Last night I had my arse handed to me on a plate. In the first game of Sword & Spear for a year, my Epeirot army was comprehensively pounded by Keith's Republican Romans. I did everything wrong, deploying my phalanx right on the front of the deployment zone, putting cavalry in a guaranteed traffic jam on the left and leaving my light troops, who seriously outnumbered the enemy's, milling about uselessly in the rear. Keith managed to absorb the threat of my elephants with a velite unit that lasted long enough for his Centre to close the gap with mine. When my phalanx 'crashed' home, three of the four units were disrupted by Roman thrown weapons, losing fresh status and hence the crucial extra two impetus dice. It was not a glorious evening. To add insult to injury, my dice rolled so consistently poorly that Keith, who was rolling sixes with the self same cubes, offered to get a fresh set of dice to break the jinx. Sometimes it's better to stay in camp. Actually, it isn't: the game was still exciting, I learned masses of lessons for the next time (just you wait!) and we polished off a jar of very good Somerset cider by the end of the evening that softened the blow. And in case of misunderstanding, I was losing big time before the dice turned against me, so I have nobody to blame but myself. And Keith played a nigh-on flawless game. This was the first outing for my new Romans so I'm pleased for them. No, I really am...
The day had started well, with a trip to Valhalla in Farnborough with Keith, Ian and Will. There were fewer stall holders and games than previously but my favourite traders were there: Warlord, Colonel Bill's, Newline and Charlie Foxtrot. This last team, Colin and Kevin, came up from Devon with a great range of mdf buildings and counters. I picked up some Bolt Action Brits to take me over 500 points; a German MMG and a Charlie Foxtrot farmhouse kit. I also picked up a 60mm Sword and Spear measuring stick and counters from Charlie Foxtrot. Fat lot of good it did me! But the stick is a great player aid, with ranges and movement distances marked on it.
On balance, it was a great Father's Day. To top it all, my older son gave me a DIY bacon kit. Just add pig.