Category Archives: DBA

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 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 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.