Sunday 7 October 2012

DBA at FallCon: Alberta Open 2012

Clan Toho, Post Mongol Samurai, photo by Mark Wall

 Oh sure, I'll cut to the chase... I won the Alberta Open. 

 Yep. Me and my trusty Post-Mongol Samurai army ('a' list if you care) went three rounds with some of canniest and trickiest DBA practitioners in Alberta. And I managed to thump 'em.

Ahhhh. I will bask for a while. OK, all done now.   

C'mon, it's not that often really I get to gloat and roll around on my bed full of prize money and DBA groupies.  

I painted Clan Toho up four years ago for the first Samurai Night Fever game.  It's organized thus: 1 x Cv General and another cavalry unit. 6 x Samurai Blades, 1 x Bow, 3 x Ashigaru Auxilia.  Initially built as a 'b' list with spears, I built a bow and a blade unit to morph it. The blades I made out of warrior monk figures, and it has been the paper tiger of the army. Cory mocks them as 'lousy drunk monks'.  Which for those of us who know about the historical sohei, this  is more likely than not. We'll follow their fortunes throughout this recount.

Why 'Clan Toho'? The banners are painted with the Japanese kanji logo you see at the beginning of all your favourite monster movies. Toho studios, we love you and salute you.

Decided against taking the Medieval Irish. I was in an non-subtle ass-kicking mood and not so much being crafty in woods. Ironically that would be game 3. 
I usually enter Open games with a challenging army, rather than a balanced one. Not today. I wanted blood. 

I had three wonderful games. First round was with Marco and his Sudanese.  This was the trickiest game. Marco is pretty sly with light troops. Initially he tried to rush my camp with his psiloi in the first round blitz. Only my single stand of sohei blades stood to repulse their attack. 

Rumble in the jungle. Marco's Sudanese psiloi rush the lone element of warrior monks.
Relief column tries to save the ashigaru assault force.
Marco left his flank open and his camp unsecured. I took the bait and rushed it with my auxilia.  It went promising at first, but when his light horse pinched off their escape, they were overwhelmed by the psiloi and wiped out.  Only a heated exchange in the center and the sudden defeat of his general secured me the win.  Not really saying it should have been Marco's game, but yeah, it should have been. Fortuna favours the foolish.

MONK REPORT: Beaten and harrassed by psiloi. Driven out of the woods and into the camp.

Game the Second: I faced down the wrath of Mark Stadel's Later Carthaginians. I wasn't too worried. I had superiority in heavy foot and light troops. Mark is not an easy guy to score a win against.  His deployment was...a little suboptimal shall we say. I kept him wedged between bad going and he wasn't able to spread his line out. His warband kept me busy, but I was able to take his flank with my ashigaru. Not a finesse win, more of a rope-a-dope. But I'll take those sorts of wins as well.

MONK REPORT: Steam-rolled by Gallic Warband. Splat.

'WHY WON"T YOU DIE!!!' Mark's Carthaginian general is sorely vexed by the intransigent Samurai battle line. 

Game Three: Byzantine bashing.  Feeling all hepped up on goofballs and two wins I faced down Cory and his Kommnenan Byzantines. 8 units of horse vs my two. Furthermore, without psiloi support (the Achilles heel of the P-M Samurai in tourney) facing down his collection with my blades alone was a dim prospect.

I was lucky enough to lay a cluttered board. I deployed most of my blades in the rough and the woods, creating a funnel for Cory to approach me. I hoped that I would be able to pick off his horse as he approached. Of course Cory would never do that. It's quite nice when you've played a guy before. So I left my back door open. I garrisoned my camp with my singular Bow unit. Cory had three light horse units and I knew he'd go for a camp-rush.

He did.  My archers sallied and with a reserve unit of blades pinning the Pecheneg raiders, I dropped all three units. In the centre Cory had advanced, wiping out my picket unit, but not yet taking the full bait. On the right flank, my auxilia had engaged his psiloi and the Varangian blades (below) with some success.

In the end I pinched off one of psiloi units to take the win.  Quite surprising. 
and gratifying. A battle plan that actually worked. Worked against Cory as well. 
I expect all sort of accolades for this win. 

MONK REPORT: Instrumental in pinning the light horse and driving them off the map. Reputation vindicated!

Cory's Byzantine psiloi and Varangians cunningly lurk in the forest, ready for ambush action.

Last Stand of Liamicus. Sub-Roman British fall before Sudanese onslaught.

I'd like to thank Don and Mark for running the gig. I'd also like to salute my fellow DBA gamers. You are a funny, fun and clever bunch. There was no acrimony, endless debates and other buzz kill activities. I'll sit across the board with any of you anytime. 

Thank-you for reading while I went the Full Rimmer.



  1. Speaking of drunken monks, did I mention that I was drunk too? Or maybe I was sick with bird flu...

    Not true! You played a great game and had me dancing to your tune that afternoon.

  2. Congrats! It's cool seeing the impact of such a well established "single-game" scene in Alberta. Nice you get to do this kind of thing.