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Back to Basics

I really can’t take claims that elves with lazerguns or Lord Sigmar the medieval spaceman have anything to do with ‘Wargaming’. Being nearly fifty years old I must be one of the few wargamers who never played Warhammer 40K.

The attractions of Fantasy gaming just passed me by.....

The attractions of Fantasy gaming just passed me by…..

Terry Wise’s “Introduction to Battlegaming” got me started when I was about twelve. Then the Airfix Guide to the ACW but proper wargaming started when I was in my mid-twenties with De Bellis Antiquitatis. On just a few sides of B5, you had the complete rules, a campaign system and literally hundreds of army lists. Set up costs were minimal with a two foot square playing area and a maximum of around fifty usually 15mm figures. I started with the Punic Wars and JonG started planning his Alexandrians. D.B.A. grew into De Bellis Multitudinis and I was hooked. It was only really when another sea change resulted in Field of Glory that I left Ancients behind and concentrated on World War Two and Flames of War. Now, over twenty years later, D.B.A. Is back with a smart make over and I’m smitten all over again. And, John Gallacher is still at the bloody planning stage of Alexandrians!

Using techniques honed on the card table, JohnG adds more figures than the measly twelve elements that the rules "suggest"!

Using techniques honed on the card table, JohnG adds more figures than the measly twelve elements that the rules “suggest”!

Don’t be put off by the rather basic terrain that we set up, many players create miniature masterpieces. The games’ great strength of course is the way it plays. We played for a little over forty minutes including JonG’s lame attempt to chat up an alluring female role player!

In five minutes the table is laid out and Jon's Switzers are deployed. Very subtle but what do you expect with the Swiss

In five minutes the table is laid out and Jon’s Switzers are deployed. Very subtle but what do you expect with the Swiss

My choice was the French; powerful Gendarmes and a good range of supports.

My choice was the French; powerful Gendarmes and a good range of supports.

Ten minutes in and the Swiss have careered forward! I wasn't expecting Mr Careful to do that. It must have been the influence of the young lady?

Ten minutes in and the Swiss have careered forward! I wasn’t expecting Mr Careful to do that. It must have been the influence of the young lady?

Fifteen minutes and our battle lines clash!

Fifteen minutes and our battle lines clash!

Would I have time to destroy Jon's light gun and isolated flank before I was rolled over?

Would I have time to destroy Jon’s light gun and isolated flank before I was rolled over?

image imageThe answer was no! Pikes proved to be extremely resilient.

I thought I had him with a flank attack from my poor FRENCH pikes ( classed as hordes! Alors!)

I thought I had him with a flank attack from my poor FRENCH pikes ( classed as hordes! Alors!)

It wasn’t to be. His pikes destroyed the flank assault and then proceeded to completely decimate the French horse. I didn’t even have time to sneakily loot the Swiss baggage!

One move away from a treasure trove of Cuckoo clocks and cheese!

One move away from a treasure trove of Cuckoo clocks and cheese!

Jon and I both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with the new improved DBA. The fine-tuning has renewed my interest. Movement rates especially have made a difference and reward aggressive play. Legoland beckons for the next few days but my Summer project was bought the day after….

imageI’m still not attracted to fantasy role play by the way!

Keep reading on the weekend to take part in Despertaferres' latest development, a DBA medieval campaign!

Keep reading on the weekend to take part in Despertaferres’ latest development, a DBA medieval campaign!

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17 Comments

  1. Have you been spending money again!!
    Your comments on DBA stimulated my interest, and so a shiny new copy of V3 DBA landed on the doormat yesterday!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder if the staff at Legoland will mind two middle aged men reenacting Agincourt in the Water park with chips and sugar sachets! Campaign under development between family arguments! See you tomorrow!

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  3. Nice article. The attraction of 40k/fantasy is getting away from the train spotter wargamers. I play FOW and 40k and the difference is when you play anything historical there is always somebody telling you that’s the wrong detail for the Eastern front in 1943 or whatever. In fantasy you free to paint whatever your brush wants. Basically the sky is the limit. I enjoy all types of wargaming as they all have a different attraction😀

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  4. If you haven’t played DBA before we could always have the nasty Scots attack you from behind😁 before the campaign proper starts in Spain! As soon as die Fuhrer stops watching me sand the patio furniture, I’ll start posting the details!
    Miguel
    Ps John G is signed up as Portugal, Ken as France, Richard Bodley Scott as Pedro the Cruel of Castile, Rob as Granada, Damian as the Free Company….

    It’s going to be massive!

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  5. Just posted page on DBA campaign set in Medieval Europe. 15mm and maximum 36 elements a side? Plenty of scope for double dealing and skulduggery !!

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  6. James C

    The only 15mm Medievals I have are WoTR. With all the archers in the list could I break them down to late Medieval English? Another option I guess could be Swiss as there are 80 pikes in the army – shame I don’t have an army list book! Any chance I could take a peek at one?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi James,
    It would be great to have you on board. You could be one of the free companies of the Hundred Years’ War period and use longbows and blades. I’m painting Hawkwood this afternoon! Or, you could threaten Phil’s rear with Scots? The Scots are pike and some bows. Plus, they are allied to the French. However Ken is the French! I’m down Taffs Well tonight but I can bring lists to Cardiff next Thursday? We could even fight some of the campaign battles???
    See you soon
    Mike

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  8. James C

    Please bring the lists next Thursday for the English Free Company – the pikes really are pike length and not Scottish Spears. No chance the Swiss could attack the Frogs? I’ll need advice on re-basing the whole WoTR Army for future use. I seem to recall all foot units on 40mm x 20mm – the cavalry I cannot remember. I’ll start Googling and see what the web says is standard. In my metal bits box for melting down into musket balls is a whole Teutonic Army…might have to rescue it now for missing unit types. Just found this list for Free Company.
    •3x 3Kn/4Bd
    •2x 4Bd
    •4x 4Lb
    •2x 4Lb or 4 Bd
    •1x 2Ps
    Still accurate?
    Cheers
    James

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    • Hi Pal,
      As campaign progresses I’h sure we’ll rope Switzerland into the war! List for free company is now;
      General 3kn/blade
      Three FRENCH or English 3kn/blade
      Two German or spanish Knights 3kn
      Two FRENCH 3blade or mounted bow
      Three English longbow 4bw
      One crossbow 4cb or Hungarian light horse or Breton pS
      Basing is still 40mm wide, foot either 15 or 20mm deep for foot, all mounted 30 mm deep!
      Speak soon

      Like

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