Category Archives: Competition Reports

Conquest 2018 BBDBA

On the second day of the Conquest 2018 Convention a three round Big Battle DBA tournament was held. This is the third year we have had a 15mm BBDBA event at Conquest. Armies comprised 36 elements with all armies having a list date of prior to 450 AD. The tournament was limited to just three rounds with each round limited to 2 1/4 hours including setup.

While a couple of regulars were unable to make the event we were pleased to see a new player who supplemented his standard DBA army with some additional figures so he could participate. Most armies were drawn from the early portions of the Section II armies ensuring that many were historical or near historical opponents to each other.

Below, Polybian Romans on the left engage Carthaginians in a desperate fight in Southern Italy. The Carthaginians were defending and with a significant advantage in mounted had offered battle on a relatively open plain.

The marsh in the right foreground significantly constrained the movement of the Punic horse and nullified much of their advantage on the wing. Yet despite this the Romans struggled to gain a decisive advantage against the Carthaginian centre who proved frustratingly resilient.

Above, a Greek coalition prepare to face the Graeco-Bactrians on another relatively open battlefield. The Greeks under an Athenian strategos comprised two Athenian commands and were supported by a Thessalian allied command. The Athenians are visible in the foreground while the Thessalians are in the distance. Both the Athenians and the Thessalians have their own camps.

Above and below, additional views illustrating the situation with the Graeco-Bactrians on the left.

Being distracted in the second round I took no photos. However, we do have some from the third round. Below, the Carthaginians are engaging the Seleucids. The Carthaginians interestingly have almost all their mounted massed into one wing.

Below, another engagement now between the Athenian coalition and the Palmyrans. The Athenians on the left are defending and have clearly adopted a defensive deployment in an attempt to counter the significant mounted threat posed by the Palmyrans.

Next we have some photos from the battle between the Polybian Romans and the Greco-Bactrians. Again the Graeco-Bactrian host has deployed on the open steppes while this time the Romans are campaigning in the far reaches of the known world.

Another view below viewed from the Roman lines. In the centre Roman velites are trying to draw out the Greek pachyderms, who like much of the phalangites, were reluctant to face the determined Romans.

With regards to scoring, a slightly modified version of the standard DBA scoring was used. Players were rewarded with 8pts for a win. Others received one point for each three enemy element equivalents lost. Again this was aimed at rewarding decisive play and discouraged draws.

After three rounds the results were:

  • 1st: Jim Morton – II/36a Graeco-Bactrian, 20pts
  • 2nd: Mark Davies – II/32a Later Carthaginian, 13pts
  • 3rd Gordon Pinchin – II/19a Seleucid, 12pts
  • 4th: Keith McNelly – II/33 Polybian Roman, 10pts
  • 5th: Colin Foster – II/5b Later Hoplite Greek (Athenian) with II/5d Thessalian Ally, 9pts
  • 6th: Greg Wells – II/74a Palmyran with II/23a LPIA Nomad Ally, 7pts

With more generals in play unsurprisingly casualties to generals were heavy. Greg’s Palmyrans lost four generals, while Gordon’s Seleucids and Colin’s Greeks lost three each. The Carthaginians and Romans lost one each while the Greco-Bactrians lost none. From my experience battling the Graeco-Bactrian their commanders seemed reluctant to risk their lives in battle, leaving the fighting to the lower classes. The Carthaginians meanwhile seemed focused on targeting enemy generals killing no less than three enemy generals across their three battles while most others killed two enemy generals. No enemy camps were raided during the course of the tournament.

The Big Battle DBA tournament seemed to be a great success with plenty of challenges and an additional visual spectacle provided by the larger armies on the table, despite retaining the simplicity and elegance of DBA.

Conquest 2018 DBA

Over the weekend the annual Conquest Wargames Convention was held here in Christchurch, New Zealand. As with previous years it included a 15mm DBA competition. This year the DBA competition comprised two sections, or themes, with one running on Saturday morning and the second Saturday afternoon. Each comprised three rounds, with overall scores combined to determine the final placings.

The first section used Ancient armies while the second section used Dark Age or Medieval armies. With six rounds across both sections and only seven players, most players fought five games and had one bye.

One hour was allowed for each game with players awarded 8 points for a win, with the scoring system generally discouraging draws. In fact of the 18 games played only one game ended in a draw.

Ancients Section:

This section allowed the use of armies up to 450 AD. Most armies fielded were from the Classical period, or from Section II army lists, with just one Section I army making an appearance this year.

