As Mark reports on his blog, I’ve recently been on a trip home to Auckland. Most of my gaming activities are documented here, here , here, and here! Although playing Small World on Chris’s iPad rates a mention, it’s a lot of fun, with the basic feel of a Tom Wham game. I had such a good time at the Auckland Wargaming Club 28mm DBA day that I thought I’d give a little more detail of my experience. Apologies for the grainy photo’s – I “need” a new phone!
The format of the day was based largely on last year’s one so there were three DBA games that decided who fought who in a Big Battle DBA game. Benny once again supplied most of the figures, and this time I borrowed a Marian Roman army off him. I have not used the Blade element much in my DBA gaming so far but I’m planning to paint a Viking army, so I thought I’d better give them a try.
In my first game I was up against Alistair, who was new to DBA but who had played DBMM before. He fielded a Spartan army. Alistair had a slightly wider deployment than mine, and he sent his auxillia out to threaten my right flank, so I spent a few PIPs making sure that I felt safe to close in. Once the lines met it was a rout for the Spartans, and I destroyed (by doubling) four spear over a few bounds. I think Alistair was a little unlucky because he seemed to be doing everything right in trying to set up favourable odds by picking combats to dice for rather than simply going from left to right, and so on. I’m told that he is eternally disappointed that the Spartans aren’t given the treatment he feels they deserve – DBA’s very generic troop types would tend to prevent that.
Next up was a blade vs blade clash with Mike’s Vikings. There was very little manoeuvre in that game and we basically went straight for each other. I was lucky to catch Mike in the middle of extending his line. I caught one of his blade in a position where it recoiled and pushed a psiloi into friends it couldn’t pass through as it was at an angle to them. After a few more turns of slugging away at each other, I had killed four of his elements, for the loss of a cavalry.
The Roman Civil War against John’s Marians followed. I chose to field a psiloi instead of the optional auxillia and spent the game fretting about John’s auxillia and psiloi who were in a wood on my left. This caused me to leave my cavalry on that flank. John eventually made two holes in my line. One of those was conveniently in front of my general, who moved forward and killed the element that John had there, but without my cavalry in place I wasn’t able to cover both, and John won 4-2.
That decided who would fight who in the Big Battle. John was the overall leader of our faction by virtue of his victory over me, so there was me facing Mark’s Gauls, Jerome’s Franks facing Richard’s Ghaznavids, and Benny’s Sea Peoples facing John’s Marians.
John asked me if I could spare a couple of Bd to counter Richard’s elephants, so I started by extending my line to the right a bit. Mark was having a bit of a PIP drought, but he began to move his cavalry across my front toward my left while Richard’s were charging in on my right. I moved forward, trying to catch both before they got around my flanks, but Richard’s cavalry saved Mark’s from being caught as they were fractionally closer to me and my line stopped when it contacted them due to low PIPs. Suddenly it was all over for Richard as I wiped out his cavalry in short order. He had already lost an element of LH that were somewhat optimistically trying to get between Jerome’s and John’s lines, so Richard’s Ghaznavids broke. Meanwhile Mark completed the fancy footwork with his cavalry and they were over on my exposed left flank. I had been working my cavalry and my general over there but the general hadn’t quite made it. This gave Mark’s general the opportunity to sweep around and attack the psiloi I had supporting my line, which also meant that my blade could not recoil. Things were looking bad for me, but my Marians didn’t let me down. Although I lost the psiloi, my battle line remained solid and Mark’s warband broke against them like a wave. I had destroyed four warband and three cavalry for the loss of a psiloi.
I’m not sure that this proves that blade are super troops, because luck was a factor, but I don’t think there is much of an argument to make them stronger in any way.