Category Archives: Competition Reports

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.


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…

Conquest 2017 Results

Over the weekend the annual Conquest Wargames Convention was held here in Christchurch. As with previous years it included a 15mm DBA competition. This year the DBA competition comprised three sections which ran in sequence.

The first two sections used standard DBA with one section of three rounds using Ancient armies while the second section used Dark Age or Medieval armies. With six rounds across both sections and only six players, each player fought four opponents once and one player twice.

Ancients Section:

This section allowed the use of armies up to 450 AD. However, five armies fielded were from the Classical period and one, a new army locally was, from the Biblical period.

Above, Later Carthaginians tangle with Classical Indians. The defending Indians deployed a fort in several games, in this game it secured the Indian right flank but constrained the Indian deployment area. Below, the Gauls engaged against my Carthaginians. The Gauls had a particularly good morning winning two of the three Ancient games.

Two Successor armies took the field in the Ancients section. Here, a section of Mark’s phalanx with Pyrrhus visible between two pike blocks. Extending his frontage by the use of hoplites this army had considerable punch but unfortunately suffered a series of defeats, often including Pyrrhus himself.

The results of the Ancients section using standard DBA, after three rounds, were:

  • 1st Jim Morton – New Kingdom Egyptian I/22a, 19pts
  • 2nd Ben Broad – Gallic II/11, 18pts
  • 3rd= Gordon Pinchin – Seleucid II/19a, 17pts
  • 3rd= Keith McNelly – Later Carthaginian II/32b, 17pts
  • 5th Mark Davies – Pyrrhus II/27b, 7pts
  • 6th Brian Sowman – Classical Indian II/3b, 5pts

In these games Mark lost two generals, Pyrrhus was clearly having a bad day! Brian lost one general who was mounted on an elephant at least until he was killed.

Medieval Section:

After lunch the players replaced their Ancient armies with those with a list date later than 451 AD. Unfortunately I forgot to take any photos of the Medieval section games. Often playing and umpiring meant that time was limited. Further, as I was being hammered in each game, my focus drifted to survival rather than documenting the disasters! After three Medieval rounds the results were:

  • 1st= Jim Morton – Free Company IV/74, 24pts
  • 1st= Brian Sowman – Rajput Indian III/10b, 24pts
  • 3rd= Mark Davies – West Frankish & Norman III/52 with Norse Viking Ally III/40, 14pts
  • 4th Gordon Pinchin – West Frankish & Norman III/52, 13pts
  • 5th= Ben Broad – Yi Dynasty Korean IV/78, 8pts
  • 5th= Keith McNelly – Post-Mongol Samurai IV/59b, 8pts

In the Medieval section two players achieved a perfect score resulting in a tie for 1st place in the Medieval section. As to generals lost Ben managed to dispatch two Korean generals, while Jim and Brian lost a general each. Mark was the only player to suffer the loss of a camp, lost fighting the Indians.

Combining the scores of both standard DBA sections the following results were:

  • 1st Jim Morton – 43pts
  • 2nd Gordon Pinchin – 30pts
  • 3rd Brian Sowman – 29pts
  • 4th Ben Broad – 26pts
  • 5th Keith McNelly – 25pts
  • 6th Mark Davies – 21pts

A great result for Jim who had secured an impressive score by winning five of his six games.

Ancients BBDBA:

The third section of the DBA competition involved BBDBA. This was fought on the second day and comprised three rounds each of 2 1/4 hours. Armies comprised 36 elements with all armies having a list date of prior to 450 AD. All but two armies had elephants. The Indians fielded nine and the Seleucids six. Demetrius and Pyrrhus fielded a only three each. The first round was by book or historical opponents followed by modified Swiss chess.

Above, a view from the Pyrrhic right which faced Demetrius’ left flank. The Italian foot can be seen in extending the Epirot pike phalanx. Below, the battle on Demetrius’ right which was particularly confusing. Elephants of both armies fled while others form and charge Xystophoroi.

Below, another photo of the battle this time illuminating Demetrius’ centre as it begins to suffer breakthroughs. Despite the gaps created Pyrrhus’ phalangites were unable to successfully exploit the situation for some time.

After three games the results were:

  • 1st Jim Morton – New Kingdom Egyptian I/22a, 19pts
  • 2nd Mark Davies – Pyrrhus II/27b, 18pts
  • 3rd Keith McNelly – Asiatic Early Successor Demetrius II/16b, 13pts
  • 4th Gordon Pinchin – Seleucid II/19a, 11pts
  • 5th Brian Sowman – Classical Indian II/3b, 10pts
  • 6th Andrew Taylor – Akkadian I/11a, 8pts

As with the previous sections were rewarded with 8pts for a win while players who drew or lost one point for each three elements equivalents destroyed. With more generals in play unsurprisingly casualties were heavy. Brian’s Indians and Gordon’s Seleucids lost three generals each in combat. Keith and Andrew lost two each, while Mark reversed his previous trend for killing his own generals and lost only one.

Final Results:

Combining the scores of all three sections Jim was declared the overall winner of Conquest’s DBA event with a score of 62pts. Gordon was second on 41pts while Mark and Brian were just behind on third equal with 39pts. As to generals lost, well this was secured by Brian who secured the “Executioner Award” having lost five of his own generals over the two days.

