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"Compare and contrast DBM and DBMM" Topic

De Bellis Multitudinis

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02 Jan 2017 9:52 a.m. PST
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Elenderil17 Apr 2012 6:12 a.m. PST

Yes I know it sounds like some dreadful exam question from years gone by! The reason I'm asking is that I have had a set of DBM rules sat around for a very long time without doing a great deal with them. I also have access to the 1998 DBM army lists online. I don't have a set of DBMM rules but I did pick up DBMM army lists book 3 at Vapnartak.

I am now looking at playing some games set in Britain circa 800AD. I am wondering if I should learn DBM properly or go straight to DBMM although that would mean buying the army lists book 2 and a set of the rules rather than spending that cash on additional shiney new 6mm figs for the period. So the question is does DBMM give enough above and beyond DBM for the period I am interested in. If so is it worth the time and effort of learning the differences or should I just stay with DBM and buy more troops?

lkmjbc317 Apr 2012 6:30 a.m. PST

Yes. Go with DBMM. DBM is nice clean step up from DBA. It also carries with it some DBA issues with troop interactions.

DBMM is a more radical departure. It seems more complicated on the surface. Many will argue that it is not… It will give a better game for Dark Ages.

Joe Collins

Oh Bugger17 Apr 2012 6:41 a.m. PST

Yes DBMM,imho, is a much better game.

TodCreasey17 Apr 2012 6:45 a.m. PST

DBMM has a new combat result of retiring which is much better than fleeing. If you prefer cavalry armies they are now playable.

There is no more weird geometry from the Imperial/Metric mismatch.

The handling of dice for leaders is much less flexible than it used to be (you have to designate the active and passive ones) so you need to stick to your plan more (which I really like).

All in all as a DBM player of many years I am happily moving to DBMM now.

Elenderil17 Apr 2012 7:25 a.m. PST

Thanks for the quick responses all. Sounds like DBMM is going to win out. However I will await a few more responses. If anyone can give me a summary of the main differences that would be appreciated (assuming I haven't already been given them in the replies I already have).

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2012 7:58 a.m. PST

DBM turned into Fields of Glory as one DBM co-author split to write that game. DBMM is Phil's extension of DBM, with new stuff as Joe says.

The advantage of DBM is that it is now stable, there will be no changes in the foreseeable future.

There are lots of differences, which must have already been listed somewhere. Go to the DBMM Yahoo group and ask there. If you do not know either game, then why worry about the differences, just pick one and play it.

If you are only interested in the specific spacial-temporal domain you mention, then perhaps a more focused set of rules would be altogether better -- some Dark Ages game. Why learn about ancient Egyptians, Macedonians, Romans, and Hussites if you only want Brits, Welsh, Scots and such in the 800's

jameshammyhamilton17 Apr 2012 8:19 a.m. PST

I am going to really shock myself here and say that if I had to choose between DBM and DBMM for playing Dark Age games I would choose DBMM. When you consider that I don't like DBMM that is saying a lot.

Essentially I don't think DBM does a good job of the Dark Ages. DBMM is better but I am sure there are better sets out there for the period.

The real question is are you looking to play this with a small circle of mates or down at the local club. If it is at the club then find out what they play before you go anywhere.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP17 Apr 2012 11:18 a.m. PST

I'd be interested to hear some specific points why folks think DBMM does Dark Ages better than DBM.

I'm not a DBMx player, but not averse to sitting in on a game if someone is willing to explain all the rules as we go along (and there's no DBA going on).

DBA has always been a bit weak for Dark Ages play too, so not surprised that carried through to DBM. If you're not wedded to the complexity level of DBMx, the DBA 2.2+ amendments are spicing up this period very nicely with new troop types represented by the 3Bd and 3Ax and together with some improvements to Hordes, it is all adding up nicely. That has me painting up Dark Ages armies for the first time. But for larger games, I've always preferred Big Battle DBA over DBM. YMMV of course.

Elenderil17 Apr 2012 1:43 p.m. PST

I will be playing with mates not at a club. Also I will probably move into other periods as well. I have a soft spot for late imperial Romans and would probably have a go at successors at some point.

vtsaogames17 Apr 2012 7:20 p.m. PST

Aimed a tad earlier and not yet published, Dux Bellorum is set in post-Roman Britain, by the author of 'Glutter of Ravens' and will be published by Osprey in a few months, give or take. It uses DBX basing. You can find descriptions of the system and AARs on Boardgamegeek. Just search the title.

I suspect this will be a fine Dark Ages system, and usable for Late Rome vs. Huns and such.

platypus01au18 Apr 2012 4:17 p.m. PST

DBMM is more complicated than DBM in the main. IMO, this is why I like it better. It is these things, such as my-bound/your-bound outcomes, etc, that give the game more "richness" than you got out of DBM. Strategems allow you to be sneaky. Or fail miserably. On the other hand, some things are simpler in DBMM than DBM.

I have a 10th C Viking army and a Byzantine army, and the games I have had with them are fun and give a correct historical feel, as far as I can tell.

DBMM can be quite sensitive to a-historical mis-matches. You will find that cavalry is quite powerfull in the 10th C , but is dog-meat to caparisoned knights in the 13th C if you just take them on head-on. To beat them you will need to be sneaky. I prefer to fight using historical opponents anyway, so that doesn't worry me as much as it does other people.

Hope this helps,

Dexter Ward19 Apr 2012 6:39 a.m. PST

DBMM has quite a few things which can make it more interesting in matchups which were boring in DBM. In particular heavy infantry fighting other heavy infantry is very dull in DBM.
In DBMM the combat results are more dynamic, and you also have inspired and inert commanders, and stratagems.
Stratagems are a really fun feature, and one of the best things about DBMM.
Yes, DBMM is more complex than DBM – but if you only have a small range of troop types on table that won't matter.

Mechanical19 Apr 2012 7:47 a.m. PST

I faced the same dilemma and went with DBMM.
To paraphrase – Any unit that in reality would reasonably get into combat should. A lot of the DBM faffing around with moves to block attacks has been removed. The horse rules are much improved as well. There are some other goodies like Welsh Pk(F), all terrain pikemen that are a bit more fragile in defence, that give more nuance to the dark age period.

DBM may be frozen but DBMM is a mature system in its second edition. It is a richer system than DBA and played at the 100 point level is just about as quick but with far for scope for variety. Note that DBA (which I like second only to DBMM) is undergoing official revisions to produce 3.0 as well as the 2.2+ variant mentioned above. You may want to wait for the dust to settle.

You also might want to consider 6mm on 60mm ("25mm" figure scale frontage) basing. 36 Bd on one base looks awesome ;)

Elenderil20 Apr 2012 1:51 a.m. PST

I'm basing on 40mm frontage but as I am using 6mm I still get a lot of lead onto the base. At the moment they are on cardboard bases but at some stage I will put them onto a more durable base that I can tart up a bit. I will post photos of the first units properly based and painted in due course.

Thanks for the help everyone. I will be giving DBMM a go I think.

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