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"Current state of DBMM and DBR" Topic

De Bellis Magistrorum Militum

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01 Jan 2017 11:53 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Father Grigori18 Jun 2014 1:54 a.m. PST

I've been out of Ancients and Renaissance gaming for a while and am looking to dust off some old armies. If poss. I hope to be able to make a competition or two back in the UK from time to time (I live in Japan). I prefer DBx rules to FoG; various reasons, but having a naval component is one big one – my armies include Vikings, Scots Isles and Venetian colonial. What's the current state of the rules in the UK now? Does anyone still play them?

jameshammyhamilton18 Jun 2014 2:28 a.m. PST

There is a reasonable number of people playing DBMM, fewer than play FoG but enough to get tournaments with 10-20 players on a regular basis.

DBR is as far as I can tell as dead as the proverbial. FoG:Renaissance is more popular now than DBR ever was.

Father Grigori18 Jun 2014 2:32 a.m. PST

Does FoGR include naval?

jameshammyhamilton18 Jun 2014 3:02 a.m. PST

I think there are options for boats in FoG:R but only as a floating artillery battery.

cameronian18 Jun 2014 3:50 a.m. PST

The Renaissance hand-knitted version of DBA (DBA RRR) has gained traction, mainly in the U.S. I think. Information concerning it is on Fanaticus. A fan myself, DBA sized armies or as big as you like.

(Stolen Name)18 Jun 2014 4:08 a.m. PST

Wot no Ottoman Galleys?…..for shame

Maddaz11118 Jun 2014 5:18 a.m. PST

I think DBMM is well represented at a number of shows.

I have not seen as many FOG games at shows – it must be the shows I attend have fewer FOG gamers..

I don't like tourneys – If I want a tourney game – I will play something that is diceless… Chess, magic the gathering, quarto, etc..

Yesthatphil18 Jun 2014 6:35 a.m. PST

I can't remember when I last saw DBMM at a show, Maddaz111 …

Nor FoG, nor DBR or FoG-R … at shows you are much more likely to encounter Pike & Shotte, 1644, Impetus, that sort of thing. Occasionally you see Armati … plus many home brewed/battle specific games, of course.

You do see DBA in a number of bigger or period tweaked versions, but the FoG and other DB games have been much more the subject of tournaments and I share Hammy's impression about popularity.

Virtually every player I know who played DBR now plays FoG-R and considers it much better – but I take the point about naval elements. Probably not much of an issue to tweak them in (but I do know some players prefer to play absolutely by the book)…

Tournaments are a good way of joining a crowd of enthusiasts and getting some games in a cooperative and unfussy environment. DBMM, FoG and FoG-R are your choices, although there is support for DBM in the South.

The Northern League's one day (two game) Sunday events are friendly and welcoming if you are up North and offer DBMM, FoG and FoG-R

Ancients on the Move

Testiculies18 Jun 2014 6:57 a.m. PST

There is a small group in Florida that play DBRR at every con. Leaders name is Tony. It is DBA sized games. Fun system.

mashrewba18 Jun 2014 9:56 a.m. PST

DBR is dead -oh God I had no idea- do I have to stop playing it!!!? I could try the FoGR but I wasn't very inspired by the ancient set -I thought it was a bit complex.

Phillius Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Jun 2014 12:25 p.m. PST

DBR is still played here in NZ but by a declining number of players. The false rumours a year ago that version 3 was being worked on sparked a bit of life, but that died out pretty quickly.

DBMM and FoG are pretty much on even numbers here, but FoG seems to be for 15mm gamers and DBMM for 28mm gamers.


The Wargames Room18 Jun 2014 12:39 p.m. PST

DBR is played in reasonable numbers here in New Zealand and in Australia. Even in competitions DBR player numbers in New Zealand tend to equal or excede FOG Ancients and no FOG Renaissance competions have been held in New Zealand.

In New Zealand DBMM seems limited to 25mm, at least in competitions.

