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"From WRG Ancients to DBx" Topic

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Elenderil29 Apr 2020 1:51 p.m. PST

I have been posting about the transition between WRG Ancients and DBx over on my blog. Trust me the dog thing will probably make sense when you read it, or possibly not.


dragon6 Supporting Member of TMP29 Apr 2020 2:52 p.m. PST

I started at WRG 4th. I disagree slightly with you as 6th changed the game too. Heavy throwing weapon, lance, and javelins were now only on impact. Lance needed a … quarter (?) move forward to count. Most of the rules remained the same but weapons effect changed. Archery had a larger morale effect and morale charts also changed.

Yes it was obviously a progression from 5th but it was different. The changes from 3rd to 5th were minor tinkering but 6th was different. Oh, and of course who could forget Late Romans with Darts, Javelins, Pilum and sword?

korsun0 Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2020 5:44 a.m. PST

Or Khitan Liao mounted with every weapon possible…..Reg A, EHC, L, 2HCT, JLS, B, Sh……

Played 5th and 6th, tried 7th and stopped wargaming for a long time. Don't know why but they were unplayable to me, and no enjoyment at all. DIdn't like DBM, tinkered with DBA but then gave up completely. Have armies still for 6th, would play it again.

A good post, thankyou


Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP30 Apr 2020 6:10 p.m. PST

I never played a game of the Wargames Research Group Ancients Rules. I could not even understand how to play. I read the various rules from 4 to 7. I made up armies.

I picked DBA 1 when first published, played it a week later, moved up to giant games in a month. Wrote an article on Big Games for The Courier for DBA 2. I have played it now for 30 years. Collected scores of armies. Have run dozens of tournaments. Made many friends playing the game. Enjoyed every moment of gaming DBA 1 to 3, from 12 vs 12 elements, to giant games with 100 elements on a side. From 6mm to 75mm. Also many variants.

RudyNelson30 Apr 2020 8:29 p.m. PST

Started in 1977 with 3rd but quickly shifted to 4th. I was glad when the base width changed from 30 to 40. The group discussion was on the slight changes and how a power army in one edition had teeth pulled and given to another type of army in the next.
Never a fan of 6th or 7th but enjoyed DBM.
The Southern USA tournaments flourished under DBM but suffered after it was discontinued.

14th NJ Vol01 May 2020 4:31 p.m. PST

I started with Warrior. Never really mastered it.

blank frank03 May 2020 6:54 a.m. PST

DBMM is a difficult set of rules, but very rewarding once you've got to grips with them. However as an easier 'light' version BBDBA Big Battle DBA is just wonderful and of course within the rule set there is also Historical DBA should you want to bash out actual battles.

wballard09 May 2020 10:13 p.m. PST

My $0.02 USD.
I started with ancient miniature gaming in mid-1976 with 4th Edition WRG (and then had to immediately by 5th as every one changed from 4 because of a dislike for the fantasy elements possible) playing with 25mm fig.

I will disagree about the any two people could pick up rules and play the same. The wording of some of the "rules" with one sentence taking half a page and containing something like 15 semicolons is not standard for American use and seemed to leave lot of holes for "rules lawyering". I don't remember many games where there were not significant amounts of time parsing one of those sentences.

I would say the biggest impact was getting a common basing set up and a set of rules that did not rely overmuch on dice for some of the mechanics and did not completely fall apart with fantasy battles from different time periods with the points (you may argue about whether fig X should be 14 or 16 or 17 points but your opponent could follow the options assigned easily enough). Having seen at least one set of rules that would move units in random order depending on die roles such that light skirmishers would jump out in front of their own charging cavalry …

The comment about "shrinking frontages" was something my gaming group seldom encountered but from pictures of games I have seen since then we were doing things "wrong". Apparently we were supposed to concentrated on making as many units available instead of blocks of infantry. When you have 6 stands of medium infantry (24 figs representing a very modest 480 men) in a 3-wide formation by the time you take enough casualties from the front row to reduce frontage then you were below 50% figures and likely not to stay anyway.

A little algebra coupled with the regular vs irregular figure cost and command points will very quickly show that the advantage for lower command points for regulars goes away at very modest numbers of figures. But then we may been interpreting one or more of the "more friends" to mean figures and not units…

And a further $0.02 USD, the trend of later rules to completely ignore figures bothers me. None of the rules such as DBA, DBM and a few others actually do figure casualties. Removing elements means that the figures no longer mean anything. Having more than one model on a stand is just a waste of money. When the figures count, such as the "figures in contact" or "overlapping" or "half figures from the second" row then what you have on the board, IMHO, means a bit more.

And the DBA abomination of every single army in the world fields the exact same number of elements made me never even want to attempt a game.

Elenderil16 May 2020 5:57 a.m. PST

Interesting additional points chaps. I agree that the combat mechanisms did change in 6th edition but that was tweaking the existing overall mechanisms. 7th changed the feel of the rules entirely for me. The reduction in frontages seemed more pronounced to me but it was rather a long time ago so I could have exaggerated the effect in hindsight.

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