Tuesday, 23 January 2018

DBA Big Battle: Sumerian vs Akkadian

Had a game last week using the horde of Sumerian/Akkadian figures Andrew has accumulated. I love it when wargamers put in the effort to build complete forces for a period like this, able to supply both sides in good numbers. A pleasure to participate!


Sumerians are list number 1 in Ancient Wargame rulesets - the first civilisation at about 3000 BCE. Even further in time before Rome than we are after Rome.

Sumer was a collection of sometimes competing and sometime co-operating city states. Their armies consisted of spearmen/pikemen, axemen, archers, slingers, stone throwers, and 2 and 4 Equid 4 wheel chariots. Equids were small donkey like animals, less powerful than a modern horse, hence why the chariots had 4 wheels. The Sumerian relief below shows them in action.

For this battle we used Big Battle DBA. Andrew used the Early Sumerian list, and myself the later Akkadian one.  Andrew's pike were classed as solid, mine as fast. So mine moved faster but didn't have as much staying power. I also had a greater number of pike, and also some rabble (hordes), while Andrew a greater number of archers (some Elamite allies), and some axemen.  

Game

Here's the setup, with me as the attacker, and a little disappointed by the battlefield terrain my Akkadians have found themselves in! Given my Akkadians have the speedier foot, my plan was to try and attack the flanks of the Sumerian force. However, on my left flank is a built up area already occupied by the Sumerians which I wouldn't be able to take without a tough fight. On my right flank is difficult ground that will slow an advance.

Sumerians advance, and occupy the terrain on my right. I charge into this and lose my light infantry immediately, which throws my plan for victory on the right into turmoil...

On the left I'm outnumbered and facing many archers.  I throw forward some light troops, hoping to lure the enemy chariots to charge forward of their line.

And unable to resist the temptation the Sumerian chariots advance...


...running down the light troops and following up into my own chariots...

... but also far advanced from his own line.


On the right I decide to just run past the rough terrain and enemy light troops and ignore these as best I can. My pike charge into his pike and force them back despite him having the edge in these combats. The left flank of my phalanx is exposed though holding spectacularly despite this.

On the left I surround his King's chariot and destroy it!



Sumerian Archers charge another chariot of mine in the flank though...

Forward comes another Sumerian chariot and that is also dealt to.

Much Equid death on the left flank as both of us lose Equid chariots. Over on the right my right flank attack has killed the archers guarding the right of the Sumerian phalanx though, and I start to win there.

I lose a small command on my left flank with death of light troops and their Chariot general.

But the Sumerian right flank is demoralised, and in the same turn we have lost enough from our centres (one more element each) to break both our armies! It seems this is a mutual destruction, with both armies spent and retiring in a draw! (Or at least that is how we interpreted it, we were a bit vague on the rules in the Big Battle version).

Conclusion

An interesting game and first time a draw has occurred for me in DBA. It would be interesting to try the same battle using ADLG which is the French ruleset we use. The other thing I noticed about this was the strong similarity to later Hellenistic armies. Here again we have armies with a phalanx, light troops, and heavy breakthrough cavalry arm. This meant the battle had a similar flavour, though greater numbers of light troops and archers were present in these Sumerian/Akkadian armies.

Friday, 15 December 2017

BFG 1500: Craftworld Eldar vs Tau Escalating Engagement rematch

A rematch of the escalating scenario between my Kraytonian "Eldar" and Andrew's scratchbuilt Tau. Or in fact Andrew's entirely new scratchbuilt Tau as he had made an entirely new fleet since our last game!

Tau start with two Carriers and an Escort Squadron, while I only have a single Cruiser on the table.




The Tau attack my Cruiser and it is crippled in the first turn before disengaging.  Foolish of me to be so aggressive with it!

My first reinforcement arrives, the Void Dragon which attacks one of the Carriers, taking it to one point off being crippled in a single volley. 

The Tau bombers move to intercept! My Dragonship takes two damage as return fire and bomber attacks impact, and then it disengages.

This leaves the Tau forces alone on the table for a turn! Their damaged Carrier also disengages.

But reinforcements rapidly arrive, with luck of the dice meaning they show up in concentrated force on the same table edge!

My Shadowhunters arrive and fail miserably to eliminate two bomber squadrons despite being on "Lock On" orders!

Another Cruiser Squadron of mine arrives near the main Tau fleet and "All Ahead Full" is ordered to take them out of bomber range for the turn.  Tau bombers destroy a Shadowhunter squadron.

