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Sub-Roman Brits at Rampage 2010

Page history last edited by Rob Brennan 10 years, 7 months ago

Indeed I would use sub-humans no matter what, and indeed I did.  In fact, I chose SRB for Rampage on the basis that it was probably going to be my only chance to get them on the table in a competition this year rather than with any reasoning that they'd be particularly effective.  If I'd not been over-ruled by Dr Child, I'd have been fielding 450AP of SRB at the Derby round of the NDBMML the weekend before instead, using 1.0 rules.  :o)

Here's the list - Kingdom of Strathclyde (more properly Alt Clud at this date), 614AD, theoretically based upon the battle of Bangor-is-Coed:-

CinC - King (later St) Constantine
Irr Cv(O) CinC
2 Irr Cv(O)
1 Irr LH(I)
21 Irr Sp(I)
3 Irr Ps(I)
[Irr Bge(F) in army Bge command]

Sub-general - Prince Neithon
Irr Cv(O) Sub
2 Irr Cv(O)
1 Irr LH(I)
2 Irr Ax(O) Irish
[Irr Bge(S) in army Bge command]

Ally-general - King Bledric of Dumnonia
Irr Cv(O) Ally
2 Irr Cv(O)
1 Irr LH(I)
24 Irr Sp(I)
1 Irr Bge(F)

Army Baggage
1 Irr Bge(S) 1,000 praying monks
1 Irr Bge(F)

Stratagem:  Scouting [don't leave home without it]

In terms of structure, the Cv(O) and LH(I) are forced by the list to be evenly split between the commands.  I wanted the Ps(I) with the CinC to use as scouts, so really the only remaining deckchairs to move around on this particular Titanic were how to allocate the Sp(I).  A 21/24 split allowed me what felt like the most resilient ME structure and also worked well in terms of being able to deploy in fairly even 3 or 4-rank formations.  The basic plan was to have the Sp(I) in a mass in the centre, with a few Cv covering one flank and "massed" (this is 240AP, so 6 Cv(O) including 2 generals is "massed") cavalry on the other flank.  The idea was to be able to redeploy Prince Neithon's command to wherever seemed most appropriate.

Game 1 - vs Julian Morgan (Count Dracula)

The British invaded Wallachia, rather to my surprise. I placed a difficult hill in the middle of Julian's deployment area, and a wood forward and to my left, with a road sweeping across my rear and up the left flank (through the wood).  Julian's gentle hills fell across my rear edge and played no part, there was a patch of rough-going in his left-rear (my perspective), with room to go around the outside of it.  He deployed first, with Ps and Ax(O) on the central hill, flanked by 2 ranks of Bw(I) on the left and 2 ranks of Bw(O) on the right.  There were Irr LH(S) on either far flank, the Bw(O) being supported by a pair of Reg Kn(O) also.

I deployed 3-rank deep Sp in a wall across the centre, basically filling-up the entire "heavy" zone, with Cv(O) outside these.  I had Ps(I) in the wood, and Prince Neithon's command was in reserve on the road, able to go left or right as required.  In the end, his Ax(O) went left to support the king, while he led his mounted to support his allies on the right.

Julian attacked with LH(S) against Cv(O) on both flanks, but the Cv(O) held them off, taking a couple of casualties in the process which I was able to shore up with the arriving reserves. The LH(S) commands didn't get enough PIPs and ended up giving-up overlaps/flanks, which at low starting factors was deadly to them.  The Sp(I) attacked the Bw as fast as I could cross the ground.  Julian's shooting was woeful.  I massacred the Bw(I) (as expected) but stodged against the Bw(O) - there is a considerable difference in HtH combat-effectiveness between Bw(O) and Bw(I) in my experience.  Luckily for me, the accumulated LH(S) losses + extras collapsed him, and it was game over.  I suffered about 8-9% casualties, so edged inside a 25-0 result.  This was Julian's first DBMM-game for about 6 months, and afterwards we discussed how he could have deployed better - particularly how he could have brought the Bw(I) into the game in more safety using the rough terrain on the left - the DH in the centre would have been fine for holding the flank of his Bw(O) against my army.

Round 2 - Mike Pickering (the Prophet (Peace be upon him))

The arabs invaded Alt Clud (why??  :o)  ). Mike put a narrow (foot-friendly) river down the right flank and I (looking for hills on which to make my stand) laid a mass of gentle hills and a wood.  The wood was on the left flank, leaving about 12 base-widths to the river.  Only one of the hills was any use - in the middle, but forward of, the gap between the river and the wood.  I also placed a road, across my rear, over the river and up the right flank.

My spearmen deployed 4 deep and as far forward as we could, determined to seize the central high ground.  Cv held the flanks, while this time Neithon's troops were all on the left - the pair of Ax(O) trying to look handy in the wood.  The game was all about the clash of 2-rank-deep Irr Bd(O) against 4 ranks of Irr Sp(I), and was a bloody draw.  By grabbing the hill, I took a commanding position which Mike was unwilling to commit himself to assaulting - even with a quick kill, 4 vs 6 is not attractive - particularly since it would rapidly become 3 vs 6 next down the line.  However, by not committing there, he narrowed the offensive potential on both sides, and gave up internal overlaps.

