Thursday, June 3, 2010

DBA Battle of Balaclavus

After the game being postponed for a week due to flooding the armies assembled for some Big Battle DBA madness- thanks to Dave for organising it. A few tweaks to the rules- such as 24" range for Roman artillery and each Celtic commander having their own individual goals, meant nobody knew what was going to happen.

The starting forces:
  • Roman Right Flank Outpost- 8 Blades (incl Gen), 2 psiloi and 2 catapults
  • Roman Right/Centre Force (Oliver)- 8 Blades, 2x Psiloi, 1x Cav (Gen), 2 x catapults
  • Roman Centre (way down the valley) Heaps of artillery and Caesar(Blade Gen), 8 Blades, 2 Psiloi and 2 Cav
  • Roman Left Flank Outpost 2 wagons (loaded up catapults), 4 Cav, Cav Gen, and a wee way away 6 Blades 2 Psiloi
  • Raglanni Centre Reserve- Warband Gen, 6 WB, 4 Psiloi, 2 Lght Hrse
  • Lord Cardiganus Centre- 12 chariots (incl Gen)
  • Lucani Left Flank- 1 Ch (Gen), 10 Warbands, 4 x psiloi
  • Nolano Right Flank- 1Ch (Gen), 6 Lght Hrse, 6 WB

Emergency Reserves- More Warbands and Psiloi.
So that's the basic briefing.

Start your engines!

The Chariot force starts to ride down the valley of death straight towards a dozen warmachines. My own cavalry and warband prepare to accomplish their own goal- taking out the baggage train.

Various Roman forces encamped (with enfilading artillery) on the hills.

One down, one to go. The first baggage train falls. Meanwhile the artillery is seriously disrupting the chariot force (there were special rules in play at longer ranges, standard artillery rues at close range)

My light horse, aided by Stephen's have destroyed the baggage and surrounded 2-3 elements of cavalry while the cowardly Roman general (Marcus Bradleyus) slips away to join his infantry.

Chariots spread out- and several are about to die- in front of the chariots are caltrops which are -1 to combat factor if fighting over them. Stephen's warband stoically march t0o the sounds of battle (at 2" per move they've a long, long way to walk!), while Ian's Romans have marched down the hill in search of glory.

Where did all the chariots go? Most went splat thanks to some woeful dice rolling from Lewis! About this point the Roman artillery ran out of ammo to keep things interesting.

Victory! Well kind of. After losing 8 out of 12 chariots the chariot command folds but not before teh general manages to destroy a single artillery piece, then turn tail and flee. The rest of the British forces call it a day (or in this case a night). The battle was still raging but alas it was time to pack up and head home as it was getting late.

My command managed to get 1st on the British side for destroying 4 Cavalry, a blade and 2 baggage for 10 victory points, Stephen's horde were a close second with 8.

A great game played between 8 players with lots of carnage on both sides. Next time I think there will be slightly less artillery!

Lots of fun but the "geometry wars" aspect of DBA was once again apparent at times and, to me at least, this aspect of the rules is a real turn off. Micro measuring angles to put elements into zones of control/or so that they can't attack units is, for me, the rules main issue. Micro managing angles is not what ancient warfare should be about but it is a major aspect of DBA and some of the manovres this creates does make one raise their eyebrows in disbelief! So I am interested to see what changes the new version of DBA, rumoured to be in the wind, makes to reduce this aspect of the game.


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