Sunday, January 25, 2009

Picts v Welsh

OK So they weren't historical opponents, but they were both around in the same era just on either end of the British Isles. I thought it would be an interesting match up with the Pictish shield wall of spears facing 9 elements of Welsh warband in some difficult terrain. I commanded the Picts and hoped to make use of the mounted troops to work the flanks, and withstand the warband's quick kill against spears. We were both new DBA players so we would probably make a few blunders along the way.

And so it began....
With two steep hills in the centre of the board, the Welsh general (we will call him Gwynn) deployed his forces behind him, clearly hoping to use the bad going to his advantage. I spread out the Pictish shield wall and thought to get them to the base of the hills and then send the light horse and cavalry around or over the hill to contact the flank. I didn't want to give away too much early and so I would only send one of the mounted troops around early and then dispatch the others once their attention was drawn by the shield wall.

Early on Gwynn struggled to get his forces to remain in formation as he found PIPs hard to come by. In contrast my Picts were patiently waiting at thebase of the hills for the enemy to arrive. We had positioned one LH group on top of the hill while the other sat at the back of the hills ready to attack when needed.
Foolishly Gwynn's first line of warband arrived ahead of their support and so we moved forward taking our left into the bad going to take advantage of their isolation. We forced both sides of their wall back but they bravely held our centre assault.

Eventually we drove them back and their support caught up with them. I pulled the shield wall back out of the bad going and waited for their assault force arrive. An abundance of PIPs and his failing to pay any attention to my light horse men behind the hill, saw me dispatch them across the river (which was not flowing well and so easy to cross) and towards his camp. My light horse troops made short work of the Welsh camp and turned back to rejoin the main battle, perhaps getting the chance to linger at the the rear of his line and give me the chance to kill off a few warband and take the victory.

My shield wall was holding its own against the Welsh warband, forcing them back into the hills time and time again. Each time they returned to the battle and we would send them back into the hills. Finally Gwynn started to get some help in the area of command PIPs and he was able to bring his psoloi into the fray on my right. I was concerned. We were holding the centre of the battlefield, dispatching their warband to the hills consistently but eventually the quick kill would happen, and his manueuvers to my right would give him the chance to gte outside me. I had my extra psoloi I could dispatch to secure the right but I thought I might need to use the general as well, so I started to send the cavalry. But suddenly the PIPs started to dry up for me. I could only bolster the right and my light horse sitting behind his troops would have to wait until I had the PIPs to spend.

Suddenly it all happened on my right. My psoloi arrrived too late and he got his first victory over my spears, taking the right side of my shield wall. Our skirmishers faced off while he then contacted the side of my now shortened right with his warband, isolating the spears there. Their time was numbered and my 2-0 advantage and the control I had maintained in the centre was now looking shakey. And still I couldn't get enought PIPs to bring my light horse back. I saw a chance though in the centre, but it would mean puching forward and taking my left into the bad going to try to press the left and perhaps get the chance to use my light horse on the hill.
Bad news though. I lost my second element of spears and we were now locked at 2-2 and the press into the centre didn't pay dividends. My general was finding it slow going to getting to the right to bolster the defence on that side and still the LH behind their lines remained stranded. The next bound saw my skirmishers on the right dispatch his skirmishers and I needed to take one more to win. My general arrived and forced his warband back again
But then things went from bad to worse. Gywnn sent his reserv ed warband into the hills to chase my LH away. And my general had actually helped him. The forced recoil allowed him to join the line and then have one final push of his warband out of the hills again in an attempt to break my shield wall.

And this time we broke, and it was disasterous. All three of my spears were quick killed and the two supporting psoloi were eliminated as well. I had gone from leading 3-2 to losing 7-3 in one bound. My army was decimated and it was all over. Gwynn had his first victory in DBA and I was left searching for my maiden win.


Honestly, I am not too sure of what else I could have done in this battle and would gladly take any advice. In my opinion, it was the lack of PIPs that killed me. I was constantly pushing his warband back into the hills, and if I could have gotten the LH in around behind him to impede his recoil it could have been over early.

1 comment:

  1. Good report. Nice to know we're not the only ones experimenting with paper while the minis collection increases.