Sunday, August 28, 2011

DBN at CSGA (Colorado Springs Club Meeting)

(L to R) Dick (Spain), Tom (Brit), Tony, Mike, Ed (French) and Nate (French)

Saturday, August 27, Tony Fryer, Nate Forte and I took a trip to CSGA's regular scheduled club meeting to help Dick Fickes put on a DBN demonstration game.  Dick has a huge collection of Napoleonic Armies and could probably throw down any Napoleonic battle ever fought.  They are based for Napoleon’s battles but it was no problem for Dick to make some bases that suited the DBN 40mm wide base.  We were joined by Tom and Ed both from CSGA.  Dick chose to play his Spanish and Tom a British Force.  Nate and Ed took the French and we played on my newly created Peninsular Board shown in the pictures.

Tony and I stood by as umpires to support the players.  We were able to answer questions and clear up any sticky situations on the table with regard to the rules.  We all had a great time.

A lot of action at the Spanish Village Crossroads

In the pictures the French are on the left and the coalition on the right.  Nate with his French on the left went against the numerous Spanish commanded by Dick. 

The point system in DBN calls for the Spanish army to have numerous Levy and Militia troops.  I think the Army had about 24 units, it was huge!  This did not deter Nate as he moved into contact. Ed did the same on the right Flank and Tom playing it cool with his British superior shooting modifiers stood their ground and waited. 
Ed's French attacking Tom's Brits.

In the middle was a crossroad where the French charged their Heavy Dragoons against the Spanish Heavies. It ended up with the French losing their Cavalry in a hard fought action.  The road was temporarily open for the Spanish.  That was until Nate maneuvered his Elite Artillery on the road and blasted the Spanish Heavy Cavalry away.  It was a bloody affair.  Dick started to work around Nate’s Flank while both the French and Spanish casualties started to mount.  The French sent forward attack columns and one of those in the center pushed into the Spanish all the way off the Spanish side of the board.  Attack Columns are impetuous and after each successful action they move forward.  This is fine as long as you protect your flanks during the attack but sometimes that is not possible. 

Tom's pesky British Light Cavalry setting up in the center 

On the right Ed's French line kept up the advance but it wasn't until that pesky British Light Cavalry unit who threatened his attack was shot down by Nate’s French in the center.  This opened up Ed’s attack and with Tom’s British losing another unit (Artillery) in a close combat in the center.  The French were punching through the Coalition lines. 

Ed positioning his French Dragoons and Light Cavalry

It came down to Nate and Dick needing one more kill to win.  It was that close.  The Spanish had to lose 7 and the French the usual 4.  The Spanish line was getting pretty ragged.  Units that had recoiled from the French fire and combat.  

Depending if those units were levy or not, it was like moving an Elephant army in DBA.  They burn up CAPs to get them moving.  Well, the way Nate was rolling it didn't matter, the French lost one more unit and the battle was lost.  On the French right/British Left the score was 2 to 0 in favor of Ed’s French.  But both Ed and Tom still stood firm to the end. 

The battle was a coalition victory and after some good discussion with everyone it was time for Tony and I to hit the road back to Denver. A very nice time and thanks again for the CSGA hospitality.   We hope to see some CSGA members join our Vet Wars DBN Tourney in November.

Rules Issues
One issue came up when Tom (Brits) seeing he was going to hit by a French Attack Column attacked with a line unit to remove the Attack column bonus from the French.  The issue here was that he moved a Foot Artillery piece into an overlap position in support.   My first impression was that it cannot be done because once you move a Foot Arty it cannot fire that bound so how can it support?  We kept the battle moving and let it go. That put Ed’s Ms normally a (+4) to the Brit (+4) but with overlap dropped him to a +3. It didn't make or break either side at the time.

