BBDBA Choices

23 October, 2016

As I said in my last post, I’ve got the figures I need for Conquest ready. However, after a couple of games of BBDBA I’m not sure what armies to take. I had a game of BBDBA last month. I won in the centre and lost on the flanks. Last Friday I had my second game, this time I took Gauls with a Spanish ally. Nick went Early Imperial Romans to see how I’d cope against knights.

I didn’t take any pictures, which was a pity, as it was fun game. I won decisively on one flank (I was the defender and laid out a few woods and a difficult hill). However, much like in the previous game, I lost elsewhere. This time, however, it was that I’d effectively fielded two commands against one Roman one, but the C-in-C was up against two commands, and had also put three elements of LCh on the far side of a wood; these were badly outnumbered, and could not get away from the place.

Even though I lost, I learned a bit more about BBDBA — my commander died when he rolled a 1, but he should have used his single get-out-of-jail +1. This reprieve might have been allowed me to turn things around, though I doubt it. His command broke, and the other two were too slow or too far away to redeploy against the remaining Romans.

What this taught me is that BBDBA is very different from DBA. Breaking a command is only a good start; you have to find a way to be able to redeploy to repeat the exercise. Choosing what commands are mobile and what commands have the most PIPs is crucial for this.

My choices for Conquest are (1) the Marian Romans with Numidian allies, (2) the Gauls with Spanish allies, or (3) later Carthaginians. After looking at what I hope to achieve, which is largely have an excuse to use the newly painted figures, I think the last of these is the best choice; I can use the new Spanish 4Ax, the new Gallic 4Wb, the new Gallic Cv and the new Numidian LH. I can also take 36 elements of Carthaginians (although some of the Spear do look a lot like they may be Greek or Campanian mercenaries).

One of the advantages of the Carthaginians is they are aggression 4, so they should get to deploy second (and if they don’t they can do a littoral landing to mess with the opponent).

My initial reluctance with this army was my concern about the Carthaginians as a DBA army, but I think it’ll do OK. That just leaves the choice of my medieval army. I was thinking of going Prefeudal Scots; I then thought about the Komnenan Byzantines, which have been my default choice for a while. However, I’m now thinking of a more eccentric choice — North Welsh with a South Welsh ally. It’s very fast and should bring on a result in no time at all! I could even look at constructing narratives for the Carthaginians and Welsh having gone to sea as a background to their battles; somewhat more violent versions of the voyages of Hanno and Madog!

 

DBA Day at the AWC

10 October, 2016

Sunday a week ago there was a very successful DBA day at the Auckland Wargames Club. As it led to other projects being planned, I’ve not got around to writing up any report until now. The format was friendly games; no set armies or points. I had five very enjoyable games.

  • 1 – Marian Romans v. Alexandrian Imperial

My first game was against John, whose army is still being painted, so he borrowed figures from me. I’m pleased to say that they knew who their paymaster was, and fought accordingly!

A bird's-eye view of the Marian Romans.

A bird’s-eye view of the Marian Romans.

I was the defender and laid down some Marsh and ploughed fields (I’d just made some new terrain; I realised later that Marsh is not valid for Arable armies). Appropriate to the weather that day the fields were boggy.

The Romans, complete with an elephant.

The Romans, complete with an elephant.

[a666: The Alexandrian deployment.]

The Alexandrian deployment.

Alexander, or his subordinate, took an elephant as well. He swung his knights out on his left flank. Things looked good when one squared off against some auxilia, who promptly 6-1ed him! It went from bad to worse from there with the general encountering elephants and this time the encounter went to script. The Kappadocian hillmen notched up their second kill, supporting some legionaries against hapless thureophoroi, and it was all over.

The situation at the end. Not a single companion cavalryman left!

The situation at the end. Not a single companion cavalryman left!

The surprising resilience of the Kappadocians secured a quick victory.

