Tuesday, October 27, 2015

25th October, Portsmouth ...

The Society of Ancients sponsored English DBA Open 2015

Many thanks to the Portsmouth and Allied Wargames Society for organising and hosting the English DBA Open and running the UK DBA League which has the event as its final 2014/2015 round.

The Society of Ancients sponsors both these events and I was pleased to go down both to represent the Society and to play in the event ... unfortunately just my 3rd DBA of what has turned out to be an unusually busy year ...

Although DBA armies are pretty small, my boot was pretty full with the latest Slingshots and games as well as an armful of prizes and a box of widgets that had (phew) turned up just the day before ...

The widgets are a gift from the sponsor to the players supporting the UK League and will be distributed one-per-player while stocks last (my thanks to the Society for supporting this) ...

(the brand new SoA DBA measurement/deployment widget)

Made for us in acrylic by Warbases, the tool dual functions for measurements (1/2, 1, 2, 3 and 4 basewidths) and for marking the edge of the deployment zone (2 BWs in, and, aligned to the back edge on a 24" board, 3 BWs back from the centre) ...

I think it's turned out well, and certainly seemed popular with the players on Sunday ...

(SoA DBA widget in action)

Anyway ... I took along a Marian Roman army ... I had created it as part of a pair with Slave Revolt (yes - I might have been Spartacus) for Martin's Alton DBA Pairs event ... then wasn't able to go.  So the Open gave the army an opportunity to strut its debut stuff ...

(English Open 2015: Phil's 15mm DBA Marian Roman Army)

For the Spartacus Scenario, I had opted for a very basic 'blade heavy' army with legionary general etc. But as this was an open competition I thought a cavalry commander and the optional elephant might be a more entertaining configuration ...

So .. 1 x General (Cv), 1 x auxiliary cavalry (Cv), 7 x legionaries (4Bd), 1 x javelinmen (Ps), 1 x archers (Ps) and 1 x Numidian elephant (El) ...

The army is almost entirely Chariot Miniatures (from Magister Militum) and looking for that 'hastily raised' impression for the Spartacus scenario, I went for de-plumed Republicans ... 

(Chariot Miniatures Romans lining up as the army of Crassus) 

I confess the army lost more than it won but we all had an enjoyable day ... being an Open event, it got to fight an outlandish array of opponents ... from Hittites and Koreans to Renaissance Italians ... standing up now to chariots, now to bombards and eventually been skewered by plate armoured horsemen with heavy jousting lances.  Mules indeed!

(English DBA Open 2015: Marian Romans vs Hittite Empire)

(English DBA Open 2015: Marian Romans vs Serbian Empire)

(English DBA Open 2015: Marian Romans vs Koguryo Koreans)

Colin the Korean had brought along and played a very nice waterway which was a good match to my basing - and I have used a beached bireme as my camp for the Romans (not because the Romans can do littoral landings - though if they couldn't then who on earth could? - but because if you recall that bit in the Kubric film, Crassus bought all the ships so Spartacus couldn't sail away to Thrace ... or something like that) ... so I trust you'll indulge an extra picture or two.

(a scenic match ... figures by Phil, terrain by Colin)

I didn't make the semi-final but made the plate semi-final where I got 3 Italians to the good before all the legionaries got impaled by the knights in one horrendous round of combat ...

OK ... the armies used (or, more properly as noted by Martin ... ) were: Feudal English; Early Neo-Babylonian; Hittite Empire; Alan; Koguryo Korean; Teutonic Order; Serbian Empire; Venetian Condotta + Genoese allies; Marian Roman; Early Imperial Roman; French Ordonnance; North Welsh + Feudal English ally. 

The Welsh, Imperial Romans, Alans and Neo-Babylonians got their commanders into the semi-finals where a themed choice beckoned for the last 2 games ...

(English DBA Open: armies for the finals and semi-finals)

Mark and Martin made it to the final and fought it out for the trophy ...

(English DBA Open 2015: the final ... concentration - and perhaps a touch of mischief?)

Everyone seemed to have enjoyed their day and Martin's success in the Open also assured him the League title ...  here are the happy winners ...

(English DBA Open ... winner, third place and runner up)

(Society of Ancients UK DBA League 2014-15 ... winner flanked by the runners up)

See more about the UK DBA League
Full 2015 English DBA Open results
Full 2014-15 UK DBA League results

Many thanks to everyone involved.  Thanks to the Society of Ancients for continuing to support the project and thanks to Paws for running it all.

A new League year starts in Market Harborough in 3 weeks time.

I will be back on the road with a 50th anniversary flats game at Warfare.

Monday, October 26, 2015

11th Oct, Crystal Palace

Just catching a post up on my lovely late summer trip down to Crystal Palace a couple of weeks ago helping out on the society stand and picking up some trophies for the English Open DBA ...

David did the stand for this one and Phil, Eric and Alan put on a Lost Battles Successors game on the big table to  entertain visitors.

Other ancients games on show included Simon Miller's To the Strongest ...

... and the Staines group's Agincourt participation game ...

It was a fairly brief visit but as ever an excellent show with plenty to look at - lots to see and lots to buy ..

