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.

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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.

Campanians at last

21 November, 2017

I’ve got a bit of catching up with putting my painting on the blog. I’ve spent a bit of time today using a new camera (and a tripod) and getting the settings right for the lighting I’m using. I’d say the results are better than what I was doing last year.

I have a nice little painting tray now, and storage for my paints.

The painting tray, lamp and other equipment.

The picture shows the lamp I use, one that has a magnifying glass built into it. It also shows my wet palette, which was working well last year, but now the baking paper is curling off the palette; perhaps it’s not damp enough. On the tray can be seen my Mitanni army taking shape. the foot should be done soon, and the chariot crew are progressing well. Then it will be a matter of getting the chariots assembled and painted, and the camp.

Otherwise I’ve updated the Army Page for my Southern Italian armies. The Campanians can now be fielded. I’ll aim to update the Numidians, Normans and Pyrrhic pages soon too.

The Campanian army.

Getting the Campanians done is quite an achievement, as they were started in 2010, and the figures may have been bought earlier than that!

A few updates

13 November, 2017

It’s over a year since the last post. Straight after Conquest I got busy with a new job; it’s quietened down a bit now, but I’ve not got back to the blog to update what I’ve been doing recently. Since I last posted, and mostly in the last few months, I’ve played a few games of DBA, and got a couple of armies finished. These were preparation for Conquest 2017, which was last weekend. Therefore, it’s time to get some reports posted.

Firstly, when I decided to go to Conquest, I decided on two armies that would encourage me to get some armies finished, much as I’d done last year. This time I decided to get my Normans to a stage they can be fielded. This involved finishing four 3Kn that had been mostly done for over a year or more. In addition, I did a camp and three 3Bw. There are stacks of Sp to do, and more crossbowmen and archers, but I could field the Normans. I’ll look to getting the rest done soon to allow these to morph into some of the other armies of that period, such as Early Crusaders, Communal Italians and Papal Italians.

The other army I decided on was Pyrrhus for BBDBA; this required me to finish the Campanians to be Pyrrhus’ Oscan troops. It also required an extra element of xystophoroi (3Kn) and Tarantine cavalry (LH). In all, this was 8 figures of 3Ax (four were already done), 9 figures of Oscan cavalry and 5 figures of 3Kn and LH. What was particularly pleasing was that I didn’t need to buy any of these; I actually reduced the lead pile a little.

I’ll post some pictures of these figures soon. Otherwise, I played a couple of games of DBA with Joel a while back, and some with John and Nick (also now a while back). Finally the weekend before Conquest I got to the AWC for a game of BBDBA with Mike. This proved invaluable, as Mike critiqued my decisions around the commands I’d created. The changes were very effective at Conquest.

Campanians

29 October, 2016

The Carthaginians that are going to Conquest are represented by the proper nationalities, except for the spear, for which I’ve had to use some Greek hoplites. To create a bit of balance with the Carthaginian spear, I got some more of my Campanian army painted. The Carthaginians are now taking three elements of Carthaginians, three of Greek mercenaries and three of Campanian mercenaries. These Campanians have already shown some grit, which is gratifying.

Campanian hoplites.

Campanian hoplites.

These figures have been on the painting queue for a while. Since I started them the auxilia in these armies has mostly been reclassified as 3Ax, which is probably more useful. I got the cavalry prepped a few weeks back, and I hope to paint them and four elements of the 3Ax to be able to field the Campanian army (II/8b).

From the side.

From the side.

And the other side.

And the other side.

And the rear.

And the rear.

The Campanian army is not terribly exciting, but it’s not as one-dimensional as the other two that I can make from these figures, the Bruttians and Apulians. I won’t even talk about the Samnites, which under DBA are really just speedbumps for any opponent.

Half the army is now ready to go.

Half the army is now ready to go.

The four elements of 3Ax ready to be painted.

The four elements of 3Ax ready to be painted.

I got a few shields and flags for this army from the Freikorp range. Two of the ‘flags’ are actually trophies. These troops used to take the tunics and belts of fallen enemies and display them on their spears. I’ve used them as such on a couple of the Old Glory figures. Not quite headhunters, but showing promise!

The trophy tunic and belt.

The trophy tunic and belt.

The cavalry needed a bit of preparation. Green stuff filled big gaps between the saddles and horses. Shields were on some, others have been salvaged from Freikorp thureophoroi that became imitation legionaries, and others are CB caetrae from their Spanish range.

The Southern Italian cavalry. The trophy on one has had a wardrobe malfunction.

The Southern Italian cavalry. The trophy on one has had a wardrobe malfunction.

When I’ve done this army, I may look to paint an Armenian army to complement my Mithridatic one.

Campanians move closer

6 December, 2010

While I did a couple of test elements for the Gladiator figures, I did a couple of Old Glory ones too. This was partly because psiloi are very quick to paint and partly to see how their hoplites compared to the Gladiator ones I was doing and to the Essex ones I’d done.

One third of the Campanians done.

I really like the Campanian hoplites; the Xyston spears help tie in the two figures that I had to drill out the hands for. I’m now keen to do the other three elements of them. This would only leave some more auxilia and some mounted elements to finish this army (and then I could do the remaining five to seven elements of auxilia to allow it to be used as Bruttian or Samnite.

Plenty of pose variation with these figures.

The Campanians now have an Army Page, shared with their Southern Italian neighbours.

Plodding along

11 March, 2010

Things have been a bit quiet on the gaming front for the last while. First, Joel’s been away on a school camp, so the Gauls are still waiting for their first outing. Then, having avoided a cold that got the rest of the family a few weeks back, I came down with it last week; I guess once the thesis was finally finished my body decided it could let its guard down. On top of this it’s the start of semester and fairly full on at work.

I’ve made a start on a number of figures, the Carthaginian and the Spanish cavalry; I guess they’re slightly over half finished. I’ve also started on the camp figures, which are at a similar stage.

Otherwise, my energy has gone into cleaning up some OG15 Italians that I got from Rudy Nelson; they will allow  my Bruttians to morph into Campanians, Apulians and Samnites. Rudy does a great service in breaking up OG15 packs for DBA armies, and his prices are very reasonable.

I’ve also decided to get a little fancier with my bases. Perhaps it’s the MDF bases, or perhaps it’s the Spanish camp that I’m working on, but I’ve decided to get some Acrylic Sand Mortar from an Art Shop. The brand is Pebeo, which I’ve found fairly reasonably priced for varnish and paint for bases. I’ve made a mixture of this sand mortar and Raw Sienna, Yellow Earth and Raw Umber that seems pretty satisfactory; I’ve used this on one base and added kitty litter stones, but am now waiting for some static flock to finish the whole thing. This could lead me down the path of rebasing my ancient armies (and perhaps in time the medieval ones!).

I’ve been fairly restrained so far this year with figure purchases, just a few CB figures to round out the Celts and Spanish, and those OG15s, but if I start to paint some of the Hellenistic armies that I have, I could be tempted to get some figures from either Essex or Black Hat to round them out. Perhaps I should aim to finish the Carthaginians and Spanish first, but it’s fun to see how the first figures of an army turn out, and I’ve yet to do any of those Macedonians and Greeks.

Meanwhile, now that the thesis is submitted, I’ve got a bit more spare time for reading, so while I wait for Joel to get back, I’ve started reading Caesar’s Gallic Wars again in the Latin; it’s a pity that there’s really no literary equivalent to his work that relates the war from the point of view of the Gauls. He’s a masterful stylist and great at obscuring details that show to his discredit.