Thursday, 23 June 2016

DBA - only took a year...

So I finally put some figures on the board and had my first DBA v3.0 game last night, having purchased the rules a year and a half ago. This saw the Carthaginians invading Italy (for a change).
The two armies deployed
 The Romans had a Built Up Area (BUA), and garrisoned this with some Italian allies. Some rough woods were on their right flank. They deployed with the blades in depth on the right, the cavalry in the centre and the spears and auxilia close up to the BUA. The BUA anchored the flank nicely and gave the Romans a nice compact line.
On reflection I probably deployed the Carthaginians poorly. I loved using Light Horse around open flanks in DBA 2.1 and I wanted to see if the cavalry could do the same in 3.0. Given the Roman deployment I didn't really get the chance to find out.
I drew up the warband opposite the blades looking for an autokill, and the elephant opposite the Roman cavalry to hopefully squash the general.
Almost time to crash... errr... clash
 The two sides closed very quickly. It wasn't long before the battlelines were pinning each other.
The Carthaginian line breaks
 First blood went to the Cathaginians, who killed a Legionary blade with their Warband. I looked to see if that auto-killed the element behind it, but couldn't find anything that said that it does, which validated the idea of having the blades deployed in depth. The Warband pursued into combat with the survivors, but didn't break through. In return, the Legionaries to the side of the Warband scythed through some hapless Spanish Psiloi. The Roman general kept bouncing the elephant back.
The end
The breaking of the Psiloi turned out to be the decisive move. After a bit more back and forth the blades that had broken through were able to 'close the door' on the Warband and killed both elements. On the Roman left the Triarii took out an African spear unit and that was game over. 
As you can see in the last photo, the Numidian Light Horse did manage to turn the Italian allies, but by and large the Carthaginian cavalry had very little impact on this battle.

I'm still not 100% about what I'm doing - I can't believe it has been about 5 years since I last played DBA and I'm not sure I've quite picked up the nuances of the new rules. For instance, I know that the rear corner of an element can 'interpenetrate' another element when it is wheeling. As far as I can see, this does not have to be only friendly elements, but I wasn't sure. So I didn't let my Romans close the door on the Warband until the Spanish Auxilia had pursued their opposing Psiloi and cleared a space. I'd be interested to know, if anybody can tell me, if the blades could have made the wheel even though they were starting in side edge contact with the Spanish. (Edit: I found a thread on Fanaticus today that confirmed that yes, the move was legal if starting in side edge contact.)
I'll have to have another game soon and see if I can get back into the flow of things again.



  1. Can't remember about the rules, but both armies look beautiful!

  2. lovely painted armies you have here Nate - marvelous!

    A few more (3-4) solo games and you will get the flow of the DBA rules, no doubt......