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"Just decided to go back to dbm" Topic

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Testiculies24 Mar 2015 7:43 p.m. PST

My friends and I have tried a number of rules sets for historicals and fantasy, and frankly we have just about given up until I pulled my old dusty set od DBM out and we had a couple of games. Saw the free DL for 3.2, but frankly I prefer the old grading factors. Does anyone still play 1.2 or 2.1? Has anyone factored dragons, etc? Orc and such are easy, but dragons, wyvrns, ents, etc are different.

dragon6 Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2015 7:51 p.m. PST

Use HOTT (Hordes of The Things) it's DBA scale but should work fine.

Dervel Fezian24 Mar 2015 7:55 p.m. PST

There is a supplement called DBF which includes fantasy creatures including dragons and magic.

Testiculies24 Mar 2015 7:57 p.m. PST

We have thousands of figures. DBA is too simple, and BBDBA it is too easy to break commands with bad deployment that can't be altered. DBM 2.1 was IMO a far superior game. I will look at the factors in hott though to see if they translate. Thanks for the lead :)

lkmjbc324 Mar 2015 8:23 p.m. PST

What Dervel said…

The DBF supplement was for DBM. It may still be available on Ebay.

Joe Collins

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2015 9:16 p.m. PST

What about playing BBDBA 3.0? It has some of the grading factors from DBM worked into it.

djbthesecond24 Mar 2015 9:20 p.m. PST

I bought DBF but found it to be very contradictory. It didn't seem to be a complete system in itself but more an add on to the DBM of the time. I also found that it used different words for what should have been very specific terms. I gave up on it.

kodiakblair24 Mar 2015 11:31 p.m. PST


Did you miss the " A DBM Supplement " part written on the cover of DBF. Might explain why you thought it was more an add on for DBM.

djbthesecond25 Mar 2015 3:00 a.m. PST


It was a long time ago so forgive me if my memory is slipping. I do remember that it was not a pleasant experience trying to play it.

Dervel Fezian25 Mar 2015 6:00 a.m. PST

Well, DBM is in Barkerease…. it can only be deciphered by experts :)

DBF, which I have a copy of, is not a complete game. So if you tried to "play it" with out knowing DBM, it would definitely not work.

It adds in very nice rules and army lists for classical fantasy stuff……

Regarding the difference between DBM and BBDBA, I would have to say the biggest strategic difference I found was that in DBM, breaking a single command was not an assurance of victory. Your victorious troops now gain control issues and trying to steer them back into the main battle can prove challenging. continuing too kill more troops in the already broken command does not help towards victory. In BBDBA loss of a command usually (not always spells disaster). You can continue to kill the now helpless command and break the army that way, or simply ignore them and move into help the rest of your army while ignoring the demoralized troops fleeing in front of you.

I still think both games can be essentially won or lost at deployment. It is just a question of how long it takes to realize it and put a final body count on it… Of course the whims of lady luck can always snatch defeat from certain victory as well.

Both good games both have their merits.

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Mar 2015 6:20 a.m. PST

HotT is a great system for fantasy, we had a great deal of fun with it.

EagleSixFive25 Mar 2015 6:24 a.m. PST

Tried Sword & Spear yet Testiculies?

Tarantella25 Mar 2015 6:45 a.m. PST

A big concern when it comes to attracting people into the period and 15mm scale is the cost of some armies under some rule sets.

With DBX basing setting a cap at 36 or 48 elements a side would seems a sensible idea as would possibly moving away from an absolute dependence on element loss.

Perhaps command points expenditure to mitigate loss or using up points from a command point pool is a way forward.

The command point pool could be used for gaming other aspects of the game as terrain placement, altering or shifting terrain placed by an opponent etc and integrated into an army list structure that has randomized elements to it which can again be effected by expending points from the command point pool.

Testiculies25 Mar 2015 7:20 a.m. PST

Between myself and four other players we have roughly 3000 figures for fantasy alone. Add historicals and another 2k roughly. DBA is too limiting. Oh and we are talking 25/28mm here on a 5x9 table usually.

I will look at hott for ideas, DBF as well

Dervel Fezian25 Mar 2015 7:40 a.m. PST

The DBx systems is very scalable and adding fantasy through HOTT, DBF or other house rules is pretty easy.

Personally I find HOTT too limited because it adds a lot of cool fantasy troops and removes some of the "human" types from DBA…

I have made a my own home version which brings the HOTT elements into DBA, but have not had a chance to get it on the table.

I think my idea game would use the reasonably clear mechanics of DBA, the added fantasy elements of HOTT, the point system of HOTT/DBM (so you can go off list) and for big battle the impetuous morale system for broken commands of DBM……

monger25 Mar 2015 8:25 a.m. PST

DBA is limiting? Well, if you want to play GIANT battles (and take advantage of all those minis) I would think a faster moving set of rules like DBA would be preferable. How is DBA "limiting"?

