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"WHY ARE THE DB SYSTEMS POPULAR WHEN THEY ARE SO AWFUL" Topic


De Bellis Magistrorum Militum

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Dave Crowell18 Aug 2003 2:13 a.m. PST

HairyBeast DBxers may have smaller armies but we have more of them. In some cases many more of them. I think several folks have over 100 armies (painted) for DBA.

So don't worry we still love figures.

HairyBeast18 Aug 2003 5:22 a.m. PST

300 minis is hardly a large army especially in 15mm. 300 15mm s is hardly a major financial investment. I am now wiser about DBArrogance-especially in Mr Leighs case but I may be doing him an injustice it is probably simply sense of humor failure. Lighten up guy!!!Slacken the sphincter!!! The thread was meant to get a reaction and has. On both sides of the debate SOME people have put forward some reasonable arguments. Some I agree with some I don't likewise doubtless some people out there agree wiht me some not .This is as it should be. I assume"extremly provocative" is anything you decide to take offence at-well sorry to ruffle your delcate sensibilites. Calling a guy a bore is ok huh?. Dave Crowell you have eased my mind!!!!

John GrahamLeigh Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2003 6:04 a.m. PST

Aha, so in your view "arrogance" consists of objecting to your gratuitous description of a popular set of rules as "bunk, trash, rubbish, simplistic and tedious". You evidently don't see that description as provocative. If you don't want flames, don't troll. You could have phrased your question politely and still got responses.

A "pub bore" is someone who constantly brings the conversation round to one subject, not a bore per se. Sorry for using an idiom with which you may not have been familiar.

I haven't counted my figures, but I have thousands of 25mm and more thousands of 15mm (plus a lot of 6mm Napoleonics which haven't been used for a decade or two). So do most of my friends.

HairyBeast18 Aug 2003 8:02 a.m. PST

Of course it was provocative but I stand by bunk trash etc as well as simplistic tedious IS subjective but I still find the DB dice offs tedious and until somthing better comes along will continue to do so. Perhaps I should change DBArrogance to DBPatronising.Popular is not always good viz Macdonalds!!!!!! My almost final word on this is that I'll probably play the occaisional DBM game for light relief. Wild horses won't get me to play DBR again.This is where we must agree to differ.BUT I have no intention of being PC merely to avoid being patronised by an Englishman, I can get patronised by Americans if I want!!!. I've spent enough time in the UK to know a pub- bore when I hear one. Perhaps you are only allowed to be provocative about unpopular stuff over there????

John GrahamLeigh Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2003 8:31 a.m. PST

OK, chum, no offence meant or taken. I still think DBM is a good, fun game with considerable relevance to history - you disagree on all counts. Fair enough. But I really don't see why critics of DBM have to be so rude...

Let's leave it there.

Cheers

John GL

RockyRusso18 Aug 2003 8:33 a.m. PST

Hi

As they say in AA "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt". At this point, most of the posts remind me of this CROOK I used to know. I always refused to do business with him, or even be around. One day he looked me in the eye and said "Comon, you know you really like me, you know you do"! He could not understand how I could testify against him in court!
Look, DB guys.. There really are people who don't like them and don't like showing up at the club and having the DB "True Believers" try to shove the system down your throat by agressively scheduling all the tables. 20-25 years ago, this was WRG 4th. Things never change.
This thread really was started with the question, why and why. The answer is not "Oh, comon, you really like me, you know you do!".

R

John GrahamLeigh Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2003 9:59 a.m. PST

But, Rocky, why do people who hate DBX apparently think that everyone else should hate the system too? In my experience no-one is proselytising DBM - if there are a few people at your club who bag tables inconsiderately, that's discourtesy but surely nothing to do with the set of rules they play. Most of the rudeness I've seen in this discussion, and elsewhere on the subject, has been from the anti-DBers.

As for denial, that boot is on the other foot. This discussion was started by someone who doesn't like DBX himself and can't, or doesn't want to, believe that anyone else does.

KenFox18 Aug 2003 10:31 a.m. PST

All this DBx vs WAB stuff is weird. The games are very different. What the heck motivates all the aggression?!? Aren't there a lot of people who like both games depending on the mood and/or scenario?

Some differences I find especially amusing:

A rule-based example: WAB mounts figures individually, but moves them as groups. DBx mounts figures in groups, but moves them individually.

A player-based example: WAB players like to roll buckets of dice once. DBx players like to roll one die buckets of times.

It reminds me of those pointless football vs soccer arguments so popular in America. Hopefully all you "True Believers" have a good laugh at yourselves when the other side isn't watching.

HairyBeast19 Aug 2003 12:56 a.m. PST

Never denied it was fun, my objections are all on Historical grounds- when I suspend belief - ie tell myself it NOT historical gaming the GAME is enjoyable but I still think it is poor history to dump all forms of warfare into 1 big bag. Maybe Ishould try HOTT which I never have...... I take Ken foxs point andaside from several worthwile points,for me this thread-and I started it so there!!!!! has been mostly a good laugh.

