Category Archives: Competition Reports

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.


Natcon DBA Results

Over Easter the New Zealand the National Wargames Convention was held in Christchurch. One of the many competitions was a 15mm DBA event. The DBA competition was held over a single day and was divided into two sections. The Ancient Section comprised three rounds using armies up to 450AD and was followed by Medieval Section, also of three rounds, using armies with a list date after 450AD. Placings for each section were calculated independently but were then combined for an overall score.

Ancients Section:

An interesting selection of armies was fielded with most being from the classical period. Interestingly, only one army comprised an allied contingent.

Above, Polybian Romans engage the Spartans where a significant victory was gained by the Spartans. Below, Later Carthaginians prepare to engage Graeco-Bactrians with a narrow victory finally being secured by the Carthaginians.

After three rounds the placings for the Ancients section found Brian securing first place with a strong showing by his Lydians, supported by his Greek allies.

  • Brian Sowman – I/50 Lydian with I/52g Asiatic Greek ally (24pts)
  • Keith McNelly – II/32a Later Carthaginian (23pts)
  • Jim Morton – II/36a Graeco-Bactrian (23pts)
  • Rick Bishop – II/5a Later Hoplite Greek, Spartan (14pts)
  • Gordon Pinchin – II/49 Marian Roman (14pts)
  • Joel McNelly – II/33 Polybian Roman (5pts)

Medieval Section:

In the afternoon points were reset. A colourful selection of armies were fielded for the Medieval Section with many fielding a range of very colourful and imposing stands of knights. Despite this the Aztecs, fielding no less than six stands of Horde, provided some interesting challenges.

Above, Aztecs engaged against Wars of the Roses English. In this game the Aztecs secured victory despite the loss of nine stands, of which six were horde. It’s been pointed out that the priests in the foreground are desperately praying the heathen Aztecs will be stopped. Alas they weren’t…

The results of the Medieval Section were as follows:

  • Joel McNelly – IV/63 Aztecs (23pts)
  • Jim Morton – IV/74 Free Company (20pts)
  • Keith McNelly – IV/83a Wars of the Roses, Yorkists (19pts)
  • Rick Bishop – III/52 West Frankish & Norman 888AD – 1072AD (19pts)
  • Brian Sowman – IV/54b Medieval Scandinavian Union with IV/13c Medieval German ally (6pts)
  • Gordon Pinchin – III/52 West Frankish & Norman 888AD – 1072AD (6pts)

Overall Results:

Combining the scores of both sections provided the overall placings for the 15mm DBA Competition. The players, both armies and their final scores were:

  • Jim Morton – II/36a Graeco-Bactrian; IV/74 Free Company (43pts)
  • Keith McNelly – II/32a Later Carthaginian; IV/83a Wars of the Roses, Yorkists (42pts)
  • Rick Bishop – II/5a Later Hoplite Greek, Spartan; III/52 West Frankish & Norman 888AD – 1072AD (33pts)
  • Brian Sowman – I/50 Lydian with I/52g Asiatic Greek ally; IV/54b Medieval Scandinavian Union with IV/13c Medieval German ally (30pts)
  • Joel McNelly – II/33 Polybian Roman; IV/63 Aztecs (28pts)
  • Gordon Pinchin – II/49 Marian Roman; III/52 West Frankish & Norman 888AD – 1072AD (20pts)

All players killed one enemy general, excluding Rick. While Jim and Gordon managed not to suffer a lost general, Joel managed to suffer the loss of two. During the course of the day only one camp was lost, that being that of the Aztecs when their camp was lost to raiding English currours.

Conquest Results

Over the weekend the local Conquest wargames convention was held. Yet again we were able to run a DBA competition, this year comprising two seperate events. The first day involved a standard DBA competition of six rounds, each of an hour. While the second day would comprise a Big Battle three round competition.

Looking at the first day the six rounds were further divided into two sections. The first three games involved the Ancient section and drew armies from the period up to 450 AD. The armies, except one, were all drawn from the Section II lists and all contained an interesting mix. At the conclusion of the Ancient Section Brian was 1st place with 33 points while Greg Kelleher and Keith McNelly were on second equal with 23 points each.

Above and below armies clash in the Ancient Section. Above Asiatic Successors clash with Eastern Patrician Army while below the same Successors clash with Palmyrans.

Below, a view of the Palmyran camp. A fine example of many well painted and presented armies.

