Friday, 30 June 2017

AMG 17: Shock Horror - Der Alte Fritz concedes in Leuthen big game

The title says it all but such a significant event as this means we have given over the front page of today's Daily Blitz to our Sports, Arts and Culture editor, Sir Joshua Gregg RA, who reports direct from the Leuthen Stadium in Bohemia.  Well it would be direct but the messenger's horse has taken nearly two weeks to get to our office here in the UK West Country.


Austrian line up - Gary, Dave and Robbie 
Tony and Jim my Prussian colleagues
Colin made wise decisions from the end of the table
"It was a cold, snowy day in Bohemia but the crowds were heaving and sweaty with expectation as the Prussian Plunderers took on Vienna United in the big match final to decide the 1757 Championship.
The crowd went wild to watch such a gathering of stars
"Prussia had called on a new American player manager, Jim "Der Alte Fritz" Purky, fresh from his successes at such New World gatherings as the Seven Years War Association and the Bill P. Petite Guerre big game weekend. Fritz had also shown his ability at attracting a crowd by masterminding something esoteric called the Fife and Drum Forum. Vienna took the opposite approach by having a "puppet" leader in Dave "Smiler" Hall, who lulled the enemy by pretending to know nothing, and having a constant dialogue of advice from his two "assistants" - Gary "I know the rules" Phillips, and the legendary Robbie "Canny Gob" Rodiss.  Fritz was not so well served, but constantly gave encouragement to his two subordinates - on the left flank Tony "Scouser" Dillon and on the right,  Chris "Southern Softie" Gregg (no relation to your reporter).

Jim made this vignette specially for the occasion adorned by an exchangeable flag designed by Captain William Walker of Florida
"To sum up, Prussia sent a big attack led by Gregg on the right which was blunted by equal effort from Canny Gob opposite him. They had a constant North-South tussle the whole day turning the air blue with Northeast Gob-sh*** meeting West country charm, until both sides fell back pretty exhausted.  Scouser on the Prussia left wing was a master of the cautious defence, refusing to be enticed near the touch line by Phillips who instead packed the penalty box with his most powerful players (many of whom were on steroids it seemed) until Scouser played his master card and brought on the substitutes from behind him. But Phillips was made of sterner stuff, and he knew the rules better so the surprise did not last long before Scouser's reserves were spent, injured or sent off to the "sin bin".  Meanwhile in the centre Fritz put all his efforts into going for goal despite when consulting the runes they just kept showing him snake eyes! The centre forward, Billy Brummer, kept lobbing high balls out of the stadium and hitting Leuthen church, much to the discomfort of Smiler. Fritz was so forceful he eventually forced Smiler's players back behind the goal where, the latter suddenly found his substitutes bench had arrived at last and he sent them on in the 75th minute of the match.
Despite his success, and Fritz had by now occupied (admittedly very thinly) the whole of the Vienna penalty area, he had run out of reserves and could only fall back reluctantly to his own half while Smiler had gained confidence and was advancing up the pitch.

"Der Alte Fritz looked around and realised all hope of winning the Leuthen game had gone, and gentleman that he is, shook hands with Smiler and conceded before the final whistle had been blown by the excellent referee, Colin "my back hurts" Ashton.

