Adam and Chris came over for a Big Base DBA set in the Reconquista. El Cid (Chris) leading a Castilian/Spanish army against the fanatic, Moroccan, Caliph of the Murabitun (Adam). Feudal Spanish versus Fanatic Berber according to DBA. Any one who has seen the Charlton Heston “El Cid” movie will know what this is all about.
Summary: Fun game. The action was all cavalry with the infantry hardly involved. Ed Cid and his Hidalgos (Knights) triumphed after a long and fierce struggle. The Caliph died at the head of his army.
The table had a couple of big hills and a wood. Chris’s
I prefer HoTT Strongholds over DBA Camps, so my scratch built Christian tower appears in this game. Chris garrisoned it with a Crossbow unit.
Chris had cavalry on both wings. On his right was Knights and Light Horse.
Because of the defender deployment swap thing, Chris ended up with a lone Psiloi in the middle of his line.
El Cid, the general, was on the left with more Knights. Spears and Psiloi were in the centre.
On the other side of the table was the muslim camp. I have a variety of options for these, and for this battle went for tents and camels. I like camels.
In some ways Feudal Spanish and Fanatic Berber are similar armies. The main similarity is the infantry. Spear and Psiloi. both Chris and Adam went for Spear backed by Psiloi, a DBA 2.2 rule that makes infantry more resistant to cavalry.
The Murabitun, taking the initiative, rushed forward on the left. They dominated in light horse and want to try to exploit this mobility advantage.
There was a brief chance to turn the Spanish right flank.
So Adam pushed his flanking light horse as far forward as possible.
Would Chris advance into the pincer?
The answer is, kind of. Chris advanced his entire line.
Out on the Murabitun left flank, Chris spun a Light Horse around to face the threat. Although this unit still had an exposed flank itself.
Adam went for the sacrificial lamb
And with the odds in his favour, Adam’s Berber Light Horse destroyed the traitorous Berber Light Horse in Christian employ. The traitors got what they deserved!
Knowing he had a problem on his right, Chris moved El Cid and his left flank Hidalgos (Knights) towards his right, over the hill to his front.
Adam saw his opportunity and the Murabitun went straight in. Camels, Light Horse and the Caliph (General with Cavalry guard). There were a lot of Light Horse versus Knight match ups. How would the Berber light cavalry hold up against the armoured charges? It might be okay, given the Murabitun had numbers and outflanked their opponents.
But even with numbers against them, Knights are pretty tough. They won everywhere. They even drove back the Murabitun Camels!
And, being Knights, they charged straight back in.
On the second go, the Camels managed to push their opposite numbers back.
And then the Murabitun swung around on each flank. It was looking pretty grim for the Spanish/Castilians.
But nearby Chris was taking a risk. He was marching El Cid from his left to his right, across the front of both armies.
You can see the two infantry “centres”, now actually both flanking wings, facing each other. The real battle, all cavalry, was happening near the tower.
Adam wasn’t winning everywhere, but the rout of a unit of Knights, meant it was lookking alright for the Caliph.
Spoke too soon. El Cid had arrived and his escorts charged right into the Caliph’s guard. Actually was the Caliph was nearly surrounded.
Adam brought in some Light Horse to help the Caliph and he fought on.
But El Cid made short work of the Light Horse facing him.
Adam had some success with his Light Horse facing Knights.
But then the Christians piled into the Caliph. El Cid, two Knight units, plus Spears and Psiloi, all went for it.
Bang. Dead Caliph. Game over.
Observations and conclusions
A good fun game. DBA struggles as a simulation. but it is quick and enjoyable. And Big Base DBA looks great. Lots of figures. Simple rules. Perfect.
It was nice to get my El Cid army back on table and play Reconquista game. For a long time this was my favourite period and I didn’t play anything else. I really like both the armies: El Cid and the Castilian/Spanish; the Murabitun who were the most fanatical of the Fanatic Berbers.
4 thoughts on “El Cid crushes the Caliph – A Big Base DBA Battle Report”
The DBX family of games were always fun and fast. Beer and pretzels! We don’t play them to much anymore in our group. Rules with more seasonings were required. I don’t disagree with that. But I do miss the simplicity of those games.
A really nicely presented AAR! The big bases are very photogenic and stand well on hills. I think DBA does quite well on simulating a lot of aspects. And it always gives such a quick fun game. A good rule in DBA3 is that light horse get a +1 factor for a 2nd rank of LH. Perhaps that would have helped the Muslim side in your game.
Steven. Great battle report! I had a question regarding your Battle Of Sagrajas OOB over yonder- https://balagan.info/sagrajas-1086-a-big-battle-big-base-dba-bbbbdba-scenario#more-8272 How transposable is that to DBM version 3.2? I am only just now dipping my toes into DBx anything, so I’m horribly naive in all things proper order of battle. I can be contacted at murdockpeter AT gmail DOT com if you have any time to reply in that method. – Peter Robbins (author of https://lairoflubidius.blogspot.com/ blog)
Hmm, I suspect you’d multiply everything by 3 or 4 to turn DBA into DBM.