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.

Friday, December 18, 2009

DBA Solo Hoplite Campaign - Game 2

Thessaly versus Thrace

Thessaly's turn is spent attacking a frontier town in Thrace, who responds by sending out its field army in battle.

Setup


Thessaly ended up invading and attacking, so the Thracians setup a board with two small woods, and a steep central hill. The Thessalians changed their angle of attack so that the hill was horizontal rather than vertical. This meant that there would probably not be any command and control problems with commands being split by line of sight blocking terrain.

The Thracians (me) setup with four groups (see, I am already thinking about PIP management) with the rightmost still having line of sight to the General.

The Thracians setup shows extreme paranoia - probably due to my previous games with light horse - and has the Thessalian hoplites gloriously guarding the camp. The psiloi are on their left and the light horse are on their right. The woods block LOS and the psiloi are farther than 12", so the Thessalians already have command and control problems. Note: the Thessalian General is a light horse element, not a cavalry element.

Once the Thracians see the Thessalian setup they swap a light horse element on their right with a peltast unit in the center, putting more light horse on the left to face the Thessalian light horse horde. Their plan is simple: try to obtain the heights with their peltasts and pick off any psiloi or light horse foolish enough to come too close. The cavalry and light horse on the left are to guard against a flanking maneuver by the Thessalian light horse.

Turn 1

The Thessalians start off with a nice 4 PIP roll and discover their command and control problems (the psiloi are too far from the General). They spend all four PIPs moving the psiloi towards the hill, but do not gain the high ground.

The Thracians get 5 PIPs and advance the main battle line forward while throwing a single psiloi onto the high ground. The peltasts in the woods come out and form up while the flanking force on the right moves up.

I notice that I now have five groups because I threw the psiloi forward and broke the line. Damn, DK was right!

Thessaly: 0
Thrace: 0


Turn 2

The Thessalians move their light horse around the flank (as best as they can maneuver) using all of their PIPs. I get excited because it looks like there is not enough space behind the 2nd rank of light horse furthest on my left, so looking for a quick kill I throw forward the psiloi and two light horse. The Thessalian General recoils, but it turns out there was (just) enough space. Meanwhile my psiloi recoils.

On my right flank I move the light horse and peltast column hoping to draw PIPs that way next turn. I am now up to six separate groups! What is that saying about plans not surviving the point of contact?


Turn 3

The Thessalians get enough PIPs to straighten out their light horse battle lines, but not much else. It results in my psiloi being destroyed by two light horse elements, but one of his light horse supporting the general recoils off of the board. When my turn comes the general is so close to the board edge that it cannot stay on if it recoils. I take the chance: Charge!

You can barely see the final die roll: Thracians 6 (+2), Thessalians 3 (+2). The Thessalian General quits the field!


Thessaly: 1
Thrace: 2G

Battle Summary

Well, me pointing my light horse's rear to the board edge has happened to me before, so when I saw the enemy commander doing it, I knew I had to press him as hard as possible to get the quick victory points. His General really did roll very badly for every battle (he lost every roll, bar none). That said, the space was just too small to press home.

Personally, I would have pressed the spears through the pass, screened as best as possible by the psiloi, to try and get to my rear camp. I've just seen too many games of late where the light horse tries to sneak by and gets "ZOCed" against the board edge.If you don't have the PIPs to completely run through the pass, don't bother.

It was interesting in that it was a "battle of the +2 troops" with the light horse general weighing in at a hefty +3. Ironically, my opponent liked having a LH (Gen) and said he had to start looking at armies that allow them.

Campaign Follow-up

The Thessalians are driven out of the Thracian province back to their homeland.

My reading of the campaign rules indicates that the Thessalian losses come back as they recoiled off of the board, but still count towards the Thracian gain of prestige. However, the +2 prestige for the loss of the general indicates that they specifically have to be destroyed. However, I think the Thessalians lose two elements for demoralization of the "loss of a main protagonist's general". They did lose the general, just not permanently. I'll have to ask the Fanaticus Illuminati.

Athens: 2 prestige, losses: 4x4Sp, 1x2LH, 1x2Ps, 1x3Ax
Sparta: 7 prestige, losses: 1x7Hd, 2x4Sp
Thessaly: 0 prestige, losses: 1x2Ps, 1x2LH
Thrace: 1 prestige, losses: 1x2Ps

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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").