Most importantly everyone seemed to have enjoyed their gaming. Many armies had broken, generals had been slaughtered, significant elephants had routed and chariots and battle carts were strewn across the battlefields. Yet the players all seemed upbeat! Thanks to all for playing in an outstanding friendly spirit. Finally, I want to thank Comics Compulsion for an excellent convention and of course for being so supportive of DBA. I encourage locals to support our local gaming store.

Numidians at the DBA Open

Last Sunday ten locals gathered for the Ancients Section of the Christchurch DBA Open. It was pleasing to have a good turnout of locals for the Open which has been organised by Brian for several years now. Unfortunately this year the day was reduced to just four rounds rather than the usual five rounds.

I spent some time considering which army I would field. I decided reasonably early that I wanted to try something different. With limited painting time I eventually narrowed this down to the Numidians, which would only require a couple of stands to be completed to make my existing army compliant with the changes introduced under DBA 3.0. That said determining which options, of several, to take was interesting. Indeed, I went through several iterations when considering possible army compositions. Finally I opted for seven light horse, including a general, supported by five stands of psiloi. The games were all to be played on 600mm square tables. Clearly I expected to struggle to win against many opponents. I also was aware I needed to play reasonably quickly, in an effort to break up my opponents army, while avoiding less than optimal combats by vigorous manoeuvre.

As it turned out on the day the armies others selected were a reasonably diverse lot. There were, as expected, some more popular armies returning but these were supplemented by a few armies that are less seldom seen.

My first engagement for the day was against Later Carthaginians who were well managed by Paul. Initial action focussed around the Numidian left where a feigned flight by Numidian light horse drew in the Punic mounted. From here battle soon expanding out to the centre and the Numidian left as the game progressed. Working the Carthaginian right the Numidian light horse managed at least two attacks on the Carthaginian camp, though without success. Despite initially gaining the advantage the Numidians were unable to secure the final victory before time was called.

Above, the Numidian right following the loss of a Carthaginian horse who were hit by two deep Numidian light cavalry.

Next up was a clash against the Palmyrans. Defending again the Numidians opted to hold two steep and rocky hills and let the one remaining one be secured by the Palmyrans, where hopefully it would disrupt the Palmyran commander to control his troops. Demonstrating in the centre and on the Numidian right, the remaining Numidians advanced more aggressively against the Palmyran right where the enemy was not fully deployed. Low Numidian PIP die rolls and poor combat dice for both players were a feature of this encounter.

However, some advantage was achieved eventually against the Palmyran right. Cautiously, the Palmyran centre advanced and slowly they gained the advantage in the centre.

Finally with casualties mounting for both armies the Numidian commander was lost in a desperate counter attack. A well deserved victory to the Palmyrans.

The clash with the Spartans under Brasidas was to be arguably my most entertaining game of the day. The Greeks, having no less than ten stands of hoplites were keen to maintain a solid line, while the Numidians probed relentlessly.

Above, the general situation at the beginning of the game, while below the Numidian centre. The Numidian commander tended to take a central position to ensure the light infantry were in command range.

As the game progressed increasingly both armies were broken up and many individual stands pinned. At one stage the Spartans were in nine groups and the Numidians in ten! Success for the Numidians was increasingly likely when Brasidas was cut down by Numidian light infantry. Alas, the surviving Spartans stumbled on as the game ran to time, robbing Numidia of a victory.

The final round of the day was against the Galatians, complete with scythed chariots. The Galatians formed up in dense ranks with their left covered by massed cavalry and their right secured by scythed chariots. Again the steep hills were secured by Numidian light infantry while the Numidian light cavalry probed for weakness. Fortunately the Gallic mounted attack on the Numidian right was held, more by luck than skill. However, a gap developed in the centre, as Galatian foot pressing forward, and here the Numidians struck. Light cavalry, supported by light infantry, poured through eventually overwhelming the Galatian reserves and killing their general who had been dashing about on a chariot. Combined with previous losses sustained by the Galatian foot the Numidian King was finally able to claim a complete victory – at last!

After four rounds the results were as follows:

  • 1st Jim Morton – II/3b Classical Indian 79-545 AD, 36pts.
  • 2nd Eric Juhl – II/74a Palmyran, Odenathus 260-271AD with II/23a Nomad Arab Army ally, 33pts.
  • 3rd Brian Sowman – I/50 Lydian 687-540BC with I/52g Asiatic Greek Hoplites ally, 31pts.
  • 4th= Josh Day – II/47f Early German, Suevi 19-49AD, 24pts.
  • 4th= Mike Thorby – II/5a Spartans in Greece 448-276BC, 24pts.
  • 6th Keith McNelly – II/40 Numidian 215BC-24AD, 23pts.
  • 7th Paul Deacon – II/32a Later Carthaginian, 21pts
  • 8th Rick Bishop – II/5k Spartan, Brasidas 428-422BC, 20pts
  • 9th Nathan Maynard – II/49 Marian Roman 105-25BC, 12pts
  • 10th Gordon Pinchin – II/30b Galatian 273-65BC, 5pts

A most enjoyable series of games thanks to four excellent opponents. I was pleased with the performance of the Numidians. They were, as expected, a challenge to use, yet they gave a good account of themselves in all games.