Thursday, September 7, 2017

12th August, Manchester University


In the midst of all that Summer/outdoor fun, there was a trip to Manchester to play DBA ...

I stopped doing Britcon a while back for all sorts of reasons (mostly about competition culture and narrowness of focus, but that's another story) but I like Manchester and I do enjoy the cameraderie if only the timetable will release people for long enough to socialise.

DBA is a good add to the programme but the scheduling needs to ease up a bit (there is plenty of time at this venue!  We were the earliest to finish and nobody needed the tables) ...

(Britcon DBA ... lovely prizes, a diverse player base and a destination city to dine out in!)

The theme was 'armies,enemies and their enemies' of the Teutonic Knights (or something like that) ... I guess I'd better just say up front that it didn't work (most of the eligible armies weren't selected, the top 3 all picked the same list - and if you strayed from the obvious you fared quite poorly) ...

I took Seljuq Turks as I thought it would be 'different' and was one of only two armies on the shortlist that I had been tinkering with of late.  There were some other projects I'd have prefered to give an outlet to but they weren't on the list.

Anyway, it was fun and it did OK against the other Steppe army in the tournament.

Here's some of the Heavy Metal I came up against:

The other skirmishing army had more Light Horse than I did ... He put his faith in the depth rule, I gritted my teeth, stayed wide and exploited the flanks.

Thankfully the Cumans generally rolled lower scores than the Seljuqs ... so envelopment prevailed over punching through.

Tamara experimented with terrain and did very well overall.

Graham was a bit miffed by a late clarification that we would not be applying the dismounting rule as written in the book.   He had already picked and smartened up a Lithuanian army that benefits from the rule.

I see his point - but I also think we need to bear in mind that UK tournaments play a stripped down DBA.   As a 'non dismounter' my Seljuqs weren't allowed to vary amongst options available in the list, but had to stipulate the exact 12 elements at the start of the day ...  

I am able to 'tweak' the army if I know who I'm up against - but only if we allow the players to select which elements to employ once the opponent is known.   Other than the time and cross-checking, we could easily allow this.  Other armies can 'tweak' by e.g. dismounting. A few, of course have both a rich choice of options and some elements that can dismount.   I can't see any reason why you should prevent a player picking any 12 off his list (it is only 12 picks, after all ... ) but allow another player to vary his by dismounting.

And vice-versa, of course ... It is what it is.

Personally I would just eliminate the dismounting armies from the theme (so you don't need to make a ruling because the armies in play aren't affected) ...

The again, I'm not that keen on themes (as most of them seem pretty abstruse and don't seem particularly balanced) ...

If you are still with me ... such were the debates around Britcon 2017 ... a jolly little day's wargaming but some points to ponder.

 1st Mark Skelton III/83b Early Polish 
2nd John Saunders also Early Polish 
                                         and 3rd Colin O'Shea also Early Polish

Plus ... IV/18 Lithuania - IV/13b Early German - IV/28 Prussia - IV/36b Muslim India - III/79 Early Russian - III/74 Seljuk Turk and - III/80 Cuman 

Of course some of that apparent imbalance is because the shrewder sort of player can spot the optimum sort of army.

Anyway I enjoyed meeting up with everyone, had a 'learning experience' and didn't come last (just!) 

UK DBA League

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