The last battle – round 6. For this round I had drawn Adrian Williams and his Samanids (“Sama-what’s” said I, “Samanids” said he). I could not find that list easily in the rules so thought “what the heck, let’s just deploy and see what turns up”.
In fact the list Adrian was using was list III/43c Khurasanian (Samanids). For the record, the Samani dynasty, also known as the Samanid Empire, or simply Samanids (819–999 CE) was a Persian state in Central Asia and Greater Iran. Its borders crossed over modern day Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Takjikistan and the other ‘stans. It is named after its founder Saman Khuda, who converted to Sunni Islam despite being from Zoroastrian theocratic nobility. It was the first native Persian dynasty in that area after the collapse of the Sassanian empire caused by the Arab conquest.
The Saminid army for this battle looked like:
- 1 x 3Cv – the general
- 2 x 3Cv – the cavalry
- 1 x 2LH – some light cavalry
- 1 x Elephant – finally, the chance of a nellie v nellie
- 3 x 4Sp – spears
- 3 x 2Ps – Light troops for screening and/or supporting the spears
- 1 x 4Ax – some poor terrain troops.
Adrian had played Doug in the previous round so after 4 rounds had been scoring well, this was going to be another tough battle. I took the elephant general option – to give myself three games with and three games without the elephant general.
For the third time after lunch, I rolled high on aggression so once again I was the attacker. Adrian laid out the terrain (which looked suspiciously like the terrain he laid for his battle with Doug). We deployed and battle commenced.
I deployed by bows and psiloi on both flanks, with my knights and elephant in the centre, and my blades to the right of the knights. I was attempting to put as much punch as possible up the clear centre of the table and keep the bows back and out of trouble.
Facing that Adrian had his centre filled with his cavalry and spears whilst his other troops were on the flanks and looking to cause as much trouble as possible with my weakened flanks.
My tactics here were simple – get the centre in and mixing it as soon as possible. We advanced.
Some good combat results had the Saminids down three elements when the jumbos clashed. It was mano-a-mano (or rather pachyderm-a-pachyderm) in the centre as the two elephants faced off against each other. Both elephants were overlapped so the combat came down to Samind Elephant with a factor of 4 (5 vs elephant minus 1 overlapped) vs the Rajput elephant 5 (5 vs elephant minus 1 overlapped plus 1 general in combat).
The dice were rolled and Adrian rolled 1, I rolled 5 for a total difference of 10 to 5 and the Saminid elephant was eliminated.
Final result was and 8:1 victory to me and overall second place in the competition.