My first wargames competition

I flew over to Wellington last weekend to play in the International Wargaming Foundation’s Individual World DBA Championships. This was a two day event, each day having six games. Day one involved an army from Book 1 or 2. I fielded my Lydians, as it turned out the only Book 1 army in the competition.

My first game was against Paul Reynolds’ Asiatic Early Successors (Antigonos) (DBA II/16a). I went down 4-2 in that game, which was somewhat drawn out because we had two elements each that were closing the door on each other, only to be recoiled, for a number of turns. I must apologise for the quality of the photos by the way – the enemy are always in soft focus!

My setup against Antigonos

I then played Cyril ‘Stan’ Walker’s Middle Imperial Roman (Eastern) army (DBA II/64b). I was on the winning side of a draw there. I had my knights closing in on Stan’s blades, and spear closing in on his light troops. Stan saw all this and headed for unfavourable terrain. Stan was unlucky not to kill my auxillia which he chased off their hill. I killed two of his elements (mounted troops I think).

My setup against the Middle Imperial Romans

I next faced Bryan Fowler’s Sassanid Persians (II/69). Bryan sent in knights against my psiloi supported spear, and instead of recoiling or being doubled like they were supposed to, they won the combat. Another one of those, and the loss of a light horse, meant a 5-0 drubbing for me. 

The Sassanid Persians, looking quite innocent

Saturday afternoon began with a battle against Brett Mudgeway’s Seleucids (II/19a). I can’t recall what went wrong, but as you can see in the photo, a light horse and a psiloi which should have been helping to mask the Seleucid pikes, were late into the fray. This meant that the pikes caught my auxillia, who were having a hard time trying to kill Brett’s elephant and get through to that scythed chariot. I killed one pike, but I went down 4-1.

The Lydian and Seleucid battle lines clash

My next opponent was my mate Mark Davies with his Later Carthaginians (II/32). Frustrating combat dice meant that a unit of Mark’s Gallic warband and one of his Numidian light horse refused to die (it survived several attacks at 2-1 combat factors). I did kill an elephant (at very long odds), but in the end I went down 4-1.

Facing Mark's Carthaginians

Kieran Ford was my last opponent of the day, with Polbyian Romans (II/33). In typical Roman fashion a wall of blades (or so I thought) rolled down the table in an unbroken line. I hadn’t noticed that the two elements in the centre of the line were spear, which Kieran moved into a double-ranked formation. ‘I wonder why he’s done that?’ I thought but I still charged my general straight into them and stopped. For a while I was worried by the prospect of him closing the door, as he was wheeling his left wing in. But I soon began to make traction, and in the end I won 4-2.

Facing a wall of Romans - you can just make out the spears in the centre.

In terms of results this was hardly an encouraging first ever wargames competition attendance – it turns out I came 16th out of 18 players – but as well as bad generalship I had plenty of bad luck and some of those losses could have been closer, or even wins. The Lydians aren’t a bad army but I’ve still got some work to do on my deployment. I remember being somewhat afraid of having my general killed by an elephant, so I tended to choose the LCh general option and go heavy on the auxillia.


5 responses to “My first wargames competition

  1. Great report! I always think placement in a competition is very much secondary to having enjoyable games. I look forward to reading of the. medieval round.

  2. Pingback: IWC Day 1: Ancients Competition (a plethora of Polybian Romans) « Hesperiana·

  3. Enjoyable reports, thanks. You did better than me in actually bringing any camera! It’s bad luck when your psiloi-supported spear go down to knights, but those warband against your auxilia just had superior panache, with their severed head and all! And I have to remember their successes like this, as they’re only occasional punctuations to less glorious outings!

  4. Very true; I guess you could say the same of genuine knight armies too; they’re just as brittle, though they command a bit more respect.

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