Showing posts with label ancients. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ancients. Show all posts

Monday, 15 May 2017

Carry On Follow That Camel

Last week I put together a handful of elements to rounds out my Arab Nomads for DBA 3.0. This weekend I fielded the army for the first time.

The army has a central core mixing blades and camels, supported by light horse and either archers of psiloi. It's notable because it is an opponent for a number of 'classic' Roman armies, but can field nearly twice as many blade elements as most of them (at the expense of their trademark camels, it's true).

In the first game they attacked the Parthians. The battlefield was dominated by ploughed fields, since the Parthians wanted plenty of open terrain for their mounted to operate on, but a sudden storm turned them to mud making things tricky for both sides.

Here are the Arab camels, massed on their right flank.

Opposing them were the Parthian horse-archers.

Initial advances were cautious.

But the fighting started fairly quickly. The Arab archers kept the cataphracts at bay.

Both lines were broken up, but the Arabs took losses.

On the other flank there was a minor skirmish between the Parthians' allied hill-men and the Arab scouts.

The Arabs reorganised, and so did the Parthians.

The Parthians then returned to the attack, again engaging the camels with their horse-archers, but supporting them with the cataphracts, who mounted a risky charge up the hill on which the Arab infantry stood.

The infantry stood, throwing back the cataphracts, but more camels were lost.

Close to defeat, the Arabs resorted to desperation, charging their infantry down the hill to catch the cataphracts on the lower slopes.

Success was mixed; one element of cataphracts was exchanged for one of infantry, but that was enough to push the Arabs to defeat.

The final position.

I set up a second game. This time the Arabs were defending their desert home.

This iteration of the army had more blades and fewer camels. To field it with all options I still need to make three more blade elements.

Against them, the might of Rome, supported on their right by their newly painted camel scouts.

Rome's left was dominated by dunes and a scrub-covered hill. Their auxiliary infantry was deployed their, tasked with turning the Arab right flank.

The Arabs took the initiative, though. A good PIP roll on the first turn allowed them to move their light horse onto the Roman right flank, whilst quickly bringing up the rest of their army in support.

Light troops engaged on the flank.

Meanwhile the bulk of the Arab forces charged the Romans.

The Romans fell back, losing their slingers.

The Arabs pressed their advantage, but the Romans held.

Beyond the camels, the infantry of both sides was now also engaged.

The Romans continued to be hard-pressed, and soon lost their camel-scouts as well.

However the Arabs lost some of their camels to a fierce counter-attack by the Roman general.

This enabled freed him up to support the rest of the Roman cavalry, and a second element of camels was lost.

The cavalry could now concentrate on defending the Roman flank.

Meanwhile the infantry shoved back and forth on the edge of the dunes.

The Roman cavalry held, and some Arab infantry was lost in the centre.

A final push against the now isolated Arab archers saw victory go to Rome.

This was a desperate fight, with the initial advantage going to the Arabs, but the Romans holding firm and breaking up successive attacks against them. The auxilia on the left never moved; there were never enough PIPs to consider it.

I rather like the Arabs; their camels look spectacular, and their infantry is usefully solid, whilst the light horse provide good support. I shall be repeating these matchups at some stage.

6x6 - Game 5.5

Monday, 8 May 2017

DBA - Rome and Parthia

On and off I've been rejigging my 6mm DBA/HOTT armies for DBA 3.0. Inspired by Thursday evening's games with my Sub-Roman British and their foes, I finished off the few odds and ends that needed doing to my Early Imperial Romans and Parthians, and then gave them an outing.

I don't have all of the options for either army, but have a few. I played two games, using the same armies for both, though.

The Romans fielded: 1 x Cv (General), 1 x Cv, 2 x LH, 3 x 4Ax, 1 x 4Bw, 4 x 4Bd

The Parthians had: 1 x 4Kn (General), 3 x 4Kn, 7 x LH, 1 x 3Ax

The Romans defended in the first game. They placed a waterway to close down one flank, and chose some ruins in order to limit the Parthian movements further. The gentle hill was a mistake; since the Parthians could choose which side they enter from, they can pretty much deny it to the Romans. The Romans also chose a wood, but it was discarded after it couldn't be placed legally.

The deployment left the Romans (left) in the open. Not good.

Parthian cataphracts. On their left the horse-archers were doubled up for extra combat strength. With the open battlefield, the Parthian plan was a headlong assault on the Roman centre and right, trusting on its force to destroy them before they could exploit the fact that there wasn't Parthian right.

The Romans had massed all of their mounted on their right, supported by their archers.

The Parthians advanced and, taking a gamble, the Roman legions moved to meet them. This was a risk, since the cataphracts could destroy the Roman blades, but the Romans had overlaps and destroyed the Parthians on a draw.

The two lines smashed into each other; pilum faced kontos.

The Parthians were hurled back with losses.

But the Parthian horse-archers swept into and around the Roman mounted.

The two generals fought man-to-man.

The melee moved back and forth, and the Parthian general ended up in trouble when the Roman's archers moved into his flank.

He survived, and the horse-archers slowly wore down the outnumbered Romans.

Now it was the Roman general who was flanked.

He died. Horribly.

The Romans blades pushed forward, driving back some cataphracts.

However more Roman cavalry died, and the Parthians won 4-1.

In the second game the Romans defended again. This time they went for some large woods to break up the battlefield, but only one got placed. The Parthians advanced past it, leaving the Romans fighting in the open again.

The Parthian plan was much the same, but this time their massed horse-archers were facing the Roman auxilia.

The Parthian right was covered by their subject hill-tribes, and the Romans quickly advanced some of their horse to engage them.

From behind the wood, Parthian horse-archers swept round behind the Roman left, using the DBA 3.0 multiple moves.

The main Parthian force smashed into the Roman line.

The results were mixed; the Romans lost some auxilia and their bows on their right, and some blades in the centre, but the Parthians lost two of their cataphracts.

The Romans rode down the hillmen. Both armies were one element away from defeat. The Roman cavalry turned to cover the horse-archers threatening the left of their army.

The isolated Parthian king ended up in serious trouble ...

... but fought his way out of it.

The Parthians then pushed forward again, riding down another element of blades, and picking up a 4-3 win.

On an open battlefield the Parthians are a dangerous opponent, but victory was not assured for them in either game. It was certainly a far more interesting match than I thought it would be.

6x6 - Game 5.4
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