So, if you review the rules section “8.13 ...Artillery may fire in every Bound unless they have recoiled in the previous Bound, or if Foot Artillery that has moved…” we already knew that so no problem.   And then in “8.21 ...Artillery (Foot) may not move into Close Combat but Horse Artillery may move into Close Combat Support.” (DBN2.1)  So by exclusion from Horse Arty, Foot Arty cannot move and support a close combat.  Tony and I are satisfied with that and we will adhere to that at Vet Wars in November.  And of course, we are always open to discussion.

The next issue was regarding the Spanish.  Dick had some great points about the Spanish Army in other rules and thought the Spanish are a little better than they should be.  I don’t think we will change anything right away until we test this out.  Nate rolled some pretty bad ones during this battle.  But he did kill 6 Spanish units with only one more to go.  So it could have been the circumstances of this particular battle, the terrain, the tactics, the dice rolls, etc.  I would like to try this again with Dick to see if we can figure out something and see if the Spanish are that tough or just lucky.  

Tony had another thought as we were driving back to Denver after the battle.  What if we modified the Spanish Levy and Militia similar to the Russian rule?  The Russians in DBN are Stoic which gives them a (+1) when they lose a fire combat.  This allows them to take more fire and stand their ground.  So what if we add a modifier that when Spanish Levy and Militia lose a Fire or Close Combat get another (-1) added to any other modifiers?  This will make them a little more brittle which would be a little more Historically accurate?  Again, we are open to suggestions.

Building Boards

I am posting some pictures here so you can see how I made it.  I will go back later and actually comment on each one.  This should give you a good idea though.  It took me about about 7 hours to complete.  That was waiting for things to dry etc.  More later...Dan

Sunday, August 21, 2011

DBN - Thoughts on tactics and other stuff

After playing so many games of DBN there are some points I would like to throw out there for comments or suggestions.  I really like to stick to the 1809 through 1812 Era of Napoleonic’s because there was so much going on.  Anyway let me share a few thoughts.

Attack Columns
Now these are interesting.  In DBN to setup in an attack column you would have had to move two units back to back forward into contact.  If they beat the opponent they move forward (impetuous).  The way we play it is that in the next bound they are still considered an attack column until they are stalled.  So they will keep moving forward almost out of your control until they are unsupported and their flanks start getting attacked.  I really like this mechanism in the rules.
Your attack bonus for a column is a (+2) for regular armies but a (+3) for French Columns during this time period.  The other rule is the attack columns basic combat factor is taken from the lower unit.  For example, a Grenadier Attack column with two Grenadier units is a (+5) for being elite.  But if you have an Elite unit with a regular or a militia it will take the lowest combat factor. 

I like leading with an Elite Grenadier with a regular Musket in tow.  This provides me better odds (+5) when going in to final contact.  It would shoot as an Elite but battle as a regular unit.  The good thing about this is when the Column is stalled I still have a (+5) Grenadier in front providing a better defense.
That seems to make sense.  The other trickier option is leading an attack column with a Light Infantry out front who fire at a longer range and then moving through that unit with your attack column.  It’s a little harder because to pass through you have to be in contact and it would take at least two turns to move through the Lights but may be worth it. Of course you can always move the Light to the flank and proceed.  I wouldn’t try this in regular 12 point games but in larger historical scenarios I definitely would give it a try. 

In this era being French is pretty cool having a (+3) for attack columns and a (+1) for all CAP rolls.  That added bonus to the CAP makes you pretty aggressive.

Now these guys fire as Elite.  I have had Attack columns chewed up pretty good when attacking a British line.  As the French you really have to time your Column attacks to that the British have more than one target to shoo at.   The British are not allowed to use Column unless they are attacking a BUA.  And is this era the gallant English Light Cavalry are also impetuous.  The trick with the using the British is to get your units into well positioned lines and fire away!

I played the Prussians for the first time.  In this era they don’t have those Militia Landwehr troop.  This makes them a pretty balanced force.  They have no special rules except for Attack Columns at a (+2).

