Help support TMP

"Camps - does anyone do away with them in DBA??" Topic

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA)

23 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 don't call someone a Nazi unless they really are a Nazi.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) Rules Board

Areas of Interest

18th Century

Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Top-Rated Ruleset


Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 

Featured Showcase Article

The Amazing Worlds of Grenadier

The fascinating history of one of the hobby's major manufacturers.

Featured Workbench Article

Cleopatra & L'Ocean

Monkey Hanger Fezian's motivation to paint Napoleonic ships returns!

Featured Profile Article

First Look: Black Seas

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian explores the Master & Commander starter set for Black Seas.

Featured Book Review

1,580 hits since 7 Jan 2017
©1994-2022 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Bozkashi Jones06 Nov 2016 7:56 a.m. PST

Okay, second in a series of newbie questions for seasoned DBA players, if I can test your patience some more…

Situation: currently considering whether to base my Bacchus Wars of the Roses 6mm figures on '15mm scale' or '25mm scale' bases. The number of figures isn't really an issue – after experiments with placing figures on the respective bases the choice of 60mm wide bases doesn't require too many more figures as I like a bit of space around the unit to add commander figures, musicians, standard bearers and the like.

The big issue for me is playing area. If I go for 40mm wide bases the suggested playing area is just 24" x 24". If I go for 60mm wide bases this increases to 48" x 48",

Now, my dining table and battlefield is just 30" wide, so I can really get the depth I need. The issue here seems to be the camps; one needs the depth to allow room for them. So my question is does everyone use camps? Most rulesets don't seem to include them so I wondered if it is usual (or even acceptable) to dispense with them.

For clarity; this is a solo project though I will no doubt play with my lad at home.



hagenthedwarf06 Nov 2016 8:12 a.m. PST

I always use them.

lugal hdan06 Nov 2016 8:12 a.m. PST

I use Camps, even on my not-quite-wide-enough table, but I try to make them more wide than deep. In my case, I mostly use them because in the arenas I like to fight (Greeks, Vikings) raiding camps is a feature of battles. I do often put them as far off to one side as I can though, or behind some terrain to help limit access to them.

I don't think there's a problem with not having camps though. If you want to simulate the victory points for sacking a camp, just consider the first enemy element to reach your back edge to be in contact with your camp, and then run the camp fighting as usual.

I've also played games without any camp, and no baggage raiding, and it works fine. In fact, without having to pull off one of your elements to help guard the camp (not required, but camp followers are terrible guards), you have more elements for the battle.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2016 8:26 a.m. PST

Camps are the heart of the army.

Personal logo gaiusrabirius Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2016 8:52 a.m. PST

A related question is the extent of actual use of Built-Up Areas (BUAs) in DBA.

Personal logo timurilank Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2016 9:07 a.m. PST

Several points.

The suggested area is 24"x 24", however you can increase the board size to 30"x 30" for 40mm wide basing. We prefer this size and have found camps are rarely noticed if both sides are deployed 3BW from centre.

Camps need not be an elaborate diorama. We started with a simple strip of poster board, flocked and loose items placed (camp followers, boxes, etc) on our "camps".

As your experience level increases you will eventually find camps a useful lure for an over-eager opponent.

Ivan DBA06 Nov 2016 9:51 a.m. PST

I've never seen DBA played without camps.

I'm confused by your question. Are you worried that the camps will reduce the amount of playing space? They don't have to be very big, so that shouldn't be an issue.

Yesthatphil06 Nov 2016 10:09 a.m. PST

I am happy to leave a camp out of the scenario for a historical battle if it has no part of the action … so the allied camp at Bouvines … the Tudor camp at Bosworth

But for generic games they are essential to keep players mindful of their rear areas and aesthetically part of the army's charm.

In version 3 camps seem far less at risk than in previous versions … so any issues you may have will likely fade if you update.


Bozkashi Jones06 Nov 2016 10:13 a.m. PST

Ivan – Nope, the main thing is that they'll just be a bit close to the front line and so might be too easily plundered – I just worry that games may descend into one of those artificial 'capture the flag' type scenarios which seem to be popular with Warlord Games (I'm not being sniffy here: I quite like their rules, just not their scenarios).

With regards to modelling them I enjoy that part of the hobby, so making them isn't an issue.

steamingdave4706 Nov 2016 10:21 a.m. PST

Definitely need camps, makes you think about protecting flanks and gives Light Cavalry a reason for existence.

YogiBearMinis06 Nov 2016 10:58 a.m. PST

If your gaming surface area is only 30" deep, I would use 15mm basing scheme and measurements (40mm BW) to go along with this. Our group now plays 15mm figures on 25mm-scaled bases (60mm BW) at double the figures per base. We play on 48" x 48" but IMHO a 48" x 36" would be slightly more appropriate.

warhorse06 Nov 2016 11:10 a.m. PST

Just one comment on your query between 40mm vs 60mm bases for your 6mm troops. Be aware that with 40mm, you can get to Big Battle armies with slightly fewer figures and a slightly smaller play area, so that might be a factor? That said, the 60mm frontage gets you access to Impetus, so you are a little more flexible for other systems.

vtsaogames06 Nov 2016 11:23 a.m. PST

Make your camp just big enough to fit one element. Put a toothpick palisade on it, presto. I understand you might not want the huge camps some players like.

