Monday, February 27, 2017

WW2 6mm Vzyama or Bust Scenario 3B Vyazma East Front 1941 battle report

I played five games in a  the mini-campaign in the IABSM Vzyama or Bust scenario book (available at the Too Fat Lardies site).   I want to test out some company level rules, rather than the variations on my battalion level rules I used for the 5 games. So I am playing the games in the Vzyama or Bust book that I did not play as part of the mini campaign.  This is game 2 of the playtesting but I have modified the rules quite a bit since game 1.  For some detail on why I changed the rules see this blog post.

Note that this game follows on from some slight changes to the rules and so it an important playtest to see if the modified mechanisms work.  Hence there may be a little more rules-speak in the AAR than normal.  This scenario has infantry, armour and artillery so the new rules should get a workout

I am using 6mm with one base = 1 squad.   While the previous games also used 1 base - 1 squad, it was 1:3 ratio for vehicles and distance scale was around 1:2000.  The company level rules use a distance scale of 1:900 and 1:1 for vehicles.  What I did for the previous games was change inches to centimetres, For the company level rules, I make no changes - inches are inches. 

Games 1 through 5 are here:  game 1 linkgame 2 linkgame 3 linkgame 4 link, game 5 link)
Game 6, using FiveCore Company Command is here: game 6 link

German minor victory if they take the farm complex (it is supposed to be a railway yard but I do not have anything that looks like that).. Major victory is no Russian unit may fire on the railway (don't have one of these either so it is hedgeline) or farm complex (railway yard). Meeting neither of these ends in a Soviet victory.

The table - Germans enter anywhere form the top. Russians deploy anywhere below the centre road. 


The German attackers.
Company HQ
  1 leader
  2 rifle squads
  ATR attachment
Zug 1 
  3 rifle squads
  50mm mortar attachment

Zug 2
  3 rifle squads
  50mm mortar attachment

Support Zug
  1 MMG
  1 81mm
  2 trucks

Engineer platoon
   2 Pioneer squads
   2 flame attachments
   2 Sdkfz 251/1

  2 75mm Infantry guns
  2 Horse drawn limbers

Support armour
Company HQ
   1 Panzer IVF

1st Platoon
  4 Panzer IIIF

2nd Platoon
  4 Panzer IVD

All units arrive on the western table edge – a maximum of 4 units per turn.

Air Support (leader calls)
  Call of a maximum 2 bombing missions but not on the railway yard.

All Germans are veteran.

Soviet defenders.  While there are four AT guns in the picture they only get two and I only used two.
Company HQ
  1 Leader
  1 Commissar
  1 NKVD squad
  1 sniper
  AT rifle attachment

Support Platoon
   1 MMG
   2 45mm AT guns

1st Platoon
  3 rifle squads
  Optional: One squad may be nominated as Tank Killers.

2nd Platoon
  3 rifle squads
  Optional: One squad may be nominated as Tank Killers.

3rd Platoon
  3 rifle squads
  Optional: One squad may be nominated as Tank Killers.

4th Platoon
  3 rifle squads with no ammunition – close combat only

1st Armoured platoon
   2 KV1

2nd Armoured platoon
   1 T34
   2 BT-7s (Scenario is for T35s but I have none)

4 missions of 2 x 76mm field guns

All Russians are green except for the NKVD

The MMG, on-board mortars and artillery have been halved as each weapon base represents two.


  • No digging in.
  • Hedges are low and provide some cover.
  • Woods are light woods.
  • Hills only climbed by infantry and tracked vehicles.
Soviet force anywhere on the table east of the main north south road and may be dug in.

The Soviet deployment - defending the farm complex and possible approaches.
The Russian plan
The railway splitting the board makes it hard for the Russians. for the scenario, the Russians are not supposed to know the victory conditions so from a deployment view is is either control of the railways years, or opening up a corridor/getting units off the north edge of the board.  So the setup reflects opposing an approach across the board with enough concentration that can be brought on at least the centre and right flank.  Most of the armour is in reserve.  The squads with no rifles, i.e. hand to hand combat only,  are in the woods on the left flank to slow down the advance there.  They should only be discovered by running into them.

