Saturday, October 17, 2009

A little DBA practice...

Nick and I thought a little DBA practice was in order, having both decided to play in the Conquest DBA tournament in 2 weeks time. The tournament is being played in 15mm, and so we have both had to borrow armies, but Nick has both of our loan armies in 20mm, so we thought we'd get them out and try our hand. The armies are later Archaemenid Persian, and Polybian Roman.

With both armies starting with Aggression 1, it was luck of the dice that saw my Polybians on the defensive. This first photo shows initial deployment. With the Persians having deployed their cavalry on their left (my right) I switched both Spear stands for the two Cavalry stands that were in reserve towards my left flank.

Nick marched his Light Horse rapidly towards my own left, and so my spear were advanced towards the hight ground that anchored my left, in order to protect my left flank.

At this stage the two battle lines were closing. The Polybian spear advanced down the hill and attacked the Persian LH, forcing the Persian left onto the defensive. One of the two LH nits was killed as it was forced back onto a unit of Psiloi that were moving across its rear.

By move 6 both battle lines were fully engaged. The Polybian spear were winning the battle for their left flank, although the Polybian general was threatened, as his supporting unit of Cavalry was destroyed by its Persian counterparts.

The battle lines slugged it out, and the Polybian general moved a unit of Psiloi across to the right flank to try to buy time for the remainder of the army to complete its work .. this was touch and go. Finally however the Polybian spear won the battle for the left flank, destroying the second light horse, and the units of Psiloi to its front.


  1. Two DBA armies laid out in a contiguous fashion of twelve elements. None of this flank skirting, just leaving to to combat dice in the middle. Now that's a man's game :)

    Well done, the way it is supposed to be played :)

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  3. I was surprised that Nick didn't try to use his LH to skirt my left.. I only had the two Spear elements to try to hold him off, these were my reserve and he succeeded in forcing me to commit them from turn 1.... he confessed afterwards that there was a little 'brain fade' there.. although he had stretched himself by using his General element on his own left flank.. this meant that there were limits to his ability to maneuver on his right.

  4. Dem's some fine looking minis too.

    Yeah, you gotta watch that 'death by geometry' bit. Square up any back element behind another, just in case the front has a change of fortune.

    I wonder if Nick wouldn't have been better served by trying to ignore your heavy foot for as long as possible and try to swamp the Roman right (Cav) with the Persian mounted...?

    Still, these things are often more easily said than done!

    Nick Grant

  5. Nick

    Yep.. Nick and I had that discussion .. he played to my the strengths rather than his.. he could have won the cavalry battle easily and left my blade exposed..

    And they certainly are great figures.. all painted by Nick.. I hadn't intended to photograph them, but we started to play and I thought it was such a shame to waste the opportunity.


  6. I enjoyed this battle report. It's an interesting match-up.

    I agree with Nick's advice for the Persians, though from my fairly limited experience, the Persian spear and psiloi could hold out for quite a while. They might not beat the Romans, but they shouldn't evaporate in a couple of turns.

    I look forward to seeing you both at Conquest.

  7. Mark

    You are right about the Persian spear .. we had 'jostled' each other blade against spear for a couple of moves.. it was only the fact that I'd got round his flank that would have shifted the spear.. they are tough.


  8. Yes, I made the mistake of thinking I could ignore my flanks for a turn or two if I could get stuck into spear with some blades; after 3 turns not a single spear had been destroyed, and my flank had been eaten by flanking cavalry. Not a mistake I'll try to repeat. I also think that the psiloi on the Persians right flank could annoy the blades pretty much with impunity, as there was no cavalry around.


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