Category Archives: DBR

Melfordshire Aflame

I have been negligent in posting of my Renaissance gaming activities of late, despite the fact we have actually been playing a reasonable number of DBR games. In attempt to rectify this situation I have decided to post a couple of photos and a brief description of our most recent encounter. Having travelled the Renaissance world, experiencing colonial engagements in Africa and the East, we returned during March to the green pastures of England to continue the campaigns between Royalist and Roundhead. In the last two games I have fielded a Parliamentary Army of 1643 while my opponent Royalists.

In the first such encounter I suffered terribly for my decision to field a considerable number of horse against the Royalists. As was historically illustrated repeatedly during the early part of the war, Parliamentarian horse could simply not stand the concerted cavalier charge. Indeed, in our first game both my Lobsters as well as other Roundhead were ridden down by the Royalist rabble. The rout was so quick, and so definitive, there was hardly a battle to record!

Last night our forces once again took the field. This time a fascinating engagement took place where both commanders were presented with some interesting challenges on and around Wrotham Common.

Gaming the Sengoku Jidai Period

The Sengoku Jidai period, which roughly ran from 1467 AD to around 1616 AD is a fascinating period in Japanese history marked by social upheaval, political intrigue and near-constant military conflict. Colourful and massive armies clashed across the country in a series of campaigns. It seems ideal to represent in the table.

Originally I built my own Japanese, mostly purchased second hand, for use with my preferred Renaissance rule set DBR. Typically DBR is used for large games on large tables. As a result in all that time I have used the army with the DBR rule set I have only managed a couple of games against other Japanese armies. Something was missing. Over recent months a regular opponent and I have been engaged in a series of Sengoku Jidai encounters using DBA. DBA of course is based around small armies and short games. The armies were now out on the table and providing excellent games in our mid-week gaming slot. Even more interestingly these smaller games have had considerable variety, more so than the large games which tended to use all my miniatures.

In part this variety is due to the options in the DBA army lists. The armies have a core of standard troops which is varied by yari armed ashigaru, various town or Ikko Ikki militias, or the warlike Sohei warrior monks. In addition unusual options such as command posts, dismounted generals and bodyguards, as well as cavalry supported by dismounted followers, can be fielded. As a result, assuming players make the most of the options, considerable variety between games can be achieved.

Now I know that DBA is not for everyone. However, the ability to fight battles between historical enemies with a pleasant opponent provides, for me, an enjoyable gaming experience – especially when time is limited. Last night additional variety was introduced when another player visited and fielded a Yi Dynasty Korean Army. Here was another seldom seen army and yet again DBA produced an excellent evening of gaming. A few photos of this game can be found here.

A Sumatran Outing 

Like many readers over the years my miniatures collection has grown to the point that I have trouble finding time for games involving the various armies in my collection. That’s despite not having that many armies. Sometimes this of because of changing trends, but at other times there just is only so much time. As a result collections just don’t get out of the box.

I’m fortunate that I get to play a range of periods and rules, but it was with some enthusiasm that last night my Sumatran army, from the 17th Century, had an outing after a period of time hiding in their boxes. The resulting game, using DBR, was extremely enjoyable for both players. Interesting armies, unusual troop types and the vagaries of the dice added much to the game and resulted in an excellent evening of gaming.

The Sumatrans are an unusual army, comprised mostly of charging foot with support from archers, skirmishers and a few elephants. Their opponents on this occasion were Ottoman Turks, who themselves are an eclectic lot and comprise mounted of variable quality, a significant artillery train and foot with, shall we say, a range of capabilities. A few photos of the game can be found on my Renaissance blog here.

Cancon 2014 – Reflections

Finally I have managed to find some time to pen a few passing thoughts on Cancon 2014. Late I know, but a holiday and then a busy time on our return has a way of limiting time in front of the computer.

As with previous years Cancon was an excellent wargames convention, I am very pleased to have attended in what is now my seventh convention across the ditch. As always it is a great opportunity to catch-up with friends, either playing DBR or playing in other events. As is normal with Cancon there was a large selection of trade stands, some of which I visited. However, such visits reduced my ability to visit other gaming areas and demonstartion games. As a result the photos below are, this year, of the Renaissance DBR competition area rather than other games.

