We require but two photographs to describe this afternoon’s tabletop sport, for the King’s arrows were sharp in the heart of his enemies who were attempting to besiege him.
The besiegers, the Green Dragons, had erected a watch tower to guard the approach to the Castle of the King of the Red Lions and had brought up several catapults as well as some archers and crossbowmen to clear the battlements and break down the walls.
Their opening salvo proved to be completely ineffective, and the archers and crossbowmen discovered to their discomiture that their pavisses afforded scant protection from the crossbowmen on the battlements who had the luxury of firing down upon them from above.
There was a moment when the Green Dragons succeeded in clearing most of the battlements of crossbowmen, at which point my lord Baron Ardeliarse Blackhart cried out with vehemance that the gods would favour an assault on the outer towers whereas my lord Baron Cyprian Prudentiarse warned that an imprudent exposure of the knights and footsoldiers would lead to disaster.
Thus, the Green Dragon troops were preserved in their starting positions behind the cover of the watchtower while the Red Lion troops hidden behind the castle walls quickly replaced the fallen crossbowmen on the battlements and their bolts flew into the hearts of the King’s enemies. First the Green Dragon archers were eliminated, and then the crossbowmen. The problem the Green Dragons now faced was that it was impossible for anybody to take the places of the fallen because their pavisses had also been destroyed and anybody who tried to pick up a weapon, load it and shoot back was struck down by a crossbow bolt from the battlements.
Their only hope now lay with the catapults, but they were not consistently accurate enough in their shooting to knock a hole in a section of the curtain wall, or to knock the crossbowmen from the battlements, although they did achieve one or two notable hits. The drawbridge was destroyed, but to no avail, especially as the portcullis was firmly closed behind it.
The catapult operators were much better protected by their catapults and it took a while to shoot down enough of them to bring an end to the day’s assault. As dusk came down, the Green Dragon’s ranks were much depleted, but the Red Lions stayed behind their walls rather than risk a sally when their crossbowmen seemed quite capable of defeating the besiegers.
Meanwhile, the fallen heroes were carried from the field by mechanized Charon, a Duplo figure who arrived on the battle field driving a blue Duplo car. The fallen were lifted into the back of the car and driven off to a Duplo railway terminal and conducted to Duplo Valhalla by Thomas the Tank Engine. It has been a couple of years since Duplo last made its appearance in my daughter’s busy schedule, but the night before the battle I was instructed to dig it out of my store cupboard in anticipation of todays visit by Mr Ardle.