about holding on.

Endgame
Each side was by this stage at the edge of its' army breakpoint, and the loss of a single unit would have made their situation irretrievable.  In the end, the Natal Horse and Artillery were able to denude the Zulu rear enough to take the will from the Africans to prolong the fight away.  But it was very close.

However, next time I feel I really need to try a distinct set up rather than just the hidden Zulu ambush in the trees and hills...



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Board game Roundup - Vol IV

Lots of board games recently, including many in the 'Dudes on a Map' genre; i.e. area control style games whose roots you could trace back to risk - genetically at least.

Cthulhu Wars is not something you make a small investment in, it is a hugely expensive game, assuming you can even find it at present.  However, Matt invested in the Kickstarter and we had a game of it at an all day event recently.  As a visual experience the game is a treat, with sumptuous models - many standing over 6 inches tall - and beautiful component quality around them,  

Spectacular!
Thematically, it's the end of the world and we know it.  The Old ones of the Chtulhu Mythos have usurped the natural order and now battle for mastery of the planet; this is done through the actions of cultists to summon their favoured gods and dominate the earth.  Sandy Petersen, the designer has had a long association with Cthulhu, having written the classic 'Call of Cthulhu' Role-playing game and many of its' supplements, so the game oozes with theme and knows its source material like few other games.

As a playing experience, well....  It is in no way that complicated a game, the basic rules are really pretty easy, but like many Games Workshop games (though it is not from that manufacturer) added complexity comes in the form of special rules for each of the factions.  Also like GW, it feels like these rules were not always play-tested against one another; and game balance is where the game struggles.  It can become a one sided affair if one faction identifies a winning tactic before the others.  Each faction has a thematic scheme to victory, and some are easier to achieve than others (The King in Yellow has won two thirds of my games) and some stymie each other very effectively giving one side a clear advantage.

As a game overall it is a easy to learn and speedy experience but one where familiar players will have a massive advantage; thus a group on an equal footing of some experience will get the most out of the game.

The same could be said of Tigris and Euphrates, which I brought to the table next, though for slightly different reasons.

 Tigris... Pre-thrashing
Tigris is a classic, potentially brutal, abstract game that's gone through many editions.  It is a creation of one of the great modern designers, Reiner Knizia, and has some advocates who play it with the devotion of chess.

That said the rules and the way some of the components are presented, for all their high quality in this Fantasy Flight edition, are a bit of a brain burner.  I've read the rules many times now and played the game three times and still don't feel I've fully got the game.  We were 'lucky' to have an experienced player to teach us the game as a group; TML Towers tip, always be wary of a player who can explain the entire rules to a game from memory!  On the positive side we all had some clue how to play.

On the negative side, we were massacred!  In an almost luck free system errors against an experienced player were punished all round, however knowing the game a little more than the other beginners I took more risks, and resultantly made grander mistakes and came dead last!

Tigris and Euphrates is definitely one for more the Chess crowd, I enjoy it, but have to be of a mind to play something punishing and challenging.

Time to relax with a little 'trading in the Mediterranean'.  Macau is a game that is also hard to find, having had only modest print runs, but it contains some clever little mechanics that make use of supplies of goods and cards with an ingenious planning mechanism for future turns.

 Let's sail off to Amsterdam!
This is a non-combative game, not even passive aggressive, unless you count someone grabbing trade goods before you.  A real pallet cleanser as you build up a little team to develop your trade network.  Highly recommended.

The following Day I got the chance to play Rivet Wars, a simple cartoony board wargame based in a wonky version of World Ward One.  Seriously, this game features Unicycle cavalry, rocket launching infantry and Robot tanks.

 Trench war in progress
Once again, the production values here are top notch, being from CoolMiniorNot, one of the major players in miniatures-led board games in the last five years or so.  Each force (broadly Germanic and American) having around sixteen models representing about eight different unit types each.  units have profile cards, and a handful of simple stats to drive the action, alongside special ability and secret mission cards.

Despite not having read the rules before, we were able to set this up as a two player game in around half an hour.  Simple moves and D6 rolls are easy to figure out.  You spawn a number of points of unit each turn dependent on the scenario and then try to achieve a mix of scenario and secret objectives.  I managed to pull a win and a draw before we ran out of time, but really a game once the rules are understood lasts only an hour or so.  I would heartily recommend this for someone looking for a light and quick wargame, or for something to introduce new gamers to the hobby whose interested may be driven by computer gaming.

Time to wrap up I think.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Conanesque - Dragon Rampant Times

Let's get back to some game recounts; myself and James T had a couple of battles of Dragon Rampant using my newly painted Conan forces, the photo's below reflect the first of the games, in which a Pictish force tried to make it's way home in the face of pursuing and ambushing undead opposition:

The field of battle.  The Picts must reach the yellow lines to escape

Undead piquets awaited the Picts in the centre of the field

the Pict animal handler has trouble stopping his charges gnawing on skeletons

Picts charge out of woodland to attack the other unit of skeletons
At this stage early in the game, the Picts had easily dispatched the skeleton vanguard.  but small groups of terrifying mummified undead were now in pursuit whilst the arch necromancer approached from the opposite end of the field with his consort and demonic guardian.

