After several attempts at a game, all of which were cancelled due to the weather, I played my first game of 2010, this week. It was a medieval battle using the 'Bloody Barons' rules. Now these rules are not for you if winning is your main objective. You may initially secure an advantage, I managed to secure the role of attacker, which meant that at least I knew that all my troops would turn up (oh foolish youth). After allocating his troops to right flank, left flank and centre my opponent had to dice to see if his troops were delayed, 40% were which meant his plans were stymied from the start. He also got to place the terrain, but I could move it to my advantage.
However the pendulum then started to swing back, one of my generals decided that he would turn a deaf ear to orders and skulked on the baseline; only a personal visit from the C in C would motivate him, and the C in C had decided that today he would use the slowest nag in his stable. My other sub general decided that this was the right moment for him to re-discover the art of rolling ones and twos, meaning that he was unable to motivate his troops to advance. One of my units had also managed to get lost on the way to the battlefield (see false hopes above).
Struggling against the odds my forces advanced, secure in the knowledge that at least they had the advantage of numbers, only to see the enemy stragglers start to arrive. After several exchanges of archery and some prolonged hand to hand fighting over possession of a low hill, darkness intervened. The result: a overwhelming victory for the defence; they held all the terrain pieces, my advance struggled to get half way across the table and one of my better units was in rout. Nevertheless it was a very enjoyable evening, the gaming experience was probably more realistic than in many games that take place. No one could control a medieval battle, they would just hope that things went their way.