Help support TMP

"DBV not working? Why?" Topic

De Bellis Velitum

21 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please be courteous toward your fellow TMP members.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the De Bellis Velitum Rules Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Ruleset

Featured Workbench Article

Jay Wirth Paints 15mm Crusaders for DBA

Jay Wirth Fezian shows how using inks makes it easier to paint a 15mm scale army.

Featured Profile Article

Rubbery Dinos at the Dollar Store

Get these inexpensive dinos while you can.

Current Poll

Featured Book Review

Featured Movie Review

937 hits since 3 Jan 2017
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

AndreasDavour10 Aug 2006 3:48 a.m. PST

I have read a bit about DBV not really working, but have not found anyone to tell me why. What's broken?

I found it fairly understandable and fun, where DBA is just fun.

Any other skirmish games I should now about for the period?

Steve Flanagan10 Aug 2006 4:50 a.m. PST

For anyone else who wondered what DBV stood for (Dubrovnik airport? Decibel Volts? Dragon Ball V?), here's a link to Phil Barker's De Bellis velitum:

Sorry, I don't have any recommendations to offer.

KenFox10 Aug 2006 5:02 a.m. PST

The DBx games work because the player (the general) doesn't know exactly how his troops are doing. He only knows they are holding, gaining ground, fleeing, etc. The PIP dice simulate the difficulty of command and enhance the feeling that the player is the general.

This doesn't work in DBV. Instead of feeling like a general, I felt like the rules were broken and the scale was wrong. In a skirmish game, the things that make DBx work, hurt DBV.

Our group is trying Chain Reaction for skirmish games. We've also used Savage Worlds and Desperado. I've played GW's Lord of the Rings and WotC's Chainmail with my kids. All 5 of these systems work better than DBV.

Judas Iscariot10 Aug 2006 6:47 a.m. PST

Technically, in the DBx series… ONLY DBA works…

Wombling Free10 Aug 2006 7:09 a.m. PST

If DBA works, why have there been so many revisions of it? Surely the only one that works is HoTT, which has only seen one revision.

Judas Iscariot10 Aug 2006 7:37 a.m. PST


Got me… You are right… TECHNICALLY.. Only HoTT works, and you can read it and tell what they hell they are trying to say.

AndreasDavour10 Aug 2006 8:10 a.m. PST

Thanks Steve! I should have told it was De Bellis Velitis I was talking about. Decibel Volts, what a name for a wargame! :)

Ken, thanks for the suggestions about other rulesystems. I'll check them out.

I'm not sure I think the PIP system is doing the same thing in DBV as in DBA/DBM. I feel it works fairly well to randomize the frenzy of small arms conflict. I have no other experience of skirmish wargames than ICE Bladestorm so my knowledge is limited, though. Your point about skirmish systems and control of information is interesting.

As for DBx bashing I can only say that I think you're talking out of your ass. How many editions a game has gone through surely isn't any measure of quality, is it? Then Warhammer must suck bigtime. Sorry if any attempt at humour went me by…

ChrisBrantley10 Aug 2006 10:19 a.m. PST

DBA has been around since 1990, and has had four actual print editions (1.0, 1.1, 2.0 and 2.2) in 16 years. Other numbered "editions" were unofficial playtest proposals, which lead to the subsequent print editions. At least one of the editions (2.0) was driven primarily by the author's desire to bring DBA more closely into alignment with the troop types and army lists used in DBM, which the DBA community received fairly warmly since it gave us 100s of new armies to choose from.

The Fanaticus DBA community continues to grow and thrive, as do the numbers of DBA-related clubs and tournaments around the world, so whatever the faults of the rules verbiage…the underlying rules system and its support network seem to be working pretty well.

Wombling Free10 Aug 2006 11:26 a.m. PST

AndreasDavour – My comments were intended to be slightly tongue in cheek and I find your comment about me talking out of my donkey offensive.

However, in my opinion, if a rules set works, it should not require the constant tinkering that DBA seems to get, hence the comment about revisions. There are also elements of DBA that are just plain wrong (e.g. Anglo-Danish armies having to have a BUA on the table) in 2.0. The basic mechanism of DBA is great and was a refreshing breath of fresh air when it was introduced, even if we could not always agree on what the author meant. I have played DBA all the way through from its introduction to 2.0 and have really enjoyed it, but the latest tinkering has put me off completely.

That said, the Fanaticus website and the support on it is brilliant.

HoTT is not DBA but uses the same system and has received less tinkering. It works very well, in my opinion, and is more readily understandable. I still enjoy HoTT.

Regarding other skirmish systems, I would recommend any of the TwoHourWargames sets, but especially Montjoie, which is aimed at the medieval period. They play very well both solo and ftf. There is also Sword and Shield for the classical period. For the Dark Ages, there is Battle Troll, which is good fun and has some excellent background, and for the medieval period there is Retinue, which is an oldie but a goodie.