The German plan  
The Germans have 9 units and can bring on up to 4 units a turn. With no time limit it will be useful to start by probing for where the defenses are with the infantry squads and a unit of armour.  Once some of the defenses are known, I can bring on the rest where suitable.  The right flank is open and so might never make it across it.  The left flank is more closed with woods along the way and offers a better chance of approach.  Although it also offers more chance of hidden defenders.

Turn Sequence (unchanged): I use card activation where on your side's colour you may activate a unit that has not yet activated that turn.A joker ends a turn. Being veteran, the Germans get 3 extra cards that, if all units have already activated that turn, allow a single support weapon or AFV or infantry unit to activate for a second turn.  For German entry, I will add one extra card per full 3 units that enter the table.  

The Soviets are all on over-watch and hidden.  The Germans enter two platoons of infantry.  Soviets decide to fire with the 1st platoon while the units are in the open and to see how the rules work out.  3 hits - one Gruppe destroyed.

Soviet 1st platoon scores first blood and KOs an advancing German Gruppe.
The Panzer IIIs come on, spread out.  Both AT guns can fire and there is no benefit to letting them get closer (other than waiting to see what else the Germans have).  At this range (less than 500m), penetration is not going to get better if closer.  Each 45mm will roll 4d6 (3d6 +2 penetration -1 for PzIII armour). Two Panzer IIIs are damaged.  A BT-7 opens up and also damages an already damaged Panzer III and it is KO'd.

On the Russian right flank, a AT-Gun and a BT7 KO one Panzer III, and damage another.

On the Russian left flank, the ATgun damages a Panzer III.
For the next turn, the German decide to bring on two more units (I just need to put the cards in the deck for them so make sure they get a turn!).

Russian 1st platoon destroys another German squad.  At gun fires and damages another Panzer III.

Russian 1st platoon destroys another Gruppe.
The nearby Panzer IIIs retailiates and fires at the 1st platoon squads and suppresses them.

PanzerIII retaliation suppresses the Russian 1st platoon.
The Germans are concentrating on the right flank - they advance the other Zug, bring on the support platoon (in trucks) and the pioneer Zug  in half-tracks.  But the BT-7s fire on the half-tracks and KO them; the engineer passengers dismount and suppresses.

BT7s (off camera) destroying the engineer halftracks.  The German support platoon dismounts into the houses at centre right.  The German 2nd Zug can be seen in the woods lower right.

So it is the next turn, and a Panzer III wants to fire at the annoying Russian platoon in the centre.  It suppressed them last turn.  Normally it would get 2d6 to hit infantry, but only has 1d6 as they are in hard cover.  1d6 at the most will cause a suppression, which has no effect as they are already suppressed.  The only way to get to 3 hits is to roll 2d6.  The only way to gain that extra die it to move to within 3" (in my rules you get one extra die for being so close).  I like this - the only way tanks have a chance to get infantry out of hard cover is to get close, or have big guns!

Both Panzer IIIs move to within 3"

In the centre, two PanzerIIIs move in close to the suppressed Russian 1st platoon (the green 'bush' is the suppression marker).
On the left flank, a Russian AT takes out another Panzer III on that flank..

A PanzerIII is taken out on the Russian left flank. 
Panzer IVs come on down the road, continuing the pressure on the their left flank.

The Panzer IVs  come one - the grey tanks at top and on the road.
The Russian 1st platoon in the centre attempts to recover from suppression.  They roll only 1d6 (compared to 2d6 for regulars) and need a 4+.  They roll a 1 (a 1 is a rout).  Oops, they rout.  It is not easy being green.

The suppressed Russian 1st platoon in the centre, just before they fail morale and rout. 
A German Gruppe, the rest of the platoon, was walking through the woods and comes across the Russian 4th platoon (the Russians without rifles).  Close combat!  Germans roll 2 hits, Defenders roll none and so lose 2.

Single German Gruppe encounters two Russian sections in the woods and the Russians lose.  
On the Russian right flank,  BT-7s fire at the Panzer IVs coming down the road and it is destroyed.

BT-7 fires at the leading Panzer IV and destroys it.
Panzer IVs retaliate and KO one BT-7 and damage another.  The Russian AT guns also open up on the advancing Panzer IVs and damage one, and pin another.

