Attack of the Killer Carroccio

Kingo opened up the FBC last weekend for barbies and gaming. I thought have some DBA 3.0 games on a ‘standard’ 60cm board to see what that was like, among other things. I took along my Communal Italians, to explore the new classification of their carroccio wagon standard as a type of Blades element. As their enemy I took my Papal Italians, because both they and the Communal Italians have Horde elements and I wanted to see how they fought with their reduced Tactical Factor. I played the Communals in both games, using the carroccio as a Litter general, as per the draft DBA 3.0 army lists.

In my first game I played against Alex. I was the defender. The first thing I noticed was that deployment on a 60cm board was very cramped, with only the middle 28cm available for heavy foot and knights. A canny defender could make life very unpleasant for an attacker with their terrain placement. Anyway I just went for a small number of terrain pieces and the dice allocated it pretty evenly.

The Communal and Papal forces squeezed into their deployment areas

I had the first bound so I made a general advance, pointing my carroccio at a column of Roman militia Hd and skirmishing archer Ps that Alex had placed on his flank.

My battle line contacts a token force

Alex was able to put together an attack on my carroccio with the Hd in front and the Ps closing the door. The carroccio swept the Hd aside after a rather miraculous ‘stick’. My spearmen made contact with Alex’s and began to beat them. Meanwhile my knights were too close to Alex’s archers, and one was doubled. My contadini infantry were put to work on the Ps that Alex had on my flank. In the next turn I pulled my surviving knight back, and because I could see the opportunity for a double overlap which would end the game, I ignored the threat to my flank and moved my spearmen forward. That gamble paid off and the game was over at 4-1.

The end of the game

Alex was very unlucky with his PiPs, which allowed me to take a few liberties with getting in there and disrupting his army. I greatly enjoyed my carroccio rampage, but it would have been toast if Alex’s knight general had had the PiPs to disengage from the spearmen I had fighting him. Litters don’t get psiloi support but they are still quick killed by knights.

After my sausages I had a game with Kingo. With a defiant look he included a BUA in his terrain placement. I don’t know what I did to deserve that. Sadly the terrain generator put all the terrain in one half of the board and the BUA was in a tight spot. If the terrain had been more open I would have taken great pleasure in taking it with my carroccio – unless of course he garrisoned it with a knight. If he’d done that it would have been 4-3 with quick kills both ways. An Sp in the BUA would have been 6-7 with a quick kill against the Sp only. Anyway all I did was attack from the other side of the table so the BUA wasn’t relevant. The game was over pretty quickly. When we first made contact there was a bit of an issue with lining up. We decided that if the Psiloi, which didn’t have room to shift sideways because of the Horde, would just fall off the formation, but that would have been a big issue if it was providing rear support.

The lining up issue involved the psiloi at the lower centre

Once again I strayed too close to the crossbowmen, this time with my contadini infantry, and both of them were destroyed. Kingo’s Hd resisted attacks from my Sp so I wasn’t able to get overlaps going against his Sp. One of my Sp was destroyed and Kingo’s general whipped through the gap and closed the door on another, which was then destroyed.

The end of the second game

My main problem in that game was that I forgot to deploy my carroccio! When I noticed I put it behind my battle line and it never caught up. I was rash in not spending time to sort myself out.

Anyway, these are the lessons I learned:

  • Although Hd are weaker than they were in 2.2 they can still survive long enough to be annoying.
  • Making Litters a subtype of Blades can have very silly consequences from a historical point of view, eg, an escalade by a wagon pulled by a team of oxen would have been worthy of Baron Munchausen.
  • DBA 2.2 had a number of special rules for War Wagons to allow for their deeper bases. These have not been applied to Litters, so, eg, they turn to face flank attacks. The rules seem to say that the attacker would move back to allow for that, but they don’t say what would happen if there isn’t room due to other elements or terrain.
  • Deployment is very constrained, especially on a 60cm board.
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