Nik Gaukroger19 Aug 2003 1:25 a.m. PST

You know I'm not sure reading through this topic why HairyBeast and others think that DBM (to take my personal choice for ancients) is not historical. Many statements to that effect but no real meat behind them.

We have statements complaining that Makedonian pikemen and Swiss pikemen are classified in the same way but is this relevant - I think not. Do the rules get their effect against their opponents correct? Now that surely is the issue in a game that aims to represent history.

Ultimately, of course, all our wargames are an abstraction to some degree and we all have a level of abstraction at which we are comfortable. If DBx is not your comfort level then don't play but it is hardly appropriate to then criticise on that basis.

And finally to answer the original question - well IMO the DBx system is popular because it gives a good game, is at an abstraction level that appeals to many people, gives historical results in historical games (please note that this does not mean the equal AP comp style), is good for the popular competition formats and is regularly and well supported by the authors and their army of incredibly well read helpers. The fact that they are so popular despite Phil Barkers writing style would seem to suggest that they have hit a spot with a large number of gamers.

Bombard19 Aug 2003 3:27 a.m. PST

Nik All very good points.

KenFox19 Aug 2003 4:20 a.m. PST

About historical accuracy in DBx: There is a bit of tension in DBx between Phil Barker and the tournament gaming community. Some players complain about cost effectiveness of troops or (lack of) viability of certain armies. These complaints fall on deaf ears. The complaints that carry the most weight are those that show the rules do not well reflect history.

For example, DBA 2.0 used to penalize warband in difficult terrain with a "-2" to the combat roll. Some players researched historical warband fights and gave statistics for how they fought. Now in DBA 2.1 warband are not penalized. (BTW, it's a fine line between tweaking the rules for better historical accuracy and pissing off the players by changing the rules too often!)

HairyBeast: If there is some particular issue about historical accuracy, you might raise it here and see if you can't get some active DBx players to understand. It sounds like you wouldn't want to correspond with Phil, but it might be good for your gaming soul to know that even DBx players care about historical accuracy...

brevior est vita19 Aug 2003 5:50 a.m. PST

It has always seemed to me that the "gamey" aspects of the system - the arcane language, the inscruatable system-specific abbreviations, the endless debates over yet another round of rules amendments - actually form a good deal of the appeal to many DBx fans. How else to explain the endless discussions of rules minutiae which dominate the DBx discussion groups, or web sites such as:

http://www.alphalink.com.au/~nwa/dbx/dbmtactics.html

in which numerous rules-specific stratagems are discussed, all with virtually no relation to historical tactics or battles. And yet there is no denying that there are vastly more such web sites, discussion groups, etc. for DBx than for any other rule set for ancients. So while this sort of thing may not be everyone's 'cup of tea' (and it most definitely is not mine), there is also no denying that it is appealing for a lvery arge number of ancients gamers, particularly in the UK. Vive la difference.

Cheers,
Scott K.

No Name0219 Aug 2003 7:05 a.m. PST

Nik Gaukroger wrote:
"You know I'm not sure reading through this topic why HairyBeast and others think that DBM (to take my personal choice for ancients) is not historical. Many statements to that effect but no real meat behind them."

Nik perhaps you did not notice my earlier comments but these are my main gripes with the historical aspect of DBM:

a) Random factor is too important, unlikely results happen often.
b) Morale system is not realistic. Large numbers of poor quality troops did not stop armies from running away. In fact many battles were won by small elite armies.
c) Silly things like forcing light horse (cavalry) to contact the enemy to produce a combat result.
d) Being hit in the side/rear is equally effective whether knights or light infantry do it.
e) Does it produce historical results? Not from the battle reports I have read which normally suggest modifications to make it work.

OK thats some precise points to chew on but before I come across as anti-DBM lets just mention I used to play it (as I have with other rule sets). I enjoyed DBM as a game up to version 2.1 (or 2.3ish, whatever. I do not enjoy DBM any more but I never ever thought it could simulate ancient battles. Now I play WAB where I have the same situation. Apparently is an 'historical' ruleset because the troops are called legionaries/pikemen or whatever.

To me an historical game enables players to fight with armies based on historical OOB, use historical tactics and get a somewhat historical result. However the most important aspect of our hobby is to have a good time, otherwise there is just no point wasting time.

mikeah19 Aug 2003 7:11 a.m. PST

If you want to compete in tourneys, prefer one on one games that take less than 2 hours, and can wade through Barkerese, than DBA and DBM are just fine. Thats what they do and they do it just fine. If you like scenario gaming and prefer skirmish level, WAB, Pig Wars, or AW/MW work just fine. Move the operational level up a notch than MOA, Classic Hack, or VB may be for you.

