Category Archives: Medieval

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.

Beware The Pretender!

For me one of the very appealing features of DBA is the ability to build armies in matched pairs and to refight both historical and fictional games between these pairs of armies, at reasonable cost in both lead and painting time. Over the years I have had plans, and on occasions false starts, at building large Ancient or Medieval armies for rule sets such as DBM. Yet with such games my opponents generally tend to have a preference to use their own larger armies. This is of course a very understandable preference given the investment we as wargamers make in our own armies. The required return on investment is even more pronounced when game time can be limited. It can be difficult after all to find time for a larger game and when you do it is natural for a wargamer to want to finally get his own troops on the table.

However, with DBA these time barriers start to be break down. Armies require less painting time and with a game lasting an hour a couple of games can be played in an evening. There is now time to use the other persons army. As such DBA allows me to build and deploy armies in historical pairs. Last night was no exception when four of us caught up for a gaming DBA gaming evening. 

For my part I played three Wars of the Roses engagements, one against each of the other players. The result was three excellent games where each game ran down to the wire. While I’m not going to provide a breakdown of each game they all had a degree of difference. Partly as a result of different player styles, partly based on army composition or deployment and partly due to the vagaries of the dice.

In two games ploughed fields become a major obstacle, a result of a recent heavy rain or a late campaign season. In each players opted for alternate troops or tactics. Archery proved on occasion effective, while at others brittle. Bill and bow closed to melee while in another game mounted men at arms charged, perhaps foolishly, in an attempt to gain advantage and glory. All these elements can easily be found in historical accounts. Yet all remained in period. How very different from unhistoric encounters.

Above, in both photos, Irish light troops dominate a rock covered hill and threaten some Yorkist billmen while in the centre Lancastrian bill and bow advance on the Lancastrian main line. The Lancastrians are from my own collection while the Yorkists are from John Kerr’s collection. By the way, be sure to click on the images to enlarge them.

 If you haven’t tried historical pairs I would highly recommend it. It’s very different from “Open” events and in my view is one of the great strengths of DBA.

Download Great Battles of History

Here as promised is the PDF for “Great Battles of History for DBA 3.0”.

It is provided for those of you on a tight budget or who just prefer to “Kick the Tires” before purchase. Please do consider purchasing if you like it. All proceeds now are going to the Society of Ancients and will be donated on a monthly basis in honor of Phil and Sue Barker. We passed our initial goal quite quickly.


You are free to download a copy for your own use. The General Editor retains the rights. The download is of a reasonable size and is not as clear or bright as the actual book, but it will work on a smartphone.

The printed version of Great Battles of History is available as a 134-page, full-color book from for $34.97 USD. You can find it here. For places outside of Lulu’s shipping area, the book will be available worldwide through Amazon in a few weeks.

Warclouds 2016 – DBA Report

Each February the Warclouds Convention is held in Christchurch. As is now regular, a 15mm DBA competition forms part of this larger convention. The format for DBA is six rounds, each of one hour, over one day. There are three games using Ancients armies in the morning, which can include armies with a list date of up to 450AD. A further three rounds follows in the afternoon using Dark Age and Medieval armies, lists with a date from 451AD. It is an interesting format and provides, in my view additional variety as players field two different armies during a single day competition.

Unfortunately player numbers were down with a number of regulars away for the long weekend, a combination of work commitments and holidays. However, we had one player who travelled to attend and two new players. Of these new players one had only just started playing DBA and another was relatively new to DBA 3.0.

With player numbers uneven in the Ancient section I stood down, to avoid byes. As a result a round robin system was used to determine the morning draw. In the afternoon, a late arriving player turged up, even numbers existed and a Swiss chess format was used.

Above and below, Camillian Romans engage Athenians in what became a very interesting battle of two predominantly spear armies. Angus has been playing DBA for a year now and these Romans are his fifth army. The two well presented armies were complimented by well presented terrain which was a feature across all the games.

The main feature of Brian’s Classical Indians is of course his elephant corps. These Indians have a string of victories under early versions of DBA but have struggled under 3.0. This photo was taken during a battle against the Nabataeans, a largely bow army, who held the Indians to a draw having forced back Indian attacks across a river.

Below, the Indians engage Rick’s Athenians. The Athenians advanced and were soon heavily engaged against the Indians. Some elephants were recoiled onto support troops but eventually the Indian chariots and elephants, supported by archers, shattered the Athenians.

During the Medieval Section there were three Wars of the Roses armies in play. Below, my own Lancastrians, on the right, prepare to engage a Yorkist Pretender. This battle was very close, with victory only just being secured by Henry VI. Visible are areas of plough and an enclosure.

One of the more unusual armies in the Medieval section was Ben’s Yi Dynasty Korean. Below, the Korean left flank advances on the Lancastrian right.

The attacks by the Korean left were eventually held and the Korean commander now decided to advance his centre, which can be seen below.

From left to right are Korean peasant spearmen (7Hd), archers (4Bw), 2 x pikemen (Pk) and scratch built wheeled rocket rocket launcher (Art). This advance was countered by an English counter attack in the centre. Below, a view from the Korean right, towards the centre.

Another fine army was Angus’ Norse-Irish. Comprised of Baueda figures this army fought particularly successfully in the Medieval section, despite containing a number of Auxilia. Below, clearly defending, the Irish dominated various hills against a Yorkist army.

I understand, though I have no photos, the Irish had success against the Hindu Indians in the Medieval section.

In the final round the Irish invaded and were forced to face the Lancastrians on a more open battlefield. Here they took the offensive against the English right where they were almost successful.

The results at the end of the day can be summarised as follows:

Ancients Section:

  • Brian Sowman, II/3b Classical Indian 179-545AD, 26pts
  • Angus Yeates, II/10 Camillan Romans 400-275BC, 22pts
  • Greg Wells II/22a Army of Nabataea 250BC-106AD,15pts
  • Rick Bishop II/5b Athenians 448-287BC, 5 pts

Medieval Section:

  • Keith McNelly IV/83a Wars of the Roses (Lancastrian) 1455-1485AD, 32pts
  • Rick Bishop IV/83a Wars of the Roses (Yorkist) 1455-1485AD, 17pts
  • Angus Yeates III/46 Norse Irish 842-1300AD, 15pts
  • Greg Wells IV/83a Wars of the Roses 1455-1485AD, 13pts
  • Ben Broad IV/78 Yi Dynasty Korean 1392-1598AD, 13pts
  • Brian Sowman III/10b Hindu Indian, Rajput, 747-1303AD, 13pts

Overall Result:

  • 1st on 39 pts, Brian (winner of the Phil Barker Cup)
  • 2nd on 37 pts, Angus
  • 3rd on 32 pts, Keith (played only 3 rounds)
  • 4th on 28 pts, Greg
  • 5th on 22 pts, Rick
  • 6th on 13 pts Ben (played only 3 rounds)

Player feedback was very positive and clearly a very enjoyable day was had by all. With continued and growing interest it will be interesting to see what new armies appear on the table in upcoming months. Rumours certainly suggest a number of new armies are being planned.