A PanzerIV further down the road retaliates and  destroys the BT-7
German Zug in the woods runs up the hill to attack the suppressed tank and the MG.

This is the hill on the Russian lower right flank.  The BT-7 is suppressed (the green bush marker) and the Germans have raced over the hill and one Gruppe is engaging the Russian MG team.
The tank is destroyed and the MG is routed. T34 at the bottom of the hill activates and moves out of the way

German Pioneer Zug move into the woods in the centre.  I was worried that the Germans may not have enough infantry to take the farm complex, but they may actually be able to pull this off!

The same centre woods that the lone German Gruppe defeated the two Russian sections.  This is the German side and the Pioneer Zug has made it to the entry to these woods as reinforcements,
The German MGs advance from their left flank woods to the top of the hill in the Russian lower right flank.  The Russian KV-1 moves to the edge of the train line. The Germans get a lot of extra activations and move up various infantry Gruppe.  Of note though is the stand that melees with the AT gun that subsequently routs.  The Germans are working their way down their right flank and the centre, using the terrain on either side of the road to advance down that flank.

German Gruppe charges the Russian AT Gun on the Russian left flank.
Germans flames the last of the Russian no-rifles section and they are destroyed.

The centre wood is cleared and the Germans flame the house below the wood to destroy the last of the Russian 4th platoon (that was defending these woods).
The rest of the Zug move from these woods across into the woods adjacent to the farm complex. A steady advance by the Germans down this flank is paying off!

After clearing the woods and the house the Germans advacne to the woods to the right of the farm complex. 
More infantry pour from the hill across into the wood.  The lone section in the woods pins an advancing infantry.
More German infantry come through  the centre woods and into the woods next to the farm complex.  A lone Russian defender can be see in the top left of the woods.
The Russian platoon guarding the left flank moves to wards the farm complex.

On the other side (the left) of the farm complex, the Russian 2nd platoon moves to help defend the farm complex.
The Russian commander calls in some artillery into the German MGs across the hedge but only causes a suppression.

Russian artillery suppresses some units in transit between the woods.
The Germans have managed to find a path down their left flank and thrown as much as they could down this flank.  The Germans are now in the woods next to the farm complex, but it is made up of a number of buildings and will be a tough nut to crack.

Overview of the state of the game - circles are Russian defenders, arrows are the general line of advance performed by the German forces. 
Germans advance into the woods next to the farm complex to attack the lone section.  With really really bad rolling, all they manage to do is force the section to retreat into the farm complex.

The single Russian section on the woods (centre) is suppressed and retreats into the farm.  
Now the woods only have German troops in them, the Russians commander calls the artillery into the woods to the right side of the complex, One Gruppe is KO and the rest are pinned.

The Germans flamethrowers that are with the Engineers in the wood next to the farm complex open up at the nearest farm buildings.  The Russian section in each building is destroyed.

Although pinned, the flamethrowers open up on the nearest farm buildings and clear them of the the defenders.
On the left side of the farm, the KV-1s open up on some German armour in the centre, suppressing one and KO'ing another.  This at least denies the Germans of some valuable armour support for their probable assault on the farm.

KV-1s destroy one PanzerIV and suppress another.
The Russian T34 shoots and destroys a PanzerIV that was coming around the woods.

The T34 has been hiding behind the woods that are full of German infantry.  A PanzerIV attempts to engage but is destroyed  
The Germans race the engineers they can out of the woods and into the farm complex.  It is the victory condition after all and it will be harder to kick them out of buildings.  There are still Russians floating around, particularly the T34 just outside the woods; and not even mentioning the Russians massing on the other side of the farm complex!  Two engineers manage to force themselves into building occupied by the Russians.

Russian defenders circled on the left.  Germans have a foothold in one building (centre right) and their is a lack of defenders in the other buildings on the right of the farm complex.

The Russian platoon behind the hedges on the other side of the farm complex race into t farm complex to try and kick the Germans out.  Repulsed from one building and locked in melee in another.    They continue to attack the Germans foothold with the units in the farm complex.  One Germans routed in one building, but Russians rout from another.  Building fighting is very bloody in these rules.

