More Syrians

22 October, 2018

The Syrians are taking shape. It’s just a matter of doing belts and suchlike now; thought there’s a bit of that for the mounted elements. I got the minimum of foot done, the Ahdath militia and some javelinmen.

Syrian militia and javelinmen.

The photos show where I need to touch up moustaches, and the varnish is not matte enough for my liking.

Another angle.

The figures are Khurasan, but I’ve given some of them shields from Legio Heroica; the decals are LBMS. Their spears are a little cartoonish. I like their poses, and I’m fairly pleased with the palette for their clothes.

Another angle.

From behind.

The helmets could be painted as covered in cloth. I’ve not done that, but the turban that comes out the back of them looks a lot like hair. I’ve painted them as turbans based on the other figures.

Now I’ve just got seven elements of cavalry to go.

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Libyans

18 October, 2018

Libyans from Liverpool.

I’ve got quite a few figures started, but got a few elements finished over the weekend; one of them is some Libyan cavalry for the Later Carthaginians. These aren’t strictly necessary, but they seemed to have a bit more character than the staid Liby-Phoenicians. They’re certainly hairier!

Libyans and Liby-Phoenicians.

I also painted an element of Libyan skirmishers. This gives me three elements for using in BBDBA; again it’s not really necessary, but they’re nice figures.

Libyan javelinmen.

And here they are with their more established compatriots (there are a few more consorting with elephants).

BBDBA Libyans.

And finally, the figures that sparked off these purchases — a LH command for my Numidians. To justify buying them, I bought a whole lot of other CB figures …

Numidian commands.

Another angle.

Now I need to finish my Syrians, and the nine elements of Veteran Libyan and Liby-Phoenician Spearmen. They’re all started.

Browny-con

8 October, 2018

Browny-con was organised by Grant at his house and was a great success — 8 players and six rounds of DBA. We used a scoring system, but were relaxed about army choices, going for match-ups at each round.

A few missed games at either end missed all the rounds, and we scored 5 pts for a bye. Otherwise it was 8 for a win, 1 for a loss and 0 for a draw and you subtracted losses for your win and added kills for your loss or draw. The scores were:

Benny 35
Mark 32
Simon 30
Grant 28
Dave 26
Philip 24
Joel 23
Nick 18

Camps sacked and generals killed were (Camps sacked – Generals killed):

Benny (0-2)
Mark (0-1)
Simon (0-0)
Grant (1-2)
Dave (0-1)
Philip (1-0)
Joel (0-0)
Nick (0-1)

My games were:

1. Mitanni v. Sea People (Philip)

The Mitanni destroyed the Sea People using their light option (Psiloi and Fast Auxilia). It was their six chariots that proved superior to the auxilia and fast blade they met.

2. Campanians v. Polybian Romans (Joel)

Joel fielded a lovely BUA (Diocletian’s palace). I had him have it on his side and charged into contact with him, hoping to win on my left flank where I had fast auxilia and cavalry against his cavalry and psiloi. My centre crumbled (hoplites not enduring against blade), and things looked hopeless when my general 6-1ed his to turn around the game. I then destroyed the psiloi and cavalry on my left wing. It was a very jammy victory!

3. Mitanni v. Ugarit (Dave)

What I did to Joel, Dave did to me. I had the factors, I thought, in this battle — I had solid auxilia facing fast auxilia and I had a LCh facing a psiloi on the other flank. The dice went against me and I was 6-1ed repeatedly, losing my General and five other elements in an absolute rout.

4. Mitanni v. Midianites (Grant)

Mitanni face Midianites.

After lunch I faced Grant’s Midianites, and was grateful to finally be defending, avoiding sand dunes. I went for my heavy option of solid auxilia and solid bow. The battle was tipping in Grant’s favour when one of my bow was destroyed, but the dice went my way and I rolled up his flank and won quickly.

5. Late Carthaginian v. Pyrrhus (Benny)

Carthage faces Pyrrhus.

This was a game I thought I had; I managed to get my elephant to face Pyrrhus. All I had to do was QK his Kn general. Unfortunately, to do this I’d moved the elephant in front of a pair of Gallic warbands. If I’d moved the warbands first, I might have avoided this. It was a sideways shuffle. Predictably the elephant had to recoil — twice! On my left flank a psiloi was destroyed by an enemy one, allowing it to close the door on my auxilia, ending the game.