"And now some more atmosphere with excerpts from my post match interviews with the leading game personalities:
DAF, watched like a hawk by Gary, makes use of his 1 on initiative by swivelling a unit
"Der Alte Fritz
Sir Josh:  Jim, defeat on European soil how do you feel?
DAF: Well just being here is a treat for me. It's not about winning but taking part. When I got the message from Prussia to manage the team and play from a central position too I couldn't wait, and it's a real pleasure to be able to work with Colin and see the magnificent Leuthen church with its four round bastions. Too bad my penetration of Vienna's defence was so limited but that's how it goes sometimes. I shoulda known when those snake eyes were staring at me early on that it would end badly but I'd come so far and so had the rest of the team we just had to go on till we were exhausted. I had some admirable help - Tony on the left tried as hard as he could, but up against Gary it was always goin' to be tough. On the right Chris knew what he was doin' and held out all day and never let himself be put off by the constant stream of gobsh*** that I could hear whenever our Billy Brummer stopped making those loud bangs.
Austrians and Reichsarmee infantry defend Leuthen church and village
Billy Brummer opens up on the Leuthen garrison
Dave and Robbie stand in awe of DAF's advance on Leuthen Church
Later DAF saw off the Reichsarmee and piled in against the churchyard
Calculate all your plusses and minuses properly!
View from the Austrian side of Leuthen
DAF' won a foothold but his thin garrison got counter-attacked
Dave's Austrians retake the churchyard
Sir Josh: What did you think of the Austrian performance?
DAF: Got to pay tribute to my opponents today. Even when things weren't goin' well for him there was Dave smilin' through everything. He kept asking for advice from Gary and he got advice from Robbie even though he didn't ask. I saw those two come to blows on the pitch a coupla times but I don't think it was serious. Colin kept playing the advantage rule so didn't intervene, I guess judging that we were better off exploiting their disagreements. I heard Robbie say often "I'll get us stick out to ye, man".... though I don't know what it meant it sounded threatening....Yeah,...they played well.
Sir Josh: And what next for you?
DAF: I'm off to have one of your European beers in the sunny garden, and tonight I'll persuade someone to buy me a Scotch on the rocks, preferably Macallan's.
Our American visitor is the only one sensible enough to wear a hat
"Dave "Smiler" Hall
Sir Josh: Third time at an AMG final Dave, what's the secret?
Smiler: Well Josh, I do what I always do. Be nice to everyone, except Robbie. Act as if I know nothing so everyone seems sympathetic, and learn quickly what the strengths and weaknesses are of the two teams' position on the pitch.
Sir Josh: So how did that help today?
Smiler: Well, Josh, I just pretended the team was short handed, I knew the substitutes would turn up when the pubs closed.  So I let Fritz come on, I didn't expect them to score but we just let them believe it would be easy then hit back with the subs. Gary and Robbie did well on the flanks so we wrapped it by the 80th minute....and I just kept smiling...it never fails.
Not a smile but deep consultation with his adviser as Dave organises the substitutes bench
"Gary "I know the rules" Phillips
Sir Josh:  You're a veteran of big games Gary, we remember your Minden,  Closter Camp , many outings at the Ayton stadium etc, but how did this feel?
Gary:  Well, any game where Colin is the match official is a bit special. You can guarantee attention to detail, slick but fair refereeing, and a convivial reception to any potential argument. Not only that but Colin knows I know the rules better than he does and so he slips me a pocketful of red cards before the game saying "When my back is hurting Gary I rely on you to keep watch - be sure to catch any player trying to recover too soon, we need to avoid unnecessary bloodshed and lasting injuries". Well Colin's a humanitarian, you see, so he cares......about the players' welfare, but me, I just care about scoring goals.
Sir Josh: Yes, we know you were East Anglia's highest scoring player last season.......
Gary: Indeed I was Josh, but back to Leuthen - wanna know my secret?  I've got such good spacial awareness and great hearing that I can sense, even at the far end of the field, and above the noise of the crowd, when opponents are in trouble. Take Gregg for example. He tried to recover too soon so I slapped a red card on him "You can't move now till you've recovered properly says I", and I got him and others several times like that during the match and that helped Robbie and Dave get up the pitch and score......Know the rules......it never fails.
Gary points out a transgression to Colin as DAF's attack goes in. At right Robbie
consults the rule book to try to wriggle out of my attack :-)
Above and below: Gary had been busy with the red cards!

"Tony "Scouser" Dillon
Sir Josh: Tony, you too are a lover of the big game. You are a veteran of the Peter Gilder memorial stadium where they played the biggest games in the 70s and 80s yet I sense that you weren't getting the respect you deserve at Leuthen tonight?
Tony: No Josh I certainly weren't, and I think there were a certain amount of racial prejudice on show in Bohemia today. I would 'ave expected better from this crowd but there were shouts of "show us your t*** Lily Savage" on account of me accent yer see. An' cos I'm from Birken'ead.
Sir Josh: Sorry to hear that Tony, but your tactics nearly paid off, tell us about it......
Tony: Well, I'm a great admirer of the legend that is Stevie Gerrard, and so I played the gentle, careful approach, feeling out me opponent then playing it wide to keep 'im guessin'. Let 'im come to me, overreachin' 'isself, too far from his defenders....then the killer blow. So we 'ad a lorra lorra lads waiting around doing nuthin' and I went among 'em to raise spirits and started 'em singin' - "March on...march on....with 'ope in yer hearts....an' yer'll nev.....er march  a....lone, yer'll nev.....er  march a....lone." 10, 000 voices as one, and then it 'appened. The noise must have got to Fritz cos the boss then unleashed the substitute up the left wing and caught Gary up the a** as he was about to take a corner kick.  We thought the match was won but it weren't to be as Gary seemed to 'ave extra strength (must be the steroids - even 'is hair is a brilliant colour). The man is very, very difficult to beat, but maybe next time.........yer never know, eh? But, hey - Man o' the Match me - the referee's choice of Most Gentlemanly Player, so it's true what they say - ref's as blind as a bat.

