10 October, 2016
I got a few more elements completed this weekend. I completed four elements of 4Ax, which will be used for Spanish Scutati serving in Carthaginian, Syracusan and Roman armies. This project also saw three elements of 3Ax being rebased for the Spanish army and around six caetrae being substituted for scuta to make them proper scutati.
I also have rebased some of my Viking 3Bw and Ps to 4Bw to comply with DBA 3.0; the 4Bw get a combat bonus when in side combat with their 4Bd, so this seemed worth the effort. Once the Gauls are done, only the Norse Irish of my armies will need any rebasing for DBA 3.0.
The mercenary 4Ax are a combination of figures from Corvus Belli, which are no longer manufactured, and Xyston. I am really pleased with how they mix and I’m looking forward to getting the Gallic Xyston figures done to see how they look similarly mixed.
These figures have rocks added, along with small bushes. I’ve done the same for the Numidians I finished earlier, so they are now properly finished. I needed to refresh my supply of kitty litter, as the remaining ‘stones’ were all too small.
I’ve been using a wet palette when I paint, and I find it very effective, though it does expose those paints that I should really bin and get new ones; in particular, my black has turned and should be replaced. Next up should be nine elements of Gallic 4Wb; and then three elements of Gallic Cv. But I’m pretty good at getting sidetracked!
6 August, 2016
It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on this blog. Recently I was reminded that Conquest was coming up at the end of this year; Keith’s planning a new format with some BBDBA for the last day. It’s got me motivated to see what I could field if I were to attend. I don’t have enough figures for any army to be made up of 36 elements from one list. I’d need to field 24 elements from one list and take an ally. This precludes taking a successor army, which is a pity, as pike are better with solid wings, something they struggle to get in normal DBA. At this stage I’ve got a few armies I’m looking at:
The Republican army at Thapsus led by Scipio and Labienus and aided by their ally the Numidian Juba. I’m painting the Numidians now, and I’m looking at rebasing Spanish to make enough 4Ax. Otherwise, I’m pretty much able to field this army. I would look to get a few more elephants, though. I’m not normally a big fan of Roman armies, but the any that resisted the tyrant Caesar is OK, especially with honourable leaders such as Labienus and Cato the Younger.
Another army is a Mithridatic one with an Armenian ally. I’d need to paint a bit more to get this one ready. It’d have two solid wings of light horse and auxilia, a centre of blade or pike and enough knights to be a threat.
I could also put together a Syracusan army with a Carthaginian ally.
Anyway, along with getting these armies ready, I’m reluctantly planning to rebase my Gauls as 4Wb; I’m hoping I can get some rather nice looking Xyston Gallic foot nobles to mix in with the Corvus Belli ones to add some further presence to each element. I also have plenty of Gallic cavalry to look at painting. Perhaps they could be another BBDBA army!
7 February, 2015
Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. A few weeks back I had my first gaming of the year, a chance to catch up with Joel and John and to see Keith for the first time in a good long time. Keith has already posted about the day, which was really enjoyable. I lost most of my games and at the time complained of poor dice, but on reflection it was really poor planning — plans that depend on good PIP dice aren’t really plans, but endeavours in blind luck! Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun and it was good to see armies out on the table that haven’t been used in a while. My Comnenan Byzantines were used twice, as were my Normans (as Early Crusaders). My Polybian Romans and Late Carthaginians were also used (oddly we had three games going simultaneously first with the Romans on one side each and then the Carthaginians). Pyrrhus’ army, Prefeudal Scots and Saxons completed the turnout.
After that day, John and I continued at my house with a game of Song of Blades and Heroes. It was a chance to use the Gnolls and some terrain. The fight at a bridge resulted in the Gnolls losing decisively against some Normans. The bridge was a bottle neck that probably favoured the superior firepower of the Normans, though the Gnolls did get to achieve a few consolation kills.
The gaming renewed my enthusiasm for painting, and I’ve got my four blocks of Successor 4Pk closer to completion, but other projects still manage to finish before them!
23 March, 2014
I’ve not kept up with reporting games I’ve played. Part of the reason for this is because I’ve only got a camera that is not all that satisfactory. I’ve taken better photos with my phone than with the small camera I’ve tried to use. The tripod is broken and can’t support the large camera I’d used for my gallery shots.
The other reason I’ve not been active on the blog is that I’ve been too busy painting (more in the next post). Anyway, I’ve played quite a lot recently, and had some very good luck. Here are some photos that aren’t too blurry.
- Battlecry, 16 Feb 2014
Last month I got along to Battlecry for a day of demo DBA games. We got a bit of interest and should be running a competition next year as a result of this. We played DBA 2.2, as noted earlier on MEDBAG.
My first game was against Joel, a historical matchup of my Early Seleucids against his Classical Indians.
I should have been in serious trouble as the Indians came around my left flank in large numbers. However, they were obviously unfamiliar with scythed chariots, as mine proceeded to tear them to pieces. I came away with a lucky victory.