DBX'ers don't have horns, don't smell bad and are not social misfits. At least most of them are not. These are GAMES, with no more relationship to war than chess or football. I personally won't play DBX, but that is a personal taste kind of judgement call. The silly levels of emotion folks are adding to the discussion is 1) Disturbing 2) Unproductive 3) Highly inaccurate and leads me to the conclusion that wargamers just like to hear themselves talk.

Nik Gaukroger19 Aug 2003 1:43 p.m. PST

Justin Taylor wrote (and apologies for a long quote here, but I'll comment through it):

"Nik perhaps you did not notice my earlier comments but these are my main gripes with the historical aspect of DBM:"

I'm afraid the length of this topic must have fuddled my eyesight.

"a) Random factor is too important, unlikely results happen often."

Often a matter of perception IMO. It is much easier for us to remember wild swings of luck and forget the far larger number of cases where the expected result happened. In DBM terms this means we talk about the "vital 6-1" that destroyed the general but forget the 35 out of 36 other results that also occured which didn't. However, that said there _are_ occasions where there are those "critical luck" dice throws but that's part of what we game for - in my experience players prefer games where there can be a luck factor (and after all Napoleon is reputed to have said "don't give me a good general, give me a luck one").

" b) Morale system is not realistic. Large numbers of poor quality troops did not stop armies from running away."

This is a valid criticism of the DBM system and one I note that Phil Barker has asked for solutions for. Again I note that his HFG rules have elements worth different values so we may see something similar elsewhere. My personal opinion is that this may in fact be an army list issue on the composition of armies rather than a rules one, although in DBM they are inter-twined.

" In fact many battles were won by small elite armies."

Perfectly possible in DBM. I'm afraid people who say otherwise must look to their own play - the current version of the rules in fact nicely balances the "wall of crap" and "small elite" armies quite well in the competition format and also in hsitorical refights.

" c) Silly things like forcing light horse (cavalry) to contact the enemy to produce a combat result."

I'm afraid this is, IMO, rather missing the abstraction mechanism. LH influence the battle in many ways apart from close combat (to the point where they are now seen as an over powerful troop type by experienced players). To just look at close combat is to take a too simplistic approach - of course it is also an indication that the DBM abstraction does not suit and a different rule set where the mechanism is more specific is approriate to your gaming needs (and there's nothing wrong with that).


"d) Being hit in the side/rear is equally effective whether knights or light infantry do it."

Only true if the enemy element is also in close combat to it's front - and that is a very important distinction and to ignore it is to misrepresent IMO. Assuming you are talkimg about when an element is already in close combat to it's front is there a problem here?

" e) Does it produce historical results? Not from the battle reports I have read which normally suggest modifications to make it work."

Are we talking equal AP competition style or actual historical refights? If the former then it is not an issue IMO as this is, if we are being honest (and this applies to all rule sets), just fantasy gaming. My experience of the latter is that DBM gives very good results - modifications are usually suggested by people who get the intital scenario wrong (IIRC a good example was a hydaspes refight reported in Slingshot where the intial set up was just plain wrong and so unsurprisingly the refight was not credible).

"OK thats some precise points to chew on but before I come across as anti-DBM lets just mention I used to play it (as I have with other rule sets). I enjoyed DBM as a game up to version 2.1"

I remember playing against you a couple of times when I still lived up in Burnley.

" (or 2.3ish, whatever. I do not enjoy DBM any more but I never ever thought it could simulate ancient battles. Now I play WAB where I have the same situation. Apparently is an 'historical' ruleset because the troops are called legionaries/pikemen or whatever."

IIRC the author has never claimed more than it is a rule set "informed by history". Jervis Johnston's Slingshot article made it quite clear where he came from and, IMO, is a perfectly valid basis for a set of rules. Nobody should be surprised at what they get.

"To me an historical game enables players to fight with armies based on historical OOB, use historical tactics and get a somewhat historical result. However the most important aspect of our hobby is to have a good time, otherwise there is just no point wasting time."

I cannot disagree with any of that, especially the last bit. Whilst I may be a DBM competition junkie I' glad people have the choice of so many alternatives to meet their personal aspirations (and that they are enthusiastically covered in Slingshot if the players contribute - just to get the compulsory dig at Zarquon in)

HairyBeast20 Aug 2003 12:18 a.m. PST

Ken Fox Some valid stuff here-Isuspect part of my problem with DBX is simply that it is too abstract for me. I can tolerate this in an ancients game up to a point because I'm not an Ancient historian. As I've said earlier I save most of my venom for DBR and its total lak of unit structure in a period where"Regiment" &"Battalion"were stating to mean somthing in organisational terms. This simply does not happen in DBR. There is no indication of the different facets of 16th and 17th century warfare. I refuse to be fobbed off with the idea that an element is the same as a unit -this only works when units are all composed of the same troop type. What about Pike and Shot units of the ECW and TYW as well as most of the latter part of the 16th century. Maybe I'm playing it wrong but I've seen no ability in the rules for Pike and Shot units because there is no unit structure. Not that I'm going to go ape over this but it just seems strange to me. As for DBM the same appears to happen to a lesser extent. A phalanx quickly breaks up into its component elements. Also I not convinced that any of the DBs look right - this is purely subjective but those long lines of elements look odd to me especially in armies that used depth of formation as a battle tactic.