Firstly, we have Brian Sowman, on the left, and Peter Gillard fighting it out on the morning of the second day. In the background can be seen other Renaissance games in progress as well as DBMM and DBA gaming areas. To the left, but not shown, could be found a 25mm Napleonic competition which used a modifeied version of the old WRG rules.


Next a couple of photos of a another Renaissance game this time between Roger Mackay’s Dutch Rebellion army and Lyle Daymond’s Russian Traditional (1631) army. Of general  interest is the view of another portion of the convention area in the background. Cancon is a large convention and the tables keep flowing to the right with trade satnds to the left. Near right is the FOG Renaissance area.


Below, another view of the previous game, this time illustrating these two well presented armies in more detail. The Russians are on the right.


Now, for those interested in reading more on the subject I have just put on-line a summary of my own games in the Renaissance DBR competition. The report can be found here.

A Medley of Renaissance Games

It has been a busy month here in “The Wargames Room”. The month kicked off with several excellent DBA 3.0 test games to be followed with a series of DBR games. The first of these received a report which can be found on the Renaissance Wargaming section of this site, for the other two I shall simply post a some game photos and a brief summary.

The first found my Roundheads facing John Kerr’s Royalists in a scenario game from his Borsetshire game. If you are interested in John’s narrative campaign I suggest you following his posts on his site. This particular battle was an encounter at “Ashby Street” set in 1643.

John periodically fields a cavalry heavy Royalist army and this engagement bought the Royalist horse out in great numbers. The battle was an interesting affair and went down to the wire.Above, John moves his right flank forward towards some Roundhead guns. Below, the Royalist Yellow regiment, without pike support, fires at a portion of the Roundhead centre.


Finally, a view of the battle, at the same time, but  from a different angle. The Roundhead horse of the Roundhead left engage a portion of the Royalist musketeers while Royalist cavalry advance to counter this move, visible on the left.


Just prior to the end it looked set to be a Roundhead victory but in the last turn, with much of the Royalist army broken, sufficient Royalist horse broke through the Roundhead left flank and fell upon the Roundhead camp. The result was the Roundhead army also breaking. You can find more on the Battle of Ashby Street at John’s website.

The next game was played on Friday evening between myself and Alastair Penney. This time set in 1644 our little encounter found both of us using more infantry centric armies. Both armies had similar numbers but the Royalist foot had a greater concentration of musket armed troops while the Roundheads matched man for man the enemy foot and horse fielded a number of cannon with which they hoped to cause much discomfort to the enemy horse and potentially baggage.


Above, Royalist foot advance past the village of Little Dibton. By 1644 many Royalist regiments had abandoned the 2:1 ratio of musket to pike as can be seen here. Below, the centres of both armies can be seen.Royalist dragoons can be seen moving through Little Dibton.


Below, Royalist horse can be seen passing Little Dibton and the nearby enclosures. The Roundhead commander should have secured these enclosures and thereby protected his flank. With insuffiient dragoons, and an inablity to dispatch commanded shot, the Royalists made good progress on their right flank, at least initially…


Below, the centres of both armies viewed from the Roundhead lines. When the battle started there was a risk of rain. When this transpired the Roundhead foot pressed forward in an attempt to use their superior pike numbers. Alas, the attack soon stalled…


Below, another view of the battlefield, this time from the Royalist lines. The Royalist cavalry, visible on the left, were badly handled by the Roundheads. As a result the Royalist left wing, like the right, broke. However, the Roundhead cavalry were unable to press their advantage sufficiently here.

When night finally fell, which ended the battle, neither army was broken. As mentioned the Roundhead left and both Royalist wings were broken. However, only darkness prevented the decimated Roundhead centre breaking partly due to the Royalist foot and partly due to stray Royalist horse that threatened the Roundhead camp.

Three excellent games in two weeks against three different players. A great medley of Renaissance gaming in my books…