Saturday, 3 September 2016

Time to sit back, have a beer, and invade England.

Or more accurately, Wessex.
It being the end of the week I felt another solo DBA game was in order, and this time I rolled out the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, the vast majority of which landed on my doorstep as a fantastic gift from young Geoff down in Christchurch.

The dice off for aggression was initially even, but a reroll confirmed that the Vikings would be attacking, so the terrain set-up was arable. I decided the Anglo-Saxons would take a hamlet, a woods, a road and river - as I have not yet used rivers in DBA 3.0 and wanted to test them out. As this is a solo game, all terrain is randomised, and it turned out that the wood ended up in the same quarter as my BUA, which meant it didn't fit and had to be discarded.

I was looking forward to this match-up, because with the +1 flank bonus for spear supported by either spear or blades, it made the Anglo-Saxon line an even match to the Viking Blades. They just had to hold that line.

The Vikings deployed along the river in columns, just in case I rolled a 5 or 6 for the nature of the river, and planned to cross it quickly and get to grips with the enemy. The Anglo-Saxons deployed in a solid line with a couple of spear and two hordes in reserve.

Initial deployment with the Vikings in column.
It turned out that the river was paltry, and the Vikings surged ahead - those on the road getting a free turn which enabled them to deploy immediately.

The Saxons advanced and dispatched their spear reserves to extend their line prior to contact. The Vikings also moved into a solid line. This was shaping up to be a hard fought slog.

The Viking skirmishers moved to prevent the Saxon right-hand spear from joining the line, and surprisingly also forced a recoil on them.

The battlelines crashed into each other, and an Anglo-Saxon spear element was destroyed in the first round of combat.

Now the battle ebbed to and fro, all order disintegrating on the Anglo-Saxon left (to the right in this picture)

The Vikings lapped around the Anglo-Saxon flank and another element of blades was destroyed. The Anglo-Saxon and Viking generals continued to slog it out in the centre.

The Vikings also began to press forward on their left.

A horde was detached to mount a last minute delaying action on the Anglo-Saxon left.

The Vikings now managed to wrap around the Anglo-Saxon right flank and killed their fourth Anglo-Saxon element.

In the centre the Anglo-Saxon general realises he must retreat now or never.
 This was a good game, and enabled me to get used to some of the new aspects of DBA 3.0 compared to what I was used to in 2.2. The most important one was the pursuit by blade elements. This effectively means that once you have committed a blade element to battle against an infantry opponent it will remain committed until it is either victorious or destroyed. I'd sort of noticed this with the Polybian Romans, but as I've only taken 4 blade elements in that list, and they were faced with more cavalry, it had not really sunk in for me. In this case, with two all-infantry forces and a Viking army which is virtually all blade, the lesson was clear.
I was also pleased with the shape of the battle, which ended up being a Dark Ages version of Cannae. The Viking plan to distract the right of the Anglo-Saxon line with the psiloi was a good one.
I'm a bit gutted that the hordes didn't get into the fight - I've never used hordes before. I might put them in the front-line next time.
Way back in issue 2 (I think it was) of Battlegames, Dan Mersey wrote an article which was a campaign system for invading Scotland in a day. I think I might play it out with a Viking theme and see how it goes.

And now, just some pictures of the camp elements, which I received for my birthday last month:
Viking Longboat settled on a very long and very narrow inlet... 
Saxon camp with drunken priest
The Anglo-Saxon hamlet which counts only as rough going. Buildings are from the Usborne 'Make this Medieval Village' book.
Alongside the camps I have started getting into my painting for Craig, which has been delayed while I went through a painting slump. I'm halfway through some Battlefront Germans which I hope to have finished by next week. Then it is prelim exams, so once again my attention will be caught by real life. I do hope to have a few more posts in September than I did last month though!



  1. Your camp elements look very good. Why the move away from OHW to DBA? Simply a change of pace? Hope to see your return to painting 19th Century figures.

    1. Thanks Jonathan. I haven't abandoned Neil Thomas' rules, but I'm using those for the horse and musket era and DBA for Ancient and Medieval gaming.
      19th Century is a little way off as 18th Century is getting a boost at the moment. More on that later.

  2. A nice looking game, with a fabulous camp, love these elements!

  3. Nice pics and AAR. Great camp elements too :)

    1. Cheers Tamsin. I enjoy making the camp elements. They give the army a bit more character.

  4. Great looking game Nate!I am sure those guys look better than they used to.

    1. I don't think so! All I did was add to them, and tried to capture the original style!

  5. Splendid report and I do like those camp elements.

    1. Thanks Michael. I've got a couple more 'fun' camp elements to be built yet.

  6. Nice game bud. It is has given me inspiration to pick up the DBA 3.0 manual again.