HairyBeast20 Aug 2003 12:20 a.m. PST

Ken Fox Some valid stuff here-Isuspect part of my problem with DBX is simply that it is too abstract for me. I can tolerate this in an ancients game up to a point because I'm not an Ancient historian. As I've said earlier I save most of my venom for DBR and its total lak of unit structure in a period where"Regiment" &"Battalion"were stating to mean somthing in organisational terms. This simply does not happen in DBR. There is no indication of the different facets of 16th and 17th century warfare. I refuse to be fobbed off with the idea that an element is the same as a unit -this only works when units are all composed of the same troop type. What about Pike and Shot units of the ECW and TYW as well as most of the latter part of the 16th century. Maybe I'm playing it wrong but I've seen no ability in the rules for Pike and Shot units because there is no unit structure. Not that I'm going to go ape over this but it just seems strange to me. As for DBM the same appears to happen to a lesser extent. A phalanx quickly breaks up into its component elements. Also I not convinced that any of the DBs look right - this is purely subjective but those long lines of elements look odd to me especially in armies that used depth of formation as a battle tactic.
Incidentally all the stuff about having a good time is the most valid of all. If the DBsare your thing fine, I wanted to know why up to a point now I do.

Dave Crowell20 Aug 2003 2:22 a.m. PST

HairyBeast re DBR that is exactly why I have no inyterest in playing it. I like DBA, but find DBX systems and basing breakdown for anything larger. The abstractions start getting in the way of a good game. I do find that the look is aided by using 6mm figures, lots of them.

No Name 320 Aug 2003 9:19 a.m. PST

DBR represents regiments of the English Civil War well.

A regiment at good strength (or a brigade of smaller regiments) would be 400 to 600 strong. (Yes, I do know that regiments were 1,000 in theory.) As a DBR element of pike or shot represents 100 men a regiment is represented by 4 to 6 elements.

One of the differences between DBR and DBM is that a PIP (movement/command point) can move a group of elements up to 4 elements wide in most circumstances. As it is tactically advantageous to have both pike and shot 2 elements deep this means that each PIP usually moves one regiment.

If a regiment not lined up together (i.e. is in disorder) it can not be moved so easily. You usually have to spend precious PIPs getting it back into order.

As shot supported by pike next to them are much less vulnerable to cavalry it is usually advantageous to have the pike in the middle, with shot on either side. (This is similar to the "Dutch Order" used by both Royalists and Roundheads in the ECW.)

However, sometimes in DBR it is advantageous to separate the pike and shot because the shot move faster than pikes. (This was a historical tactic, it happened sometimes in the ECW.) In DBR you can do that. Many sets of rules don't let you do this. This is one of the reasons why I like DBR.

As I have said earlier, when I try to re-fight small historical battles with DBR the course of the games is usually similar to accounts of the original battles. (I don't have enough figures to re-fight the major battles.)

In my experience DBR represents ECW battles fairly well.

KenFox20 Aug 2003 11:40 a.m. PST

HairyBeast: You might be interested to know that many DBR players think that's a problem too. Phil Barker for example! There are some changes going into DBR 2.0 that encourage more historical play.

One major change is to make it much more difficult to break up a group. Under DBR 1.x an element could separate from a group for a single "PIP" (PIPs are movement points spent from a pool rolled on a D6). DBR 2.0 increases that cost to 3 PIPs! If you want to break up your formations, you better have a really good plan!

There are several other changes. Players that know the period much better than I do say the rules are much improved. (On the other hand, some DBM players are ticked about gratuitous changes to the terrain setup. Hopefully this is a net gain, but only time will tell.)

HairyBeast21 Aug 2003 12:04 a.m. PST

As a completly non-tournament player all thisstuff about terrain set- up goes over my head. Like th idea of using 6mm-might actually try that but in 10mm. Take the point about multiple movement in DBR but the units still fragment too easily. And for me those tiny units just don't LOOK right for the ECW. My forlorn hope games use a ratio of aroud 1-10 with regiments of 30-100 figures depending on the strength of the origional units taken from their pay warrants-not a perfect idea of unit strength but the best you are going to get. As I said I fiddle with all rule sets I useso I discared FHs 1-33 ratio. However the changes to DBR may encouage me to look again for Higher command level games.

