West Australian Fog Championships results and AARs

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expendablecinc
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West Australian Fog Championships results and AARs

Post by expendablecinc » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:48 am

The West Australian FoG Chamionships were held over the weekend of 9th & 10th April. This year the theme was aligned to the annual 'Clash of Empires' tournament - any army pre 200AD. Normally

this means a biblical/hellenistic compettiion however with the result of Empires of the Dragon we had two chinese armies.

The list of armies in ascending date order is below with the Chinese oddly forming up at the opposite extreme ends of the time range:

-700BC : Early Zhou Chinese
-326BC : Alexandrian Macedonian
-203BC : Later Carthaginian Hannibal in Italy
-180BC : Later Seleucid
-166BC : Later Seleucid
2AD : IndoSkythian
45AD : Thracian Roman Client State
45AD : Bosporan
60AD : Ancient British
168AD : Eastern Han Chinese

There were two one-day players however both were available on the same day so no byes were required.

So in summary we had:
Four heavy foot armies (pike/Spearmen)
Two Medium foot shooting armies (chinese)
Two Roman client states (Skirmish/MF armies with garrison legions)
One true barbarian army

At the end of day one the player in current last place (Bosporans) was awarded an encouragement award - a full set of new chessex dice). This apparently worked wonders as the Mike had two big wins in day two and wound up two points away from second place.The heavy foot armies tended to struggle somewhat as there looked to be a lot of terrain about. I dont know if this is because players were unlucky with placements or whether they were just not used to the terrain rules/expectations, and not doing themselves favours with terrain selection (Open spaces, roads etc...).

Despite this all tables had plenty of contact and very little benny hill malarchy. There were a couple of terrain fortress situations however these instances were not unwarranted as MF armies facing Pike/mounted combos are understandably reluctant to hand over victory by taking to open terrain in force.

There were quite a few rules clarificaitons required but generally this wasnt where it was unclear but more that it was hard to find where it is explained in the rules. In previous club games I have sworn black and blue that elephants are counted as two bases each for shooting (so that one shooting hit doesnt cauase a test). When this was challenged I had not been able to find it again so we had been taking shooting tests for elephants on only one hit. During the comp it was pointed out to me but a visiting player that this is explained in the glossary under the definition of '2HPB' entry - blatantly obvious really.

Anyway despite a fair bit of leafing through rules to locate things it was generally fairly easy to umpire. The one tricky bit was an instance where two BGs of mounted contacted, rounted then caught some LF skirmishers - causing a three BG LF log jam. I was very surpirsed to find that troops can interpenetate friends in combat (eg LF interpenetrating LF in combat. Although there was some questionable micro rules mechanics, the overall outcome was as expected. All the LF were broken within a bound or two.

Second place was taken by Geoff Tindall's Later Seleucids, with First going to Andrew Card's Thracian Roman client state. The same later seleucids also won best painted army.

The Tournament was sponsored By Dean Bedlington of Olympian Games who provided prize vouchers.
It was great to have support from one of our closest wargames vendors - only 3723Km away (much further than sydnety and melbourne).
Having Vouchers is a great way of providing prizes - particularly as Dean has a large range and a set price for postage to anywhere in the world - even though we are only two states away.

The encouragement award went to the other later Seleucid army - a sent of precision cut perspex FoG measurement markers. I wish Chris had won these earlier as he was using a borrowed army of mine and was using a heavy steel rule.

The Winning army:
4*TC
8 av LF slingers
8 av LF JLS
3 * 4 LH Bw
2 * 4 LH JLS
3 * 8 MF HW
2 * 4 HF arm dr LSSw
8 HF arm dr LSSw
4 CV arm dr LSSw
5 CV arm undr LSSw

The final placings were
83 : Andrew Card : 45AD : Thracian Roman Client State
55 : Geoff Tindall : -180BC : Later Seleucid
53 : Michael Thorne : 45AD : Bosporan
46 : Geoff Marshal : -700BC : Early Zhou Chinese
46 : Lawrence Greaves : 60AD : Ancient British
46 : Dave Barker : 168AD : Eastern Han Chinese
26 : Mark Woods : 2AD : IndoSkythian
22 : Chris Schlipalius : -166BC : Later Seleucid
19 : Andrew Reeves : -203BC : Later Carthaginian Hannibal in Italy (one day)
8 : John D : -326BC : Alexandrian Macedonian (one day)
Anthony
NeoAssyrian, Spartan, Scythian, Later Seleucid, Parthian, Thematic Byzantine, Latin Greek, Later Hungarian

expendablecinc
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AARs Clash of empires

Post by expendablecinc » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:57 am

Below is a writeup of the 2nd place (and best painted army) player Geoff Tindall:


Well,

Come Gauntlet this year, I decided to enter the FoG competition which was a classical themed event. The event being themed appealed to me as this tends not only to add a nice historical visual effect, but eliminates game imbalance that can occur in any rule set that covers a wide time period.

I chose later Seleucids. The design was a tough coherent battle line with enough mounted and terrain troops to keep the enemy off the flanks of my phalanx. I needed a simple plan as I was pretty vague on the rules.

The Pike were the main weapon, selected as average, as I felt superior pike are overkill against most opponents, and the extra points would be needed for expanding the support cast.