Above, Robin’s Early Mycenaeans clash with Mark’s Later Carthaginians. The Mycenaeans invaded and caused substantial casualties on the Punic host, though lost a general in the process.

Below, Gordon’s Seleucids on the left engage Eric’s Palmyrans in round one. This was a close game as the Seleucids, while unable to secure victory, caused heavy casualties on the Palmyrans.

Below, the Seleucids again in action, this time against Peithon’s Asiatic Early Successor. In this encounter Seleucus claiming a victory over his fellow Successor.

Below, my Asiatic Early Successors engaged against Colin’s Thessalian Later Hoplites Greeks. The Thessalians defended and with their massed cavalry created something of a problem for Peithon mounted, despite being reinforced by various mercenary auxilia.

Below, Peithon’s right flank is overwhelmed by the Thessalian mounted. A careful inspection of the image will see Peithon himself engaged in a desperate charge to stabilise the deteriorating position, which unfortunately was unsuccessful.

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

  • Mark Davies: II/32a Later Carthaginian, 24pts
  • Eric Juhl: II/74b Palmyran, 20pts
  • Colin Foster: II/5d Later Hoplite Greek (Thessalian), 15pts
  • Gordon Pinchin: II/19a Seleucid, 14pts
  • Robin Sutton: I/18 Minoan or Early Mycenaean, 12pts
  • Greg Wells: II/74a Palmyran, 8pts
  • Keith McNelly: II/16e Asiatic Early Successor (Peithon), 8pts

In these games I lost two generals, indicating why Peithon was to be lost to history his line having been extinguished early. In addition Robin and Eric lost a single general. While the gods clearly did not favour Peithon favour those camp followers defending his camp clearly were, having fought off an attack by Seleucid pachyderms! At the end of the Ancients section no camps were successfully taken.

Medieval Section:

After lunch the players replaced their Ancient armies with those with a list date later than 451 AD.

Several new armies made their first appearance at Conquest including Mark’s freshly completed Syrians as well as Eric’s Hussites and Robin’s Ottomans. All very different armies.

Above, a portion of Mark’s Turkish-ruled and Ayyubid remnant Syrian States. While below they can be seen arrayed against my own Lancastrian English.

Below, another view, this time as the Syrians try to outflank the English left flank but are driven back by Henry & his bodyguard – just!

The Lancastrians were also found to be campaigning against the Ottomans as can be seen below.

Above and below the Ottomans attack both flanks of the English line. While the Ottomans struggled with the English archers and billmen they were much more successful in their final engagement against the Rajputs.

One of the dominating armies of the Medieval Section was the Hussites.

Above, a section of the Hussite line, while below it can be seen deployed against the Lancastrians who had deployed first as defender.

The combination of troops proved extremely difficult to counter for both English armies they were to fight and the Aztecs. After three Medieval rounds the results were:

  • Eric Juhl: IV/80 Hussite, 24pts
  • Keith McNelly: IV/83a Wars of the Roses English (Lancastrian), 18pts
  • Mark Davies: IV/6a Turkish-ruled and Ayyubid remnant Syrian states, 15pts
  • Robin Sutton: IV/55a Ottoman, 15pts
  • Colin Foster: IV/63 Aztecs, 11pts
  • Greg Wells: II/83a Wars of the Roses English, 11pts
  • Gordon Pinchin: III/10b Rajput Indian, 10pts

In the Medieval section Eric achieved a perfect score. As to generals lost in the Medieval section, well it would seem commanders seemed a little more cautious. Mark’s Syrians lost one commander to the English while the Colin’s Aztecs lost a commander to the Hussite reformers seeking to bring their flavour of the gospel to the New World. As with the Ancient Section no camps were looted.

Overall Results:

Combining the scores of both sections the final results for Conquest 2018 DBA were:

  • 1st: Eric Juhl: 44pts
  • 2nd: Mark Davies: 39pts
  • 3rd=: Keith McNelly: 27pts
  • 3rd=: Robin Sutton: 27pts
  • 5th: Colin Foster: 26pts
  • 6th: Gordon Pinchin: 24pts
  • 7th: Greg Wells: 19pts

A great result for Eric who had secured an impressive score by winning five of his six games. Mark also had a particularly excellent outcome with his Carthaginians doing particularly well, especially when compared to their 2016 performance. Finally a very pleasing result for Robin in his return to Conquest DBA and the first competition using DBA 3.0. Interestingly all those involved in the competition won at least one game, ensuring the laurels of victory were well spread.

A final note of thanks must go to Comics Compulsion who were once again organised a great competition and who were very supportive of DBA.

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…