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"A possibly rash promise..." Topic

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1,273 hits since 18 Jan 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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JAFD2618 Jan 2017 9:31 p.m. PST

Salutations, gentlefolk !

Was visiting friends over this past weekend, we went to visit some of their friends. One of their friends had done big favor for me this past year – fixing laptop with burned-out screen backlight – and I had been thinking before Christmas that I really needed to do something to repay him. So we were there and he was showing some of new ships for the "Xia: Legends Of A Drift System" SF boardgame.

And I started telling him about ancients minitures and DBA, and asked if I could acquire and paint up a DBA army for him. He agreed. So, will be sending him the Gelidis rules outline, and a scan of the back pages of the DBA rulebook, and saying "Pick one".

Well, the worst that can happen, from what I thought up so far, is that he picks an army where the only 15mm figures are really expensive, or can only be ordered via aeropost from Ruritania, or that he picks something like late Medieval German – a period I ain't familiar with, where the landsknechts have these polychromatic 'slashed' outfits that'll be the devil to paint…

Anyway, gentlefolk, your opinions are invited.

First, possible problems and complications that I haven't forseen.

Second, advice for him on selecting an army. If you were in his situation, what would you pick ? What would you have picked when you began DBA (feel free to substitute your favorite ancient rules here)?

GurKhan19 Jan 2017 3:06 a.m. PST

You only offered to paint up _one_ DBA army? I thought the normal advice was to start with a matched pair :-)

sillypoint19 Jan 2017 5:17 a.m. PST

1) Don't overthink a good deed… Comes from the heart. Being in a position to perform such an action is an honour.

2) The standard response: Choose an army you will enjoy playing, so that even if you loose you enjoyed running them. As an aside, you must lose several early games to him…then you can hook him into the hobby. 😜

JAFD2619 Jan 2017 7:40 p.m. PST


GurKhan – Describing me as a slow painter is like describing Secretariat as a fast horse

Sillypoint – If I have not a historical opponent army to his, will get one

Suggestions for 'handicap' ? 'I can't roll a 6' 'you have these tokens, trade in for a reroll / a +1 / ???'. Your ideas sought.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP19 Jan 2017 7:57 p.m. PST

Take silly points answer in reverse. Suggest that he get an army that is an enemy to something you already have. Why don't you just give them one of your armies on long term loan so we can play against you until he really decides he likes the game.

goragrad19 Jan 2017 11:47 p.m. PST

I would go with Bobgnar's suggestion on an opponent for an army already in your possession.

Regardless, would suggest that you help him to at least choose an army that doesn't fall into the dog category or one that takes a lot of experience to win with.

Nothing like getting consistently beaten to dishearten a newcomer.

Loaner is a good idea as well.

KPinder20 Jan 2017 5:53 p.m. PST

I'd let him puzzle out what he might want on his own. If he asks for advice you could suggest he think about what movies he thought were cool, e.g. 300 Spartans, Spartacus, whatever, and if he'd like an army like those. Or suggest he consider a natural enemy of one of your armies. Or suggest he scan the list for the most utilitarian army, the one with the longest usable time span and the greatest range of opponents. It'd be the Swiss Army knife of armies.

Once he has chosen, go out of your way to get the finest figures made, even if you have to order from Ruritania. Then go out of your way to paint them as well as you can. He may or may not notice or understand the effort that went into them,…but you will.

JAFD2626 Feb 2017 8:07 a.m. PST

Salutations, gentlefolk !

Well, me and my benefactor backandforthed it a bit, and decided he'll be getting the army of Queen Zenobia of Palmyra, AD 260-273.
Here's why:
With the current *^&*%&*#@$% in the Middle East, a lot of people have at least heard of it.
You get Queen Zenobia – one of history's greatest female generals – in your command unit, wearing purple robes, riding a white camel. The ladies he lives with should like that.
The troops are interesting and colorful.
It's a very strong army on its home turf – open plains and gentle hills. (Stay away from dense woods and steep hills, it should.)
I'm finishing up painting a Middle Imperial Roman army, so he'll have a historical opponent

So, I need to acquire some top-quality 15mm:
(would like it if all horses aren't in step ;-) )
light horse archers
bowmen, both regular and irregular
legionaries, on the Middle Imperial/Late Imperial cusp

Suggestions for the makers of these figures earnestly desired. If they will be at Cold Wars, so much the better (and will have order, for delivery there, off to them immediately).

Thanks, very much, for any help you can give me with this !

Codsticker26 Feb 2017 4:16 p.m. PST

Forged in Battle has middle imperial romans:
It also has early sassanids, some of which might be appropriate for palmyrans:

Essex has a palmyran range in 15mm but, from what have heard, the forged in battle minis are very nice.

goragrad27 Feb 2017 4:16 a.m. PST

Old Glory 15s has reasonably animated ranges of MIR and Palmyran. I could post a picture of mine later today. They are a bit larger as many newer lines are and getting four cataphracts on the base was a bit of a squeeze. The Battle Honors Sassanian Cataphracts are generic enought that they could be uses for some variety.



For Zenobia, I believe Irregular and Donnington are the two manufacturers with specific figures for her. I rather like the Donnington Palmyrans in general. I ordered from them last year and completely spaced the Zenobia figure to my regret. Shipping is their major downfall in my view.


In the old school line there is Viking Forge with single pose lines of MIR/LIR and Palmyrans.



I haven't painted mine yet, but the Essex figures are a solid option, having used a loaner army at the club for a number of DBM events.

Henry Martini27 Feb 2017 5:57 a.m. PST

The second link takes you to the OG LIR range, Goragrad.

goragrad01 Mar 2017 1:08 a.m. PST

For the blade elements.

It seem everyone I have come across uses legionaries for the Palmyran blades.

Forgot to add the BH link after I edited in the comment on the Sassanians.

goragrad01 Mar 2017 3:27 p.m. PST

And if anyone is still looking, as it was too late when I posted the previous comment, here is a link to the AB site for the Sassanian cataphracts (OG15s doesn't have pictures) -


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