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"Big Battle DBM" Topic

De Bellis Multitudinis

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maverick290916 Dec 2015 12:40 p.m. PST

Hello! Does anyone know if rules exist for a multi-player DBM game? We have done sub-commands before where we let someone take over a Sub General, however I was thinking of something more grand.

I saw over in the FoG forum they had a rather large battle where they took two 6x4 mats and had multiple armies on each side. Is something like this possible for DBM?

Thanks and Happy Holidays!


MajorB16 Dec 2015 1:01 p.m. PST

Sure it's possible. It's just a question of how much time, space and willing players you have …

evilgong16 Dec 2015 2:42 p.m. PST

The only real issue is Pip dice allocation.

If you have 5+ players per side it might be easiest to just have them roll their own dice rather than have the C-in-C swap regular dice.

Another option might be to allow the c-in-c to swap his PIP dice with one subordinate.

With lots of players play can be slow as there are more people to babble and you can get stuck at the speed of the slowest, I reckon you might want to do two things, a) have a time limit for moves, and / or b) have team members only allowed to talk to each other during the other team's moves.

Point-b can be fun, and it gives you another reason to speed up moves as it cuts down the other side's thinking time.

You might also want to think about elements per player and elements per PIP dice if you are generating a monster 1000+ AP per side.

David B

platypus01au16 Dec 2015 7:23 p.m. PST

We have done a lot of DBMM games with up to 5 players a side.

It is great fun and probably the best way to play the game. You end up with a type of tunnel vision and you later realise what is happening on the other side, which can be a good thing, or a bad thing!

From such games you get the wonderful stories such as player wanting to know if a fellow commander on his flank can move some close troops over to a certain place to help, only to be told "They are not mine. They are the enemy…".

We will often dispense with PIP swapping or allocation. Also, avoid using the Ally Commands rule, and instead use some sort of Victory Points mechanism to encourage Allies to act, well like Allies. In a Wars of the Roses game I used Victory Points which awarded points for certain objectives (such as personally killing an opposing noble). These points were tradable. The center command of one side turned traitor and attacked it's neighbour, who ended up fighting off both it and the Scots command attacking it up a hill. In this game the Scots won, because everyone had bribed it with Victory points. It didn't end up changing sides, and the Commander said at the end of the game "He didn't actually care who won as long as Englishmen died". That he _was_ as Scot was a bonus.

I think the largest game had something like 800 points a side of SE Asian troops, The table groaned under the weight of elephants.

Don't worry about terrain choosing. Set it up as part of the scenario. Weather and time of day can be interesting, but avoid a Night Attack if using DBMM. They can be booring for the players involved. Similary flank marches need to be planned and make sure they always come on, but allow some random delay. Unlike a normal game when there is a chance they never arrive, which is very, very, booring.

Lastly, have some object that the CinC's pass to each other to mark the begining of a new turn, otherwise players can get confused, especally with 4 a side. We have used a "rod of power" (ie: a stick), and once a stuffed elephant, and in a South american game a toy llama.

Have fun. These are the most enjoyable games I have ever played in. I encourage everyone to give them a try.


platypus01au16 Dec 2015 7:25 p.m. PST

Oh, and the 800 points a side game was completed in a little under 3 hours.

None of them have gome much more than a normal game. The players themselves will encourage slow players to hurry up, because waiting is booring!


platypus01au16 Dec 2015 7:31 p.m. PST

Part of the Jumbo game.



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