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"Triumph! V DBA 3" Topic

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Jefthro3 Inactive Member22 Jun 2018 2:55 p.m. PST

I'm playing both of these games at the moment . Using my 20mm figures for the former and 15mm for the latter. For no other reason than to justify a big collection.

However I would be interested in people's views about which rules they prefer.

lkmjbc322 Jun 2018 7:51 p.m. PST

This probably won't end well. The split between DBA and DBA 2.2+/Triumph is both deep and ugly. I would prefer that you withdraw this topic.

A more successful approach would be to ask what folks liked about about each rule set separately…in separate questions.

This is just me making a suggestion.
My suggestion is made from great experience on this topic. You of course are free to do what you want.

I will not reply again to this topic.

Joe Collins

HANS GRUBER23 Jun 2018 2:09 a.m. PST

Is their an actual published version of the Triumph rules?

Saurocet23 Jun 2018 4:19 a.m. PST

I've been playing Field of Glory for years and have considered switching to something simpler. Been watching MeG, ADLG, DBA3, but ended up buying Triumph! early access edition. The only problem is that it requires a little rebasing (just a few stands), but I'm not interested in rebasing anything right now. I have way too much painted and unpainted that need to be mounted first before I get around to rebasing anything.

I don't want to buy DBA3 because of the dread of deciphering it. I've heard it is easier to understand, but I'm not interested in DBA again.

Therefore, I settled on Neil Thomas rules.

I understand this doesn't answer your question if you were hoping to hear from someone who has played both. I did consider both, but in the end went with something else.

Personal logo Dervel Supporting Member of TMP Fezian23 Jun 2018 4:22 a.m. PST

Joe's suggestion is a good one if you want to get more responses. The way you have phrased the question it becomes hard for people to make comments without looking like they are trashing someone's favorite rules.

Hans, it is currently published only as a PDF right now. A hardcopy is planned. However the hardcopy will be modified with more pictures and color graphics since. The two will be different to keep the PDF version more "printer" friendly on ink usage.

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2018 5:17 a.m. PST

I am a long-time DBA player, but have not tried the Triumph rules. Our group started playing the 2.2+ rules and really liked them, and thought them an improvement over 2.2. However, we prefer 3.0 over 2.2+, and are pretty happy with where the DBA rules are now.

Attalus I23 Jun 2018 6:24 a.m. PST

I've played both & prefer DBA 3.0, but will try to fairly describe some of the differences between the two games:

Board size/scale (15mm scale): Triumph! is 3' x 2,' DBA 3.0 is 24" x 24" or 30" x 30." 25mm scale is supported in both games.

Army Lists: Triumph! has a free on-line army list data base with multiple lists & periods. Only element numbers, options, & types are listed. DBA 3.0 has extensive lists which mirror those in the DBMM rules, a detailed informational narrative on each army in the rules (similar to the DBM/DBMM army list books), with references for each army.

Army composition: Triumph! uses a simple point system similar to HOTT. Armies end up being approximately 12 elements or so. DBA 3.0 uses a standard 12 element army composition.

Element Types: Triumph! has many of the same element types as DBA, some of which have different names, and created many new element types. Chariots in Triumph! have separate element types. Classical infantry is heavy or elite, & more vulnerable to mounted. Light cavalry has 2 element types, Horse Bow and Javelin Cavalry. Javelin Cavalry is defined unusually in Triumph! because it includes all Hellenistic, Roman, Gallic, German, & Carthaginian javelin armed cavalry which nearly all other rules classify as medium or heavy cavalry. The rule authors explained to me that they believe this more accurately represents what this cavalry type of cavalry should be in the game. Triumph! has done away with scythed chariot elements, and abstracts their use using special events, which I believe costs points and are dependent on the army. DBA 3.0 has mostly the same element types as in previous versions, but now many foot elements have a "solid" and "fast" version. "Solid" foot moves slower, but is better in close combat, while "fast" can move further distances but less effective versus solid types. Double element types get a bonus in close combat, and include Persian Sparabara, Theban Hoplites, Byzantine Cavalry, German Knight wedges, etc. Lost Double elements count as two for the first one lost, one thereafter.

Movement: Triumph! move distances are in movement units (2 MUs = 1 base width), which work out close to the same distances as in DBA 2.2, though all troops can make march moves. DBA 3.0 move distances are in base widths and about 33% longer than previous versions (depending on the troop type), only Light Horse & Psiloi can make march moves.

