Monday, May 25, 2015

Prelude to battle: Huns vs Early Frankish

Having finished my Early Frankish DBA army, I just had to have a game with my friend Bob, who has a Hun army. Having never used these armies before, it is good to review just what kind of army each is and what kinds of elements are available in the DBA rules.

II/80 Huns:

In DBA 3.0, the Huns have 4 army lists. List II/80a is Attila's army (433-453 AD), which is the army that Bob has. It contains the following:

> 1 element of the general (Attila) + noble cavalry (Cv) or light horse (LH).
> 5 elements of Light Horse (LH)
> 2 elements of subject solid warbands (4Wb) or light horse (LH).
> 2 elements of subject solid warbands (4Wb).
> 1 Gepid heavy cavalry element (3Kn)
> 1 psiloi element.

This army has a nice mix of troops: a good core of LH plus one or two shock cavalry (Kn or Cv + General), 2-4 solid warbands and a Ps. Bob chose a Cv general, and LH over 4Wb, for a total of 7 LH and 2 x 4Wb.

The other Hun armies lists are:
The Sabir Huns (II/80b), a mix of LH and 4Wb or 4Bw.
The Chionite or Hephthalite Huns (II/80c), mostly LH, but can have a knight (3Kn) or Elephant (El), and a couple fast bows (3Bw).
"Other" Hunnic armies (II/80d) can be all LH or have a Cv General.

The Huns have NO options for any allies (nobody liked them, I guess).

II/72 Early Frankish:

The Early Frankish also have four army lists in DBA 3.0. The army I used was II/72c, the Suevi (250-584 AD), which has the following:

> 1 element of 3Kn + the general.
> 8 warriors (4Wb).
> 2 fast bow (3Bw) or Psiloi (Ps).
> 1 javelinmen (Ps)

This army lacks mounted troops, but has a powerful core of solid warbands, and some fast bow support.

The list allows you to choose an ally, so I chose an Early Ostrogoth ally (list II/67b). The rules say that you must replace 3 of your army's elements with 3 of the ally. You must pick the ally general's element (in this case, a 3Kn) and a choice of the element with the highest number available (both a total of 6 x 3Kn and 6 x Ps were available, I chose another 3Kn), and a third element of a type yet unused (I chose a Ps). I replaced Frankish 2 x 4Wb and 1 x Ps with the Ostrogoth elements. (Hopefully, I did all of this correctly).

The Suevi Army with Ostrogoth ally now consisted of the following:

> 1 element of 3Kn + the general.
> 6 elements of warriors (4Wb).
> 2 elements of fast bow (3Bw).
> 1 element Ostrogoth ally psiloi (Ps).
> 2 elements Ostrogoth ally noble cavalry (3Kn).

This mix gives the army more mounted troops (knights) while maintaining the bows and psiloi, but sacrificing 2 warbands. The only restriction is that allied elements cannot be moved as a group with other elements, thus potentially costing more pips for movement.

The other Early Franish army lists are:
The Quadi (II/72a), all warbands with a single Psiloi and knight (3Kn) general.
The Alamanni (II/72b), has 7 warriors, 3 x fast bow (3Bw) or horde (7Hd), a Psiloi, and a Cavalry General that can dismount as a 4Wb.
"Other" Early Frankish (II/72d), is similar to the Quadi, except with a Cv general.

The scouting report for this battle: 

The Frankish warbands are not effective against light horse, both fighting at + 2 in close combat. The light horse can get a +1 with rear support, while the warbands cannot against horse. The Frankish allies will require extra pips to move, but the Frankish fast bows are very effective at shooting light horse, with a +4 compared to +2 for the light horse. The Frankish & Ostrogoth knights have to be careful against light horse, who can get a +1 with rear support and can quick kill knights. The Hun light horse has a tremendous movement advantage, can make subsequent moves, and has a command range of 20 base widths from the general.

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