Cancon 2011 – the First Two Days

I started my first competition at Cancon 2011 on Saturday and finished the DBMM v2.0 competition today. I didn’t win. However, that is not important. I had a really good time playing wargames with people who were friendly and helpful to me, the newbie.

I have played four games over the last two days. Each game lasted about 3 hours 45 minutes and I will post after action reports later on each of the games.

In the meantime, I would like to thank Dave Turned, Zac Russell, Dave Quilty and Rod Somerville for being helpful and friendly as opponents.

My results over the two days were:

Opponent Army Result Comment
Dave Turner Book II, List 73 Old Saxon, Frisian, Bavarian, Thuringian 23:2 Win Dave was a true gentleman and was a little unlucky with some of the results. I learned that Kn(F) are tough
Zac Russell Book II, List 80 Hunnic 6:19 Loss Zac helped with me learning some of the mechanics of moving Irregular mounted knights.
Dave Quilty Book I, List 22 New Kingdome Egyptian 19:6 Win Dave suffered from some good dice rolling on my side – I managed to roll 4 sixes in a row in the centre where it mattered
Rod Somerville Book II, List 32 Later Carthaginian 1:24 Loss A game where we each expected to do well and did badly and where we expected to do badly, did well!

Overall, it was a great two days and I thank each of my opponents for the pleasant games (and in Dave Quilty’s case, the coffee).

I should note that there were 21 competitors and I finished 11th – behind 10 and in front of 10. My opponents included the eventual second place winner and the eventual fourth place getter. My final score was 49/100 – the same score that Dave Turned finished on – so as you can see, I was not hiding behind weak players.

If I can arrange it, I will be back next year, but before that, I have a DBA competition of six games later today.

Cancon 2011 – the Trip

19:15 Friday night, the bag and armies are packed. I had planned on getting away at 16:00 for the drive to Canberra – that would have given me a daylight drive all the way there and the joy of seeing Lake George as the sunset. However, one thing led to another and I was late getting away. This was further compounded by driving past the petrol at $1.26 a litre to find the next five petrol stations were $1.43 a litre. Make a big run around the block, fill up and head off.

The drive to Canberra was pleasant enough with little traffic although the McDonald’s McCafe strawberry iced donut I was planning on for dinner on the way was frozen still so I just made do with a coffee from Goulburn ((who knew that all those McDonalds McCafe cakes, tarts and donuts were all frozen, put out the night before and allowed to thaw overnight for “fresh” eating the next day?)).

The drive down was spent listening to the History of Rome podcast whilst going over in my head the structure and best ways to use my DBMM army. I was not thinking about the DBA army … one complication at a time.

Anyway, I am here, and ready to roll!

Game reports later and details of the lost at the end of it all.

Cancon 2011 – The Preparation – 2

P1000680 10 days ago I updated the status of my preparation for Canberra’s Cancon 2011. At that stage I was still in the process of sorting figures for my East Franks or Carolingians – yes, at that time I still had not decided which army to use for the DBMM 2.0 competition. I also had not decided on the DBA army to take but wasn’t so worried about that as I had a lot of painted figures to chose from.

One step at a time. I finally decided for DBMM that I would use the army as Eastern Franks. I prepared the list and sent that off to the organiser a week ago and it was approved. I also finished rebasing the figures last week and varnished them. That is them above. I’m quite pleased with the way they’ve come out – I shall need to finish rebasing the rest of the figures that I had in that batch – there is at least another 27 elements of spear, more bows, knights, psiloi and light horse to rebase before they have all been done.

P1000682 That was DBMM taken care of.

I then started to think about the DBA competition on the 24th. I could have built any one of a number of DBA armies from the painted figures I have at the moment – armies such as Late Roman, Byzantine, Sumerian, Hairy Barbarians and so on.

If you recall, on the 8th of January I ended up posting a list of my painted DBMM and DBA Armies as well as a list of the unpainted stock – that this, those armies waiting for some brushwork. One the of the unpainted armies listed was III/10c Rajputs 747-1300 CE. I thought to myself, 12 elements (actually 13), how hard can it be? I decided then on Thursday that I would try and get these ready for Cancon – I had over a week after all.

Friday night was spent preparing the figures and undercoating them. Some base coats were added then as well. Saturday saw the infantry painted in between washing the clothes. Today (OK, by the time I post this, yesterday) was spent getting the knights ready for painting but getting their base coats on and painting the elephant general.


