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.


Tony said...

I had a good time - and I vote thumbs up on those rules notes!

Razor said...

I had a very good time. Very difficult to fight such a large Spanish army, though in retrospect my bad rolls of ones did me in.
Regarding the rules notes, did Ed's French attack columns move forward in their bound before being attacked by Tom's British line? If so they wouldn't have lost their bonus as they fulfilled their criteria of moving in their previous bound. Good tactic though from Tom (as long as the french attack columns did not move).
Regarding the Spanish, they really are not as good as we played them I found out, when I looked at the point structure and the Levee en Masse descritpion (we had never used them up to this point). Also I was using a regular french army list from 1805-1812, rather than a Peninsular French army, which was designed to fight a larger opponent (like the Spanish 13 points). The differences would have been Spanish: 2xMS(2pts)+ 2xLI(2pts since not (M)Militia like we played them!)+ 1xGs(1pt) + 6xMs(M)(3pts)+ 4x LEM (classed as (M)Militia and they too cost .5 each)(2pts) + 3xLC(M)(1.5pts) + 1xHc(M)(.5pts) + 1xNA (1pt) = 13pts Notice that for casualty counts for VP the unit numbers (not counting LEM's) are 18 Units(includes the baggage and commander) or 2 less than Tim used, which would have needed only 6 units KIA for the 1/3 (rounded down according to calculation method) casualty numbers. Not quite the 7 units that we played with, which would suffice to bring the Spanish down a notch without necessitating an additional -1 modifier national characteristic as Tony had suggested. The other balancing factor is the French Peninsular Army list: 1x Ms(e)(only one elite allowed) (1.5pts) +4xMs (one M) (3.5pts) + 1xMS/LI (1pt) + 2xMS(M)(Allies) (1pt) + 1xJg (yes the french do have them in Spain) +3xLC (no Hc for the french in the peninsula) +1xNa = 12Pts For VP calculations 15 units needing 5 KIA for casualty figures. This puts the casualties needed for a win on a more even keel at 6 to 5, which seems to suggest a more balanced game (borrowing any bad ones rolled - LOL)
I agree with Dan that we should try this scenario out once more before adding a National Characteristic to the spanish, and maybe the army lists in the book are more balanced than we thought. Of course a British Peninsular army list would be quite a challenge for a French peninsular army list what with only one Ms(e)grenadiers allowed, gasp!
Vive L'Empreur!

Dan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan said...

I just noticed that Razor. The list I used was for the European Tourney we had a week ago (oops). I had that army setup to fight the Prussians. Good catch. But again for a practice game and having a good time it came out alright. I will setup another battle at CSGA within the coming weeks. Now that everyone has played DBN at least once then we will follow the DBN procedures and setup a proper scenario. The Village will be used normally, etc. Cool, thanks for the post! Dan