We got a chance to see the Americans in action against their British enemy.  Both battles were pretty close.  I did make some changes to the Army composition.  I reversed the Ms and Ms(M) minima.  The number of militia units would make the force far too large for a normal DBN battle.  However, the Americans were getting a lot of experience so I am sure we were not that far off.  I think to balance it out a little more is to have them at 50% Ms and Ms(M).  That should do the trick. 

Current Rule Suggested Army: USA, 1812-1815. 2-4xMs (Marines & Regulars), 0-1xJg(E) (Sharpshooters), 0-1xLI, 4-8xMs(M), 0-1xLC*, 1-2xLC(M), 0-1xGs (Pirates/Indians), 0-1xNA, 0-1xNA (Fixed)

Currently used Army: USA, 1812-1815. 4-8xMs (Marines & Regulars), 0-1xJg(E) (Sharpshooters), 0-1xLI, 2-4xMs(M), 0-1xLC*, 1-2xLC(M), 0-1xGs (Pirates/Indians), 0-1xNA, 0-1xNA (Fixed)

Future Suggested Army: USA, 1812-1815. 2-4xMs (Marines & Regulars), 0-1xJg(E) (Sharpshooters), 0-1xLI, 2-4xMs(M), 0-1xLC*, 1-2xLC(M), 0-1xGs (Pirates/Indians), 0-1xNA, 0-1xNA (Fixed) Note: There must be a 50/50 split of Ms and Ms(M).

So that is all I have for now.  I didn't talk about the Russians or Austrian but will when I get a chance to play them.  Tony is the Austrian expert and my next army will probably be the "Stoic" Russians.  I am also going to build out more Prussians so I can put on a Doubles tournament.  

If you have any questions or suggestions on other tactics or issues please comment. 


Saturday, August 20, 2011

The 1812 DBN Battle in the Basement is Done

Battles On!

It's over and we all had a blast.  It ended up as a French/American Team Victory with an overall kill ratio of 11 to the Allied 8.  The First place Commander today was John Mumby.  No that was not a typo.  John commanded a French force and took it to Andrew the British Commander in the Peninsula and then took care of my Prussians back on the continent.  Nice job!

John ordering his troops to attack

The overall Axis Score had a kill ratio of 11 to the Allied 8.  The individual scores were:

  1. John Mumby/French (+6)
  2. Nate Forte/French (+4)
  3. John Brown/Americans (+1)
  4. Terry Shocky/British (0)
  5. Andrew Gurule/British (-4)
  6. Dan Gurule/Prussian (-7)

Battle for the woods, Andrew and John

First Round

United States
The first battle in the US was a hard fought tie.  The Americans were on the attack and were forcing the river where Terry's British were waiting for them.  Crossing a river is always a hard operation but John was making his way and taking on the Elite Firing British head on.  (1 to 1)

The next battle the Americans took on another British Force commanded this time by Andrew who just lost a battle in the Peninsula.  Andrew was determined to put down the American's quickly but it ended up in another hard fought battle. The final score was a victory for the Americans and this British force were going back to England in shame. (4 to 3)

Terry and John working it out

Spanish Peninsula
Andrew's British Force was attempting a breakout in Spain. He was against a strong French force commanded by John Mumby.  The battle took shape and became focused on some woods in the French center.  However, Andrew made a couple of mistakes leaving his Battery in the open on a road where the French sent out a Battalion to take it out.  Another mistake was made when the British Cavalry recoiled into some friendlies rendering them a casualty.  The casualties started to mount and ended in a French Victory.  (4 to 1)

Terry took his British after a draw in the America's to redeem the British loss in the Spain.  He went up against Nate's French forces fresh from a victory on the continent.  These two have fought each other before and when the sun finally went down it was a drawn battle. (2 to 2)

