This battle pitted a Pyrrhic army vs a Polybian Roman army. For the battle, I had no support rules. The only modification was to have Pike be +6 vs foot or mounted. Pyrrhus invaded so Rome put out a terrain rich environment including a river. The river would be a non-factor with the new setup rules and the fact that it was behind the Pyrrhic army. Here is the line-up.
1xCv Gen 1xCv 6xBd 2xSp 2xPs
1xKn Gen 1xCv 1x Lh 4xPk 2xSp 1xPs 1xAx 1xEl
The Romans deployed the Bd in the middle with 1 Cv on the left and the Cv Gen in reserve. The Ps and Sp started in the woods. Pyrrhus deployed the Pk in the cnter flanked by 2 Sp. The Kn Gen and Lh were on the left and the Ax, El and Ps were deployed in the woods on the Pyrrhic right.
The Romans got a 6 for pips and were able to advance everything in good style. Pyrrhus, only rolled a 1. They still were able to advance the better part of their army. The El would have to wait. Rome then rolled a 3 on bound 3 so they were not inclined to be so aggressive. It was Pyrrhus who would drive the attack home on bound 4 with 5 pips.
The Romans get 4 pips on bound 5 and are able to retaliate. They use the Ps and Sp to drive back the Pyrrhic cavalry and managed to win a few fights in the center.
Pyrrhus gets 3 pips and renews his attack, this time killing the center Sp but losing the Lh with an unlucky toss of the die. On the Pyrrhic right, the El can’t quite clear the woods but fight the Roman Cv anyway since the combat factors are close. The El is doubled and destroyed.
The Roman general hopes for the Pk to clear a good distance so he can flank them with his Cv Gen. The shoving does continue but not to his liking. He is obliged to move his Ps to the safety of the woods but is able to “Barker” the Pyrrhic Kn Gen. He also concentrates on flanking the Pyrrhic Ax in the woods and destroys it with cavalry and a Ps. However, in leaving his Sp double overlapped he loses that contest.
The lines are thinning on both sides. Pyrrhus does manage to double overlap a Bd in the center and destroy it. He is not able to cause any further casualties.
Rome rolls a 3 for pips. This is enough for Rome to flank the Ps in the woods. Pushing and shoving continue in the center but the Ps is destroyed ending the game with a Roman victory.
I wasn’t sure how fun the game would be without support. I have to tell you, I did not miss the support rules. The game played fine. It wasn’t boring. The large amount of terrain kept the game interesting. As for the pike modification, I think +6 across the board is a bit too much for pikes. Whenever they were in dire straights with a double overlap, it felt like they were still indestructible at +4. I think I will try pikes at +5/+6 (Foot/Mounted) next time. I’ll keep the double penalty for bad going should it be needed.
The new setup rules require the infantry to be placed in the center half of the board. This adds another tactical problem and forces the general to decide what he will place in reserve if he has an infantry heavy army. Both armies started with some elements doubled up but it was less ofg a problem for Rome and they managed to get out of the woods (literally!) more quickly.
I have come to the conclusion that the greater movement rates are a good thing. This allows the armies to come to grips quickly and prevents one side or another from shuffling about too much. Flanking is a bit easier but not overly easy. Barkering” is just as effective as in the previous versions of the game. In all, I think that playing the game without the fiddlly support rules would work much better and…dare I says…the DBE rules actually would make a bit more sense!