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"What's happening to DBA?" Topic

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mikeygees Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2012 9:39 a.m. PST

I have a copy of DBA 2.2 (January 2004). I don't play often but I know the rules, friends know the rules, my 8 year old knows the rules.

Now I hear there's a 2.2+ ? What's this? Will I have to buy a new book soon? Are the armylists different?

But wait!! I also hear there is a DBA 3.0 coming out. It changes movement from inches(paces), to element widths (MU's)? Other changes as well?

I guess what I need to know is, if DBA is going to be a a part of my regular gaming future (I love hosting BBDBA games), I'd like to know which way the wind is blowing?

What a mess, just when I got DBM 3.0 under my belt, they changed it to DBM 3.2 (or whatever), and then DBMM. I quit all together. We had DBM tournys in the NW with 20+ folks attending, now "no-one" plays, seriously dissapointing.

MajorB Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2012 9:47 a.m. PST

You'll find both DBA 2.2+ and the latest draft of DBA 3 here:

Afraid you'll have to sign up to Yahoo Groups to get access though.

Personal logo Dervel Supporting Member of TMP Fezian17 Sep 2012 9:48 a.m. PST

DBA 3.0 is the official new version rumored to come out sometime in the next year or so…

A group of DBA players that were not happy with the direction DBA 3.0 was taking decided to come out with a slightly upgraded version of 2.2 called 2.2+

This is just an addendum to the 2.2 rulebook, so no new book required, and it is a free download.
2.2 + can be downloaded here, no Yahoo needed:

I do not think any of the modifications are so significant that they greatly change the play of the game or the enjoyment.

I plan to try 2.2+ now that it is "finished"… and I would certainly buy a 3.0 book if it ever came out.

Personal logo elsyrsyn Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2012 9:49 a.m. PST is probably your best source for current info. In short, 3.0 is the official new version from Phil Barker, and should probably be out sometime early next year (I lack faith that it will make it to publication by year-end). 2.2+ is a series of line edits to version 2.2 by the WADBAG group who did the "Unofficial Guide" and did not like the direction 3.0 was taking.


Personal logo Who asked this joker Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2012 9:49 a.m. PST

2.2+ is a bunch of line edits from a group of disgruntled DBA players, mostly in North America. Some are interesting and others completely off the mark IMHO. You can use these if you don't want to upgrade as they simply modify the existing 2.2 rules.

3.0 is the latest iteration of DBA by Phil Barker. You can get a fairly recent copy of the rules from the DBA yahoo group. Even if you don't like the new DBA, it will be worth the price for the army lists expanded with actual descriptive text similar to those found in the DBM army list books.

RudyNelson17 Sep 2012 9:52 a.m. PST

The beta test DBA rules army list is available as margard points out. I have had several DBA 2.2 pouring over the lists.

There are a few armies added and a few changes. The core units needed do not seem to have changed except in an army or two. The big change seems to be in additional optional units.

In the SE USA where getting the rules from the UK is difficult, most DBA players and the guys who run tournaments are leaning toward not switching to 3.0

mikeygees Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2012 9:52 a.m. PST

Oooh new army lists, yummy….

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2012 9:59 a.m. PST

I think the coming split between 3.0/2.2 will resemble DBM/DBMM, with a majority of Americans not adopting the new version, at least among the tournaments crowd.

Me, I will buy a copy of 3.0 no matter what, and grouse (without doing anything) about how a little bit of 2.2 plus a little bit of 3.0 would make a great game, but that neither version by itself quite works for me.

mikeygees Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2012 10:11 a.m. PST

It is a fractured bunch. NE says 2.2+, SE says 2.2
Up here in the NW my geuss would be 2.2
I would be more than willing to try 3.0
I'll look around the DBA yahoo group for drafts of 3.0

Maybe 2.2 with 3.0 army lists?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian17 Sep 2012 10:26 a.m. PST

What was wrong with 2.2?

Personal logo Dervel Supporting Member of TMP Fezian17 Sep 2012 10:36 a.m. PST

What was wrong with 2.2?

Nothing major that I can see…. I like it..

I am not opposed to trying the "new" rules presented by people with a lot more experience than me.

Like I said above, the early versions of 3.0 I tried were not that different. But it keeps changing. So now I am waiting for the final version.

2.2+ even less difference from 2.2 IMHO… in fact many of the "changes" are more like clarifications to rules from what I can see.

Plus a few new troop types which appear to make Dark Age battles more interesting for example.

Personal logo gaiusrabirius Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2012 11:01 a.m. PST

In my opinion, WADBAG's Unofficial Guide to DBA [2.2] is a work of genius.

Whatever new Guide WADBAG eventually produces be it 2.2+, or 3.0, or both will be what I play.

RudyNelson17 Sep 2012 11:48 a.m. PST

Nothing was wrong wit h2.2 It was just not commercially available which meant that some players in tournaments had it and others did not.

As long as players can find a place to buy a copy, I imagine that they will buy it. However thats does not mean they will use it.

