Tuesday, 13 September 2011

DBArmy choice

There is a Peter Cook and Dudley Moore sketch in which Peter Cook plays a wealthy man who wants to learn to play the piano for his wife’s birthday. The joke is that he wants to play the most complicated piece imaginable (a Beethoven piano sonata, I think) and that he wants to be able to do it the following day. He is unable to understand why this isn’t possible.

My wargaming armies are a bit like this. I chose armies because they interest me, not because they are easy to handle or are winners. And I normally want to use them the next day (or rather as soon as they’re painted). They don’t tend to be that exotic (well, mostly) as I find what I want to game with through general reading not through trawling army lists looking for something sexy.

So when looking at beginner’s guides to DBA I have a problem. Everyone assumes you are yet to pick an army and so recommend you chose one of a range of simple ones to be getting on with. Me, I want to play Beethoven. Besides, I’ve got my Anglo-Danish Saxon “loser” army already painted up and sitting in the box, alongside my “in with a chance but awkward to handle” Normans. I’m not going to go out and buy a Sea Peoples army just out of the blue. (Although to be perfectly fair this article is a really good summary of the different reasons for choosing an army, and most of mine are in there). 

Of course I can always put together DBA armies from my existing armies, so it isn't like I haven't got troops to experiment with.

Harold & His Huscarls, about to put his "Fyrd" into it.

William the Bastard & his Papal Banner.


  1. I believe that it was Phil Barker who advised, "pick an army that you can love even in defeat". (the exact quote is at least similar to this).

    So don't worry about what you will do well with, just pick armies that "sing" to you.

    -- Jeff

  2. Yes, that's a PB quote. Of course, despite writing the rules, he does lose a lot, so he would say that, wouldn't he?

    I'll always pick armies I care about or have an interest in. Otherwise you might as well use bits of cardboard.