On Saturday we fought the third annual "To the Strongest!" World Championship in Chalgrove, Oxfordshire, hosted by the South Oxfordshire Generals.
This year we had 29 players (up 12 from, I think, 17 last year). I'm afraid I didn't take a great many photos, but Ian Notter took some (thanks Ian) and I have combined them, with mine, below. I apologise in advance for all errors in description of the armies and if I have no photos of your army!
Above a shot of the players setting up, from the relative safety of the kitchen. Below Tim Thompson and Philip Marshal in their first game- Tim was using Later East Romans and Philip, foreground, their EIR ancestors.
Above and below are Roger Calderbank's Sung Chinese- an unusual and colourful army with a great camp- from the Oriental booklet. The firelance cavalry in the foreground above have explosive lances!
Above, Indian Emperor Baz cogitates, as well he might for he faces the Shahenshah Simon Purchon's fearsome Sassanid Persians. I believe Barry is now doing sterling service in a new role as a mounting block. ;-)
This beautiful army (above and below) belonged, I believe to Chris Winter- lovely Vendel Pyrrhics. (Correction- Chris Winter brought a different Vendel Macedonian Army; I think this army belonged to Kevin Lucas). Due to a misunderstanding about the rampage rules (backwards, not forwards!), the army included no fewer than four elephants and two scythed chariots! As well as looking good, I believe the army did very well.
Above the Pyrrhics (correction; Imperial Seleucids) again and below veteran Late Romans (Tim's, I think).
Above that's my belly; I think the army on the right are Alex Meyer's Nikephorians. Ales and his mate Jan came all the way from Belgium! Below the handsome Victrix Polybians belong, I think, to Andy Green. From memory they are fighting Mike Guest's Ayyubids.
Above this was another stunning pike army, possibly Nick Abbott's Seleucids? Below, not sure. Many of the games were played on Deep-Cut mats that I sell- this design is Sagebrush Steppe, the most versatile design I reckon. Rather greener than the official photos suggest. Below Tim's Romans, I think?
Above, foreground, are Emperor Baz' Indians, fighting Bevan Marchand's Medieval Germans. Below another shot of the Imperial Seleucids.
I recognise the laager above 'cos I lent it to Nick Speller's Huns. This flank attack on the Hun camp looks ominous.
I have quite a few photos of the excellent Edgehill battle that Andrew Brentnall laid on but I shall save those until tomorrow!
Results are never the most important element of a To the Strongest! event, but Simon Purchon's Sassanids won (again!!!) and I recall that Peter Ryding's Mongols were in the top three- shoot-y cavalry armies, in experienced hands, seem to do very well- they seem to be able to win decisively and score highly. Someone can perhaps remind me who the other placed player was? (Update- Chris Winter came second- doing very well in his first TtS! outing.) I think Bob Ullman won the prize for the least-high score- traditionally the best prize.
Lastly here's the group photo. As far as I could see everyone had a great time; the atmosphere was very convivial. A huge thank you to everyone who came (especially the Belgians and Welsh who had such long journeys) and of course to the South Oxfordshire Generals for hosting, especially Steve Dover for organising and scoring and the volunteers who ran the kitchen. Also thanks to Warlord Games who very generously donated prizes and to Trevor Holcroft who donated the first price. On to the 2018 Worlds; I think we may need a bigger venue!