Category Archives: Medieval

Holiday Gaming

The Christmas and New Year holiday season is almost over for me as I soon head back to work. From a wargaming perspective it has provided a great opportunity to play a good number of 15mm Ancient and Medieval games against by son using the DBA rules.

My son, visiting from out of town, decided to bring three DBA armies that he has repainted or completed this year. They were Classical Indian, Seleucid and Wars of the Roses English. The first two contain veteran miniatures with the Indians being a gift from me when he was eight years old, his first army. Given they have been in service for some 27 years, and still providing enjoyment, it seems to have been one of the better gifts. His Seleucids were collected a few years later when he was building his own armies. His Wars of the Roses army was a recent purchase.

As to the games we managed 18 DBA games, all of which were between historical or near historical opponents.

His Indians were deployed twice against my own Seleucids, one game being shown above. The Indians secured victory twice. Stepping back in time we would also see Alexander the Great facing the Indians in two battles, but with Alexander and Porus achieving one victory each.

My son’s Seleucids would likewise face two opponents across four games. First the Polybian Romans secured a hard fought victory, only to be driven out of Asia minor in the second. Now Antiochus turned his attention to the Celts defeating the Galatians in a battle that was not as one sided as one would expect. Finally, the Romans reappeared and despite having a cunning plan, as Romans always should, suffered another defeat. But being Roman another army can be formed I’m sure.

Above and below, the Romans face the Seleucids. My son’s Seleucids are a mix of old Tabletop Miniatures once manufactured under license in New Zealand and Essex. The Romans are all from my own collection and a mix of Essex with some variation provided by selected Museum Miniatures.

The major on-going conflict was however Medieval. Over several evenings, and one afternoon, we played no less than ten Wars of the Roses engagements. Experimenting with different troop options and tactics the Lancastrians and Yorkists fought across England in what can be only be described as a determined campaign to replace the rightful king with a Yorkist usurper. Below, one of the many battles.

With the armies having a similar composition, but infrequently the same, it was the terrain and cunning that could provide even a minor advantage. A short summary of the first six games can be found here.

Without doubt a wonderful way to spend the holiday evenings. There is, in my view, much to recommend DBA.

War Wagons, Castles & Tweets

As those of you who are unfortunate enough to follow me on Twitter know I’ve managed a couple of DBA gaming sessions this week. Twitter you say, really? Yes I’ve been experimenting with Twitter for a while now. Professionally I’m trying to understand social media a little more. Forcing myself to try different forms of communication if you like. From a hobby perspective it seems a useful way to post a couple of photos of my games which don’t warrant the investment in time to post here. I’m of course not sure if it is of value to punters though as my “Twitter Followers” are few. Perhaps I need to be more outspoken as has been the case of some Presidents?

Anyway, for those without Twitter here are a couple of photos of this week’s games which I really thought needed to be highlighted a little more.

Firstly, above and below, a couple of photos from Tuesday’s excellent encounter between my Wars of the Roses English and Jim’s new Hussites. The massed War Wagons certainly had me scratching my head especially when the English cannon were destroyed early on! Another engagement is on the cards this coming week.

Then, for those with a model making bent, don’t miss my post on another opponent’s excellent use of his recently completed castle for use with his Yi Dynasty Koreans.


Above, the scratch built castle, complete with Korean garrison. Below, a photo of another battle, with the castle now in Japanese control, just visible in the distance.

You will find a more detailed post in the Ancient wargaming section here.

It’s is good to get my regular gaming for 2018 underway. Watch out for more late night tweets as the year develops…

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.