English DBA Open
Presented by PAWS, the Society of Ancients and Magister Militum
Two days after Trafalgar Day, we are on the road again and taking the Society of Ancients to the home of the Royal Navy.
(the Society of Ancients goes to Portsmouth)
And to the annual English DBA Open competition - a celebration of things ancient and medieval, and of warfare on land, mostly in far off places. Still, we should doff our caps to history, and to that decisive battle where one of England's most celebrated national heroes met his fate*.
(Later Pre-Islamic Arab Nomads vs Bosporan)
(Minoans vs Thracians)
(Muslim Indian vs Ghaznavid)
Even with a couple of parties dropping out for various unfortunate reasons just before the event, the 25mm category did not go ahead, and 18 players went into the pool stages of the 15mm Open.
(a little more of historic Portsmouth)
The armies chosen were (I know you all like to know this ...): Shang Chinese; Trojan; Kushite; Thracian; Bosporan; Later Carthaginian; Early Imperial Roman; Ostrogothic; Late Roman (Eastern); Later Pre-Islamic Arab (me); Tibetan; Late Tang; Ghaznavid; Ghaznavid; Western Franks; Later Muslim Indian; Leidang and Medieval French.(Later Pre-Islamic Arab ... my scruffy nomads posed next to the sand dunes and oasis terrain which they never got to fight in!)
(Early Imperial Romans face off the Chinese)
These were organised into period appropriate pools (as far as possible) ...
(semi final armies: Muslim and Tamil elephants ...)
The event was also the final round of the 2011 Society of Ancients UK DBA League, with a number of the leading players managing the trip down.
The League has seen 64 players take part (53 Seniors and a useful 11 Juniors).
So we had trophies, freebies and heaps of army prizes to dish out as well as some game to play.
I will issue the full results on a Society of Ancients News Bulletin when I have them in (and link it here) ... for now, I will report on our day out and post some photos.
My last couple of competition outings involved winning a Championship game of Armati, and picking up the NDBML win at Halifax ... so would my improbable run of luck sustain me through a few rounds of DBA? Well I won't tease you on that one ... I had to struggle through three defeats to get a sniff of victory (and even in that game I think I was being outplayed until the dice were rolled!)
(Bosprans push on into the Plate competition)
One by one, these UK DBA players have learned not to respect my apparently experienced status ... my game is pretty dumb and you can play without fear (once your opponent knows this it is a much easier game, and all this lot have found me out!) ...
(more semi final action)
Actually that is a pretty good situation as it leaves me free to lay for fun, meet people and take photos ... I didn't make it from the pool stage into the knock out. We had a plate competition (I didn't get into the semis for that either ...)..
For the Open and the Junior knock outs, players surrendered their chosen armies for ones drawn from one of DBA's campaign set ups as last year.
(James, Mark and Martin ... triumphant in the Open)
In a tight final, Mark Skelton pipped Martin Smith for the title, and James May won the Junior title. Martin Myers won the plate competition. They all got Magister Militum DBA armies to go with their trophies. Many thanks to MM for their continued support (please give them a visit).
Colin O'Shea's lead in the League survived, and Patrick Myers won the Junior League crown. Colin gets a book prize from Monarch Military Books who have sponsored the League. Patrick gets a Xyston army box of his choice.
Additionally, there were some Confused Generals from Bend Sinister and some additional complimentary booklets from the Society of Ancients stable going to appropriate players. For those who like the maths, £200 or so in goodies to back up the trophies (so thanks again to our sponsors).
(Phil presents the prizes at the English DBA Open)
Of course the camaraderie and the great spirit of all those games counts for much more and I hope everyone had as rewarding a day out as I did. I also learned a few more nuances of the game (there's a string of victories bursting to get out, somewhere in there) ...
Many thanks to the PAWS stalwarts who are managing the League tables and numbers as well as hosting their seasonal events and the Open.
Society of Ancients UK DBA League page
*By the time of Trafalgar, Nelson had near rock star status. The nation and his officers were dumbstruck at the loss. The State Funeral took 5 days, with the river unable to cope with the size of the regatta, St. Paul's too small for the mourners. The procession was so long that by the time the head of the column arrived at the Cathedral the funeral car had still not left Whitehall.
see The State Funeral of Lord Nelson for more remarkable info.