Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Foes East and West - To the Strongest! AAR

After a two hour trek from the barren, pine-filled lands of South Jersey, I arrived at the Valley Forge Casino result for my first in-person convention in almost two years: Fall In Historicon!

I unfortunately missed my chance to head down to Barrage in Maryland this year, so I made sure I had plenty of time (and money) to spend at Historicon. I had originally planned to play in nine games over four days, but I ended up cutting my attendance a little short and played seven games over three days. Not bad!

My first game was early on Thursday, and featured eight-players sitting around a massive table. 

I was one of four Egyptian commanders, tasked with winning glory for the young Ramses II. Arrayed against us on either side of the Nile were armies of Libyans and Canaanites. 

Both sides had armies of mostly the same troops - light chariots, medium infantry, and skirmishers. The Egyptians had more formed infantry compared to the Libyans and Canaanites. 

The game was using To the Strongest! for its rules, which is why I had decided to sign up. I haven't had a bad game of To the Strongest yet, and this was a chance to try a different flavor of Ancients. 

The other two Egyptian commanders had their hands full dealing with plenty of Libyans. The game broke down into two separate engagements as the Egyptians had lots of targets on either side of the Nile. 

My poor performance as a cavalry command in To the Strongest (and by extension, For King & Parliament) seemed to continue through this game, with my chariots clashing with their Canaanite opposites and losing. 

As the chariots fought on the flanks, the Egyptians and Canaanite lines clashed together. 

And without much of a fuss, my chariots were routed, giving free the Canaanite free rein over the Egyptian rear. 

The Canaanite commander was in a prime spot to hit the Egyptian camp, which would further deplete our quickly diminishing supply of Victory Medals. 

The lone unit of Egyptian Archers were able to keep the chariots off the camp for a turn. 

However, that didn't matter when a unit of Egyptian infantry was harried into a rout by Canaanite skirmishers, which placed us over the medal limit and sent the whole Egyptian force into retreat!

I didn't stick around to see how the other side was doing, but I couldn't imagine that having their backs exposed to the Canaanites while also trying to deal with the Libyans was going to end well. Looks like Ramses II was going to need to find a different target to demonstrate his military prowess. 

This was a great first game and really got me excited for the rest of the convention. And as ever, To the Strongest remains my preferred set of generic Ancients & Medieval rules.

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