Fall of Rome Themed Event at Hurricon-Ltr Imp Roman vs Gepid
There is a recent poll on Fanaticus polling people how many DBA gamers do they think are active players all over the world. I have the definitive answer: Enough to have fun! ( See Below )
The next event I attended on Saturday at Hurricon 2010 was the Fall of Rome graciously put on by Marty Schmidt (not pictured above). Here was the Hurricon announcement for it:
Session 5 (Sat 2pm-6pm)
‘The Fall of Rome’ DBA Tourney 15mm DBA Theme Tournament
GM: Marty Schmidt
The empire wanes. Pulled apart by ambitious generals and attacked by warrior tribes seeking to loot her past glories. Bring either Late Imperial or Patrician Romans (East or West) or one of their listed enemies.
Session 6 (Sat 8pm-12am)
I wasn’t able to finish painting the army I was going to field for this event, so Marty Schmidt was generous enough to loan me a Roman army. Yes, I was part of the evil empire. It turns out I did in fact have an army I could have fielded, I just didn’t realize it. My Skythian army can do identical duty as an all LH Alan Army (II/58). I really wish I had known this at the time, because I have decided to never play a Roman Army again. See my next Blog post, which will be about this reasoning.
First up is my full tilt boogie with Devin Gause. No relation to Rich Gause. It’s estimated, now that there are only 1,000 active DBA gamers in the world and two of them just coincidentally have the last name Gause. What are the odds? Ok, I’m kidding.
Standard operating procedure applies here. Pictures can be clicked on to enlarge, and comments for each are below the picture.
If you blow up the picture above you can see that our game is already underway. Pictures are taken from my board edge. I took command of a Late Imperial Roman army -II/78b (3Cv-Gen, 2x4Kn, 2xLH, 3x4Bd, 2x4Ax, 2x2Ps). Devin had as his command, Gepid -II/71 (1x3Kn-Gen, 3x3Kn, 4x4Wb, 4x2Ps)
Sadly, I cannot remember who was attacker/defender. Clearly there was a rush for that patch of woods on my left. He has 4 Psiloi, but I have 2 Ax and 2Ps…so it looked to be a slugfest in the pine canopy. I rushed my general up there (Cav) to try to thwart his positioning and hoping to get a lame Psiloi in the open, as a lion attempts to do with a sick gazelle.
I had a bit of a frontage advantage because he was double ranked for his Warband. My largest advantage on a fairly open board was my 2 LH. One of my LH was on my extreme right to help prevent overlaps and it does get a quick kill against his KN. My other LH was completely free to roam at will. I could have used the LH to help pin down his Psiloi with my Cav General but I wasn’t all that sure I really wanted to run my general out there at any rate. Plus, I have never actually attacked a camp before and wanted to see if my experience would be like so many others. Typically, people send their LH against the camp, only to see the horsey bounce off the camp over and over. As is often noted, the camp is more juicy when the enemy has already lost a couple of elements. Still, a good chance for me to try it out as he he nothing much that could stop me.
My sneaky opponent trudged forward, and despite blades statistical advantage over Warband, I admit the painted flesh, and war-cries of large hairy men, never fails to impress me! 😉 No, not like that!
From here we will take a very brief trip into history and look at the Gepids just briefly. They were an East Germanic Gothic Tribe who were in place roughly from 250AD-560’sAD. Their first King was Fastida, and their last was Cunimund. Wiki has this brief, but interesting entry about the Gepids,
They reached the zenith of their power after 537, settling in the rich area around Belgrade. For a short time, in the city of Sirmium, Cunimund minted golden coins in it. In 546 the Byzantine Empire allied themselves with the Lombards to expel the Gepids from this region. In 552 the Gepids suffered a disastrous defeat from Alboin at the Battle of Asfeld and were finally conquered by the Lombards in 567.
Alboin had a drinking-cup made from the skull of Cunimund, which occasioned his death later in Italy, at the hands of an assassin sent by Rosamund, Cunimond’s daughter.
