Friday, October 1, 2010

Gepids v Early Byzantines

It's been a little while since I posted a game.  The last time I played we got through two games of Gepids v Early Byzantines in two hours which is about normal for us time-wise though not army-wise.  The first game ended suddenly when the Byzantine General found himself double-overlapped and then dead when fighting against the Gepid knights, leading to a Gepid win with a 1G-0 score.  This is the game report for the second game.

I can't remember who laid out the terrain, but it ended up like this:

Early bounds
 Two gentle hills and a wood on the right of the board.  I set up my Kn in a line, my Wb in two ranks to be beside the woods, and two Ps on each flank.  My plan was to hit his Cv with my Kn, using the Ps for support or to turn his flank on my left, and to hit his infantry with my ranked Wb, using the Ps on the right to stop him from putting his infantry into the woods and denying me my rank bonus.  Having said that, I probably would have been better off with my Wb in the woods against his Bd, but I doubt he would have sent his Bd into the woods to fight me!

If you go down to the woods today
 I got my Ps into an overlap against his Ps and chased them out of the woods.  I then used a double move with my Wb to get them into a fight with his Ax and his double ranked Bd before they could spread out and get an overlap against me.  The Ax got a stick and the Bd recoiled my Wb.

Gepids 2 - Byzantines 0
 An element of Byzantine Cv flanked my Wb.  This could be disastrous.  If I lost two Wb here, the two next to them would fall soon enough.  Then the Byzantine commander got a series of really terrible rolls.  His Ax was killed despite having the overlap and the flank against me.  Then my other Wb block recoiled and killed the Bd in front of them.  Suddenly I had gone from thinking that I was going to lose the game on the right to thinking that I could just stall with my Kn on the left and win on the right!

Gepids 3 - Byzantines 0
 My Wb on the right recoiled and killed the remaining Bd in front of them, while the Wb on their left and a unit of Ps turned and faced the Cv on their flank.

Come back KnG, all is forgiven
 Over on the left side of the board, my Kn and KnG charged the Cv on the hill before the Ps could get run down by them.  Each side got a recoil.  Oh no, I thought, here goes my KnG again, chasing the bad guys across the board.

Before combat
 Then the Byzantine commander tried to assassinate the Gepid general and took a big risk.  His CvG moved to flank my KnG while his Cv charged my waiting Kn because they had to make space for the CvG to get behind them.  Unfortunately it meant that if my KnG recoiled his opponents, the CvG would die because of colliding elements.

After combat.  Gepids 4G - Byzantines 0

And lo and behold, that's just what happened:

Gepids 5G - Byzantines 0
Meanwhile on the right side, my Wb and Ps teamed up on the Byzantine Cv that had tried to spoil the party.  It was pretty likely to get a recoil on a 2-1 combat.  The Cv was killed and the Gepids secured a resounding victory!
Post-game thoughts:
  1. This was a game that looked even until two key die rolls went against the Byzantine player.  Obviously I can't take credit for that, but I do think I took advantage of my luck when it happened.
  2. On the other hand, I was stupid to let his Cv flank me like that.  What should have happened is that all four Wb units should have died.  Once again I let my enthusiasm get the better of me and rushed to combat without considering how my opponent would respond.  It would have been better for me to a have a Ps bodyguard on each side of the Wb to stop that kind of thing happening.
  3. I really need to get these Gepids finished and based.  They're a decent looking army and deserve better.  Just shields and trimmings on the clothes to go really.  I'll try to get it done and get some pics up soon.
  4. The main thing I think I am making progress on in my game is that I am not breaking up my line too soon.  By presenting a solid battle line I am not only able to prevent the enemy from exploiting vulnerable units, I can also semi-disguise my intentions for longer.
  5. However, I'm still not using my Ps effectively.  They are good fun units but the different ways to use them vary so widely depending on what the terrain is like, what your opponent is doing, and what your troops are doing.  Obviously this is true for all DBA troop types to some extent, but with Ps it seems to be their very nature - something I am slowly coming to grips with.

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