I spent 10 minutes over coffee this morning at the office and got around to ordering DBA 3.0. It is the first book I’ve ordered for delivery in Manila so I am curious to see whether there are duties payable or not.
There are a couple of other books (actual ones with paper) that I want to get but I think for that order I will have them sent to Mum’s in Oz and pick them up over Christmas.
In the meantime, I’m starting to think about DBA 3.0 seriously now and perhaps a December competition in Kuala Lumpur on the way home to Oz for Christmas!
Over the last week or so, when the stress levels have been peaking, I’ve been reaching for the brushes to finish off some half finished projects here, even if that meant a new focus for those projects. The Parthians were one such army. Originally I had planned to make these a Warmasters Ancient army but recently having been yet re-invigorated for DBA, decided to reorganise it as a DBA Army. I like the way these guys look so much that I am thinking of a 6mm Parthian DBMM Army … just thinking mind.
I had originally planned on 6 to 9 cataphracts per base but in the end decided on two ranks of 6 cataphracts, looking sufficiently heavy. I will also admit that reading Peter Darman’s The Parthian series left me thinking “regular looking irregular forces” — hence the regular colour schemes per base. I also needed some generic Auxilia type troops so pressed some Romans I had laying around unpainted into that role.
So, I give you, the NRL All-Stars Cataphracts — also known as DBA II/37 Parthian.
Roman Auxiliaries masquerading as Parthian Spearmen
The NRL All-Stars Cataphracts
The full army arrayed
The Parthian Light Horse
The NRL All-Stars – or rather, the NRL Cataphracts!
It wasn’t deliberate, honest. I guess the problem was that I had just watched the Rabbitohs vs Roosters game on the weekend on Sentanta Sports here in Singapore and then settled it to to paint the Parthian Cataphracts.
I had already painted the general as a test base for colours, basing etc, and decided to paint the Cataphracts in one bunch. I had also decided that there would be 12 figures per base so that they looked really solid. I think that effect is now apparent. But as for colours?
I was reading Peter Darman’s The Parthian series and he kept describing the cataphracts as quite brightly dressed and uniformly dressed kingdom by kingdom. The general’s base had white cloaks so I thought the first batch of cataphracts would have red cloaks. I had also decided to paint the kontos rather than just leave it as natural wood. I painted the kontoses (kontosii?) green. I had the National Rugby League (NRL) Rabbitohs colours by accident.
I then painted the second batch with yellow capes, third with blue capes and the last lot with green capes. After painting the kontoses I now had four elements in the colours of four NRL teams – Rabbitohs, Roosters, Eels and Raiders.
I therefore give you … The NRL Cataphracts.
It was accidental, honest yer honour. In future I won’t paint figures after watching an NRL Rugby League game!
I wanted a bright, uniform theme to the Parthian Cataphracts, especially as these generally were the bodyguards or professional troops of the various Parthian kings. I thought, a different cloak colour for each element as there will be 12 figures per element and we will have a pretty uniform look. Not sure why but I thought, colour the lances as well.
This desire for brightness in the Cataphracts was further fuelled by reading Peter Darman’s The Parthian series.
Sigh, I fear there is a rugby league theme developing in the painting of the Parthians – to the left I give you the South Sydney Rabbitohs!
I just had a look at the other part painted figures next to the painting table and I can see the Parramatta Eels their. Possible also Easts Roosters and maybe one other.
Should not paint Parthians in Rugby League season!
I thought I would finish the basing of the test base to see how they came out. I’m quite happy with these and shall get cracking on the rest of the figures.
I also tried a really, really close up shot of the base. Remember these are 6mm Rapier Miniatures figures and the painter, me, is a gentleman of more fulsome figure … hence, fat-fingered. Still, I think they look nice!
Someone did so the short painting period before bed tonight to relax and help me sleep was to prototype the 6mm Parthians. As I mentioned before I am using 15mm scale base sizes and increasing the number of 6mm figures on the base. So, for example, close order infantry (blade, pike, spears etc) will have 16x6mm figures, on average, on a base. Close cavalry (knights, cavalry etc) will have 8 or 9. Light horse four. Psiloi 6 to 8 figures and so on.
The Parthian cataphracts posed a question for me though as they were generally fairly linear and if I worked on there being 9 figures on a Cavalry base, the cataphracts should have 12. Two ranks of Cataphracts just did not look right so I think I will scale them to seven to a cavalry base, but in a boot-to-boot line across the base – as in the second rank below.
Below are three shots of the general base for the army. Image shows general, standard and trumpet as well as cataphracts and that is how the other bases should look, I think.
I started these chaps about two years ago or so — soon after I finished the Numidians. They have been sitting, about 25% finished, just above my painting table where I could not miss seeing them gathering dust. I decided last week that to combat a large degree of stress in my professional life I would finish these off.
