Monday, 22 December 2014

First Game of DBA 3

Good evening,

This afternoon Stan popped round during his lunch break to break in our new DBA 3.0 rule books.

I wanted to break out my Sarmatians...

  • 1 3Kn General 
  • 10 3Kn
  • 1 LH

...(hoping for their first win!), while Stan chose to run with my unpainted-and-have-been-for-years Parthians.

  • 1 4Kn General
  • 3 4Kn
  • 5 LH
  • 1 4Ax - a slight alteration to the old list that will require some attention
  • 2 3Bw - again, another list update. He used my Sarmatian bow armed Ps, which are themselves HaT Parthian figures.

Turned out I was the invader, so Stan plonked down two great big woods, a small steep hill and a hamlet - treated as rough ground for all in tents and porpoises. A very old joke of which I can only remember that punchline. Something about scouts camping on the beach.

Anyway, seeing as I only had mounted, I split my force in two to avoid the terrain. The bulk between the woods...

...with a flanking force riding around to the east.

One new thing - your army has to be deployed within 4 base widths of the edge, and can be 4 BW of the centre. However, Light Horse can deploy within 2 of the edge. Proper flankers are they now.

Movement is also in multiples of base widths (I use 60mm wide bases for my 20mm figures), rather than multiples of 100 paces @ 40mm each. Generally the multiples are still the same (knights clomp along at 3 BW, much like the 300 paces of previous editions), but since the basic unit of movement is now 20mm longer...these dudes rocket along!

Interestingly, Light Horse have slowed down from 500 paces to 4 Base Widths - they are now the same as Cavalry.

Stan's first PIP is a 1, so he sends out a lone Bow element. Making sure to keep his front edge in contact with the wood, lest I would be tempted to send in a Knight for a meet and greet...

On the other flank my Knight column encounters a bit of a PIP penalty as it goes behind the eastern wood. Not so, the Light Horse. New to DBA 3 - their command radius is 20 BW, a massive 1200mm from their General!

Stan moves up his Bw...

...who can only shoot if they have moved no more than 1 BW. Another wee change.

So, only one could shoot first up...

...causing some disquiet amongst the ranks.

So I take them all out of range, by either pulling them back...

...or sending them forward.

And still the flank attack develops.

Stan rides up some Knights, and sends his idle Light Horse across the Hamlet.

The flank attack gets ready to charge...

Seeing as how that pesky Auxilia was about to contact my end Knight on the flank, which would force him to turn to face, I scootered the rest of that line forward, lest ol' leftie gets recoiled into his mates.

However I didn't expect that Stan'd send others to join the Ax party!

Oh bother! A noble Sarmatian Knight (indeed, a Sarmatian noble) getting done in by a lowly bunch of Auxila!

And there's another change - Ax have had their factor upgraded against mounted.

I respond by setting up the centre...

...while, on the eastern flank...


The state of play so far. Stan's camp is that little bit of wood with the camp follower, mine is...a dragon!! Hey, the general was flying a draco standard, so...why not?!

I was all set to roll forward in the centre, only to have my eastern Knight recoiled by that jolly Bw!

Stan rolls forward his 4Kn into my 3Kn, supported by that jolly Auxilia. This could end badly for me.

We roll a tie... the 3Kn recoils the 4Kn! Another subtle change. My Sarmatians still follow up - though, now, 4Kn don't.

I ride some support into the centre from the west of my centre line, as well as coming up from the south. (All directions relative to the orientation of my kitchen table...and the actual cardinal points thereof.)

I set up the coup de grace for the eastern most Parthian Light Horse...

...but not before...

...that jolly Bow takes down a closing Knight.


Still, things were at least going to plan in the east.

Next bound, moving left to right / west to east across the centre...

...things were starting to look messy. Especially for that Knight in the west.

But in the east...


However, you know that westernmost Knight of mine that I mentioned earlier...


So, there we were, both of us had lost three elements, the next loss would determine the game.

But the bound wasn't over yet. One of my centre 3Kn gets pushed back. Note how the Parthian 4Kn does not follow up.

Next bound, and in I roll again.

I manage to recoil Stan's general...


...Huzzah! Game over man! Game over!

(How many of you are reading that in Bill Paxton's voice right now?)

Mind you, had this subsequent combat from the same bound gone badly for me...

Thanks Stan, that was a fun, challenging game. And finally my Sarmatians won!

I'd forgotten how much I enjoy DBA, and I quite like these version 3 changes. I'm dead keen for another bash, and soon. I may even start painting some figures...



  1. Nice looking game, and nice try on DBA!

    1. Thanks Phil. I think DBA 3 might well breath some life into some of my old plastic!

  2. Great game Nick. Thanks.
    Things move a lot faster in 3.0, but not all.
    The use of proxy bases for 4Ax etc will cause some grief. I kept moving them as fast foot. :)

    1. Ha! Are you saying your Ax moved into my Kn too quickly? Varus, give me back my...Sarmatians!

      Thanks for coming over, I didn't realise how much I've missed DBA!

  3. Those are some great looking Sarmatians Nick! DBA 3.0 is causing bit of a stir again, big battle version also sounds interesting...

    1. Thanks Mark. I like 'em.

      Would you like a game? 'Twas you who introduced me to DBA 1.0 aftr all!

    2. Yeah mate, got my copy of 3.0 a few weeks back. E-mail me at my gmail address and suggest a time. Probably best we do a couple of historical matchups using your 20mm classical period armies(?), since you've got them nicely painted up!