DBA Gaming and Military History-By Musashi


Pre-Samurai Japanese III/7 a and b

I have almost finished my Pre-Samurai Japanese army using the Khurasan Figure range. I really love the figures and I’m sure I’m going to enjoy playing the army since I enjoy the history of the period so much!

I have the “a” list completed, except for final flocking efforts\ground effects. The B list still has one more Cav unit to paint, which I need to do before this weekend. It’s going to be close lol.

Here are some pictures:

Daisen Kofun Camp--My wife Yukiko made this for me!


General Unit--The Banner reads,"Yamasaki"
















Artillery Piece for the "b" sublist. Imported from China/Korea


John Maddrell’s Bee Adventure

I received a call from a guy in Clearwater who heard I sometimes do bee removals. I usually won’t bother with it unless the bees are fairly easy to get at. This one was in a birdhouse for some months and fairly accessible so I decided to have a go at transplanting the bees from their bird house home to a more official beehive residence. John had expressed an interest to come see my bees, so I thought this might be a fun adventure. My wife Yukiko came along to do some picture taking as well. You can click on each picture to enlarge it.

The Homeowner, his son, John and I survey the problem. The bees were amazingly calm!

Those aren't birds who have moved in!

John was going to bring sandals. I gave him more appropriate boots.

I give John his first safety briefing. He seems unsure.

The new beekeeper and his gear.

These are special beekeeping gloves. They are special because they keep you from having lots of pain later. 😉

The homeowner's son decided he wanted to get involved. Luckily I bought along an extra suit for him too.

One of their neighbors drove by and did a serious double-take. They had no idea what to make of this scene.

Apollo 13? The 3 Beekeeper Stooges? The captions options are endless here. John is the short one on the right! lol

Working the problem. How to get the birdhouse off of the metal pole? It was screwed on from inside and out!

After a meeting of the minds, it is decided to use a power hacksaw to cut the metal pole under the birdhouse to remove it so we can work opening it!

Now you see it......

Now you don't!

Some very confused bees. Where did my house go?

A few tugs with a prybar and voila.....honeycomb!

Is that cool or what?

Time for some surgery. You have to cut the honeycomb in pieces and transplant to new frames to convert this hive to a standard beehive box. It's a sticky hot job with stinging bees all around!

The bees were amazingly calm and nice. The nicest bees I've ever worked with in fact!

But I still wouldn't recommend trying this without a proper beesuit!

It was a true 3 man project, everyone pitched in.

This is how you do it.

John showed no fear! A born beekeeper.

Some of the pieces of honeycomb were huge!


We didn’t get any pictures of the finished product. I have to leave the new bee hive boxes in place to collect stragglers over the next few days. In a couple of days I will go back to pick up the beehive. I will take some pictures of the finished beehive then and post them here.

Til then….



One of the 3 beekeeping amigo’s from that day, Adi, the homeowners’s son, sent me this photo of the mostly finished beehive. We put it back in the original spot of the birdhouse.  I still need to take the beehive away to my apiary.

The Bees will move in completely in a few days.

28mm Norse Viking Painting Begun DBA III/40a

I dusted off my 28mm Viking Army last night. I still firmly believe that DBA is best played with 25/28mm figures. It is the beauty of the game that you can play a game with so few elements (12) and therefore, quite an insignificant number of total figures to field an army. It is this ability to put together many armies that has kept us all interested for so long. I find 28’s easier to paint. Many people say they’re worried their painting has to be  up to a better level and therefore scares them to paint. I say hooey on that!

I’m a long way from even a better than average painter. 28’s are simply easier to paint even for us hacker types. I suppose in the end, I want to paint them well enough to be proud to field them, but in the end I want to play with these figures not just look at them.

I happen to have at least enough of these 28mm Viking figures to make 3 DBA armies. I only have blade type elements. I think I purchased them from a dealer at Historicon in 1994. I have no idea what manufacturer. Maybe someone else knows? I’d love to know!

I just started this evening. I think I will work on one stand at a time at first, and then maybe I’ll move to two stands at a time after that.

Here are a  couple of pics of my start. They are in varying states of completion:

They are fearsome looking aren't they?

By Odin, I will chop off your head!

This one is totally unrelated, but here is one of my beautiful wife Yukiko and one of our cats, Taiyo, who like me is super in love with her:

Yukiko and Taiyo

Ok, back to wargaming lol.

There are some absolutely wonderful 28mm Figures out there, and more specifically some gorgeous 28mm Vikings. I will probably order a few for the command stand for this DBA I will be painting. I have figures which work well for a command stand but one or two of these super from Gripping Beast figures might make their way into the army:

The DBA III/40a list can be 12 elements of blade, which is what I’m going to do (mainly because that’s what I own). It is the only sublist of Vikings that is an aggression of 4! The years listed are 790-849AD. This is handy also to me as I love the story of Ragnar LodBrok. Really fun story so feel free to click on the link there. It will take you to a brief Wiki article.

