Four Player Big Battle Big Base Triumph in the Punic Wars

Triumph-295 Iberians form battle line in woods

We played Big Base Triumph in the Punic Wars – liked the Triumph rules but thought some of the troop types sucked. To really challenge ourselves and test out that impression, we played another, bigger, game with Iberians on the table in force. So “Light foot” for both Scutarii and Caetrati and “Javelin Cavalry” for Roman, Numidian, Carthaginian, big shield Iberians, and small shield Iberians. I felt, somehow, I was about to rub salt in the wounds. Of course this is Punic Wars.

Summary: Romans (Chris, Adam) beat Allied Carthaginian (Jamie) and Iberians (Steven)

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DBA 3 – Improving the Simulation – Some Comments

DBA3.0 Cover

Joe Collins has highlighted a number of problems with DBA 3.0 and suggested ways to address these problems. Collin’s was part of the group that developed DBA 3.0 so he is both a fan and on the inside team. I really like Collin’s attempt to tackle some big problems with DBA. It would be great if more people did this, starting with Phil Barker. Unfortunately, Collin’s particular suggestions mostly leave the problems unsolved. I do like his solution for Bow but even that needs more.

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Wargaming the Battle of Zama

Simon Miller's Zama

I’m interested in refighting the Battle of Zama. This is quite a popular focus for historical scenarios so I thought I’d have a look at what other people have done before collating my own thoughts. By chance, Zama was the theme of the Society of Ancients Battle Day in 2010. Not surprisingly the Battle Day, and Zama, got a lot of coverage in the Slingshot, the society journal, over the next few months. I’ve used those accounts to explore some key questions about how to refight the battle.

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Did the Carthaginians introduce the oval shield into Spain?

Iberian warrior from bas-relief c. 200 BC

Conventional wargaming wisdom is that Ancient Spanish light infantry carried a small buckler (Caetrata) and heavy infantry carried a large oval shield (Scutum) (see for example Head, 1982). The implication is that this division was always true. There was a similar division in the cavalry although the change to large shields was about the time of Hannibal.

Duncan Head at the 2010 Society of Ancients Battle Day offered some evidence to suggest the Carthaginians introduced the oval shield into their part of Spain – the Iberian part. He suggest this was deliberate Barcid policy to increase the proportion of heavy troops in their armies.

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Pity Those Ancient Spanish in DBA – The Army Points Say It All

Big Base DBA Ancient Spanish - Infantry

I’ve always felt the 12 element army size of DBA doesn’t give balanced games. Some folks have come up with points systems to deal with this. I thought I’d tally the points total for a few armies to see how they compare under a couple of the points systems. I’ve focussed on the Macedonian and Punic Wars and not too surprisingly the Ancient Spanish are the poor relatives.

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