Sunday, 9 February 2020

Smiteless in Gaza

We replayed the previous week's game, swapping sides and tinkering a little with rules and scenario conditions. We started the evening with a summing up of the rules we had got wrong the previous week, and ended by analysing the rules we had got right the previous week, but had forgotten to play on this occasion; we really need to get a grip. It was a fairly hapless evening all round for me as commander of the Saracens, who were comprehensively bulldozed out of the way by the Crusader convoy. I would be the first to acknowledge any shortcomings in my generalship, but frankly it was just one of those evenings. The real point of wargames is surely to smite one's enemy, and in two hours of play I only achieved two hits; everything else was either missed or saved.

One problem is that TtS! as written is really a get-stuck-in melee game (apparently on the basis that missilery was relatively unimportant in ancient warfare), whilst the Saracens fielded large numbers of horse archers who operated very effectively from a distance. This is not a criticism of TtS!, which is a great game. Indeed, one of its strengths is that it is (exactly as Piquet is) a toolbox game, in which it is relatively simple to tweak things for period specific versions that match one's own view. James' has, naturally enough, come up with some ideas for beefing up the Turcopoles (not a euphemism) and also thinks he can improve on the author's method of limiting ammunition supplies. We shall see.

In other wargames news, the laser cut walls remain unpainted due to a series of unfortunate events. Firstly there were problems with delivery of paint caused by the same couriers who caused no end of trouble when I bought a Remoska just before Christmas. They keep claiming that they can't find the house, but as I live directly on an 'A' road in the middle of a town, that seems implausible. Anyway, other paint has been sourced, but Storm Ciara, currently raging outside, is precluding any spraying. The new stuff looks too light in colour to me anyway. Once again, we shall see.

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