Friday, 28 February 2014

D B A Month - Summary and plans for more D B A!

And so it was in our final big battle D B A game of the Month last night....... Well played to the Romans in what was a battle which could of easily gone either way.

Thanks to all for contributing to this Month's theme games. I certainly thought that last night's game was rather enjoyable and as per usual you only really get into full swing with a set of rules after the 3rd or 4th game.

It would seem as though the rules have been received enthusiastically which is what I would call "progress"

Other than Marks tried and tested ancient rules based on Warmaster we have dabbled in a good few ancient rule sets with "mixed" results to say the least!

D B A is by no means perfect but it flows very nicely and keeps everyone involved. The detail level is just about right and due to it's abstract nature gives little room for complications in rulings to occur on the table.

Following on from our conversations post game I will be shortly posting a good deal of army lists which we have decided to use from t he DBM books.

I propose to cap a 300 point limit which will allow you to build your customised armies should the urge ever come over you.

I would say that 300 points will give you 40-50 elements in total (depending on points costs)

Last night we talked about inferior / ordinary and superior troop types. When you see the DBM lists you will note that troops are defined by quality. It just so happens that I have found a house rule on the DBA Yahoo group site with a nice easy list of three modifiers which can be applied to combats when fighting with these troops.

Inferior troops have to re roll their combat dice if they roll a '4' but only once!
Ordinary troops are ordinary so they dice as normal
Superior troops can re roll their combat dice if they roll a '3' but only once!

I think that this will be more than adequate in dealing with the variations of troops in the army lists.

Any comments are welcome!

I would like to put another Month on in July so pencil this in!

Finally I hope to have some copies of the version 3.0 rules printed off for everyone soon.

Apologies for the mix up on versions during the Month, I know this caused some confusion by starting on V2 then moving over to 3!

Next week Jon is putting on an ACW game.



Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Broadsword Calling Danny Boy

With Thursday fast approaching and knowing that Ian has already confirmed that he is busy for the next couple of weeks I managed to contact Mark in the dark forests of Transylvania who confirmed he is working away this week.

Next up Phil..... I tried to get in touch this morning but ended up leaving a voice mail. I tried again after work but no answer so have sent a text.

Jon has reportedly been abducted by Peruvian Trombonists.

With Mark and Ian not down and Jon in Peru plus the fact that I am having trouble contacting Phil on his Mobile I just thought I would let all parties know that I won't be making the trek to the club this week.

Phil - My text was just to say this but if you fancied having a game of DBA at the shop Thursday please let me know asap.

Broadsword over and out......

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Rule set for Flodden

After much researching and with some helpful advice from Martin from the waving flag blog I can now confirm that I will be using the DBR rules for flodden. I hope to be able to start running some games with Phil with his Samurai soon so we can get more familiar with these rules.

So far I am impressed by what I have read in the rule book. The army lists for the Scots and English feels "right" and there is just enough detail mixed with abstract to make these rules my choice for the battle.

As far as the painting goes I have made some progress with 21 elements of Scots infantry painted and based together with 8 elements of border horse plus 5 elements of artillery / field guns.

To finish the Scots I have to paint up another 9 elements of highlanders plus 19 elements of pike, that's 448 figures to be precise.

I hope to have the army painted before the end of April at which point I will move on to the English side.

Here are both armies

Scots common army 1513 - 1602AD

C in C - Pike
Sub General - Pike
Highland Allied General - Warband
Borderer Allied General - Light Horse

Border Horse - 8 elements
Lowland Pikemen - 32 elements
French nobles - 1 element (pike)
French foot - 6 elements (pike)
Highlanders - 15 elements
Heavy Cannons  x 2
Field Guns x 3

440 points total

Early Tudor English 1494 - 1558 AD

C in C And Kings Spears - Blades
Sub Generals x 2 Blades

English men at arms (dismounted) x 6 elements
English Longbowmen x 24 elements
English Billmen x 24 elements
Heavy guns x 1
Falconettes x 4

522 points

I may review the lists at a later date but I wanted to tip the scales in favour of the English and make the Scots the underdog. What happens on the table may be an entirely different sequence of events........


Joy Of Six Show

Pete Berry has confirmed the date for this years JOS show. He has also requested that anyone who wishes to put a game on contact him as soon as possible.

It's a good few Months away yet but we did talk about  the possibility of putting a game on this year so I just thought I would mention it to see if there is any interest.

We will have to decide on this soon as there will be limited places. Please post any suggestions/comments on the blog.

For further reference check out


Monday, 10 February 2014

DBA Version 3.0

In between finishing off my Anglo Saxon army this weekend I was also doing some research into version 3.0 of the DBA rules. The version we have been playing is 2.2 and with V3 due for imminent release I thought I would see what changes have been made to the rules.

Well not than many thankfully but what has been changed (and I think for the better) are the movement distances. Gone are paces replaced by units of base widths. Troops move a bit further than they did in V2.2 which is no bad thing.

There are some new troop types which are defined as either fast or solid, movement and combat outcomes have been catered for for these troop types.

