Yesterday was hot in more than one way. The temperature was up around the 30C mark and the major thing at the club was a series of games of HOTT (Hordes Of The Things).
This was a chance for me to roll out my Averland-inspired army against some actual opponents. "How did things turn out?" you ask. "Not very well!" I reply.
I played four games, two against Nick's Orcs and two against John's Dwarves and Elvish chaps. In every case, I lost. Now, that could be down to inexperience, but bad dice rolls and impetuosity both played a part too. In the first game, I defended on a table that really didn't offer me much help. Neither did a truly bad initial deployment, which pretty much left my Knights in an endless series of rounds of combat with Nick's Orc Knights.
It didn't help much that I soon lost my Behemoth (the Da Vinci turtle tank), for no gains.
Eventually, I lost because I had taken too many casualties.
In the second game, I defended again, and once more deployed my forces in a formation that pretty much isolated my Knights. This time, though, I deployed Riders on the right flank and these at least had a useful role to play.
I lost my left flank Shooters and Blades early on and this really didn't help me at all, even though my Spears managed to push back Nick's scorpion Behemoth.
The real problem was that I'd got my general into a bad position defeating Nick's Knights, which led inevitably to his demise, and my defeat.
My next two games were against John's Elf/Dwarf alliance. Both times I tried to ensure that my deployment was more coherent and I decided to occupy the hills on my half of the table. John deployed in a solid line.
My Knights advanced along the road.
At this point, things seemed OK. I didn't expect that his Flyers, including an Aerial Hero would be such a problem. I soon lost one unit of Knights to John's Hero General, which showed up the flaw in my plans.
My Spears saw off an attack by Flyers
But the Aerial Hero (identified by the red counter) caused a realignment of my line.
With my Blades standing firm, the Shooters rejoined the battle line.
The Hero Flyer refused combat and left my Blades exposed as John's line advanced.
I threw caution to the winds and charged. Bad mistake. Although I won combats, all I was doing was forcing his troops to recoil. I couldn't destroy any troops. Eventually, I lost my remaining Knights, inevitably followed by my Hero General.
We managed to squeeze in a final battle. We both deployed Magicians, and I brought in some Riders, dropping my Spears.
John was defending, and I was pretty much forced to advance, because he just sat still in front of his Stronghold.
My Riders managed to tie up his right flank for a long time, including his Magician.
I advanced and got into combat. This is where it all went wrong. I felt sure that I had an advantage but my dice rolls were truly appalling and my line got twisted out of shape and I was destroyed piecemeal. Happily, there are no pictures of this shameful collapse by the army of Averland.
So, I reckon that I have a lot to learn about how to win at HOTT.