Terrain Placement: Triumph! = the defender uses a "terrain card" which gives 6 random points where terrain can be placed. Defender has a random number of terrain pieces. DBA 3.0 = defender has a minimum & maximum number of compulsory & optional terrain pieces, which are placed in random quadrants of the board.

Built Up areas: Triumph! uses a simple, single type. DBA 3.0 uses several types, including City, Fort, Hamlet, & Edifice.

Flank Marches: Triumph! allows depending on your & your opponent's army invasion & maneuver ratings. DBA 3.0 = no flank marches allowed, though you can deploy 2-3 elements as a littoral landing next to a waterway, if your army's home terrain is littoral.

Deployment: Troops in DBA can deploy closer to the center (3 Base Widths) line than in Triumph!.
Zone of Control/Threat Zone: Is less restrictive in Triumph! than in DBA 3.0. Friendly elements do not nullify in DBA 3.0 if a friendly element is between & in the zone.

Combat Resolution: Both games use a similar form of combat resolution where each player rolls one die for each combat, adding or subtracting tactical & other factors. Triumph!'s system is very similar to DBA 2.2, however many of the terms have different names in Triumph! ("recoil" & "flee" in DBA is "push back" & "evade" in Triumph!). However, DBA 3.0 has many new nuanced combat results, especially for solid & fast element types, and some combat results are distinctive for troops that are cataphracts (4Kn) as opposed to knights (3Kn), longbow armed (Lb), etc. It also has new side & rear support tactical factors for spear, bow, light horse types, and double elements get a +1 in close combat. Some troops now cannot provide corner support, and some cannot be effected by enemy corner support. Recoils stop when a friendly element is met, but recoilers are destroyed if they cannot recoil at all. Geometric ploys in previous versions are nullified by allowing contacting elements to "slide." Elements that cannot "slide" and not aligned still fight, but are penalized.

Shooting: Triumph! has moved away from the standard DBx shooting system to an alternating individual element shooting system where the non-phasing player shoots each of their individual elements first, followed by the phasing player. Requires many more die rolls, but simple. DBA 3.0 uses the standard DBx system where the phasing player chooses combats & order of resolution. Shooting distances are further (about 50%). Support shooters effect the enemy element, so a shooting element & defender, including any support shooters on either side, is resolved with a single combat die roll.

Winning/Losing: Both games use the 33% loss breakpoint for winning/losing.

Big Battle: Both games have a "big battle" versions for larger games.

Diagrams: I have not seen the latest version of Triumph!, but the version I have has some diagrams/examples of play. DBA 3.0 has extensive diagrams & examples (16 pages) of play.

Game Support: Triumph! has a dedicated web site and forum where you can interact with the rule authors & other gamers. DBA 3.0 has a forum where players interact with each other, and quarterly FAQs are obtained regularly after rule clarifications are received back from the author.

Hopefully, I've given you an accurate idea of the main differences between the two rule sets.

Father Grigori23 Jun 2018 7:10 a.m. PST

Have absolutely no knowledge of Triumph! rules – this is the first time I've heard of them, so I cannot give any opinion about them. DBA3 is my ruleset of choice for ancients. No problems with the rules langauge, and the rulebook includes comprehensive explanatory examples and diagrams. As Attalus notes, the combat is rather more nuanced than in previous editions, and hoplite battles have become a little more interesting than before.

Hagar the Horrible Inactive Member23 Jun 2018 2:21 p.m. PST

I am glad everyone is ignoring Joe Collins suggestion.

I play both. I think DBA 3 is an improvement and has more balance. Triumph is fun too, I personally find it 2.2 on acid. Bigger table, more troop types, some rule improvements. I am playing more Triumph now as sadly DBA 3 appears to be dropping off around Sydney Australia.

I'll give my 10c and call Joe Collins out here.

First, TMP is still part of the free world, so a member can post what they like.

Second, " the great DBA schism" is only "still deep and ugly" to the protagonists who took part in it. The rest of us just watched on baffled and bemused that supposedly grown adults could get so nasty over toy soldiers. Both sides were as bad as the other. And you were leading the fight boots and all Joe. I know you got some nasty comments, but you gave as good as you got.

And that last pompous, theatrical comment – well Joe, no one really cares if you reply again.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2018 2:34 p.m. PST

I prefer DBA 3. I have played all DBA editions from original to 3rd. Three is quite an improvement in that the text is very explanatory and there are diagrams. The army lists are not so cryptic, and have useful descriptions of the troops.

