Category Archives: Ancient

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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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.

Woolston DBA Challenge 2018

It is almost time for the Woolston DBA Challenge. The theme for the 2018 Challenge is “Greece, Macedonian and the Punic Wars (430 BC to 146 BC)”. This theme covers the Peloponnesian Wars, the rise of Macedonia and the resultant various Macedonian Succesors states as well as the Punic Wars. It ends with the final defeat of Carthage in 146 BC.

Each year I try and create an event with something of a variation from the normal events we have. This year the theme is reasonably standard, but restricted. The variation is that you can change armies part way through. A sliding historical theme if you like. Further, if you change you get a bonus point when it comes to calculating final convention points totals.

Full details of the armies that can be used, defined by list, as well as other details can be found here.

No registration fee applies, but please register to assist with organisation.

Conquest BBDBA

Having had a busy week following Conquest I’ve delayed posting the last selection of photos I have. Now as we head into a long weekend it seemed an ideal time. The following photos are the BBDBA games all played on Conquest’s second day.

Above and below, Pyrrhus engages the Classical Indians. You can read an informative summary of Mark’s games at Conquest on his Hesperiana Blog. The photo below shows an interesting reserve deployed in the event of an Indian breakthrough. It also illustrates the massed Indian elephants in play. Some nine elephants is an impressive site! Pyrrhus in contrast fields only three.

The Indians weren’t the only army with a considerable number of pachyderms in play. Gordon’s Seleucids fielded six with four in one wing command and two in the other. They were further supported by three scythed chariots. The Seleucid centre comprised all the phalangites and a mounted general. The Seleucids can be seen below engaged against Jim’s New Kingdom Egyptians. I suspect the scythed chariots have fled from Egyptian archery.

While the other two games were going on my own Successors were engaged against Andrew’s Akkadians. The week prior Andrew and I had a practice game with him using Sumerians. However, for Conquest the Akkadians and their 3Pk were too tempting. Unfortunately, Andrew didn’t complete the basing for the weekend. Despite this it was a fascinating army to face being particularly mobile.

Two steep hills broke up an otherwise featureless plain that stretched inland from the coast. The cunning Akkadian plan to position a large edifice was thwarted by the combination of the waterway and steep hills.

However, one of the hills was to play a further critical part in the battle where Greek light troops countered an attack by Akkadians in the centre. Caught in the hills the pike were disrupted by the Greek light troops eventually resulting in the collapse of the Akkadian centre. Below, as the situation develops in the centre.

The Greek left however was itself under significant pressure. Eventually Demetrius was driven back by aggressively advancing spear armed Akkadians supported by battle carts. Indeed, the Greek left eventually broke. As time was called a narrow winning draw was achieved by the Greeks.

From an organisational perspective the allocation of 2 1/4 hours per game seemed to be adequate with most games being completed. Completion of games was further encouraged by the scoring system which rewarded points for casualties inflicted rather than draws. However, irrespective of scoring and the final results nine excellent BBDBA games were played involving a variety of armies. An enjoyable outing for the larger armies. I’m looking forward to future encounters…