Testiculies25 Mar 2015 8:52 a.m. PST

Monger as posted, 12 elements of lybian Ps are not equitable to 12 elements od say…Selucid….condotta Italian…..polybian roman…..or much of anything. The arbitrary limit of twelve elements renders much of the army lists, and therby the research that went into them, irrelevant. I prefer a points based system with grading factors so that 30 Lybian Ps equal 12 elements of Selucid (estimate so don't torque on numbers).

@darvel, yes I am thinking exactly to take hott factors for non humans and use DBM .

monger25 Mar 2015 9:02 a.m. PST

I see. Well, If you like points systems in your games I can understand. The proportion thing however is kinda moot if you just base your forces on reality. Do you really need to follow the restrictions of the lists (like for BBDBA)? DBA talks about fighting actual historical battles and representing things with DBA elements (so it's not like it can't be done).

Of course I understand you are looking for the points thing and lists.

Hmm… there is another option, and that is ADLG rules. They are DBx style rules and are quickly gaining popularity at the major cons here in the U.S. as well as over in the UK and Europe from what I gather (replacing the previous popularity of DBM/M and FoG).

Just my thoughts.


skinkmasterreturns25 Mar 2015 9:03 a.m. PST

It is quite lovely to watch as formed troops stand helplessly while being pecked to death by swarms and swarms of light foot….

monger25 Mar 2015 9:07 a.m. PST

Oh… LADG = L'Art de la Guerre.

MajorB25 Mar 2015 9:38 a.m. PST

The arbitrary limit of twelve elements renders much of the army lists, and therby the research that went into them, irrelevant.

So what you need is GIANT DBA as described in DBA v3.0. Just dispense with the army structure limitations and field armies made up of DBA elements that reflect the forces that you want based on reality. Can't offer you a points system, but if you REALLY want one just left it from DBM.

If you treat the number of elements of a given type in a 12 element army as simply proportions then you can scale up to whatever level you want. For example if your chosen army ahs 3 elements of Blades in the standard DBA list, it simply means that you should have 25% of your army as Blades, no matter what the size of the total force.

Testiculies25 Mar 2015 9:55 a.m. PST

Good point majorB, I will consider it. Dba3 I know nothing of, other than what I have read here on tmp. BBDBA always left me frustrated with limited manuver--one of the main attractions of DBM weirdly. Perhaps I will buy it just to read it. DBA is always popular here in Florida, but DBA in any game only attracts DBA gamers at cons…

monger25 Mar 2015 10:07 a.m. PST

Not sure it will help, but here is the YouTube review.

DBA 3.0 Review

Thomas Thomas25 Mar 2015 2:12 p.m. PST


Some suggestions from a fan of the DBX mechanics who uses them for both fantasy and historicals and plays (almost) exclusively in 28mm.

First you are correct that the 2.0 variants of DBM are far superior to DBM 3.0 (the main reason this great system crashed and burned).

Going back to DBM 2.X and adding fantasy is a viable option but puts you on a bit of an island (if you have friends with figures mounted for Warhammer just use one less figure per element to avoid rebasing).

My current suggestion, however, is to use D3H2. A combination of HOTT (which I agree is too limited) and the current DBA3.0 rules. The new DBA3.0 rules have greatly advanced DBX mechanics making them over all the best yet in the serias (alas with but limited grading). Combined with the HOTT mechanics it makes a great fantistorical system. Use the Big Battle system out of HOTT (its much better than even the DBA3.0 system).

We have had some truely epic games using D3H2 (which does have a point system).

If you come to NashCon or Historicon or DragonCon I'll be running games.

If you need a copy contact me at


evilgong25 Mar 2015 2:22 p.m. PST

Hi there

If you want manoeuvre in BBDBA try these house mods,

1) nominate your high-mid-low PIPs dice each bound, ie you can change bound per bound.

2) Commands with a PIP score of 5 or 6 can now move their troops once more per bound than the usual (but not to come within a TZ as per those rules).


David F Brown

monger25 Mar 2015 2:32 p.m. PST

I can remember the days when everyone complained rules allowed too much maneuverability. How times have changed. Not that anyone is complaining here… just a thought that came to my mind.

Pattus Magnus25 Mar 2015 3:15 p.m. PST

I haven't played BBDBA 3.0 yet, but I've been finding that in the standard game the change to base-width measurement overall speeds up the movement of most forces. Rather than the "crawl to contact" of DBA 2.2, I find that the armies are usually engaged in 2 or 3 set fo bounds (ie, one for each player).

Depending on what the OP means by 'limited manoeuvre' the consequences of the change could go either way: In terms of less manoeuvring, moving farther each time means that elements get "locked in" against opponents quicker and so tend to move around less; In terms of more manoeuvring, (hypothetically) in BBDBA, the longer moves mean that once a force achieves a breakthrough they can exploit it more readily.

I'd be interested in finding out what system the OP eventually settles on, as it might be a direction I'd want to go later myself.