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The 2015 English DBA Open

The 2015 English DBA Open

England’s premiere DBA competition will be held on Sunday 25th October 2015 at Stacey Community Centre in Portsmouth.

This will be the final event of the 2014-15 year of the Society of Ancients UK DBA League.

Please could players arrive and book in between 9:30-10:00 am so we can start the games by about 10:30.

Trophies sponsored by the Society of Ancients.

Prize sponsored by Magister Militum.

There will be one competition only this year, in 15mm using version 3 of the DBA rules.
  • Numbers permitting, players will be organised into groups of five or six players, playing the others in their group.
  • Players may use any army they chose for their group games.
  • If there is more than one group, then all group winners and possibly the best of group runners—up will progress to a final and possibly semi—finals to determine the overall winners.
  • These finals and semi—finals will be played with themed armies provided by the organisers.

DBA Open 2015 Rules

  1. De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) version 3 will be used.
  2. A “World Cup” format will be used. Initially competitors will use their own armies and terrain. Each battle will be 35-45 minutes long (unlimited for any final).
  3. Scoring shall be as follows:
    1. 5 points for a complete victory (as defined in the rule book);
    2. 2 points for a draw (game incomplete when time is called), if the player has destroyed more enemy elements counting towards victory than he has himself lost;
    3. 1 point for any other draw;
    4. 0 points for a loss.
  4. In the event of a tie within a group the winner will be determined by:
    1. head-head record;
    2. most generals killed;
    3. most camps/BUA sacked;
    4. most elements killed (including Scythed Chariots and Hordes but not including the extra for occupying a camp/BUA).
  5. The winner of each group (plus the best of the rest if necessary), will then play a knock-out tournament (a final and possibly semi-finals) to determine the overall winner. During the knock-out stage, competitors will secretly choose an army from all those that will be made available.
  6. If there are insufficient players to form at least two even groups, then the event may be restructured as a single group, with each player playing all other opponents. In this case, a knock-out phase might not be played.
  7. Element selection and army aggression may not be changed between battles.

Monday, October 19, 2015

3rd and 4th October, Donington Park


As a one time petrol-head I'll happily put up with chilly feet and a concrete floor for the sweet music of the racing engines screaming around the circuit outside in free practice.  Yes, it's the first weekend in October and we're back at Donington for the Derby Worlds event. 

The Society of Ancients combined this time with the Northampton Battlefields Society for another presentation of my DBA V3 treatment of the 7th century Battle of Yarmuk.

(catastrophe on the plateau beyond Damascus ... the era defining battle of Yarmuk from The Society of Ancients)

Most of the voluntary groups and learned societies were present at the event including the Lance & Longbow Society, The Pike and Short Society and various charities ...


.. the usual suspects perhaps but it is good to see all these organisation still going strong, getting out on the road and supporting historical wargaming and wargames shows and events in the manner they have for decades now.   

 (Yarmuk 636 ... armoured cavalry of the Byzantine centre - figures by Phil Barker refurbished by Phil Steele)
(scenes from the Battle of Yarmuk refought at Derby 2015 by the Society of Ancients)

We refought the battle twice on the Saturday of Derby - in both cases to a plausible Arab win as the Roman commanders fought to break through from their outflanked position ....

The battle was fought using traditional flat tin soldiers from the 1960s collections of Phil Barker, Tony Bath and Deryck Guyler ... staged and added to by Phil Steele to reconfigure the armies to the Yarmuk scenario.

The battle was refought using DBA version 3 and the figures were based on a standard 60m frontage.  The battlefield was approximately 3'x4' but the wargame begins with the armies pre-deployed as at the start of the critical phase of the battle.

 (Yarmuk: the Byzantine C-in-C, Vahan, drives forward relentlessly in an attempt to force the Arabs from the field)

Yarmuk was one of a number of splendid *ancients* games ... of particular note, the Battle of Bosworth (Graham Fordham and Paul Tysoe of Phoenix Gaming Club for the Lance & Longbow Society) picked up an award in the Best Participation Game category (well done them) ...

(Jed D, formerly Mr Chariot Miniatures, has a crack at Paul and Graham's Bosworth game)

The game was based on the latest evidence from the battlefield, successfully played out to a home variant of Warlord's Pike and Shotte rules. 

(scenes from Bosworth)

Also nice to see Rob Broom's Greeks out again 

... and plenty of other good ancients fare ...

Looking around the show I enjoyed some of the 20th century content as usual  ...

 ... and that splendid 'light horsemen' game showed a lot of potential though I didn't see it getting played much over the weekend ...

... actually, these days it is a very big show with most popular historical period represented ...

(Other periods wargamed at Derby 2015)
(a closer look at that splendid 10mm ACW terrain)

... and of course, Derby owes its name and legacy to competition wargames - especially ancient and medieval periods and this year along with reliable stalwarts like Armati, there was strong support for the Saga tournament ...

(tournament wargames at Derby World Wargames)

All in all, another splendid and well organised event ... thanks to everyone who stopped by to talk about old flat tin soldiers, 50 years of the Society of Ancients ... the manifold merits of DBA V3 and chew the wargame fat for a while.

Its never too late to join in The Championship ... play DBA V3 in The English Open ... or sign up for The Society of Ancients.  

See you in Portsmouth for the Open maybe ...