I had two games of DBA at the NWA on Friday night against a couple of Matt’s armies.
In the first game my Lydians fought Matt’s new Later Hoplite Thebans (II/5c). I was attacking in the first game and Matt set up with cavalry on his left, a block of hoplites, and then two psiloi. I set up with my camp (OK it was a bit of grey felt as I forgot my camp) toward the right, screened by my knights, my 3x4Sp (I’d chosen to use one 3Ax) in the centre, and the remainder of my army off to the left.
Things were looking good for me in the early turns. My light troops looked like they might turn Matt’s flank, where my spear, although outmatched, would hopefully keep his hoplites engaged. My knights were going to support the spear and keep the Theban cavalry occupied. Unfortunately a lone Theban psiloi kept my Paphlagonian Light Horse distracted, and Matt was able to extend his line. Meanwhile I got very confused with the rules on ZOC as they related to the Theban cavalry, who had moved to be almost but not lined up with the hoplites, assumed I couldn’t make a perfectly legal move to bring my general into a quite favourable attack. Next time I’ll remember my WADBAG book! Incidentally Matt is wondering if the cavalry are Macedonians – certainly the rear rank of spear are but I know next to nothing about this period.
My spearmen ended up not being supported at all by my knights and I lost four elements to Matt’s one (at least I got those pesky Psiloi in the end although I was a little fixated on them!). My plan was basically OK given my setup, but if I’d deployed my camp more toward the centre, my spearmen basically in front of it, and then raced up with my light troops and knights on the left I think I would have given myself a better chance.
In the second game Matt used his Later Achaemenid Persian army. They’re a great looking army the LAP’s. I was defending and ended up in a fairly restricted space between a wood and a steep hill. Seeing the LAP’s nice scythed chariot I chose to use auxilia rather than spearmen but then I put most of them in the wood, with the knights and light horse sitting in the open. Matt mirrored my deployment. I used my cavalry general as my camp this time – I’m wondering why I didn’t use him as my general as he spent a while being very worried about Matt’s scythed chariot.
Matt raced forward with his scythed chariot and light horse. The SCh put paid to one of my knights, but both LH and the SCh were eventually caught and killed in a confused cavalry battle. I unfortunately lost my two light horse after they were recoiled from a pretty good matchup (with closed door) against Matt’s cavalry, and defeated in detail. I also lost my other knight to a 6-1 against Matt’s general – from memory if the Kn had won the general would have been destroyed. My setup could have been much better here – I should have left my auxilia in the open (they are OK against non-knights if they have support) with my knights and light horse tucked in behind their flanks. Once again there was a bit of confusion on the ZOCing front – this time I think I was correct in saying that Matt’s general (in the chariot) couldn’t advance through the ZOC of the auxillia I had on the hill, to attack my psiloi. It was touch and go though as the chariot could have been in front corner content and it was only the wheel into edge contact that would bring it into the auxillia’s ZOC.
The Lydian army could have won either of these games if I’d deployed them correctly so I’m still going to be taking them along to the IWC next February. Hopefully I’ll be better at using them by then.