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.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

DB-AWI Version 2 - Battle Report

I've developed a new version of DB-AWI, which is based on DBA 2.2. Unlike the previous version, I am trying to stay true to the DBA element characteristics, so basically only Rifles (Bows) and Artillery have a shooting range; all other musket shooting is modeled as Close Combat. Much of this is influenced by my recent reading of With Zeal and With Bayonets Only.

This game is fictional and the terrain board is much rougher than any I have played before in a DBA variant. All hills are gentle, all green blobs are woods. Brown straight lines are roads.

Game Setup:

The Patriots (on left, in blue) have a lot of small groups, which is not great for PIP management. Rifles are on the flanks, with the State Line (Loose Order elements) coming up over the hills. Note in this period defending uphill is usually disadvantageous for infantry, so the Patriots have to get over the first set of hills and at the base of the second before the British get up and over the first. (Already it sounds like a bad plan!) The Continentals (Close Order elements in column on the road) want to get around he woods and extend the line before the British get too far also.

The British (on right, in red) have 1/2 Shock, 1/2 Loose Order elements in the battle line. As Shock elements get an advantage to being uphill (unlike all other infantry types), they are not as concerned about getting up and over the first hill and to the base of the second. If they fight from uphill, 1/2 of the line will be disadvantaged, but the will have overlaps. If they fight on flat terrain, they have advantages from overlaps. If they fight from downhill, again 1/2 the line will be disadvantaged (Shock don't like charging uphill), but again they have overlaps to compensate. Put simply, as long as they can maintain their overlap advantage, they can fight anywhere in front of the battle line.

Turns 1 through British Turn 3:

Both forces moved steadily forward, but the British ended up meeting the Patriots at the base of the first set of hills. The Patriots had gotten close to their goal, but missed by less than a 1/4 inch.

Through Patriot Turn 4:

The Patriots make their first attempt at killing an element by ambushing the impetuous British Light Infantry on the British right flank. One State Line unit attacks frontally while the second attacks on the flank.

The units roll off and ... a push! Meanwhile the Continental Light Dragoons are destroyed by the British Commander leading the Grenadiers (Shock). 1 VP to the British.

Through British Turn 5:

A British Fusiliers element (Shock) advances forward to take the State Line taking the British Light Infantry in flank and quickly dispatches it. 2 VP for the British.

Through Patriot Turn 7:

The Patriots have had their battle line driven back, but the Continental Line (Close Order) has finally pulled up to support the left of the line. Meanwhile, the British Light Infantry smelling blood like a pack of wild beasts, continue to drive back the State Line on the right flank. The Rifles on both flanks are poised to pounce and let loose some shot.

Through British Turn 8:

The entire British battle line moves forward to engage the retreating Patriots. On the British left, the British Legion cavalry, supported by British Light Infantry, move forward to engage the Rifles.

Unfortunately, the Rifles were deadly shots: Patriots 1, British 2.

Through Patriots Turn 8:

The Patriots score a big 6 PIPs and move as many units up to overlap the British battle line. (Note the Continental Line on the left are in the woods, as are the British Fusiliers. With the -2 tactical factors, someone is going to get hurt!) The Rifles on the left spring forward and take a shot at the British Light Infantry pursuing the State Line.

The trap was successful! The ends of the British battle line collapse! Patriots 3, British 2.

Through British Turn 10:

The British quickly pull back the remnants of their battle line, having lost two units so quickly. Meanwhile, the Highlanders on the right flank chase down the Rifles and teach them to come out of the woods without support. Patriots 3, British 3.

Through Patriot Turn 10:

With only two PIPs available, part of the Patriot battle line surges forward, unwilling to let the British escape to the safety of the hills behind them. Outnumbered and overlapped another British unit falls.

Finally, the State Line on the left flank having fended off the British Light Infantry for several rounds, reorder and deliver a murderous volley at point blank range.

Patriots 5 VP to British 3 VP.

Here is a final tally of the destroyed elements.

Summary:

The game played very well, with no real problems. The only changes to the modifiers were the uphill/downhill ones, and although there were hills everywhere, they really didn't cause confusion.

Having the Patriots State Line as Loose Order (Auxilia) and the Continental Line as Close Order (Spears), while the British were Warbands (the Light Infantry), Blades (British infantry), and Auxilia (Loyalist infantry), with a couple of Psiloi thrown in for both sides and Rifles (Bows) for the Patriots, gave an interesting tactical mix to the gameplay. Also, I don't feel that sort of mix is unreasonable, especially for the late war in the South.

If anyone reading this is interested in the new DB-AWI rules (version 2), let me know.

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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").