DBA Army Angst

 As previously mentioned I'm intending to do a mini-project around armies that have invaded Georgia. I had a vague idea about who they might be, and resolving that it would be a DBA project I thought would simplify matters, and I could use them to run mini-campaigns at one of  Chris K's regular DBA days. I had an outside idea of the armies I'd get, and intended to go for pre-packed jobbies from one of the regular companies. These usually include all of the options, but I thought I'd trade price for convenience and possibly end up with a few bases I'd never use but save the faff of doing the pack lists.

First up I needed to decide who to have. The Allies & Enemies listed in the Army Lists are a bit tenuous, and I wanted to be down around 6 -8 armies at most. And I didn't want to have anyone they bumped into when on Crusade, so the Egyptians were out. I really wanted armies who either invaded Georgia, or were on their borders.

My first thoughts turned to Timurids and Seljuk Turks, and then found out that Phil S of this parish has both of those already.  He's done them better than I'd do them anyway, so best not to bother (although he has chosen the elephant option for the Timurids, which is inappropriate for the invasion of Georgia I think). I ended up with a list of five I thought I'd go for:

  • Georgians III/71c
  • Cilician Armenians IV/2 (although that should be Kilician really)
  • Alans II/58
  • Ilkhanids IV/46
  • Mongol Conquest IV/35
The armies have a lot of cavalry, but they are quite different mixes.

I fancied doing them with Museum Miniatures, as my first DBA armies were Museum Normans and Saxons and they have a real charm. I also thought I'd look at Essex as well, as they usually cover most things. I had looked at Irregular and Magister Militum, but the ranges didn't have everything I wanted, and I was reluctant to mix and match without being able to compare the figures.

I started by pulling together a list of the Essex armies and checking the options. They did have everything, but some of the pack choices looked a bit odd, and I was coming to the conclusion that I was going to end up with quite a few elements that would never reach the table top.

Okay, what about Museum Miniatures. Well, I'm sorry, but your website is a mess. The army pack descriptions aren't entirely clear, the pictures of the figures are too small, and most haven't been updated for DBA3. There are DBA v1 packs on there still.

Right. No worries. The individual pack prices are £3.60, which is a bargain price, so I can just put them together myself. Or not. Not all the figures in their army packs are listed on the website (???). It took me quite a while to work out the packs I wanted and then to find I couldn't order the figures was a little bit annoying. Message left on answer machine as to how to resolve this issue. No response. Oh well. Back to Essex.

I'd decided by this point that I didn't want to buy figures I didn't need, so I abandoned the pre-packed armies and instead used them as pointers towards suitable figures. I then worked my way through the various army options to get what I thought I'd like and to ensure the armies weren't carbon copies in different equipment. Then I had to combine the orders for all of them to see if I had pack synergies - for example there's a lot of LH Bow flying about, and by rationalising the packets I can avoid waste. In the end I ended up buying about 3 packs worth more than strictly needed, but the whole order. In the end I've probably saved myself about £5, at the cost of two days work. And ended up potentially with fewer elements overall. But I'm happier with the figure choice. I think.

Damn. This was supposed to be an easy project to kick off. Should have ordered the army packs from the get go.

And then I discovered that Phil had also done Mongols.

Not my finest hour so far.


  1. It's a really interesting project, and I am really looking forward to seeing it hit the table, but you certainly have had a very infuriating past couple of days trying to get the ball rolling. Nothing worse than a website where you can't see what you get or not all the stuff for sale is on the site, really discouraging. Still that part is behind you so onwards and upwards!!

    1. It's a fascinating, if troubled (and troubling) area, as we are currently seeing. What annoys me as well is that I got so tied up in trying to work it all out I cocked up my spreadsheet. I thought I was saving £50, not £5. Should have bought the Essex army packs straight off.


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