The Waving Flag: ADLG: King In The North (York, 14 - 15 Oct 2023)

Thursday 19 October 2023

ADLG: King In The North (York, 14 - 15 Oct 2023)

For the second year running I attended this excellent competition.  When the theme was announced I was relieved to see that my recently completed Arabs just sneaked into the "Vikings!" theme thanks to the Andalusian Arabs list (ADLG list 133).

As it turned out this was a very popular choice with three other players opting to pit Arabs against the even more popular Irish and Viking armies.

On Friday the 13th my wife and I set out for darkest Yorkshire in the pouring rain.  To make matters more interesting it was the first long journey in our new car: new control layout and computer beeps a plenty.  Three hours later the rain had stopped and we had reached our B&B in Haxby.  We were staying in the same place as last year so finding it wasn't a problem.

After a cup of tea we walked into the centre of the village to check out the parking at the new venue and the bus times into York.  Looking through the windows of the hall revealed a great venue: airy with lots of space and it looked very well maintained.

Event Summary

Event King in the North 2023
Date 14th & 15th October 2023
Rules Version ADLG 4
Theme Vikings! 790-1049AD
Venue Haxby Memorial Hall, York. YO32 3HT
Army Andalusian Arab (#133)
Army list 133.0.07
Army date 800 AD
Entrants 30 players (all singles)
My results 25th of 30 with 203 points. 1 win, 1 draw & 3 losses.
All results Final placings.

Quality Counts
The competition was a strong one and the biggest I've attended.  There were 30 players from throughout the North & Scotland, but only just.  At the very last minute, a player from Scotland was persuaded by his mates to attend after a late withdrawal left an odd number of players.

The final roster revealed a lot of excellent players.  There were 11 with a UK BHGS ranking in the top 25 and a further 7 with a ranking between 26 and 50.  My ranking was 102 and I was one of four with a ranking over 100 (or no ranking at all).  For those interested in such things I have prepared a full distribution.

Having looked at the opposing armies and the player's rankings, I decided that as long as I avoided "winning" the the wooden spoon anything else would be a bonus.

It was simple.  I chose an army with high initiative (4) intending to control the choice of terrain.  Specifically, I wanted to avoid my opponents narrowing the table by placing a coast.  I needed space for my cavalry.

As insurance, I'd chosen a small but powerful mounted command which I could flank march if I ended up facing a narrow battlefield.  I had a strong heavy infantry command supported by light medium infantry (LMI: bow and javelin men) and a rough terrain command with more LMI which I hoped would allow me to contest certain key pieces of terrain (which never happened) or protect the camp (this didn't happen either).

In the end I did control the terrain but all the battlefields were very open and my poor LMI seldom had anywhere to hide.   They were to prove my main weakness.

Game #1

Opposition Graeme Carroll
Army Armourican Breton
Army number 149
Initiative Won
My Posture Defending
Terrain Plain
Game time 1:40
Attrition Scores 27/25 to 16/29
Decisive Yes
Points 21 to 89
Result Loss

Graeme had printed, painted and based his army in two weeks to a really high standard!  He was just as quick to defeat me.  He only had three troop types in his army and they could all shoot and evade.  He picked on my LMI bow and I made a mistake in attacking LH javelin with LH bow.  In the middle of the game I did some damage but not enough to trouble Graeme.  Played in a great spirit and there's no shame in losing to a top ten player.

Game #2

Opposition Andy Fyfe
Army Andalusian Arab
Army number 133
Initiative Won
My Posture Attacking
Terrain Plain
Game time 2:35 (timed out)
Attrition Scores 25/25 to 16/25
Decisive Yes
Points 22 to 88
Result Loss

A civil that was very nearly a draw.  Andy was a canny player and again I was causing him a few problems but my LMI bow & javelin just weren't up to it.  The competition was using a "hard" dice down to end each game.  The last pair of combat dice gave Andy the point he needed to break my army.  To rub salt in the wound my score was very high.  Bugger!

Game #3

Opposition Bob Middlemist
Army Andalusian Arab
Army number 133
Initiative Won
My Posture Attacking
Terrain Plain
Game time 1:10
Attrition Scores 20/20 to 20/23
Decisive Yes (due to a failed flank march)
Points 24 to 86
Result Loss

I've played Bob before and he's always a gentleman.  Another civil war and the only game with a narrowed battlefield.  So I sent my cavalry command on a flank march.  Needless to say it never arrived.  The game was very close but Bob took my camp for four easy points.  I was partly to blame as I'd placed the camp in totally the wrong place.  Otherwise we were neck and neck, but the camp and the failure of the flank march did for me.