The Russian 2nd platoon, on the left of the farm, charges from the left and clears the Germans from the right in close combat! 
The Russians have been checking force morale  for a little while now but have always passed.  But now they roll not so good and get the order to pull back - so they retreat 6" and are suppressed.  I am not sure how they will recover.  In fact, they will not recover as 6" takes them off the board.  Even if they pass the morale, the Germans have part of the farm complex and still have enough infantry to shrug off counterattacks from the remaining few Russians.

Alas; while the counterattack was successful, too many losses on the Soviet side see them pullback off the battlefield.  A victory to the Germans.
Emotions ran both  ways during this game - I loved the way the rules worked, but felt the table was a bit crowded for the rules, mostly in the number of tanks. Although the scenario is not that large, for me it felt like an epic!    The Germans did not use the air support at all due to being risk adverse with the German commander, but also because the only way to find the Russians was to get into a close firefight with them, and a bomb would effect both sides.  Another great scenario with the only caveat that I was playing it again on such a small restricted table I would reduce the number of tanks by about 30%.

I have also played 3 games with these rules but at 20mm where I doubled the distance measurements.  So I think for future games I will use inches for 20mm and centimetres for 6mm (like I used to) and modify the rules from inches for 6mm so that they reflect 20mm and inches (and then that way it will be easy to then use cm with 6mm figures)  The latter was not helped by the fact that the Germans concentrated down the pass through the woods.  Lastly, after this game and the 3 20mm games I am going to increase the dice rolled for MMGs (back to what I had a few years ago!).  At the moment they are really just like a infantry base that fires a bit further - there in no sense than infantry sections should hold them in a bit of awe and be a bit nervous around them.  I just need to write this all up!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Triumph game - Athenian Vs Achaemenid Persians

Andy and I have played four games of Triumph! so far (only two of these made it to a blog post).  This is game five and Andy is using his Athenians rather than the Parthians he used for the other four.  Once again neither of us read the rules prior to playing.  We did not look up the rulebook very much - going with what we thought was correct base don what we remembered form reading them 4 months ago, and some of the rule lookups we did with our games last month.

Basing and board size
Andy created a board the right side - 64cm x 96cm.  And all his Athenians were based correctly for Triumph!  Mine are DBx based and so a few of them I used two bases one behind the other to represent a deep single unit.


Athenians: 1xElite Foot (General), 9xHeavy Foot, 1xLight Foot, 2xSkirmishers, 2xRabble, 1xJavelin Cavalry
Note that hoplites are classed as Heavy Foot and not Spears, and not quite as good as Spears.  But you can have more of them as they are 3 points, not 4 as for Spears!   

The well painted Athenians hoplites.
Persians: 3xJavelin Cavalry (one with General), 4xArchers, 2xPavisiers, 2xHeavy Foot, 1xBow Levy, 1xHorse Bow

The mostly average painted Persians.
Both sides have similar Invasion and Maneuver ratings (used to determine terrain choices and attacker/defender) and the Persians became the attacker.  Athenians were the defender and so used Arable that has a compulsory village.  Having no village we put down a log house.  No special rules for villages - they are classed as difficult terrain that blocks LOS.

Neither of us wanted much terrain but I rolled the maximum (6 pieces).  All our current terrain is double sided rough or hills so that is what was placed with the village. The village (difficult) and the rough (also classed as difficult) that was deployed at the edges of the centre zone really constricted the useable space.

Deployment showing terrain placement
I took a few minutes on my setup (I had to deploy all my units after the Athenians had deployed only there battleline of a row of heavy foot).  I did consider putting the cavalry on the left flank and race around the rough going.  However they are my best troops against the hoplites (heavy foot) – it would be +3 Vs +3 and my worst result (being doubled) is an evade, while for the hoplites/heavy foot it is destroyed.  So I put the cavalry in the centre. I then looked up an archers and bow levy are not effected by difficult (something I did not know when placing terrain), So I put them on the edge of the battleline to move into the difficult terrain.  Pavisiers (Sparabara) are not great against heavy foot, and so put them to the edge as well.