Father Grigori18 Jun 2014 2:06 p.m. PST

I'd agree with Mashrewba about FoG ancients. I found the rulebook to be less than intuitive and the system generally quite clunky. The thing with naval aspect might sound picky, but if you are using Vikings or any infantry army that can have large numbers of water-borne troops, the naval rules give you some tactical options other than just forming a shieldwall. My experiences with FoG ancients are one reason I don't want to go into FoGR if at all possible. I also don't want to buy a lot of army list books.

Xerxes118 Jun 2014 4:50 p.m. PST

I am part of a group of guys who meet once a month at Maplewood Hobbies in New Jersey, USA to play DBMM. We have about eight guys who show up to play at any given time. We recently held a theme tournament for DBMM called Chariot Wars at NJCON based upon the biblical armies in Book 1 which was well received. We recruited new members as a result.

Our group played many ancient rules from Hail Caesar To FOGAM, but the best set of rules agreed upon is DBMM 2.0. No other set of rules has been this well received for recruiting new players to play ancients. The rules are intuitive even though not as well written as they should be. But it is probably the best simulation of ancient warfare I have ever played, imho.

mikeygees18 Jun 2014 6:17 p.m. PST

In the NW:
DBA- Strong, thanks to the likes of Paul Hannah and others.
DBM/M- Dead after the revisions started around 05.
DBR- Dead and forgotten
FOG- Apart from the occasional convention game, nothing. No core group, no tournys.

Socalwarhammer18 Jun 2014 8:33 p.m. PST


Hear, Hear! Another thumbs up for Paul Hannah and the guys of the Northwest Ancients DBA Group.

Sudwind18 Jun 2014 9:29 p.m. PST

Yes…..huzzah for the DBA crowd in the Northwest! That gang is the reason I never miss Enfilade! It was good to see Paul, Andy, Gary, Terry, Don, Seth, Pat, Rob and the entire crew this year.

Dexter Ward20 Jun 2014 2:07 a.m. PST

FoG Renaissance is by general consensus a much better set of rules than FoG Ancient. So don't let the ancients set put you off the Renaissance one.
DBMM v2 seems to have a fairly healthy following.

John GrahamLeigh Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2014 3:04 a.m. PST

For Roll Call (in Oxford) this weekend there are the following entrants:

Field of Glory Ancients: 32
Field of Glory Renaissance: 22
DBMM: 22
DBM: 12

That gives a fair indication of the popularity of these rules in the UK. I'm a DBM man (though I won't be at Roll Call) and there are about 50 active DBM competition players in Britain, mostly in southern England and Wales.

mashrewba20 Jun 2014 7:29 a.m. PST

Good news Dexter -I'll give them a go!!

Father Grigori21 Jun 2014 7:35 a.m. PST

I might try them – when I can afford them. I had a look at the Osprey site, but right now 25 quid, plus P&P is a lot for a set of rules, and I'd need the army list books as well.

And I'm going to miss being able to field all those Venetian galleys!

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2014 10:48 a.m. PST

Soon DBA 3 will take its place back in the forefront of ancients gaming. The Big Battle and Giant Battle versions will do wonders for folks with large armies but who want less stress in gaming.

WombatDazzler21 Jun 2014 1:52 p.m. PST

DBA 3 is the Future of Ancients. I am looking forward to fast, enjoyable Big Battles.

But you should try them all and see which you enjoy the most.

Father Grigori21 Jun 2014 6:26 p.m. PST

I'm waiting for DBA3. At present I think my preferred set for Ancients is BBDBA, especially for Bronze Age stuff (I mean, how much do we REALLY know about armies in that era? The 'block' approach of DBA works well for it IMHO). FoG I'll play if I have to, but it's not a system I like. It feels as though it was meant to be a set for competition games, not a simulation.

Socalwarhammer22 Jun 2014 1:15 a.m. PST

Soon? <Checking my Dictionary>

We (the collective DBA Community) have been hearing 'Soon DBA 3' since late 2011. I am hopeful too, but I'm not holding my breath anymore nor am I even assured that it will ever be released.

