So, after buying the miniatures ages ago when thinking of starting DBM, i finally ended up painting my 15mm Norse Irish army (DBA III/46). Not all of it mind, just enough to play DBA, whose scale fits better with my available time (both painting and playing) these days. The army list represents the armies waging war in and around Ireland from the first viking invasions to the norman invasions. The minis come from the Essex Norse Irish DBM army pack.

First, the spear-wielding, skirmishing kerns. Kerns are the native gaelic warriors. They’re the odd ones out painting-wise as they’re the only minis i actually painted back when i got the pack. I find them too bright and colourful now.


These are bonnachts, professional or hired soldiers. The long two handed axe was widely adopted as it was capable of defeating viking armour. I’m not too thrilled by the miniature choices of Essex here, with the padded armour, kettle helm and kite shields (not seen here as it’s on their backs). It looks far more medieval than the dark ages style i was aiming for originally, making the army more of a post-Clontarf defensive force vs anglo-norman invaders than irish natives fighting the vikings. Of course, the 700-1300AD span of the list pretty much allows for this. When i finally get my hands on some early bonnachts, i’ll move these to a Medieval Irish army (DBA IV/58).

Going along with the ‘late norse irish’ theme too are the gallowglass, heavily armoured soldiers from scottish descent. From historical sources, the two-handed axe seems to be the main weapon too, with the spear interpretation coming mainly from engravings. As i was going to use some of the axe-wielding minis for the general, i opted to use the spear and shield warriors for these. Plus it allowed me to add some colour with the shields.

Finally, the general and his guard, rich enough to afford armour, while wielding the traditional axe of the times.


DBA-wise, kerns are psiloi, gallowglass are blades, and the rest is auxilia. It doesn’t strike as the ideal army to learn the game, but as least, it’ll have me play a lot with terrain and bad going. A littoral-terrain army too, i’ll get to play with boats. Off to paint the Vikings now to provide the opposition…