Gripping Beast makes a Ragnar figure, which is the one I might order to stick in my army:

Gripping Beast's Ragnar Lodbrok

Of course I can’t paint to that level, but I’m sure I could make it look good enough, again, for me to be proud to field on our DBA table.

The other main thing that has me interested in playing with 28mm’s for DBA is the 28mm DBA crowd has just ignored the 2.2 rule Phil put in reducing the size of the playing board. For the first versions of the game, a 48″ board was called for. This goes back to my assertion that WADBAG has it right; the 15mm DBA board size should be 30″, NOT 24″. I am going to play in 30″ boards whenever I can when playing 15mm. But another solution is to paint and play with 28mm and just use the standard 48″ board.

The larger scale DBA’ers just ignored the reduced size that came up in the new DBA version and I think the 15mm crowd should just do the same with the too small 24″ board!


Roman Army Boycott

My last blog detailed my first game in the Fall of Rome tourney. Marty Schmidt loaned me a Late Imperial Roman army, at my request so I could participate.

The very next evening, safely ensconced in my couch, I turn on the T.V and what comes on? The epic film, Ben Hur. There is nothing like fielding a Roman army in a gaming event only to come home to this quote from Judah Ben Hur (played by Charleton Heston) to his childhood friend, now Roman Tribune, Messala,

No! I warn you! Rome is an affront to God! Rome is strangling my people and my country, the whole Earth! But not forever. I tell you the day Rome falls there will be a shout of freedom such as the world has never heard before!

Well that’s not good. Now I feel like a dork.

Trust be told, this anti-Roman sentiment has been manufactured for me by Hollywood. Despite the obvious implications of allowing my sense of history be skewed by Tinseltown, there is no getting around the fact that my two favorite moves of all time are:

1. Spartacus

2. Ben Hur

So you can see how I might be predisposed to thinking Rome was the bad guy. I mean I grew up with this stuff and ate and drank every line in both movies. It’s no wonder that a kid who just naturally gravitated toward little plastic army men would find these movies irresistible! In fact, when I think about it, when I asked my mom to buy me some of the treasure chests of plastic army men featured in the back of comic books, I would choose the ancient sets, not WWII or Civil War. Amazing how you are born with that natural proclivity and how persistent it remains to this day with my love affair with DBA!

Many times when you’re REALLY into something, you can’t imagine the rest of the world isn’t aware of the same. I’m always flabbergasted that DBA, with its small unit size, elegant tactics and ability to cross historical era’s with ease isn’t more popular. Of course I’m going to do my part however small to change that. The movies Ben Hur and Spartacus create the same sense of disbelief that more people aren’t as in love with them as I am. lol.

Recently these movies came up in casual conversation at my job and I was shocked to learned that most of the people around me, who are less than 30 years old, hadn’t ever even seen either Ben Hur or Spartacus! The lure of all of the cable channels, internet, and a busy life in general have left these classics to collect dust.

So to that end, check out my vodpod videos at the top right for a few scenes to remember them by or possibly (aghast) as your introduction to those cinematic gems!

So I hereby announce to the public and large and my own soul, I shall hereafter NOT ever play with any Roman Army in DBA! Let it be written! Let is be done!


Kardwell Casino Quality Dice & Dice Cup

Ok folks, so I finally ordered my much ballyhooed Precision Casino Dice. After much research and a phone call to Kardwell International I decided that they were the best source for NEW precision casino dice.

The contents of my order unpacked from the box

When you are purchasing Precision Casino Dice you have to make sure that you are purchasing NEW from the same factory as supplies US Casinos to ensure you are not getting canceled dice or substandard dice. That would completely defeat the entire purpose of paying money for the enhanced accuracy of precision dice. After quite a bit of searching, I am very happy to be able to fully recommend Kardwell. They sell individual pairs and stick of 5 dice in a foil wrapper in many colors. The red and tangerine with flush dots are $6.00 a pair. The other colors are $7.00 a pair. All of the colors sound interesting to me, but especially Amber, Light Blue and Dark Red.

The "Las Vegas" Style Dice cup comes with 6 basic white dice-NOT precision dice!

As you can see from the picture I included above, I also ordered the “Las Vegas” style dice cup. It isn’t real leather, but looks decent and it is lined nicely with a ribbed edge which will help prevent the dice from just being rolled out without any gyrations.

