Thursday, 19 October 2017

Thrashing the DBA

This week I've been getting back into work and the paintbrushes haven't come out yet, as I readjust to just how full on teaching is at this time of the year. I do aim to get stuck in with them from the weekend on, I have some figures for John and Craig that I want to knock out in the next couple of weeks if I can.
Anyhow, as I sat watching the news tonight, waiting to hear who the government would be (happy with the result by the way, due to where the previous government was taking education, but this isn't a political blog), I pulled out the DBA armies again for the Persian-Spartan rematch. These aren't 6 x 6 games, I've played all my DBA for the challenge, this was just to get to grips with the nuances of the armies and get some more experience with the v 3.0 rules.
In all, I played 4 games. Two Spartan-Persian match-ups, a later Spartan vs. Gallic and then an anachronistic Persian vs Gallic.

The first game deployment. Sparta is invaded and there is minimal terrain as a result.

The Persian Light Horse begin a flanking manouevre

The Spartans ignore them and just keep going

So the Light Horse comes to play tag

oops - they weren't invited...

Poof! - first Persian element down.

What about another solo cavalry dash to try to disrupt the Spartan line?

'Oh, come on...!'

Zap! Another one down. I'd like to say right now that I had nothing to do with these dumb Persian tactics (but that would be a lie...). To be fair, I remember bending flanks in earlier versions of DBA to be quite successful - but not so much any more.

The main lines get close

And crash! A number of elements are sent reeling from the Persian line.
Butthe psiloi rally and head back into it.

But it is on the far end of the line that the final damage is done, as a bow element bites the dust.

The final line with the missing bow element conspicuous by its absence

First game to the Spartans - 4-1

Let's try again. Game 2 is also on Spartan home ground

This time the Persians will try to create a trap, advancing their flanks and holding back the bow to maximise archery.

The Persian cavalry in the open hopes to nibble at the ends of the Spartan line

The Light Horse line up for a bit of flank turning...

Only to be charged by the Spartan reserve

Attrition time - archery starts recoiling the odd element, but can't be decisive.

The light horse don't like those pointy sticks!

But come back as the Persian main line advances again.

Yes! The tactic worked!

Now lets deal with this annoying chap and we can really get on to some stabbing people in the back!

Drat! The end of the Spartan line turns to engage the Persian cavalry while the rest of the Spartan line just keeps on keeping on.

The result is a recoil and the Persian cavalry are destroyed as they hit their light horse colleagues...

Whack! The Spartan line hacks into the Persian bows and spear.

Spartans win 4-1
 Was it close? Not according to the score, but I think with a couple of good PIP dice the Persian plan might have come off, or at least created a narrower margin.

Right. I'm over the Persians. Here is a Gallic invasion of Sparta c.400. Note the Spartans have replaced their Helot horde with a psiloi element - otherwise it is the same as the earlier Hoplite Spartan army.

'Here we come!'

Neither side is holding back. And the Gauls have a sneaky flanking element.

Which is forced to flee. How many times have my flanking units rolled a 1 against a 6? (answer - lots)

Crunch! The lines meet

The view at the other end.

The Gauls come off the worst in terms of recoils, but the quick kill for a victory sees one part of the battleline steam on through.
The Spartans counterattack, getting overlaps and turning flanks.
But the Gauls survive, and then scythe through another spear element.

And then the Gallic left consolidates and ends the game.

Gaul wins - 4-1. Ha ha, take that Spartans!

Last game. Can the Persians do any better against the Gauls?

The lines close on each other.

Persian Light Horse are intercepted by Gallic psiloi near the Gallic camp. Mustn't interrupt the chicken sacrifice you know!

As the Gauls advance the archery bounces a few back and disrupts their line.

The psiloi and the Light Horse begin their long stand off at the rear.

What a mess! I can't even tell you what's happening here! A lot of hacking I believe.

Oh dear. The Gauls seem to be much better at the hacking.

A 6 and a 1 means that the Persian Light Horse are destroyed. Oh the ignominy...

And as the first double element counts as 2 for victory points, the game is over. Gaul wins, 4-1.
The upshot of all of this is that warband are nasty against anything they auto-kill, spears are nasty when they are in a battleline with reserves, and the persians are nasty to the person playing them.

I remain confident that the Persians can perform better than this. Their day will come.
I better play a 6 x 6 game tomorrow.



  1. Impressive and beautiful lines of battle, love these Persians!

    1. Thanks Phil. They are a pretty army, even if they can't fight too well...

  2. Hello Nate

    You are playing games that do not contribute to the 6x6? What are you doing? Anyway, good to see you are having fun.

    Oops, just remembered that the last thing I posted was a non-6x6 game. I take back some of what I said above :-)

    1. I know, Shaun. Call it a moment(s) of madness. Whether they contribute to the challenge or not, the important thing is to have some fun and play games!

  3. DBA and your Sparta/Persia armies are getting a real workout on the gaming table. Don't you think a 4x6 and a 1x12 equal a 6x6? Using new math, it should!

    1. It is satisfying to know that they have had a reasonable outing already! I don't think new math will work under the strict rules of the challenge, but you never know.

  4. Nice one Nate. What make are those Spartans and Persians? Museum? Irregular? The Gauls are clearly Old Glory, but the others have got me stumped!


    1. And yes - result re. Govt was a bit of a surprise!

    2. The Persians are all Irregular Minis, and the Spartans are all Lancashire Games. They should technically be in bronze bell corselets with a variety of shield designs in the this era, but nothing says 'Spartan' like a big red lambda! As for the figures, these hoplites were the first metal figures that I ever purchased, and I've been in love with them ever since. There's only 2 poses, but they are the basis for my Athenian and Theban armies as well (still to be painted).

    3. Ah, Irregular and Lancashire. Thanks! They look like nice sturdy hoplites. None of this spear or shield falling off business!

  5. Cool looking figures. I can't remember the ladt tome I pkayed DBA?

  6. Cool looking figures. I can't remember the ladt tome I pkayed DBA?

  7. These are really nice looking figures Nate - particularly impressive considering they are 15mm rather than the larger cousins!

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  9. Lovely games mate, I'm getting the urge for a 4 army DBA campaign..