Otherwise you miss the joy of looting an enemy camp.

Or the chagrin of seeing enemy cavorting in yours.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2016 11:48 a.m. PST

Make life simple. Play with 40 mm wide basis 2 ft.² board fits on your table used camps they look good.

Using 60 mm wide basis on the battlefield that's only 30 inches deep and wide is weird. You might as well use nine elements then.

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2016 12:30 p.m. PST

I nearly always play with camps (the only exception being specific scenarios that don't have them, and they are pretty rare).

Our group usually ditches BUAs

Bozkashi Jones06 Nov 2016 3:47 p.m. PST

Okey doke…

Bobgnar – nah; it's not that weird. Many of us grew up playing Lance or WRG on a 6' x 4' or 8' x 4' table. Proportionately a 4' x 2'6" table's not that much different. Yes, I could go for 40mm bases but, having just rearranged my figures (again!) on 40mm bases I think I still prefer 60mm bases. Maybe part of the problem is that DBA doesn't have separate command stands? I like the idea of having a command vignette and on a 40mm base there just isn't the room; commanders have to slum it with the troops. I know, particularly in the Wars of the Roses they did just that, but I still like my commanders to stand apart with a little space for their ego.

On all practical levels, though, you and Yogi are right: 40mm bases are the way to go. But I've always preferred aesthetics over practicality, so I may just have to go with 60mm…

With regard to the OP – okay – camps are part of the DBA experience… They do make nice modelling exercises too.

I will have camps!

And for my next stoopid DBA question…

hindsTMP06 Nov 2016 3:51 p.m. PST

And now for a dissenting opinion…

I have played DBA since it first appeared in the US, and have never used on-board camps. Instead, we each designate a section of our rear board edge 2 base widths long, as the camp, using pieces of scotch tape affixed to the side(s) of the terrain board. Thus it must still be defended, and can be attacked. Here's an DBA 1.1 example in 6mm (half-sized bases with 6mm figures, played on a 1-foot-square playing area). The tape marking the 2 camps would be on sides of the terrain board to the left and right of the camera, and thus not visible from this angle:


My main reason is that given the small size of the playing area, an on-map camp interferes with the look of the battle.

Mark H.

Bozkashi Jones06 Nov 2016 4:46 p.m. PST

Dammit Mark! You know how indecisive I am!

So… 20mm bases anyone? I have always loved the idea of the 'travel wargame'.

No – sticking with camps and 60mm bases…


hindsTMP06 Nov 2016 5:08 p.m. PST

The positive way to look at it is this gives you a choice. The game play is pretty much the same either way, so it's mostly a question of visual preferences. Make and base the armies. When you get around to it, make the camps. Then use them, or not, based on your mood, or that of your opponent.

BTW, I favor thin plastic card bases for infantry/cavalry. However, I know you use thicker ones on your 1/6000. Either way, you may be interested in my mounting method:

1. Paint 6mm figures while still on strips, and let dry.
2. Using flush cut nippers, cut off each figure at the feet.
3. Tape bases (card or otherwise) to block of wood, and score base where each figure is to be mounted, for better glue adhesion.
4. Using 5-minute 2-part epoxy (or equivalent), mix a small batch. Dip the feet of figures in glue, and lean up against a folded piece of cardboard, for quick retrieval. Put a small blob of glue at each position on the base.
5. Once glue is tacky, pick up each figure and push feet into glue on base. If you time it correctly, the glue on the feet will merge with the glue on the base, but it will be tacky enough for the figures to remain upright. This takes some practice.
6. Check base visually from different angles before glue hardens.
7. When dry, paint/flock base as desired, which hides the gloss of the glue.


Hobhood407 Nov 2016 11:24 a.m. PST

From a visual/aesthetic point of view I've always thought camps look a bit weird so close together on a small board. Yes, I know the whole thing is a visual abstraction, with 4 figures representing 100s but still I'd like to think the actual camps were further off. I like the idea of 'invisible' camps at the edge of the board.

sillypoint07 Nov 2016 11:58 a.m. PST

I think more ancients games should use camps. Looting and losing camps was a big tick box that you have probably won/lost the battle.

Ivan DBA07 Nov 2016 1:40 p.m. PST

I agree with sillypoint's point…

warhorse07 Nov 2016 4:43 p.m. PST

Eerrrmmm with 60mm bases you use 3 foot square, Bob. Why would you use 30"?

The "overhang" on a 30" table is a mere 3" per side. I use 48" boards on a 40" table all the time. Really isn't a serious issue.

But DBA players are quite serious about their camps. Often the most spectacular piece of the army set.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.