Cancon 2011 DBMM Game 1 – Early Anglo Saxons

Cancon2011_DBMM_01_01 My first competition game at Cancon 2011 (well, at any time really) was against Dave Turner, a Canberra local, and his Book II, List 73 Old Bavarians with Avar and Western Slav Allies. This gave him a good troop mix with the Avars providing Superior Regular Cavalry (Reg Cv(S)), the Western Slavs providing a lot of Auxilia (Irr Ax(O)) which are useful for broken terrain along with some Psiloi (Irr Ps(O)) and cavalry (Irr Cv(O)). The Bavarian part of the force consisted of a large mass of warband, both Noble (Irr Wb(S)) and Peasants (Irr Wb(O)).

Using the two allies is risk for Dave as there is a chance that one of the commands will be unreliable at the battle start. However, against that is the resulting army which has a mix of a lot of warband infantry – always a problem for any opponent – backed up by some quality cavalry in the Avars and some good bad terrain troops with the Western Slavs. I was the invader in this battle so got to deploy second which was an advantage.

Dave managed to deploy some difficult terrain that allowed him to sweep around on his right flank and restricting my deployment.

Cancon2011_DBMM_01_02I had decided that I would deploy my weakest knight command (Command B – see my previous post on Cancon 2011 – the Eastern Franks) to face the Avars. I hoped that they would be able to engage the Avars and keep them busy long enough for my main strike command, Command A, to do sufficient damage to the warbands to cause some consternation for the Bavarians. In the meantime, my infantry command would act to delay the Bavarian right flan. Well, that was the plan.

The battle started very early, at 5:00 am in fact. It was a cool autumn day with a strong wind blowing from the southwest. I was facing east.

I advanced the knight commands forward as fast as I could to engage and get them involved as I was not confident with the ability of my infantry to stand too long. The weaker command engaged the Avars as planned as the main strike command closed in the warband. In the meantime the Slavs advanced quickly across the bog and started to swing in on my left.

Cancon2011_DBMM_01_03 The general’s command struck the warband and started to push into them. The Avars, however, had been shattered by now so my right flank Milites and Swabians started to swing in on the main Warband. The left flank command of the Franks was holding up the Slavs well, with the Archers in particular holding their own against the Auxilia in the bog. The spears were holding some warband back.

The overall plan worked at the Old Bavarians finally cracked and broke. I had won my first competition DBMM game.

By the time the battle had completed I had lost 5 elements of Milites and 9 elements of spears and bows. This was just over 15% of my force so by the scoring rules, I lost 2 points for each 10% of my force lost. These two points were then deducted from the 25 points awarded for each game to give a result of 23:2 in my favour.

I must also thank Dave for being a true gentleman throughout the game, even assisting me with advice at one point of time in the game.

On to the second round.

Cancon 2011 DBMM – the Eastern Franks

P1000752 I had decided to play the De Bellis Magistrorum Militum (DBMM) competition at Cancon 2011. Looking through the army lists as well as the figures I had at home I had settled on something Carolingian in appearance. I had some figures that I had acquired at a bring and buy in the UK and had never used them. This was the chance. A couple of games with Doug as a test of some army compositions (as well as an introduction to the rules) occurred and I finally settled on Eastern Franks circa 933 C.E.

This period was shortly after the transition from the Carolingian Empire to the split between Eastern and Western Franks – the Eastern Franks eventually taking the title of the Holy Roman Empire. As a result, I felt using the essentially Carolingian figures worked with this army.

The army was built into three commands, as follows:

  C-in-C Command Type AP Total ME
2 Army Baggage Irr Bg(I) 1 2 1
1 C-in-C Irr Kn(F) 19 19 4
11 Milites Irr Kn(F) 9 99 2
6 Archers Irr Ps(O) 2 12 0.5
  Sub-General 1 Command Type AP Total ME
2 Army Baggage Irr Bg(I) 1 2 1
1 Sub-General Irr Kn(F) 19 19 4
4 Milites Irr Kn(F) 9 36 2
5 Swabians or Bavarians Irr Kn(I) 8 40 2
  Sub-General 2 Command Type AP Total ME
2 Army Baggage Irr Bg(I) 1 2 1
1 Sub-General Irr Kn(F) 19 19 4
12 Spearmen Irr Sp(I) 3 36 0.5
6 Archers Irr Bw(I) 3 18 0.5
8 Old Saxon, Thuringian or Bohemian Irr Cv(O) 7 56 1
  Train Command Type AP Total ME
6 Army Baggage Irr Bg(I) 1 6 1

The rules themselves work on command/army morale being based on steps that diminish the effectiveness of the army as casualties increase. In addition, the general can take some “stratagems” to use during the battle. The remaining parts of the army list, including the total ME (the morale effectiveness) is shown below:

Aggression: 3 Army Points Total = 375
Climate: Cool Total Army ME: 84
CinC is: Normal Army Defeat Point: 42.5

The stratagems taken were Scouting and Feigned Flight.

The army itself, when laid out, looked like is shown below. The next instalment will cover the first of the games.


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 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.

Another DBA Campaign – Byzantines

I’ve always had an interest in the Byzantines, ever since my Uni days. This interest has been reawakened recently after listening the Lars Brownworth’s Byzantine Rulers podcast.

I mentioned a new project the other day, the Tribal Mongol Campaign, where I was thinking of collecting a number of contemporary opponents built to the DBA rules. Mention of the Pecheneg and Cumans by Brownworth in his podcast dealing with Alexius set an idea off in my head. The result is another collection of armies to build.

The armies i decided on are all from book III of the lists, except for the Byzantines. I will hunt for these figures as I am for the Mongol collection. The armies I’m using are three enemies of the Byzantines, one “ally” and one army that was both ally and enemy … and the Byzantines as well, of course 😆

The armies are:

  • III/79 – Cuman (Kipchak) 1054-1394 CE
  • III/73a – Seljuk Turk (Rum) 1200-1243 CE
  • III/47 – Pecheneg 850-1122 CE
  • III/51 – West Frankish/Norman 881-1072 CE (Robert Guiscard and his son Bohemud)
  • III/52 – East Frankish 888-1106 CE (Alexius paid/persuaded Henry to attack the possessions of Robert Guiscard)
  • IV/1a – the Komnenan Byzantines 1071-1204 CE

These were selected as the Seljuk Turks along with the Pechenegs attacked the Byzantines. To counter this Alexius persuaded the Cumans to attack the Pechenegs and managed to persuade the Turks to revolt against the Sultan.

The Cumans started raiding and to counter that, Alexius had the Cuman leader assassinated.

The Normans under Robert Guiscard attacked the Byzantines. To counter this threat Alexius persuaded Henry (Heinrich), the ruler of the East Franks, to attack Guiscard’s possessions causing them to withdraw.

A most interesting period and one I am looking forward to considering the figures for this army and to organise and paint them over the coming year or two.