Sunday, 1 May 2016

DBA Be Doobie Doo

Dave organised a DBA Day for us on Saturday. It was to have featured a contingent from Sydney, but they couldn't make it, so we made do with local talent instead. We had an excellent turnout, with eight or nine of us playing at various points during the day.

The aim was for everyone to play two or three 12-element games before lunch, and then depending on numbers, for us to have one or two three-command big battles in the afternoon. In fact rather than have one or two games with multiple players we ended up with four 36-element games of DBA going on at once, as everyone was happy to play all three commands.

I can't remember a lot of the matchup (I can just about remember mine), so the wordage for the following pictures will be limited in places. Maybe other members of the group can fill in some details in the comments.

Case in point: this is Gary playing John G, with Dave answering a rules query. I think there may have been Vikings involved.

Actually there probably were Vikings involved. But this is the same game and shows that they were fighting Classical Indians.

OK, this was my first game, against Peter. He has lots of loverly Greek bits and pieces, so I used Early Theban Hoplites against Thessalonians. I outnumbered him in spears; he outnumbered me in cavalry.

I managed to stuff up my deployment by having a ruined temple in the way on my left flank. This meant that I couldn't deploy my spear-line in full, and had to have a (gasp) Reserve!

On the right my cavalry got horrible mauled by Peter's

The lines of spears closed and we shoved each other back and forth for a bit.

Then Peter's cavalry arrived from the flank, and it was all over for me.

Caesar and John playing. I can't remember what with.

My second game. In true wargamer tradition, I switched to the army I'd previously lost to. I faced Gary's Classical Indians.

The whole battle was fought on the one flank; my cavalry against his cavalry and chariots, with various elements being sucked in from the centre as the fight progressed.

At first Gary got the upper-hand, destroying one element of my horsemen, but I evened the odds when I destroyed one of his chariots, and also ended up in an excellent position to wipe out the rest of his flank and seep to victory.

Then he killed my general, and everything went pear-shaped.

Gary took the victory.

Elsewhere was this game - possibly Vikings vs Something Medieval ...

... and this one, which I think was some kind of Successor army against Graeco-Indians.

Elephant vs Elephant. What's not to like?

Into the afternoon, and we had four big battle DBA games on the go.

Again, no idea what the armies were - something medieval again, I think.

This one I do know! Mycenaean faced Sea-People.

Dave's Sea-People army is lovely. Caesar didn't think so when it landed an entire command on his flank, though.

I played Bryan, and decided to use his unusual Chinese army, which consists of two lots of sixteen elements; it's actually a chess-set. A Chinese chess set, in fact, featuring chariots, elephants and artillery, amongst other things.

It has a wonderful retro paint scheme as well.

Obviously it couldn't be matched to any historical Chinese army, but I play HOTT most of the time anyway, so wasn't overly concerned. We dubbed it the Impressionistic Chinese (Se-Zan Dynasty, under the Emperor Mo Nay), and set to. Four Mongol light-cavalry allies rounded it out to 36 elements.

Facing them- Mongols! Lots of cavalry and light horse, as you'd expect, plus a few Frankish Knights for that geographical WTF factor.

This is the grandest Grand Battery I have ever fielded in DBA - four artillery supported by crossbowmen on one flank and elephants on the other.

Bryan obligingly advanced his light cavalry towards it. In column. It all went a bit Napoleonic. We Opened Fire! All Weapons! If we had a war-rocket called Ajax we would have dispatched it to bring back his general's body.

The Mongol flank broke.

On the other flank Bryan's Frankish Knights rode down the ally Mongols.

With his left flank gone, Bryan needed to play for time and hope to win on the other flank, then turn on my centre. In true Mongol style he withdrew his central command from the imposing line of chariots and elephants facing it.

He then broke my left flank.

I charged my centre in. Bryan's left was slowly fleeing in disarray and his army was close to breaking. If I could inflict casualties on him I could win the victory. But I had to do it before his right flank troops came up in support. I piled the elephants and chariots into his line.

It went to the wire. Bryan's right flank had taken enough casualties that it was, itself, close to breaking. One element would do it. And if an army loses two commands demoralised, it would break. or so I thought.

His command broke. But a check of the rules revealed that the army only lost if it had more elements destroyed than its opponent and, in fact, I had lost more troops than the Mongols had. We had to keep fighting!

Finally Bryan's central command broke. But even with three commands broken he had still lost fewer elements than I had; his demoralised troops stoutly refused to flee off the table. Technically the game had to carry on. But with no way of making any offensive moves whatsoever, Bryan graciously conceded.

I'd had enough by that stage, but four players still had enough energy to play a second set of big battle DBA games. I have no idea how they panned out, as I went home.

Thanks to Dave for an fantastic day's gaming, and to my opponents for three excellent games - especially Bryan for one of the best games of DBA I have ever had the pleasure of playing, and one of the most wonderful armies to play it with.


  1. Looks like you all had a wonderfull day! Great battle reports and pictures! Thanks for sharing!


  2. Nice looking games, colorful and beautiful armies!

  3. Now this is more up my alley, very nice, and good to see Gary P and Dave B still at the old DBA. What a great set of rules for a fun days gaming.


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