  • 2 – Prefeudal Scots v. Vikings

The second combat was against Kieran’s Vikings. Again I was the defender and went for a marsh and a wood, which ended up being in the same corner.

The Viking invaders of Scotland.

The Viking invaders of Scotland.

The defenders of Scotland (helped by some friendly Vikings on their right flank.

The defenders of Scotland (helped by some friendly Vikings on their right flank.

The battle was a close one, where the Scots won first blood, when the Galwegians broke an element of Vikings. However, the centre was somewhat of a stalemate, with a lot of toing and froing. On the Scots’ right their Viking allies did good execution and contributed to a close-fought 4-2 victory. Terrain and the greater mobility of the Scots were significant factors.

The finals situation; the wood has saved the fragile Scots left flank. Their Viking allies have hared up the field on the right flank, while a schiltron has collapsed in the centre.

The finals situation; the wood has saved the fragile Scots left flank. Their Viking allies have hared up the field on the right flank, while a schiltron has collapsed in the centre.

  • 4 – Later Macedonians v. Polybian Romans

After lunch I faced Joel’s freshly painted Polybian Romans. I decided I really should get my Later Macedonians out to meet them. Naturally in the face of unprovoked Roman aggression I was the defender again. I took two large terrain pieces to anchor my flanks and restrict the battlefield to the advantage of the phalanx.

The valiant Macedonians line up to hold Roman depredation at bay.

The valiant Macedonians line up to hold Roman depredation at bay.

Scurrilous Romans set on spreading tyranny.

Scurrilous Romans set on spreading tyranny.

The battle was close fought, with the battle going in the Romans’ favour on their left flank, while the Macedonians secured the advantage on their own left flank, destroying both elements of Roman velites. However, it was the steadfastness of the Macedonian blueshields that secured victory; despite being flanked by Roman cavalry they repeatedly refused to break. In the centre the Galatians made noble execution of Roman legionaries and the whiteshields (leukaspides) broke their opposing legionaries.

The situation at the end; the Macedonian right flank is lucky not to have broken after their light horse fled, but the centre has triumphed.

The situation at the end; the Macedonian right flank is lucky not to have broken after their light horse fled, but the centre has triumphed.

  • 3 – Later Macedonians v. Polybian Romans

Actually, there is a report that prior to this battle the Macedonian general was troubled by a nasty dream in which his thureophoroi proved his undoing. Romans report that this was an actual battle, but the more reliable Greek chronicler disagree (the battle just described was actually our second, as the first was over so fast!). The Macedonians defended again. Their terrain was too small to constrain the battlefield.

The Macedonian deployment.

The Macedonian deployment.

The Roman deployment.

The Roman deployment.

The Macedonian thureophoroi attempted to defeat the Roman velites and were disgracefully defeated (they are prone to this; witness their routing by Spartan artillery). Philip V tried to stabilise things, but was defeated himself; the battle was over without the main lines having contacted.

The final position. The thureophoroi were quickly routed and Philip was flanked and defeated. There was a scary big hole in the Macedonian line.

The final position. The thureophoroi were quickly routed and Philip was flanked and defeated. There was a scary big hole in the Macedonian line.

  • 5 – Prefeudal Scots v. Carolingian Franks

The last battle was against Mike’s Carolingian Franks. The Scots had got on their boats and visited France. It didn’t go well for them.

The Carolingian Franks. The red beads denote those that can dismount.

The Carolingian Franks. The red beads denote those that can dismount.

The Prefeudal Scots.

The Prefeudal Scots.

How the Galwegians got to be in the centre facing knights I don’t remember (I think I deployed and then moved the line along a bit to fit it in the legal area and didn’t check who was facing who. Unlike the bold Kappadocians at the start of the day, the Galwegians didn’t produce an upset against the Carolingian commander. The schiltons were under pressure and collapsed, but not before a few knights had fled in the face of the Scots cavalry.

The final situation after the Scottish centre had collapsed.

The final situation after the Scottish centre had collapsed.

