Today we had a great DSLB battle at the CMH Club meeting. Tony, John and Matt joined me in one more play test and we had many others interested in trying it out. I know that Matt and I are sold on the rules. Again as I have mentioned they have very cool mechanics and we played our battle in just over three (3) hours. And that was stopping to answer questions from players and onlookers alike.
|Matt's all out attack on our British left|
We played this Peninsular Battle on a 4 x 4 foot board using the “Winning the Battle” Victory conditions.
The British Division:
1st Brigade (Dan/Left Flank): 2 x Foot Bn, 1 x Foot (Vet/Elite), Rifle attached (+2 SK to all), Medium Battery and a Commander. Shaken at 4.
2nd Brigade (Tony/Right Flank): 1 x Foot, 1 x Portuguese Line, Rifle attached (+2 Sk to all), 1 x Regt. Lt. Dragoon (Elan/Impetuous) and commander. Shaken at 3.
3rd Brigade (Tony/Right Flank): 1 x Rifle (Light), 1 x Caçadores (Light), 1 x Light Foot (Elan/Light), Light Battery and commander. Shaken at 4.
Reserves (Dan/Center): 1 x Light Dragoons (Elan/Impetuous), 1 x Highlanders (Elan/Elite/Strong), Light Horse Battery and the CnC. Shaken at 3
Division Breakpoint: 7
The French Division:
1st Brigade (Matt/Right Flank): 2 x Light Infantry (Elan/Light), 2 x Line (Vet/Determined), Medium Battery and a commander. Shaken at 5.
2nd Brigade (John/Left Flank): 2 x Line (Vet/Determined), 1 x Line, 1 x Bavarian (Unpredictable), Medium Battery and a commander. Shaken at 5
Reserves (Matt/Center): 1 x Grenadiers (Determined), 2 x Dragoons, 1 x Hussars, Medium Battery and CnC. Shaken at 5
Division Breakpoint: 7
Tony and I took the British/Portuguese with Matt and John taking the French. Since this was going to be a French attack for this scenario it was determined that the French would have the initiative so start.
|Tony's Light British Brigade across the stream.|
First of all, John nor Tony have played DSLB yet so it was new to them. It didn’t take long for Tony to pick it up because of some similarities to SDS Skirmish. Then soon after John was right in there holding his flank.
|Matt attaching the Grenadiers to the French Left|
I played opposite Matt and his French Brigade. Knowing Matt’s style I knew he was going to be on me as quickly as he could. He lead with his Light Infantry across the shallow stream and through the forest. I started out my Line units to the edge of the tree line. Both Matt and I has some stalls with out Brigades so we didn’t get stuck in as quickly as we thought. I was able to repel one of his Lights and eventually destroy it but being a little too cautious I elected to not pursue and maintain my flank. More hard fighting between our forces also lead to one of my Foot Battalions to also be destroyed. This was another fight to get across the stream but one his Veteran Battalions stopped me in my tracks and destroyed it.
|Tony's British/Portuguese Brigades pushing on the right|
Matt also controlled the Reserve in the center and right away started attaching the Grenadiers to John’s flank. Both Matt and John saw the unpredictable Bavarians were going to end up in a key position because of what was happening to John’s Brigade on his far left. So Matt brought up the guns and started pounding my Highlanders that I had coming up from our Reserves to stop his Grenadiers from using the bridge.
|Highlanders squaring off with the French Grenadiers|
So back over to Tony on our British Right Flank. He started pressing with his Light Brigade. The Rifles crossed the stream and pressed on one of Johns French Line Battalions. The Rifles were attacked but the French had the tables turned and the Rifles counter charged and drove them out of the Tree line. The Rifles continued on and eventually destroyed them on an approach. We penetrated into the French Zone 1 with infantry in command. They also did the same to me on the other flank. As you know these points are temporary if you can destroy or push them out of the zone.
|The destruction of the Highlanders. Damn Grenadiers!|
In response to Tony’s attack John actually had a battery in the right position to fend off the breakthrough. The Rifles were already getting worn down with Disorder and the Battery eventually finished him off.
|Tony's Light British/Portuguese Brigade across the stream.|
So at this point the points were close. The British Division Breakpoint was set at 7. So they had two units destroyed which resulted in two points with no shaken Brigades. Then at this time we penetrated Zone 1 with infantry in command so their Division Break total was only at 4.
|John's Battery taking on the Rifles on his flank!|
The French however was two destroyed for 3 points, one of those were Elite, and because of our low Brigade Shaken levels, we also had 2 points for the two Shaken Brigades. So that totals 5 points.
|Good view of the entire battle.|
The battle raged on. I wasn’t thinking when I moved my Highlanders to the left of the road and then the French Grenadiers moved off the road to the stream edge ready to punch into a gap in our line. My Highlanders took two DIS from Matt’s Batteries before I was able to move them to into approach on the Grenadiers. I didn’t really want to engage but it was too late. Those tough Grenadiers destroyed my “men in skirts” which gave us 2 points which also took us to our Division Breakpoint.
So lessons learned. Remove those disorder whenever you can! We really liked the enemy penetration points. It makes you think about breakthroughs and trying to stop them or fill in the gaps. The reaction on fails keeps everyone involved and allows the defender to perform tactical maneuvers to flanking enemy units. The approach phase is well thought out and we think it is really a cool feature and has a sense of realism to the battle. Too many times I have played in battles where an enemy is barely hanging on but still find a way to make contact and fight. In these rules when an enemy has the momentum I believe that these beat up units would definitely find a way to get out of the way. And shame on the commander who keeps a DIS 2 or 3 unit on the front line anyway.
So we are already going to schedule some more battles along with our SDS Skirmish Campaign.