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"Gauls - 4Wb or 3Wb" Topic

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MiniPainterMatt28 Jun 2020 4:21 a.m. PST

I am new to ancients wargaming and am trying to get two DBA armies together for a start maybe eventually building up to armies for DBMM or L'Art de la Guerre. All of those rules use common basing. I am starting with Polybian Roman v. Gauls.

The DBA 3.0 Gallic list gives a ton of optionality – maybe too much for a newbie. One choice is how to base the Gallic infantry – either as 3Wb or 4Wb (L'Art de la Guerre gives the same choice between Medium or Heavy infantry).

Which is better? I may ultimately do 9 stands of each, but for my first go, which to chose and why?


Personal logo timurilank Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2020 5:31 a.m. PST

In Caesar's Commentaries, he does note northern Gallic tribes as fighting in close formation (4Wb), presumably, others fought in loose formation.

Differences between the two infantry types:

Regarding movement both warband types are not bothered by bad or rough going, ‘fast' troops still move their normal distance.

In combat, an even score will result in ‘fast' troops recoiling from ‘solid' troop.

Which to choose depends on your style of game, however, do note the army list does list the 3/4Wb option three times, therefore your army may have both. As an example, 1 x general (4Wb), 2 x warriors (4Wb) in place of cavalry and 6 x warriors (3Wb).

The above option could eventually expand to two complete Gallic command, each of a different type. I have done this with my Iberians (II/39a), one based as ‘solid', the other as ‘fast'.

Both are seen in the link below fighting Polybian Romans.


Damion28 Jun 2020 4:07 p.m. PST

Caesar mentions the Helvetii fighting in dense phalanxes and later he mentions the besieged troops at Alesia doing the same and as these troops are most likely Arverni and their dependents they were from southern and central Gaul.

I suspect dense phalanxes go back at least to the Bronze Age. The Greeks later adapted them to using longer spears and then pikes, the Celts went the other way and created specialist blocks of swordsmen but I imagine the majority of the Celtic forces would have been low quality tribal levy armed with spears only.

MiniPainterMatt28 Jun 2020 6:58 p.m. PST

Thanks, guys. I'd like to go 4Wb for historical accuracy, but I may need to go with 3WB initially if for no other reason to stretch the figures I have. I'm doing 6mm Baccus figures on the 25mm figure frontages (so 60mm width).

I love the way it looks, but I don't think I have enough figs to do 6-8 bases of 4Wb. And the Baccus site seems to be temporarily closed due to a deluge of orders.

Let me know if anyone has any Celtic Infantry charging (ACE07) laying around that they are looking to find a new home for!

NavyVet28 Jun 2020 9:01 p.m. PST

The Celts(Gauls) were more into individual warriors engaging in personal combat. This resulted in the formation of groups around their chiefs and other nobles. I tend to use bases with four warriors with figures that are better armed to represent these nobles and their bodyguards. I then use the different base size with three figures to represent the common warriors of the tribal levy. Like most tribal infantry armies their formations were quite brittle but if they could charge an enemy such as the Roman legions they could break the ordered formations on first combat . If the Romans held the likely outcome was that the legions would break the undisciplined warriors. I know DBA 2.2 which I still uses give the warband a quick kill if they win the combat. You might think about giving that a try .

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