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Numidians at Warfare

Page history last edited by Rich A 11 years, 8 months ago

The 15mm DBMM was a theme competition based on Rome and its Enemies. Having looked at the list of available armies I quickly decided that Huns looked like the army of choice, closely followed by the Sassanids (restricted to the irregular version by the allowed dates). Unfortunately I don't own either of those armies, and I am also a little bit anal when it comes to representative figures so I had to come up with an alternative. I looked at my Thracians, and although I believe there is a useable army in there, I quickly discounted this. So the fallback plan was my Numidians, not used since a Rise of Rome DBM theme quite a few years ago ! Tim Child had made the decision that the draft Book 2 lists could be used therefore there was the option of the Pompeian exile army to add a bit of interest to the composition, or Roman-Lite as it should be known. I toyed with quite a few different compositions but eventually settled on the following list:

C-in-C Metellus as Reg, Cv(O)

2 African elephants supplied by Juba I, Irr, El(I)

6 hastily raised Pompeian Legionaries, Reg, Bd(I)

6 Numidian Javelinmen, Irr, Ps(S)

5 Numidian Cavalry, Irr, Lh(O)

Labienus and Petreus as the sub generals with identical commands of:

Sub General as Reg, Cv(O)

3 Roman supplied Gallic Cavalry, Reg Cv(O)

6 Numidian Imitation Legionaries, Reg, Bd(I)

6 Numidian Javelinmen, Irr, Ps(S)

5 Numidian Cavalry, Irr, Lh(O)

Then Roman supplied camp as a "magic tents" command of 6 Reg Bge(O) with 7 elements of temporary fortifications to protect them.

15 points were spent on Stratagems, Ambush and Concealed Command. I saw the army as being poor quality Roman type troops with better skirmishers than Romans. The regular command structure gave me the luxury of having combined arms commands rather than specialised commands. I felt that the small amount of below average punch in each command would benefit from having the light horse and psiloi available for flank locks or rear attacks. In reality my practice games quickly showed that my punch was more like being hit with a wet cloth rather than a sledge-hammer, and once dealt with my army was fairly ineffective. A lot of thought on this, as the army was submitted and I couldn't change things, made me come up with the following key points for my games (I even wrote them down on a reference sheet in big letters so I wouldn't be tempted to deviate from the plan!!!).

1) I am going to be defending with aggression 1, therefore pick a lot of terrain. I would choose a 1 FE Difficult Hill, two 1 FE Wooded Hills, a half FE Wood and a 1/2 FE BUA for baseline protection of vulnerable troops in most games.

2) I will always either flank march both sub-generals commands or flank march one and delayed command the other.

3) Provided terrain fell correctly then the C in C's 6 Psiloi, 2 Elephants and 6 Bd will be in ambush leaving just five light horse and the C in C deployed on table

4) The fortified baggage would be placed in the BUA as a concealed command

5) My regular dice (once all on table) would be lowest to Baggage Command and then average the other three. The additional pip for the C in C plus the Sub Generals operating the Reg Cv should mean I am never starved of pips in any command.

The above all came about because my practice games showed I could not take anything on frontally and hope for success. I had to wrong foot opponents and make them have to manoeuvre to get at me. I felt my army could manoeuvre and that most armies do struggle to redeploy if wrong footed at deployment.

So it was off to Reading with a plan. The list of armies to be used showed mounted armies and Romans that I could not take on frontally, and a bunch of big irregular warband and/or knight mobs that would manoeuvre like bricks, so I did feel my plan was the right decision.

In the first round I was drawn against Ray Briggs and his Sassanids. Great, one of the armies I thought was best for the Theme, and as the others (the two Huns) had failed to show then this was my tip to win.

So time to follow the plan as outlined previously. First problem I was the invader !!! So all the ambush and terrain ideas out of the window and time for a rethink. I placed two marshes which landed centre left and centre right towards Ray's base edge nicely splitting his deployment zone. Ray then placed some gentle hills, one landed between the two marshes and one was in my right hand corner of the table. The other terrain he placed was not really placed to effect the game.

Then came the next breakdown in the plan...... I doubled Ray's deployment dice and had to place my troops first. In hindsight this became an advantage as the first move helped me to get out of the way.

I deployed the baggage and C in C on table. The Ps was placed to make a run for the marsh opposite my right hand corner. The C in C was with the elephants behind the Psiloi with the light horse aiming to make a run for the right. The Bd were skulking in column next to the baggage. Labienus was flank marching on the right and Petreus a delayed command.

Ray deployed three big commands of Irr Cv(S), one had Lh(F) with it and one had 4 Ax(S). These all deployed either in column or line between the two marshes facing my centre. In addition he had an allied Hunnic command of Lh(S) with a Cv general again deployed in the centre area. No baggage, as I think he saw this as a target, for no real added value.

The game hinged round my C in C getting his stuff off to the right and turned back into the centre. Swinging in to this area Ray sent his Hunnic command. His cavalry commands kind of lumbered straight forward due to bad pips, heading towards open spaces. My C in C and his elephants and light horse did take on the Huns, killed 2 or 3 Lh but lost an elephant in fairly short order, and some Lh(O) resulting in the C in C being close to disheartened. Ray then used his Ax(S0 to attack my Psiloi who were lurking in the marsh by now. This pushed my C in C into being disheartened.

Whilst this was going on though, my delayed command and then my flank march arrived. Petreus used his 6 pips for his arrival dice, with the help of his own regular pip, to march into contact with flanks of the Huns. The Cv(O) with Lh(O) overlapping and in some cases getting onto the rear managed to break the Huns. Petreus's blade and Psiloi had also arrived but remained very close the base edge eyeing the Sassanid heavy commands with some trepidation.