All in all, it was a great day; there is another account of it here, and there are plans for more DBA action there soon.

ERM Dwarves

14 February, 2015

  • ERM Dwarves
ERM Dwarves — archers, a cleric, and two elements of blade.

ERM Dwarves — archers, a cleric, and two elements of blade.

I’ve done a number of posts on dwarves, but it’s been a long time since I’ve painted any. Finally, here are some of the East Riding Miniatures (ERM) dwarves that I got last year. As I said in the previous post, they actually scale quite nicely with some of the Splintered Light (SL) dwarves. As I found with other ERM figures, they don’t always look that promising in raw metal, but paint up very well. They are particularly good for using washes on.

The elements of blade, one is a command element.

The elements of blade, one is a command element.

Another angle.

Another angle.

From the rear.

From the rear.

Again.

Again.

These figures are from FT51, FT53, FT61 and FT62. On two of the shields I used a VVV transfer for hoplites of a boar’s head. It wasn’t very distinct. I think basic dark age patterns would be better. I will look to mix some of the figures I have from FT53 with my SL figures. I’ll do the same with the figures from FT61 and FT62 (as well as FT60), but only those that are armoured. I don’t see much use for unarmoured dwarves.

A SoBH cleric and some Shooters.

A SoBH cleric and some Shooters.

Another angle.

Another angle.

These are figures from FT52, FT56 and FT60. I like the cleric, and will probably use another of them in a HoTT Cleric element.

I’m not sure when I’ll get back to finishing a HoTT dwarf army; there are so many other projects at different stages, that it might be a while. Then again, it may jump to the head of the queue!

  • Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.]

Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

Years back, when I placed my first SL order, I found a pair of figures in it that I hadn’t ordered. I didn’t realize that these were a bonus if your order was large enough. The figures are in the Archer Collection. Anyway, when I based the skeletons and zombies I had two bases left and put their ‘Northern Warrior and Thief Companion’ on them. They proved quick to paint, and were finished along with the dwarves. They’re a clear reference to the Fritz Leiber series of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser that I spent a bit of time rereading last year. I’m sure they’ll find their way into some SoBH warband at some stage.

From the side.

From the side.

  • South Welsh Allies
Welsh Cavalry.

Welsh Cavalry.

For DBA 3.0 the Northern Welsh army (III/19c) have the option of a South Welsh ally. As they would otherwise have ten 3Pk, this seems very necessary. For this ally they must have a 3Cv element as the leader of these allies. I started painting these figures quite a while ago and am pleased that this is one of the many projects I have begun that is now finished.

I can’t help but feel that two 3Cv in one Welsh army, though useful, is too many, but unless the South Welsh army came with the option of a foot general, those are the rules. I’m sure it will be used as part of any Dark Age Celtic HoTT army that may one day see the light of day.

Another angle.

Another angle.

From the rear.

From the rear.

These are Feudal Casting figures, originally Irish or Picts. I’ve given them Essex shields and shortened the spears of some. I’ve got a lot more experienced at this, as I remember the first element I did years ago was a real trial!

  • Painting progress

Otherwise, I’ve got the four elements of 4Pk a little closer to completion; they’re very close actually, and the four elements of Norman 3Kn are also pretty close. I’ve also added some more paint to a number of Tabletop Fantasy adventurers that I got last year. They’re also not far off from being finished. It’ll be good to get some more old projects finished before starting on any new ones!

Pokeno Invitational

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!

Rebased Vikings

4 October, 2014

The entire army; there are extra figures for fielding the 'Anglo-Norse' in the King Magnus' War campaign.

The entire army; there are extra figures for fielding the ‘Anglo-Norse’ in the King Magnus’ War campaign.

The Vikings are one of the first armies I finished, and one that has extra figures to serve in other armies and to allow it to be used for other more fictitious armies, such as the Anglo-Norse, or fantasy Vikings.

Another angle.

Another angle.

