And then the wheels dropped off.

Chris K asked me if I wanted to play in the DBA tournament at Hammerhead in a week's time. This is not normally my thing at all, but Phil had had to drop out, which left Chris sitting on an unpaid fee and the organisers a man short. As they're supplying all the armies and terrain  it seemed like an easy day out. Then it turns out the armies are all 6mm on 60mm frontage bases (!) and are all classical period. We normally play on 40mm frontages with medieval type armies.

No worries, I have a load of 20mm classical period figures on 60mm bases, so I can make up quite a few of the armies for a practice push-a-bout to get my eye in. Chris thought that was a good idea, so we put aside Monday afternoon to see what we could make of it all.

First game was Gauls v Early Germans. I got the Germans, who were the invaders.

Lots of warband. Mine are solid. His are fast. I've never really got on with Warband armies, so this was a good first outing.

Chris immediately tries something clever, and heads off to overwhelm my right flank.

It's a bit of a mixed bag for him, but he takes first blood, killing my Psiloi.

A PIP famine puts me in a bad place. At the end of this round of melee I've lost three elements. Gonna be a short game.

Then things turn my way, and I get some PIPs and catch Chris where I meant to a couple of turns back.

A brisk round of melee kills four bases in one turn, so I end up winner, 4:3. 

Next game was Sarmations (me) v Skythians (Chris). I was defending. (NB The Sarmations are mostly Persians, but the Skythians are Skythians)

So this is lots of Kn v lots of LH, which can be tricky as LH quick kill Kn. As defenders deploying first it gives the Skythians a good chance to set up for the required overlaps. Got the terrain board wrong for this one as well, which may have worked against me. I tried to be clever, dominating the wood - which shouldn't have been there - with my Psiloi, and then moving my general and another element round on the flank. Never had enough PIPs.

I was a couple of elements down early on, but felt in a good place. Although I have a real issue with the LH double depth and the quick kill rule I have enough places to pick off wins, except for an astonishing run of drawn combats. Looks like I can't kill anything for love nor money.

I do manage to beat some LH by virtue of us both rolling ones. Mine hit the table first, and I thought that was it until Chris' turned up too. 

Despite this everything else went badly and I lost 3:5. 

Next up was Thebans (me) v Alexander Macedonians (Chris). I'm invading. Loads of hoplites and pikes in this one.

Never played an army like this before, as far as I can recall. Chris sort of bluffed me with a heavy cavalry wing, and then shifted across the table to confuse me. He also started well back towards his baseline, and on reflection I should not have moved forwards until I had widened out my line as I was intending. As it was I shifted forwards, then got stuffed by a lack of PIPs.

As I sent my horse out wide to void being flanked I let my centre line get detached from its flank guards.

I got in a real mix up on my right. I couldn't get my 8Sp units in to play, and my general got stranded. I did get an overlap in the cavalry fight that with a pushback previously should have got me a kill, but I got bounced instead, and my back was a bit too close to the board edge. Then I had a disaster in the centre and couldn't hit anything for a couple of turns and ended up taking a 0:4 beating. Lots of lessons learned there, I think.

The last game was Later Carthaginians v Celtiberians. I was the latter, and I'd forgotten that in cobbling together the armies I used 3Wb to stand in for 3Bd. I consequently took another 0:4 drubbing, but the game was scratched due to an ineligible army being fielded.

A useful afternoon. How much difference it'll make to my performance on Saturday I can't say, but it can't have hurt.