The Athenian non-battleline units saw the Rabble and cavalry unit on their right flank to protect it against my lone horse bow and anything coming through the difficult terrain in that side, the light foot and skirmishers on their left flank to enter the difficult terrain and protect that flank.

Pictures are almost all from my side as I was sitting down with the back of the chair against the wall - too hard to keep getting up.  Some of the pictures are a little blurry as I was more invested in playing the game than ensuring the shot was perfect!

I rolled low PIPS for the first three turns while Andy rolled high.  The first few turns, at least for Andy, was positioning.  I think all I did was move my battleline and left flank bow levy up.  Bow levy are OK in difficult.

After the first turn.  
I rolled low again and so, wanting to see how it all worked, pushed my three cavalry up against the hoplites.  One hoplite down down.

Moving up the Persian cavalry to attack the hoplites... down (on the left).  Lots to go.
A reserve hoplite on the Athenian right flank moves up to shore up the end of the battleline that is missing due to the just destroyed hoplite. It engages the cavalry and it too was destroyed.

My bow levy was destroyed in the first go of combat (against Light foot).  My plan of them defending that flank for awhile has gone awry.  Lucky I have some archers in reserve.

Persian Bow Levy destroyed centre.  Another hoplite destroyed at the rear (in front of the cavalry).  I did not notice the skirmishers that turned in the rough to be on the flank of the Persian line..
I did not notice the skirmisher turn to face the javelin cavalry and on the next turn the general was flanked and destroyed.   I think that is possibly two, or maybe three times, out of the last five that I have lost my general early on! Losing a general means everything costs an extra command point.

Persian general has gone. note that the Persian cavalry on the left will shortly get attacked from three sides and last for 4-5 rounds of combat.  
Meanwhile, on the Athenian left flank, Andy raced his Athenian javelin cavalry (his only cavalry!) to contact my horse bow (+2 Vs +3).  The Athenian cavalry bounced and there was another go at combat just before the game ended but they faced off for almost the entire time.

Persian horse bows face the Athenian cavalry.  this shot could have been taken just about anytime during the game as this is all they did besides about two goes at combat!
Another javelin cavalry was surrounded on three sides but lasted 5-6 turns due to excellent rolling by me.  In fact, I tended to roll good for combat and poor for command points, while Andy did the opposite.

I kept pushing forwards with my archers into the rough on the Persian left and managed to account for the light foot (from Andy's perspective, the light foot let him down - they are supposed to be great for defending difficult terrain).

Persian archers advance on the left through the rough and destroy a skirmisher.

The Persian archers continue their good luck in the rough and take out a skirmisher.

On the Persian right flank the archers *finally* made it into the village and shot up the rabble. One Rabble was subsequently destroyed by shooting.  Meanwhile, the Athenian battleline is all set and advances into the Persian line.  It is all happening now!

On the left, a Athenian skirmisher is destroyed; in the centre the Athenians attack; on the right a rabble is shot at and destroyed.
With the Athenian skirmisher gone on the Athenian right flank, it is looking a bit open Vs two Persian archers so the Athenian's turn one of their hoplites to defend that flank.  In the centre, the Sparabara (Pavisiers) are destroyed (not unexpected - they are hopeless Vs heavy foot).  The Rabble engage with the archers in the village.

Sparabara destroyed in the centre.
Both armies are now near their breaking point – any one unit lost by either side will win the game for the other.  It is my turn – I shoot at the other rabble and it is destroyed.  Persian win (just).

Rabble destroyed at the right and the Athenians reach their breakpoint 
Another great game and a nail biter.  Very close and it could have gone either way.  The gamble of putting the Persian cavalry in the battleline paid off but was very risky and not sure I would do it again so rashly.  We both agreed  a) we need to play some more games b) we both like the rules, in preference to DBA (due to the additional troop types and the rules seem to flow better)  and  c) we should really reads the rules prior to the next game.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Two games of Triumph! ancient rules

Andy and I have played two games of Triumph! late last year (his Parthians Vs my Selucids).   These two games were definitely learning games as we were coming to grips with the rules. We organised for some more games in mid-January to gain some more experience and we got two more games in.   Neither of us had read the rules since last time we played so there was still a small bit of rulebook flipping but some were for new situations that had not occurred in our last two games.