With my last Cruiser Squadron arriving, I decide to launch one last strike on the Tau fleet before disengaging, hoping to cause significant damage and survive the remaining counterstrike before another bomber wave is launched. 

I manage to destroy 3 of the Orca Escorts, but another Cruiser is crippled before I disengage. Tau win by about 270 to 65 points.

Conclusion

A well played game by Andrew as usual, helped by some fortuitous dice rolls for arrival location of his reserves. With the Tau fleet managing to achieve concentration for most of the game, the advantages this scenario tends to present to the Eldar on average were not present. With inability to hit and run against more isolated Tau units, I struggled to achieve much. I also threw away a first Cruiser rather senselessly, and was perhaps too impatient in attacking before I achieved my own concentration of force. 


Last but certainly not least, in addition to the ships used in the battle, Andrew has added all these extra units, including Orbital Platforms, Merchants, and assorted extras! Impressive construction capacity! Some interesting scenarios await.






Sunday, 3 December 2017

No Surrender 2017

Hot on the heels of last week's 9th Age Fantasy tournament, I decided to go all in and play in the 40k 8th edition "No Surrender" Sci-fi tournament this weekend. I'd only played one game of this previously, so I was expecting a challenge! As I learned, this was also a "no holds barred" tournament with no restrictions on what could be taken, so some nasty surprises were likely... :)


Game 1

First up I played Richard's Tau. He had an air heavy list, and I recognised the units from many games of Epic against Tau.


My terminators teleport in close to the enemy!

The Tau air caste in the back corner...  Two Barracudas and an AX-10.

(I've faced these many times before but in a different scale! For comparison here's four Tau Barracudas and two AX-10's behind the three Mantas! - Andrew's Epic scale models).

My Hammernators charge a riptide, but can't quite kill it (dropping it to two wounds).

My Librarian charges some of the hiding Tau infantry.

His comrades fail their 2D6 charge roll and just cheer him on from behind...

Tau advance...


The AX-10 wrecks a Land Raider but most other damage is avoided.

My Hammernators use a Teleport Homer to teleport back to my side of the field.  This is because the Tau Commander has dropped behind my lines. Sadly the Hammernators fail their charge roll.

As do my Chaplain and Terminators on the other side of the field against some Crisis Suits.

And my Terminator Ancient is unable to finish off the Riptide...

...before he is ganged up on and killed.

But my Chaplain and Squad do finish off the Crisis Suits and hiding Tau infantry, securing an objective.

And somehow I've done enough to squeak through to victory by holding objectives and having cleaned up the greater part of the Tau ground force.

Final pic of my Hammernators thumping a few Tau Pathfinders in the backfield.


Game 2

Next game was against James and his five Imperial Knights! I was hosed from the board by turn 3. However, I did destroy the Warlord Knight with an overwatch shot from my Landraider. The Warlord Knight also blew up in a 10 inch diameter explosion - killing Terminators, damaging the Landraider and doing 5 damage each to two nearby Knights. One final desperate action before my army was annihilated in a heavy loss.

Game 3

Next was a game vs "Jono and co" with some Dark Angels. Two of the younger players at this tournament.

A prominent terrain feature was this massive crane in the centre of the table, with a Relic objective located at the very top!

Dark Angels Terminators teleport into my deployment zone and attack my objectives...

And I do the same to the Dark Angels.

A very bloody fight, but in the end the Dark Angels take it, because their infantry climb to the top of the tower and I can't intercept or shoot them soon enough! Very entertaining and a good lesson to me about the importance of focusing on mission objectives rather than just trying to destroy things...

Game 4

Last game, I was facing this massive thing - Riley's Eldar battle class Phantom Titan! (...and also an Eldar Psyker but he was taken out turn one).


The Phantom Titan chased my Terminators all over the board...

Terminators learn what it is to be "insignificant".


I inflicted 34 of the 60 starting damage capacity of the Titan before my army was wiped out for a second time in this tournament! However, due to the victory conditions of this mission where you had to hold table quarters each turn, I just managed to sneak a victory in this game. No one was more surprised than me!

Conclusion

So a fun couple of days, big thanks to Vince and Craig for making it happen. I also won favourite army/best painted as voted by other players so that was very nice of them for my first crack at this in many years. Thanks everyone!

One last mention goes to the terrain, most of which was pretty fabulous and atmospheric, and many of us could learn a thing or two from the effort that goes into these pieces. A further selection below in addition to the pictures above.