Revised Pyrrhic DBA Army List

The official DBA II/27 Pyrrhic 300BC-272BC army list for DBA is okay but:

  • I don’t like the fact that the list doesn’t allow for Galatian mercenaries when Pyrrhus returns to Greece in 274-272BC.
  • My impression is that Greek mercenaries from Alexander’s time onward were increasingly Thureophori, i.e. 4Ax in DBA terms.

Addressing these issues results in:

II/27 Pyrrhic

Arable. Ag: 4

  • (a) 300-281BC
    • 1 x 3Kn (Gen) [Xystophoroi]
    • 1 x 3Cv [Javelin armed Heavy Cavalry1]
    • 6 x 4Pk [Phalanx]
    • 2 x 4Sp [Mercenary or allied Greek Hoplites]
    • 2 x 2Ps [Archers, Slingers, Javelinmen]
  • (b) 280-275BC
    • 1 x 3Kn (Gen) [Xystophoroi]
      • or 3Cv (Gen) [Javelin armed Heavy Cavalry1]
    • 1 x 3Cv [Javelin armed Heavy Cavalry1]
      • or 2LH [Light Cavalry1]
    • 1 x 2LH [Light Cavalry1]
    • 1 x El
    • 4 x 4Pk [Phalanx, either Epiriot or Tarantine]
    • 2 x 4Sp [Mercenary, allied Greek or Italiot Hoplites]
    • 1 x 4Ax [Samnite, Lucanian or Bruttian Javelinmen]
    • 1 x 2Ps [Archers, Slingers, Javelinmen]
  • (c) 274-272BC
    • 1 x 3Kn (Gen) [Xystophoroi]
      • or 3Cv (Gen) [Javelin armed Heavy Cavalry1]
    • 1 x 3Cv [Javelin armed Heavy Cavalry1]
      • or 2LH [Light Cavalry1]
    • 1 x 2LH [Light Cavalry1]
    • 1 x El
    • 4 x 4Pk [Phalanx, either Epiriot or Tarantine]
    • 2 x 4Sp [Mercenary, allied Greek or Italiot Hoplites]
    • 1 x 4Ax [Samnite, Lucanian or Bruttian Javelinmen]
      • or 4Wb [Galatians]
    • 1 x 2Ps [Archers, Slingers, Javelinmen]

Notes:

(1) Cavalry can Epirot, Macedonian, Greek, Thessalian, Oscan, Acarnanian, Aitolian or Athamanian

This list corresponds to the following Field of Glory army lists:

  • Early Successor 323-280 (Immortal Fire)
  • Pyrrhic 280-272BC (Rise of Rome)

5 comments to Revised Pyrrhic DBA Army List

  • Nice lists. I do like that PB uses a higher proportion of Pk to other troops for successors. However, it would seem to me that Pyrrhus would not be able to re-arm the Tarantines with pikes. There were not ever any native pike formations on the Italian penisula. So I definitly agree with your 274-272 list. As an option, you might add 2X4Ax as an alternative to the 2x4Sp as more oscan types joining in the fray.

  • Steven Thomas

    John, at some point I’ll revisit this list. The proportion of Pikes is low because Pyrrhus had a lot of other troops in his army. Mostly allies and mercenaries. How the Taratines were armed under Pyrrhus is open to debate. Jeff Champion, in his recent book on Pyrrhus, mentions that the Taratines underwent a rigorous training regime and were attached to Epiriot units as part of this. That suggests, but does not confirm, they were equipped like their mentors. Lists (a) and (c) are in Greece. List (b) in Italy and Sicily. It is (b) that really should have more Italian allies – something that Champion mentions. I have also neglected to address my second niggle – the absence of mercenary Thureophori. Next time around.

  • This looks like a really great website run by folks who not only love history but want to make wargaming as realistic as possible. I haven’t played DBA very much and let’s face it there are no perfect rule sets. My major problem with DBA is, WHO SAYS ONE HAS TO BE LIMITED TO TWELVE ELEMENTS!!!

    With the wide array of troop types 12 elements in my mind can’t possibly cover all the different troops types involved in this era. The beauty of Successor armies is the different troops types available.

    When I say these glossy rule books packed with photos and overly complicated rules this tells me the authors make wargaming rules unnecessarily complicated in order to sell big expensive books.

    I say keep it real and keep it simple. We can write our own rules and put it one two or even two sheets for quick reference. When I wargame and have to continually consult graphs my eyes glaze over. This takes the fun out of what should be a fast-paced game.

    • Steven Thomas

      Yes, standard DBA is only 12 elements. That could be a problem. Or do what some folk have done and add on a points system and build armies of variable sizes.

  • Stuart Bailey

    I have been trying to re-fight the battles of Pyrrhos in Italy using as close as I can get to the Historic forces and find that for large and complex battles like Heraklea it helps to use a fairly simple set of rules like DBA to speed things up and get anywhere near a result in time allowed. Also had to half a lot of the troops ratio’s after first attempt in order to come close to a finish in a club afternoon.

    The fact that Blades do not auto kill Pikes in DBA helped keep the Infantry battle a real struggle which seemed right and the fact that Greek Knight Generals have to follow up left Pyrrhos in real danger. The major problem was getting the impact of the Elephants and scale to match.

    Finally had to have “Elephant” elements based on mix of a 5 animals and 300 of Pyrrhos best Light Infantry (50 guards in each gap between elephants). Plus for Heraklea gave an element beaten by an Elephant a -1 and any Cavalry beaten by a Elephant would flee (well bolt) rather than just fall back. Due to the shock of meeting these nasty smelly things for the first time.

    1st Heraklea was a small Roman Victory but not really finished as scale too large for time allowed. 2nd Heraklea on reduced scale witnessed some shocking Roman Dice both for combat and esp for movement while Greeks marched onto table like clockwork and the Ford Guard fought like the 300! They were disheartened but not broken by end. While Romans Cavalry had been torn to bits with a flanked mounted Roman General rolling 1 V a Elephants Score of 6 and getting sqashed! Resulting in Legions stuck on the Pikes with Flanks being rolled up from flanks by Cavalry and Elephants..

    While the Roman allies who with the Camp Guard made up half of the Army were thinking it was damn lucky that traffic jams mostly caused by the Ford Guard and inability of Roman Commanders to roll more than a three for movement had left them out of the action,

    In retrospect Romans should perhaps have lead the way across the ford with troops rated as Aux rather than Blades to help clear the skirmishers out of the way. But that would have then resulted in not so good troops having to face the Pike.

    Think DBA with the odd twist will work well for most Hellanistic battles inc V the Romans. But for the life of me can not work out how you would get a crushing Roman Victory at Magnesia. Perhaps give the Seleukids a D3 command dice and a in combat?

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