DBM Club Tournament 2004
A Player’s Perspective

Battle 6 – Sciri

Its been a few weeks since the last battle and John and I have been trying to match up for ages so this is a well-anticipated battle. I’ve seen him in action several times and John’s a great player with a rock hard army so I wasn’t confident of anything but a 10-0 drubbing! I planned my army to take on his knights as best I could and trusted to fate to deal with the warbands, light horse, bowmen etc.

I intended to fight mainly on my right flank. I deployed the hordes up front to try and break up his impetuous formations and placed a sacrificial baggage across a flanking river to draw off his impetuous troops from my main attack.

However, my initial plan (to encircle him round my right flank) failed at the kick off as he shut down that flank with some rough ground defended by bows and psiloi...so i had to radically rethink (although i still deployed as planned; my stength on the right, the hordes up front (which John though was an excellent ploy) and the sacrificial baggage across the river on my left (which as it turned out John ignored so it was a waste - could've used the hordes guarding in up front.)). What's that about 'no plan surviving contact with the enemy'?

So with my main line of attack shut off i needed a break. My superior light horse reserve columned out on my right and set up in a flanking line, while the fast light horse reserve headed off left to fill out the line to the river. Then the break came - John's allied Hun light horse were unreliable and refused to commit to the fight! Marvellous!! So i columned the Cumans (LH(F)) off across the river and aimed to get them into his rear and smack his warband reserves. However, he shut the door on that one by retreating his Huns...
So half the Cumans lined up across the river, defending the bank. The rest steamed into the now open right flank of his knights, as they fought through my hordes (well...hacked them to bits where they stood actually - best thing to happen to slaves!). Hitting the line's flank, i had 3LH onto 1Kn and in two turns broke his centre command (killing 4 knights). Things were looking good! I was all ready now to commit my cavalry to the fray with the rest of his knights, but John managed to pull things back. His Hun allies finally decided to join in, which put my attacking Cumans in a poor position. His knights slapped into my cavalry and in a spectacular run of 1's on the dice, my cavalry crumbled away and demoralised. D'oh!

We then spent the rest of the battle mopping up each other's destroyed commands, although i did manage to get the light horse onto the flank of his warbands (brought up out of reserve) and kill 4 elements in one go!!! Marvellous! It was classic as well, i'd told him at the start and at least one other time that my redcoated light horse were Fast. He measured and positioned his warband to be 5 1/2" away and got a right shock when they screamed in 6"!!! Heheeh...

So there it ended. I needed to lose 1 more element from an unbroken command, John needed to lose 1/2 an element and either army would have broken!! My games always seem this close! Grr. Still is was a brilliant game and i'm just happy i didn't get the pasting i thought i was up for...

'Man of the match' was definately my element of hordes facing the Hun light horse. not only did they stand up to one light horse element, they also drew in another to try and finish them off. Despite this they held firm for a good 4 turns and also forced the Hun to recoil!! Marvellous! A 0.5AP horde, tied up 14AP of light horse for 6 turns - fab! With just this little clash, i could've lost 10-0 and come away happy. As it was, a 5-5 was a very satisfactory result...

I realised last night that my cavalry are '1-shot' weapons, exhausted after 1 clash (as are John's knights). The light horse are 'rapid fire' able to strike, redeploy, stike, redeploy, etc. They're the dogs nuts and nearly won me the game last night (it was the cavalry that let me down...again)....

John's a fab opponent, very sporting, on the ball, a hard man to outwit, generous and gracious in play. That said, i think i out-fought him almost every round (BLOW that trumpet Steve, blow it HARD), with some surprisingly good moves (for me!). And i had to, given that 60% of his force totally outclassed everything i had...

Not sure who I’ve got left to fight now. I think there’s Bob’s Carthaginians, there are some Late Carthaginians and I think Italian Condottieri floating about. Can’t wait.

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