3 x 8 bases of Pike,
2 x 6 bases of MF (medium foot = Thorakitai, Thracians)
1 x 8 bases of average light foot (javelins)
2 x 6 bases of poor light foot (slingers)
1 x 8 mob
1 x 4 superior cataphracts (agema)
1 x 4 superior cavalry (galatians)
1 x 4 elite cavalry (companions)
2 x 4 light horse (tarentines, skythians)
1 x 2 elephants

4 generals (troop commanders)

Round 1. Andrew Reeves (later Carthaginian) the terrain was open and the armies were quite well matched, so we both clashed in a equal fight, and I lost the mounted fight but won the infantry fight for an overall victory. I was lucky to be able to rally some broken units and keep my attrition points down. 22-3

Round 2. Geoff Marshall (Early Zhou Cinese). His troops did not match up well to mine so he made a terrain fortress for his foot, and left his powerful chariots out wide on the flanks. I felt his terrain fortress wasnt strong enough for his weak foot so I took it on. His was a very shooty army, but I managed my generals well and re-ordered everything after being disrupted on all fronts. On my left flank I managed to out-manoeuvre and demolish some chariots whilst skirmishing off his stronger chariot flank on the right. I managed to destroy his foot and take his camp before he could bring his dangerous chariots on my right into effect. 21-4. I thought I played this game very well, probably the best I played in the four games and most fun as well.

I started the comp intending to play one day, so Anthony could play in the second, but after a flying start I felt I better keep on going (you cant really bunk out when you are coming first).

Round 3. Andrew Card (Thracian). This got off to a shocking start will all the terrain landing on my side of the battle field, so my deployment became very predictable as there was only one spot to put my phalanx. Nevertheless I set up as well as I could in such circumstances. My thorakitai and thracians clashed with his MF in centrally placed terrain as my pike in the open pushed forward to evading enemy, my cataphracts hit another lot of MF in the open. The first round of combats went my way and I was feeling pretty good here, but out my left flank his skirmishers shot me to bits, critically breaking my Galatian cavalry to shooting in only 3 rounds.

In the terrain, I could not capitalise of my early combat advantage with my MF losing an equal fight to his MF and my cataphracts losing to his MF in the open. A combination of prolonged combats and trying to rescue some broken units tied up my generals, and mean whilst the attritional losses to shooting skirmishers took their toll fragmenting all my pike. He finished my off by killing my mob and Bg (3-22). This was a frustrating battle as I felt I played well enough to be competitive and have a real good tussle but could not dice to any useful effect. Although I did err by trying too long to recover broken units, gambling that I would win in the centre where I had a significant early advantage and thereby free up other generals, but that did not eventuate as a fragmented unit of his tied up a general and a steady unit for at least four rounds.

Round 4. Lawrence Greaves (Ancient British) Another MF + Skirmishers army sunk my morale before this started, it is hard work getting the pike into contact when no suitable targets present themselves. The terrain was minimal, but well enough placed to make it very difficult to deploy effectively, thereby taking my phalanx out of the game. I managed to destroy 3 units of light foot by charging at two directions, fleeing his troops into the path of other pursuits. Out MF and Cv clashed late in the battle in a fair tussle, but he took out 4 units. Lawrence could have won this battle (9-11 draw), but with the long time taken to manoeuvre skirmishers back and forth and also to resolve the complex situation effect of killing the skirmishers cost him the game and a podium finish. I am quite conscious that you have to play at a cracking pace if you want to win outright at FoG, as combats take a long time to resolve.

The end result was 54/100 and I came second, which was pleasing. But it was disappointing to lose to Andrew yet again in was in effect the championship game (he ended up winning the comp by a significant margin). This was the 5th time we met in such circumstances. I won best army award which was even more pleasing, as I had ummed and arhed as whether to take Gauls and focus on a best-army win or Seleucids and go for competitive play as well. Encouragement Prizes were also awarded for last place on each day, which were a fun addition bringing players at all levels into the prize pool.

Having a best army award is very good, because of the players there I would say it split evenly between those who playing is the main focus and those who painting is the main focus, or the likes of myself who view both as of equal importance.

Anthony did a terrific job of organising and umpiring the competition with a big group of players and generous prize vouchers supported by Dean of Olympian Games, and a donated painted Battle Group. The trophies were engraved glasses, which was also a tremendous idea. Anthony should be well pleased with his efforts.

What about FoG ? I am definitely warming to it as I learn more about how the strategies work, and a lot of the troop interactions work quite well with sensible historical outcomes, although I still greatly prefer pip/element command and control system. Perhaps v2 can resolve the effects such as the break-up of the battle lines. There are a lot of important subtleties in the rules which can be missed, and many rules are written into the detail of the text. By adding caption boxes for rules as is done is GW game systems would aid clarity greatly.

What would I do different next time ? The main error I made was on troops selection. I took my slingers graded as poor, but they are too useful a troop type to downgraded, and I was unable to use them to counter enemy skirmishers which would have been extremely helpful in the games on day 2. I didnt appreciate the benefit of the skirmishers attrition of battle groups, as I went into the comp assuming shooting was largely ineffective.

The Elephants are not an effective troop, but I like the look of them so was happy with that choice as it contributed to best army prize, as was some recent upgrades I made to the army (a greek temple themed baggage, extra glitzy cataphracts and new companions). There is still a few more things I want to change appearance wise with it someday (better Tarentines and Thracians), perhaps that is something I could do with the Olympian games voucher for best army.

More practice games would have been useful, but much earlier out from the competition (before list submission).

Well there you go. All in all it was a fun weekend with some tough and competitive gaming that will bring me back next year.

Geoff Tindall
Anthony
NeoAssyrian, Spartan, Scythian, Later Seleucid, Parthian, Thematic Byzantine, Latin Greek, Later Hungarian

atatnet
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Post by atatnet » Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:50 pm

Great posts! Thanks for sharing.
May I ask if you have any photos of the event?

stevenneate
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Post by stevenneate » Mon May 09, 2011 2:38 am

How is FOG progressing in WA? Has it taken over Ancients gaming in general or just competitions or what?

Steve Neate

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