View Full Version : Return to DBA

06-04-2007, 11:28 AM
After a long intermission,I finally played DBA again on Friday night. This was the first wargame my daughter Mary (age 4 months) had ever seen, but it's fair to say she was a bit more interested in her bath and bedtime...

David Hewkin and I played two games of early Crusader (my newest army of Teutonic Knights masquerading somewhat) vs his (inevitable) Late Romans. In the first game the inevitable late Romans inevitably defended and placed the inevitable steep hill (inevitably enough) in the middle of the board. Some things clearly haven't changed since I last played DBA. The Early Cusaders have plenty of Spear who advanced to screen off this hill, but certainly didn't attack up it against Ax - the prospect of being killed by Ax was just too humiliating. To the Crusader left, the two mounted wings clashed, with the Romans getting an initial advantage from a lucky LH QK on Kn, and being able to sustain it due to superior numbers of mounted elements. The Crusaders had few pips, and struggled to get any of their Spear in to support their mounted, whilst also continuing to screen the hill. On the Crusader right, the might of Rome's Legions slowly (very slowly) bore down on a single element of Crusader pilgrim rabble (5Wb rather than Horde in DBA, but still...) failing to contact for the whole game. In the end, numbers (and much better pips) counted in the mounted battle, and the Romans won 4-3.

In the second game, rather against the odds, the Romans invaded. We weren't exactly sure what counted as 'home' for the Early Crusaders, but wherever it was it was notably flat, with a little terrain in the corners only. The two armies advanced in line with their foot on the (Crisader) left and their mounted on the (Crusader) right. Just before contact, the Roman Cav advanced, whilst throwing their LH out to a flank in a complex and risky move. This paid off to an extent, however, as the Crusaders were unable to get any kills in the first bound of the mounted fight, and the Romans were able to take advantage of the exposed flank in subsequent bounds. Meanwhile the Sp had contacted a line of mixed Ax and Bd, recoiling the Ax and killing the Bd in pretty short order. The Romans again had good pips, and were able to pull back their Ax by individual elements faster than the Sp could follow by group moves. Very frustrating! Despite the rapid collapse of their Bd (who fight so rarely in this army that they seem to have forgotten how), the battle was decided by the Roman mounted again using advantages of numbers - and speed in the more open terrain - to crush the Crusader knights. Last to die was the valiant Bohemund, Crusader General - and the result was 4G-3 to the Romans.

The Knights decided to update to a more plausible Medieval German (the A list - so they were even wearing the right clothes). This list allowed dismounting, but it would have been even more embarasing than normal to have to resort to this shabby tactic because the only Blade elements to hand were some Sea Peoples. Once more the Romans defended, and once more the inevitable central steep hill appeared (what particularly irks me is that that hill was my idea in the first place! Never give tactical advice to an opponent - at least never give *good* tactical advice!). German tactics were similar to the Crusaders', with Sp (but fewer of them) screening the central hill whilst Kn (but more of them) advanced on the more open flank - in this case the right. There was a smallish wood in our deployment zone which forced me to put the Kn into two columns and shake them out in Bound 2 - when very fortunately I got the 5 pips I needed to do the job without delay. German pips were good, and the Kn acordingly advanced boldly. With one extra mounted element, they were able to deny the Romans an open flank and with good pips, put them on the back foot. Indeed the Romans were reduced to putting two kinks in a line of mounted in order to delay contact. This availed them little, for the effect was that two Kn could contact the end LH (no longer counting as part of a group) and force him to conform. He didn't roll the required high dice (given that combat odds were 4-1 against him), and suddenly the Romans were the ones with their flanks turned. Although the risk was that they would now find themselves marooned with an open flank and kinks in their line, they got good pips and were able to make contact along most of the line, trying to bring a Blade in on their inner flank to make up for the LH they had lost on the open one. When Kn are winning, however, they tend to win quickly. Another LH was mugged on the open flank, and quite suddenly the Romans collapsed 4-0. The key to this game was the extra mounted that the Germans had compared to their Crusader predecessors, and good pips which allowed the Germans to close quickly and then fight effectively in the broken-up dogfight that any Kn battle rapidly seems to become.

I confess I was rusty on issues like the crossing the front, and my defensive deployment in game 2 was poor, but I remembered most of the basics. Looking forward to playing DBA again soon.


Mike Porter
06-04-2007, 01:22 PM
Thanks for the detailed battle reports, and welcome back!:)