There is a lot of stuff added in the pre game set-up which seems to be better and the terrain placement system has been elaborated further, all good stuff.....

Possibly the best thing about the new version is the changes to combat. Closing the door has been scrapped, something I never really liked as it is just been invented to allow troops who overlap an element to gain an advantage which if they cause a recoil will destroy the enemy element. My logical view is that if you are good enough a player to contact an element in the flank then I see it fit that you have earned the opportunity to possibly destroy the enemy element if you manage to win and make it recoil.

The movement into contact with enemy has been clarified, elements get to shift sideways 1/2 base width within their movement allowance to line up against enemy elements. We have kind of been playing this anyway last week!

Rear support factors have been reduced and much improved to represent historical formations.

More troop types now pursue after winning a melee which I think makes for a much more realistic game.

There are other minor tweaks here and there which all seem to make sense.

I have the latest draft printed off and will bring it along on Thursday with a view to giving it a whirl.

No one is yet that familiar with version 2.2 to say it will confuse or slow down a game of V3 but we will only play V3 if all members of the council are in agreement!


Saturday, 8 February 2014

Additional Rules For Big Battle DBA

I found some good stuff on Fanaticus relating to big battle DBA. I have taken bits from various sources to come up with a complete set of additional rules which cover setup and army morale / victory conditions.

I have made some minor additions to handle loss of commanders but overall this information has already been playtested.

Please have a read before next week. I will print copies off so we all have a sheet......

Optional Rules For BBDBA


Unlike the standard rules the deployment for larger battles follows this sequence.....

Roll to determine who is the attacking force using the standard rules from the book.

The defender will generate the terrain but there will be 1-3 compulsory pieces and 3-4 optional pieces of which there can be no more than 3 pieces of the same terrain type. The still cannot be more than 1 type of waterway, river, oasis or BUA. The defender places the terrain and then the invader chooses a long table edge as his deployment zone. The defender will take the opposite side of the table and deploy his camp within his deployment zone, the invader then does the same. Now the defender deploys his first command. The invader then places his first command and so on until all commands are deployed.

Note that players must nominate one command element as their C in C.

Once all commands are deployed the defender may exchange 0-2 elements  between any of his non allied commands.

Play begins with turn 1 with the attacker who will then roll a pip die for each command on table. Based on the results of the dice the player allocates the dice to each of his commands. He then makes march or tactical moves selecting which ever command he wishes to until all commands have been moved.

The normal sequence of play then continues as per the 2.2 rule book.

March Moves

Big-battle DBA can start with forces quite far from each other; in some scenarios reinforcements may enter far from the enemy. To accelerate play when enemies are entirely out of contact, use the following optional rule for March Moves.
A march move represents the movement of forces out of contact with the enemy. To be eligible for a March Move, forces must meet the following criteria:
  • Must begin and end their move at least 8" from the nearest enemy unit, and be at least 8" from any enemy unit throughout the move.
  • All troops moving together in a March Move must be organized in a one-element-wide column.
March moves allow a column out of contact with the enemy to move into engagement range much more quickly than normal, as follows:

  • A group using a March Move moves twice as far as normal for the speed of the slowest unit in that column. For example, a column of Blades (normally 200 pace move) using a March Move would move 400 paces.
  • The cost of a March Move is one pip. If desired, a group that has used a March Move may make one more March Move (at an additional cost of one pip). Two March Moves is the maximum on any given turn. Each March Move is subject to the usual restrictions listed above.
  • Elements that make a March Move may not make a tactical move (a non-March move) in the same turn. Bonus Road Movement from being a group containing a General's element on a road is considered tactical movement, and cannot be used by any elements that make a March Move on the turn they March Move.

Additional rules for army C in C

Each side will have nominated an command element as C in C. The C in C has these special rules which only apply to his element.

·         The Commander-in-Chief may allocate up to one-half of his movement pips per turn from his principal command to any element or group of a subordinate/allied command that is both within 12 inches of their commander and the commander-in-chief.

·         Once per game the C in C's element can add +1 to its combat score after all results have been calculated. This is in addition to the normal +1 bonus which is given to command elements in combat.

·         If an army loses its C in C the command which was under the C in C may not be demoralised and in such cases can only hold its current position and make a 360 degree turn on its axis as per the below ruling.


Demoralization Level (DL) for a Command

Each command has a Demoralization Level, set at 1/3 of its elements (ignoring camp followers, if any, and treating the General's element as a single element) and rounding off. For example, a command with 13 elements would have a DL of 4.33, round down to 4. A command with 14 elements would have a DL of 4.67, which rounds up to 5. If it loses 4 elements, it is not demoralized. If it loses 5 elements, it is demoralized.
The loss of a General counts as 2 elements lost towards demoralization. While a camp is occupied by the enemy it counts as two additional elements towards demoralization. The loss of a "camp follower" element, if any, counts as a single element towards demoralization. Once a command has lost its general it becomes leaderless  and therefore unable to make any further tactical moves. The only moves allowed are  to hold their current position and they are allowed turn on their axis 360 degrees so as to react to enemy units which may be attempting to flank them or contact them in the rear. This only applies if enemy elements are not already behind a flank or rear, in such case the leaderless command elements cannot react and could be contacted in the rear or flank. Providing the command is not demoralised the army C in C can use up to half its movement pips per turn to move any element or group from such a command providing it is within 12 inches of the C in C.
For a command to both loose it's general and be demoralised makes it very hard to command using the C in C as the +1 pip rule below applies. This simulates the breaking point of a command and it's willing to flee from the battle.

