My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

DBA Game: Early Libyans (I/7b) versus Early Bedouin (I/6c)

One of the two DBA games I played in the last two weeks, this was not written up. (Jesse wrote up our game of Mongols versus Medieval Germans and posted it on Fanaticus and the SVHG forum.)

Although not a historical match-up, the armies are the same year and area (North African Biblicals between 999 BC and 660 BC). The Libyans are proxies from Ira's collection.

To minimize on pictures we snapped one at the end of every turn (not bound), so you see the effects of both sides movement, combat, and outcome moves. Don't blink, as it goes so fast you might miss something!

Libyans (my command) are the light blue arrows; Bedouins (Ira's command) are the green arrows.

Turn 1

What is hard to discern from the photograph is the exact nature of the terrain. At the top left is a steep hill running along board edge. In the center is a large patch of rough terrain that does not block LOS. This area would become key as the game went on. In the lower right is another steep hill.

The Libyans are defending and the Bedouins attacking. The Bedouins have placed their commander on the other side of their hill, limiting his command effectiveness (Ira is a little rusty at DBA). The Libyans setup their bows on their steep hill. You'll notice that we both forgot to place camps. (I guess we both are making mistakes now.)

I can't speak to Ira's plan, but I just finished playing a game with Jesse in which I used the terrain to isolate a portion of Jesse's command, thus killing it off, before moving to the next objective. My goal was to use the rough terrain to perform the same function. If the camels could be drawn forward, I might be able to slice them off with the Psiloi and Bows. As there were four elements there, that could win me the game.

The first turn sees the Bedouins, with few pips available and stuck on a steep hill, sending three columns down the length of the steep hill. If I have any hope of making a dent against that force, I need to get them off of that hill. I send my right wing tentatively forward, while the bows stay in place. The problem is: I rolled six pips and I hate not using them. The problem I can see with my plan is that if Ira moves his General behind the hill, his Camels will require too many pips to move, so he will never move forward (especially against bows). Even though I have tried this before, unsuccessfully in DBA 1.2, I throw the Psiloi into the rough terrain, deep into his territory, burning five pips to get into position.

Turn 2

(Sorry for the shift in angle for the picture. Ira had to deal with the baby and came back and snapped it from a different view.)

The Bedouins send another column to deal with the pesky Psiloi that appeared on their flank. They are starved for pips, so there is not much they can do. Meanwhile the Libyans prepare some defenses in the rough while sending one out to threaten the flank. (Gutsy, some may say "stupid" move to make, given that the element is in the open and has camels to its rear, but Ira has realized the problem with having the General guarding the extreme left flank. I am gambling on the Bedouins not having enough pips to do everything they want.)

Turn 3

(Again, a shift in the angle. Ira has to deal with the baby, so I grab the camera. All remaining shots are from the angle of the Libyan rear.)

The Bedouin camels start to move out from the flank, threatening the third Psiloi. Meanwhile the original two Psiloi are unceremoniously destroyed.

Libyans 0-2.

Turn 4

The Bedouins tried finishing off the last Libyan Psiloi, but it kept running. Their General finally commits and decides to try an munch the Psiloi on the Libyan right flank.

Meanwhile, the Libyan warbands bounded forward and flanked a Bedouin Ax/Ps pair and destroyed them.

Libyans 2-2.

Turn 5

The Bedouins end up with few pips and end up burning them on the camels to finally pin the last Libyan Psiloi.

The Libyans spend their time recovering their positions. The warbands pull back and join the battle line, while the right flank Psiloi fan out. It now appears that the Bedouins are committing to the attack; I just need to pull them off of the steep hill so they don't have the advantage.

Libyans 2-3.

Turn 6

The Bedouins start pushing the Libyan psiloi, while they in turn pull back, hoping to draw them farther off of the hill.

Turn 7

The Bedouins continue to pursue the Libyan psiloi, finally coming off of the steep hill. The Libyans quickly swoop in, hitting another Ax/Ps pair in front and flank with a warband and the General in the chariot. The Bedouins recoil and the battle is over.

Libyans 4-3.

Analysis
Ira made an interesting comment in that my move with the three psiloi elements put him on the defensive from turn 2 onwards. Myself, I felt that in hindsight I had made a big mistake with the move.

1. I had committed too many elements to the move. Losing two elements on turn 3 and the third element on turn 5 meant I was on the defensive.

2. The effect of the move was that it kept the Bedouins back towards their baseline, in the heavy terrain, when I wanted them out of it and into the open. So the move was counter-productive.

3. The Libyan army is too slow to come up and rescue elements holding out like that. The warbands do allow a double-move that can surprise others, however.

Although I won, the psiloi move was not a "gutsy" move as much as a stupid one. Moving the psiloi out into the open, even if it was to flank the Ax/Ps pair (which would have resulted in the the Aux destruction), it assured that I lost that critical third element realtively easily. Had my opponent not made a mistake with his General being out of LOS with his camels, I would probably lost very quickly.

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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").