Next I faced John, who’d just finished his Celtiberians. I used my Gauls.
I managed to meet his warband with my cavalry and used this to my advantage in a battle on a narrow frontage.
I then faced Mike, who used my Carthaginians. I took my Syracusans. As we are both littoral, this involved a waterway, which ended up to my back. Mike went for a littoral landing.
I hurried to advance to reduce the potential for the littoral landing party to make trouble. I was able to sack his camp (the crucified Syracusan was a provocation!) and used my longer line to outflank his elephants. Another victory.
I think we played some more games that I didn’t take pictures of. The last on my camera was my Syracusans against John’s Celtiberians. I don’t remember for sure if I won, but I think my luck was pretty strong, and I used my advantage in cavalry to compensate for the vulnerability of my spear to his warband.
Unrecorded is our final BBDBA game of Carthaginians and Celtiberians against Romans and Spanish. This was officially a draw, but I’m sure the Romans had the edge when we stopped.
- Auckland City Guard
Since then, I’ve mostly played DBA 3.0. Joel’s visited after work a few times, and I’ve got to the City Guard again. We’ve had a lot of fun trying out his Aztec hordes of doom, and we tried out a number of permutations of knights against spear.
From memory the time before last we played: Normans v. Anglo-Danish, Early Crusaders v. Comnenan Byzantines, Aztecs v. Prefeudal Scots and Vikings v. Anglo-Danish. I think there was an Aztec v. Early Crusaders too.
Last weekend I took some photos:
Our first game was his Aztecs against my North Welsh.
The South Welsh cavalry got in the way of his archers and the spearmen got flanked; however, the Welsh had been making progress against the important Aztec elements.
Next we played Ptolemy against Lysymachus. The Ptolemaic army was quite different from what I expected. I tried a littoral landing of three auxilia in a line with side edge contact with the waterway. It seemed legal and threw Lysimachus’ plans to meet this treat. I got a narrow victory in this battle.
We then tried Carthaginians against Gauls.
The Carthaginians won in a battle stacked in their favour (though elephants don’t quick kill warband any more). Our final battle was the Carthaginians against Aztecs. I didn’t take any pictures of this. The Carthaginians took only one elephant, I think. They were lucky in a battle between their two 2LH and the Aztecs two 2Ps. I killed both of them, but had I not, my back was to a wood, and I’d have been very much at a disadvantage.
2 February, 2014
More than two years after I started them, I’ve finally finished four camps for DBA: Carthaginian, Roman, Syracusan and Seleucid.
Each of these camps is modular on two 40mm x 40mm squares. The tents are Baueda, the figures are a mixture of manufacturers.
The female and her daughter next to the tent are Donningtons figures, as is the figure on the cross. The other figures are from a Freikorp command pack. I changed the shield on one figure for a Corvus Belli hoplon to make them fit better with the Corvus Belli army. I really like the transfer, which came out after I had painted this army. I’m tempted to expand the army to be able to be Early Carthaginian simply to be able to use this shield pattern! The figure on the cross is rather small, but it’s not as obvious as it was when they weren’t painted.
The tableaux is rather busy, but I wanted to get the two guardsmen and the Numidian drummer and the Libyan with a lion into the camp.
Carthaginians, like Romans and others in the ancient world, made use of crucifixion as a punishment. What the Romans found shocking is that they used it on citizens, and wealthy ones at that, who were criminal or simply unsuccessful.
This scene is made mainly with Essex camp followers or figures from a Hellenistic command pack. It shows a priest feeding the sacred geese. They should be chickens, but I only had geese figures, and they were sacred to Juno, so I figured they’d do. The priest is a Donningtons figure, the rest are Essex.
This camp was inspired by one in Lead Paean. I’ve compressed my camp into smaller dimensions and don’t seem to have found the same figure for a priest. Most of the figures are Essex (the one leading the goat is an artillery figure). The woman and the priest are Donningtons. The altar is made of Green stuff and is supposed to represent a temporary altar made from cut turfs.
Breaking with the theme of a religious rite that is found in many of my camps, this one shows some of the wealth of the Seleucids. It is a combination of Essex camp followers and Freikorp command figures.
These figures were useful in letting me trial how the Argyraspides will look when I paint them. I intend to do them next as part of seven stands of pike. Three of them will be the Argyraspides, who will have an optional command stand with Antigonus One-eyed as their general. They will have the same colour purple clothes as these figures. They have been ready to go for almost as long as the camps, but I may end up doing some rebasing first, so I’m not sure when I will get to them.
- Carthage crushes a mercenary revolt
I am very pleased to have finally finished these camps. I got to use one of them on Thursday when Joel came around. We played DBA 3.0. I was pretty tired, so I didn’t take any pictures. We had a Carthaginian civil war; I claimed to be Hamilcar Barca crushing the Mercenaries during the Truceless War; this claim was disputed, but we had one of the rascally rebels up on a cross to bolster our claim.
