Friday, 21 October 2011

Greeks Behaving Badly, a FallCon retrospective.

The Skinny.
It was good. Zeus smiled upon us and Eris bestowed her fickleness in appropriate ways. An evening of DBA among old friends and new friends is never a bad thing.

I'll recap later, but those of you interested in the new venue and didn't make it, it was way better. A little farther than Marlborough Hall ( smelly, stinkly ol' Marlborough..sigh...John Churchill himself would compare Marlborough to a Hessian whorehouse) but the Commonwealth Centre was worth the trip. More on that later.

The Evening
I like running the Friday event.  It's a nice warm up. Perhaps I should make it a little more structured. I'm sure that would make some folks happier, but on the whole I don't care. Each game produces a winner and its own little epic. That's all that matters. FallCon demands I produce a winner for each event. So I consult the Oracle, split the metaphoric calf liver and make a call.

We had a nice turn out. The Edmonton EDBAG legion was well represented. Mark and David are two regular attendees and DBA supporters and always fun to play against. Mark brought his Meriotic Kushites and David bummed my ill-starred Bithynians.  Stephane, new to this DBA thing wandered in from the steppes (ok... Saskatchewan) I put together the favourite 'round these parts, Later Hoplite Greek 'Other'. The variant with the Cv unit and extra Ps, pretty balanced for a hoplite army and fun to play. Representing the demos of High River, Rob T-S and his son Philip made it in, and put the Spartans on the field.  Philip a canny player in his own right, sat out the tourney and operated as his assistant Strategos. Calgary-wise, it was the faithful few. Don Ray fielded his fiendish Kyrenean Greeks. Marco brought the challenging Aitolian Greeks (Hellenistic variant). Patrick came as well and brought another 'other'. He claimed they were Messenians. Suuuure ol' buddy. And the Pre-Teen Visigoth put his newly painted Greeks (again with the 'Other') on the field for the first time. I squeezed in one game with my Paeonian Pony Patrol ( a close run thing attempting to curb Kushite agression), but was otherwise occupied reffing and we had to leave in time to get the Boy unit into bed (it was a one hour drive home!!!) Thanks to the wonderful Don Ray for seeing it through.

Game wrapped up at 2330, with a tight victory for Mark's Kushites over David recalcitrant Bithynians. Mark was awarded game prize, a pantless horde of Early Libyans I/7a I painted up. Stephane was awarded the 'Audacious Noob Prize' ( a Friday night tradition) which consisted on a luverly bag of Greeks (II/5g AGAIN!!! Others!!!) for him to paint. Robert's Spartan goon squad was acclaimed overall as Best Greek Army overall and was awarded the 'Judgement of Zeus', a Barkermarker of the Enthroned Olympian himself, posed to consider the wargaming at hand. Or more likely, he has espied a 15mm mortal he wants to shag. (cue chickenscratch guitar porn tunes). I made some more Barkermarkers using the set up 'Spartan at Camp' or something like that from Foundry which consists of groggy Spartans waking up, scratching their butts and looking like they're all missing their morning hair-dressing session. I love giving out participant prizes. More fun for all. It also helps clean out my back log of metal sitting about the house and makes me feel like... A RIVER UNTO MY PEOPLE!!!

Love that movie.

O.K. More details? I really haven't any. So more random recollections;

Hoplites Rule
I've noticed it's more commonplace these days among the DBA cognoscenti to poo poo hoplite games. WTF you talking about? No other game in DBA has the drama, the slow, building, inevitable gripping climax as two disciplined lines of determined Greeks, clutching their spearshafts hammer each other repeatedly until one side collapses in submission.  
Hmmmm, that was more homoerotic that I had planned. At least I didn't add 'whilst Thracians attempt interpenetrate your flanks'. But all lame attempts at humour aside. It's a great deal of fun. DBA that is, the game, with miniatures. Ok moving on....laughing Hippy-Goth is distracting.

Hoplite games are good. Solid heavy weight boxing match that can end precipitously. A great example was Patrick and Stephane's game. Same armies matched up on a post-apocalyptic beach. After some jousting and shuffling, Patrick's Cv routed Stephane's Cv on the flank. 'Hmmm, that's nasty', says Patrick who is coaching and advising his opponent whilst providing a strong match up (something all good DBA players seem to know how to do.) 'That looks bad, but it's not the end of the game, much can be decided here in the centre and the other flank'. Next bound, whoomp! Stephane looses 2 pairs of Sp in a succession of Eris-invoked 6-1 splits. Stephane thought the whole game was brilliant. Patrick seemed mildly embarrassed. 