Their shaman and totemic snake were bringing up the Pict rear

By necessity the snake took shelter in a crypt when Mummies moved to attack 

Meanwhile swampy ground allowed the Necromancer to block the Picts way
 The Shaman was slain and other groups of Picts scattered, but the elite Pictish hammer warriors were able to smash past the Necromancer and his demon.  Pursued by Mummies, these and their scouts were finally able to make their escape.

The survivors flee
Thus the game concluded, with only a handful of troops left in play.  By the terms of the scenario it fell in James' favour, but with the secret quests I think the picts just edged it.  on a 5' by 4' board it could have been a little easy for the Picts  to escape, but with only foot troops on each side (Warbeasts excepted) both forces were slow enough the a small table allowed time to engage.

A good fun little game.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Field Day


Huzzah!  I no longer have any study; unless I've fluffed majorly the Masters is finished.  Back to having free time and all the benefits that come with it!
So one of the first things this permitted me to do, was to finish off another little terrain project for my gaming club.  I decided the club needed a little bit of extra 10-15mm terrain, specifically some fields.  Rather than make loose hedgerow, I opted for fixed fields; scenically they look better overall and they are less likely to get lost in the bottom of a storage box, come to less harm in general in fact.

A  fair range
 Honestly, can you not see what they are made from?  For shame if not, anyone who doesn't recognise a 'green dish scrub' when they see one is probably eating dinner off paper plates regularly.  Process wise it was really simple.  I'll summarise thus:

  1. Slice the scrub into regular sections, these were 25mm wide and a 100mm long.   For taller hedgerow you may want to cut it a little wider; 30-35mm.
  2. Apply Evostick or hot glue to one half of one side of scrub strip, fold over to create a double thickness section with a rounded top.  place a book or similar on top to hold in place whilst this dries.  Repeat for all sections.
  3. Cut out sections of wood for bases.  Draw layout of hedgerows on boards.  You may want to ensure fields contain enough space for your favoured units in the design process.
  4. Skim the whole base with a universal DIY filler, using a a scrap of strong card.  Into this surface scrape clean the line for the hedgerow, leaving the gaps for gateways untouched.  You can also scrape in indications of ploughing as I have.
  5. Once that dries (probably overnight), fix the hedges in place with a hot glue gun.  If you wish you can add gateposts or bits of fencing with scraps of wood.  The hedge will be flexible enough to form corners readily.  Trim any rogue strands away at this stage.

15mm Austrians for scale
Painting was pretty easy too, with basically chocolate brown as a base for everything other than the hedgerow itself which wasn't base-coated at all, its' natural green was fine and any bleed of brown on the base of it was not an issue.  Then it was a case of dry-brushing lighter and lighter browns to the ground and woodwork, and greens to the hedgerows.  Finally a little scatter was added to break up the appearance.

Given the cheap materials and the simple approach, I'm really happy with how these came out.


Sunday, May 07, 2017

The most one sided game I ever had!

This may also be the shortest battle report I write.

One of my long-time opponents, Ross, is moving to Eire soon (lucky guy); and had been badgering me for a game of Kings of War: Historical for the longest time.  No small reason being that he has a fledgling Mongolian army he wanted to field.  Bare plastic, but you have to start somewhere eh?

I was happy to face them, even though I knew I didn't exactly have a historical opponent, and that they would be a very difficult opponent.  In the end the best enemy I could offer was a version of the Holy Roman Empire, essentially a German army.  I decided on bringing a reasonable chunk of firepower, but it would prove of little value.

As it turned out I was facing unit after unit of mobile machine guns, aka, Mongolian Horse Archer regiments.

 
 What followed deployment can scarcely be called a battle.  The Mongols advanced into bow-shot and unleashed a storm of arrows on first my artillery, obliterating it before it could fire a shot.  In the next turn the Mongols decimated my crossbows and bowmen, and my one unit of knights without loss.

At the same time they retired in front of my pike blocks, permitting them time to deal with them once my ranged offense was destroyed.

 Defeat
I conceded on turn three.  There was no point continuing; I had no ranged attacks left and only a handful of light cavalry able to even keep up with the enemy.  It was clear my force was finished and their best bet was to retreat.

Ross lost no units at all, heck, I barely inflicted any damage on him.  On my part some 50% of my force was gone before I yielded.

I have to say that the horse archer units in KoW:H are completely f***ing broken; they fire the same distance as foot, and some units don't suffer movement penalties, and count as skirmishers so can shoot anywhere.  But the worst is that unlike any other shooting unit, they double their ranged attacks when scaled up to a regiment; infantry only gain about 25% more attacks in the same situation.  Sure, this matches how non-shooting cavalry are structured, but for mounted archers it does not work; they are simply too effective.

Anyway, rant over, and I hope you may learn from my experience!  It remained a good natured game, and I will miss Ross as an opponent when he does finally go!

(BTW: We used my own terrain for a change, I think I need to upgrade those woodland templates, the trees really show them up...)