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"Perspective lesson on DBM " Topic

De Bellis Multitudinis

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Testiculies04 Apr 2015 9:30 p.m. PST

I have been training my group to play DBM for three weeks. Coming from a WRG 7th background, with many tournaments under my belt, I found DBM super easy and fun. Most of my game group come from the GW world, which is ok and many tournaments to their credit also, but they just can't grasp DBM. Too many variables, confusing movement restrictions, and missile ranges too short-these are the complaints.

I am frustrated! I refused to go back to bucket o dice and Bleeped text poor rules. I lament. DBA is looking like my only hope for the,. Is it me, is it their lack of play time, or is it just a non-convergence of game type players?

Samuel McAdorey04 Apr 2015 9:45 p.m. PST

Maybe they need to understand the historical rationale for the various restrictions.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2015 10:02 p.m. PST

Big Battle DBA3 is an excellent multi-player large battle ancients game. Also giant DBA for larger games.

Tarantella04 Apr 2015 10:36 p.m. PST

Alternatively would using element bases instead of individual figures still give a viable game using the WAB mechanics?

parrskool05 Apr 2015 3:14 a.m. PST

I have the same problem getting head round Chain of Comand or I Ain't Been Shot Mum

McWong7305 Apr 2015 3:30 a.m. PST

BBDBA is your friend. Go in stages.

Temporary like Achilles05 Apr 2015 4:36 a.m. PST

Try Simon Miller's To the Strongest! Uses cards (1-10) rather than buckets of dice; has a to-hit card and a save card in combat which should resonate with ex-GW players and uses a grid, thereby cutting out the geometric play that leaves a sour taste in the mouth for DBx newbies.

Or don't try it, as you prefer!


YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP05 Apr 2015 4:37 a.m. PST

I agree, jumping over DBA to DBM is a mistake. 3.0 is a big improvement over prior edition.

Dexter Ward05 Apr 2015 6:10 a.m. PST

Missile ranges are down to the scale of the game.
Bow shot is roughly the frontage of a unit.
So in WAB, with a 24" bow range, you are playing a big skirmish.
In DBM, you are playing a battle.

Testiculies05 Apr 2015 6:38 a.m. PST

Our figs are all non-standard basing. This isn't an issue for us. They just are used to rolling lots od dice, I think it is like a security blanket, and having defense rolls and the like. DBM is a more grand tactical feel game, and they are still in the platoon leader mentality.

balticbattles05 Apr 2015 7:59 a.m. PST

I was going to ask have they ever playes Epic or Warmaster?

I remember starting ancient wargaming after Warhammer and being a bit taken aback – I rolled a 1 "Your Phalanx routs" what, all of it? "Yes" No chance to recover? "No".

I like to the strongest as well. There are loads of other rules out there. Buckets of dice doesn't have to mean poor rules.

Great War Ace05 Apr 2015 9:56 a.m. PST

I hate lots of dice too. Our game is 2d6 for everything except rolling up morale class, which uses 1d100. One roll in combat means either you eliminate the enemy figure(s) in base contact with yours, or you shoot them out of the battle (remove the mini). You roll 2d6 for each shooting figure/base, or each melee combat pairing. Big battles take longer, because of the increased amount of combats and shooting. But in multiplayer games this is ameliorated by many rolling combat dice for their sections of the battle….


Testiculies05 Apr 2015 10:50 a.m. PST

So yes all, but I am still going to use DBX. Just find it difficult to believe it is so hard to learn. These are all smart guys. I don't really like any GW product when it comes down to it. 40k was ok once, but fantasy and historicals have always been, well, less than enjoyable.

I am not going to learn a new system. I play DBX,saga, napoleonic quickie, and captains & kings for all historicals now.

Lewisgunner05 Apr 2015 2:38 p.m. PST

At base there is not a huge difference between rules with a lot of dice and rules that moderate defined outcomes lije DB style rules. The dice in big bucket style rules as you call them, simply manage odds . So you throw to hit and have a percentage chance of a hit, then throw saves with a percentage chance of saving and then get an outcome. DB rules have outcomes such as being pushed back and disrupted as well as a unit geing destroyed. Multi dice rules tend to destroy unts by accumulating casualties . DB rules have bigger units,nso you kill off parts of them until you get to a critical point. Multi dice rules mostly have units as an intermediate stage and if you kill enough units a division or an army routs.
As a suggestion OP take your mates back to the basics of both sets of rules and show them how your preferred set deals with the situations
Multi dice sets do have lots of moments of excitement. You roll and get five hits, I roll and get four saves. It makes for lots of high points. If they play DB then what are the high points? Will they get punch the air moments?

I think you also have to convince them of what winning tactics are in DBA. Its quite different from say Warhammer and if they have been playing that they have learned to win a certain way.
Lastly if you think DB is more like a real battle then you have to convince them that they want reality, perhaps more than they want game?

Mako1105 Apr 2015 3:01 p.m. PST

I admit to being rather shocked at the short bow ranges for all of the DBx rules (even with longbows), especially in relation to the movement rates of the various units.

aynsley68305 Apr 2015 3:14 p.m. PST

DBM sometimes needs time to sink in but once you get the frame work in your head everything else falls into place. It isn't the easiest to pick up but I much prefer it to FOG, DBA is too quick for me the game ends before you know what's going on sometimes, and MM adds another layer on top of plain DBM, then ADLG has a DBM frame work with some FOG bits in there. These are all personal observations I might add and am not trying to cast bad things on other rule sets.
I think they way I learnt was basically apprenticed to a good player then I could read the rules and understand them. It dose take time as indeed does FOG and other rule sets but once you get that 'oh that's how it works' moment it all gets easier until you forget that one piddley rule you always forget.
Maybes try DBM at 200 points with a free CinC to get things going which will be nigh on the same as BBDBA.
Good luck either way.

Who asked this joker06 Apr 2015 6:14 a.m. PST

Like others said but start with standard DBA. Since they are tournament players, go with the tournament format. After that maybe a mini campaign with standard DBA. After 20-30 games, try out BBDBA. 3.0 is a great game. I find most of the rules quite easy to grasp with few exceptions. The diagrams in the back go a long way to clearing the exceptions up. They should have been part of every edition of DBA.

Thomas Thomas08 Apr 2015 10:27 a.m. PST

Not sure what version of DBM your trying to use but if its 3.0 their complaints about missiles are understandable. (Though the 2.0 version works much better if you've got earlier versions).

I've converted lots of people over from Warhammer to DBX mechanics by using these steps:

1) Use 28mm figures (if you mount one less figure per base you can retain the 20mm per figure Warhammer basing scheme

2) Use DBA 3.0 (well really D3H2 which adds the HOTT fantasy troops)

3) DBA3.0 uses Base Width movement/shooting units which give a more dynamic feel

4) Do Big Battle on a 4X6 table to give a more "full" game feel

5) Explain your now Henry V not just a tribal chief with a few dozen warriors. This is a battle not a skirmish.

6) Let the mechanics grow on them.

They will soon get past the tedious mass die rolling system were most you time is spent on the mechanics of rolling rather than actual moving and strategy. All mass die rolling systems are in the end attritional as your going to get very average results due to the large statistical sample. DBX features a much more dynamic "doubling" system where in one roll you can blow a whole through enemy line.

Give them time to appreciate the truely brillant aspects of DBX.


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