Saturday, April 08, 2006

April DBA at Game Matrix

The first Saturday of each month is DBA day at Game Matrix in Tacoma. I know what you’re thinking : DBA phooey! For many years I felt the same, but my feelings about the game have come full circle. I like the short games. Forty minutes per bout, means I can squeeze about five into an afternoon with plenty of time left over for shopping or schmoozing. I also like the little armies. It keeps my hands in with ancients, and has allowed me to build about 25 different armies. Probably my most favorite aspect of DBA, however, is the guys I play with. They are great, have knowledge of the game, and patient, good sports.

This month I had a new army, I/18 Minoan and Early Mycenaean. It is a chariot army matched with some pike armed elements. I built it primarily to fight my Hittite Empire army. It is an interesting match-up because the pikes are formidable, but fighting in depth, they shorten my front leaving it vulnerable to overlapping. They also have three stands of psiloi and one of auxiliaries which require some skillful use in order to draw off some bad guy elements.

My first game was against Andy Hooper. Andy is a great guy, a DBA scholar who knows the rules inside and out. He’s also a great teacher of the game. Sadly my brain is too much like a sieve to remember all he tells me. Andy took my Hittites and I ran the Minoans. I took most of the psiloi and the aux unit to the right in an effort to draw off some of his troops, while all my chariotry and pikes advanced in the middle. Though I eventually lost two of three light units, I was able to push through the middle and defeat the Hittites 4-3.

My second and third games were against Craig Steed. Craig had a new Slavic army which, sadly, I could not match up with. He, however, had a Magyar army, mostly light horse with some cav and spears to match up with the Slavs who were mostly aux. As usual, I was the attacker, and foolishly didn’t ask for clarification of the busy terrain on the board. There was a river and some hills, and I decided to send some light horse down the far side of the river, because there wasn’t much room to maneuver on the board. Things started well. I got good pip dice, and running cavalry down both board edges, Craig had to make some decisions. Looking to force the river, I drew a unit or so to me, but made an attack with my light horse on a unit on the hill. I didn’t realize it was a steep hill, however so I died in the bad going. My center advanced on his center, and things were going well. I had the advantage with troops and the overlap too. I just couldn’t win on the battlefield. Craig rolled well enough not to lose elements, and tied 3-3, my general was killed on a bad die roll. Slavs win 4G-3

My last game was also against Craig, Minoans vs. his Hittites. This was a DBA nightmare. I averaged a die roll of 1.5 for pips and combat. When that happens the game is short. I shot my lights out on the flank as I hoped, but could never move them again as the pip dice became so microscopic. Needless to say, the Hittites quickly gobbled them up and I was down 2-0. I advanced in the center, and was able to contact. Craig rolled well enough to not be slaughtered by my pikes, while my chariots rolled ones and ones, and ones. Minoans lose 4-2.

Only three games, but I did some shopping and visiting and that was fun. I have another army finished—Neo-Hittites and Aramaean I/31a. I hope to get a start on their opponent, Later Hebrews, I/34b soon.

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