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Mortiem et Gloriam at the Ribble Rumble - my Senguko did good!

Last weekend's exploits at the Rumble, the theme was any army between 1200 and 1500, from Europe or Asia at 10000 points.

After a nasty set of delays and cancellations, I arrived rather late, but thankfully everyone else had started late to watch the watch the first half of the Rugby and I didn't forfeit anything.
This was a superb weekend arranged by Geoff and Pete at the great venue of Element Games.

The Runners and Riders
1   Will Denham    - Senguko Samurai
2   Mark Spratt   - 100 Years War French
3   Robin Spence - Crown Of Aragon
4   Ian Crosby - Black Army Hungarian
5   Ray Duggins - Crown Of Aragon
6   Jeremy Howison Haworth - Medieval-Portuguese
7   Matthew Pool - Medieval English (Sat) Spike - Middle Swiss (Sun)
8   Laurence Donohoe  Cid - Hussite
9   Nik Gaukroger - Sultanate Of Rum
10   Philip Powell - Maximilian Germans
11   Sam Street - Yuan Mongol
12   Peter Entwistle - Sengoku Japanese
13   Matt haywood - Catalan_company
14   Geoff Pearson - Order of St John
15   Peter Rileys Catalan Company in Anatolia
16 James 'Hammy' Hamilton - Medieval English

That's the only time I'll be number 1 in any MeG tournament.
 My list, same as ever, was the dreaded Senguko Samurai. Absolutely nothing changed since my third place at Rollcall and slightly less auspicious showing at Skullrollers!
 

Round 1 Draw, and I got competition organiser, mdf cutter extraordinaire and all round nice guy, Geoff Pearson with his Order of St John. Not a list I had ever met before, but hey ho, what could possibly go right!

No photo description available.

Well, we didn't want the left hand side of the table anyway!
Geoff's army is two spear blocks, some knights, some fully armoured men-at-arms and an awful lot of crossbows, he also has four artillery guns.

My samurai cavalry swing out left, probing for a soft spot in his line. My foot comes forward to meet his, and leaves my town while Geoff vacates his!

Those crossbows move quickly, but my cavalry see a weak spot.

Piling into the foot, my spears start to exact their toll. We had taken quite a few hits from crossbows on the way in (they get a half plus against charging troops, ouchies), joined by two skirmishing shooting units, I had lost two stands from my allied average and two from my superiors.

While my powerbow armed samurai start to weaken Geoff's line before contact.

Not quite flank charges, but 8 cavalry vs 14 crossbows. Bit unfair on the crossbows.

After one round of impact and combat, this is what superior, melee experts do to unprotected or protected crossbows!

It all piles in, more hits on Geoff's crossbows and his spears are suffering too in both blocks.

The 6 of crossbows break, allowing my cavalry through (2-0).

Which I then enveloped! Geoff turned to face, but his fate was sealed.

Fluffy goes in with the samurai bows (superior melee experts vs average nowt, that's gonna hurt). Superior spears chew lumps out of the polearms. They did not last long as both units crumbled, the spears went first (0-4) causing a KaB on the polearms, which broke them (0-6).

Right-hand crossbows and spears in big trouble, after the combat, the crossbows breaks (0-8) and then the spears shattered to pieces (0-15).

Well, that was a shock! Geoff is a good player, there is no way he should have gone down that badly.  He did not commit his best units, which left me to pick him apart. A great humoured game that went well. It did mean I had an terrifyingly long lunch but after starting at 6am and waiting over an hour for delayed trains, this was much needed.


Game 2 was against Nik, who also had a perfect game 1. He was using Sultanate of Rum, an all mounted bow armed nightmare for my foot spears!

Only 5 cards count for scouting Nik! Green is worth 10%, Yellow is 20% and Red is 40%. Think I might be deploying 110% of my army here!

After deployment, Nik is studying my army intently before putting his out (or having a quick nap). We only had 9 pieces of terrain on table, not bad vs a mounted army! This, for both of us, was a hard match up, we would have to play clever, or lucky, or both...

You know me, I do not corner sit, so I moved to try and force Nik back (some hope, but everyone needs a hobby)!