All that had been completed before were the velites (two bases front to the right in the picture to the left). The others had been undercoated and the cavalry was half painted.
Of course, it had been so long since I painted them that I could not remember the paints and flocks that I used doing the basing.
I managed to match them off quite well at the end and I like the way these guys look at the moment. Best of all, I can now play 6mm DBA here and finally get around to teaching the lady the game. She likes kicking my butt in chess so this should be a lay-down misère 😉
Just for reference and because it has been so long ago, I arrayed the Numidian figures on the playing surface next to the Romans. I built the Numidians with all options so picked 12 of the most interesting (that’s the 12 around the elephant) and then put the rest of the figures in a third group.
As you can see there are quite a few more Numidians than Romans. That Roman Army, however, has absolutely no choices except for the choice of a general on foot or on horseback. I just assumed that with the amount of close order foot there I would never really think about taking the general other than as the mounted option.
I still have to get around to doing camps and such but that will be later in the project.
I’m not sure what will be next under brush. Maybe the 6mm Japanese World War 2 tanks, perhaps a DBA Parthian Army (seems appropriate as I am reading Peter Darman’s Parthian Dawn at the moment – and feeling very horse soldierly as a result) or even the next army in the Singapore Wargames Project – Gauls or Spaniards.
I will leave you with a parting picture – this for the non-wargamer reading this so they can get an idea of scale.
So, as the dust settles on my weekend in Kuala Lumpur, I now have the agonising problem of what to paint next. Today I slapped some paint onto some half-finished Republican Romans in 6mm, partly because they have been sitting in front of me half painted for two years now (part of the 6mm DBA project) and partly because I have no idea what to paint next.
That’s one of the problems of having a short-time frame challenge. When it’s over, what to do next.
I looked at the Arabs for an opponent for the Nubians for games here and then thought, “nah, the only 15mm ancient DBA armies I have ever painted were for specific competitions!”
Would you believe that over the years I have only painted four? The Rajput (Cancon 2011), the Koguryo Korean and Later Hungarian (Cancon 2013 and the Worlds) and the Nubian (DeBAKLe 2013). Looks like the Arabs are heading back into the stock bucket.
There are, of course, several hundred middle and late 1/300 World War 2 Russians that need paint. There are also the World War 2 Japanese and Hungarians in 1/300. There are Future War Commander forces waiting paint, as well as Aeronefs. I have a 15mm Later Crusader DBMM army also waiting paint. There are aircraft for the three modern naval fleets. I could finish the basing of the 15mm American Civil War Union forces. I could paint the Rebels (I have hundreds of them as well). Then there is the 6mm DBA project. I also have 15mm Greeks for DBA to sort out and organise as well.
Hmm, maybe I’ll just sit down and read a book tonight and plan a few future projects. Yes, that’s it. The solution to the wargamer’s quandary!
When you do not know what to paint from the lead pile, plan another project!
I stood in the maelstrom that was emigration from Malaysia at 2CIQ (Tuas Second Link) on the way back to Singapore and as I was jostled in the crowd for around 30 minutes, my mind started to drift off to contemplate the weekend in Kuala Lumpur — pondering not just DeBAKLe 2013 but also the general wargaming scene in Malaysia. It does appear healthier than here in Singapore with quite an active group of wargamers meeting regularly to battle through different periods of history. There is currently a large Napoleonic campaign in under-way (Leipzig) with the battle being broken down into component parts and played over different weekends.
At dinner with some of the guys on Saturday night (great choice of dishes by the way guys and a good reason for my weight having shot through the roof again – love eating in Malaysia) inevitably conversation was centred around wargaming, and armies and tactics, this was a refreshing change for me where wargaming conversation in Singapore is all too infrequent.
For DeBAKLe 2013 there were a mix of experienced players and new, a good sign for the hobby there, as was the fact that there were 14 players at DeBAKLe 2013, the number up on previous years and causing David (who organises it) to consider four rounds next year.
As readers of Thomo’s Hole will know, I had painted a Nubian Army to take to DeBAKLe 2013 over the five days before leaving for the competition. I am still pleased with that effort and some nice things were said about the appearance of the army there.
On to my games.
This was my first battle – the Ch’in were fielded by AJ KJ and in what was a huge surprise to me, I was the attacker. It was a surprise as the Ch’in aggression was 3 and mine was 1. So, the Nubians invaded Ch’in China!
AJ KJ laid out two woods and a road. His army consisted of two heavy chariots (a sweet target for my bows), some cavalry and mostly warband and bows. The Nubians (Book I/3) consisted of two warbands, seven bows (one of which was the general) and three Psiloi.