RockyRusso21 Aug 2003 8:29 a.m. PST

Hi

I am too lazy to count. This is post 127 on the subject. I will bet that 100 of the posts consist of DBX people saying "Aw, comon, they really are wonderful, you know you really want to like them".

R

(Change Name)21 Aug 2003 8:49 a.m. PST

John:

I don't see why you and Tarzan feel the need to engage in personal attacks and name calling. However, this appears to be the standard reactions from the DBM crowd anytime someone criticizes DBx. That, and blasting WAB (which does not bother me all that much, since I don't play WAB all that often.)

My complaint about DBx is not the fact that it does not have any rules for morale (which is absurd for an ancients game), and the movement rules become just downright silly. My complaint is not that it is so abstract that it really does not "simulate" anything.

My complaint is with the behavior of the DBx gamers generally. You, Tarzan, Julian the Apostate and Bombard are perfect examples of this. When DBx is criticized, you launch into a stream of personal invective. And when I post even a mild comment, well, you don't fail to disappoint. (I really don't mind, since it proves my point.)

In my local club, I would hear certain slogans like "I only want to play strategic game," "I don't like bucket of dice games (referring to WAB)" "WAB is just a fantasy rules set" and so on. I didn't know where these statements came from, or why they were being made. But I would see similar statements on ANCMED and here, and I came to the realization that it was coming from a common source. And that it was infecting the entire ancients gaming community.

In reading both ANCMED and, to a lesser extent, the Slingshot, it became fairly apparent where this stuff was coming from. There is a certain clique of DBM'ers who like to take potshots at other games, while trying to stifle criticism of DBM. Apparently, this has been going on for many years.

It's a rather strange phenomenon. You really don't hear Johnny Reb players blasting Fire and Fury, and vice versa. Many ACW play both sets of rules, and are not interested in a fatrecidal conflict between the different rules.

As far as publishing articles about other rules, the simple truth is that both Miniature Wargames and Wargames Illustrated publish more articles on non-DBM ancient games than one will ever find in the Slingshot. This is an embarrasment for the Slingshot.

As for the non-DBM articles which actually appear, they tend to be written by the rules authors themselves in an effort to promote their games. Very little appears to be coming from your readership as a whole.

And then there are the reviews. This year, I recall two reviews on Vis Bellica. It is my understanding that neither of the reviewers actually played the game before writing their reviews. Is this true, John? And, if it is, why would you publish these "reviews"?

This attitude from the DBM crowd is destructive. I can name at least six gamers locally who actively avoid the local clubs where DBM is played for this very reason.

No Name 321 Aug 2003 10:09 a.m. PST

Zarquon said "My complaint is with the behavior of the DBx gamers generally. You, Tarzan, Julian the Apostate and Bombard are perfect examples of this. When DBx is criticized, you launch into a stream of personal invective. "

Really? Try reading my posts.

(Change Name)21 Aug 2003 10:14 a.m. PST

By the way, I think Rocky really hit the nail on the head. Sometimes one is really tempted to say, "And, what part of 'no' don't you understand?"

When I am playing a game of WAB (or whatever), I really don't appreciate having a DBMer coming over to the game and making unsolicited comments about "buckets of dice," "fantasy games" and the like. My usual reaction, particularly when I am feeling unusually cranky, is "just go away."

When I see a "Play DBM" post here or elsewhere, I usually refrain from engaging in an anti-DBM tirade; however, the anti-WAB tirades are always forthcoming when WAB is mentioned -- and many times when it is not. (For some reason, WAB is the usual target.)

I know a lot of DBMer's really like their game. That's just fine. However, they should realize a lot of people really don't like DBM. They need to respect those preferences.

John GrahamLeigh Supporting Member of TMP21 Aug 2003 1:53 p.m. PST

Zarquon, this is very strange. How you can consider my comments as "a stream of personal invective" is baffling. You, however, attack DBM and DBMers ad lib. My first post on this thread was actually a plea for toleration which seems to have fallen on deaf ears and closed minds in your and HairyBeast's cases.

Let's get this straight. There is no SOA policy to favour DBM above other rules. It just so happens that a majority of SOA members like DBA/DBM and want to write about their favourites. There has been no criticism of WAB in Slingshot for years - I suspect you're harking back to Karl Heinz Ranitszch's critical article in, I think, 1997 - there has, though, been criticism of DBM. Naturally there's more DBM material in Slingshot than in MW and WI, since unlike those journals Slingshot's period of interest coincides with DBM's.

I don't pretend to speak for DBM players as a class, and if some of them behave boorishly that's obviously regrettable. But most, in my experience, are not at all hostile to other rules sets. I really think that most of the prejudice you perceive is imaginary. Can you point to actual "anti-WAB tirades" rather than continually generalising about them?

