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"Palmyran vs Sassanid DBMM battle" Topic

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lou cardinale Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 8:23 a.m. PST


Last evening, at the last minute, we decided to play another game of DBMM ancients. Four players in our group played, pitting the previously unbeaten Sassanid Persians against the Palmyrans. The premise to this battle was that previously, the Persians had defeated the Eastern Roman Army and captured the Emperor Valerian. The Palmyran Army was called in to assist the Romans and under the tutelage of their king, Odenathus, took the field and started the pursuit of the Sassanids.

Tom and Ben, who have never played DBMM before this game, were to command the Palmyran Army. Myself and Mike commanded the Sassanid Persian Army.

With the Palmyran's being the defender, they get to choose the battlefield, as well as most of the terrain. I chose first, with a 2 FE sized gentle hill on the Persian right, near the center line. The Palmyrans chose two rough cultivated fields, with one on the Roman left, near it's base edge and the other on the Palmyran right, near the center line. That was it for terrain, as both armies had large contingents of mounted troops and neither side wanted to clutter the field with more terrain.

The following has some abbreviations, with SG meaning Sub General and an R meaning regular and an I meaning irregular. ME stands for Morale Equivalents, and FE means, Feature Equivalent. ME is a term used a lot in DBMM, as divisions will gradually deteriorate, with the loss of stands in a command. When more then 25% of a division's ME are destroyed, it becomes Disheartened, at more then 33% losses, it becomes Demoralized and at more then 50%, it Routs and leaves the field.

The Palmyran Army was composed as follows; three commands, with the center commanded by the King Odenathus, RKn(X), 7 x RKn(X), 2 x ILh(F), 4 x IPs(O) = 22 ME. The right was commanded by Ben Campbell with SG RKn(X), 3 x RKn(X), 7 x ILh(F), 3 x RLh(S), 4 x IPs(O) = 22 ME. The left was a Roman contingent with; 1 x SG RCv(O), 1 x RCv(O), 1 x ILh(F), 6 x RBd(O), 4 x RAx(O), 2 x RPs(O) = 17 ME.

The Sassanid Persian Army was commanded by myself and Mike Burke and was composed as follows; Left, commanded by Mike Burke wwith SG ICv(S), 9 x ICv(S), 4 x ILh(F), 1 x IPs(O) = 26.5 ME, center commanded by the King, CinC IKn(X), 5 x IKn(X), 2 x ILh(F), 4 x Ps(O), 17 x IHd(O) = 26.5 ME. This center divisioon had all the MILITIA, which are rated as Horde, HD(O) and are basically useless if used improperly, which is just what I did.

The Persian right had a SG ICv(S), 2 x ICv(S), 2 x ILh(F), 4 x IEL(O), 6 x IAx(S), 4 x IPs(O) = 26 ME. This division had all the Elephants, IEL(O), which were guarded by the DayLami, IAx(S).

Ben commanded the Palmyran right and Tom commanded the center and left. Mike Burke commanded the Persian left and was paired against Ben Campbell and I command the center and right and was matched against Tom Breza.

The Sassanid right most division was set up on the Gentle Hill, so I know the Palmyran's would avoid this. All other terrain played no part in the outcome of the battle.

The Palmyran's had the first bound and advanced with their right and center divisions and refused their left, Roman Division, which was opposite the Sassanid's positioned on the hill. On their 1st turn, the Sassanid's advanced with the two wing divisions and refused the center. The Sassanid right division moved off the hill with all the EL(O) and Dylami,Ax(S) infantry, whose job was to protect the EL(O), directly at the stationary Roman division.

In the center, both armies had large numbers of cataphracts, which were positioned against one another, but the Palmyrans clearly had more. Mike advanced with the Sassanid left divison, which included most of the Elite cavalry, Cv(S). he also sent out on the extreme left flank, a group of Lh(F) in column, in order to get around and then behind the Palmyran right flank. However his movement was not completed, do to insufficent PiP's and were left in column.

On the 2nd turn, Ben, who commanded the Palmyran right , decided to move against the flanking column of Sassanid Lh(F), with a group of 3 of his own, Lh(S). Being of better quality and having enough Pip's, struck Mike's units in flank. Since Ben could not also attack Mike's units to the front, all of the Sassanid Lh(F) get to turn and face. In the ensuing combats, Ben rolled horribly and Mike rolled fantastic, with the result being two of the Palmyran Lh(S) being destroyed and the third driven back.

This outcome, changed the entire action on that flank for the rest of the game, as Mike now led his Elite Sassanid Cavalry, Cv(S), of which he had 9 stands, against Ben's smaller contingent of Kn(X).

Meanwhile, Tom advanced the Palmyran center several times against the stationary Sassanid center and it became clear that he wanted to destroy the Sassanid's and then loot the Sassanid baggage. On the Sassanid 2nd turn, Mike moved his Cv(S) against Ben's Kn(X) and started to get the better of the combat's, destroying two of Ben's Kn(X) and another Lh(S). The result was that Ben's Palmyran division became, DISHEARTENED.

On our right, my Sassanid Division continuesd to advance with the EL(O) and Ax(S) infantry with them and struck the stationary Roman Legions, Bd(O). In the ensuing combat, the Romans destroyed two Ax(S) and pushed back the EL(O). This would leave the EL(O) alone and unprotected,as the remaining Palmyran Ax(S) had advanced into one of the fields against the Roman Ax(O). This turn of events changed my plans on this flank and I would become a lot more defensive and the Romans would now prosecute the attacks.

