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"DBR or Impetvs for the Renaissance?" Topic

De Bellis Renationis

18 Posts

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31 Dec 2016 5:31 p.m. PST
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Desert Fox19 Oct 2009 5:03 a.m. PST

Similar to my medieval post…

I am going to start in with the Renaissance period and I am undecided between these two rulesets. Anyone out there played them both? What did you think? Is either better for a particular time frame within the Renaissance period? Do you prefer one over the other? Why?


mad monkey 119 Oct 2009 5:38 a.m. PST

Give'm both a try. Base for DBR. Four bases of the same type make a Impetus unit. Now you can play both systems. :)

Who asked this joker19 Oct 2009 5:43 a.m. PST

Never played DBR so I cannot say. Base for both as Mad Monkey says.

Stosstruppen19 Oct 2009 5:54 a.m. PST

I would play almost anything but DBR (played it alot when my group switched from the Gush set, bad idea), it is horrific. Depending on the period of the Renaissance you want to play you could do Warfare in the Age of Discovery, the Principles of War set, Maxmillian, Father Tilly, I think the perfect captain has a set, and I would definately give Impetus a try.

corona6619 Oct 2009 6:27 a.m. PST

Guess it depends on your taste. DBR is my favorite rule set for any period. And how someone could consider DBR "horrific" and then go on to recommend Maximilian is beyond me,since Maximilian is a direct derivative of DBR. As someone said,base for DBR and try both Impetus and DBR. Your personal taste will then decide.

olicana19 Oct 2009 7:17 a.m. PST

If it is for early 16C you probably will not be happy with either or any. I use my own and I'm not happy with them either. A very difficult period to model. Good luck.

RobH19 Oct 2009 9:15 a.m. PST

If you base for DBR with the intent of using the same bases in Impetus, you will be using far more figures than you need to.
One of the great joys of Impetus is that the single base units allow you to use fewer figures arranged in a mini diorama rather than stuck rigidly in lines. eg 8 Arquebus figures, a couple of rocks and a tree stump instead of 12 Arquebus figures. 2 of those and you have 3 units instead of 2 saving yourself 33% cost and painting time.

I would recommend you play out both sets with paper figures/counters first before basing actual models.

Or just ignore DBR altogether and go straight for the better set of rules… IMHO ;-)

skinkmasterreturns19 Oct 2009 10:06 a.m. PST

Are you familiar with DBA? If you like that system, DBR offers a condensed version which is roughly DBA-sized,and you can work up to the full sized version relatively pain free.You can also try DBA-RRR which is a DBA adaptation for the period. The one great thing is that the basing works for any of these games(as previously mentioned).

(Leftee)19 Oct 2009 10:20 a.m. PST

As before base for DBA/DBR and play both. Again the supplement No. 1 has a Pavia campaign and lists for all combatants from 1494 on. Along with the HYW small campaign and lists this would really fit your bill (so to speak) to cover the medieval and renaissance. I like the 1460's to 1490's so use the website list for my Burgundians – book has an earlier Burgundian list. Waiting on a supplement that covers the 1470's in Europe and expands on the website lists.

Phillius Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Oct 2009 11:41 a.m. PST

It really depends on what part of the Renaissance (I hate that term) or early Modern period, you are aiming to play.

But your probably best basing for DBR and trying it, then perhaps trying all the others; Maximillian (good but Italian Wars specific) and Armati (not played it) use the same basing.

Principles of War and Impetus I'm sure you could play with mulitple bases for the units. But as someone says, you will end up buying more figure than you would need for Impetus only. If that is an issue.

I play DBR because thats what is played at my club and in most clubs here in NZ. It works. It works in a strange manner, but it does work.
For Italian Wars stuff, my favourite period, I play Maximillian with a mate who has the same leanings. I am about to move to Very Civile Actions from the Perfect Captain for ECW, and there I will probably go the same way for later 16th century stuff.

It really depends on your situation and what you are trying to achieve.

Dave Crowell19 Oct 2009 12:58 p.m. PST

If you want rules in English go with Impetus.

I downloaded DBR and tried very hard to like it as I am a great fan of DBA. I gave up when I realized I couldn't even tell how the basic game was played.

The Perfect Captain offers a huge selection of modules for the Spanish Fury game. Everything from one on one dueling to sieges, campaigns and naval combat.

Impetus is a fast playing system and may be too rules lite if you are looking for great detail on the period. It is fast becoming my favorite set of rules, but that is precisely because fast play and smaller figure count armies are what fits my gaming needs best at this time.

Recomended basing for Impetus is 2x2 WRG bases, so DBR basing will work fine for both.

If I were more into the Renaissance or Early Modern Period, I would strongly consider picking up DBR and its supplements just for the army lists, scenarios etc. They are not all that expensive and are certainly information dense. A decent value IMHO even if you don't play the game.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP19 Oct 2009 2:10 p.m. PST

Base for DBR, wait for FoGR to be published. Very impressed as a beta tester.

Stosstruppen19 Oct 2009 8:22 p.m. PST

And how someone could consider DBR "horrific" and then go on to recommend Maximilian is beyond me,since Maximilian is a direct derivative of DBR

Well I will admit never having played Maxmillian, but have heard good things on TMP about it. Naming other rule sets is hardly a recommendation for them. Just some to possibly check out. As for my calling DBR horrific, after having played dozens of games of it I stand by what I said. I would much rather play the Gush set.

losart20 Oct 2009 1:27 a.m. PST

I have played DBR for years as most of the team of developers of Impetus. The main problem of DBR is that single bases do waterever they want, with no respect of formations. The Italian Wars are one of the most tested period for Impetus and I'm pretty satisfied on how it works.

Worth to say that we (continental europeans) call Renaissance only the first part of '500. For the '600 there is a draft expansion called Basic Baroque that you can dowload for free from

Grizwald20 Oct 2009 2:34 a.m. PST

"The main problem of DBR is that single bases do whatever they want, with no respect of formations."

Not completely true. There are significant advantages for an element (single base) to be grouped with others in "units" under the PIP command system. If you move them as individual elemenst then you could only move a maximum of 6 elements no matter the size of your army. There are also combat bonuses for supporting ranks of pikes etc.

Grizwald20 Oct 2009 2:36 a.m. PST

"I downloaded DBR"

Downloaded? From where? I was under the impressiuon DBR was only available in print.

"and tried very hard to like it as I am a great fan of DBA. I gave up when I realized I couldn't even tell how the basic game was played."

I find that puzzling since DBR is essentially DBA writ large. Indeed if you play DBR with 100 point armies it approximates very closely to DBA. The rule mechanisms and concept are all the same or very similar.

Nik Gaukroger20 Oct 2009 4:11 a.m. PST

There are some material differences between DBA and DBR that make them very different games to play – for example:

PIP expenditure is more complex
Combat reults are more comples due to the my bound/your bound/ood/even stuff
More shooting, some of which is available to sub-stes of troops types not the whole troop type

Not to mention the whole (S), (O), (I), (F), (X) mechanic which is over and above DBA.

IMO it is pretty easy to see why one may like DBA but not DBR.

Dave Crowell20 Oct 2009 6:06 a.m. PST

DBR is (or was) available for download in the revionary version, either from the DBR Yahoo group or Phil Barker's web site.

I am sure that in play it is as easy as DBA, but in trying to read the rules to learn the game, they were much more dificult than DBA. It is not so much the rules per se as it is Phil Barkers writing…

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