Thursday, July 28, 2016

BBDBA: Early Germans vs Marian Romans

Recently, my friend Bob has been painting Early Germans for DBA and has over 36 elements, so we decided to have a game with them vs my Marian Romans (list II/49). For the game, I decided to have a Roman army that maximized auxilia (6 x 4Ax, 3 x 3Ax) and cavalry (6 x Cv), with a twist of having a battery of ballistae (3 x Art) for firing at massed warbands.

Above is a command of 10 German Warband elements, looking ready to rumble. They look like 1st century BC bikers. They are Wargames Foundry figures and are really cool looking.

Above, both armies deployed. I figured that the Romans would be the attackers and the Germans would get to place a lot of bad going terrain, but the Romans were the defenders, so the region was arable. Sulla decided that open terrain was better against warbands, choosing plough and gentle hills. The Romans deployed the maximum distance forward with a large central command of 18 elements: Blades plus the ballista "battery." On the right was a 9 element command of mostly cavalry with a few psiloi. On the left was a command of auxilia, fast (Thracians) & solid (Greek Theurophoros) mercenaries. The Germans deployed with a large 17 element command of warbands & psiloi on their right (with psiloi on top of the gentle hill), a 10 element warband command in the center, and a 9 element cavalry & psiloi command on their left.

The ballistae "battery" deployed for battle.

Above are the initial moves - the Germans moving forward all along the line. The Romans advanced the Thracian mercenaries on the left.

Above- In the upper background the cavalry of both sides comes into contact. On the Roman left, the Thracians have contacted the German psiloi and taken out one element, and the large 12 element group of German warband is turning towards the Roman auxilia. The ballistae have opened fire and taken out an  element of warband above the central plough.

Above - The cavalry combat on the Roman right. It didn't go well for the Romans.

Above - The Roman mercenary auxilia kept moving to face the Germans on the Roman left. A group of legionaries on the left of the ballistae have moved forward to support them. The large German warband group is maneuvering to charge. On the Roman right, potential disaster as the Roman cavalry command has broken and is now demoralized. This, however, wasn't as disasterous for the Romans as it seems. The Roman cavalry command was the "high die" command, allowing them to have almost enough pips every turn to hold in place. The German cavalry command was the "low die" command and rarely had enough pips to do much of anything for the remainder of the game.

Above - a close-up of the Greek auxilia mercenaries approaching. The Greeks do not receive a "bonus" for having 2 ranks...the second rank is simply a reserve in this case, along with their  attached blade general.

Above - a view from behind the central German command as they approach the main Roman line.

Above shows the end of the following turn, which was a disasterous one for the Germans. The combination of auxilia and blades slaughtered the large German warband command, which caused it to break. The Thracians killed most of the psiloi while the blades took out all the warband they faced. It helped that the die rolls were good. 

Above - The ballistae killed another warband in the central German command, so that command which started at 10 is now down to 8, or 2 elements away from breaking.

Above - The slaughter continues on the Roman left while the central German command engages the Roman legionaries to the right of the ballistae. Not much is happening on the Roman right, though Bob did get a pip to move a cavalry element up to support his warbands in the center. Dead Germans at the rear of the table. Also notice at the top of the photo that we used the Society of Ancients DBA 3 playsheet, which is very nice. You can get it as a free download in pdf format here:

Above - This shows the game as it ended. The Central German command broke with a loss of another 2 elements when the Romans closed the door on them. 

Above - a close-up of the fighting in the center showing where 2 elements of warband had been. Sulla claimed victory.

Above - a close-up of the auxilia fighting the demoralized German warband. "High die" kept the warbands around to tie up the auxilia.

Above - The remaining survivors of the Roman right flank command and the German cavalry, which never had enough pips to do much of anything.

When choosing the elements for the game, I wasn't sure how effective the ballistae would be. In this game, they got 2 kills out of 4 needed to demoralize one German command. I figured that they would get at least 2 shots in while the Germans approached with their 4Wb, but they got twice that many in this game.

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