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Newbie's Guide to DBA

Getting More For Less (Armies That Is)

By Martin Schmidt

I was inspired by Erik Kleinsmith's Veni, Vidi, Cheapie article to look at other possible ways of putting more armies in the field for the least investment. The first group that jumped to mind was of course the legacy of Alexander the Great. The table below has 16 armies covering from 355 BC to 40 BC.

You could actually cut some corners on the number of stands listed by using 3Kn instead of 4Kn. Similarly, 3Ax marked with an * can also be depicted as 4Ax and are already counted in the 4Ax maximum.

From this table you can build any of the listed armies with any possible option. Just double it of course and you can build any two and will be well on your way to a DBM army!

                                                    Unit type

Army           List #  El 4Kn 3Kn Cv  LH  SCh Pk  Sp  Bd  4Ax 3Ax Ps  Art 4Wb 4Lb     

Alexandrian  
Macedonian       36    0   0   1   2   1   0   4   1   0   2   1*  2   1   0   0            

Alexandrian 
Imperial         37    0   0   2   1   2   0   4   0   0   1   1   2   1   0   0 

Antigonid        38a   1   0   1   1   1   0   6   0   0   1   0   1   0   0   0
 
Eumenid          38b   2   0   2   1   0   0   4   0   0   0   0   3   0   0   0

Lysimachid       39    1   0   1   1   1   0   4   1   0   3   3*  1   0   0   0

Macedonian
Early Successor  40    1   0   1   1   0   0   6   0   0   4   0   1   0   0   0

Early Seleucid   41a   2   0   3   0   1   0   4   0   0   0   0   2   0   0   0

Later Seleucid   41b   1   2   1   0   1   1   4   0   1   1   1   1   0   1   0

Early Ptolemaic  42b   0   0   1   0   1   0   6   0   0   1   0   2   0   1   0

Later Ptolemaic  42b   1   0   1   0   1   0   6   0   1   2   1*  1   0   1   0 

Pyrrhic          43    1   0   1   2   1   0   4   2   0   1   0   1   0   0   0

Hellenistic
Greek            47    0   0   1   2   1   0   6   0   0   6   1   3   0   0   0

Pergamene        48    0   0   2   0   1   0   0   0   0   6   0   3   0   1   0 

Later 
Macedonian       49    0   0   0   2   1   0   4   0   0   3   0   2   1   1   0

Bactrian &
Indo-Greek       50    2   0   2   0   1   0   4   0   0   0   0   1   0   0   2

Pontic           58    0   0   1   2   1   1   4   0   2   3   0   2   0   0   0

          MAX TOTALS:  2   2   3   2   2   1   6   2   2   6   3/1 3   1   1   2



In summary, you need a total of 38 elements to morph 16 different Alexandrian and successor armies and their specific options: 2xEl, 2x4Kn (Cataphracts), 3x3Kn, 2x3Cv, 2x2Lh, 1xSCh, 6x4Pk, 2x4Bd, 2x4Sp, 6x4Ax, 3x3Ax , 3xPs, 1xArt, 1x3Wb, and 2x4Lb. You could reduce that to 36 elements if you choose the 4Ax over 3Ax option where provided. You could reduce it again to 34 elements if you don't distinquish between 4Kn and 3Kn. You can economize even further by using generic foot elements to represent Ax, Wb, Sp or Bd.

(Editor's Note: 16 armies for the price of 3. That's quite a bargain.)

See also Jonathan Lim's notes on The Popularity of Hellenistic Armies for some other reasons why Alexander and his successors are so great.


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Last Updated: Dec. 21, 1999

Comments, questions and additions welcome. Send them to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.