It is quite true that neither of the Vis Bellica reviewers (of whom I was one) had played the rules - I said this at the start of my review, which was based on "a careful reading and solo tryout to which the rules are not well suited". Both reviews were sent to the rules author before publication and I believe that one (not mine) was altered following the author's comments. I also believe that the author was pleased with my review - at any rate, he's put it on his website!

When DBA and DBM first appeared Slingshot carried articles by the authors introducing the rules - the same thing has naturally happened with newer sets. Nothing odd about that. There are also many articles by other than rules authors. As I never tire of saying, if you want to see articles about a particular rules set, write some! I've appealed for articles about Piquet, for instance, without result - but I'm pleased to say that I've succeeded in getting some about WAB, Vis Bellica, AW/MW, Armati and Strategos.

Anyway, it's very tiring trying to counter your constant malice. Why don't you write something positive, instead of always knocking?

John GL

Jospee21 Aug 2003 3:28 p.m. PST

I play DBM and i like it but freely admit many DBM critics may well be right about various things regarding the rules, i wish they played at my club so i could try out the rules they recommend. They don't though. So i listen, take note and check out the alternatives they suggest whenever i can. I do like Classical Hack for instance and found it this way, reasoned conversation via the web.

Zarquon you seem to be full of spite towards DBM players as some sort of stereotypical group... they don't exist mate - some people are just 'gits', i don't think its based on what set of rules they use to play toy soldiers with. They're just gits at everything they do. All this rabid anti dbm player stuff (rather than anti dbm rules) puts me right off what you say, and although i read it with some morbid interest you are coming across as a somewhat fixated dbm hater.

Can you provide some evidence to back up your claims, something i could check up? (I don't think any more 'dbmers at my club/con i just attended are gits' statements are required, they're NOT evidence of what you claim.)

Rgds, J.

HairyBeast22 Aug 2003 2:09 a.m. PST

AH WELL reasoned debate out of the window again.....

TodCreasey22 Aug 2003 4:07 a.m. PST

I play in a large (63 member) club and I think you need to decide what you are looking for when you are playing rules - we go through these debates over WWII and Napoleonic rules too.

I play both WAB and DBM and enjoy them both - I just play a very orthodox WAB (1 figure = 1 man) so it is not suited for say Khadesh but is very nice for the Romans in Britian. DBM on the other hand is well suited to the "cast of thousands" battle where one stand really is an entire contingent. As most clubs (including ours) play in 15mm or 25mm this is not so obvious. Playing in 6mm helps you get that mindset.

A thing I tell most new guys to the hobby is to remember it is your hobby and you play things where you have fun. This is why we try and run multiple games at a meeting so people have some choice and why we have the same period done in 2 or 3 scales sometimes by different people as there is something they enjoy building there.

KenFox22 Aug 2003 8:22 a.m. PST

If you're playing a game of WAB and a DBx'er starts harrasing you, all you have to say is "there are two of us: you're doubled, now flee."

Unless of course the guy looks more like horde, in which case he should FOAD... ;)

anthrodog22 Aug 2003 10:05 p.m. PST

Zarquon, I have to second your opinions. Sorry to all the rest that may be offended. Btw, if I have to play a simple and fast set of rules, I've always been partial to Armati. Wouldn't it be great if we could travel back in time, witness a few battles, and then be done with this argument?

HairyBeast23 Aug 2003 12:35 a.m. PST

I like Todcreaseys attiude. Frankly I run into DB Bores WAB bores and Armati bores. I find the only common denominator here tends to be Tournaments and Tournament players. They get so fanatical about their rulesets! Insted of trying to find out how stuff happened the arguments revolve around how many points this or that is . Since I don't use points systems or play tournaments well... However the idea of different rules for different tasks is admirable but many of the "games-players" out there don't see it that way. It seems to me that many of our bretheren are not even slightly interested in the historical part of "Historical - miniatures-gamer" and a good number are not that interesrted in the miniatures part, which only leaves the gaming-for me the smallest of the triumvirate. I didn't expect to resove anything by staring this string but only to find out some kind of set of opinions. I now know that not all DBXers are unhistorical games -bores and some of them think about what they do so I guess I'm wiser than when I started.

(Change Name)23 Aug 2003 1:12 p.m. PST

Well John, you are absolutely right that a number of DBM players have succeeded in both offending and angering me through their arrogance. If you knew me, you would know that this is actually a fairly difficult thing to do because my profession causes me to deal with pretty obnoxious people on a daily basis. I do expect better from individuals who claim to be educated. (And yes, I do have a doctorate.)

While I am not a big fan of tournament gaming, I would not place the blame at the feet of the tournament gamers. As you have noted, they are not necessarily overly concerned about historical accuracy, so they are actually less likely to bash a game because it is not accurate.