Stubborn Americans

The first battle on the continent was against Nate's French and Dan's Prussians.  The Heavy Cavalry of the French and attack columns started wearing me down.  I lost my heavy cavalry early on and my infantry were starting to waiver.  After a lot of fire combat our lines finally were engaged.  The French Attack was a strong one and I started losing units.  On the last bound of the battle I lost two units to his infantry and lost badly.  (4 to 0)

French and Prussians forming up

The last battle in Europe were my beaten up Prussians against John's French fresh from the Peninsula.  We had a lot of long range Battery combat but it didn't do any damage.  As the French started moving in closer the Prussians finally got their break where one of their Attack Columns lead by my Grenadiers started to punch into the French in the center.  At the same time the Prussian Heavy Cavalry engaged the French Heavy and Light units coming up on my right.

French and Prussians

My infantry attack column were up against his Grenadiers and we pushed them all the way back to their Baggage Train. At the same time John's Cavalry defeated my Cavalry and the Mad Dragoon Charge was on!  After he cut down my cav my infantry were their next target and after two repulsed charges they finally rode them down.  At this point I am two units down and my impetuous Attack Column can't be stopped.  The Dragoons went on to hit my Battery in the center and destroyed that.  During that turn the devious Mumby moved some infantry to the rear of my attack column.  During that turn I could have destroyed a French Grenadier but I lost and my column recoiled into the enemy in my rear.  The battle was over and I lost. (4 to 1)

Americans crossing the river

Again overall it was a great time.  We dusted off the DBN cob webs and will be ready for the next few DBN events.  Hope to see some of you at CSGA next week.  Its going to be another fun time!  Thanks John, Terry, Andrew, Nate and John for coming over!


Americans ready to force the river

General's Dice Cup, left behind...

Friday, August 19, 2011

1812 Mini DBN Practice Tournament (Dan's Basement)

1812 DBN Mini Tournament (Dan's Basement)
Tomorrow I am throwing a mini 1812 DBN tournament for those interested in practicing for the 2nd Annual Vet Wars DBN tournament.  As you can see the Tables are ready as are the Armies.
Table 1 (fore) Brits and USA
This tourney is based on overall kill and casualty ratio for the Tourney Champion and we total those scores up for an overall Team winner.

We play it like DBA.  When the players arrive they will take their army, roll for sides, French i 1812 get a +1 aggression.  Then they will turn the board based on what side the Attackers gets to come in from.  The Terrain is already setup.  Place your camps, Defender deploys first within 6 inches from his base and 3 inches from the board edges.  Attacker then sets up his forces and you are ready to go.
Table 3 (fore) Prussians/French Table 4 Austrians/French
For this 1812 Historical Tourney the French always get a +1 CAP to their roll.  Additionally, the attacker on the first turn only gets a +2 to their CAP roll.  From the that point on the attacker is obliged to move a unit forward every turn until a unit is within 3 inches of the enemy.
1812 Americans
The sequence is familiar to those DBA players.  Command Phase, Movement, Combat (Firing) and Close Combat Phase.  Then it is the Defender's bound.
1812 Americans Closeup

Each game last until 4 units are destroyed or time is called.  CnC's, Baggage/Camps and Old Guard (none in 1812) all count for two points.
Table 2 Brits and French

Each army in 1812 has some special attributes. British Musket always get a +1 when firing, The French get a +1 CAP roll and a +3 when in Attack Column, the Austrians and Prussians have no special rules.

I have three (3) French and one (1) American Army going against two (2) British, one (1) Prussian and one (1) Austrian.  All are 12 point armies. In this tourney there will be two battles each.  The Special case here is that the Americans will fight the two British Armies who will swap troops for Brits in the Americas and then in the Peninsula against the French.
Table 4 Austrian and Prussian
The armies you see here are just placed in random formations waiting for their commanders.  Once the Commanders arrive they will dice for defender, attacker and table sides.  I will take more pictures and post the results tomorrow.

This should be a blast.

Note: we are going to do another one of these next Saturday at CSGA in the Springs.  Hope to see all of you there.

Colonel "Danjou"