My first game was against a Celtic army commanded by 'Orange' Dave, his main force was five large warrior blocks and as I had five also I felt that the fight would be fairly even, he did of course have more skirmishers than me and chariots into the bargain. I am not great with skirmishers, never have been but they can be very useful in War & Conquest and the rules handle then well, but even so I had gone for only one unit (slingers) and two light units which could form up or skirmish at will, they ended up mainly skirmishing over the weekend as my skills improved. My objective was to capture the enemy general, which I thought almost impossible so I decided I would rely on the normal Roman default of wiping out the enemy.
The battle was a serious brawl, both Dave and I at various times thought the game was up and had our towels ready to throw into the ring, however we manly fought on. The length of the game was variable and we threw the highest dice score so we had to finish twelve turns, something I don't think neither of us was over the moon about. On turn ten the pendulum swung spectacularly back to the Romans, against all odds I had eventually managed to engage the Celtic leader in combat, destroyed his unit and hauled him, bleeding or half dead, into my lines. I could see it all, the adoring crowds in Rome, me in a white chariot, the prisoner chained and shuffling behind on his way to the forum to be ritually beheaded........... "No, the game is not over, you have to hold him until the end turn George" came the unhelpful advice. Unfortunately for me that last combat was all I had left in my armoury, the unit in question had no friends nearby and was surrounded by Celts, my boys went down in a bloody tangle and the barbarian was hauled off on a shield by his victorious warriors. I believe Dave managed his objective so the score was 47/27 against, but a great and very close battle.
For the second game I was also up against northerners, this time 'Kiwi' Andy with German Barbarians, Andy had one more large block of warriors than me, but he also had more cavalry and lots of skirmishers, his warriors were also beefed up by the addition of champions which offer die re-rolls, a lot more men than the Celts. His deployment however had left one warrior block in the rear, so if I could quickly advance it would have no where to go, perhaps I could win before my flanks gave way. This time I had to get two units off his edge of the table. Surprisingly my cavalry performed well on the right and held up his flanking troops, meanwhile a small window of opportunity opened on my left, I saw the chance to breakthrough and make for the table edge, but it was not to be, one of my units was either defeated or forced back, my mind is a bit of a blur after a whole weekend gaming. No matter, it was another hard fought game and the resulting score of 18/17 against was, in my mind, as good as a draw.
In between games I had a look around the other tables, the armies were beautifully painted and looked very impressive, especially the Successor armies with their pike phalanx's and elephants. One of the guys had brought his own battle mat which suited his army, it was stunning, it was also well made and had a non slip backing, I am definitely going to look into one of them (gamemat.eu). Over more drinks back at the hotel the main topic, apart from me getting a round in, Scottish you see, was poor Dan Toone's catastrophic 77/0 defeat by Jenny Owen-Smith's brand new Celtic army, made worse by the fact that Dan is no slouch at W&C and I was set to play Jenny the next day.
More battles to follow and another disastrous defeat for one of us.