I place the blame at a cult of individuals who have been educated beyond their intelligence and who pretend they are a prominant historians. Most of the time, they have read the same Osprey books I have read. For some reason, they seem to be attracted to historical gaming in general, and DBM in particular.

I guess one could simply ignore these jerks, as most gamers do. That actually might be a saner course of action. However, I really don't like to see bad behavior go unchecked -- it just encourages them. I will be successful, if I can get some of those guys to think "Maybe I shouldn't bash WAB (Vis Bellica, etc., etc.) because that mean old Zarquon will just start bashing DBM again." As I said, I work with some pretty obnoxious people on a daily basis, and the only way of changing their behavior is for them to see the natural consequences of their actions.

John GrahamLeigh Supporting Member of TMP23 Aug 2003 1:32 p.m. PST

I'm not likely to know you while you shelter behind a pseudonym, so how am I to judge? The pseudonym habit has the further disadvantage that we can't continue this discussion off-line, so have to inflict our remarks on other TMPers as well.

I really don't know whom you're getting at - surely not the Duncan Heads, Karl Heinz Ranitszchs and (heaven forfend) John Graham-Leighs of this world? I've not seen the WAB- or VB-bashing you keep going on about - I invited you to point out some specific examples, but you haven't. I have however seen quite a lot of DBM-bashing... If you are/were on the Ancmed list you'll have seen the quite nasty abuse I received from WABbers a year ago, simply for remarking that WAB was "not to my taste".

"Educated beyond their intelligence" - what a fearsomely patronising phrase.

To get back to the point - the DB systems are popular (pace Rocky) because they're not awful! So HairyBeast's original question is not a valid one. They give a good, exciting game at a level of abstraction which seems to suit the taste of a great many players, are the dominant rules system in the UK and other countries such as Australia (much used in Europe too), and when used in period are perfectly capable of giving historical results.

Bombard23 Aug 2003 2:02 p.m. PST

Zarquon You might be funny if you were joking. Until holographic tech or time machines are invented any ancients rules will be less that perfect. As to DBX gamers goading you, I believe that you are the one who did a majority of the attacking. On a whole the DBX people have tried to carry on a realistic discussion on the merits of the rules they play. You in turn attacked others and made some wide assumptions on the merits of DBX. It seems you are good at starting things but you have done nothing to advace the cause of ancients gaming.This will be my last comment on this subject to you as you appear to be interested in conflict more than an honest exchange of ideas on ancients. Play whatever rules you want and enjoy.

RockyRusso24 Aug 2003 8:42 a.m. PST

Hi

"To get back to the point - the DB systems are popular (pace Rocky) because they're not awful! So HairyBeast's original question is not a valid one."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Since it is invalid, why are you still posting on it? Nothing to Discuss, we all really love DBX but are too stubborn to admit it. Ya, that's it. Actually, i am a secret DBX LOVER. I keep it such a secret that even I don't know I don't play it.

Cool!

R

John GrahamLeigh Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2003 1:12 p.m. PST

Rocky, I'm not saying that you, or anyone else, ought to like the DB system. That's entirely up to you. But I object to you or anyone else saying that because they don't happen to like the system, it must be "awful". No single system will suit everybody.

Whattisitgoodfor24 Aug 2003 2:37 p.m. PST

I am going to re-post my comment on DBM from above on the grounds that it says why I like DBX with out having a go at anybody or slagging their choice of rules.
It also doesn't get into an unresolvable discussion on 'realism' or 'what sort of person plays xyz sort of rules.

"My personal opinion. DBX (through DBAOL) brought me back into the hobby after a 20 year gap.

I like the basic idea behind the rules. Basically, DBx is a statistical approach, breaking a battle down into its smallest practical subsets and deciding what happens when A meets/fires at/ fights B with the simplest possible mechanism - one dice each.

You can argue whether specific factors are 'right', but the approach is very smart. And frankly WRG do more research than most rule writers so I'll stick with their verdicts.

The alternate moves, no record keeping, and no written orders suits me too. And I'm impressed with clever stuff like the overlap rules, the PIP dice and group moves.

The wonderfully researched army lists are a boon to the whole hobby. Seriously, many other rule sets lean heavily on the published WRG army lists.

And I can always get a game with DBM. Works for me.

As to realism? Personally I am sceptical about any set of rules being 'realistic' but DBX seems to be no less realistic than any other set. "

PS 1. I've never played WAB, but am looking forward to having a go as soon as the opportunity pesents itself.

PS 2. DBX gives me a good, workable game that i find fun and gives me a god opportunity to push my pretty lead figures around a table. Where's the harm?

(Change Name)24 Aug 2003 3:17 p.m. PST

Rocky,

You have to love the irony. The DBM crowd is so insistent that everyone love their game that they have perpetuated a thread entitled "WHY ARE THE DB SYSTEMS POPULAR WHEN THEY ARE SO AWFUL" for nearly two weeks. That is basically two weeks where miniatures gamers see an anti-DBM thread as a headline. If I were a DBM fanatic, I would just want this thread to go away.

