DBA Resources

Army Notes

Armies of Africa:
Overlooked Minor Nations for DBA Armies

by Rudy Scott Nelson
Reprinted from Time Portal Passages (Winter 2004)

This article is intended to provide DBA players with additional Army options for conducting DBA Campaigns in Africa. The primary sources are "A History of the African People", by Robert July, Waveland Press and " African Kingdoms," Great Ages of Man series, Time-Life Publishing.


PASTORAL BERBERS AND SAHARAN TRIBES. Pastoral Berbers and Saharan tribes are noted as traveling in oxen drawn wagons and horse drawn chariots prior to the introduction of Camels. Cave drawings show warriors using bows (almost universal), spears (few) clubs or throwing sticks in battle. They also wore long ox hide capes but the use of shields seems rare. Eras are based on the adopted common use of the horse and the camel. The lists includes pre -1000 Tuaregs, Early Berbers and the warlike Teda Nomads. The Early Moor list indicates Auxila rather than Warband, so players may want to use this classification for list c. Instead of list d, players may want to use the Tuareg list (III/69).

a. pre-1000 BC = 1 x 3Bw (G), 6 x 3Bw or 3Ax, 4 x 2Ps (Bw), 1 x 2Ps or 3Wb
b. 1000 - 200 BC = 1 x 2 LCh (G); 2 x 2 LCh; 2 x 3Bw, 4 x 3Ax or 3Wb, 2 x 2Ps
c. 200 BC - 300 AD = 1 x 2Lh (G), 4 x 2Lh, 4 x 3Wb, 2 x 2Ps, 1 x 3Bw or 3Wb
d. 300-1000 AD = 1 x 3 Cm (G), 3 x 2Lh or 2 Cm, 8 x 3Cm and/or 3Wb and/or 2Ps

WEST AFRICAN. The Yoruba, Asante, Mende, Tiv, Akan and Ibo lived in the forest region of coastal West Africa. They were all dominated by local city states and often fought wars against towns controlled by leaders of a different ethnic group and even attacked towns which were rivals within their own ethnic nation. The use of iron started around 400 BC. The first known walled city in West Africa was in 400 AD. One of the best documented cities is that of Benin. Troop classifications are based on artwork as much as narrative texts.

Tribal 400BC-400AD= 1 x 3Wb (G), 8 x 3Wb, 1 x 2Ps, 2 x 2Ps or 3Wb

Benin 400-1500AD = 1 x 3Bd (G), 5 x 3Bd (armored), 6 x 3Wb or 3Ax or 2Ps

Wolof 400-800 AD = 1 x 3Bd (G), 2 x 3Bd or 4Ax (Slave soldiers), 6 x 3Wb, 3 x 2Ps

Tribal 400-1500 AD = 1 x 3Wb (G), 6 x 3Wb, 4 x 2Ps, 1 x 3Ax or 2Ps (allies)

Note:  The preceding article is excerpted from the Winter 2004 issue of Time Portal Passages, which features related articles on Indian warfare on the Great Plains and other DBA variant lists.

> Top of Page > Army Notes > DBA Resources > Fanaticus

Thanks to Rudy Scott Nelson for sharing his research
Comments, questions or suggested additions to this page
can be sent to Chris Brantley, IamFanaticus@gmail.com.

Last Updated: March 10, 2004