CANCON 2013 DBA competition day 1

Last weekend I had the pleasure of participating in the CANCON 2013 DBA Competition. The first day of the comp was for armies from Books I and II, with me fielding my untried Early Carthaginians (I/61a).
The first game of the day was against Andrew’s Seleucids (II/19a).

My Carthaginians face Andrew's Seleucids

My Carthaginians face Andrew’s Seleucids

Contact came early in the game, because as soon as the armies were exactly 800 paces apart Andrew sent his Scythed Chariot off on a suicide mission. Once the armies closed in I noticed that I’d not aligned my army very well to Andrew’s, so the matchups weren’t that good. I did manage to destroy one of Andrew’s Elephants, but I lost two Spears before time was called.

My second game was as the attacker against Steve’s Later Hoplite Greek (Siciliot) army.

Up against the Siciliots for the first time that day.

Up against the Siciliots for the first time that day.

Steve put down rather a lot of terrain for a ‘heavy foot’ army, and luckily I made my terrain roll, putting Steve in amongst it all. This slowed him down a fair bit, and I had no inclination of joining him in the defile most of his army was in. As Steve’s army emerged I was able to take advantage of the Greek’s disorganisation and destroy two of Steve’s Spears before time was called.

The third game of the day was against Mark Baker’s Dacians. Mark put down a lot of steep hills and woods, like a horrific winter wonderland.

My troops face the Dacian wilderness

My troops face the Dacian wilderness

I wasn’t looking forward to fighting a warband army over that terrain at all, but I sent Psiloi and my Auxilia up a hill to try to break up the attack, while the rest of my army waited on the flat. In the event I chickened out and moved my light troops back onto the flat, out of the way of the four Warband who were surging up the hill. Luckily for me, Mark had forgotten about Warband not getting rear support against my Psiloi, who managed to kill a Warband thanks to them not being able to recoil. I threw in some reinforcements and destroyed another two. Mark then put in an attack through the wood on my right, and the gap between the wood and the hill, but once again his Warband proved too brittle, and in the end I won 6 elements to 1.

After lunch, my Carthaginians found themselves up against Lachlan’s Classical Indians. Lach had a fairly inefficient deployment, with his general in the jungle and the other elements not really where he wanted them, so he spent what PIPs he had reorganising his line.

Against the Classical Indians. I'm now wondering if I should have set up on the other side of the table

Against the Classical Indians. I’m now wondering if I should have set up on the other side of the table

The patch of rough terrain in the centre of the table slowed me down also, so it was fairly late before we were able to make contact. The fighting became very confused, mainly because my left flank going to pot thanks to a 6-1 on one of my Heavy Chariots. I’d lost my Auxilia, and with it my ability to destroy Elephants, so I was lucky that we ran out of time with me 3-2 down.

Next up was Elijah (and his Dad), with Marian Romans. The Marians didn’t have much of a show against my Heavy Chariots, but Elijah managed to take one of my Spears down, losing 4-1 in the end.

My last game of the day was against George, with another Siciliot Army (I think – George didn’t seem to know).

George brings his right flank forward

George brings his right flank forward

The Siciliots have good Psiloi support for their Spears, so it was a bit of a shoving match, but in the end the Siciliots went down 4-2.

My army worked well for me, it was just a bit vulnerable to the elephants you inevitably meet in a Book I and II competition, but I felt a lot more relaxed at this competition than I did at the Worlds in Wellington in 2011, which was good. Playing juniors is a little fraught though, treading the fine line between being patronising and re-enacting the Fast Show’s Competitive Dad sketch. Good experience for when my 20 month old is a little older I guess. I’m not sure whether I had a record number of draws or not, three is way too many. I’ll try to think of ways of speeding up my game, especially if I go to the Monday Knights competition as only 45 minutes are set aside for each game. I guess I also need to come up with a nice way to hurry my opponents along if they are being hesitant.

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