The prophet (Peace be upon him) (Bge(S) CinC) arrived to support the Bd on the right as they began to thin, and I thought I'd lost it there - my own casualties were such that I was about to become disheartened.  However, I recoiled the Bd(O) in front of the black tent, and he recoiled right through it ("If a recoiling element meets a friendly element facing in the same direction it passes through to the friendly element's rear if permitted to do so" + "foot can pass through train that are at 90 to their own direction and only 1 element deep, or that are facing the same or opposite direction but are not on the same road").  The Sp pursued into the Bge(S) and next bound rolled exactly enough to double it.  The loss of the CinC disheartened that command.

However, both my own Sp-commands also became disheartened and the game was teetering on a knife-edge when time was called. Another couple of ME casualties either side would have seen a tough victory to one or the other.  1 VP difference between us, so 13-12 result to Mike.

Game 3 - Dave Pallin, fielding absolutely gorgeously-painted Two Dragons Samurai figures, every man with back-banners. (Did I hear right that the monks' shrine was a converted monopoly house?  :o)  )

Despite the draw being pre-set, it had worked out great.  I was in 4th place, playing Dave who was 1st, while elsewhere 2nd and 3rd were duking it out against each other.

I had groaned on seeing the draw - if there was an opponent I didn't want to face, it was massed Irr Bd(O), and lo and behold I had to play two of them.  I suppose I should be grateful that Ray Briggs was on my team, so I didn't have to fight the Norse Irish as well.  :o)

With a masterly display of seamanship, the British invaded Japan (took us 1,000 year to get there, mind, and we probably only managed it because the captain forgot his usual approach of sailing round and round the Isle of Wight ...  :o)  ).  A string of DH/BUA sealed off the right flank, a wood was on the left.  Once again, we had a central open area to fight on, this time 11 wide so perfect for my 4-deep Sp(I).  Sadly, no gentle hills in Japan, however, so we would have to fight on the flat.

I deployed first, 4-deep Sp(I) stacking the centre, with Neithon's Ax(O) holding the DH on the right and Constantine Ps(I) trying to do the same in the wood on the left (lurking well-inside the trees, where the enemy Bw(S) couldn't spot them!).  The Cv lurked in reserve.

Dave deployed a mass of 2-deep Bd(O) from the centre of my line to the left, with Ax-supported Cv and Bw(S) outside those, looking to take the wood and roll up the flank of my line.  The left end of the battle-line was 3-deep Pk(F).  The Bd(F) monks were outside these, but were (briefly) unreliable.  Dave was a bit non-commital with them, as it was only a 12ME command and he said that he found them very fragile.  They threatened the Irish on the DH and held the far end of the Pk(F), but never really got into the scrap.

I probed around the wood on the left with the king and his cavalry, but quickly ran away as the japanese Cv and Bw(S) trundled in my direction.  Battle was joined down the line, and I started picking up the Sp(I) all-too-rapidly.  Things were going south - Bledric's boys, fighting the Pk(F) were 4ME down, and close to shaking, but had done in 4-5 Pk(F) in return, so the threat there remained, but had lessened (as Pk(F) thins, it become a lot less deadly, wheras Irr Sp(I) can suffer casualties and still fight as effectively as long as you have at least 2 ranks left).  Constantine's Sp(I) were suffering even worse, Dave having successfully pushed through the wood and begun flanking my line, and then the luck changed.  Just as my command became shaken, Dave rolled poorly and a 2-element wide hole appeared in the Samurai line.  I rolled a 6 for PIPs, and was able to "close the door" on both sides of the line, giving me two 3:3 combats each of which would kill a file of 2-deep Bd(O).  Both were successful.  I make that about a 3% chance (6 PIPs required, followed by two 15/36 chances coming off).

After the game, we were discussing what went wrong for Dave, and he concluded that he should have stacked his Bd(O) deeper - 3-deep - and used only the Bw(S) in the wood.  I'm sure he's right that 3-deep Irr Bd(O) will be able to take on and kill almost any depth of Irr Sp(I) head-on.

From staring down the wrong end of a katana, I had suddenly disheartened both Dave's fighting-commands, and probably more importantly, Dave himself.  The coup-de-grace was administered by Prince Neithon, who dismounted (Irr Cv(O) dismount as Wb(S)) and impetuously shouldered his cavalry out of the way as he rushed into some 2-deep Pk(F), who had previously carved through an entire 4-deep file of Sp. I was quite proud of myself for thinking of doing that - I don't normally "do" dismounting.  :o)  I had, however, brought the dismount figures just in case (the ones I have recently painted for use in the early SRB list, when the "Cv" are mounted Bd).  I had been wondering about doing it with Constantine as a way of shoring-up the flank in the wood, but the possibility of counter-attack by Bd had put me off!

I had suffered less than 20% casualties, and one disheartened command, so it was a 22-3 result and enough to earn 2nd place.  I am mightily chuffed, and my children were suitably impressed at breakfast this morning, upon finding out that Daddy had brought home a trophy.  :o)

Thanks, as from the others, to all the organisers - the Rampage lads and Dave Mather.  I'm very glad that I got the day right this year...  Thanks also to all three of my opponents, who took the ups and downs of their fortune with great good grace - Julian's LH(S) vs Cv(O) was a 50/50 fight, and he lost both times; Mike's collapsed tent was unexpected to either of us; and Dave P and I could re-fight that game another 30 times and not have the same outrageous swing of luck in my favour!

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