Showing posts with label dba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dba. Show all posts

Friday, 4 May 2018

Let The Feathers Fly

Once again I appear to be the owner of a phone that gives up taking pictures one picture into an evening's gaming. So this is it; the only photo I got of last night's DBA games with Peter.

In both of them I defended with Maya against Aztecs. In both the Maya lost.

In the game pictured, the Maya (bottom) moved forward to try and hit the Aztecs before they could deploy properly, but they were themselves stuck in woods and a gully and weren't moving quickly. My left took out his right, but before I could exploit it, the Aztec hordes in his centre wiped out my centre. He picked up a 4-3 win.

In the second game we were fighting on a near empty field, thanks to some unlucky terrain placement rolls. Peter's best warriors were on his left, and slowly drove mine back, until they hit the gully there, where I was able to turn things around and score some kills. I was also successful killing Aztecs in the centre, but they were worthless hordes. Meanwhile he was slowly totting up kills with his general, and eventually won 4-2. This was a wonderfully scrappy game, with both lines fragmenting due to pursuits fairly rapidly, and a lot of shuffling around in order to regain overlaps or block breakthroughs.

So the Maya have lost all three of their encounters with the Aztecs. Time to think about some cunning plans.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Thursday DBA

We had a DBA evening yesterday, partially because Caesar wanted to try out his newly-based Landsknecht pike. However he was running late, so Ian (who had to leave early) and I started with a Meso-American game, with Aztecs fighting Maya.

The Aztecs (right) have a core of hordes, whilst the Maya (left) are mostly auxilia. Both armies support their core with blades and psiloi.

The Maya defended their jungle home, but Ian, going for a quick result, still opted to charge and meet the Aztecs in the middle.

Feathers started to fly. There were a lot of feathers.

With blades fighting in the centre, and the Aztec hordes on the flank, the battle-lines quickly broke up through pursuits. The Aztecs have fast blades, compared to the solid blades of the Maya, so they found their centre gradually pushed back. meanwhile their hordes enjoyed an initial success against the lighter Maya troops, but, of course, as they advanced they found themselves surrounded and cut down. Fortunately, whilst that reduced the number of Aztec sandals on the ground, hordes don't count as losses for victory purposes.

The Aztecs fell back, and reorganised their line. They had now reached a gully in which they'd initially deployed.

The Maya continued to push forward. Normally an element will not pursue into bad going, but gullies and marshes are, for some reason, an exception to this. The Mayan general rashly pursued the Aztec shock-troops (warband) he'd been fighting.

This left him at an incredible disadvantage, overlapped, in bad terrain and fighting an element that just had to beat him to destroy him. The result was inevitable - the Mayan general was slain, and that broke the rest of the army.

Caesar had now arrived, so we shifted geographically, but not temporally, and he pitted his Medieval Germans against my Late Swiss. Our armies were not quite historical matches; my Swiss are early 15th century, whereas his Germans are more late 15th century. But it was good enough.

Caesar defended, and we ended up with a dense forest in one corner. Stupidly I decided that I could use it to my advantage, and ended up with half of my army stuck in it. Caesar deployed ploughed fields for the rest of his terrain; they didn't turn to mud, leaving the rest of the battlefield flat and open.

We advanced towards each other. Caesar used his hand-gunners to slow the advance of my troops out of the woods. I deployed my pikes in a single rank in order to better face the enemy knight-wedges. Again, with hindsight, I would have been better off double-ranking them.

The knights charged the pikes, but were driven back.

The landsknecht attacked my other flank and quickly gained the upper-hand. This was probably due to their confusing me by fighting under a Bernese flag.

My halberdier blocks were quickly surrounded, and rolled over by the mercenary pikes.

A second charge by the knights saw my pikes break, and gave Caesar the win.

Swiss troops trapped in the woods.

We used the same armies for a second game. Again Caesar defended and again we had a battlefield of woods and fields. This time I placed Caesar's army between two woods. This allowed me a chance to concentrate my pikes against his knights, whilst hitting his pikes with my blades. The latter would generally lose, but this would draw the pikes forward where I could surround and destroy them. meanwhile i could work some of my blades through the woods and onto his flanks.

In fact it didn't work out that way at all. Caesar rolled a '1' for his first PIP score, which meant that it had rained and turned the fields to a sea of mud. Both armies were now disadvantaged in a number of areas, losing rear support on the pikes and the knights' ability to ride down enemy troops.

The Swiss attacked, hitting the Landsknechts as they crossed a dry patch between the two fields.

This drew them forward into the mud, where they were quickly disadvantaged against the looser Swiss troops.

On the far right the Swiss crossbowmen neutralised the German artillery, whilst the rest of their army surrounded the German pike-blocks.

Whilst the other Swiss flank pushed forward against the German knights, secure that they wouldn't be ridden down in the mud, the German general was surrounded in the corner of a muddy field by Swissh halberdiers and crossbowmen.

He died in a ditch.

The mud was a game-changer for this battle, seriously hampering the Germans, whilst still allowing the Swiss to use their blades effectively.

All three games were great fun, and really showed what a great set of rules DBA has become.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Ceidonia In The Cantons

It's a little known fact that the red and yellow liveried Dukedom of Ceidonia, famed of many HOTT games, was, in fact, a neighbour of Switzerland during the late medieval period, and fought many battles against the Cantons.

Yes, today I finally got my HOTT Ceidonians on the table with the extra elements they needed to become List IV13b - Medieval German. This required extra spears and knights, plus some hordes and psiloi. Here they are, attacking in their first game of the afternoon. In the foreground you can see the feudal retainers (hordes).