I am not going to describe the rules in details but they share similar mechanisms with DBA but 'similar'  is the word - Triumph! does play out differently.  I am not a big fan of DBA but I do like Triumph!  More troop types, 50% wider table and the rules (to me at least) seem to be smoother to play and less fiddly than DBA (at least V2 - I have not played V3).

Basing and board size
Triumph! requires a 96cmx64cm board to play on with 15mm figures with 40mm bases.  We had only a 90cmx60cm so for the first game the centre deployment zone was kept to the correct size (as this is important for deployment) with the flank zones being slightly shorter.  The second game had a coast that we virtually deployed and so shrunk the actual area we had to the right size.

The Indians are based for DBM. Triumph! has different basing depth for many of the Indian troops compared to DBM.  Depth is important as a common combat outcome is pushback one base depth. We simply went with the using the depth of the based troops.

Game 1 - Parthians Vs Classical Indians
Both sides have similar Invasion and maneuver ratings (used to determine terrain choices and attacker/defender) and the Parthians became the attacker.  Two areas of rough were put down at either table edge that did not have any bearing on the game.  I am the Indians so the commentary and pictures are more from their side.

Parthians: 4xCataphracts, 8xHorse Bow
Classical Indians: 2xElephant, 2xChariot, 2xBad Horse, 4xBow Levy, 1xHeavy Foot, 3xHorde, 1xSkirmisher (note this force is 6 points short of the 48 points as I misread my spreadsheet total of 42 as 48).

There are not many pictures for this first game and I used my phone (Nexus 6) as the camera I normally use (CanonEOS 450D) decided not to work that night (it was just a loose SIm cover I did not notice).

All the Parthian Cataphracts and half the Horse Archers have to deploy in the centre zone that restricts their setup somewhat.  Most of the Indian infantry is deployed in their centre zone.

Elephants are good against Cataphracts so I thought I would deploy them on the left and move them into the centre to attack the Parthian Cataphracts.  Not my finest tactic.

Board after Indian turn 1 from Indian side.
Horse Archers move so fast and the plan with the elephants went awry from turn 1!  Andy's right flank Horse Archers screamed down that flank and the next turn into the flank of one of the elephants.  It turns to face. My general element is behind the turned elephant so all it takes is for the Horse archer to score higher, the elephant is pushed back but cannot and it destroyed, and the general elephant is destroyed as well.   So one roll of the dice could destroy two elephants.

Horse archer attacks the flank of an elephant that has turned to face them.  General elephant is behind it.
Horse Archers score higher and both elephants are destroyed. Note that a lost general makes it harder to command (+1PIP per command) but is not an automatic loss of the game.

During the mid-game, the flanks engaged - the Parthian Horse Archers Vs  the Indian chariots and Bad Horse. The centre lines get very close, the some Horse Archers attacking the edge of the Indian infantry battleline.  Surprisingly there are no further casualties during this stage - lots of pushbacks though.

Mid game with  flanks  and the edges of the main battleline engaged. 
On the flanks, Two Horse Archers are lost. The Cataphracts charge in but lose one.  The Indians lose some infantry and cavalry and finally reach their point limit for the Parthians to win.  Different elements have different point values (from 2-4).  Games are 48 points of elements and once you lose 16 points worth you lose.

End game.  Note the Indian flanks are positioned to be crushed!
One more Parthian elements lost and they would have lost.  However, the Parthians were in a much better positions to continue to wipe out Indian units, so not sure how the Indians would have managed it!

Game 2 - Parthians Vs Classical Indians
Parthians again on the attack and a coast place on one edge.  This made the table the correct width as we assumed a 3MU (6cm) coast off the table edge, leaving 90cm playing width that was the actual table we were playing on.

I had only bought the minimum of my classical Indian force I thought I needed to play so what worried about how to address the point shortfall highlighted in the previous game.  Except I accidentally bought along 4 elephants when I only needed 2.  This was lucky as I could remove a Bow Levy and add in 2 extra Elephants to make a 48 point army.

Parthians: 4xCataphracts, 8xHorse Bow
Classical Indians: 4xElephant, 2xChariot, 2xBad Horse, 3xBow Levy, 1xHeavy Foot, 3xHorde, 1xSkirmisher.

