Reflections on Cancon DBA

Cancon is Australia’s largest wargaming event and is held each year in late January in Canberra. This year I decided to venture over to participate in a two day DBA 3.0 competition.

While Cancon runs for three days the DBA competition ran over two days. The first day, the Ancients tournament, drew armies from Sections I & II lists. The second day, the Medieval tournament, drew armies from Section III & IV. Each day involved six rounds each of one hour with 15 minutes between rounds. In all there were 28 players for the Ancients Tournament and 26 for the Medieval Tournament. I understand that the previous year player numbers were in the region of 18. So an increase in around 50% which I’m sure the DBA organiser was very pleased with. Interestingly, DBA 3.0 was also the largest Ancients competition at Cancon.

The armies in play had reasonable variety, though there were some armies represented more than once. Indeed, I took Polybian Roman and Wars of the Roses for the respective tournaments which in both cases were selected by two other players. That said my Romans fielded a Numidian ally, so perhaps they were a little different. As you would expect presentation of the armies varied, some can be best described as works of art with well detailed shields and banners. They are a credit to their owners. Unfortunately I didn’t take as many photos as I hoped, and those I did take don’t capture the well painted armies I player against well I’m afraid.

The armies my Polybian Romans encountered during the Ancients Tournament were in order: Italiot Greek II/5g; Graeco-Bactrian II/36a; Italiot Greek II/5g; Other Chinese I/32c; Bosphorian II/25 and Later Carthaginian II/32a.

Above, and below photos of two encounters between the different Italiot Greek armies in play. In the first the Greek defenders opted to conduct a littoral landing. In the second another Italiot Greek army, my third game for the day and which was also defending, decided on a more traditional deployment.

On the second day of the competition my Wars of the Roses (IV/83a Lancastrians) encountered, again in order: Early Samurai III/55; Medieval French IV/64b; Later Samurai IV/59a; Teutonic Order IV/30; Trapezuntine Byzantine IV/34 and Medieval German IV/13a.

Above, Peter’s Early Samurai dominate one of two large steep hills before sweeping down and attempting to attack the English left flank during the first game of the Medieval Tournament. The English had fortunately redeployed and withstood the attacks.

Above and below, the English deployed to halt Greg’s Teutonics. The Teutonics like a number of armies had been extremely well painted. Alas on the day they were decimated by English longbow. A real shame as Greg and I don’t get to play each other often. This was one of only three games where I was defending across the two days.

Below, the English face Mark’s Byzantine army. In this game Mark was intent on turning the potentially exposed English left using auxilia and light horse while pinning the English frontally. The Byzantines were another very well painted army and were further supported by excellent terrain.

One aspect of the competition I found interesting was player feedback on the rules. Some indicated the new version of DBA had drawn them back to Ancients. Others found the new rules full of additional challenges and variations. There were of course many returning DBA players, but also newer players keen to try the game for the first time in a competition and therefore borrowing armies for the event.

Without doubt Cancon DBA was a well organised event, as such it was a credit to Greg Kelleher who invested considerable time and effort as the organiser. In addition I would like to mention Greg Kelleher; Mark Baker; Peter Spitzkowsky; Michael Spitzkowsky and Justin Swain who all went out of their way to make me feel very welcome at the convention. This was especially appreciated given the travel investment I made to attend. Then of course there were the many opponents I shared challenging yet enjoyable games with. I look forward to future games with you.

4 thoughts on “Reflections on Cancon DBA

  1. Thanks for your feedback Greg.

    I think the format into Ancient & Medieval is good. While there are plenty of unhistorical match-ups the format prevents some extreme ones. We use this division often in Christchurch events.

  2. Un avis de l’autre bout du monde

    Super compte-rendu, très belles photos.
    Un grand bravo pour les décors ! ils sont fournis par l’organisation ou ils sont personnel ?

    Sur Asnières (banlieue de Paris) nous avons 12 joueurs sur une après-midi de DBA 3.0
    deux fois par ans. La 24ème AMDBA auras lieu en avril 2016.

    1. Hello Guy,

      I will try and answer your question. The table covers are provided by the organisers of the competition. Each player provides their own terrain which is used.

      I wish you well for your competition in Paris. I would enjoy being there to play. It has been a number of years since I was last in Paris.


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