Friday, August 29, 2008

WAB Late Roman Action

During the years 2001 to 2003 I was totally obsessed with WAB. There is no other way to describe it. I engaged in a massive joint project with a gaming buddy, Stu G., under which we respectively purchased and painted massive GB Late Roman and Sassanid armies. We spent two years painting them. Seriously. In May of 2003 we trotted out our finished armies at the local modeling (and wargaming) convention. Both of us had based our miniatures with desert scrub and I had painted the boards in a theme that made homage to the scenes at the beginning of The English Patient showing the desert below the storm wracked plane.

Was it all worth it? Yes. Damned right. Yes.

Here are some pictures from the mass battle we fought. I think the armies were fairly evenly matched...Stu had like three units of 12-16 clibinarii on the table but I had warmachines. The bolt throwers were amazing. It was a great day. I should note that I have a unit of 36 or so Foundry LR foot and a unit of 12 Foundry Cataphractii, but the army is still overwhelmingly GB.

The second major WAB endeavour of 2003 was Britcon. Mi bella signora traveled with me to Roma and then Loughborough. She may have enjoyed Roma more, but she stood it well.

The first day I got there I met a wonderful chap named James Brewerton, and we played a pick-up game between his First Corps Ancient Indian army and my Late Roman Limitanae force. His chariots were awesome.

I think it was that evening that the WAB tournament began. My first game was against a Shieldwall Saxon army played by Karl. As you can see, he had a lovely army and he proceeded to dispatch mine with surgical precision. I actually really enjoyed the game, he was a great sport, and I had a lot of fun. That said, a FotW Late Roman Limitanae force is hard-pressed to deal with this kind of Saxon goodness.

The next day, I played a good few games. I don't think I will ever forget the one I played against the Shieldwall Welsh army of this fellow. It was one of those strange games where I felt like I had an army of lemmings on the table.

Later that day, I was impaled by the Assyrians.

My last game at Britcon 2003 was against a MiniFigs or Lamming Sassanian army played by a fellow named Duncan M. Now this turned out to be probably the least enjoyable wargame that I have ever played. First off, I was shattered after the Pub-Night, which was an absolute blinder but which, well, blinded me from imbibation of ale. Second, my foe appeared to be equally affected throughout the game, because I can think of no other reason to explain his chronic inability to measure properly, a problem so critical that my girlfriend was heard to utter at one point "That's the longest 8 inches I ever saw", which was fairly distracting in itself as you can well imagine. Then, I experienced the most shite moment of WAB that I ever had the pleasure to enjoy, when I chased a unit of Sassanid Horse archers off the table with my Late Roman light cavalry only to have to return them to face a unit of Cataphracts and a unit of levy foot that my foe had had the leisure to reposition to do them to death in his turn. The whole game I had been rushing through my turns as Rob B. was waiting to drive Duncan home and in the end I just conceded the game so that my foe could catch his ride back to Notts/Newark, whatever. Then, a couple of days later, I realized that Duncan had totally devastated my elite unit of drilled heavy foot with an elephant charge which, of course, is as impossible to do with an elephant as climbing a sheer cliff.

Actually, I haven't played a game of WAB since then. But I still love the game. From afar.

With acknowledgments and thanks to Tim M. for the images from the 2003 St. John's Hobbyshow.

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