Like many people getting into historical wargaming I went for the classic match up of Rome vs Carthage for my first two armies. Everyone has heard of Hannibal crossing the Alps, and you get to play a number of famous battles filled with Romans and elephants. This is not those armies!
The Later Carthaginian army that fought the Roman above shares a lot of units with the Early Carthaginians who fought Pyrrhus of Epirus (another classic wargamer army). It also offers the opportunity to field chariots, another unit almost unique to ancient wargaming.
So a trip to Essex Miniatures and I had the extra models I needed to convert later into earlier Carthaginians and some fun chariots to paint up.
How do they play?
Due to COVID, at the time of writing I haven’t had the chance to play them. My wife isn’t into historical wargaming, being more of a board gamer and RPGer, but we have played a few Rome vs Pyrrhus games (she won both games as Rome). The historical opponent for this army will be Pyrrhus, and maybe Syracuse (both of which I have) and it’ll be interesting to see how two heavy chariots do against spears and pike.
It looks to have a nice mix of units though, plenty of light troops to hold bad going, with a solid line of spears and the chariots to provide the punch.
[tab title=”Army list“]
- 1x General Sp Poeni hoplites or Cv Poeni Cavalry or HCh Poeni heavy chariot
- 1x HCh Poeni heavy chariot
- 1x Cv Cavalry
- 1x LH Numidian light horse or 4Ax Spanish scutati
- 4x Sp Poeni or African hoplites
- 1x Sp Italiot mercenary hoplites or 4Ax Spanish scutatei
- 1x 4Wb Gallic mercenaries or 3Ax Sicels
- 2x Ps Spanish caetrati and Balearic Slingers
- 1x Camp (optional)
[tab title=”What is DBA?”]
De Bellis Antiquitatis or DBA is a set of fast play rules for historical wargaming the period 3000 BC to 1520 AD. Currently in it’s 3rd edition, it is popular for it’s fast play (typically under an hour), low model count (the picture above represents an entire army) and suitability for tournament play.
The most popular scale is 15mm on a 600mm square battlefield, but 28mm, 6mm, and 2mm are also played on appropriately sized tables.
The rules take less than 10 pages, with the rest of the book consisting of example diagrams and a complete set of army lists. Unfortunately the rules are written in a style that can be hard to interpret, however a large and active online community work to make the new player experience as easy as possible.
[tab title=”Online DBA resources”]
- Fanaticus DBA – Wiki and forum dedicated to DBA
- Board Game Geek – DBA page
- Facebook group
- Essex miniatures – Popular UK manufacturer of 15mm miniatures including DBA army packs.
- Noble Knight Games – US distributor of Essex minis
Quick Reference sheet
To help introduce new players to DBA I have created a set of quick reference sheets for all my armies. These 2 sided sheets contain most of the information needed to play the army, along with some historical background and tips on strategy.
You can download all the sheets on from the DBA folder on my public OneDrive.