donderdag 26 februari 2015

DBA-HX 3.0 1700 – 1850 is on file.

Many of you will be pleased to read; the DBA-HX 3.0 1700 – 1850 is now available at the Fanaticus Resource page along with other DBA and HOTT variants. Just follow the link at the bottom to the page.

The rules are 4 pages in length, but also include 22 pages of army lists covering the Spanish Succession War to the early Colonial conflicts around the world. Players, new to the Horse and Musket era, will find the added descriptions in each army list useful.

In addition to the core set of rules there are period amendments for the Seven Years War, the Napoleonic era and recommendations for fielding native armies against European armies with firepower advantage.

Those of you who have experienced the older 2.2 version of DBA will know that 3.0 game play is faster, movement distances have increased and other rule mechanism make it an improvement over the older version. All of that has been integrated into this version as well as a few interesting new features.  

It goes without saying, you will need DBA 3.0 to use the variant.


vrijdag 20 februari 2015

DBA-HX 3.0 1700-1850 - Russians and French of 1812

This was a final test of the variant rules which brought the two commands of French (Jan) against like number of Russians (Me). On our list of test items included Generals, squares and assault columns.  

The French in the foreground split their command into two wings, the right held 10 elements of infantry and the left comprised of the remaining infantry, all the cavalry and artillery. The Russians opposite fielded a main battle line of infantry and skirmishers, supported by a second command of artillery, grenadiers and all the cavalry.
Photo 621

Opening moves.
The French, as the attacker, lead with their right. This was a massive punch that would make Massena proud; four assault columns moving as a group with skirmishers on the flank to deal with their opposites in the woods.

Russian Jaegers (4 elements) would try to clear the wood of the French and begin their real work on the massive columns. By turn three, French skirmishers were having a difficult time that their General threw a column of infantry to do the job.

Photo 626

At the other end of the battlefield, the French were content to bombard the slowly approaching Russian infantry. This had an effect on the French cavalry as they began stalking the leading regiment as prey.

Photo 628

Middle game.

Photo 630

By turn five, Russian Jaegers demonstrated exceptional skill in beating the French with no loss to them.  3-0 and a French demoralized command. By now the French would shift their effort to the left flank and moved on the most forward Russian regiment with four elements of infantry and cavalry in line.

The Russians gambled and formed one square while the battalion moved back to support as seen in the photo.

Photo 632

This was the moment I was dreading. Against the volley fire by the Swiss, the square held and to add weight to the effort, the Chasseurs charged the supporting Russian infantry. If the photo seems shaken, this was taken after the Cavalry recoiled. I survived the bound.

Photo 633

Outside the village, Russian cavalry were assembling and this was enough to engage the attention of the French Horse Artillery. Their ineffectual cannonade only irritated the Soumski Hussars. Wait for next turn they thought.

End game
By turn eight, the fight between the Russians and Swiss had stabilized with the loss of a Chasseur unit. This shift brought the Russians out of their defensive posture to that of attacker. With an assault column moving on the right of the square, both square and support moved forward to deal with the Swiss.

The Soumski Hussars., covering the general advance exceeded their orders and charged the Horse Artillery. These they destroyed bring the total French loss for the second command to four, just one element shy of demoralization.
In the background you can see the reserve Cavalry moving forward accompanying a regiment of infantry.

Photo 637

Hard as they tried, the Russians could make no impression on the Swiss brick wall, the final moment of the battle fell to an obscure fight between a lone French Skirmisher unit and a single unit of Cossacks. This lasted a full two bounds with both sides rolling sixes. On the next bound, the Soumski Hussars finally added their sabers to the effort, finishing the skirmishers and ending the game.

Only one square was formed during the game and I do admit I had some apprehension about surviving this. I thought I would lose both units if the Swiss infantry first demolished the square then moved in conjunction with a cavalry attack on the remaining unit. As it turned out, the sequence was just the opposite, ending with the loss of one cavalry and the second falling back.

In the action following, the Russian General joined the advancing line and helped in the attack. The French General did likewise with the unit opposite. As the battle progressed, both generals were forced back thereby breaking their influence on the fight.

The assault columns, if they struck would have caused greater problem for the Russians. Assault columns pursue recoiling opponents.

I was very pleased how the game developed, moving from one area to another for the full nine turns. No artillery counter battery fire, The Russian batteries were able to ply their trade unbroken for the full game. Even a demoralized command can still shot and I lost one unit of Skirmishers for that folly. 


zaterdag 14 februari 2015

“For God, Queen and Country” - square bashing

The final draft for DBA-HX 3.0 is now complete with a revised section for Generals and final tests are underway among the test group, I decided to give the Afghans their parting shot on the Anglo-Indian force. The Afghans now marshalled a mixed force of mounted and foot according to the army list as seen here.

First Afghan War, 1839-1842
95. Afghans
1-3 Cavalry                                       Note; subject to compulsory pursuit.
1-3 Light Horse                               Mercenary (Pindari).
1-2 Warrior                                      Bow or Musket armed.
2-6 Warrior                                      Melee weapons.
0-2 Warrior                                      Rajput, compulsory pursuit.
1-2 Light Artillery or Cavalry
0-2 Skirmisher or Light Horse

No Rajput among the test force but they did have skirmishers and light horse which could prove useful.
The Anglo-Indian force remained unchanged from their last two tests.

Britannia as defender unfortunately was denied all the advantageous terrain, so the Anglo-Indian army took the offensive. The Ghurkhas positioned on the left would lead the advance followed by the Sepoy column and the European battalions in support. Expecting Afghani Cavalry to sweep the open flank, the European and Sepoy Cavalry with the Horse Artillery were placed in a reserve position.

The Afghan plan was simple; engage the enemy line with the Cavalry lapping around their line. The Pindari horse was held in reserve to support the cavalry effort.

Opening moves.
The Ghurkhas, over enthusiastic about their role moved too far forward, resulting in their paying dearly for their mistake.  The rest of the Afghani host moved forward and by turn two the Cavalry closed on the line formation of Sepoys. The Sepoys came through and repulsed both units. A subsequent bound was needed to dispatch both by well delivered volley fire. This brought the score even at 2-2.

By this time, the battle was settling down to a slug fest with the Anglo-Indian force gaining the upper hand. Try as they might, the Afghani could make little impression on the thin line of European and Sepoy foot. Fearing the initial Afghani Cavalry assault, one Sepoy battalion formed square and remained in formation as the Pindari Horse also arrived. From their square formation, the Sepoys were able to deliver a volley fire (6-1) on the leading Pindari sending it to paradise. Score, 3-2 for Britannia.

The European and Sepoy formations, operating with clockwork precision were repulsing every effort by the Afghani force. The Cavalry reserve was now released to clear the last Pindari threat. This released the Sepoys in square to join the general advance and with the help of their brother regiment took out a unit of Skirmishers ending the game 4-2.

This test used a mix of foot and mounted but illustrated well the superiority of firearms over native will power armed with sword and shield. During the game the Skirmishers made little impression even against the Sepoys whose factors are lower than the European line. Standard Warriors, although they mercilessly wiped out the Ghurkhas were repulsed repeatedly by the Europeans and Sepoys. Both Generals had their day attaching themselves to units. The Afghani General did not remain long with his Warriors as they were repulsed leaving their General gathering his wits further back.

Next week, the tests will leave India and move to the Napoleonic era with Russians and French fighting a loose simulation of the first Battle of Polotsk, 1812.