Parthians perform a different deployment to previous games - the 8 Horse Archers in a line in front of the Cataphracts.  The aim is to quickly split the Horse Archers off to the flanks, and best protect the Cataphracts from the Elephants, and advance the Cataphracts if required.
The Indians put the Chariots and Cavalry on the flanks and intersperse the Elephants with the Foot archers.  This turned out to not be a great deployment as the archers move at half the speed of the Elephants., so the whole battleline was too slow.  I also put the infantry hordes as a reserve to the right of the centre but they move really slow too so my plan to move them out and help on the right flank was doomed to failure!

Deployment form the Indian side

All the Parthians.  Horse archers in the front, Cataphracts at the rear

Indian centre.  Out of shot are the chariots and cavalry on the flanks.
In the early part of the game, the Indian centre slowly advances.  The opposing Parthian Cataphracts play the waiting game - thery don't need to move and can wait and see how it goes on the flanks. The horse archers race to the flanks.  The Indian right flank is still closing.  On the Indian left flank, contact has already been made - this flank was to prove to be very interesting over the game with constant surprises.    One of the Elephants from the centre line veers off to bolster the left flank.

Early in the game - the flanks are in, or nearly in contact, the Indian centre plods forward.

Indian Left Flank

I cannot remember exactly how it happened, other than by good rolling but a horse archer was destroyed on the left flank. I think the Elephant managed to contact a Horse archer on the flank and it got pushed back into the Indian Chariot and hence destroyed.   It is now down the 3 horse archers Vs a Bad horse, chariot and elephant.  Fast movers Vs not so fast movers.

The Indian left flank - # Vs 3.

The Indian Bad cavalry is destroyed but the remaining Indian keep hanging on.  The Parthian horse Archers keep pushing them back where they can but never getting the kill.  An Indian infantry peels off from the centre to keep the left flank from going under.    I don't have a good picture of it, but two more Horse Archers are destroyed on this flank later on.  The only losses (the 3 Horse Archers) on the Parthian side were from this flank.  We had to refer to the rules a few times as we used all the different attack/move to flank/rear combinations you could think of  - we now know these a lot better than when we started!

The swirling chaos of the Indian left flank.
Indian Right Flank

On the Indian right flank, the Horse Archers line up ready to clash into the chariot and Bad Horse.  Will it descend into the same melee as per the Indian left flank where the Horse Archers were overcome by good dice rolls, or will it go as it is supposed to with 4 excellent bases Vs 2 OK ones?

The two sides on the Indian right flank line up for melee.
Things are going as they are supposed to - the Indian Bad Horse is quickly dispatched and the Indian Chariot is then surrounded and routed shortly after.

Bad horse gone, chariot surrounded and shortly to be gone as well.


Meanwhile the centre Indians crawl up the middle at 2 Movement Units (4cm) a move.

Indians centre gradually advancing on the Parthian Cataphracts
The Bow levy is not great against much and the Indians rolled a good command die so moved the Elephants by themselves into the Cataphracts.  Cataphracts are destroyed if outscored by elephants so it was worth a go.  But not much - a tie for one and pushed back with another Cataphract.

Elephants charge ahead of the line into the Cataphracts.  My general (on the right) is set up for defending fro horse archers on the right flank

Alas, it was not to be - a 1-6 roll next turn sees off an Indian elephant and it is game over with another win to the Parthians.  Another close game - if the Indians had managed to destroy one more Parthian element, they would have won instead.

An elephant is missing in the centre that was there in the last picture.  Gave over for a Parthian win.
The phone pictures did not turn out as badly as I thought but I do prefer the Canon camera!

On the rules, I underestimated the Horse archers in both games.  They are +2/+3 compared to DBA Light horse +2/+2 and so I kept thinking of them as "not so great" when I should have been thinking of them as "better than my cavalry!"  And the Indian bow are classed as Bow Levy that move at a snails pace and have no shooting range (only on contact).  For the Indians, they should not plan to go anywhere much.

We like the rules and the interactions. Both games we close games which is a good sign. There were a a few rules questions we had to look up as we had last played a few months prior.  We are hoping to get in another few games soon.