Wednesday, 6 September 2017


For a change of focus, we pulled out Rhys' 15th-century figures to give them an outing using DBA, version 2; I'm not sure if either of us own a copy of version 3. We played  BBDBA to be more precise: vanilla DBA never satisfies my desire for "a battle", what with just 12 elements a side, but "Big Battle DBA", by trebling the element count on a double-width board, gives a more substantial game.

First up, Rhys took an early French Ordonnance army with a Swiss ally, while I commanded an Italian Condotta force. As befitting the plain of the Po, terrain was fairly minimal, but did feature a wood on my centre-right that I threw my 3 elements of light infantry into. Both sides had considerable artillery that partly traded shots on my centre left. My centre consisted of a mixture of pikes and crossbows, flanked by the aforesaid artillery on the left and light infantry on the right. My mounted elmeti were on the wings, with some supporting light horse in the case of those on the far left, as the elmeti were less numerous on that side.

Later I found a bombard element as well...
A closer inspection revealed two of the light horse elements were actually my own late 13th-century figures; they'd presumably been hiding in Rhys' figure box for the last 17+ years! 

Rhys' Swiss were massed on my right. He had a mix of crossbows, longbows, and mounted ordonnance men-at-arms in the centre, while his forces on my left were more crossbowmen and men-at-arms, plus artillery. Unfortunately, I forgot to take any photos of the battle, and we can't even remember who won! Presumably it was a closely-contested affair...

I remedied that for second battle, at least. This time I took the French (with no ally), while Rhys took Burgundians; a classic match up.  I had a centre composed of archers and crossbowmen in the front line backed up by voulgiers and dismounted men-at-arms; my right was a mixture of artillery, archers, and mounted men-at-arms; while my left had some more mounted men-at-arms, and some light crossbowmen to seize the wood to their front.

The Burgundian left wing

Rhys' mounted men-at-arms waiting prior to the advance
The Burgundians massed mounted men-at-arms in their centre, along with some archers and dismounted men-at-arms to their left; further to their left were various artillery pieces, some crossbowmen, and also some detached coustilliers (counting as Cv).  Rhys' right was rather odd, consisting of archers plus a small contingent of Low Countries pikemen (4 elements); I had no idea what role Rhys envisaged for the Pk in that position...

I fancied my chances in the centre, since in DBA, archers are rather deadly against mounted knights; nonetheless, my centre received my lowest PiP die, since it required no manoeuvring at all; just a simple dadvance straight up the board. My right didn't have very favourable match-ups. I was the defender, and thus deployed first, and although I got to swap two pairs of elements, this merely made my right wing have a slightly less favourable poistion than before. This wing got my middle PiP die, as moving the artillery would be PiP intensive.

The two forces approach the end of the second turn

On my right, my artillery came off second best against Rhys', but the archers immediately to their left were able to inflict some casualties on the Burgundians in reply. My left quickly advanced (benefited by getting the highest PiP die every turn) and seized the wood as planned.  Rhys troops opposite them didn't really do much in response; he was more intent on boldly advancing his mass of men-at-arms towards my centre, clearly aiming to decide the affair in a manner befitting Charles le Téméraire. Naturally, some casualties were to be expected on the way in, but Rhys had massed them in depth in anticipation...

After the initial charge...
Alas, for the Burgundians, the French line was well-prepared, and the Burgundian charge was largely ineffectual. Just a single company of men-at-arms managed to break through the front line of archers, and it was immediately routed by the dismounted French men-at-arms to their rear... This essentially meant battle over, as it demoralized the Burgundian main command, but, just for completeness, when the Burgundian left wing commander lead his men into the French artillery, he was ridden down by the French Constable's own knights waiting in reserve, adding insult to injury.