Tuesday, June 2, 2015

31st May, Kelham Hall, Newark

Society of Ancients and Lance and Longbow Society at Partizan 2015

Yarmuk 636 ...

Shows North attended Partizan on behalf of SoA and L&L, and took along the prototype DBA V3 scenario game of Yarmuk.

Yarmuk was the cataclysmic battle fought out East of Damascus between the rising power of Islam and the formerly dominant regional power of Eastern Rome (the Byzantines).

(Yarmuk at Partizan ... flats from 50 years ago refurbished for today's wargames rules)

This is a development project in its final phase and enjoyed a first public outing.   The game represents the significant cavalry battle on the Northern flank on the penultimate day of fighting. Above shows my interpretation of the historical deployment.

(Khalid's Mobile Guard appear behind the Byzantine's Northern flank)

We pick up the battle narrative when the Arab cavalry reserve makes its surprise appearance behind the Byzantine position.

(looking along the Arab battleline ... mostly infantry with cavalry support directed by Amr ibn al As)

The Arabs must hold the line long enough for their elite force to swing the battle.

(the Byzantines drive forward in the centre)

Unfortunately, Pips (and the threat to their flank) meant that, in the game, the Byzantines were not able to attack all along the line and take the battle to the Arabs.

(Yarmuk at Partizan: the Byzantine line rapidly collapses)

Poor dice rolls accelerated the pace and the Byzantine forces were quickly split up, surrounded and annihilated.  Vahan's senior army evaporated first, leaving Qanateer's Slav recruits assailed on all sides.

(Yarmuk at Partizan: the last stand of Vahan's army)

The Slavs faired better only in holding out for a couple more turns but won few exchanges with the dominant Arabs.

(Yarmuk at Partizan: Qanateer's army is broken)

The battle was fought using adapted V3 armies (2 commands each, with independent break thresholds) and the scenario specifications will be published in a forthcoming book supporting DBA V3.   Watch this space.

(The Battle of Yarmuk: a DBA V3 scenario debut at Partizan - final positions)

Both Byzantine commands were broken ... for the loss of 1 element of cavalry from Khalid's Mobile Guard.

Our most emphatic Arab win in all the trial games - but on public debut, quite probably the most historical outcome.

In 636, Khalid's cavalry manoeuvre completely outflanked the enemy and led to the destruction of Vahan's cavalry and reserves, cutting the army's retreat.   It went very badly for the remaining troops.

Elsewhere at Partizan ...

Lots of good games around, sadly most of them in predictable 28mm but probably the best you'll see in that format ...

(Partizan 2015: a mix of spectacular 'big' table 28mm games)

(Grimsby's splendid gentlemen tread the teddybear fur ...)

But top 28mm game, for me, was Simon Miller's To the Strongest presentation ... good rules, masses of figures, simple rules and people joining in.

(Partizan 2015: BRB getting people involved in his To the Strongest demonstration)

... so here a couple of indulgent shots of massed battle, Roman-style ...

(Partizan 2015: To the Strongest ... you will need reserves ... )

Great day out ... seemed quite busy in the morning (well, 'crowded' - so we were unable to run the game til the afternoon, a bit like Salute used to be in the old days) ...

Yarmuk ran very nicely and its unique flat figure charm was enjoyed by a string of admirers once the crowd had thinned enough for people to see the game (NB: I must switch soon to much bigger tables like everyone else) ...

Partizan very much knows what it does best and caters to that audience.  The lighting has never been great and Kelham Hall's catering has evolved over the years away from what wargamers generally hope to find ...despite which we had quite a few visitors over the day and everybody seemed to be enjoying the show.

We're all looking forward to the next one.

Thanks to the crew, hosts and visitors.


Simon Miller said...

Thanks for the kind words, Phil! Partizan is always such a blast, we will miss it, shadows and all! BTW I didn't get time to say that I thought your flats and Yarmuk looked really good.

SoA Shows North said...

No problem Simon ... I thought the Roman game looked great ... appreciate you were engaging people with it all day long - and the feedback re the rules has been very positive.


TWR said...

Yarmuk looks very good. In the 50th year of the SOA it is pleasing to see these veteran figures being used with the latest rule set written by one of the founding members of the Society.

SoA Shows North said...

Yes TWR, thanks ... it is remarkable to think of the Society being 50 years old, now - and of the soldiers in the game have seen it all.