I figured that if I did not get enough of the Rajputs painted I could always fall back on a plan B on Monday – as that is when the list I am using needs to be submitted to the organiser.

I’m thinking to go ahead with the Rajputs. I only have the four elements of knights to paint and they are ready for final colours, having been base-coated and washed. I should have the painting finished by Monday night, based on Tuesday night and varnished Wednesday night ready for a trip to Canberra on Friday night.

It also gives me Thursday night to actually read the rules I will be playing with.

Organised? You bet. One week to go and still not ready. I am sure this is normal for attendance at a convention. I will blog from Cancon next week, if nothing else, recording my resounding victories … or more likely my resounding defeats!

Cancon 2011 – The Preparation – 1

The preparation is well underway for the trip to Canberra for Cancon 2011. Some holidays have been approved from the office. I’ve organised somewhere to stay with friends whilst I am at Cancon and as he is another wargamer, I’ve ensured that it will be a hobby-packed three days.

The armies are progressing – well, one of them is. The Carolingian/East/West Franks are being worked on for the DBMM competition. I still cannot decide on a list and have been bouncing between Carolingians and Frankish (both East and West). The Carolingians have an historic appeal but for a competition, perhaps are not the best with two ally generals. The West and East Frankish are a little later – they were what the Carolingians evolved into. They have the advantage of sub-generals rather than ally generals which provides a little more control for an army that is pretty much uncontrollable.

P1000668As I have not decided on the army yet, the rebasing is continuing with the core troops first – the troops that would be required for all three armies. Of 47 elements (bases) of figures, 2 are completed (they were in the test group), 26 are on the new bases and have had the sand added to that base before flocking with the remaining 21 on the new MDF bases and waiting sand. Tonight will see the sand on the remaining bases and perhaps the first paint on some bases.

I have to decide the final army by Saturday – plenty of time to procrastinate with yet.

I am also playing in the DBA competition on the 24th of January. I was thinking of painting a new army for that but with work pressures and the DBMM rebasing efforts, I expect not to be able to get a new army painted. I will therefore fall back on one of my painted DBMM armies and select a DBA army from them.

I also need to get some terrain organised for the DBMM competition as well. I have the makings of those here and that will likely be a last minute thing.

Another update in a week or so.

Cancon 2011 – The Enrolment

I decided yesterday finally to enrol in both the DBMM 2.0 and the DBA competitions at Cancon 2011. I’d decided a while ago that I probably would go. So, now the holiday is approved from work and the enrolment has gone in.

Now, my biggest problem is to decide the armies to use.

The DBA competition is on the last day and I need to have the army that I am taking decided by 17 January 2011. I should also have it painted and based. I’ll play in 6 games on that day. I have no idea at the moment which DBA army I will take and even whether it will be an existing army or one that I paint for the competition.

The DBMM competition is on the first two days of Cancon (22 and 23 January 2011). I need to have my list submitted to the list checker by 2 January 2011 (actually, I can put the army list in after that date but there is a penalty involved). Currently, I am thinking that I will either take a Carolingian army or an Eastern Frankish (post Carolingian) army.

On the matter of the DBMM army, the rebasing of the Carolingian figures is well underway with all necessary figure stripped from their original bases and glued to the new MDF bases. I can start to prepare to colour those bases next.

Another progress report next week.

Thomo’s Armies 2 – Ostrogoths

image The first of my collection of hairy barbarians. The Ostrogoths were one of the two Gothic tribes or branches. The others were the Visigoths – we’ll get to them in the near future. The Ostrogoths big claim to fame was the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy when they took over the Western Roman Empire.

Theodoric the Great was the Ostrogothic ruler at the zenith of Ostrogothic power. The Ostrogothic kingdom was conquered later by Justinian’s army in the Gothic War of 535 to 554 C.E.

The army I have here is the Early Ostrogoths (although I can probably morph ((morphing is the making of other armies from available figures not specifically designed for that army)) the Later Ostrogoths from available figures).

The main strike power of the Ostrogoths comes from their mounted forces. There is no clear description of these mounted soldiers in the ancient sources and there are, as a result, a couple of interpretations of their armament and fighting styles. One description has the Ostrogoths using a long spear or kontos two-handed with no shield. Perhaps the more accepted interpretation however has them armed with a heavy spear and/or javelins as well as a shield. They were likely supported by foot archers.