Tony's arm waving obviously impresses DAF enough to commit the left wing substitute.
Yes that is a cameo appearance by Phil Olley who had a walk-on part as
"Guest Aston Villa supporter"
Tony's "substitute" cavalry brigade comes on at the far baseline to take Gary
from behind (oops!)
But that yellow tape measure indicates a fierce reaction from Gary's hunky cuirassiers........
.....Which eventually catches Tony in the flank in turn.....so exasperated is DAF's guest vignette that he changes to a red flag.
Fetch me my brown trousers Seydlitz!
"Chris "Southern Softie" Gregg
Sir Josh: Chris you're a veteran of the lower Southern leagues but haven't often had a chance to play with the big boys, how was it for you?
CG: Yeah Josh, you know me luvver, down 'ere in the West oi've spent most o' me loif turnin' out fer Cheltenham Town or vegan Forest Green Rovers, so to run out on the park for the Prussian Plunderers next to yer actual Der Alte Fritz was jus' magic! Leuthen stadium an 'all - Overawed, doesn't begin to describe it m'dear. (See what I did there with the accent - just pretending).  The roar of the crowd as we came out, and then I saw our opponents - tough Gary from the bleak East, and hard man o' the North, but legend in his own lunchtime, Robbie Roddis.  I began to quake with fear until  I saw Smiler Dave and thought "Maybe this won't be so bad after all" but then realised he lives in Nottingham - rubbing shoulders with the top knobs - Perry Twins, John Stallard, Peter Dennis, Ali Morrison and all that lot - they walk on water..........
Sir Josh: You had to face Robbie on the right wing, what was that like?
CG: The whole match was pretty strange but the tone was set early on when Robbie said something like "Reet ye gadgie wazzock, us gannin tae dunch ye canny an' propa t'dae, like, man".  I think he meant he was going to hit me hard! And so he did, time after time, but I kept getting back up until he said "Chris man, ahm in awe o' ye tactics", but I knew he was just employing one of his most famous ploys - sarcasm. I'd watched the other Gary - you know the one who does Walkers Crisps on the telly - give an analysis of it on Match of the Day, so knew what to expect. Robbie also tried to fool me by exposing one of his weakest players, Hans von Reichsarmee, to lure me into the centre, but I gave Hans the slip and went at double speed up the right flank past him. That was when the trouble started as Robbie released some really heavy metal that stopped me in my tracks and I never broke through all day.
Robbie exposes Hans von Reichsarmee
But I send my Cuirassier brigade right past
Which was just as well since his Cuirassier heavy metal appeared directly opposite
Sir Josh: It's rumoured you have a special relationship with the referee, any truth in that?
CG: (looking uneasy) Well....er.....we do share a mutual love of .....art,....and er...women partly out of uniform, ....nothing wrong with that! .....But there was a point in the game where Colin was looking decidedly under the weather so I ran over to help. It seemed his usual physio had gone off to Leuthen market shopping, so I asked what I could do for him. "Rub my back please" he asked, so I did, "Now lower and round a bit", so I did . "Lower than that"....NO Colin, I'm not going any lower people will start talking."
Sir Josh: Too late Chris, they already are!

Gary points Colin in the direction of a rule, the latter at that time supported
by his physiotherapist at the touchline
"Robbie "Canny Gob" Rodiss
Sir Josh: Robbie you are well known for the mantra "every one is entitled to my opinions",  so give us yours on this match.
Robbie: Waal Josh I knew it would be a fun dae when I saw thet charva Joachim von Zieten lookin' a reet bobby dazzla leadin' the charge up the Prussian reet flank. So I brought on the big boys tae fettle 'im except the Southern Softie proved a harder nut tae crack than us thought so I tells me marra, Dave  "Hoy owa here some gadgie from substitutes bench Dave, us needs to be gannin a belta at the howfing geet pile o' Tossers the Prussian have 'ere, man".  "Haddaway an' sh*te", says Dave - cos he speaks Geordie too when he's wi' us, so I knew us were gettin' no 'elp from 'im. Then the Southern Softie gives us a dunch in the kidneys and I jus 'stands there muttering "I don' unnerstan', ....us is propa radgie about this" so us calls owa the ref but he's on Softie's side (they have a "special relationship - know what us means man?). So I told the ref he must be gannin micey and us storms of to the netty as us was bustin' from tae much coffee, like."
Sir Josh: Well thanks Robbie, that was very enlightening."