Testiculies25 Mar 2015 4:46 p.m. PST

Almost all of our stuff is based on 2.5x4" bases. We don't really find this an issue since calling something a knight or a blade is esthetics anyway. I will look into dba3, but it isn't available where I have been looking…

Also, Tom, you and I have played many DBM games together in 28mm. I beat your 100yw English with Vikings at a tourament in S.C. And went on to win the event. Ah the good old days…

But I digress. We have been on an island for some time. We play WH40k 4 th Ed for example .

Knowing you Tom, and your studied approach to wargaming, as opposed to my phasers out captain Kirk approach, I will delve deeply into the mysteries of dba3. Marty Schmidt will groan seeing me coming, but the is too bad. :)

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2015 5:38 a.m. PST

I agree that an updating of HoTT to the new DBA 3.0 is the way to go. I find HoTT too limiting in its human/normal troop types; I understand why it was written that way, but it lacks flavor when trying to play near-historical fantasy battles as opposed to high fantasy.

Dervel Fezian26 Mar 2015 6:48 a.m. PST

Is D3H3 finalized so to speak now that 3.0 is published?

I would be interested in checking it out.

goragrad26 Mar 2015 12:54 p.m. PST

This raises a question on DBMM 2.0. I had heard that 2.0 fixed the problems with the first edition that had left a number of players in the DBM camp and that they were again looking to adopt it.

Is this just a local phenomenon?

As someone who has DBA 3.0 and enjoys BBDBA as well, but would like a little more diversity in army compositions I have been looking at picking up DBMM 2.0. The fact that Mr. Barker has expressed his intent on redoing the army lists is a drawback, but being able to use the additional unit types from the DBMM lists counters that.

Tarantella26 Mar 2015 2:13 p.m. PST

Putting the army lists on a website rather than going to print would be nice.

As would rationalizing lists to minimize expenditure and the odd figure pile.

platypus01au26 Mar 2015 10:31 p.m. PST


DBMM v2 is better than v1, and (I am am biased) it produces some of the best ancients games I have enver played. The key is re-playability. You always get something diffenet in the games to make it interesting. For example I played Amazonians vs Polyneasians last night, I have nearly 100 elements in my army, and I used punji sticks as stratagem. Still lost though….

The downside to that it is much more detailed than DBA. It doesn't suit casual games, say once very 6 months, because you will never get familiar with it. DBA is much better for that.


Testiculies27 Mar 2015 6:55 a.m. PST

Perhaps someone could make a DBA 3 YouTube review that included figures. I don't really care how the game is different, or what the book is made out of. I do want to see the game mechanics demonstrated.

monger27 Mar 2015 8:36 a.m. PST

I made the video as a simple review, not a demo. Perhaps next time. I do have plans on doing some battle reports on YouTube which may interest you – play-by-play even.

Thomas Thomas27 Mar 2015 9:41 a.m. PST


My defeats are too many to recall any one game but I'm glad your still involved in DBX in 28mm. I tried (and largely succeded) to get Phil to make 28mm an equal partner in DBA3.0 development. We are trying to get a 28mm community going for DBA 3.0 particularly for Big Battle.

As for DBMM 2.0, yes it is much better than the virtually unplayable 1.0 version. The roughest year of playtesting I have every been through in years of playtesting many game systems. It was very hard to convince the DBMM hard core that there were serious playability issues and major reform was needed if we hoped to spread the game beyond a small niche audiance. What we got was small (but important) reforms. A big step forward but still a major commitment to rules parsing and memory challenge to get through a turn. Nice pay off if you can stick with it. But Phil learned some important lessons during DBMM2.0 development which he applied to DBA3.0 where a lot of DBMM problems got solved but much cleaner mechanics. (Maybe some day he'll re-work DBMM.)

Anyway really hope to get a nice combined history/fantasy player base going for D3H2 in 28mm.


goragrad27 Mar 2015 11:27 p.m. PST

Thanks platypus – club had gone to DBM200 a while back to be able to get games finished during a meeting and DBMM200 sounds like an option as well.

Testiculies28 Mar 2015 5:12 a.m. PST

@monger, no insult intended, just im what folks today call Hyperactive. Can not sit and listen to a video. Need shiny moving parts, lol.

@Tom T. I'm the player formerly known as Wanax. Took myself down a notch, in title, but I'm back into ancients after much "other" category BS in my life. Ready to grow old playing wargames as I had originally intended. Il. Email you off line after I'm back from vacation.

To the rest, my thanks. I will certainly take all POV into consideration.

aynsley68328 Mar 2015 5:30 a.m. PST

Personally I would stick to DBM 2.0 as that's waht you know and like, I play 3.1 and like it as I only started playing at 3.0 or just before as I was learning I must of not noticed the change over to 3.0.
Any way I have nothing against MM or DBA 3 it just isn't my cup of tea but if you don't want to try DBM 3.1 then MM would be another layer on top of that as well. And again it all boils down to who plays what around you.
Good luck either way.

Testiculies31 Mar 2015 6:28 p.m. PST

Exited now. Just arrived, my copy of 1.3. Yes sensible grading factors without reverse sentence order. Still barkerlish but more manageable.

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