I bring my cavalry out left (BIG mistake), and engage Nik up the right centre.

My superiors allied spears are about to be turned into pin cushions, again (0-2)!

In the centre, a mass of horse flesh faces a wall of spears. Nik will wear me down, and lurking in there is one unit of knights
Chaos theory erupts! I try and keep my lines, but it's now time to start pushing horses around.  It's like catching fog. I managed to track down and catch one of Nik's cavalry unit in combat and caused 3 kills, but not enough to break them! We had one minor row civil disagreement about a rules point, and we were both actually wrong, it bore no relation to the fact that Nik was being a complete gentleman as he was taking me slowly and steadily apart. That's what happens when the two umpires play each other. Too long a day, but beer sorted that.

Nik splats two units of Samurai cavalry with one charge! OUCH (0-6). That's a big hole in my offensive capabilities right there. It does mean the knights have become stuck in the mud!

Nik starts the dance of the horses, as I attempt to keep some (rough) cohesion.

In the centre, my remaining allies scamper through the wood, keeping pace with Nik's horse who are attempting to envelop my line.

Sorry, you're charging me!  Really.

In the wood, two beaten up units warily eye each other up.

Over in the rough, two units of spears face down three, four, erm, five, oh, most of Nik's army. He's trying to engineer a flank charge on my spears, I'm trying to engineer another bottle of 'Hopping Hare'. 

Nik's superior cavalry vs my average bows, this should be Nik's fight. But they hold, and coming to join them are my superior bows. 
 Eventually, after  a lot of head scratching, we timed out! Nik had scored 10 points off me, and was threatening my camp, whereas I killed those superiors and was within a turn of hitting his camp (and was pushing an awful lot of cavalry onto Nik's base line, causing them to take Kill A Base tests).  Hell of a great game, we were both pushing each other to our gaming limits, and Nik almost had me. 10-4 to Nik.

A few more beers, a game of Tiny Epic Galaxies and a top curry, I bedded down for a most comfortable night on Hammy and Miche's spare bed. It was a brilliant night's sleep, no indigestion, and I was ready to play Robin and his Crown of Arrogance army for the honours of mid-table obscurity the next morning having slipped back to 9th with 19 points for and 10 against (to be honest, on some weekends, I dream of 19 points, so this was good).
No photo description available.
Except...
Matthew Poole had succumbed to a major migraine, so Spike valiantly stepped up to play, and Hammy continued to play. REDRAW!

No photo description available.
Oops!
Sam is a really good player, and has submarined into impressive placings in his last few competitions. He also delivered a spanking to this same army in 2018 at Campaign, so this was going to be difficult.
 Sam was using Yaun Chinese/Mongols, a tasty mix of Mongol skilled-shooter-superior-melee-expert-cavalry, up levelled crossbowmen with defenders in units of 7 and Chinese cavalry. A slippery proposition and could be a massive undoing for me. Thankfully, I had not had time to think about it, so plying Sam with coffee and myself with Irn-Bru, it was time to roll up the sleeves (and then roll them down again, it was COLD)!
My standard deployment, and filling the table on my side with as much cavalry unfriendly terrain as possible (hey, my army is flexible or loose, might a well enjoy it), it started with me looking like I was corner sitting.
However, everyone knows I don't do that, and within moments I was out my woods and village, and was moving my samurai bows and powerbow armed cavalry to find a nice target.
Sam was powering down the right, massing his awesome (and awesomely painted) cavalry to wear me down.

Someone move that discard pile!
Sam pushed one of his crossbow units forwards, and knowing there was a poor unit behind, and two tasty cavalry units, my spears and ashugaru bows teamed up to deal with them. My cavalry came through my lines center to tangle with Sam's cavalry wall.

My allies push forwards to pin back the Mongols, although I looked like I might be rather in danger of being flank charged here.

CRUNCH! The first stand to die in Sam's unit was his anti-cavalry-2-handed-cut-and-crush stand, phew, those things can get nasty. The Randoms were great too! I had a wounded spear, and had lost an archer, but the odds were now in my favour!

