Thursday, 14 December 2017

Ancient Battles with DBA Version 3: Sparta versus Argive (Part 2)

Just when you need high the Spartan King (me) rolls incredibly low (a one) for his PIPs. He surrenders the initiative somewhat by defensively extending his right flank but securing the King from immediate odorous peril (see below):

The Argives seize the moment and "pounce but also bounce". The armies move into contact and are aligned with each side's left flank being overlapped. A vicious combat then ensues (which seems much more deadly for Spears than I remember in DBA Version2.x). The result being the leftmost Spartan hoplite stand is killed (at the top of the picture), but the the Argives mostly "bounce" back apart from a litle local success in the centre (see below): 

The Spartan's retaliate and fell the errant Argive Spear who dared face the Spartan King. The combat modifier that makes the difference is the +1 gained by a Spear (or Blade) for a "solid" supporting Spear (or Blade) to the left or right [essentially a Phalanx or Legion bonus].  A Spear (+4) with rear support (+1) gains a further (+1) for a flanking Spear in it's support which equals (+6). At the ends of the line the enemy Spear (+4) is deducted (-1) for being overlapped. A +6/+3 basic combat before the die are rolled (+7/+3 in the case of the Spartan King combat). Spear versus Spear combats can now be quite brutal is the disadvantaged side rolls a "1" or "2"! I for one like it. It will also help the Republican Roman armies fight their enemies although not quite matching visually but rather abstracting their "three lines" of battle. Meanwhile a dangerous position is poised on the Spartan left. The furthest right Argive unit of Spear is eligible to "close the door" on the leftmost Spartans (two stands) as they have already  been positioned on flank for one move [a new DBA V3.0 restriction] so when (as they surely will do) come forward, two further Spartan Spears could be lost (see below .. dramatic music required):

The Argives move forward, the "door is closed", the die is cast and the Spartan's lose another two Spears (3-1) and are now just barely hanging on. (see below, the revolving battle is going the Argives way):

The Spartans retaliate and manage to take another Argive Spear down (3-2) pushing hard on their stronger right flank. Much more was needed though as the Argive initiative sees a plum "low hanging" Spartan Spear waiting to be plucked. Two Argive Spears (+4 basic with + 1 for supported "solid" Spears equals +5) to one Spartan Spear (basic +4 but overlapped -1 makes +3). The final blow lands (the Spartan Spears are doubled and die) and Sparta is defeated. One senses that a great chapter in ancient history will have to be rewritten. My old PhD supervisor is still the 'master' and I the acolyte (see below, the fourth Spartan hoplite stand dies 'heroically' and the battle is lost):

Defeat for Sparta is bad but there is worse news than that.

When I was writing up the battle account into this AAR I suddenly noticed something was wrong courtesy of careful examination of the pictures in the first part of the AAR post. Wheb handing the armies out I (yes it was by my own fair hand) had given the Argives an extra stand of hoplites (13 stands v 12) which allowed them to construct the overlap on both flanks so easily and which caused me so much discomfort losing the initiative as I realigned my troops! The Argives should have been 1x4Sp(Gen), 9x4Sp, 2x2Ps instead I gave them 1x4Sp(Gen), 10x4Sp, 2x2Ps, urk. The Ephors would be doubly unhappy with this particular Spartan King. My opponent kindly suggested a rematch for another night. The 'master' is still teaching the (now old and none the wiser) 'student' a few things even in his retirement!

Summary: Generally I am liking DBA V3.0 for Greek v Greek hoplite battles as the whole thing played out in under an hour without the arduous 'grind' I remember from DBA V2.x battles.


Yuri Kalinin said...

Nice AAR! But there is no rear support bonus for Spears in DBA 3.0

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Wow, thank you for that spot

Back to the rules for me
That is the problem playing a game you have played in a past version

At least it was the wrong for both sides in the same way ;)