The Lost Legion
The Society of Ancients UK DBA League came in to being late last year in discussions which followed the English DBA Open.
The appetite for 'one-day' DBA events seems consistent, and linking such events together an obvious 'next step'.
The Lost Legion is one of several new events that have emerged in response to the idea of a Society sponsored series.
The formula was for players to bring along a matched pair of armies, and then, game and game about, to play either their pair or their opponent's pair. When playing your own game, the other player gets to choose which army to use. After that, the game proceeds by the book (invader, terrain, edge selection etc.)...
This gave me something of a problem - I am a 'cross over' from DBM, so I don't have lots of little armies in matchable pairs (I have quite a few big armies without the specific opponents that DBA - sometimes idiosyncratically - lists as appropriate) ... Where I have opposing forces, these are historically constructed (and my categorising/basing doesn't always match the DB classification).
Where I do have smaller armies, they are based-up in double depth for Armati (or are genuinely smaller, like my 10mm)! It took me a while to get my head around this problem.
As I have several thousand 15mm figures in only a few period bands, it seemed obvious that finding an interesting and compatible pair amounting to just 24 elements ought to be straight forward. Ought to be ... but isn't!
In the end I opted to go with my favoured Crusades period, and a fairly adaptable Syrian army. I thought that the 5 Spears in the obvious opponent for the army (i.e. Later Crusader) was potentially a bit stodgy (for a quick-fire game schedule) and, in truth, not especially typical of Crusader armies of the period.
A plausible 'in period' enemy for the Syrians (though not listed in the rules), the Lusignan Cypriot looked a bit more attractive to play with, so I decided on that as the other half of the pair.
I clearly judged well, as all my opponents thought the Cypriot army looked attractive ... so picked it and beat me with it. Hmmm.
The joy of this is that you only have yourself to blame ... I got my own game three times, was given the Syrians each time and lost the match 3 - 0.
(Lusignan Cypriot ... in the background, another win is being chalked up)
I played my opponents' games 3 times, and won that rubber 2 - 1. I hold my hands up at that. I have always been prepared to admit that I am far more bothered about historical content and military interest than ever I am in play balance.
Well, I should add, that I'm not putting that forward as an excuse ... my opponents played well in all 6 games and I could have expected no better than 2 or 3 wins.
I enjoyed all 6 games though I must say that the opener against the well tutored martin Smith was something of a fools mate ... I lumbered myself with a BUA which I couldn't defend adequately, Martin got it on his side of the table and quickly went 3 up. I lost the fourth valiantly trying to kill his general as the only real option given the BUA handicap.
Without taking sides (haha!) I fully understand why so many people consider the BUA rules to be stupid.
Each to his own, of course, but I can't think of much historical justification for the arable set up or the way the BUA works in the game (most historical battles just don't work like that). Silly.
Somewhat more fortuitously, although I did include a naval baggage element for the Littoral Lusignans (so geared them up for all sorts of landing options) ... all the games were in arable Syria (so the road or BUA nonsense prevailed) ... Still, the ship is a pretty piece of decoration for the army.
(Randon eye candy from the Lost Legion... )
(Armies at Alton: click on the images for a bigger picture)
The away games I got were Ptolemy Keraunos against the Galatians, Lydian vs Medes and Hittite vs Minoans. A good mix, given the Crusader period that was my home game.
As ever, I met some new enthusiasts, learned a few more nuances of the game and had an enjoyable day out.
(The Land or Littoral Baggage choice provided for the Cypriots)
Martin intended to host a small event for a dozen or so players. He got 20. Seems like it was a good idea, then. Well done ...
You can find out more about the League by visiting the PAWS page Society of Ancients UK DBA League(a DBA family photo ... some of the players at Lost Legion 2011)
The Alton results were ...
1 Colin O'Shea 102 points; 2 Adrian Webb 98 points; 3 Matthew Bennett 98 points; 4 Martin Myers; 5 Martin Smith; 6 Bill MacGillivray; 7 Duncan McCoshan; 8 Patrick Myers; 9 John Drury; 10 Scott Russell.
The other ten players on the day were, in no particular order :-David Constable, Luca Blasi, Peter James, Mark Skelton, Phil Steele, Gordon Frater, Ray Briggs, Denis McManus, Tim Moore, and Aislinn Smith.