BattleCry 2009 Introduction

Yet another successful BattleCry has gone by and congratulations to Karen & the AMERICA team for organising another great event, although the usual copious amounts of “loot” were a bit less (to be expected with the current economy) and I didn’t see any T-Shirts available this year! As with last year Benny (Andrew Bennetts) organised and umpired the New Zealand 25mm/28mm DBMM Doubles as well as playing in a team – it’s always a trade off and occasionally a thankless task – and thanks to Mike Campbell in Wellington who vetted the lists pre-tournament so Benny could be free of any ‘prior knowledge’ cloud over his head! The DBMM competition was enjoyable and went pretty well (with lots of exciting tension filled periods in our games), although it had a couple of flat bits on the second day for me personally – mainly because my brain just went into zombie mode and stopped working at a couple of crucial times in tense games!

BattleCry 2009Unfortunately this year was reduced to just 6 teams – due to a couple of players being out of town or unavailable and about half the local Ancients players having switched to FOG and unwilling to play DBMM any further. This fractured ancients scene is probably going to be with us for a while. As with last year no one outside of the Auckland/Hamilton region made the effort to attend other than Mike Campbell (Wellington), who unfortunately then had to cancel at a late hour – but as mentioned he did graciously review the lists and do the pre-tournament umpiring tasks.

Carthaginian Elephants - Actually Expendables as they are Hannibal's poorly trained ones at Zama in 202BC (first 4 from the collection of Andrew Bennetts & the second 4 are from the collection of John Calnan & originally painted by Wayne Steward).

Carthaginian Elephants – Actually Expendables as they are Hannibal’s poorly trained ones at Zama in 202BC (first 4 from the collection of Andrew Bennetts & the second 4 are from the collection of John Calnan & originally painted by Wayne Steward).

Campbell Millar and I teamed up again – and as Campbell felt last years Romans, while effective, were too slow (the Blades taking some time to get into action then needing a lot of time to do their thing) we elected to run Kushans instead – a radically different type of army – choosing the 391AD period with the upgraded Superior Light Horse. There was pretty much only really one effective list to have at 500AP and this was:

Command 1 – 169AP (28.5ME)
1 Irr Kn(X) C-in-C
4 Irr El(O) Elephants
10 Irr Lh(S) Chionite Huns
6 Irr Ax(O) Kushan Spearmen
3 Irr Ps(O) Mountain Archers
3 ME from Army Baggage

Command 2 – 153AP (29.0ME)
1 Irr Kn(X) Sub-General
6 Irr Kn(X) Kushan Cataphracts
10 Irr Lh(S) Chionite Huns
2 Irr Ax(O) Kushan Spearmen
3 ME from Army Baggage

Command 3 – 156AP (29.5ME)
1 Irr Kn(X) Sub-General
6 Irr Kn(X) Kushan Cataphracts
10 Irr Lh(S) Chionite Huns
3 Irr Ax(O) Kushan Spearmen
3 ME from Army Baggage

Command 4 – 12AP (3ME)
6 Irr Bg(F) Baggage Camels

Stratagems – 10AP
Scouting
Feigned Flight

Army Total: 87ME

Carthaginian Spanish Cavalry (from the collection of Andrew Bennetts).

Carthaginian Spanish Cavalry (from the collection of Andrew Bennetts).

The theory behind this army was fairly simple – the Lh(S) would form an all encompassing screen across the full frontage – they are fairly robust and effective troops in DBMM and being impetuous could be left to their own devices if and when committed to combat. The Cataphracts and Elephants would be deployed behind this screen and would be positioned to combat major threats the Lh(S) might struggle with or to punch a whole against troops vulnerable to them. Interpenetration made this a relatively easy task. Finally the Auxilia were there primarily as filler, but also specifically to combat any Elephants, and to provide a contingency in case a large piece of difficult going ended up in the middle of the deployment zone!

Basic activity would be to move the Lh(S) forward in a long line, backed by the Kn(X) Generals and 1 or 2 Auxilia elements (the Generals & Auxilia would prevent heavier enemy troops marching directly into the Lh(S) Light Troops on the first or second move) – once in position the heavier mounted troops would manoeuvre as needed or pass through the Lh(S). If faced with a lot of Irr troops in rough or difficult going some Auxilia would be pushed out in front of the Lh(S) and Feigned Flight used to try and draw the Irregulars out of their positions… In the end we only used this Stratagem once, and not in the way intended, and ironically it was reasonably effective (IMHO) even though we did it in desperation to avert a disaster…

ASB (Basketball) Stadium, Kohimarama - a step up size wise from the old venue!

ASB (Basketball) Stadium, Kohimarama – a step up size wise from the old venue!

Scouting was intended for use if we suspected a major ambush or such like, although I generally preferred assigning a couple of Lh(S) to it every game – in the end we didn’t use it in half the games, and we got caught out by Ambushers in one of them! Accounts of our 4 battles follow and conclude with a summary of the competition result at the end (Page 6)…

Our Kushan's (with Campbell on right) take on the Medieval Portuguese (Richard 'Uncle Dickie' Foster on left, Ivan Truong in centre), while Andrew Fergus observes from the far table corner!

Our Kushan’s (with Campbell on right) take on the Medieval Portuguese (Richard ‘Uncle Dickie’ Foster on left, Ivan Truong in centre), while Andrew Fergus observes from the far table corner!

Continue to BC’09 Round 1: Sassanid Persians with Sabir Hun Allies 463AD.

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Posted in DBM / DBMM, When Phalanxes Clash
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