What DBA Troop Type are Sea People Warriors?

In DBA 2.2 the Sea People warriors are classified as Blades. I’m not sure that is right. Truth to tell I’m not sure it is wrong either. But I do think it worth poking a stick at.

There is a case for classifying Sea Peoples warriors as Blade, Warband, Auxilia or Spear. And depending on which published DBx army list you look at you’ll find examples of each.

Blade

The Sea Peoples were a mixed bag but generally they are depicted with swords and shields. Some of them had armour. So the DBA 2.2 classification as Blades (4Bd and 3Bd) is plausible. Think Romans without the pilum (although some had spear/javelins).

Warband

A classification of Warband (4Wb and 3Wb) could work. Enthusiastic barbarians intent on pillage – sounds like Warband. In fact in the DBM Army Lists Book 1 (1993) the bulk of the warriors in the Sea People list are Irr Wb(F). The exception are the Sherden swordsmen who are classified as Irr Bd(F).

The Sea Peoples are also Irr Wb(F) in the New Egyptian list. Again the exception are the Sherden in the guise of the Shardana Royal Guard who are Reg Bd(O).

Auxilia

What about Auxilia (4Ax and 3Ax)? The Anatolian Vassal spearmen in the Hittite list in DBM Army Lists Book 1 (1993) are Irr Ax(O). These same guys, operating independently, are a significant part of the Sea Peoples confederation. For example, many of the tribes that appeared in the Hittite army at the Battle of Kadesh latter joined the Sea Peoples confederation. Not sure why they would count as Auxilia in Hittite service and as something else when operating on their own account.

Spear

However, the DBA 2.2 lists classify Anatolian Vassal spearmen in the Hittite list as Spear (3Sp). Sigh. Somehow these don’t seem to be the guys to stand shoulder to shoulder behind a hedge of spear points.

What does Field of Glory say?

Okay, it isn’t DBx, and it isn’t history, but I thought I’d have a look at the Field of Glory (FoG) army lists as well. FoG takes a different tack to DBx:

Sea Peoples Retinue Swordsmen, Medium Foot, Protected or Armoured, Superior, Undrilled, Impact Foot, Swordsmen
Sea Peoples Ordinary Swordsmen, Medium Foot, Protected, Average, Undrilled, Impact Foot, Swordsmen

Medium Foot means these guys are not Roman Legionnaires. Rough terrain chaps – sounds like Auxilia or Warband in DBx terms. Impact Foot means they have a crunchy charge, so Blades or Warband.

And Sherden in Egyptian service are similar except the Guard are Heavy Foot, i.e. identical to Romans:

Sherden Guardsmen, Heavy Foot, Protected or Armoured, Superior, Drilled, Impact Foot, Swordsmen
Sherden or other Sea Peoples Swordsmen, Medium Foot, Protected, Average, Undrilled, Impact Foot, Swordsmen

In Anatolia FoG doesn’t give the Sea Peoples the Impact attribute. They look exactly like the FoG equivalent of Auxilia:

Anatolian spearmen, Medium Foot, Protected, Average, Undrilled, Light Spear

Okay, not sure that helped. However I do like FoG’s split of Retinue swordsmen and ordinary swordsmen. I like it more than Sherden versus the rest of the DBx lists.

And the judge’s decision is … ?

Retinue versus ordinary swordsmen suggests two classifications because DBA doesn’t have morale as a differentiator.

I could follow the Celtiberian/Iberian model of Ancient Spanish armies and have the Retinue as Warband (4Wb or 3Wb) for bit of shock value and the ordinary warriors Auxilia (3Ax). But that leaves this army impotent like the Iberians – it isn’t right for the Iberians and it isn’t right for the world demolishing Sea Peoples.

I think I’ll go with Retinue as Blade and ordinary warriors as Warband. That gives everybody a bit of impact but the retinue are generally more resilient.

The alternative is, like all the Egyptian and Hittite close fighters, that they are Blades. That might be realistic but a bit dull within the constraints of DBA.

2 comments to What DBA Troop Type are Sea People Warriors?

  • Hi Steve,

    In DBA 3.0, there is “Fast Blades” and “Solid Blades”. Fast blades lose ties against their heavier counterparts…essentially and unit with more figures (AKA Solid). The loss results in a recoil. You could do something like that even in 2.2.

    John

    • Steven Thomas

      I believe DBA already has too many troop types. So I see that particular distinction as a change for the worse. It is probably the main reason I’ve not moved to DBA 3.

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