On the Palmyran 3rd turn, Ben tried to salvage his right flank division by attacking, but with being DISHEARTENED, it would cost double PiP's to move units and he was not able to do much, just killing one Sassanid Cv(S), but lost another two stands and his division went DEMORALIZED. In the center, Tom advanced his Palmyran Kn(X)closer to the Sassanid center and there would be combat in the next turn.

On his left, Tom attacked with the Romans and killed one of my EL(O), but failed to kill another, as I rolled a "6" in combat and saved the EL(O). On the 3rd Sassanid turn I attacked with my EL(O) and actually killed a Bd(O) and my Ax(S), killed a Roman Ax(O), so I was trying to stabilize this flank. In the center, I decided to await the Palmyran attack for next turn and remained stationary. Mike attacked everywhere with the Sassanid left flank division and continued to destroy Ben's Palmyran units.

Turn 4, the Palmyran center division attacked along it's entire front with the Kn(X) and two Lh(F), killing two Sassanid Kn(X) and one Lh(F) as well. This was not going to end well for the Sassanids. The Palmyran right wing units started to flee toward their rear table edge, but Ben was able to keep a few units organized and hopefully slow down the Sassanid's from getting involved in the center. On the Palmyran left, their Roman allies were continuing to attack the Sassanid EL(O) and proceeded to kill one more. This put the Sassanid right wing division just one ME short of becoming DISHEARTENED. They never lost another melee.

Turn 4, had the Sassanid's counter attack all along the battlefield, with Mike moving up on the left and now advancing toward the Palmyran baggage and starting to move toward the center, where the massive battles were taking place between both sides cataphracts, Kn(X). On the Sassanid right, their commander and another Cv(S), finally came to the assistance of the EL(O) and attacked the Romans to relieve the pressure on the massive beasts.

In the center, the Sassanid CinC launched an attack against the Palmyran CinC, with assistance from an overlapping Kn(X), but was only able to push him back.

Turn 5 was the catalyst, as the Palmyran center launched a massive counter attack against the enemy Kn(X), killing several and in the swirling melee, the Sassanid king was slain. In this one turn, the Sassanid center division went from fresh, all the way to Demoralized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and because I lost the general, there was no way to prevent any of the stands from fleeing, unless they were already in base contact with the enemy………….

On the Palmyran left, their Roman allies launched a final attack to break the elephants and it appeared that it would work. However, it was not to be, as I proceeded to roll a "6" & "5" in both attacks and our scores were a tie.

On the Sassanid turn, Mike was moving his entire left wing command of 8 x Cv(S), 4 x Lh(F) toward the center and if the game had continued, I don't think that the Palmyran center would have been able to withstand his attacks. On our right, I was able to attack with the EL(O) and general's Cv(S) and destroy two stands of Romans, which DISHEARTENED the Roman command and that was the game.

Truthfully, Tom's Palmyran's could have pursued the fleeing Sassanid center with his Kn(X) and Lh(F) and stormed into our baggage, which would have broken the Sassanid Army. However, he chose not to do so, because he wanted to continue playing the game. Since it continued, I was able to make some saving dice throws and was able to avert my Elephant command breaking, long enough to break his Romans.

Therefore, I will call this a Palmyran victory. What was most enjoyable, was that Ben and Tom had never played DBMM before and were able, through sound tactics, to launch attacks that were very successful…..Historically that is……

Also, Mike played outstanding with his use of the Sassanid left wing, which had most of the elite cavalry, Cv(S) and was able to defeat Ben and then start to move against the Palmyran center and baggage.

After their victory, the Palmyrans were marching back home, where, in route, their King, Odenathus was murdered. His wife, Queen Zenobia has taken control of the throne and has declared Palmyran independance, as well as taking control of Syria and most of Anatolia from Rome. This was all being done, while Rome's Emperor, Aurelius was campaigning against the Germanic tribes, all along the Danube.

Now that Aurelius has successfully completed the Danubian campaign, he has decided to march east and confront the Zenobia & the Palmyran Army.

This will be the next fight……..

Until then………………….

Khusrau08 Jan 2013 3:45 a.m. PST

Thanks for the AAR, sounds like a lot of Fun. The Sasanians are my favourite army (the user name might be the give-away). They are only really good against limited opponents in DBMM.

Luckily they give a great game against their historical opponents like LIR, E. Byzantine, Conquest Arab, Hun, Palmyran, Armenians etc..

lou cardinale Inactive Member08 Jan 2013 4:08 a.m. PST

I agree, as I am new to DBMM, I can see that they would have a tough time against infantry armies, who also have good cavalry. Also, they may have a difficult time against Kn(S) & Kn(F). With that said, they are clearly one of my favorite armies, with lot's of color.

My only issue is the required 20 x Cv(S), can be a bit resricting, with choosing other stands and if you make them REGUALR, even more so.

Also, there is not enough good infantry or Lh(F). However, you can choose a Hunnic allied command, which can significantly increase the Lh in the army.

What is nice about this period, is that our group has the following armies; E. Byzantine, Patrician Roman, Hunnic, Sarmatian, Palmyran and OstroGoth.

As you stated, these armies all fought against one another and would make for an exciting campaign, as well as being a period in history where armies had significantly increased their cavalry arm, so the battles can be very mobile, which I feel that DBMM handles very well.

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