The DBA Open is run each year here in Christchurch, New Zealand and comprises two tournaments. The first in July covers Ancient armies and another, usually in early December, covers Dark Age and Medieval armies. The scores of both tournaments are combined to determine the overall winner of the DBA Open.
Sunday found ten players participating in the Ancient Tournament. The theme allowed any army with a list date up to 450 AD to be fielded. Despite this the majority of armies were from a much more limited period. The tournament comprises five rounds each of one hour. Of the 25 games played only one ended as a draw, though several went down to the wire.
Above, Carthaginians deployed against Polybian Romans in the first round.
The armies selected provided an interesting mix. I believe five of the ten armies have not previously been used in DBA competitions by their owners, suggesting players are experimenting. Of the armies in use several had a solid corps of hoplites. A far cry from the days of DBA 2.2 when hoplites were infrequently seen. The Thebans with their two stands of 8Sp were unnerving to a number of opponents. One player reported facing a combination of combat factors and die roll that amounted to a 13. Not dissimilar to pikes, but without a sacrifice in frontage.
Two Roman armies were in play, the Polybian army above, and the later Marian Romans. Below, the Marian Roman right flank is soon to be under sustained attack by his opponent who has refused his own right.
The Successors were perhaps under represented with only the Seleucids in play. Interestingly the Seleucids were only one of two armies with elephants. Usually their a Classical Indian army in play but it’s normal commander seems to have ventured west and adopted a more classical army. The only other army having elephants one the day was one of the two Carthaginian armies. However, that with the dreaded pachyderms came in at a lower position than that without them.
Several armies were defined as being littoral and I understand a number of littoral landings took place, with sometimes mixed results. Greater than half the armies in play had a high aggression, that is an aggression of 3 or 4.
There were a few tactical discussions during and after the games. The Gallic player was able to boast of some success with his warbands. He opted for a foot heavy army, fielding only two mounted elements, which can be seen above. He also decided his commander would fight on foot in the front ranks. Apparently the Gallic host broke through several enemy formations of heavy foot, including a pike phalanx.
Above, Gallic Gaesati, mercenary Gauls and rated as 3Wb, advance from the woods in one game. They were pinned and engaged for some time against Carthaginian light troops in this game.
Above and below Polybian Romans face Thebans. Two stands of 8Sp can be seen in the centre of the Theban line, while Roman triarii can be seen forming a reserve behind Roman hastati and principes.
After five rounds the results were as follows:
- Gordon, II/19a Seleucid 320-280 BC, 46 pts (Countback)
- Keith, II/32a Later Carthaginian 275-202 BC, 46 pts
- Brian, I/50 Lydian 687-540 BC with I/52g Asiatic Greek Hoplite Allies, 43 pts
- Nathan, II/49 Marian Roman 105-25 BC, 29 pts
- Ben, II/11Gallic 400-225 BC (Telamon), 25 pts
- Mike, II/5k Spartan Overseas Expedition Agesilaus 396-394 BC, 25 pts
- Gus, II/5c Theban 448-278 BC, 24 pts
- Andrew, I/42 Neo Elamite 800-639 BC with I/44a Neo Babylonian Ally, 22 pts
- John, II/33 Polybian Roman 275-105 BC, 16 pts
- Jim, II/32a Later Carthaginian 275-202 BC, 15 pts
The winner of the DBA Open Ancient Tournament, Gordon, also received “The Phil Barker Cup” for his achievements. Well done on all counts.
The Society of Ancients supported the event by providing a DBA 3.0 measuring template. This was awarded to Nathan for achieving the highest score of the four players who have not previously played at the DBA Open. A particularly good result as Nathan had only recently completed his Marian Roman army.
Hopefully we will see you at Conquest, the next DBA event in Christchurch.