Effects of Demoralization on a Command

Demoralized troops suffer a -1 to all combat factors. The general's element of a demoralized command does not suffer this penalty.
Any element of a demoralized command will move towards the board edge in the fastest and safest way unless pips are spent on it. It takes +1 pip to move a demoralized unit or group into contact with enemy forces. 1 pip (per group) suffices to hold a group in contact with the enemy. Note that troops that are engaged in combat may not withdraw unless they are faster than their opponents. This is still true even if no pips are spent on the units in question.
Demoralized troops that suffer a recoil result in combat treat it as a flee result, regardless of their troop type.

Rout Level for a Command

Once a command has taken losses of at least 1/2 its elements (determined in the same way as for Demoralization Level) it is considered Routed. All elements of that command are removed from play at the end of that turn.

Victory Conditions

If a turn ends and all the commands of one army are Demoralized or Routed, that army is defeated.

Shaken markers DIY

Various types - including Viking, Japanese, Indian, Anglo-Saxon, Tudor and German

What you need

Some 40mm x 10mm MDF bases (e.g. from

A colour printer

Microsoft Excel

PVA glue

A pair of scissors

What you do

Go into Google and type in your your period followed by 'fonts' (e.g. Viking Fonts).  Download the font(s) you like (usually free) then ensure they are available in your Fonts folder.

Once done, open up MS Excel and type the word you want into a cell (e.g. Shaken).  Then select the font you downloaded (e.g. Viking).

Now size the cell to be just smaller than 40mm x 10mm (trial and error to be fair - it took me 2 tries before I got it).  Then change the cell colour / font colour / size etc. to suit.

Then copy and paste across a page worth (1xA4 is more than enough) and - when ready, print them out.

Then just cut out and paste onto your MDF bases.  You can have alternate options (e.g. Disrupted / Fragmented) on either side of the base so can just flip it over if the morale state changes.

Base and uncut markers

Need to change them at any time?  Leave them in water for about 3 minutes then peel off!

Simple yet effective.


Friday, 7 February 2014

Back on the DBA

Sorry for the cock-up guys - but it all worked out wonderfully.

Russ and mark had expected me to bring the Japanese for a samurai POW battle, wheras I brought my Normans to fight Russ' Saxons.  Which he hadn't brought.

However, we had enough to play small scale DBA (to get used to the rules again) and then large scale.

I have to say, it was a load of fun, all had a great time, we got 2 battles in (both won by Shakespeare) and are going to have another bash next week where Russ is aiming to get his Saxons ready.

What did we learn?  Don't attack archers with knights, don't fight spear with archers and Mark is a chicken (he has a fear of the spear) 

But he won, so what do we know!  

Mark lines up vs a hard-thinking Russ (or he's asleep)

Big DBA - lotsa fun

The Chess Master thinks out his next move

Normans rush towards Eastern Franks

Mark curses the wood for the 100th time

Fear of the Spear - Mark backs his cavalry away - again

Killing Russ' archers on the hill

Dice let Russ down - he should have cleared the middle here.  In DBA, never roll 1's

Kevin explains what Mark should have done

The Unofficial Guide To DBA


For next week please check out the following link which will take you to the unofficial DBA guide.

I will bring a copy so feel free to print off as required.

Next Weeks game will be a Big Batle DBA Anglo Saxons V Normans.

We will use a 6ft a 4ft table and each side will use 3 commands plus a c in c. Each command 12 Elements


Monday, 3 February 2014

Celts V Carthaginians


The Carthaginians had a plan which was to use the African spear (heavy) to batter thru the war bands.
The centre was held by allied war band and scurtati with the right held by light troops.
The Celts had a strong right wing and reserve in the centre with a large war band holding their left.
the clash started on the Carthaginian left as the heavy infantry ground their way thru the war bands  with help from an elephant .
The right skirmished with the Celt chariots for most of the game, as the centre moved to a wooded hill and faced off the Celt reserve.
Star player for the Celts was a Carthaginian elephant who rampaged behind the African spear and even destroyed a cavalry unit by charging them in the rear whilst they were in combat.
With no reserve behind the African spear the Carthaginians ran out of men and were crushed by the Celt centre reserve which moved across.
Hannibal performed poorly as he stayed attached to his allied Celts in the woods to hold them, that left his sub commander to do all the work.
Result - Draw

Sunday, 2 February 2014


Well it turns out I have enough Anglo Saxons to field a DBA game but not enough to go for the Big Battle DBA which is 36 elements.

I have therefore suggested that Phil puts on a POWR Samurai game this week. I am sure he will confirm this shortly.