On a final point, I really dislike Warhammer and its derivatives, and do not consider them to be enjoyable games.


AndreasDavour10 Aug 2006 2:49 p.m. PST


The way your first post was written, it was a bit scarce on background for your opinion and struck me as just out of thin air. Now, I haven't seen a single smily on this site yet, so I wasn't sure about what level of seriousness was kept here.

After giving a lot more background I think your reasoning is solid, even if I'm nore sure I agree. If the main "game engine" is solid there's more reason to tinker to get the details to fit. Anyway, your reasoning is now a lot clearer and I hoped that my mentioning me possibly missing humour did something to lessen my offensivness. No insult meant, but a strong emphasis. Sorry.

Your suggestions for skirmish systems are great. I have now looked at some of the ones mentioned and have much to mull over.

BTW, I think you and me have a lot in common, with DBA experience and a dislike of Warhammer. So fitting that we make the other a bit agitated. ;)

Judas Iscariot10 Aug 2006 10:42 p.m. PST

There are other reasons to tinker with a game even if the main engine and all details seem to be completely correct. the DBx system has had its problems due to this reason:

Archeology, and new evidence.

The game has had a few of its troop types and assumptions challenged by archeological evidence that arose after it was published.

Many games have problems of this sort. Modern and Sci-Fi suffer from innovations in technology that were not expected. Fantasy games change with the prevailing winds of "what is cool" and so on,,,

Wombling Free11 Aug 2006 12:18 a.m. PST

AndreasDavour- No worries. I realised that I had not provided much background so it seemed appropriate to expand. It's OK to disagree! :-)

Judas Iscariot – To a certain extent it is true that you need to incorporate new evidence, but the rate of change in a game like DBA far exceeds the speed at which consensus is achieved in the academic world. There is a danger that new evidence is incorporated before it and its implications are fully understood.

lugal hdan11 Aug 2006 10:52 a.m. PST

Wukong – I'm curious what you mean about DBA. Aside from the BUA fiasco (which was fixed somewhat in the latest version, though it really needs to go away) and few minor tweaks to the "Quick Kills" and support rules, the DBA rules haven't changed much since 1.1. No new element types, no new rules mechanisms (again, aside from the BUA), etc.

Are you refering to the army lists maybe? They certainly got a major overhaul.

Judas Iscariot11 Aug 2006 8:35 p.m. PST

They DID?!

I shall have to have a look at 2.2 then…

I want the info because I have been trying to figure out a way to make a DBA style game out of Hoplon (Had a real brainstorm a couple of weeks ago)

Wombling Free12 Aug 2006 2:53 a.m. PST

lugal hdan – For me, the whole BUA fiasco in 2.0 was the final killer. Prior to that I had coped with the minor changes, although they niggled, and lots of little niggles built up to a large amount of disaffection. I could cope, to some extent with the overhaul of the army lists, although I still have issues with any army list that includes units of berserkers in a Norse army. The other problem is that I can see new editions of DBA being released every 4 years or so, and me playing catch-up again and again; it's almost like the collectible miniatures market since people seem to upgrade to the new rules as soon as they come out!

These days, I favour HoTT and Warrior Heroes. I am only really interested in the Viking Age, so I am still looking for the perfect set of period specific rules for that, but the two aforementioned rules sets are adaptable enough to satisfy me, and new versions are not released sufficiently often to annoy me.

AndreasDavour12 Aug 2006 12:39 p.m. PST

I gotta try Hoplon someday…

I haven't been around so long, so I don't see all the little niggles Wukong mentions. These days DBA is fairly stable, isn't it? Maybe I miss all the discussion about it…. :)

Anyway. Wukong, have you tried Strandhogg? It's about the Viking Age. It wasn't my cuppa, but wasn't too bad.

Judas Iscariot12 Aug 2006 3:30 p.m. PST

I would be happy to help out with that (Trying Hoplon)…

AndreasDavour13 Aug 2006 6:12 a.m. PST

Judas, you don't happen to live in Sweden? :)

Judas Iscariot15 Aug 2006 3:06 a.m. PST

No, but I would like to go again. Last time I was there was over 15 years ago. I think that it was in 1988, so almost 20 years ago.

I really like the fact that there are so few ugly people in Scandinavia. I saw many that were just plain, and awful lot that were tall and gorgeous, but very few who were just outright ugly (like they have in France or Italy)…

But, I can offer all kinds of assistance via the Hoplon yahoo group. I have both AIM, Yahoo Chat and Skype…

I can give you more details abotu contact info and such if you need.

AndreasDavour16 Aug 2006 1:44 a.m. PST


Ok, I'll start with taking a look at the Hoplon Yahoo group.

Judas Iscariot17 Aug 2006 12:49 a.m. PST

"AMS_Hoplon" is the name of the group.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.