Egyptian versus Sea Peoples – A Big Base DBA Battle Report

Chris Harrod and I took my new Biblical armies for a spin using Big Base DBA. Chris was New Kingdom Egyptian and I took the Sea Peoples.

Deployment

The aggressive Sea Peoples (Ag 4 versus Ag 2) were the invaders so Chris set up the terrain. In DBA version 2.2. both army lists have a home topography of “Littoral”. That means the River Nile or Mediterranean Sea (compulsory Waterway) is going to appear in every game involving these armies. As luck would have it the Nile ended up behind the Egyptian deployment zone. The only other features were a couple of hills, one big and gentle, the other small and rocky. [Re-reading the rules for Littoral they can only have Steep Hills not Gentle]

Battle near the Nile

Battle near the Nile

Chris initially set up the Egyptians in a symmetrical formation. He had the close fighters (Blades) in the centre, archers (Bows) on each side and chariots (LCh) on the flanks. After I deployed Chris swapped a couple of elements and ended up with three chariots on the left flank and three bow on the centre-right.

New Kingdom Egyptian Army

New Kingdom Egyptian Army

The Sea Peoples army doesn’t get much variation. One long line of blades. I put psiloi behind blades facing chariots to give me a +1 in those face ups. My general was on my left flank, behind the battle line.

Sea Peoples Army

Sea Peoples Army

Because my line was deeper it was also shorter. So the massed chariots on Chris’s left flank extended past where my line ended.

The Game

Nothing complicated about this game. Line them up and march forward. Because Chris deployed in front of the Nile he started closer to the big hill in the centre. That meant the Shardana Guard, in the middle of the Eygptian line, were the first to seize the crest line. As it happens directly facing them were more Shardana, but part of the invading Sea Peoples horde.

Shardana Guard crest the hill

Shardana Guard crest the hill

As soon as the game started I pushed my Sea Peoples general further to the flank to threaten the end of the Egyptian line.

Sea Peoples General threatens Egyptian right

Sea Peoples General threatens Egyptian right

The battle lines marched closer and the Egyptian bows started firing. A hail of arrows over several bounds are more or less no effect on the approaching Sea Peoples. Bows (+2) don’t achieve much when shooting at Blades (+5). But in other areas of the table it didn’t look so good for the Sea Peoples. On the hill the Egyptian close combat fighters dominated the crest line. And on the far side of the table the Egyptian chariots were approaching my exposed flank.

Battle lines close

Battle lines close

Despite the odds my Sea Peoples warriors on the hill drove the Egyptian close combat fighters up the hill. Perhaps my Shardana warriors were enrage as seeing their relatives – the Shardana guard – in the ranks of the enemy. But the benefit was temporary.

Sea Peoples drive Egyptians up the hill

Sea Peoples drive Egyptians up the hill

The big risk for me was on my exposed right flank. Three Egyptian chariots including the general sweeping around the end of my line. I held back a blade and psiloi to face with them but Chris advanced his only Bow element on that flank to ZOC my warrior and allow the chariots to advance unopposed. Looks bad.

Egyptian Chariots sweep around flank

Egyptian Chariots sweep around flank

The good news was that my ZOCed Blade element just charged and destroyed the Bow element pinning him. First blood for the Sea Peoples.

Sea Peoples take out first Egyptian Bows

Sea Peoples take out first Egyptian Bows

However that left only a single Psiloi stand as my flank guard. The Egyptian chariots made short work of them.

Chariots destroy Sea Peoples skirmishers

Chariots destroy Sea Peoples skirmishers

We were now engaged all along the line.

Battle rages all along the line

Battle rages all along the line

On the near flank my warriors finally got into contact with the Egyptian archers – a couple of 1 PIP scores had delayed this. Now they were in contact the factors, Blades (+5) versus Bows (+2), led to a slaughter. Two Bow stands destroyed, the sole survivor recoiled, as did the chariot on the flank.

Sea Peoples cut into the Egyptian Archers

Sea Peoples cut into the Egyptian Archers

The battle on the hill raged backwards and forwards. Chris retained the crest line, and hence the +1 for uphill, but it wasn’t enough to tip the balance definitively in his favour. I pushed him back. He pushed me back. The battle was going to be won elsewhere.

Battle see-saws on the hill

Battle see-saws on the hill

I don’t have a good photo of the end of the game but basically, in the Egyptian bound, I killed another Egyptian element and Chris took two of mine. This all happened on the far flank. Chris’s general charged a blade element of mine allowing another chariot to get on its flank – my guy died. On the hill Chris finally get a temporary advantage and destroyed one of my blade elements. On on the hill the third Egyptian chariot hit the rear of one of my blades – my guy turned around and destroyed the imprudent Egyptian. That was the deciding kill. Total score 4 v 3 in my favour.

Conclusions

It was a pretty straight forward game but quite enjoyable.

Chris was obviously expecting his archers to be able to influence my warriors, but with +2 versus +5 this was never going to be possible. That will heavily influence our next game with these armies.

We are out of practice and suffered from forgetting the rules. Bit embarrassing really given DBA is so simple. But, in our defence, it has been months since we last played it. We got the terrain set up wrong (included a gentle hill in Littoral topology) and forgot the rules for when a flank attack is allowed. Actually, on re-reading the rules, I couldn’t find any rules on this. Maybe, in lieu of actual rules, I’ve been using a dim recollection of flank attack rules in DBM or FoG or HOTT. No idea now. Maybe it is time I read the rules again. Maybe it is time I read DBA 3.0.

I’m still enjoyed the concept of Big Base DBA. I think the armies look great. Lots of figures – 118 figures in the Sea Peoples army – and few moving parts. Love it.

This game also reflects a move to mid-week games. We have a theory, yet to be tested, that this will enable more frequent gaming given my weekends are entirely occupied by a young family. Seemed to work. Chris was here for about three hours. A far bit of chat. A coffee and cake. A game of Big Base DBA, including set up. Rather a pleasant evening.

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