All posts by TWR

About TWR

Historical Miniatures Wargamer from Christchurch, New Zealand.

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 Macedonia 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…

Woolston Challenge 2018 Results

Last Sunday a small group of us gathered for the 2018 DBA Woolston Challenge. A regular 15mm event held in Christchurch early in January. As previously posted this year’s challenge was based around the Wars of Classical Greece, the Wars of Alexander’s Successors and ending with the Punic Wars. In all the theme allowed armies 430 BC to 146 BC to be selected.

Players were encouraged to field two armies using the earliest first and therefore transition through the 300 years of the theme. My aim was to provide additional variety and to encourage players to use some different armies.

From a logistics perspective players transitioned after two games to their second army, though one player selected to use one army across all his games.

The players and armies in the first section were:

  • Brian Sowman- II/3a Classical Indian
  • Ben Broad – II/11 Gallic
  • Angus Yeates – II/11 Gallic
  • Keith McNelly – II/16e Asiatic Early Successor (Peithon)
  • Joel McNelly – II/17a Lysimachid
  • Gordon Pinchin – II/19a Seleucid

Below, Gauls engage each other in a struggle between two tribes. Ben’s Gauls are on the left and Angus’ are on the right.

Below, another view this time of the cavalry on the flank.

Below, Joel’s Lysimachid host (left) engages the veteran Seleucids of Gordon.

Below, Peithon engages Lysimachos in a battle between the Alexander’s Successors. This time Lysimachos is visible on the right.

We again used an 0-8 scoring system. At the end of this section, two games, Angus and Gordon were on 11 points each and ahead of Keith who was third on 8 points.

Players then transitioned to their second army, when selected, providing the following in the second section of the event:

  • Brian Sowman- II/3a Classical Indian
  • Angus Yeates – II/10 Camillan Roman
  • Gordon Pinchin – II/19c Seleucid
  • Ben Broad – II/30b Galatian
  • Keith McNelly – II/32a Later Carthaginian
  • Joel McNelly – II/33 Polybian Roman

Below, the Carthaginians clash with the Camillan Romans. Here, victory was determined by the resolute Numidian light horse on the Punic left and the equally determined Gallic mercenaries.

Below, another view of the battle. The Romans were so under pressure the Italians on the Roman left were unable to pressure the Punic right.

Below, the Carthaginians engage the Galatians. The Punic commander foolishly thought all the Galatian foot were a motley collection of warriors, only to find that some, in particular the element in the right foreground, were in fact nobles fighting on foot (4Bd).

Despite this potentially disastrous error the section was dominated by the Carthaginians who managed 24 points. In second place, for this section, was Brian with his Classical Indians who secured 16 points. Ben was in hot pursuit on 12, while Angus and Gordon were just behind on 11 and 10 respectively.

Final Results:

The final results were calculated by combing the scores of both sections. In addition players using two different armies gained an additional point. The player’s final scores were:

  • 1st Keith McNelly – 33 pts
  • 2nd Angus Yeates – 23 pts
  • 3rd Gordon Pinchin – 22 pts
  • 4th Brian Sowman – 19 pts
  • 5th Ben Broad – 14 pts
  • 6th Joel McNelly – 9 pts

During the course of the day Angus managed to suffer the loss of two generals while Ben lost one. Gordon managed to claim the executioner award having dispatched two enemy generals in five games.

While player numbers were lower than I had hoped I was pleased with the variety of the armies fielded. Reports of new armies, as well as the expansion of existing armies, combined with discussion of future events all indicated another very successful day of DBA gaming.