Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Beach of a Walk - Big Battle DBA Battle Report

This past weekend, Sam put on a game of BBDBA for the South Jersey Gamers Association. 

The battle was an invasion from the sea by an alliance of Spartans, Thebans and Asiatics. The defenders were Athenians, Thessalians, and Phokians. The invading force needed to capture the acropolis.

The Spartan force took up the center of the invader's battle line, with the Thebans to their left and the Asiatics on the right.

The defenders had the Phokians place their artillery and hoplites in the acropolis. The other Phokian units (mostly psiloi) and the Athenians deployed to the right  of the city, while the Thessalians defended the area to the left, over the river.

For the first few bounds of the game, the two sides marched across the verdent fields, vineyards, and groves to try and get into position.

Both sides were mostly made up of heavy infantry, so progress was slow. But eventually the various armies managed to move into line. The Phokians and Asiatics lined up their psiloi on one flank, while the Thessalians and Thebans moved their heavy infantry into the good going on the the other.

As the commander of the Athenians, I managed to get my hoplites into the open ground in front of the acropolis, forcing the Spartans to fight partially in rough ground.

The Athenians and Phokians managed to get their Light Horse through a gap in the enemies' line, which forced them to divert units away from the main fight to try and keep the horsemen hemmed in.

The Spartans and Athenians were the first to get to grips with each other. I noticed that, with units like Spears, you really need to make sure you've got a solid line. Combat factors bonuses from Flank Support, and being outflanked, can potentially spell disaster. For example, a lone unit of Spears facing off against three units of Spears will have a combat factor of 2, against the attacking units combat factor of 6!

Near the beach, my unit of light horse managed to defeat a Spartan psiloi unit, leaving a small group of Spartan hoplites dangerously exposed.

The Spartans finally began to move out of column and into a wider line of battle, but the Athenians managed to hold them back.

The Theban general, preferring to lead from the front, suddenly found himself alone and in close combat with the Thessalian hoplites, but he managed to survive. The Thessalian horsemen, however, realized that the river was easily forded and moved across, easily passing through the gap in the invaders' line.

The Phokian and Athenian light horse managed to rout the Spartan hoplites as their Asiatic allies looked on with relative nonchalance. While the Asiatic and Spartan rears were safe, the Thebans were wide open, unable to stop the combined cavalry of the defenders.

Both the Spartans and Athenians lost more units in the ongoing scrum, but the Spartans were the first to break and flee the field of battle.

As the Thebans desperately held across the river, the Asiatics and Phokian psiloi began to engage, with little effect.

The Thebans were the next army to break, unable to push through the Thessalian heavy infantry at their front or stop the defenders' cavalry in their rear.

With two of their allies gone, the Asiatics retreated as well, relatively intact for their troubles.

The Athenians, Thessalians and Phokians celebrated their victory with much wine and rejoicing!

Sam put on a fantastic game, providing the terrain and armies. We actually were the first people to play on this terrain since it had been commissioned by Sam almost half a decade ago.

DBA continues to be a fun set of rules for relatively simple Ancients combat (as long as you've gotten past the somewhat difficult language. I'm also wondering if we could replay this game using the Triumph! ruleset. Playing a big Dark Ages game would also be fantastic.