Sam realising that my skilled powerbow can really reach out and touch you! Sam lines up for a massed charge and then realises that that his lead unit, which is flexible, are still in skirmish. Yet again, my superior ally and average allied spears were suffering from horse archer fire.

Sam's crossbows break (0-2) my spears charge on into Sam's cavalry, immediately inflicting a kill. Sam should have broken off here, but the cards were not in his favour.

 My ordinary, experienced, archers spot that Sam's poor, unprotected archers are in range, and take a cheeky shot.
This level of success on dice is normally reserved for my Samurai cavalry shooting!

Over in the centre/right, my superior allies are still fighting in the shade, having taken a lot of fire on the way through. I had brilliantly set up 5 skilled powerbow shots on Sam's cavalry.
1 wound!!

Centre and left, my bows close on his poor crossbows, my spears and his cavalry expand to meet each other, and the two lines stare at each other...

My bows charge, and claim their second unit of the game. (4-0). Sam said that the fate of these two units were  an unfortunate mistake.

And my average spears bring down the cavalry too (6-0) . Sam had set up for a flank charge on my bows, but now he was going to get caught by spears in his flank!

Well, it saved my bows! Wound and a kill on the way.

I pile into his crossbows, but make hard work of it, killing the 2hc&c again, but the spears had taken a lot of damage from crossbows on the way, breaking them (6-2). I also lost a unit of cavalry to a KAB at the same time (6-4), was this the start of Sam's fight back?

Nope, I broke one of his elite units of his cavalry (8-4).

Then his cavalry facing my spears succumbed to their injuries, and broke giving me the game. (15-4)

Well, that evens the score between Sam and I, a great game. It put me on 34 points for and 18 against and back up to 5th place. Unlikely to get much higher than that, so was very happy with the result.

We wants one my precious!

Round 4 dawned, and I was almost in nose bleed territory. Up next was Pete E with...
Oh, okay...
Senguko Samurai civil war it is then. Catalans above us doing really well, Arrogance beneath, here I am, Senguko in the middle with you...
No photo description available. 

I had to move table too, I had got comfortable there! 
The difference between the two armies, Pete had taken the pirate allies and not the skilled foot archers that I so love. A nice waterway secures my flanks. Pete brings a village to anchor his (hey, those are my buildings). Again, I didn't want the left hand side of the table!

GREAT cards!

 This was an very civil war, we both advanced en echelon, and the bloodbath began. Pete put his two units of cavalry in a wood, and my flexible average spears rubbed their 10mm hands at this (yes, he's superior, and has short spears, but I'm long spear and he's affected by the terrain, yummy)!
I started chewing lumps out of the pirates with my cavalry (charge, hack, slash, retire, repeat). My superior allies spears were about to die miserably after being up against Pete's average spear, even with my general supporting them (muttermutter).

The Buddha was smiling on us. The left hand pirates breaks (2-0), and I also got his spears on the right shortly after. (4-0)

In the centre, my superior spears at the top nearly broke, and my average spears below them were held. However, the spears in the centre were going to break Pete's spears there too (6-0).  

After this, I forgot to take any more photographs, sorry!
He finally broke my superior allied spears with help from a cavalry unit (6-2), but had left himself brittle with his spears. His cavalry continued on average spears flank, smashing them to pieces too (6-4), but it was too little, too late for Pete Pete's cavalry in the wood was broken by my spears, which KABed the damaged average spears that had previously broken my superior allied spears. (15-4).

Another top game, but over very quickly in my favour, sorry Pete.
Pete had only used the army once before the weekend, whereas, dear reader, you know this is my 'go to' force. He should not have let his cavalry get caught in the woods, and pirate allies, even in 9s, once you get through the tough outer layer, are too chewy. This dropped him from 6th to 11th, and I was waiting to see how many players would leapfrog me to podium positions.

The answer, none.
No photo description available.
I had made it all the way up to third place. A fantastic weekend all round, and honestly chuffed with how well I did. Three massive wins against good players. I got lucky in two games (Sam made mistakes, Geoff never committed his best units). The game vs Nik was one hell of a struggle, and vs Pete it could have gone either way.

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