I ended up deploying between a large wood and a steep hill. The battle unfolded quickly with my spear being caught in column by the Gallic mercenaries. This was not good, as the whole column was ZOCed. I lost two stands of spear until I was able to get my Spanish auxilia across to support them; they won against an elephant 6-2, getting a narrow quick kill. From there my fortunes were transformed. The Spanish flanked the Gauls and the last element of spear held their ground to destroy both elements of Gauls. On the right flank my elephants, supported by psiloi destroyed some rebel spear to give me a skilfully wrought victory! I was sufficiently tired that at one stage Joel looked on in bemusement while I tried to flank my own Spanish auxilia!
This was a great victory under the inspired guidance of my new camp. It heralds a new beginning for an army that has struggled for form in the past!
27 January, 2014
Yesterday I go the Auckland City Guard again. I had a couple of games of DBA 2.2 with John. This time I even pulled out my phone and took a few pictures.
- Pyrrhus of Epirus against the Romans
The first game I used the later Epirot army of Pyrrhus. I’ve had the figures for a while, but not used them much. John used my Polybian Romans. I was the attacker and thought I was onto something pretty good when a third of the Romans seemed to be deployed too far to their right to do anything. Furthermore, for quite a while their PIPs were low and we advanced the bulk of our army as fast as we could while some light troops used the wood to protect the flank.
All went well initially. Our general removed a Bd and its supporting legion. However, on our left flank our cavalry were destroyed and the elephant fell back. The LH were lucky to survive a round of combat downhill from cavalry. On the right flank we lost our psiloi, but our Auxilia destroyed a Bd. It was 3-2 and we killed another Bd by flanking it with the general. Victory seemed assured until our double-ranked spear were destroyed by some Triarii (I’m now unsure if we’d calculated the odds correctly; I think we were each overlapped). Anyway, with losses at 4-4 the Romans chased off my LH to make an unexpected comeback.
- Pyrrhus against the Syracusans
Next John took the Pyrrhic army and I got out my Syracusans. In this game I was the attacker (no mean feat against Agg. 4). I was lucky to survive the first round of combat, and in fact my Wb destroyed a double-ranked Sp (an error we realized later!). Despite this, a Ps that had shot into our rear almost won the battle by causing our Art to turn to face; a Sp recoiled into it and the Ps destroyed it.
However, this time our cavalry won on the left flank and the Gauls destroyed the rear rank of some pike giving Syracuse a narrow victory.
Both games were very close and see-sawed. Unlike the DBA 3.0 games I’ve played recently, there was more time to adjust set-up. I’m looking forward to making DBA games at this club a regular event.
- Camp progress
The four camps that I started nearly two years ago are almost finished; I just need to flock them. The Carthaginians, Romans, Syracusans and Seleucids will each have their own camp. After that I plan t paint seven elements of 4Pk for Successor armies. I’ll be able to use Antigonus Monophthalmus as a Pk general, which could be interesting.
19 January, 2014
Last Sunday I caught up with Joel and John at the Auckland City Guard for some DBA. We used DBA 2.2. In the first game I got my Syracusans out against Joel’s new Carthaginians. It was a close game, but Joel pipped me 4-3. The second game we combined armies for a Big Battle DBA game: John and I led Gauls against Joel’s Marian Romans with Spanish allies. As defenders we deployed first. Our choice of open terrain in the centre with massed cavalry didn’t work. Our die-rolling was pretty shocking too – a humiliating defeat. The massed effect looked great, though, and attracted notice. I hope to get to that club regularly this year.
Those games inspired me to get my paints out again. I’ve got four camps that are nearly done out to finish, and seven stands of Successor pike.
On Thursday Joel came over for a couple of games of DBA 3.0. He’s played that version a lot recently. I’ve not looked at it in ages. We tried my Seleucids (ll/19d) against his Marians for the Kn-Bd dynamics. It was close, as I lost my right wing to his cavalry. My general destroyed some legionaries, but I clinched the game by flanking his foot general with my imitation legionaries. The general had pursued beyond the support of a unit on his flank.
I enjoyed the pursuing blades and pikes, though I wonder about blades against knights.
The second game was my Prefeudal Scots against Joel’s Vikings. This was fun as the Scots now have Fast Pike. It was a game I lost on the flanks, as my light horse failed to sack the camp. However, I’m inspired to paint a Wb general for this army pike-supported double-ranked Wb could be very nasty, though a LH and a Ps for the wings is a bit light!
I liked the fast pike designation for the Scots. I’m keen to rebase my Welsh now. The 1066 period has become interesting again. Overall, I liked the way DBA 3.0 played.
While searching out the figures for my Wb general, I got out some Normans for a SBH warband. These are Essex foot and Khurasan mounted. The painting table is getting crowded!
P.S. my 200th post!