That said there are still a few anomalies that the author will not clear up. Contrary to what Attalus I writes, rule clarifications are not received back from the author. (Otherwise useful comments on DBA 3). However, there are many tournaments around the world that are well attended and run smoothly.

I do have one quirk about rules. My favorite rules is the one I already know :) Someone could send me a set of rules and say they are the best ever written but if I already have rules for that subject I will not even bother to read the new ones. I game for the fun of it and if I enjoy what I am doing, it is not worth the effort to switch. I have never looked at the so-called + rules nor Triumph, nor Hail Caesar, nor L'Art de la Guerre, nor Warrior, nor Field of Glory, nor any of the other multitude of ancients rules. The only way people can know what is better for them is to play the rules if they have no favorite already.

Saurocet23 Jun 2018 2:41 p.m. PST

"I am glad everyone is ignoring Joe Collins suggestion."

Me too. Really enjoyed reading Attulus I's detailed post.

I hope my post wasn't too negative of either system. Both sounded fun. And would have happily played either except for (probably the most important factor in choosing rules, which) my gaming group chose not to shift that way.

Attalus I23 Jun 2018 5:33 p.m. PST

Bobgnar said: >>Contrary to what Attalus I writes, rule clarifications are not received back from the author.<<

So Bob, where do they come from? Does Joe Collins make them up? :)

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2018 6:51 p.m. PST

Phil considers the rule to be complete so he does not answer questions, and he is busy with other rules.

DBA 3.0 has a forum where players interact with each other, and quarterly FAQs are obtained regularly based on consensus among some members of the development group.

corona66 Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2018 4:35 a.m. PST

Actually I think L'Art de la Guerre is the best ancient rule set around.

Personal logo Dervel Supporting Member of TMP Fezian24 Jun 2018 5:32 a.m. PST

I still think this will get out of hand, but oh well.

Guys, I just attended presented Triumph Games at Nashcon right next to Joe and Tom. There were no issues or fisticuffs required. To be fair Joe was a gentlemen about sharing the space. This issue only gets blown out of shape on the internet where people seem to leave their manners at the login terminal. Bob is correct and to be fair Joe has stated that Phil went silent on 3.0 quite some time ago. He does not claim the FAQ feedback comes from Phil, but references the development group. I do not know who is involved in that group. I believe Sue Barker may or may not still be in contact with them, but I have no knowledge if that is correct. That seems like a discussion better suited to the new fanaticus site.

So if we are going to compare rules, I might suggest, it would be much more interesting to see comments from people that have "actually tried" both games or at least read both sets of rules and can maybe provide some sort of a preference based on actual differences in game play or rules? just a suggestion, but thought I would try. When jumping into a thread on a preference for a given rule system over another it should almost be mandatory that you have tried both systems? If you have no knowledge of one of the systems what is your preference based on?

Unlike Bob and some others that have posted, I have played both and most of the rules he mentioned and many more ancients rules he did not. I was a huge advocate of 2.2 loved it, and have a significant number of DBA armies based on 2.2, I liked the improvements in 2.2+ and played that game too. I participated in some early play tests of 3.0, bought it when it came out, tried it and found it to have some improvements, but also some significant changes I did not like (the movement rates and X-ray threat zone were two examples). Now I play Triumph which I consider to be a significant improvement over previous games in this genre.

Attalus, you did a decent job summarizing some of the differences. There are a lot more in my opinion and many subtleties that impact play. The movement, ZOC differences and point system have very significant impacts on how the games play. March moves are only allowed when outside of enemy contact (more than 8MU distant) and can only be done once per turn. Roads are effectively tracks through bad terrain and have little to no impact on play or deployment. The terrain cards allow the freedom to create a nearly infinite number of battlefields with limited ability for the winner of the maneuver roll to densify or adjust the terrain. The rectangular battlefield and required deployment eliminates the edge of the world issue. The new archery rules require more rolls, but actually play cleaner and faster than previous versions (IMO), plus Archers are deployed individually and spread across the army front. Archers also have a more significant impact on less well armed troops, so Horde and Rabble are in more danger from them than the more heavily armed and shielded troops. Biblical fights are completely different in Triumph in my experience because of the addition of the lower quality troop types (Rabble and Bow Levy) and the changes to Chariots. I would be interested to hear why you prefer DBA over Triumph? Specifics to game play for example?