I was lucky to avoid losing two LH to a situation on the other flank. Benny’s LH and cavalry had advanced on opposite sides of the hamlet, so they were not lined up. The Numidians were positioned to ZoC both of them. Benny attacked with the Cv and the Numidians conformed (as he couldn’t). He then could close the door with the LH. Fortunately I won the battle. It’s an odd situation. Benny’s cavalry couldn’t advance as a group, as they weren’t one. He didn’t set out to create such a situation, but it was a nasty one.

Numidians before being attacked by cavalry with a LH overlap.

6. Mithridates v. Marian Romans (Nick)

Nick’s bad luck continued. He took an artillery element in the middle of his legionaries. It faced my Sarmatian Kn flanked by pikes. On my left flank the Romans had more BGo troops than I did facing each other across a wood. Nick’s PiPs were terrible, which prevented him from moving into the woods. He attacked with his legionaries, leaving a gap for the artillery to continue shooting at the Sarmatians. I was lucky to avoid losing anyone in these attacks, but got to charge the Sarmatians at the artillery and close the door on the legionaries in the gap with some LH. The gap widened, and after surviving a turn the artillery was destroyed. This gap was one that the Romans couldn’t fill, hampered by bad PiPs and poor combat dice.

It was a great day; most of the battles played very quickly. There’s talk of getting some HoTT armies together next.

Recent games

7 October, 2018

This year I’ve not had many games of DBA, but I’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve played. In the middle of the year we had a series of games organised by Grant at his house that he called Browney-con. I’ll finish the write-up some time soon. Otherwise, last month I caught up with Nick for a game of BBDBA at the AWC. My Carthaginians lost to his Polybian Romans, but I did take away from it a better combination of commands.

Carthaginians (right) facing invading Polybian Romans last September.

This weekend we had more games at the AWC (no photos this time). My Carthaginians went against Nick’s Polybians again. I was the attacker, and made things difficult for myself by deploying first! I possibly created an opportunity for myself, as my left flank was the high PIP command with all my Cv and LH. My right flank ended up in rough going against Nick’s high PIP command of Cv and 4Ax. Great dice allowed me to redeploy four of the Numidians to the right flank. In a tight encounter they managed to destroy that flank for the loss of only one Numidian. However, the command on that flank collapsed on the same turn, losing their Wb commander and two of their Scutarii.

Remarkably, the centre of Sp was unharmed, as was the left flank, apart from the Numidians that had done their march. That flank was in a stalemate with the Triarii. In fact, the spearmen were overpowering the Legionaries, and had inflicted a loss, as had the Wb general before he was killed.

The battle came to a conclusion with the Numidians ignoring the two demoralised commands facing each other and marching to the centre of the field to attack psiloi there. The spearmen had another success and in the last turn completed their great performance by killing another element of legionaries. The Numidians had already broken the command, however, with their attacks on psiloi, and the Roman high PIP command lost their general too.

After lunch we had two games of DBA. My Mittani were unsuccessful against Grant’s Midianites and Kieran’s Minoans, whereas Nick’s newly painted Later Crusaders were successful against Kieran’s Japanese, and Grant’s Ayyubid Egyptians. It was a really enjoyable day and there’s talk of more games too; hopefully we can get a campaign underway.

Ghulam, ghulam

3 October, 2018

The first of the Syrian mounted elements is now ready, a pair of ghulams. The figures are Legio Heroica, and paint up very nicely. I was in a bit of a hurry and they’re a little untidy.

Syrian ghulams.

I am trying to get the rest of the army done by the end of the week for a few games on Sunday; this was a good start. I got a bit distracted investigating what I’d need to morph these figures into other armies. Without too many figures, I could field Fatimid (III/66), Ayyubid Egyptian (IV/20) and Seljuq Turk (III/74). there are probably more from either side of the period too.

Another angle.

The ghulams are particularly nice troops, and I wouldn’t mind getting some more.

And another.

Syrians

30 September, 2018

I’ve started to get some Syrians (IV/6) painted for DBA. I got them at the beginning of the year, but then things got busy, and I’ve only recently started to work on them. Here is the first finished elements – the baggage and an element of archers.

The Syrian camp.

Another angle.

Syrian archers.

Another angle.