The Dark Age and Medieval Section, played in the afternoon, also comprised three rounds and used armies from 451 AD. Of these armies a solid core were Late Medieval armies, including three Wars of the Roses armies and a hard hitting Free Companies. However, the Hussite army had several players scratching their heads on how to deal with the massed war wagons expertly commanded by Mark. After the three rounds of the Medieval section Mark Baker was on 24 points, Jim Morton on 23 and Greg Wells on 21 points.

Above, the Hussite host engage their enemy. Below, the Mongols prepare to advance against a Wars of the Roses English army.

Below, Wars of the Roses English engaged against Free Companies, who unsurprisingly were invading English territories. The English maintained a good account of themselves through a combination of archery and cannon fire.

Combining the scores of both Sections provided the final placings as follows:

  • Brian Sowman – I/50 Lydian with I/52g Asiatic Greek ally; IV/54b Medieval Scandinavian Union with IV/13c Medieval German ally (41pts)
  • Jim Morton – II/36a Graeco-Bactrian; IV/74 Free Company (34 pts)
  • Mark Davies – II/32a Later Carthaginian; IV/1a Komnenan Byzantine (33pts)
  • Greg Kelleher – II/82b Eastern Patrician Army; III/10b Rajput Army (31pts)
  • Keith McNelly – II/16b Asiatic Early Successor; II/83a Wars of the Roses English, Yorkist (31pts)
  • Paul Deacon – II/10 Camillan Roman; III/28 Carolingian Frankish (28pts)
  • Greg Wells – II/74a Palmyran; II/83a Wars of the Roses English (26pts)
  • Mark Baker – II/74a Palmyran; IV/80 Hussite (24pts)
  • John Kerr – II/33 Polybian Roman; II/83a Wars of the Roses English (22pts)
  • Angus Yeates – II/32a Later Carthaginian; IV/35 Mongol Conquest (16pts)

The second day of Conquest was allocated to an Ancient Big Battle event of three rounds. Most of the armies were similar to the previous days Ancient Section, with a few exceptions. Unfortunately, player numbers were a little lower with eight players participating. Of these players, a number had not played BBDBA with 3.0. Each round lasted 2 1/4 hours with a number of games going to the wire. Interestingly, unlike the previous day when there were no camps taken, a couple of camps were attacked and taken. Clearly the benefit of attacking camps in BBDBA were high on some players radar.

Above, Carthaginians deployed in one of the Big Battle games. In this game the Carthaginians fought with great determination, especially their Spanish mercenary foot. Below, the Carthaginians face the Eastern Patricians with their LPIA Nomad Ally in the foreground.

Below, Later Carthaginians engage Eastern Patricians. The Patricians were one of the armies that were supported by an ally. An ally can be a useful component for variety and to bolster a couple of standard DBA armies to the required size for BBDBA.

A revised scoring system was used for the BBDBA competition, after three rounds the placings were as follows:

  • 1st Brian Sowman – I/50 Lydian with I/52g Asiatic Greek ally
  • 2nd Keith McNelly – II/16b Asiatic Early Successor
  • 3rd Jim Morton – II/36a Graeco-Bactrian
  • 4th= Mark Baker – II/74a Palmyran
  • 4th= Greg Wells – II/74a Palmyran with II/23a LPIA Nomad Ally
  • 6th= Greg Kelleher – II/82b Eastern Patrician Army with II/23a LPIA Nomad Ally
  • 6th= Paul Deacon – II/49 Marian Roman
  • 8th= Mark Davies – II/32a Later Carthaginian

I should add a few notes of thanks. Firstly to our competitors who all played as true gentlemen. I of course must mention our four out of town visitors, two from Australia and another each from Auckland and Blenheim, thank you for your support. Then we have those players who provided loan armies to help with the themes.

Finally, I would like to thank Comics Compulsion who organise Conquest and are so supportive of DBA. I encourage you to support them.

DBA Open 2016 – Ancient Results

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:

  1. Gordon, II/19a Seleucid 320-280 BC, 46 pts (Countback)
  2. Keith, II/32a Later Carthaginian 275-202 BC, 46 pts
  3. Brian, I/50 Lydian 687-540 BC with I/52g Asiatic Greek Hoplite Allies, 43 pts
  4. Nathan, II/49 Marian Roman 105-25 BC, 29 pts
  5. Ben, II/11Gallic 400-225 BC (Telamon), 25 pts
  6. Mike, II/5k Spartan Overseas Expedition Agesilaus 396-394 BC, 25 pts
  7. Gus, II/5c Theban 448-278 BC, 24 pts
  8. Andrew, I/42 Neo Elamite 800-639 BC with I/44a Neo Babylonian Ally, 22 pts
  9. John, II/33 Polybian Roman 275-105 BC, 16 pts
  10. 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.