Monday, 29 October 2012

Teaching DBA...Or being taught a lesson?

It struck me that I hadn't put my older DBA armies on the table in nearly a year. Although I enjoy the War and Conquest/WAB type games, I have a lot more armies element based, and although I've started to get into Impetus, I still really like the elegant simplicity and 'clean lines' of a DBA game. Up until now it has only really been Steve at the club who is interested in DBA, but Ben mentioned he wouldn't mind giving it a go because he had painted up a 10mm Roman army which he was looking for a set of rules to play with once he had an army to match it. I offered Ben a choice of armies to bring and we went with the Republican Romans and Carthagininans, both 'double-based' armies.

The idea was to teach Ben the game, but in our first game it wasn't clear who was teaching who! We set up and I was keen to take a hill on my left flank in the middle of the table. I moved up my general's cavalry unit and swung a light horse unit that was with it wide to threaten an outflanking move. But as soon as I seized the hill Ben charged my general's element with some cavalry swinging some velite psiloi into their flank. I threw a 1, Ben a 5, even with my general's bonus and being uphill, I was toast, the unit destroyed...and I'd lost the game in the second turn!

So we set up again. This time with a coastline down the left hand side of the table, two steep hills  down the middle.
Overview of the battle

I put my cavalry on each flank, although I quickly moved them most on to my right flank, my auxiliaries and warbands lined up with the steep hills. and spear deployed to hold the middle ground. Ben put all his cavalry on his right flank, and moved some velite psiloi in to some woods to guard his left flank. His legions lined up in the centre.

I threatened his left flank with some cavalry and light horse with my general's cavalry poised to follow up, but Ben quickly refused his flank leaving an inpenetrable barrier of legions. My warbands had grabbed the hill on this flank and spear advanced slowly to fill the centre.

Battle on my right flank

It was over on the right flank, however, that the battle was decided. Some of Ben's psiloi were initially successful slowing my advance on to the hill, but this tempted Ben to move his legionaries to reinforce them. meanwhile there was a fairly free-wheeling cavalry battle on my left flank. Putting the legionaries on a steep hill, though proved a mistake, giving my auxiliaries and warband the advantage. I destroyed two elements of legionaries and his psiloi. The battle ended when, initially having been forced to flee, my light horse aided by some psiloi destroyed his cavalry element, and with four of Ben's elements destroyed, leaving his right flank in tatters, compared to three of mine I could claim victory.
Battle on my left flank where things were decided
Ben said he liked the DBA rules, a nice change from the 'buckets of dice' War and Conquest rules, with the Player Initiative Points die roll really making you think about how to move your army. He liked the look of the double-based armies, and as he was playing a PC game campaign of the Punic Wars, was intrigued by the possibilities of a DBA campaign, and said he'd definitely play it again.

Nice to have another recruit in the DBA camp at the club!

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