Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Spectator Sport: Duelling the Middle Imperial Romans DBMM Style (1)

A wargaming friend has recently completed a spectacular "wargaming project" in 25/28mm, painting a small/medium sized Middle Imperial Romans DBMM army.

The results was quite simply glorious and quite rightly he wanted to play with it as soon and as much as possible. Hence he devised a quick round-robin competition to fight all comers "against a valid time span army" (ie DBMM Army Book 2), though not necessarily an historical opponent. First to beat the Roman Army twice wins or the Romans can claim victory. The flexibility of the Romans versus the cunning nature of the Barbarians. A classic match-up.

Knowing that "Deadly Dennis" the Roman would have done as meticulous a job at  "army spotting" (the troops v opponent killer 'rock, scissor or stone' combinations of DBMM) as his brilliant paint work, I took the opportunity to sit back and watch his Roman war machine at work against the Seleucids. Intelligence wins wars as much as muscle after all.

Note: Both armies were smallish at 200 points with the idea of getting things over with in a night.

The Romans deployed first so suffered from the fact the Seleucid could "line up against his weaknesses" as per the Seleucid troop type (DBMM 'rock, scissors and stone' again) but took it in stoic fashion. The Roman's 'inferior' organic Roman Cavalry [Left] wing is set-up in column presumably for added flexibility, followed by a line of Auxillia, backed with Legion, along to the strange "club-men" (murderous against Knights apparently) [Centre] to the far wing of elite Fast Knights (allies, not organic Roman), Light Horse and Auxilla/Skirmish Psilio [Left] (see below, left wing at the bottom of picture):

The Seleucid effectively nuetralised the Roman Right by placing his elite Pike and wedged Fast Knights against them (two thirds of his Cavalry hitting power) [on the Seleucid Left/Roman Right], a weak Auxillia Warband, Auxillia infantry block[Centre] and a made-do Cavalry [on the Selucid Right/Roman Left] designed as more of a holding force (see below):

Both armies seem to have bulked up with cheaper infantry options (with only 200 points to play with this is as expected) and only two commanders, so command and control could well turn out to be a problem. The Seleucid wants to win on his left so the Roman Commander cleverly realises that his only chance is to refuse that fight and try win on his left (even though it is with his poorer cavalry). So all depends on the balance of the secondary Cavalry wings of both armies. The Roman happily sees the Seleucid come to him as he sees the chance of perhaps using his Auxillia in support, he therefore also sallies forth (see below):

The Seleucid is somewhat irked at seeing the Roman retreating away from where he wanted to it fight (a good sign methinks of the Roman astuteness), as the Roman calculated that the troop match-ups were a "no-brainer win for the Seleucid" do he should form column and "get out of dodge" with what he can save (see below):

The Seleucid's problem now is that he is trying to catch horse with Pike (four legs good and two legs bad in this race). The Seleucid faster elements being drawn up on the outer left of his army (with the intention of outflanking the enemy that has suddenly bolted). The Seleucid has a lot of ground, too much perhaps, to make up. Cleverly the Roman lights and Auxillia seek cover in rough and watch the powerful formations that once formed the backbone of Alexander the Great's Army harmlessly match by bypassing them.

Next: The Fighting Tooth and Claw

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