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.


  1. DBA really has become a great set of rules, and D3H2 lets one play with the fantasy elements of HOTT, too. Bests!

  2. Great looking games, colorful and beautiful armies, DBA's really nice when playing this kind of battle!

  3. Love the colourful central American armies, particularly those wonderfully plumed Mayans. Great couple of games between the Swiss and Germans, and goes to show how important terrain can be. Damn those muddy fields!
    Cheers, Caesar


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