Scurvy24 Aug 2003 3:22 p.m. PST

145 posts is this some sort of record?

(Change Name)24 Aug 2003 3:26 p.m. PST

Bombard,

Your last post is really funny since you were the one who started the fight. You got on this thread with your guns blazing, blasting away at WAB.

It's not as much fun to blast WAB when DBM gets blasted as well, is it?

Bad for the hobby. You betcha! Sort of a mutual assured destruction. So you do you DBMer's instigate this stuff?

And why is it that DBM players get to bash other games, and this is considered to be good for the hobby, but someone blasting DBM is bad for the hobby?

And why is it acceptable for a DBMer to say WAB is stinks, but "bad for the hobby" for a WABbit to say DBM is awful?

It seems like there is a real double standard concerning this sacred cow.

John GrahamLeigh Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2003 5:07 a.m. PST

Zarquon, try answering some points rather than just repeating your unsubstantiated assertions. If you're only going to continue repeating yourself there's no point prolonging the discussion. The funniest bit is your apparent belief that the hostility comes from the DBM crowd, when you seem to have started it yourself!

RockyRusso25 Aug 2003 9:05 a.m. PST

Comon...are you really that blind? Did you really miss it?

"The original question is not valid".

That is so dismissive! What sort of discussion does THAT lead to?

So, John, by that reasoning...no one can ever state any rules are awful? Trust me, there are a lot of people who think they are awful! Really. Not just me. Not just Z.

So, now that the definative dismissal has been posted. We can stop talking about DBX. It isn't awful, we are just deluded. As I said a number of posts ago "you really like me, you know you do" is the attitude.

R

John GrahamLeigh Supporting Member of TMP25 Aug 2003 9:20 a.m. PST

Rocky, try reading Whattisitgoodfor's last post for an explanation of why DBM isn't "awful". If you still don't like it, fine - no-one's trying to convert you, nor to make you "like us". Tastes inevitably differ.

I'm still waiting for Zarquon to give examples of the "WAB-bashing tirades" which he says have so upset him. I'd really like to understand the reasons for his rancour.

Whattisitgoodfor25 Aug 2003 4:40 p.m. PST

Sigh. This is my last post to this topic, and I make it only to say how much this discussion reminds me of another great debate involving miniatures.

The debate is detailed in Jonathon Swift's classic 'Gulliver's Travels - A Voyage to Lilliput', first published in 1768 and in print ever since.

The Lilliputians were a tiny people, no taller than 6" high. They had been at war for 6 and 30 moons with the 'Big Endian' exiles over the important issue of which end they should open their eggs with a spoon.

While these small people seemingly had every reason to stick together, this vital issue resulted in endless bickering, book-burning and bloodshed.

Open your eggs any way you like guys. So long as you have a cracking good time (sorry about the pun).

Plynkes26 Aug 2003 2:01 a.m. PST

More news from the front:

With the war entering its 150th post, neither side has made significant gains, yet the futile and costly assaults on the other side's entrenched positions continue. On the Home Front, demonstrations against the war have been ruthlessly suppressed in both the WABbite and DBXian capitals.

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, speaking today in New York, refused to commit the Blue Helmets until some kind of preliminary settlement could be reached. From this humble reporter's viewpoint, it looks like we're in for a long and bloody war.

This is Polynikes for the BBC, embedded with the 5th WAB New Kingdom Egyptian Division, on the outskirts of The Miniatures Page.

Capt John Miller26 Aug 2003 4:29 a.m. PST

This report just in from Capt John Miller, leader of the UN independent observation team here in Ancientland.

The conflict between the WABbites and the DBxites could come to a critical mass. With over 150 posts so far on this thread, neither side has been able to gain any significant advantage. Losses to both sides has been tremendous. It must be said that no innocent bystanders have been harmed as we have observes so far. However, this does not mean that it won't happen.

Recommendation to the Security Council:

Our team recommends that a peacekeeping force be sent to Ancientland to protect the civilians. Said peacekeeping force should consist of the following:

ARMATIans, TACTICAns, STRATEGOSians, and, of course, an American contingent.

Report submitted 26-8-2003

End of Report

teenage visigoth26 Aug 2003 7:14 a.m. PST

'Let me know when this is all over so I can come and bayonet the wounded and go through their pockets'.

-Quote attributed to badmash sean, guerilla spokesman.

RockyRusso26 Aug 2003 8:51 a.m. PST

Hi

I don't play DBX, WRG, WAB, Tactica(or variants), or, in fact, ANY of the alternatives mentioned.
The only people who get in my face about what I MUST play are...Guesses?

R

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