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The DBM South-West Doubles League

Game Reports 2022

Venta Silurum 2022

The doubles competition organised by Paul Apreda was held at a new venue in April 2022, Vale Cricket Club in the Vale of Glamorgan; the facilities were good and cricket could be watched in the afternoons! In this competition all armies had to be dated no later than 400 BC.

Russ and I took Neo-Babylonians, after a trial game in which they thrashed a Hittite Empire army. Each of the three Babylonian commands had some Kn(O) chariots, Bw(X/O) double-based bowmen and Bw(I); some had a few cavalry, spearmen and/or psiloi. The fourth command consisted of an Arab ally with 12 Cm(O) camel-riders.

We started against Andy and John Brooker with Later Sargonid Assyrians, a nice historical opponent who also had an Arab ally with camels. The Assyrians generally had better troops than ours, and played skilfully (with excellent PIPs) to optimise the matchups. Their Sp(S) and Sp(O) beat our not-so-good spearmen, and the decisive blow came when our Kn(O) C-in-C fell in a frontal attack on the Foot Guards. His command broke, and after that it was a question of time… our Arabs were overmatched and broke too. All the Assyrian commands were damaged, but none was close to breaking. 0-10 defeat.

After that experience we faced Duncan Thompson’s Classical Indians. The Arabs were likely to be a liability so we sent them on a flank march; they never arrived. If they had, they would have been well positioned to mangle a large body of Hordes and take the enemy camp. As it was, we found the going hard on our refused right flank, slowly retreating before a force of Superior Elephants, and attacked on the left where the Indians looked weaker. Our archers outshot some of the Indian Bw(O) and even destroyed a Wwg(I) – this broke an Indian command. When time ran out we were still attacking but had to settle for 6-4.

The third game was against David Sheppard with more Later Sargonid Assyrians – with a Skythian ally this time. A strong wind blew up the table from our right, but we were able to wheel our main line to offset this. Again our front-line infantry were outclassed by the Assyrians, and our C-in-C had to charge in to plug a gap. He fought a LH(F) at 4-2 and died… his command broke. Meanwhile our Arabs, initially unreliable, had arrived from a flank march and destroyed many Hd(O) elements; the enemy Skythians hovered but didn’t dare attack the Arabs, who got as far as the enemy baggage and started looting it. However, though all the Assyrian commands were damaged while three of ours had lost only one element among them, at the call of time we were still a command down and lost 3-7.

Finally we faced Trojans (from the Later Mycenean list) commanded by David Glew, a welcome returner to DBM after many years’ absence. His army contained masses of Irr Sp(I) and lots of Cv(O) chariots. Each side refused its right flank; we deployed with the Arabs at the back. The Trojan spearmen advanced four deep to attack our much thinner line, but were broken up and delayed by our bowmen’s shooting. Meanwhile the chariots from two Trojan commands moved to their right flank, which was held mainly by a group of Bw(I). Our Arab allies also moved to this flank, using a great many PIPs, to reinforce the few Kn(O) chariots we had there. In the centre the Trojan spear masses contacted our line, with mixed success; they destroyed several of our chariots but failed to break through. In the mounted melee on our left the camels and heavy chariots made short work of the Trojan light chariots; when they killed two Trojan generals the Trojan army broke to give us a 10-0 win.

We’ve decided that the Babylonian army is too weak against many types of opponent; the Kn(O) chariots in particular are poor value and the foot are inadequate against heavy infantry. We won’t be using it again.

Alexander’s Successors, 12/13 February 2022

The twentieth in my series of themed competitions featured armies of the Wars of the Diadochi, 322-270 BC  with 19 players (two playing as a team).  Kevin Everard from the Cowards club narrowly won with Kappadokians from club-mate John Vaughan who led Antipatros’s Macedonians.  All the armies were different, including three varieties of Asiatic Early Successors representing the armies of Antigonos, Demetrios and Eumenes.

The fleet of Demetrios Poliorcetes

Heavy concentration in the hall at The Bennett Centre in Frome

Push of pike as Ptolemy Keraunos  takes on Lysimachos


Russell King as Antigonos faces Ken Cooper as Ptolemy I


John Vaughan and Kevin Everard with their trophies – original artwork by Terri Julians

As always, the event went well  and we’re looking forward to the Rise of Islam next year.


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