Despite the Swiss defending, the battlefield was very open. The Swiss chose three difficult hills and a hamlet. The first difficult hill placed is particularly large, and all three of the other terrain pieces were rolled to appear in the same sector, meaning that they had to be discarded. The Swiss ended up defending on an open plain, whilst the Ceidonians just had to work their army past the hill.

The Ceidonians occupied the hill with their archers and crossbowmen, and the Swiss moved up their crossbows and some of their halberdiers to drive them off. There was some shoving back and forth, and then it died down as neither army had their commander close enough to expend PIPs there to make enough of a difference.

The Ceidonians advanced in the centre.

The Swiss swung one of the blocks of halberdiers off the hill and attacked the knights in the flank. This was a poorly judged attack from a HOTT player. In HOTT this would be deadly - the blades get a -2, yes, but so do the knights for fighting an enemy in bad going. In DBA the mounted are not penalised so long as they are entirely in good going, and these knights were. The blades were down in terms of factors, although it was true that they couldn't be quick-killed by the knights. But it wasn't as good an attack as it looked. The Swiss were pushed back.

They went in again, this time with flank support, but the knights rolled well, and destroyed the Swiss infantry, putting them two elements down.

The Ceidonians charged.

There were mixed results; the mighty knight-wedge was driven back, and another element of knights destroyed, but the Duke of Ceidonia led his men-at-arms straight through the Swiss centre, sweeping all before him.

However this left him rather exposed, and he was quickly surrounded.

Undeterred he fought his way out, destroying another Swiss element to give the Ceidonians a 4-1 victory.

The Swiss defended in the second game as well, and picked the same terrain. This time the rolls went in their favour and they pretty much got to choose where to place everything, leaving the Ceidonians fighting in a very enclosed battlefield. The Swiss set up in a pass between two hills.

The Ceidonians were forced into an unwieldy column by a hamlet and a smaller hill. They opted to mass their foot on their right, hoping to push it forward and win the battle on the hill on Swiss left.

The Ceidonian infantry advanced, crossbowmen and swordsmen, with their flank covered by archers.

The Swiss got an excellent PIP roll, however, which enabled them to charge off the hill catching the Ceidonians in the open. Their light horse swung round from behind the hill to hit the Ceidonian light infantry in the flank.

It was a bloodbath. The Ceidonians lost three elements, virtually destroying their right flank.

With the Swiss very much in charge, the Ceidonians only had one option; an attack in the centre. Their wedge charged, and destroyed a Swiss element. The pursuit put the wedge in contact with the Swiss general.

It was now the Swiss bound. If they lost the fight against the knight, and failed to destroy any more Ceidonian elements, then the battle would be lost. This wasn't a time to get 1 PIP. They got 1 PIP.

They brought up a reserve element to overlap the knight-wedge, and that was enough. The Swiss general's bodyguard fought like demons, rolled brilliantly and destroyed the Ceidonian knights, giving the Swiss a 5-2 win.

The end of a short, bloody battle.

I love the look of the DBA Ceidonians, and at some stage will do the few additional elements I need to do to be able to run them as an Italian Condotta army instead. Of course all of the additions will work for HOTT as well.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Seriously? More Swiss?

Sadly, yes. We played DBA again on Thursday and once again I used my Swiss. I'm getting good mileage out of them really, and will get even more once I have my pseudo Medieval German army finished to oppose them in the comfort of my own home.

Anyway, Caesar got to play against them first, using ... Medieval German. He went for the incarnation with hordes, but, like everyone else, couldn't resist the double-depth knight element.

The battlefield ended up as a billiard table; Caesar wanted room for his knights to run me down, so simply picked ploughed fields, a road and a small wood, the latter of which which managed to not get placed.

What were the Swiss to do in conditions like that? I opted for a full frontal charge. Again.

Actually it was slightly more considered than you'd think; I charged with my right flank against the infantry on his left, as that's where my advantage lay. Caesar obligingly spent his PIPs rearranging his line rather than charging the knights on his right into my vulnerable left flank.

Sadly his infantry were feeling motivated, and held the Swiss attack. The German general joined the fray, and rode down a couple of their columns, and that was pretty much it. The Germans didn't lose a thing.

Stars of the show were the German crossbowmen who kept winning close combats against the odds, and the bloody hordes which simply refused to die. Readers of this blog will know that I like DBA hordes. I like them even more now; I assumed the powerful Swiss double-depth blades would slice through them. I was wrong.

Other games - Dave and Ian played a Spartan vs Persian fight, which I think saw the Persians steamrollered.

Gary and Peter mirrored our game, with Gary using a Late Swiss army against Medieval Germans. His Swiss went for the 4Bd option, though - slower, safer but, seriously, not half as much fun.

We then moved on to a double-sized battle. Peter and Caesar combined their German armies, whilst Gary and I formed an Intermediate Swiss army (half Early and half Late).

Gary plodded forward. I simply charged. Peter had a vulnerable infantry column in his line (a product of restricted deployment zones and the terrain), and I hoped to exploit that for a pile of early, easy kills. I got one, but the psiloi I supported the attack with were destroyed by their German counterparts, leaving the Swiss army well down on points with half of the army unengaged.

Caesar's knights attacked in the centre, but were driven back. Gary's Swiss halberdiers polished off some German knights and some of their psiloi as well.

I just kept the Early Swiss wing doing what the Early Swiss do best - attack, attack, attack. casualties mounted. Both armies were looking wobbly.

Gary began to flank the knights in the German centre.

But it was the Early Swiss who managed to flank and destroy the remains of the German infantry column to pick up the two kills needed for a narrow win.

I love this Early Swiss army!
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