Saturday, September 12, 2020

Pass me the remote . . .

 Hi all,

As I think I've mentioned, one of the local historical crew (although, by this point, I suppose I am one of the local historical crew) and I have been corresponding for a bit, looking for possible projects during and after the plague, and decided on DBA.  It's a relatively simple game to play "virtually", and can serve as a possible springboard to a larger post-covid project (like Art de la Guerre).  We've managed a couple of online sessions, and in the last one, Jura was able to take some pictures.

The initial deployment - hairy Germans left, noble Romans right.

The first game was basically a story of my right, made up of Auxilia, using their speed and mobility in terrain to envelope his flank.  This pushed him into an aggressive rush in the centre.



A bit of luck in the cavalry engagement on my left, the loss of his screen on my right, and a few fights that went my way in the centre clash, and I had the first game.

Second game, we decided on trying out a river, which naturally was revealed to be the most difficult kind.  As it ran down the centre of the table, it pretty much defined the game, as it meant that anyone who tried to cross would end up doing it piecemeal.

Romans left, Germans right.

I think I deployed reasonably well in this one, using my one bow element in the centre, as a hinge between my Blades and Auxilia.  Ranged fire consistently drove back units in the middle of the opposing line, breaking him up even more, and I think contributing to the German difficulty in coordinating an attack (although abysmal PIP rolls by my opponent also helped!).


I managed to get some cavalry across on the flank, and envelope him.


And the one real chance he'd had, to take out my general's unit (which I'd left exposed, partly on purpose, and partly as a result of combat), didn't pan out.

With him pinned down in the centre, his flank collapsing, and his left unable to cross, the Romans took it again.

I've quite enjoyed the two sessions we've played so far.  Jura's been kind enough to set up the table, and make his armies available for play.  The games, predictably, have me inspired to paint, and I've made progress on the Ayyubids for the first time in years.  I've also been eyeing my Antigonid successors, and some unpainted Achaemenids, as possible rebasing / painting fodder for DBA.  It'd be nice to be able to return the favour.

Longer term, I've been hearing good things about AdlG from my Toronto crew, who seem to have adopted it as the current ancients club game.  It would be nice to have something to play once all this craziness wraps up, and a slow-grow project fits in nicely with the pile of other stuff I want to do (plus, you know, life, work, and family).  I have enough Ayyubids for a DBA list, and certainly have enough Persians and successors to work towards AdlG lists.

The one thing I'm wavering on is my Spartans.  I really like this army, primarily as a hobby project (love the Xyston hoplites, and even the old glory figs I'm using for some elements are pretty great), but have consistently been basing them for Impetus.  I quite like the latter game, but it has zero traction around here.  DBx basing is compatible with Impetus (with 4 DBx bases making up one Impetus unit), but pretty much gives up the "element" basing approach that is much of the hobby appeal of Impetus for me.

Of course, the easiest solution would be to try and promote Impetus locally.  Jura's indicated some interest, but I'd likely need to supply figs.  I could, of course, paint up some opponents for the Spartans (early persians, maybe, or athenians, or something), but that would mean buying more figures . . . 


  1. Markus, are you playing DBA solely from the photos seen here or are you using a wargaming aid such as VASSAL or DBA Online to conduct these battles? Whatever you are using, the table looks great and good to see gaming again.

    As for basing, I suggest a push into Impetvs is in order so that you can field single element BMUs.

    1. We're using the facebook video call option, and so far, it's worked well. My opponent has rigged up a camera mount that shows a top-down feed of the table, and I pass on movement instructions. It works for DBA because of the limited number of movements, and the relatively simple mechanics.

      And yeah, I think the persians especially would work nicely for element bases (although hoplite shields that aren't lambdas might be fun too ;)

    2. Persians based as elements would look fantastic!

  2. I haven't played DBA for around 25 years, its great you've been getting the old rules out during the plague!

    1. I hadn't played in a donkey's age either, but so far it's been pretty fun. The stripped-down nature of the rules works well for the format.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Phil - can't claim any credit, though, it's all Jura's stuff.

  4. 2 victories, well done! Mind you it might have been a bit embarrassing to lose to a Border Collie.

    Ron and I played s dozen or 2 games of Basic Impetus back in 2012, (25mm) and at least 1 game of the full thing. Of course, Ron adapted it to use his hexes vs measuring but close enough). It was fun at first but after a few games there were a few things that took the fun out for us for the kind of games we liked so we dropped it. Long story and seems like a long time ago.

  5. Good to get some sort of gaming in! Even better when it provides the necessary push to revive armies from the lead pile! To the strongest works with Impetus bases or indeed any basing and works pretty well, I quite liked basic impetus when I played it, but it's fallen out of favour around here!
    Best Iain

    1. A buddy of mine has been pushing TtS, but again, seems to lack local traction. I suspect it will come down to what I can convince people to play ;)

  6. Glad you’re getting in some video games.
    Believe it or not, I’ve never played DBA.

    It’s always been a weird problem in our hobby; agreeing on which rules to play. The only way to promote your fav rules is to provide both sides and host game after game after game. And provide alcohol. 😀

    1. Sadly, the liquid inspiration is off the table for now. Some day, my drink will come. . . .