The foot are from the Khurasan range, but as that range is not complete, I went for Legio Heroica for the mounted. this took a fair bit of preparation. Some of which was mixing up the shields with the Khurasan ones (which are little bucklers). I also used LBMS transfers for this army, which proved a lot easier than I’d first thought. The figures did not look too exciting until I got the undercoat on. I use a wash to pick out the detail; with that they really came to life.

The command element: ghulams and a drummer.

The ghulams.

Syrian or Kurdish cavalry.

I have one too many elements of ghulams, which do look very nice, and one too few of the Syrians; as they both fight as Cv I doubt this is too major. I wanted to avoid a hike in postage.

Bedouin horsemen.

Turkoman horse archers.

With all these figures primed and with banners and shields done, I’m keen to get them painted. The banners were a little tricky; I’d thought they’d slide to line up, but the PVA didn’t do that; perhaps I should have used a varnish on the back of the paper.

There are more elements of foot that I’ve prepped – 3Ax javelinmen, 3Wb ghazis and some 7Hd Ahdath militia. The army is not especially formidable. It does look nice, and provides a historical opponent to Crusader armies. I’m not sure what a single horde adds to a cavalry army, and I’m tempted to use an ally to avoid them; either Cilician Armenians or Crusaders are possible.

Despite plans to start a regular evening DBA meeting this year, it’s yet to happen, but I have caught up with Nick for a number of enjoyable games. One back in January saw a BBDBA contest in which my Marian Romans with Numidian allies were defeated by Nick’s Romans. We didn’t take any photos. I think my Numidians forgot to be defensive and were defeated before I could win elsewhere.

A fortnight ago we had a couple games using some of my newer armies. My Numidians defeated Nick’s Marian Romans.

The Numidians face Roman interlopers in a very green season in Numidia.

The Romans’ view.

I rushed forward to trap the legionaries next to the woods. I didn’t succeed, and I had the auxilia on my left that I didn’t want to meet with psiloi. From memory I was on the verge of defeat when I was lucky enough to create a hole in the line of the blade (I’d been falling back; I’d lost my only psiloi on the right and my commander was trying to retreat over the hill). This brought me back into the fight, which was looking over for the Numidians. I had been saved by good PIPs that allowed me to retire the general while keep pressure on in the centre. I was lucky to win.

The next battle was between my Campanians and an Italiot Hoplite army. It was fought on a battlefield with no Bad Going, but only a boggy and a scrubby patch, both Rough Going.

Campanians facing Italiot hoplites.

The Italiots.

My Hoplites created a breakthough in the centre, but I was so obsessed with winning on the flanks I didn’t exploit it. Instead, when I rolled 1 PIP I chose to take a risk with my general facing enemy cavalry so that I could develop an advantage on my right flank. This cost me the game, as my General was 6-1ed and destroyed. The Italiots managed a close victory.

Last weekend we caught up again. I got the Marians and Numidians out for a BBDBA game. Nick fielded his Early Imperial Romans. This game was interesting, as my centre destroyed his in record time and my Numidians were able to break their opponent with this support. I’ve not seen blade go down to blade so fast before. My dice were very good. the element that did it was a ring in. To get the 10 elements of legionaries I needed I used an element with different shield patterns. These are an element for my Mithridatic army, one I’ve described as Marian exiles fighting for Mithridates. Clearly they are dedicated defenders of the Republic.

The heroic Marian exiles.

The game was nearly over before the left wing made contact. My elephants were still stuck in rough going (my new hamlet), and I was nervous of the Roman knights.

The righteous defenders of the free Republic face off on hills against the supporters of the tyrant Augustus.

The EIR wing on my left, cavalry, knights and auxilia.

The EIR centre, auxilia, blade and bow.

The EIR wing on my right, blade, auxilia and rogue Numidian LH.

The battle from the side; the centre led by Cato is between two difficult hills; Juba’s Numidian psiloi are on one hill while his imitation legionaries, elephant and cavalry are in rough going; Labianus on the right wing is in a hamlet with elephants, cavalry and solid auxilia; he has psiloi and fast auxilia on the other hill.

Clearly the Numidians were not keen on fighting each other, as there were a number of rounds of combat that saw no casualties on that wing; the Romans were not so delicate in their attitude to each other. This is my first victory with this Marian BBDBA army. I’m still not sure how to get it to work well. I will probably get my Carthaginians out as a BBDBA army again soon. They are similarly winless, but I now have a better idea of how to organise commands.