Game #4

Opposition Kev Ellis
Army Rus
Army number 165
Initiative Won
My Posture Attacking
Terrain Steppe
Game time 2:25
Attrition Scores 7/25 to 13/25
Decisive No
Points 48 to 39
Result Draw

I played Kev last year and we enjoyed our game: as we did this year.  The Rus were wall to wall spear with a river (difficult going) on their left.  I got LH all the way across the table protected by the river.  They crossed the river to threatened his camp.  I didn't get the camp but it broke up his left hand command thereby protecting my weaker, and badly deployed, right.  Meanwhile I got my cavalry round and behind his right flank.  When time was called there was still a lot to do; it had taken far too long to work the openings.

Game #5

Opposition Micheal (Ted) Robinson
Army Carolingian Franks
Army number 155
Initiative Won
My Posture Attacking
Terrain Plain
Game time 2:20 (timed out)
Attrition Scores 16/25 to 25/25
Decisive Yes
Points 88 to 22
Result Win

Ted was a very new player.  We both made mistakes in deployment but Ted's were far more costly.  I overwhelmed his exposed LH command and took his equaly exposed camp fairly quickly.  I then prepared to roll up his line.  Over on my left his LMI bow did really well against my impact cavalry while my LMI bow were awful once again.  Things got a bit frantic as I got close to breaking his army.   Thankfully, I got the final points with the last dice thrown before time was called.  Kismet for me and bottle of whiskey for Ted as winner of the wooden spoon (a nice touch by the organisers).

Closing remarks
The spirit and general approach of the players was relaxed and friendly.  One amusing incident saw Paul Dawson and Mike Bennett (both top ten players) have a lengthy discussion about the rules mid-game; rule books and all.  Needless to say, their game ended drawn: to their surprise.  Perhaps my funniest moments involved losing one game, and winning another, on the very last dice roll: such luck is always good for a giggle.

My strategy to control the terrain worked more often than not but I had too many LMI and they were ridden down far too often leaving big holes in my battle line.  I have already adjusted the list.

As to my performance: it was mixed.  Last year my Ilkhanid Mongols were had to beat, but hard to win with.  This year the Arabs were a little brittle, but with enough good troops to make me think I could be more aggressive than perhaps I should be.  The Arabs scored 203 points from five games (cf 190 in 2022) but I still finished 5th bottom the same as last year.  At least I did slightly better than my ranking would suggest.

The best thing I can say about the weekend is that I am disappointed that I probably won't have a suitable army for next year's theme.  It's been announced as "The Punic Pond from the Death of Alexander to the Death of Julius Caesar (320-45 BC)".  The Arabs are my earliest army.  Shame really, but I have been offered the loan of an army so I'll see how I feel in a few weeks.


Carl said...

Did I imagine it or not, but did your link on SoA Forum to this excellent report get deleted?
I could have sworn I commented on it there!

Vexillia said...

It's your imagination Carl. The link's still there as are your comments.

To answer your questions:

[1] A "hard dice down" call ends all dice rolling. Some tournaments allow players to finish the current phase (move, shoot, melee etc) before ending the game.
[2] Games were timed by the umpire at 2h 20 min plus a random 1-10 minutes and at least 7 pairs of bounds had to be played.

Before you ask: there was a hurry up, or "blitz", mechanism in operation if 5 pairs of bounds had not been completed after 1 hr 50 min of play. As far as I know, It was never used. During the blitz each player has 3 min (think egg timers!) to complete their moves and rally attempts. No movement or rally attempts may be completed after the 3 min, except compulsory moves (uncontrolled charges, conformation etc).

Carl said...

Cheers Martin for explanations (and original report).
Yes, I re-found your notes on SoA website!!

"Imperial Dave" must be awol on SoA Forum given he didn't take you up on "Photos of me have been withheld on the grounds of protecting public decency" .... it did leave your readers (well me at least!) wondering how you dressed for the occasion!!??

This from a man who dressed as a Rif when doing a presentation for the now defunct Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers at Stockton / Battleground show and presenting a Rif/Spanish Colonial participation game. For some reason my two fellow presenters seemed embarrassed?!


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