Ancients Revitalised

I have just returned from a visit to one of the local wargames clubs today and I found myself reflecting on the popularity of DBA here in Christchurch. It has been around 16 months since DBA 3.0 has been released and I must say one of the really pleasing aspects for me is the adoption of the rules locally. Initially we had very strong interest and rather than fade, as often can be the case with anything new, we have seen consistent growth and interest.

Indeed, we have now reached the point that DBA is being played regularly at both our wargames clubs. So much so it seems to be the only Ancients game that is regularly being seen. The popularity of DBA is such that at one club you almost don’t need to arrange a game prior to the meeting as there is almost always a core of players on hand. Further, these players are a mix of hardened DBA veterans, refugees from other historical rules and players interested in playing Ancients for the first time. This is something I haven’t seen before in Ancients for many years. Ancients here has been fragmented between different rules and scales for longer than I can remember and monopolised by the more competitive players.

It’s also not just old armies being deployed, rather a number of new armies are taking the field. This includes a number of players who have decided to build their first Ancient army as well as others expanding their existing collections. A couple of examples are shown in this posts.

Above for example are a couple of photos of one player’s Classical Indians, his first army and purchased via eBay, engaged against a Roman army finished a couple of months ago. Others include recently painted armies such as the Early Hoplite Greeks and Gauls below. Yet it doesn’t stop there. Further new 15mm armies that spring to mind include Parthians, Macedonians, Later Carthaginians, Norse Irish, Italian Condotta and Koreans.

I’m reasonably sure that we are seeing sustained interest in DBA and Ancients locally. The players seem to be enjoying themselves immensely and games are friendly and challenging with a colourful mix of armies.

Perhaps some regular visitors would like to post their thoughts on interest in the period? What has drawn you to DBA? Have you been playing Ancients before or has DBA providing you with your first Ancients experience? Are new armies being built and deployed in your area? I look forward to some comments from readers of this blog.

9 thoughts on “Ancients Revitalised

  1. Great news that Ancients is being played so much and all the work Phil Barker put into the rules is being so well received 🙂

  2. Thanks for your posts, they’re insuring. I’m trying to return to the hobby after a few years and have several good DBA armies (mostly uncompleted DBM armies!
    I have limited time and I’m struggling to find someone to play with me. My local club weren’t interested when I popped in. I live in Essex, England

    1. Hi Adrian,

      I wonder if you have considered attending some of the DBA events around the UK? Perhaps some of these players can put you in contact with players near to you. Alternately, posting on Fanaticus or the Yahoo Mailing list may help find some opponents.

    2. I’m not sure who would be able to help in Essex, the nearest clubs or individuals I know who play DBA are around London (but that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be someone closer to you).

      But I’ll echo the advice to ask for opponents on Fanaticus, and if you are ever going to be down Portsmouth way one Saturday afternoon, let us know and we will arrange a session at our club.

      1. Thanks for your responses. I wasn’t aware of fanaticus so I’ll start there.
        It’s years since I played (the 80’s with WRG rules if I remember right) but I’m keen to get back into it.

  3. I’ve always been keen on Ancients and have been playing since WRG 7th edition. One of the issues with ancient wargaming rules has been the complexity of the rulesets. This has often been a barrier to good players, too many of whom I have seen lose games, not because their tactics were at fault, but because they did not understand the minutiae of the rules well enough. DBA plays quickly, and although some of the rule descriptions are convoluted, it is well supported by blogs like this so new players (like me) can decipher what they mean. Because games are shorter players are less intensely invested in the outcome, because it is easy enough to play again. In fact, you can play three games in the time it takes to complete a single Field of Glory game, which in a time constrained world is fantastic.

    1. Your points are well made Matthew and I agree with them.

      There is also an ability to try a different army, without spending a year painting it.

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