Technically I’ve already painted 5 DBA armies, including an Alexandrian Macedonian. But I’ve sold 4 of them, and Dan and I aren’t gaming in the Marian Roman period, so in a sense, this is the first of a new DBA era.
You might have gleaned that Dan and I have become very fond of this little game. In fact, aside from a Flames of War game, the last time he was here that was all that we played!
Here is the Macedonian army in all of it’s glory. The figures are largely Essex ones that I bought second hand. They were basically painted in thick Humbrol paint and needed stripping. The repaint is better, the first time I’ve used black line technique for my figures, although it won’t be winning any awards! The General is a Museum Miniatures figure, and towers over the Essex to a degree, but he does stand out as a heroic general should. The pikes on the Essex figures were warped when I got them, and they are now as straight as they will ever be. There is something to be said for empty hands and brass rod!
A close up of the Macedonian Phalanx
The subtle complexity of DBA belies its apparent simplicity. As Dan and I get a handle on the basics of the game we have started to think beyond getting a single long line to outflank your opponent (although it doesn’t hurt). We now give greater thought to our opponents strengths when we deploy and look at support. We’ve also learnt to use terrain a little more strategically. In one game last week I took Italian allies to fight his Carthaginians. I broke up the board with rough going to give my Auxilia a nice advantage. This was screwed up by my Built Up Area being in his deployment zone. Dan used three spear elements and threw himself against the walls. The first two became spear shaped smears, but the third was successful in the 3rd bound (the luck of threes I guess). Losing a BUA and the Spear element garrisoning it meant an immediate loss of three elements. Despite manoeuvring well and making his army break up into about 7 groups (difficult for command and control), I lost 1 more element and the game. Never mind. In another game I chomped his general and won fairly quickly, so it all goes in swings and roundabouts. The beauty is that you can get so many games into a day that eventually you have to win one!
The Macedonian Army with the backdrop – it is starting to look a little too pointillist. I might paint a new one on card instead of polystyrene!
I’m currently painting a Persian army to fight the Macedonians, and I’ve finished 4 elements already. I think that I’ve really got the hang of this black figure technique as you’ll see when I post pictures of it, hopefully this weekend. It isn’t fantastic and I’d never use it on 28mm figures, but it is extremely effective for these little fellows. After the Persians it will be back into the Napoleonics- 1 British and 1 French unit. Then another DBA army. Should keep me sane…