Michael was up for a game of DBA on Friday, so I decided to take the opportunity to use my Early Hebrew army, which I had yet to use. I’ve recently painted a couple of elements to be able to field my Early Bedouins as an earlier sublist, to be an opponent for them. And I’ve recently completed my project to remake my terrain, including new desert terrain pieces. So Early Bedouins vs Early Hebrews seemed to tick a lot of boxes.
It wasn’t until I was going through selecting the figures to take along that I realised what an ordinary lot the two armies are. Between them they have 12 auxillia, 9 psiloi, 2 warband and an element of camelry! I hadn’t seen that much light and medium foot on the table since I played Spanish vs
Numidians once, and at least there was plenty of cavalry in that game.
In the first game, we diced for who would be who, and I ended up taking the Bedouins, and being the attacker.
In his swaps, Michael ended up putting his warband in front of my general. This worried him and he spent a few turns trying to reorganise his lines. This allowed me to close in while he was in a pretty narrow formation. I thought that with all the low factors, combat would be quick and bloody, but it lasted a few turns. We were both trying to bring more elements up to turn each other’s flanks, but in the end it was a straight slog in the centre and I won by 4-2 or 4-3. My general was in peril a couple of times. I’d forgotten how lousy camelry are against foot. In DBA 3.0 they may end up with the DBMM factors, brought about by Phil Barker re-reading his Herodotus, of +2 vs mounted, +3 vs foot. This would have helped them in these games, but if they meet a mounted army they had better hope they roll really low for aggression so they can hide in sand dunes and their oasis. I may be in the market for an onager-pulled straddle cart for the general!
In the second game the Bedouins were the attackers again, so I didn’t get to use my new desert terrain after all. We both set up in long lines, with a couple of elements on hills on our respective left flanks.
Michael was moving up with a group on his right. I decided to nullify this threats by pivoting my line army on my left, which was held by a couple of psiloi on a steep hill. This created lots of problems for us while we tried to jockey for position. I didn’t want to pivot back again, and I was concentrating on extending my line to my right by shuffling psiloi along, so in the end it was Michael who wheeled and charged in. In the first round of combat I must have rolled four sixes. That wasn’t enough to destroy any of Michael’s troops but it did mean that he did most of the recoiling, and overlaps and favourable matchups came to nothing. The reason I was trying to extend my line was that Michael’s general was toward his left flank, and I wanted to drive off his support. Michael had lined up his general opposite my double ranked warband, but I figured they would be in with a chance if I got some overlaps going, especially as my general was next to them. I began work on that in my next round, more recoils but no kills. In Michael’s next round I destroyed one of his psiloi. And in my next round my Simeonites and Ephraimites lived up to their reputation as being “mighty men of valour” by taking out the Bedouin general.
When I’m playing the Bedouins again against a foot army I’ll definitely be holding my general back, his good movement rate would help him to act in support of the foot rather than trying to do any actual combat himself. The draft DBA 3.0 list for the Bedouins has quite major changes regarding the dates of the sublists, but the list of enemies has yet to be revised, so I don’t know how much I’ll be using my newly painted elements.