lundi 5 septembre 2016

De Bellis Antiquitatis: The main principles

De Bellis Antiquitatis, more commonly known as DBA, is a history game rule that allows you to play the ancient and medieval rows of battles before the generalization of black powder (roughly 3000 BCE to 1500 after Our era, even if some more recent armies are playable like the example of the Tuareg)

The scale of the game is free, and players can play in 28/25 mm, in 20mm, 15 mm, or even with smaller figures.

The figures are plated on plates called "elements" in the rules. Each element can maneuver and fight individually or support other elements. An ordinary part of DBA is armed with 12 platelets (about fifty figurines on average) but the big battle version allows to play larger numbers (36 plates)

My armies, presented on this blog are in 28mm and in the format "BBDBA (Big battle DBA)"

Players in my game group improvising a game

Principles of play:

The main characteristic of the game is to privilege the behavior of the troops in combat to their equipment. For example, a fighter on horseback will be treated as a "Knight" regardless of his equipment if his combat technique is based on the frontal load. He will be treated as a "Light Rider" if he favors harassment and avoidance and will be classified as "Cavalier" if his mode of combat falls between these two extremes.
Examples of "Knights" in terms of play: medieval European nobility, the companions of Alexander the Great or Assyrian four horse chariots.
Examples of "light riders" in terms of play: Huns, Scythians or Mongols, but also javeliniers mounted Greek or Numidian;
Examples of "Cavaliers" in terms of play: the Gaulish aristocracy, the Roman alares equites or the oriental ghoulams.
Neo-Babylonian chariots, classified as "Knights"

Types of troops:

Aligned troops are classified into the following types:

Elephants, knights (including most four-horse chariots), cavalry including most four-horse chariots), light cavalry, floats, camels, lances (heavy infantry armed with spears and fighter Shoulder-to-shoulder), pikemen, blades (heavy infantry privileging hand-to-hand weapons such as Roman legions or late knights on foot), auxiliaries (infantry capable of fighting in open terrain but able to maneuver and Fighting in difficult terrain), archers and crossbowmen pulling at long range, psiloï (skirmishers), tribal bands privileging the initial charge, hordes (emergency levies, little trained fighters), artillery, trolleys Of war (used as mobile ramparts by certain armies), camps and luggage.

The difficult art of command:


The DBA command system is very simple but gives results very similar to those obtained with more detailed systems using written orders, with transmission by messengers or by signals and interpretation test by the recipient. Troops react to events and effectively simulates the loss of cohesion in a battle
At the beginning of his turn, each player rolls one die (or one die per corps in the "BBDBA" version). Whose result indicates the number of points of initiative (PIPs) which he will have during his turn of play.

Maneuvering an element costs a PIP but if several elements are in contact by one side and one corner and they face the same direction, their movement costs a single PIP.

To constitute lines of battles maneuvering in concert allows better use of his troops. On the other hand, the lines gradually dislocating to the liking of the vagaries of the battle, the troops became harder and harder to control.