AJ KJ advanced over the table and tried to keep his heavy chariots away from my bows. He was successful in doing that however I managed after an early set back to remove his Cavalry, Psiloi and a Bow. I had lost two Bows by this stage.
AJ KJ marched his warband into the wood to clear out the Psiloi there whilst I prepared to roll up AJ’s right flank.
The best tactic possible then came into play. When AJ’s KJ’s warband hit my Psiloi, the battle factor was 2-1 in his favour and looking at little awkward for the Nubians. The die were cast and the result was a role of 6-1 in my favour. Scratch a warband.
Game one then was a 4-2 victory to me – scoring me 8 points and AJ KJ 2.
Faris was my next opponent and he was using Patrician Romans – a nice force because of the variations possible. He had a mix of knights, cavalry, auxilia, light horse, blades and psiloi. A good mix to take on the Nubians with a lot of good match-ups likely from his side of the table.
The Patrician’s are aggression 0 and I am aggression 1 but I lost the attacker/defender roll and laid out the terrain. Two sand dunes and an area of rough ground. We deployed and my plan was to move things around so that my warband and psiloi faced off against his auxilia whilst my bows concentrated on his knights and cavalry and tried to stay away from his blades.
Faris came forward and tried to get his bow killers into contact with the bows. However, I managed to keep out of the way of the Auxilia and manoeuvred the bows to get some shots on the cataphracts. Cataphracts died. It was a hard victory however as Faris managed to get some good troops into my bows and managed to kill my general. At that point I was three elements down (two bows and a psiloi, one of bows was the general however) and Faris was also three elements down. I rolled for PIPs and needed to roll at least 2 to do anything. A role of 4 saw me able to position myself well against his Psiloi and the result was a 4-3 victory my way, with another 8 points. Faris picked up 5 I think for this – 3 points for killing a general and two for the other two elements.
I was in the top four at this point (surprisingly) and so it was on to the final round.
I’ve been reading a lot of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon series recently so when I saw the Anglo-Saxons, a mix of blades and spears (the shield wall) I thought of Uhtred! This battle was against Tony, also undefeated at this stage and his army was a mix of blades, spears and the odd Psiloi. They were aggression 1, same as me, but I ended up being the defender again. I placed my two areas of sand dune and one of rough going.
We deployed and started to play. My only real hope in this battle was to get my warband into his infantry and hope for a quick kill. The shield wall rather than the blades was the target.
I used my light troops to anchor my left flank on sand dunes and arrayed myself between dunes, narrowing his attack frontage and I hoped keeping enough of his troops out of the battle until I could make some inroads into his forces.
Tony left me an opening on the right of his centre and I was starting to work that. I really only needed to hold his centre and then start to wrap around it and even though it was the bows doing it, I figured I had a good chance to start to roll him up.
The opening combat was therefore my bow general against his blades – a starting factor of 2-5 his way. I added one as I was a general and he subtracted one as he was overlapped so now 3-4. I rolled one on my dice roll so a roll of 4 or better on Tony’s and I was toast. He rolled 4 or better. The rest of my combats were closer but all my elements lost and were pushed back. Game over! I lost it 1-0 with the general being the casualty so 11 points for Tony and none for me.
After the game totals were all tallied, I had come in a creditable (well, I thought it was creditable) sixth place using the Nubians, not a world beating army but with all those bows, one to strike, if not fear, at least a little uncertainty into the hearts of opponents.
To finish the wargaming off for the day, we had a Big Battle DBA – which our side managed to lose conclusively with two commands broken and the third one element from breaking.
All in all, it was a great day.
After the wargaming was over, we adjourned to a Chinese Restaurant somewhere in Shah Alam or the Klang Valley for some typically great Malaysian Chinese food.
Thanks to the Broken Bayonets for a wonderful weekend of gaming and special thanks to David Khoo and his family for putting me up and feeding me (more about the burger later).
Day 5 and today was broken up into short painting periods – over lunch, over afternoon coffee, waiting for the baked beans to heat and so on. However, pretty much everything was done before today, all that was needed was the odd light touch-up and dry brush plus add an anachronistic touch for someone on Saturday to be able to say, “hey, Nubians never had [insert favourite anachonism]. Still, I think they look dark and menacing as they stand. I’m also quite happy with the way the dry terrain turned out. Looks sufficiently Sudanish!
My view of the Nubians is also nice and I hope this is the only bit I see of them, although I suspect I will see more of them running away than staying to fight the same day 🙂 Next task is to spend half an hour or so tomorrow looking for my rules. I also need to cut out some terrain pieces and nobble up a camp. And I need to buy my bus ticket so I can tell Dave where to meet me. I’m quite looking forward to DeBAKLe 2013, it will be good to catch up with the Broken Bayonets after the last time (that was 10 years ago IIRC). Lastly, I’ll leave you with a hawk’s eye view of the army.