I had been very disciplined with the C in C and had pulled his disheartened troops out of the line and onto the gentle hill on my right. I was daring Ray to come up the hill where I could gain the -1 for disheartened back by using the hill. Also the flank marchers light horse and cavalry had managed to jump some of Ray's Lh(F) that had been sent round the marsh to threaten my C in C.

So it was all going to depend on the Sassanid Cv(S) managing to hit Petreus's skulking blade and psiloi. Bad pips at crucial times (damn these irregulars) meant the Cv(S) hit me a bit piecemeal. Regular pips and regular troops/lights meant that I could exploit any mistakes Ray made with regard to flanks or use of follow ups. He had two commands in the area trying to do the job, one of which had already lost 3 or 4 Lh(F). My blades flank locked and

killed two Cv(S) from an untouched command and one from the command that had already taken casualties. In return Ray had double downed two elements of Bd quite succesfully. However there was now a key passage of play as far as the game was concerned. Some of my Ps(S) survived being attacked in Ray's turn, and in my turn even bounced a Cv(S). Ray then failed to follow up a kill of a blade, having followed up elsewhere. This gave my remaining Bd the chance to hit Cv(S) in the rear (or should I say ordinary Cv when hit in the rear).

Although Petreus's command went disheartened in this bound I took enough Cv(S) to break a command and with the addition of the Huns and the extra 2 ME Cv(S) elements this was enough to break Ray's army. 19 points to 6 to me, and the scourge of Cv(S) dealt with by Ordinary and Inferior troops.

In reality I think the Irregular pips crippled Ray at times. Bad pips meant he couldn't press an attack or wheel into a position facing my craven army who were back pedalling where necessary. This was then compunded by a couple of bad decisions regarding follow ups at a crucial point of the game.

First game, first win..... first win with the army full stop as my practice games had all been a complete disaster. As far as I was concerned anything after this was now a bonus....

 

Game two was against Ian Austin and his Late Romans. I did defend and managed to get my terrain down in helpful places. I flank marched on both sides so had to deploy very little to start (this did cause quite a bit of comment from observers). Ian deployed his commands one behind the other. At the front a sub general with Ax(S) and Psiloi and a few supporting light mounted. Then the C in C with Bd, Ax and supporting Psiloi. Some Lh and 2 Kn(X). Then a

mounted sub generals command with a mix of Kn(F) and Kn(X) and some Lh of varying grades. Finally an Arab allied command. He also had a Reg Bge(F) command of 4 elements.

In summary my C in C redeployed away from Ians army to the right. Both flank marches arrived which put some pressure on Ians pips. However his command

structure could cope with this quite well. He did end up with commands split and fighting on each flank. I eventually broke the Arab ally and the C in C and took an element of baggage. With the other bits I killed and the 2ME "hit" when a command breaks this took his army.

However I also had 1 broken and 1 disheartened command at this stage and 40+% of my army dead. The good thing was my losses had been split fairly evenly across my three commands whereas Ian had lost on 2 commands primarily. A good, close and bloody game. 15 - 10 to me.

Game three saw me drawn again Greg Mann and his Arabo Arameans. As the plan had worked previously I stuck with it. The main difference being only one

flank march with Petreus again coming on as a delayed command. Greg deployed two commands in a corner wedged near terrain. Once command was a mix of foot of varying types, Bw, Ax, Ps and Bd . The other command was made up of Cm(S), Lh(F) and Bw. My flank march arrived but Greg was also flank marching on that side so I was chased on by his larger command. With some thinking I managed to salvage that flank with formed troops

facing his flank march. Reinforced by the delayed command the situation stabilised. I managed to kill Cm(S) with Cv and Lh in straight fights !! Then hit a couple in the back to dishearten that command. However the battle really hinged on the inability of my Bd(I) to either close or fight against Greg's Bw(I) !!! I would see Bw as being a little too strong under the current iteration of the rules myself, but I know most see mounted superiors as the problem. I also failed to kill or even chase off Lh(F) with my Cv and Lh(O) !!! Greg ended up breaking my C in C's command and the extra 2 ME took Labienus over the edge as far as losses were concerned. 18 - 7 to Greg I think it was.

Game four and I was playing Graham Lock and his Ostrogoths. Again I defended and went with The Plan(tm). Ambushes, flank march on the left and a delayed

command. Graham had the C in C with Kn(F), Bw(I) and Psiloi, a large Sub General with Wb(s), Wb(O) and Ps then another Sub with Kn(F) and Ps. Graham deployed well back and was refusing to come through the gap where my ambushed obviously were. Then my flank march arrived on the second bound

so my C in C moved forward to support the attack. Graham tried to redeploy to meet the threat, but bad pips at the wrong time left the C in C's knights angled in a bad position. This enabled my elephants to take two out in short order and then hit two elements in the rear. The C in C went disheartened during this and broke fairly shortly after. Its worth noting that again my Bd were failing to kill Bw(I), even when they were disheartened !! One the C in C had broken I was fighting his Wb

command. The Wb(S) proved to be a waste of points I think. Fighting Cv, they lost just as easily as Wb(O) but the extra ME did prove telling. I took Graham's army down by hitting the other sub general's Kn(F) with my delayed commands Cv and Lh. Surviving in his turn and managing to flank lock in mine......

some good dice on my part and it ended 22-3 to me.

So third place..... and the end of a great weekend. Once again thanks to Tim and the organisers. Thanks to all the other competitors, DBMM does seem to attract the more gentlemanly players from the GB pool. Thanks to everyone who put up with the four of us on the nights out..... hope we didn't upset anyone too much. Flights were delayed and I got home at 1.30 monday morning, but it was well worth it.

 

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