The army is not short of 4Bd; I’ve divided them into two sorts, the more professional huscarls and the Bondi.

The huscarls, more heavily armoured 4Bd

The huscarls, more heavily armoured 4Bd

Another angle.

Another angle.

The figures are Feudal Casting, and some of the poses are ones I wouldn’t have chosen in the numbers I got, but the basis of this army was a DBA army pack with expansions.

The Bondi, more lightly armoured 4Bd.

The Bondi, more lightly armoured 4Bd.

Another angle.

Another angle.

In DBA 3.0 the 3Bd are different from the 4Bd, which makes the raiders worthwhile to have based differently.

Archers (3Bw or 2Ps), Raiders (3Bd) and Berserkers (3Wb).

Archers (3Bw or 2Ps), Raiders (3Bd) and Berserkers (3Wb).

Another angle.

Another angle.

Next up I’m painting some Khurasan Vikings as a Hero element for HoTT. However, I have a bit of a backlog in the painting queue, so I may not get to them for a while! At least I’ve finished with the rebasing!

Rebased Norse Irish

4 October, 2014

Well, it’s taken another fortnight since I said I’d get onto posting these pictures. The Norse Irish are not a powerful army by any stretch, but I’ve had a lot of good fortune with them in the games I’ve played (generally against historical opponents). Since they were rebased they managed to defeat Joel’s Vikings, and they have often won despite their limitations — the luck of the Irish!

The whole army arrayed: Ostmen (4Bd) on the left and bonnachts (3Ax) flanked by kerns (2Ps) in the centre.

The whole army arrayed: Ostmen (4Bd) on the left and bonnachts (3Ax) flanked by kerns (2Ps) in the centre.

The army was one I painted early on; the paint job is nothing flash, but the rebasing has definitely improved their appearance.

Another angle.

Another angle.

The army is similar to the Ancient Spanish in having a lot of Auxilia and Psiloi. However, they have no mounted, and the 4Bd are less useful; they slow the army down and aren’t really enough to do much.

The bonnachts.

The bonnachts.

Another angle.

Another angle.

I’m working at expanding all my Dark Age armies for HoTT. To this end I’ve provided them with a few Lurker elements, skirmishers on a deeper base. The heroes and magicians will follow. Some already have Behemoths and fliers.

The rest; on the far left are some skirmishers based as Lurkers for HoTT; they have a dog! The Ostmen are part of the surplus available from the Viking army.

The rest; on the far left are some skirmishers based as Lurkers for HoTT; they have a dog! The Ostmen are part of the surplus available from the Viking army.

Another angle.

Another angle.

Coming soon, the Vikings, the last of the rebasing efforts.

A while back I painted up enough figures to be able to field the Scots Isles and Highlands army. I’d cannibalized it a while back for SoBH. It looks like it will get a better army list in DBA 3.0 and actually be quite a balance selection of troops.

Scots Isles and Highlands Army

The entire army.

I may need to do the standard again. It’s a bit bright, but it is, though probably anachronistic to this period, the standard of the Isles.

Another angle.

Another angle.

It has a solid base of six 4Bd. These are a mixture of the Feudal Castings Scots thegns and other less armoured Scots for variety.

The close order fighters — six 4Bd.

The close order fighters — six 4Bd.

Another angle.

Another angle.

This base can be supplemented with a number of different troops, giving flexibility in BGo and some archers to use against mounted.

The support — From left to right, 1x3Ax (Irish bonnachts), 2x3Wb (Galwegians), 2x3Bw (Highland archers), 1x5Hd (Highland rabble) and 1x2Ps (Highland skirmishers).

The support — From left to right, 1x3Ax (Irish bonnachts), 2x3Wb (Galwegians), 2x3Bw (Highland archers), 1x5Hd (Highland rabble) and 1x2Ps (Highland skirmishers).

Another angle.

Another angle.

This army has already had a few successful outings that I’ve yet to write up. They’ve visited the New World and put Aztecs to flight.