The figures for this army are from Essex Miniatures and the army was originally made for the DBM Rules. Under the newer DBMM Rules, the army list for what I have looks something like:

Quantity Description Cost Total
1 C-in-C – Irr Kn(F) 19 19
2 Sub-general – Irr Kn(F) 19 38
32 Cavalry – Irr Kn(F) 9 288
18 Archers – Irr Ps(O) 2 36
12 Archers – Irr Bw(I) 3 36
6 Camp – flocks and herds – Irr Bg(I) 1 6
Total 423

“Ostrogothi” means “Goths of (or glorified by) the rising sun”. This has been interpreted as “gleaming Goths” or “east Goths”.

Help with Carolingians – Part 2

Yesterday I asked for help with the mounted troops. Today I want assistance with the foot troops.

Have a look through the pictures in the slideshow below and give me some hints where you can – like figure manufacturer, range etc. All assistance greatfully accepted.

Help with Carolingians

I bought some 15mm Carolingian figures at a bring and buy at Colours in Reading a few years ago and I am trying to match them to the DBMM Army Lists using the WRG Armies of the Dark Ages as a reference. So, I went through the mounted troops last night and the result is shown below:

I have a few figures that I can identify as a particular type but they do not seem to fit into the Carolingians easily.

I have no idea what figure ranges these are from – but I would be happy if anyone knows.

Any advice or guidance would be most welcome.

I’ll be doing the infantry tonight so will post them separately.

Thomo’s Armies 1 – Late Roman Part 2

In Thomo’s Armies 1 – Late Roman I described the army I had in 15mm. I spent some time this morning and worked out the contents of that army against the DBMM lists (book 2). The next target is to see how much I remembered correctly this weekend when I go to Mum’s to fetch the figures.

So, I collected the figures and I have more or less a Late Imperial Roman Army. When I built this I had too many of some elements and not enough of others, however, now I can make the following for DBMM 2.0:

Quantity Description Cost Total
1 CnC – Reg Cv(O) 28 28
2 Sub General – Reg Cv(O) 28 56
2 Clibinarii – Reg Kn(X) 13 26
4 Equites – Reg Cv(O) 8 32
6 Equites Illyriciani – Reg LH(O) 5 30
2 Equites Sagittarii – Reg LH(F) 5 10
4 Equites Sagittarii Indigenae – Irr LH(F) 4 16
16 Legionarii – Reg Bd(O) 7 112
16 Auxilia Palatina – Reg Ax(S) 5 80
2 Auxilia Palatina Sagittarii – Reb Bw(O) 5 10
8 Legionary Archers – Reg Ps(O) 2 16
8 Auxiliary Archers – Reg Ps(O) 2 16
4 Skirmishers – sling Reg Ps(O) 2 8
  Total 440

So, that is one army that is possible for Cancon for 2011 (although I will need to reduce the contents a little as I think that competition is 375 AP per army).

I’ll look at the hairy barbarians later.

Thomo’s Armies 1 – Late Roman


This is the first of a series of posts to the Hole covering Thomo’s Armies (OK, for some of my readers, Thomo’s Toys!).

The Late Romans I have are in 15mm and made up of Essex Miniatures. They are shown to the right laid out. The single figure to the rear is the Commander in Chief of the army. I originally built this force for use with the DBM rules from the Wargames Research Group but have never got around to using them.

I can’t claim the credit for painting these either. They were painted by Emily Barr (I think it was Emily) – one of Tony Barr of East Riding Miniatures’ children. His son also painted some of my armies.


Here the legion is deployed with light infantry archers in support behind the legionaries awaiting the arrival of some nefarious enemy or other.

I should get around to reorganising this army for DBMM. I’ve looked through the other mainstream ancient wargames rules, Field of Glory (FoG) but haven’t got around to playing with them. I suspect that the figures I have for here will work just as well in a FoG army if I even get around to playing that. The good thing is that the figures can also be used for DBA.

The last image here is another view of the main battle line with support.

imageHere most of the cavalry can be seen as well as a good percentage of the infantry.

The surface these troops are deployed on is the Games Workshop games mat – a really good surface for wargaming on.

Next Thomo’s Armies will be some hairy barbarian types, followed after that by the Sumerians – the first full 15mm DBM army I painted and the only army I have that I have never won a game with … ever!  😦