Hans von Reicharmee gets attacked eventually by Prussian Dragoons
Mutual destruction and repulsion by both sides heavy cavalry 
But then I reform and organise that blow to the kidneys in the form of a flank attack;
what's not to understand?
Robbie: Softie's twocked us measurin' stick, hoy us anawa one owa here, marra, afor ah get radgie an' dunch him propa.
Gary: He must get it correct, please give him a measuring stick
Colin: I'm sure you are right, Gary.
By me as CG
Now tongue firmly out of cheek no offence is intended to anyone. This was a lovely set of people to play with, even Robbie. Colin deserves massive praise for planning and devising the refight, providing the terrain and all the figures and umpiring mostly throughout (he really was in pain only recently recovering from a major operation), so a fantastic performance by him. Thank you Colin. Honours of War rules seemed to stand up well again with a big game although it is extremely bloody when two bodies of cuirassiers hit each other. Colin's game also showed over two days that the same terrain and orbat can produce a totally different game with different players. Please see his blog for a proper account of them
amg17-weekend-tale-of-two-battles-of Leuthen

Always plenty of vignettes on Colin's table
More from me on the rest of the AMG weekend later but for now I leave the last word with Robbie.

"AMG weeken' were pure belta an e'en tho' Southern Softie were there ee kept his political views and hummus eatin' to 'issel' so us was able to say -  Let's just be marras about it, alreet?  Next year - Howay man, the Wild Geese!"

Don't know what I did to deserve it but Robbie gave me this magnificent present.


"The Spy" by Robbie Rodiss, a nod to our mutual working lives


And see his wonderful blog too which is written in propa English independentwargamesgroup.blogspot.co.uk


19 comments:

  1. Wonderful Chris. Loved reading it and very amusing.

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    1. Glad you approve Colin, thanks for all you did to make it a success

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    2. You didn't mention rubbing my back.

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    3. Yes I did - second half of the Chris Gregg post match interview

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  2. I knew that I was in for a rough time but as I only came on as a substitute and was playing out of my normal position of Left Back ( in the changing room) I thought that I could best these Vienese Pastry boys. My cunning plan of not knowing the rules nor the period initially paid off against Gary as he was only able to clobber the nancy boy hussars who were poncing about outside the box. I managed to lull him into a false sense of security by letting them be quickly destroyed by his artillery, musketry and a lucky cavalry charge.
    I further confused him by deliberately splitting my infantry force so that half of them were always out of command and could only move on an additional dice throw. The brave Prussians moved back and forward during the game and managed to avoid ever firing a shot nor support big Fritz in the centre. In retrospect this may not have been a good plan but it kept Gary occupied.
    The big brummer battery managed to take a few penalty shots and clobbered some boys foolishly loitering nearby.
    Late in the second half some heavy cavalry appeared behind Garys hussars and took them up the chuff before being spotted by his own big boys who unsportingly counterattacked and gave me a bloody nose which forced me to return to the changing rooms for a a few bevvies and a hot blonde.
    Best part of the match was the opportunity to stick it to Robbie Roddis who was clearly missing his regular sparring partner Mark Allen.
    Tony


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    1. Lovely Tony, us Liverpool fans need to stick together, eh, mate!

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  3. Maybe we can arrange for a re-match against the same opposition but on a ground of our own choosing.

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    1. You build it and they will come.........

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  4. Outstanding report! Great read and a great game.

    Never trust anyone who smiles all the time...

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    1. Yes, and he lives in Nottingham, say no more!

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. What a wonderful retrospective of your game and its various participants!

    Best Regards,

    Stokes

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    1. Thanks Stokes, it was a wonderful atmosphere to play in.

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  7. Chris, that has to be one of my all time favorite after action reports, ever ( although I couldn't understand even half of what Robbie was saying to the reporter) :)

    It's great to read all of the different perspectives of the game from you, Robbie and Colin on your respective blogs.

    All the best,

    Der Alte Fritz

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    1. Thank you Jim, for your low key approach to being C-in-C and all the good conversations surrounding the games.

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  8. Love it - even though I don't understand half the football references.

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    1. Sorry Paul, I did wonder whether to bring in some rugby talk - maybe I'll work in the Cherry and Whites to some future report ;-)

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