Saurocet, the re-basing comment is fair enough, and applies to both systems. While I do not believe either game "requires" basing changes to play (from old WRG standards, base width is critical) they are recommended and somewhat depends on your desire to play in tournaments where it makes troop identification easier and also make sure that troops have the room required to retreat and deploy. I have recently re-based a large 28mm collection to 80mm wide. I abandoned the ridiculous 60mm wide which left my figures hanging over the base. It is a pain in the tail, but I am very satisfied with the new basing. I am not familiar with Neil's rules, but will look them over when I get a chance.

Corona66, I have ALDG and have read it, but not played it. I have several friends that play Triumph, DBA, DBMM and FOG, they have provided me feedback on it as well. I don't consider it a direct comparison to Triumph or DBA. It is more akin to DBMM or FOG due to the added level of complexity. It is in my opinion slightly better presented and perhaps actually streamlined in comparison to those two rules, but significantly more complicated to teach and play than either DBA or Triumph so is not really a fair comparison. I do like the random elephant rampage and have used this in some fantasy versions of Triumph for Troll rampage.

Saurocet24 Jun 2018 6:12 a.m. PST

One reason I like Neil Thomas rules is the ease at teaching it. I think of it as a bucket of dice game, with very small buckets. The attacker counts number of stands attacking (usually 4), rolls dice. The defender counts number of hits (usually 2) and then throws that number of dice to defend. However, the breadth of types of units in the game is limited. Triumph! seemed to give a really interesting mix of troop types, which is part of the reason why I like ancients so much.

With your explanation, Dervel, I should see if I can get one of my "newbie" friends to try Triumph! with me sometime. And just use the stands I have mounted however they are.

Personal logo Dervel Supporting Member of TMP Fezian24 Jun 2018 6:19 a.m. PST

I have used "incorrectly mounted" as long as the width works. Same thing applies to DBA 3.0.

The critical issue is can you clearly identify the troop type, the next issue is the deeper base represents the "brittleness" of some troops in that they need more room to back up when falling back or recoiling without being destroyed. As long as you know that a unit might need more than it's current base, go ahead and play with it.

The last issue is deployment, my Classical Indian infantry is all Horde and Bow Levy, they take up a lot of space in deployment :)

Attalus I24 Jun 2018 6:24 a.m. PST

I've played ADLG numerous times. They have a strong group of followers. It has a lot of nice refinements. Maybe it's my age but I'm no longer fond of calculating my army on spreadsheets & playing tournament games that take 2-3 hours to play. DBA 3.0 is the best version of the rules so far, & is a lot of fun.

Anyone wondering how DBA plays should check out Tony Aguilar's YouTube channel. It has a lot of good videos of their games & they discuss the finer points of the rules. Here is the link: YouTube link

Twilight Samurai Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2018 9:23 p.m. PST

Will there be a hard copy of the Triumph rules published this year?

Personal logo Dervel Supporting Member of TMP Fezian25 Jun 2018 2:30 a.m. PST

I hope so, my understanding is the photo process is currently the only delay.

Jefthro3 Inactive Member25 Jun 2018 1:00 p.m. PST

Hello thanks for the comments everyone, sorry I left my iPad at my fiancées over the week end , so have not been been able to respond and express gratitude for the very helpful information received.
Thanks Attalus I for the detailed comparison of Triumph and DBA 3.0
Certainly food for thought.
On reflection I should of phrased my topic differently, but I do appreciate the response.

Personal logo Battle Cry Bill Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2018 8:11 a.m. PST

Between Attalus i's and Dervel's comments I have nothing to add to the descriptions. Thanks to both of them for their efforts here. (I play with both and they are both 'scholars and gentlemen' as my father used to say.)

I have to say I have enjoyed all the versions of DBA and Triumph! (and all those who I have played with.) They are fun games and scale up well to larger big historical battles where more of my interest lies. Both are good vehicles for getting younger gamers and new to the period gamers involved and playing games within a reasonable amount of time with their own painted armies.

I lean personally towards Triumph! at the moment and here is a bit of my very subjective rationale. A number of these are what I would call 'look and feel' reasoning.
- the rectangular shaped battlefield makes more sense to me (although I think DBA 3.0 would work with bigger battlefields.)
- Lower quality armies with the point system will have a numerical advantage on the battlefield and will have 14-16 stands vs. 13, so a visual 'longer line' or 'deeper formation' of about 8 to 25%. (I am surprised by how many people don't like the 12 vs 12 chess like aspect of DBA. It does make a difference in how the game is played.)
- Cavalry armies have been more interesting to play in Triumph! (but that could be me.)
- I prefer the writing style of Triumph! (but the DBA 3.0 book is a good resource.)
- I find Triumph! a little simpler than DBA (less fiddly bits to remember.)


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