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. 


1 comment:

Tony said...

Dan! Love the notes in this posting. DBN is a good system that really works - especially for Big Battle (IMHO).

The style of formations and tactics that the armies fought in can be easily represented by the DBx rules, unlike later periods.

The system does a fair job of modeling the trifecta of troop type, terrain and command limitations.

So, like, I'd never do ACW or Modern stuff - those armies just don't fit the game's mode of operation.

My favorite tactic, if it is that, is to use a reserve when playing Big Battle - committing that reserve is a lot of fun!