Plain White Dice vs. Red Precision Casino Dice

Boy a picture is worth a thousand words isn’t it? The cheap basic white dice look like impostors when stacked up next to those 3/4″ Casino dice. The quality difference, even just visually is stunning! I could break out some measurement tools and measure how NOT square the normal white dice are, but there is no need. You can see the vast difference in construction quality with the naked eye!

Right out of the foil wrapper, I was IMMEDIATELY impressed with the look and quality feel of the casino dice. I was well rewarded for my search of a solid source (Kardwell) and in choosing the basic red as my first color. I really love the color and it gives the basic die color with Flush Spots to compare when I order more colors and possibly other pip decoration style.


Click on that picture I took of the single red die! It’s an amazing looking die, so nicely constructed. I’ve never ordered or understood the importance of Casino quality dice before I began this journey of knowledge regarding the dice we use in gaming. So, I’m quite impressed finally seeing the genuine article!

The New Family

The dice cup is the other pretty important piece to my desire to get to die rolling heaven. It isn’t the best dice cup, but it was fairly inexpensive and will suit my needs until I can convince the dispenser of funds to release some greenbacks for a thick leather model. The dice cup is large enough to shake this 3/4″ die but I would still rather have more room. Kardwell sells a jumbo sized dice cup which I wish I had pony’d up the money for now. It would have made the act of shaking the die more dynamic. As I said though, this Vegas style one is decent and looks good.

So, for any of you fence sitters out there, I can without any reservation completely recommend Kardwell’s Casino Quality Dice. Gorgeous!

Trojan DBA Army Project (I/26b Later Mycenaean & Trojan War)

Hector and Andromache, Helen and Paris

Having just finished my Skythian LH Army, I have moved on to my next project: DBA I/26b Later Mycenaean & Trojan War. I/26b is the Trojan side of the equation. The figures are an Essex Army pack which as usual, has been sitting around for a very long while. I have about 6 armies sitting around waiting to get painted. I saw some naked”ish” guys in this army and suddenly got motivated to paint them. Well, that and Marty Schmidt’s Littoral Landing which twisted my little brain into a pretzel inspired me to paint up a Littoral army. The Trojans are aggression 1, which should help in actually having a Littoral landing at some point.

Littoral landings are quite a different tactical puzzle to solve and due to that large concern becoming familiar with it, this army should help me get up to speed! My undergraduate degree focused on Mycenaean History as well so this was a natural army for me to paint up. Well, Achaean might have been closer to home, but at an aggression rating of four this one is more likely to give me the Littoral experience I desire. At some point, I will paint up the Achaeans and have both sides of the Homeric epic!

I painted up and flocked the one base of 3 blade here:

The Lone 3 blade element in it's coppery glory!

By the way, the army is composed of this:

1 x LCh//4Bd (Gen), 3 x LCh//4Bd, 4 x 4 Sp, 1 x 3 Ax, 1 x 4 Sp or 3 Bd (I went for the 3 Blade as you can see in the picture) and 2 x 2 Ps to keep Tony Aguilar happy!

I like the army doesn’t have too many options. The extra spear element did come in the Essex Army Pack so I will paint it up as well just in case. The other thing this army does for me is to provide the first dismounted units I’ve ever had. At this point, I’m interested in armies which can help me learn new things. That is no doubt why my very next project will be my Pre-Samurai Army because I’m pretty clueless about shooters in general. Everyone always says it’s one of the more obtuse parts of the rules. I’ve either purposefully or by accident never fielded an army with that many bow. The b list for the Pre-Samurai army also has Artillery which will really provide lots of shooter issues! 😉

Here is one last picture of a few of my newly primed and prepared Trojan Army figures!

Let's Get ready to Rumble!

And I will leave you with a passage from the Iliad, as the Achaean Patroclus fatally wounds the Trojan Sarpedon, Sarpedon says,

“My name will haunt you henceforth and for ever if the Achaeans rob me of my armour now that I have fallen at their ships”.

Death closed his eyes as he spoke. Patroclus planted his heel on his breast and drew the spear from his body, whereon his senses came out along with it, and he drew out both spear-point and Sarpedon’s soul at the same time.

–Samuel Butler translation Book XVI

[VIMEO 1018647]

Meet the Yamasaki Clan!

To change things up from wargaming, here is the 21st Century version of stupid home videos of ours. If you watch these you will be able to see behind the scenes at the Yamasaki household. First up is something simply idiotic because we just got our new iMac. When you buy a new gadget, you should NOT do things like this:

Tomiya having more “fun”:

And one last one of a pretty dancing girl….far more fun than watching bees! She may kill me if she sees I posted this however..lol Enjoy while you can before it’s violently pulled down 😉 Actually she was dancing to no music I just added the music to make it seem more festive! 😉 Impromtu hallway dancing with flip flops no less! Impressive.