Frothers Did It And Ran Away17 Sep 2012 11:49 a.m. PST

I don't think 2.2+ will last. It requires 2.2 to play, it requires you to know somehow that it exists, you have to seek it out online. 2.2 is OOP now, when 3.0 (eventually) arrives it will be available in hard copy at every show/con, in every internet store, in many bricks and mortar stores. Any new player interested in trying DBA will be buying 3.0 because it will be the only version commerically available and widely so at that. 2.2+ will just be a diminishing clique of curmudgeons on Fanaticus.

lkmjbc317 Sep 2012 11:55 a.m. PST

3.0 is in the finishing stages. I am on the play test group. I would expect to see the rules early next year.

Some things that have been changed in 3.0…
There is now more troop differentiation…

Dark Ages battles are more interesting…
HYW, WOR, Swiss/Burgundian play better…
Hoplite fights are more interesting…
Terrain is more interesting…

The rules are now more clear… (but still need work!)

Further, next year the Barkers will publish a book "Start Ancient Wargaming" that will illustrate rules, show test games, introduce at least one new campaign system (besides the existing one). This will feature both something for the beginner as well as the veteran player.

I hope this helps…

Joe Collins

Personal logo Who asked this joker Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2012 12:03 p.m. PST

2.2 is OOP now

2.2 will be reprinted as part of John Curry's History of Wargaming Project. This will come out sometime after 3.0 (and possibly Start Wargaming) become available.

Thomas Thomas Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2012 1:24 p.m. PST

I will second the comments of Joe Collins.

The answer to the question what is happening to DBA? Very good things.

Version 3.0 is the offical version and is being playtested by an international panel of gamers/historians.

The new rules produce a more dynamic game and a great deal of effort has gone into improving several interactions (esp Spear, Bow & Blade). Knight Wedges and Bow/Spear combos now have a reason to exist.

An ingenous new sub-type "Fast" has been added that, with a minimum of rules, helps add variety and interest to several armies.

I've taught the game to my 14 (well now 15) year old son and his buddies as well as my wife (age unknown) and nine year old daughter. All have rapidly picked it up and now don't want to bother with 2.2.

We are working on clarity – its improving but a bit more work remains. Still this is one of the easiest to use/understand DB products every produced.

Phil delerately set out to make the game more Sun Tzu and less Bobby Fisher and has largly succeeded (he wants to empower bold generals at the expense of cautious rules lawyers).

Game design has a bit of sausage making to it, however, so don't let negative rumors cause panic…

(And yes Phil has learned a lesson from the DBMM "development process"….)


Personal logo timurilank Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2012 1:51 p.m. PST

After selling nearly 90 DBA armies based for version 2.2, I have returned with the introduction of the 3.0. The latest draft of August 4 is what I have been using and liked it so much I now have four big battle sized collections of Late Medieval armies.

The terrain features are great as are the four BUA options. The increase movement and positioning of troop types within the deployment area are a big improvement as are the subtle changes defining the capabilities of "loose" and "close" order or fast and solid troops.

If you have the time, I have a number of battle reports at my blog with photos, but you will have to use the index and scroll down to dBA 3.0 tests.

At the moment, the blog features a variety of posts covering aspects of the late medieval period which I intend to use to enhance the current DBA campaign system.


Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2012 3:33 p.m. PST

I will disagree with Rwphillipsstl about the possible split in DBA. While a large contingent of north and south easterner US players have gone with the amendments to 2.2. I am not sure that it will be such a split as DBM/DBMM.

There is a strong group in the West going for the New Game and a contingent in the Nashville area. i have been doing games in Michigan. Once the game is published, i think there will be a group promoting it at the big East conventions.

It has turned out to be a very different game from 2.2, not as simple but better written. I was not happy with the big moves, but even after the amendment group also expressed dislike, they went with bigger moves anyway. Phil's game allows for bigger playing area, makes BUA more interesting, has random terrain, got rid of the LH QK of Pikes and Spears, eliminated the Ps support of some troops (that was new to 2.0 as it was), added some side support options. The grading of some troops into Fast and Solid is a bit too far for me, but it is easy to understand and has gotten positive comments from quite a few of those who like the New Game. Ps have gotten better (except vs El) and more troops pursue so games go faster without needing so many PIPs. Bows do better shooting vs Blades, and shooting in general is better.

Anyway, ofter the strongly positive comments from those who played in a recent tournament in Denver, it might be good for that style of play. I have found it very good for Giant historical scenario type games.

SECURITY MINISTER CRITTER Inactive Member17 Sep 2012 8:12 p.m. PST


Yesthatphil Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2012 3:45 a.m. PST

I have to agree with almost all of Bob's likes and dislikes … In the UK I think it will be accepted as the 'current' version (without everyone needing to like every aspect of the changes).

The dbagora is certainly worth a visit.


TodCreasey Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2012 4:56 a.m. PST

My group generally goes for published versions of games (and we like DBMM better too) so I expect we will go with 3.0.

The big impediment to DBA right now is the lack of a published book.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2012 8:13 a.m. PST

All the army lists are now done, the rules seem written in concrete, but not stone yet. There needs to be some editorial work, and the all important diagrams to be done. For some reason these could not be done along with text development, which might have made that easier.

The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.

Snowcat20 Sep 2012 7:03 a.m. PST

"The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter."

Probably the train. Look out Bob! ;)

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2012 2:35 p.m. PST

See my last comments here
TMP link

Too many threads coming together, to the same conclusion.

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