|1||Roll once for each element in turn, except for the command element and elements in ongoing combat, in an order chosen by the opposing side: on a score of "1" the nominated ("hot") element leaves the field, either because it suspects treachery or because it's in high dudgeon (etc etc)|
|2,3||The "hot" element refuses to move at all. It remains in position, shouting imprecations and waving its weapons, until an enemy element shoots at it or initiates contact.|
|4,5||The "hot" element flees 600 if it is in ongoing combat; otherwise recoils.|
|6||The "hot" element is out for blood and moves by the minimum distance and turns necessary to initiate contact: this continues each turn until it contacts or its contacted by an enemy, or is forced to recoil by shooting.|
Finally, since so much "local" warfare in the Highlands revolved around cattle raids (which could be quite large scale) why not stage a scenario in which one side is attempting to intercept the other driving home its stolen booty?
The first side to deploy is the intercepting force, and it begins with all of its elements in a one element-wide column. The reivers deploy likewise, with the rear of the column in contact with any part of the opposing baseline. The reiver player subtracts from his army any three elements of his choice and replaces them with cattle bases. Cattle bases move as Cv but have a tactical factor of only +1, and are "destroyed" on any losing combat score; but in the reiver's own turn can be converted to SC (that almost never fielded DBA troop type) at the cost of +1 pip per element. (So in desperate extremis you can try driving your stolen cattle straight at the enemy - as Rob Roy MacGregor reputedly did in the 18th century against pursuing redcoats!)
Each cattle element successfully moved over the opposite baseline by the reiver gives him a victory point; each cattle element "destroyed" (more likely recaptured) by the interceptor gives his army a victory point.
There are probably other variants which could easily be added to give local flavour to Highland and other broadly similar games (for example steal the Lurkers rule from HOTT and allow any but Bd elements to become ambushers, which can deploy on the flank of an enemy element which enters bad going at a cost of +1 pip) - any other ideas?
Philip Woutat: I agree with Mr. Beers's suggestions regarding Scottish clansmen (presumably DBA v1.2 #111 Pre-Feudal Scots and #128 Scots Isles & Highlands, and possibly #67 Caledonian or Pictish) being somewhat flexible with respect to Aux/Wb classification. They seem to be sufficiently restrictive as to not be overly flexible and prone to throwing armies out of balance, and yet add some interesting options in line with (at least what I understand to be) their historical behavior. Certainly such troops were used to fighting in other than level, firm terrain, and the Auxilia terrain benefit (or lack of penalty) is appropriate in this case. The charging behavior typical of Warbands is appropriate to these armies as well. Barring giving Wb the same freedom in difficult going that Aux have, this seems like a good compromise.
In a related vein (e.g. #67 Caledonian or Pictish, and #111 Pre-Feudal Scots), should troops classed as Aux in DBA (armed with spear and shield, and able to receive up to two ranks of rear support from other Aux(X) in DBM) qualify for the "+1" rear rank support that Sp do? Similarly, should they qualify for Ps support as Sp and Bd do, since Aux(X) can get support from a third rank of bow-armed Ps? I would like to suggest they should, but I have not had a chance to play-test the ideas.
I would like to expand on Mr. Beers suggestion of importing the HotTs troop type of Lurkers to such games as ambushers. He suggests any but Bd elements could be Lurkers/Ambushers; I would like to suggest that mounted troops would not have the stealth or the capability in bad going to qualify as Ambushers (which perhaps Mr. Beers took as a given). Certainly Ps and Aux would qualify; Pk should not (typically being close order troops, which have difficulty in rough ground or woody vegetation), nor should Art. My first inclination is that Wb should qualify, though with a penalty for fighting in bad going, perhaps they would best be used charging OUT of concealing terrain at a targeted element (useful in conjunction with the v2.0 double Wb move into combat). Similarly, I could see Bw, Lb, and Cb elements qualifying, and most likely used to attack OUT of concealing terrain. I would like to hear some discussion of this from better historians and more experienced players than myself, though, along with more discussion as to whether or not Bd and Sp units should or should not qualify.
Ambushing troops would use their standard combat factors and movement rates for their type, along with the standard terrain adjustments. Combat results would also be as listed in the DBA rules, with the exception that units forced to flee or recoil flee into the bad going from whence they came, and are then removed from the board, reappearing again as per the standard HotTs rules for Lurkers.
Tim Donovan: I agree that there are problems with the Warband classification in terms of many of the Celtic warriors of the British Isles. The Welsh and Scots Irish also fall squarely into this category with DBM constantly changing their classfication of these troops. It is simply that they can, as has been illustrated, adapt to the tactical situation at hand and fight as either impetuous warband or fleet-footed auxilia. I think that DBM best handles them as Wb(F) with the fast classification allowing extra movement, no penalty in the rough, but they are inferior in combat in that when their total is less than the enemy the subtract 1 greatly increasing the chance of them being doubled.
For a quick, dirty, and simple DBA fix I would simply classify the clansmen in DBA 1.2 as WB(F) and play them as vs Foot +3 Mounted +2, movement 300 paces, no -2 in rough, but they never recieve rear support due to a more open formation and "celtic" reliance on individual combat. For 2.0 I guess it will be the same.
Last Updated: Feb. 22, 2001
Comments, suggested additions, and/or critiques welcome. Direct them to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.