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A Trip to Milan

A report of the Italian DBMM Team Championship 2012

By Herbert Wong


In March I went to join the 2012 Italian DBMM Team Championship, held in Milan; here is their official website: http://www.tagmata.it/


 We had to submit as a team of 4 into 4 historical pools, here are my teamates:



Everyone played 4 games in 2 days, and after each round the teams' total points decided your team ranking and the ranking put you against another team, a typical Swiss ladder system. I played in Pool 4, the High Medieval, and picked Low Countries (4-57) with lots of Pk(O).  It is a good list, both in offense and defense, but short of Psiloi; it turned out that my opponents exploited my weakness in all 4 games.


In the 1st game I played against the Burgundian Ordonnance, he got Bw(x) with Bw(S) in support, 10-12 plus around 10 Kn and dismounted, 2 Art(O), 10+ RegPs(S/O), 2 LH(O/I).  Even though I put a river along the short edge, and both flanks were secure with woods and BUA, the enemy cleared my flank step by step with Ps.  My Art(I) killed one of his Art(O), however his Bw(X) shot down my 4 Art(I) with some good dice, then my Pike started to be rained upon by bow and were laid down one by one. My only tactical mistake was giving the lowest PIP to my Bd(X) command, which cannot react to his Kn's flank attack (after my right hand wood had been cleared by his Ps).  All my 3 commands broke and 23:2.



In the 2nd game I was pitted against Islamic Berbers (Book 3), lots of LH and Ps.  This Irish gentleman used his light troops in a very skillful way. The deployment was very similar to the first game, river put in middle slight left, right hand secure with 1 FE wood, left hand secured by BUA.  I even had a gentle hill placed in my centre; a perfect defensive position. But again both my flanks were cleared by his Ps(S), then his LH passed through the wood.  I reacted with my small Kn command (3 Kn included Gen) to form a defensive line try to stop his incoming LH, luckily he killed my Kn with LH charging out from the wood, and my smallest command broke. In the centre, he approched my line with RegSp(O) in line, I charged downhill to meet him, then he retired his whole group in line as a group move.  Here we played wrongly in the past as, after rule clarification, it is legal to retire a whole group when all are regular land or light troops, for just 1 PIP more.



I stopped chasing him as I could not catch him in this case. Finally I manage almost to break another of his commands, attacked from my left hand, and time is up.  I lost by a small margin of ME in this game, 14:11.  Another loss.



In my 3rd game, I fought against Dailamic Arabs (Book 3) he got lots of RAxS, RCvS, RPsO which support RAxS, I placed again a river along the short edge, but I didn't use Wd for this game; with a river on my left and BUA on my right, still a good defensive position.  Enemy used his RCvS marching to my right and an entire RAxS+RPsO move into my left.  In the centre he deployed a line of RPsO to deal with my Pike line.  A classic double envelopment (3 times in my 3 games).



I put my Pike line forward but his army retreated in very good shape. Then he attacked across the river, and I had to sacrifice some of my RPsO for delay until I could form a defensive line with my 2 small commands, then I counter attacked with my Pike block and RBdS, which was a very powerful frontal attack.  His Auxilia command was disheartened and 0.5ME short for broken, then he swiftly retired with the whole group across the river and disappeared into Rough going.  On my right his RCvS attacked my RBwO and the situation was saved when my RBdS and RPkO arrived, again he turned and withdrew.  Then my opponent told me he needed to leave early and ask for a game stop, I agreed and the game ended slightly in my favour, 13:12.



My last game was vs Later Swiss, 48xRPkS, 13xRPsS, 3RKnO, 1xRArtI, 2 Gen as RPkS, 1 Gen as RPsS, my opponent a 14 year-old boy and there was no excuse for me not to win!! Very luckily 3 1xFE woods were placed within his deployment zone, and he deployed first!!  So he placed a defensive semi-circle with all RPsS on my right flank, on his left there was a 1xFE Wd but he didn't guard with RPsS, so  obviously a deployment mistake!  I grouped my 6xRArt(I) in the centre to face his Pike line and my Pike block (5 elements deep) behind.  Then all RKnI dismounted as RBdS on 2 flanks, I moved my RBdX into his right hand side Wd (my left) and attacked his flank. The RArtI managed to kill 3 of his RPkS before he charged in. RPkO no match to his RPkS, but his Pike group had been drawn into my centre, then my flank attack started to work well and his Pike block to be flanked.  On my right his RPsS put out from the woods and only met my RBdS and RPkO. 4 of my RPkO were killed by his Ps, and the situation only saved when my Pike Gen with the reserve Pike block arrived. 


I was a bit nervous as the game flowed very slowly, the boy could not speak English very well, and he needed to ask for the umpire often for the rules.  2 of his command were close to breaking but only 15 minutes were left!!  But finally I managed to break all 3 of his commands before the game end and I slaughtered a boy!! 23: 2 in my favour.



Points learned from the tournament:


1) Regular troops are much better than Irregular, even an Irr Gen needs Reg troops, the manoeuvre ablity of Reg is worth paying for!

2) Always bring enough RPs, Superior preferable, as RPsS are very good to use.

3) Select those RKn which can be dismounted; I fought 4 games with them 90% of the time dismounted.

4) Only Ps can do group movement in difficult going, remember a column expanding into line is a group move as well.

5) Quantity vs Quality.  I prefer Quantity, it is because my dice need warming up!

6) 1 big and 2 small commands are OK, but need careful planning.


So it is worth being there, it refined my rule understanding and induced lots of tactical ideas for DBMM, such as how to utilise Psiloi.



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