I expanded further experimentation with the DBN-SYW rules to utilize some of my armies that are not taken out for a battle, mainly the Poles, Cossacks, Ottomans, Africans, Chinese and Spanish for South America; small collections compared to my SYW French, Prussian, Austrian and British.
My 15mm Chinese are all from the Boxer Rebellion list; the Boxers have very generic clothing and weapons, but the Imperial troops, both mounted and foot needed some conversion to bring their appearance back to the 18th century. Soft caps were changed to the Mandarin style and painting took care of the anomalies. Troops were finished and maps were drawn up of China’s southern coastal provinces as I envisioned rebel troops and pirates fighting against government troops. Unfortunately, this project remained dormant as our interest in the SYW European armies grew. This past month, experimenting with the DBN-SYW variant, has breathed new life for the smaller collections.
Somewhere in Guangdong province.
The lists for both forces were taken from the Humberside extension found here:
Government forces: 2x3Cv, 3x2LH, 6x4Sh, 1xArt.
Rebel forces: 2x3Bd, 3x3Aux, 3x2Ps, 1xArt, 3x2LH
Photo one, (turn two) shows the Imperial center moving forward with a bit more zeal than the flank units. Left wing cavalry move cautiously forward as the opposition is a mix of troop types. The Imperial plan was simple, bring as many firearms and artillery to bear on the rebels and let the reserve cavalry take advantage of any openings while the left flank cavalry occupied enemy right and join in pursuit when the main line did its best.
The Rebel forces would place faith in their weapon skills with blade, sword, and polearms to create breakthroughs in the Imperial line. Speed was their best asset.
In Photo two, (end of turn four) the Imperial forces had been hampered by low pip throws and could only react to the rebel cavalry threatening the right flank, while the center maintained a steady volley of small arms and artillery fire. The left flank could do nothing more than pull faces and shout insults. Rebel forces concentrated their efforts on the Imperial right, turning their infantry while the main battle line moved closer to take out the Imperial artillery. One – zero for the Rebels.
Photo three, shows the desperate plight of the Imperial forces as they are again plagued with a low pip roll. Their volley fire sent enemy reeling back, while another counter-attack by the Rebels enlarged the divide between Imperial brigades. Two – zero for the Rebels.
Photo four, again with a bad pip roll, the Imperial forces were nearly immobilized and could only redress their lines to give steady volley fire. Fortune gave the Rebels a pass and with a pip roll of one, the blades turned the flank of an Imperial unit and bested it in combat. Three-zero for the Rebels.
Luck changed for the Imperial forces (photo five), the right wing infantry were able to form line and hope a concerted volley could bring a small victory. To add weight, Imperial cavalry moved to aid the discomforted infantry. The Rebels smelling victory threw in the left wing cavalry to turn the Imperial line and destroy the game winning element. Four-zero for the Rebels.
A few things that differ between DBN and DBA that need some thought adjustment are musket and artillery/cannon ranges effecting the alignment of your battle lines. Concentrated musket fire can be effective, however to be prepared to spend pips redressing your line so as to be able to fire with effect. The games can be slightly longer if your pip throws are low. If you are accustomed to playing with columns, then do keep sufficient space between them as they can be easily outflanked. This can be dicey if accompanied by the General. I have never lost a General playing DBA, but did see three die in one week of play testing due to the space problems I mentioned.