Yesterday I had a game of DBA with Ieuan, the first in a while. He went Seleucids, and I went Polybian Romans. It was over very quickly when I rolled two 1’s in combat first up and got shredded by his pikes and cataphracts. No pictures of this battle!

Today I caught up with an old friend, Craig,  over from Brisbane, part of the Kiwi diaspora. We decided to have a game of DBA. He went Seleucids, and I decided to try the Cathaginians against them. At this point Ieuan decided he wanted to join in and we went for a game of Double DBA. Ieuan took Galatians as allies to the Seleucids and the Carthaginians took some Spanish allies. The Carthaginians were the defenders, but I was pretty sure this was a Carthaginian invasion of Asia Minor after a successful war over the Romans. They had the support of Spanish allies, while the Galatians and Seleucids attempted to repel them. We could have gone for a later Seleucid army, but decided to choose the army that gave the Galatians a SCh. This meant the Seleucids had the ‘b’ list and no SCh (until I buy and paint another one!), but two 4Ax and a 4Wb as their options. The Carthaginians went for two elephants and three psiloi (as all their Gauls were in use!)

The Seleucids and Galatians rush towards the Carthaginians and Spanish a few turns into the game.

The Carthaginians got modest PIPs through most of the game, and they saw their opponents bear down on them very fast.

The whole battlefield from the Carthaginian perspective.

The Seleucids secure their wing with Thorakitai and Thureophoroi in the marsh.

While the Carthaginian elephants go looking for warbands to terrorize a gremlin gets into the photo.

While the Galatians rush forward, the Spanish struggle to get out of line while exiting the wood.

Carthaginian elephants support the Spanish against the Galatians.

The right wing was soon engaged against the Galatians and, despite the Seleucids sending the Cretan archers to support against the elephant, it soon defeated a double-ranked warband. However, on the open flank the Galatians got the better of things, and after chasing off the Spanish light horse, they proceeded to destroy two Scutarii and two Caetrati, though not before losing another warband to that elephant.

The battle hung in the balance for the Carthaginians. They needed to defeat the Galatians quickly, before the Spanish were destroyed or all fled. Fortunately for them, the Seleucid Thureophoroi lacked bite, and the Spanish on that wing repelled them twice. Meanwhile, as the Seleucids manoeuvred to attack the Carthaginian spear, the Carthaginians seized the initiative and attacked themselves. They really had no choice, as a pike block faced their psiloi support and if they waited they could expect this to be recoiled, leaving the two wings very vulnerable to the Seleucid cavalry. On the right flank they recoiled the Agema, but on the left flank, where they faced the commander and had no overlap, they did even better, routing the Seleucid commander with a 6-1! Only then did the central spear element grudgingly give ground to the pikemen.

The Seleucid commander quails before the indomitable Carthaginian spear and flees (the spear in the centre shown recoiled did this after this crucial encounter on their left).

Now each of us had a broken command; however, the Galatians faced a difficult task of facing the Carthaginian elephants. And in the end it proved too much when the elephant attacked their cavalry and got the Numidians as support. They break and with them goes the last spark of resistance in the Galatian army. Hannibal has a beachhead in Asia Minor!

As the Seleucids and Spanish flee, the Galatian horse find elephants supported by Numidians too much and this elephant, which was responsible for the rest of the Galatian loses wins the battle.

  • Review:

This was an interesting battle, and a close one, that was decided all too soon by a 6-1. The 3Kn Seleucid general has so far proven a bit wet, and had we gone for a later list, the ‘c’ one, not only would this have fitted better with a possible alternative timeline of a successful Hannibal going east, not as an exile, but as a conqueror, but the Seleucids would have had the cataphracts and camels. Furthermore, the Galatians would have had a psiloi instead of the SCh, and this would have been invaluable against elephants! We may try to refight this battle with those lists.

Headhunters again

21 December, 2010

A year ago I discovered the CB headhunters. These are painted now, and have done valiant service for the Gauls, Britons and even the Carthaginians. I now have some more naked fanatics waving severed heads (can never have too many, I say!). These are Freikorp figures, and as I said in my previous post, they are ones I’m quite fond of, as I got a pack of them some 25 years ago; if these were the same figures, which sadly they’re not, that’d be a good period for figures to moulder in a lead pile!

Nennius, the Corvus Belli headhunter, compares heads with his Galatian counterpart.

Another angle on the Galatians.

The Freikorp figures are not quite in the same league as the CB ones, but they’re by no means bad; they’re a little scrawnier (not much to eat on those Greek hillsides!) and their shields are fairly crude by comparison, but otherwise they’re great.