Loaners are Luxuries no Longer
In the CCF we have this very possessive culture regarding our armies and participation in games. Many guys won't play if they don't have something appropriate painted up. I know, I'm one of them. But the joy of trying out something for the first time is a great experience. Also it's funny to see what some players do with otherwise wanker armies, David took my under-achieving Bithynians to the final match. Wow. An Ax monotype army vs Sp monotypes, a challenge no? David loves his independent flying column attack strategy put the Bithynians to good use. But I too love flying column strategies, but the Biths just roll over and feign death in my hands. Maybe David is interested in a purchase...

Perfidious Paeonians
As I mentioned, I did one game in with Mark and his Kushite Konquistadors. I formatted the Paeonians as two LH (one of the General) and the rest all psiloi.  The match produced a very fun game. The Kushite army is a slow but resilient powerhouse, the only strikers they have that can dent the Paeonians are their archers. I concentrated on killing the Elephant General which Mark had so graciously put in the middle of his battleline. After a few turns of engagement and numerous psiloi fleeing terror, I was able to draw out his chief and take him down. That should be game, right? No quite yet. As I was busy with planning Pharaoh-cide Mark's archers locked and loaded and advanced on my skirmish lines and in a hail of heavy caliber fire, dropped enough Paeonians to topple to game in his favour. Brilliant fun.

Bring on the Noobs?
I had hoped to see more new players. I'm still not sure how or if that is ever gonna happen. Stephane, new to DBA has been a long time miniatures guy with a deep fondness for horse and musket period stuff. I was going to offer a 'Best Junior Player' prize as well, however as the ONLY junior player was the Pre-Teen Visigoth... I sort of didn't. I made it up to him.

Not sure if this is a format, game or venue issue. I will be thinking deeply about this stuff and posting my ruminations for all to ignore.
New Camera
The wee Fuji Finepix is a brilliant little camera, for back country and outdoor. I could bludgeon a marmot with it and would still take pix. I bought it for the Hippy-Goth after we destroyed the old Canon. I love her, but like the awesome Corb Lund song, She's Hard on Equipment . So we picked up the indestructible Fuji. To bad it's crap with the macros and indoor. I took lots of pics, but 20% of them are worthy of posting, the rest have been condemned to oblivion. So here are the pics I kept:

Our cozy corner at FallCon. L-R, Mark, Pre-Teen Visigoth, Stephane, Paddy, Rob and Philip, Marco.

Don Ray's Kyrenean Greek Chariot Battlegroup thunders toward the Bithynian skirmish line.

Patrick and Stephane maneuver prior to crashing.
One minute after contact, Stephane's centre collapses completely, giving Patrick a resounding win.

The champs, Mark's Meriotic Kushites. What are Kushites doing in the Peloponnese? Historical records are sketchy.

Rob T-S deciding if he really wants to lay down that Steep Hill. Walk away Rob, walk away.

Humour in DBA is a great thing. The puns were flying fast and furious, and jibes followed mostly on how people were going to 'bailout' their troops and suggestion the camp was not worth sacking as there is no money in it.


  1. That was a laugh a line, thanks!
    Now I'm sorry that i didn't play, but I guess I had to have one non-DBA game that weekend.
    Tjat reminds me, I still have some Greeks that I should pull out of the closet (snicker) and paint up.

  2. Another great post, Sean. You should probably write for a living. Anyway, it was a great tournament. Many thanks for the awesome prizes. The Kushites took many Greek women back to their huts along the Nile and can't stop talking about their great luck.

  3. Brilliant writing and a brilliant event, Sean! many thanks for organising it! I still have your Paeonians.... shall I bring them to the next DBA event?? Perhaps we could have a re-run of your Greek event then?

  4. Thanks guys!
    @Don: Hold onto those guys until next game. I look forward to a match.
    @Cory, get busting mate. I need to find a line of Greeks that I find exceptionally inspiring.
    @Mark, Thankyou for the nice words. I do write for living, right now I'm focused on writing erotic descriptions of cheese.