On Sunday the Christchurch Wargames Club hosted the Ancient round of the DBA Open. The Ancient round involves armies with a list date from 3000BC to 450AD and the 2013 event drew a solid eight players to the table. Interestingly, the great majority of the players opted for Successor armies, or armies of their enemies.
Specifically there were four Successor armies, including my own Asiatic Successor under Demetrius the Besieger, and one Classical Indian. Other armies fielded included Neo-Elamite, Kushan and Middle Imperial Roman. I had expected a few elephant armies to be used, and is one of the reasons I had opted to use this particular Successor army as it has an optional catapult. However in the end six of the players had decided to use armies with elephants. It would seem Demetrios’ catapults would be much needed to counter the elephant herds.
On Sunday morning I would fight both Seleucid armies. A great start as they provided two historical opponents. Below, my first game viewed from Demetrius’ lines, where the main phalanx can be seen just prior to engagement. The Seleucid elephants are now under fire by Demetrius’ catapults. The attle was won however when the Seleucid commander failed to recoil while attempting to prevent Demetrius recoiling – top right.
Below, Demetrius clashes with the second Seleucid army. Here, the entire Seleucid elpehant corps was destroyed and the Seleucid left flank exposed. However, Demetrius’ own left was under significant pressure and when a portion of his own phalanx was flanked the army broke.
After lunch my first opponent fielded the Middle Imperial Romans. Alas I have no photos of this encounter. Both players were unwilling to take too many risks meaning the Greek advance in the centre and rght was slow and cautious. While casulaties mounted the battle ended in a draw.
Alas, I could not do any better in the following game fighting Kushans, seen below from the Kushan lines. Here a large steep hill in the centre of the battlefield limited options to the Greeks. While eventually the main armies collided on the Greek left the battle concluded without result.
My final game of the day was against Neo-Elamites and frustratingly again I forgot to take photos of this excellent game. The Elamites were an interesting opponent with most of the army comprising archers supported by chariots which could dismount yet more archers. As a result I opted to use a greater number of Greek hoplites, instead of the cavalry and elephant option. While the Elamites deployed with a waterway to the rear Demetrius decided not to risk a littoral landing, but instead fight a traditional battle on the plain.
In the ensuing battle the massed Elamite archers were to devastate the Greeks due to their ability to concentrate their archery on portions of the Greek line. So while the Elamites suffered some casualties, and risked even more when Greek peltasts sallied from a small town into their flank, the the Greek army eventually collapsed.
The final results were as follows:
- Gordon Pinchin – II/19a Seleucid (42pts)
- Dave Batchelor – II/46b Kushan (33pts)
- Andre Evers – II/19a Seleucid (32pts)
- Andrew Taylor – I/42 Neo-Elamite (31pts)
- Gary Grange – II/64b Middle Imperial Roman (26pts)
- Keith McNelly – II/16b Asiatic Early Successor (22pts)
- Brian Sowman – II/3 Classical Indian (20pts)
- Jim Morton – II/20c Ptolemaic (12pts)
Gordon has a history of doing well at the Ancients round of DBA and he continued this by collecting the “Phil Barker Cup” for his trouble. There were also a few surprises, especially the placing of the Elamites. I had considered this a weak army but Andrew played it well and achieved an outstanding result.
Finally, a special thanks to Brian for organising another very successful DBA event. Certainly for me it was a very enjoyable day of gaming with five great games all fought in a friendly environment. I look forward to the next DBA competition.