Saturday, 23 February 2013

Lydians vs Thracians - A Solo DBA Game

Here is a report of a solo DBA game I managed to fit in during the festive season.  The idea was to try to use the solo rules mechanisms (for DBA v2.2) from the Solo DBA Development Yahoo site (which apparently are a combination of the "Random Terrain Placement" mechanisms of John Meunier and  "De Bellis Solitarius" by Chad la Mons).

Note that as I'm waiting for DBA v3.0 to come out I am still using v2.0, although as it's only me it makes no odds (and I've still got my DBA v1.0 on the shelf, neatly covered in brown paper). Anyway, here we go.  Basically this was a face off between some Thracians (I/48) at the top of the board and Lydians (I/50) at the bottom.
The rules are divided into three main elements, comprising placement of terrain, initial deployment and then the 'tactical engine' covering the actual game play.  For the latter, die throws determine the range of tactical options that the non-player army can deploy in any particular move, modified by how the battle is going, losses, etc.
Intial deployment
Move 1
Move 2
Move 3
Move 4
As you can see, on the one hand there is the inexorable and disciplined advance of the Thracians, contrasting markedly with the ragged and chaotic attempts at redoployment by the Lydians, not assisted in the least by persistently low PIP scores.
Move 5
Move 6
An ominous development for the Lydians in Move 6.  The Thracian infantry (with their general in the centre) take up a defensive position on the (non-paltry) river bank as their light horse rush across the river (after throwing a 6 for a 'high aggression' stance) to attack the Lydian light horse and hoplites oposite them, before they have had a chance to form up properly. 
Move 7
Close up of light horse action on the right.
Move 8
Thracian aggression pays off and the Lydians lose one element of Paphlagonian light horse and have one element recoil.
Move 9
However, Thracian success is short-lived as the Lydian light horse moves back into the line and destroys the opposing light horse whilst the Lydian hoplites push back the Thracians to their front, who retreat back across the river.
Move 10
Move 10
The Lydians are annoyed now and, having formed up, storm en masse across the river to attack the waiting Thracians.  Not the best idea possible but at least a conclusion was quickly reached...
Move 11
Finally, the Lydian knights and hoplites make contact!  However, the Lydian general (me) should not have underestimated the difficulties of attacking a defended river bank.
Move 12
The attack across the river has mixed results, by which I mean does not go well for the Lydians.  On the right the Thracian light horse is forced to recoil and flee by the Lydian hoplites but in the centre there is disaster.  Due to appalling die throws (and tactical stupidity on my part) the Lydian knights in the centre are pushed back by the Thracian auxilia and in the very centre the Lydian general's element is destroyed.  Game over.
I'm sure there was General element in the middle there a moment ago.
Not a pretty sight.  However, at least it was a chance to get some armies out of the red tool box (all Chariot Figures, now marketed by Magister Militum) and to try out my recently painted DBA board and new river sections as well as the Solo DBA rules. Overall I think they worked well, although there is still an element of judgement in deciding what to do when presented with various tactical options.  Worth another bash though which I will report on in due course.
It'll all end in tears.


Ray Rousell said...

Looking good!

The Wishful Wargamer said...

Cheers Ray - I don't get to write up many AAR so I make the most of them!

luca said...

Hy Brian, I'm used to play with the same solo rules and I agree with you as for the presence of not-objective judgement in the actions selection fot the NPG. But I think that is the best way to approach DBA in solitaire.
I look forward for next AAR

scotty said...

Enjoyable read. Will have to try out those Solo rules for DBA

Doug said...

Will have to have a look at the solo rules. Any other DBA players in Edinburgh ? I am through there usually at least once a week.