Over the holidays I’ve cleaned and based (with blu tack) my DBA Corvus Belli Romans, mainly because I was curious to see how they looked ranked up and compared with the Carthaginians. With six Blades, sundry support from Auxillaries and Psiloi they correspond to the DBA II/33 Polybian Roman list.
Although as I stated in the earlier post these figures aren’t historically accurate as the majority of them are wearing the wrong type of armor. I’m still wondering if I should fix this issue. It’ll cost me around $15 Australian plus shipping for some more figures from Olympian Games but to be honest I doubt these figures will ever leave my garage so it’s probably not worth bothering.
Anyway, the ranks of Roman infantry look quite imposing, if not a little slow considering there’s only two cavalry elements, one of which contains the general – so the most he’s ever likely to be doing is racing up and down the back of the ranks attempting to keep elements in command.
The figures are just as excellent as the Carthaginians, although I suspect they’ll be a little more monotonous to paint considering half the army is Blade elements. Countering that though is the Cavalry and Infantry command figures I purchased. They look like they’ll be great fun to paint with a Roman Eagle standard, a musician and a couple of gentlemen in fine breast plates. This pack of figures included a couple of slaves as well who I’ve left off the base. I’ll probably use them to represent a couple of camp followers once I get around to constructing an appropriate camp for the Roman army.
Over the Xmas break I also poured over the WADBAG Unofficial Guide to DBA with my trusty highlighter and now feel I at least have a tenuous grip on the rules. Fortunately as the Romans nor Carthaginians contain no war wagons, nor any elements capable of distant shooting there are some sections I can ignore to start with.
The two 15mm Corvus Belli DBA armies I ordered from Olympian Games in Australia arrived last week. Great service from Olympian again, thanks Dean, I’ll certainly be back.
I’ve been cutting bases from 1.5mm plasticard and slowly cleaning up the individual figures since then. I blu tacked the Carthaginians together last night just to get some idea of what the final force will look like, so here’s some quick photos. I’m still cleaning the Polybian Romans and have learned I’ve made a historic error since I picked up three bags of Lorica segmentata armored Legonnaires when this armor apparently wasn’t used until around 20BC, some 126 years after Carthage was razed by the Romans! I may or may not correct this error next year.
The Corvus Belli figures are excellent, and I’m amazed at the level of detail the sculptor has achieved. Many of the figures have bare feet, where each toe is obvious despite the fact the foot is less than 3mm across. Poses and facial expressions are very nicely done too, with some very interesting looking characters in the ranks. I particularly like one of the Light Horse figures who has his spear casually slung across his shoulders. I can’t really do a fair comparison of the Corvus Belli figures as I don’t own any other 15mm Ancients at this point. So I’ll leave it at that.
For those of you with DBA these are II/32 Late Carthaginian with the 1 x Elephant, 1 x Cavalry, 1 x Aux and 3 x Psiloi options. I can see why some DBA sites talk about the mixed arms tactics of this force, since they’re a varied bunch of elements compared to the Polybian Romans.
Still I couldn’t resist an Ancients army that can field Elephants! Despite the fact they sound like a nightmare to control and a potential disaster to both friend and foe. I did restrain myself though and only purchased one Elephant rather than two. I also have enough spare figures to take the option of replacing the beast with an element of Light Horse should it prove too difficult.
I’m looking forward to painting these great little figures and maybe press ganging some of my regular opponents into a game or two of DBA as it looks like an amusing and quick system. I’m also amazed at how cheap these figures were! It cost me roughly $50nz per army! That’s a price point I can definitely live with.
I’ve been reading both the Wargame Research Group DBA and DBM rule sets as I try and find a local (well, Australian) supplier for Corvus Belli 15mm Ancients. I have to say the rules are not easy going as they’re written in a particularly terse English, with only a few examples – at least the slightly older versions I have are.
Fortunately the Washington Area DBA Gamers Club have a very easy to read DBA Guide available as a PDF download. It’s well formatted, easy to read and packed with lots of clear examples.
Definitely worth checking out if you’re considering trying DBA or it’s larger cousin DBM.
I’ve never played Ancients in the past but these excellent Corvus Belli 15mm armies are calling to me. For roughly $40US you get an entire 15mm DBA (De Bellis Antiquitatis) army in a boxed set.
They’re lovely looking like 15mm figures and after painting a Flames of War 15mm force I’m fairly confident I could knock them off without too much difficulty. Of course I’d have to play in North Africa again so I can reuse my table and terrain. That would imply Romans and Numidians would be good choices possibly?
Hmmm now before I go off half cocked I should find a copy of these rules and give them a read. Anybody out there got any DBA pointers they care to share with me? There’s also Warhammer Historical to consider I suppose.