Rosamund sounds like a real party girl. Surely there is some Puccini opera written about this episode. Talk about Drama! You make a drinking cup out of your defeated opponents skull and then wind up getting murdered by his daughter. Rosamund was a real piece of work. Here is a quick fun read about her here from Wiki: Rosamund
It’s little historical tidbits like that make DBA the fascinating game it is. You get the opportunity to learn parts of history you wouldn’t normally ever have an excuse to stumble across. I just love DBA lol.
Meanwhile back on the actual battlefield:
Here goes nothing. The tension builds as I use the LH multi-move to get just out of the ZOC of the camp so I can assault it the next turn and sack that town! I couldn’t attack it outright since I used subsequent moves to get that far. I was more excited than I had any right to be about my next turn.
I don’t have pictures of the next couple of turns. Basically we both saw a fun bloody clash inches away, so both of us whipped our horses and ordered double time march orders for our foot soldiers. We closed the distance as the din of sheilds, lances, axes and arrows rattling filled the air. Before that though, my LH contacted the camp. As is always the case, as LH fighting a camp is +2 to the Denizens plus bonus puts the defenders at +3. It only takes a beat result, not a double for me to drive the defenders out and place my LH unit in the camp. What happens? This:
Really? Really? You’re kidding right? My first ever try turns out classic. I bounce right off the camp. It felt like Geraldo Rivera opening Al Capone’s vault. A big build up with but a sigh for a finish. Oh well, buck up soldier, we will assault again next turn! I’m out of Command Range at this point though, so I’m to have to roll high to have a shot at it.
A couple of turns have expired here and what you see above it the aftermath. On my left flank you can see that my General has closed the door on one of his Psiloi and killed it. His other Psiloi isn’t well placed to open a fixed annuity. His need for a High Value Term Life Insurance Policy is much more valuable at this point. Moving Left to Right, his double ranked Warband’s shrill war-cry did scare the pants off of my blade unit, and they promptly folded and were removed from the table. We are 1-1 at this point. That Warband quick kill ability on blade is vicious when it works, my a psychological standpoint on me at least! I was now plenty scared.
His Warband followed up impetuously, which put him in a nice position to possibly close the door on me next turn…akkk! Panic set in for me at this point. However there is a price to pay for being double ranked: a contracted frontage.
The next Blade vs Warband combat was a push so they locked in place. The next combat was Knight vs Knight and that saw me recoil, with his Knight following up.
I’m fuzzy now on how it happened and I didn’t get pictures of it, but one of his Knights died on my right flank. He moved his Knight General to counter my LH, but I was able to move my LH around his ZOC into a close the door position on his other Knight unit.
He had one more turn, which saw him roll poor pips and wasn’t able to take advantage of much that wasn’t already present. My next turn saw my LH try again to take the camp. Here is what happened:
Yep, I bounced off again. Obviously two turns of this, clearly my LH would have been better served helping turn a flank. Still it was fun trying and fun to feel everyone’s pain who has faced this classic outcome.
I apologize for not having the intermediary moves pictures. This is just another view of the near end. What happened, was his Psiloi on my left did indeed depart for the afterlife prematurely. His other Knight on my right flank died due to the LH having continued to keep the door closed. So he had lost 2 Psiloi and 2 Knights. Game over. He didn’t get the pips to exploit his middle section which saw my blade simply recoil from the next combat and I think my center Knight recoiled as well. While the final tally looked good for me, in truth is was a thinly run thing and easily could have seen his Warband wipe out my other blade and his General able to get better positioned to cause some damage.
I did have both of his flanks turned, which is never good for your health if it happens to you. The double ranked Warband and keeping the General in reserve, as he did, pretty much assured I would get a flank. I also had faster units overall. With the Gepids, if you line up straight as he did, you can’t take advantage of the Warband’s ability to double move into contact thereby choosing the distance more quickly thereby getting the enemy in a fight before they’re ready. With just 4 Warband and the Knights, it is tempting to have them advance in good order.
Smart or not, I still feel like Warband should rush in simply on principle, win or lose be damned! Maybe that’s why I don’t own a Warband army though lol. It would force me to put up or shut up about this concept. For now, I can throw popcorn at the movie screen and talk mad trash about how I would handle Warband. Banshee yells are all if good and fine when it’s not your Behind-shee that is on the line.
It was a really fun game. Devin was a gentleman as usual and a great sport. Thanks for the game sir!