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.

Monday, December 07, 2009

DBA Fun Day

Wow, what a day for DBA. First off Ira brought his new BUA and it looked great! I think it made every game too, which really stinks if you have a cavalry army (which I did when I finally faced it).

Also making their newly painted and based debut was Mark's Later Polish and they looked great too. Just need to finish that War Wagon and they'll be killers.

Finally, making a painted, but not based debut was Dale's New Kingdom Egyptians. I'll try and get some pictures up so you can see what kind of work Ira is doing (he painted them for me).

The first round games we had were:

Teutonic Order (Ira) versus Later Polish (Mark) 6-3?
Thracian (Dale) versus Gallic (James) 6-3

The second round games were:

Dacians (Jim) versus Polybian Romans (Pro-Consul, Aaron, and Plebeian Council, Dale) 4-0
Alexander Macedonians (Ira) versus Maccabean Jews (James) 4-3?

The final round game was:

Teutonic Order (Ira) versus Mongol Conquest (Dale) 4-3

I'll only describe the games I was involved in.

Thracians versus Gallic

The Gauls had the gall (sorry, I had to do it) to attack the hills of Thrace - which ended up mostly being woods - and it turned out to be a close and tense battle.

There was a steep hill on the Gallic side which played a role in PIP management for the Gauls; they had two of their LCh on the other side, so it was hard to move them without rolling lots of PIPs. In each of the other quarters were woods, straddling the left and right of a gap in the center.

Essentially the Thracians ran Auxilia up into the woods and ran LH around each flank, drawing troops away from the main battle line in the center. The Thracians quickly killed off two Gallic LCh and a Psiloi, starting with a grim 3-0 lead. Eventually the main warband line hit the Thracian line and quickly got a double on an Auxilia/Psiloi pair, bringing it to 3-2.

Right at the critical moment when the Thracians had the last LCh ready to fall, they rolled 1 PIP and needed to the flank! A desperate move was sought instead of pulling out the General and it failed! The following turn the Thracian General fell. (I thought the game was over - I even shook James hand in congratulation - but the General falling is an automatic loss only if I had lost more elements.) The game was now 3-3.

With each of my moves now costing two PIPs, I ran into a string of 6 PIP rolls and eventually caught the last Gallic LCh and a Warband with support in flanking charges, ending the game 6-3. It doesn't sound close, but it was.

Dacians versus Polybian Romans

The Romans were attacking the Dacians (of course), who threw out a Steep Hill, a woods, and a river. The river turned out to be raging, but the main effect was that it squeezed the Roman deployment to less than 1/2 of the board and force them to expand their frontage as they advanced.

The Dacians deployed in a battle line in front of the central woods, with their cavalry on the open flank. The Romans split their forces left and right of the woods.

The game moved slowly as both sides could not get the big moves - especially the Dacians run by Jim "Oh, Another One PIP" O'Neil (three 1 PIP rolls in a row, until he switched dice and got a 3).

Eventually the Dacian cavalry, always supported by the heroic Psiloi taking the enemy in a crucial flank, crushed the Romans by killing to Blade/Psiloi pairs. The game ended 4-0.

By the way, Pro-Consul Aaron is eight, and for the most part, he made his own decisions.

Teutonic Order versus Mongol Conquest

The damn BUA made its appearance again, but this time in my deployment zone. That REALLY cramped my style. I also did not read up enough on BUAs to do this game right, not that I think it would have played out any differently.

The main plan here was to draw in the Teutonic Knights until they were committed and then shift the force away to the opposite flank. This plan worked exactly as expected, but the problem was that I lost too many LH too early, so I felt like the initiative was taken away. But I am getting ahead of myself.

The Mongols were invading so the Order set up the damnable Lodge (BUA), two steep hills (each sides right corner), and a central woods. This left a two element gap between the woods and steep hills on both sides, so everything was very cramped.

The Order moved left around the woods, sending in the lights into it, and the Bows and LH to the right of it. A single Cav ended up stuck on the top of the Order's steep hill on lookout. Not sure of his plan.

The Mongols sent two LH and a Cav towards the Knights, drawing them into the valley. Once they were committed, they rode out and shifted completely to the left flank on a good PIP roll. On the left flank the LH pinned the Cav in place on turn 1 and he never moved until the turn he died, surrounded on three sides.

In the center, to the left of the woods (right for the Order) is where the action took place. Two LH met two LH in the gap and a 1-6 roll enabled the Order to kill one, then the other Mongol LH, making the score 2-0. When the Mongols shifted from the right to the left flank, they quickly overran the two Order LH, making the game 2-2.

Shortly thereafter, another Mongol LH went down to an Order crossbowman and it was 3-2. Continual movement on the Mongol left flank allowed the LH to get into the rear of the Cav on the hill and, hit from all sides, he went down. The game was now 3-3.

Finally, the Knights broke out into the rear area of the Mongols, where the artillery had all day been bombarding the Order's Lodge to no effect and a Knight charged into a LH unit. It survived two melees, but the third took it down, making the score 4-3 in favor of the Order.

What was significant about this game was that all Bad Going terrain was less than one base width's distance from all board edges, so the Mongols had no way of getting around the rear without going through two sets of Bad Going. This really hurt its ability to maneuver.

I am glad Ira said that this game was probably the most tactically interesting of all the games he has played of late. With a different LH army - one with just a little more diversity, like the Alans or Albanians (Blades backed by Psiloi will help crack that Spear guarding the BUA) - I would have had a few more choices while still being able to execute the same basic plan (draw into one
flank then LH move to the other).

At the very least, Ira now knows how mobile a LH army can be. I just wish I had a LH Quick Kill one of his Knights... :)

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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").