Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Conquest of Italy Ancients Campaign Day

This past Saturday my friend Mike hosted our club's game day. The event was 'Conquest of Italy' - a one day ancients campaign set in the period near the First Punic War prior to Rome's dominance on the Italian peninsula. This year we broke from tradition and replaced our normal 15mm armies with 28mm figures that several members have been painting and collecting for the club's home brew rules, Marathon to Marius. Members providing armies were Bob, Charlie, Phil, Mike, Ralph and myself. I brought three Carthaginian armies and one Roman army. Each player picked a region and an army to control. I chose Rome since I hadn't yet used my Roman figures in a game. Two other players chose to use my Carthaginian figures. I was quite happy to get to play one of my games against one of those players.

The format was five rounds of DBA games with match-ups controlled by the campaign map. I ended up fighting my first game against Bob, who also was using a Roman army. Bob beat me soundly, 4-1. Because I was the aggressor, Bob retained his freedom, but I wasn't required to be his vassal due to him being the defender. Still not a very good start for me, squandering a campaign turn where I was lucky enough to be the aggressor. Also shown below is a photo of the other first round games.

Round two I faced Charlie and his Macedonian model army representing Phyrrus of Epirus. Thanks to Bob's generousity I was able to have an early enough campaign move to still be an aggressor in this turn. Charlie's pike put it to my Romans scoring an early kill on one of my legion stands. I followed this up by isolating one of his skirmish stands, and then getting a bit lucky when his advance took his general stand just a touch too close to some rough terrain. I was able to flank it with a velite stand, and due to the terrain factors I was able to kill his general securing the win. Charlie played well all day including this game. I got lucky that the terrain saved me as Charlie was out playing me up to that point. Since I was the attacker, Charlie was now my vassal, and his past and future successes, were also successes for me. Photos of other round two games are below.

Round three I faced Michael who was pushing one of my early Carthaginian armies. Michael is a very skilled DBA player. Michael used his post-deployment element switches well and positioned his warband Gauls right where they would cause me the most trouble. He played everything correctly and I just got very lucky on my combat rolls and won thanks to General Dice. Michael was now my vassal, and thanks to his previous and successive successes, I profited heavily in victory points from my fortunate dice rolls in this game. More round three photos below.

Round four I chose Earl as my opponent. I wasn't keen on attacking a fellow Roman, but Earl was the only potential opponent available to me that had vassals. Since consolidating the empire was the primary goal I attacked Earl. Roman vs. Roman battles in DBA often come down to whomever gets the first kill can then use that extra stand to flank the opponent's battle line. This is what happened in this game. I was able to score an early lucky kill on a stand and from there  I could whittle away at Earl's flank securing the win. At the end of the round I had firm command of all players as seen below. Unfortunately the very next campaign turn Charlie drew the rebellion chip and peeled off his portion of my empire as an independent state.

Round five I played new member prospect, Matt. Matt hadn't ever played DBA before. In keeping with what seems to be a club tradition, Matt kicked my ass in short order. We're not sure why, but new DBA players in our club always seem to do well.  The battle between Matt and I ended up coming down to single combat between his general and mine, both cavalry units, in the sand dunes. With so many negative factors this was a true Thunderdome moment. Two stands enter, one stand leaves. In this case it was Matt's general that was victorious. There are some more photos of other round five games below.

After the fifth and final round the national organization chart and scores are shown below. Thanks to a lot of luck on my part, and excellent play all day long by Charlie, Michael and Earl, my fourth turn win and score was able to carry me through round five for the win.

And here is a photograph of all of the participants taken by Mike. Not shown are Dick and Ralph who both had to leave early.

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