All posts by TWR

About TWR

Historical Miniatures Wargamer from Christchurch, New Zealand.

Galatian Migrations

A distinct lack of time lately has meant my posts of battles has been less than it should, despite the fact I’m playing DBA games most weeks. I therefore thought it time I made a passing effort to resolve this lack of visual record of games after a local deployed an expanded army recently.

Ben, has had a Gallic army for some time back expanded it to model Galatians and most recently added a scythed chariot. Like the rest of his armies which are well painted and presented this addition is a striking, complete with Galatian crew with the front of the chariot adorned with Celtic shields. The two combine well to provide a Galatian feel to this captured hardware.

we actually played two games, but below is a brief summary our first game where I fielded a reasonably historic opponent in the form of a Successor army under Demetrius. Now I should have used an army under Ptolemy Keraunos, but I wanted to use some elephants.

The Greeks were found to be defending, as you do when the barbarians invade from the north. Demetrius deployed his army some distance from the city of Phileselis, which was lightly held by Greek mercenaries, with his right protected by the Aegean coast. His centre comprised his phalangites and his left his cavalry, a mix of xystophoroi extended by Greek subjects and comprising both heavy and light cavalry. Between his mounted wing and the phalangites he placed his elephants.

The Galatians deployed opposite with a significant portion of the Galatians deployed opposite Phileselis, clearly poised to attack the city by direct assault. The Galatian centre comprised the remaining foot and the scythed chariots, while the barbarian right comprised the remaining mounted.

Above and below, the Galatian host with the city of Phileselis visible on the Galatian left. In the photo below the Greek mercenaries have retired from the city.

While Demetrius advanced his main army his mercenaries retired from Phileselis, hoping that the citizens would delay the Galatians while the Greek main army destroyed the remaining Galatian army. Indeed, Demetrius hoped that should the Galatians attack the assault force would include their armoured veterans (4Bd) weakening their main line. The initial Galatian attack on Phileselis was thrown back. However, a more sustained attack soon after now supported by additional warriors, was successful. The Galatians warriors rushed in and began to sack the city.

Meanwhile while the Greek phalanx and cavalry pressed forward in the centre and left the Galatians unleashed their scythed chariots. A number of these vicious machines, originally facing the Greek left moved forward against the left pike phalanx which they hit with no result.

Above, the scythed chariots attempt to break the Greek line while below, Galatians are shown sacking the city of Phileselis.

Advancing over the broken chariots the phalangites continued their advance while Demetrius charged the Galatian mounted opposite. Alas, it was in the centre that the Greek plan unravelled when the phalanx began to waver under the massed frontal charge of the Galatians warriors.

Soon the left and then the centre taxis broke and with it Demetrius’ hopes of defeating the barbarian host. Above, the Greek phalanx collapses, a disaster for Greek arms. Now we just need to gather an army under Antigonus Gonatus or a few Aitolians to ensure the Galatians are sent packing next time…

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Sosthenes of Macedonia

What makes a good game? Well for me it’s well painted figures on visually pleasing terrain and against a pleasant opponent. Fortunately I have this in most games these days so last night’s encounter looked set to produce another excellent game. Indeed, Andrew and I deployed our 15mm figures for a Successor encounter using BBDBA and the game looked the part. I haven’t unfortunately many photos of the game but here at least are a few along with a brief description.

Facing Demetrius was Sosthenes of Macedonia (a Later Macedonian Successor variant) who positioned the right flank of his army on gently rising ground while extending his centre and left towards a rocky hill on his left. Demetrius, positioning himself on his left flank, ordered the advance. His initial focus was to be an attack against the enemy right where he hoped to destroy a large body of Galatians with his xystophoroi . Fearing this Sosthenes reorganised his right flank in a series of complex manoeuvres. As a result, the Demetrius’ early attack on the left, where he had massed his best troops stalled.

Below, another view of the battle, from Sosthenes’ centre looking to his right. A feature of this engagement included some desperate fighting between Macedonian heavy cavalry and a portion of the Galatian mercenaries.

Reorganised, his enemy now formed a resolute array on the gentle slope to Demetrius’ front. Unwilling to attack the infantry on this hill Demetrius looked to his right flank. Here his Greek and asiatic horse pressed the enemy left flank, but again the enemy reformed.

Below another view of Demetrius’ right, where his peltasts block the advance of Sosthenes’ mercenary Greeks. Finally the centres of both armies, which are to heavily engaged, are visible.

A desperate engagement in the centre ensued. Demetrius’ veteran phalangites slowly gained the advantage, only to be forced back. They rallied and pressed Sosthenes’ phalangites back again. However, as they did they exposed their own flank. Now, as they continued to press forward the enemy counterattacked. As a series of attacks unfolded Demetrius could only watch helplessly, unable to intervene, as his centre unravelled and with it all hope of victory.

DBA FAQ Update – January 2018

The team working on the the DBA Frequently Asked Question file have just released an update.

This update provides eight new entries. Perhaps the most notable are those providing clarity around conforming and turning to face when single elements are attacked from the flank and rear. In addition it considers a couple of minor points that periodically are missed, or which occur less frequently.

The most up to date file, available as a PDF, can be found in the “DBA Resources” section of this site.

Castles in Korea

Last night I managed a couple of games which found my Japanese (Post Mongol Samurai IV/59b) engaged against Ben’s Koreans (Yi Dynasty Koreans IV/78). It is an interesting historical engagement, with some challenges for both commanders.

The Korean commander, has been looking for some alternate tactics for his Koreans, which have an interesting and arguably challenging mix of troops. As part of this he was keen to place his recently completed fortress, modelled on the Japanese castle of Ulsan built in Korea. The scratch built, and themed for the period, castle provided an excellent terrain piece for our games.

Above, a period drawing of Ulsan under attack while below a slightly simplified but very similar castle garrisoned by Korean peasant spearmen (7Hd). Note the different levels in both castles.

In the first game the Koreans were defending and the fortress was placed on the Korean right where it provided flank protection for massed Korean artillery and archers of the centre. The army stretched to the left where, on a generally featureless plain, the Korean mounted were massed.

Korean artillery was effective at least until the Japanese foot cut them down, as well as the many of the archers. Below, the Japanese, reduced in numbers by Korean artillery and archery, and Koreans just prior to the desperate Japanese charge of samurai and ashigaru.

Alas, the Japanese were now themselves overwhelmed by the sally by the garrison which was combined with attacks by a hastily assembled cavalry reserve. The Korean victory was complete!

The second battle found the Japanese defending. To ensure the castle was used the Japanese player also placed it. In due course it was determined to be on the Japanese  left. Unlike the Koreans the Japanese intended to attack on the opposite flank using a series of rocky hills to counter the Korean mounted superiority. In this game the threat of artillery fire was deemed too great and the fortress was quickly abandoned. Though for some time Japanese archers threatened to reoccupy it and thus threaten the advancing Korean cavalry.

Above, the more general situation with the Japanese on the left. Below, the situation on the Japanese right flank showing a portion of the sohei warrior monks on a key rocky hill.

Eventually the monks, supported by mounted samurai, overwhelmed the Korean left wing. However, under massed pressure by the Korean pike of the centre, the Japanese army broke just prior to the collapse of the Koreans.

A couple of eventful games between historical opponents set against a superb period themed terrain feature. I must say I’m so impressed with Ben’s castle I’m tempted to try scratch building one myself…