Matched Pairs Mayhem

One of the aspects I enjoy about DBA is the achievable ability to play games between historical opponents. As such I build my DBA armies in historical pairs or groups. Today a few of us attended Conquest, a local convention where DBA comprised historical matched pairs event. This meant I was able to enjoy both games between historical opponents and also experiment with some armies I am unlikely to build. The challenge of course with this format is you are faced with armies you may not be familiar with.

Each player bought their own matched pair. As the event comprised six rounds players would use their own pair in half the games and their opponents pair in the other games. For my own pair I opted to field Later Carthaginians against Polybian Romans with a Numidian ally. Interestingly in games using these armies none of my opponents selected the Carthaginians. All felt the combination of troops available to Carthage were too complex while the Romans provided a degree of simplicity.

  
The Carthaginians comprised Libyan and Poeni spearmen supported by Gauls, Ligurians and various light troops as well as a number of elephants. The Carthaginians were however outnumber in horse where Roman and their Numidian allies had superior numbers. Above, one of the games between these Punic opponents. Despite the complexity the Carthaginians managed two wins and a draw during the course of the day, just.

Other pairs I encountered were Ghaznavid vs Rajputs, Hungarians vs Serbians and Carolingian vs Vikings. Below, a game in the morning between Gus and Falk using the Carolingians and Vikings.
  
In the engagement between the Ghaznavid and Rajputs, I selected Rajputs. These were, I felt, a fascinating pair which seemed well balanced. In my mind the Rajput mounted, comprised of knights and camel riders, seemed strong but were potentially a liability. However, the Rajput were selected due to the swordsman (3Bd) which I felt offered some potential. As it transpired my fleeing elephants were my undoing!

  
Above and below the Ghaznavid and Rajputs can be seen engaged.

  
Selecting between the Hungarians and the Serbians the obvious decision to be considered was that of Hungarian War Wagons or Serbian artillery. For me the however the decision was more between the Serbian bow and the Hungarians heavy foot, I selected the Hungarians. As it transpired dominating a gully with Hungarian light infantry provided the real success for the Hungarians, a move the Serbians were unable to recover from.

The final opponents pair I encountered was the Carolingians and Vikings. The Carolingians clearly have an ability to ride down the Vikings while on a battlefield dominated by terrain they are potentially at a disadvantage. I therefore selected the Vikings, yet found myself the invader on an open battlefield. Fortunately an early breakthrough by Vikings in the centre provided some additional options for the raiders. That was at least until the Carolingians attack against the Viking left was launched. Yet the Viking gods were kind and the Carolingian commander was struck down providing the Viking with victory.

The final results found Brian securing a well deserved first place. Gus meanwhile secured a prize for the loss the most generals, four to be exact. Most importantly an excellent day was had by all. Plenty of challenges provided by interesting and very well presented armies. While player numbers were down with several regulars unable to attend, there was much interest and new players talking about building armies and future games. A very successful day on a number of levels.

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