I just wish I had a dollar for every time in heard/read either the phrase, "It will be out in a couple of months", or "It's at the printers."

pushing tin22 Jun 2014 11:29 a.m. PST

I for one still play DBR in the UK, but I only play occasionally with a few friends. I have FoGR and have gradually accumulated the many army lists (mainly to use as source books, you can get them cheap from the Books etc website along with many other Ospreys) but it doesn't really appeal enough to me to actually use regularly. There are bits that I like about it and other bits I don't. Although DBR could be improved I still prefer it to FOGR. I guess both are a bit like marmite.

Dexter Ward23 Jun 2014 2:18 a.m. PST

Father Grigori wrote:
I might try them when I can afford them. I had a look at the Osprey site, but right now 25 quid, plus P&P is a lot for a set of rules, and I'd need the army list books as well.
£20.00 GBP on Amazon, and they often come up on Ebay for less.
You don't need the army list books at all unless you want to play in competitions – there are 4 sample lists in the rules (ECW are two of them, I forget the other two).
Unless you have huge numbers of armies, you'd only need to buy the book covering what you have.

pushing tin23 Jun 2014 3:39 a.m. PST

£13.71 GBP from Books etc post free!, and they have most of the army lists at similar prices


Father Grigori24 Jun 2014 6:38 a.m. PST

Is that post free in the UK only, or worldwide?

pushing tin24 Jun 2014 12:55 p.m. PST

uk only I expect

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2014 2:18 p.m. PST

The wait is over. DBA 3 gaming rules are now available in final form here.

PDF link

Thomas Thomas25 Jun 2014 12:14 p.m. PST

RE: DBA3.0 Diagrams and Army lists will be included in the printed version but the on line version is official. I'll be using it to run a tournament at Historicon this summer.

Great rules both as a simulation and just a fun game to play.

Big Battle version should at least replace DBM as its both a better simulation and better game. (And FOG too but no one plays it in my area.)

DBMM is a bit better simulation but at a huge cost in extra rules.

Puts the DBX games back in the forefront of at least medieval gaming.


sumerandakkad26 Jun 2014 5:15 a.m. PST

Dexter, I bought NKE and The Ancient Assyrians on Amazon a couple of weeks ago @4.66 & £4.97 GBP respectively, brand new + postage.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2014 7:32 a.m. PST

I'm heading off to New York state for DBA and DBA-RRR this weekend. DBA-RRR has a cadre of players across the Eastern US. Rules are downloadable from the files section of the Florida Yahoo Group: link

Current rules are compatible with DBA 2.2

Another version will be done at some point for 2.2+ compatibility.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP26 Jun 2014 12:41 p.m. PST

I really like the concept of a DBA based renaissance game. I played much DBR until a few years ago when it fell out of favor in US. Many 100 ap games.

I can see converting DBA-RRR to DBA 3. The mounted infantry element would make for a great dragoon. The fast/solid types would be good addition. Sword and Buckler troops are fast. The Ordinary and Fast types of the DBR army lists that got converted to RRR will can be factored in. It seems the process of updating DBR has stalled. So why not DBAR3.

SoldierOfRome27 Jun 2014 8:18 a.m. PST

Some interesting replies here, I just ordered DBMM V 2 with a couple of the army list books hoping to get some interest into these rules at our club. We played a lot of the Sept draft of DBA 3.0 (big battle version) and enjoyed the games but I think everyone was looking for a bit more detail.

There does seem to be a lot of bad press about DBMM but I am not influenced by this as I think that they must be a decent set of rules based on some of the positive stuff I have read. I just hope that the learning curve won't put me off!

If all fails we will just stick with BBDBA 3.0!

LorenzoMele27 Jun 2014 12:35 p.m. PST

@ ironchicken71

You could have a look to my DBMM website

SoldierOfRome27 Jun 2014 2:56 p.m. PST

Thanks Lorenzo, I will have a look



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