Help support TMP


"What happened to the DBx Revolution?" Topic


De Bellis Magistrorum Militum

47 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.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the De Bellis Magistrorum Militum Rules Board

Back to the De Bellis Multitudinis Rules Board

Back to the Horse, Foot and Guns Rules Board

Back to the De Bellis Velitum Rules Board

Back to the Hordes of the Things Rules Board

Back to the De Bellis Renationis Rules Board

Back to the De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) Rules Board


Action Log

07 Jan 2017 6:31 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to De Bellis Renationis board
  • Crossposted to Hordes of the Things board
  • Crossposted to De Bellis Velitum board
  • Crossposted to Horse, Foot and Guns board
  • Crossposted to De Bellis Multitudinis board
  • Crossposted to De Bellis Magistrorum Militum board


285 hits since 7 Jan 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian10 Nov 2016 10:32 p.m. PST

When DBA came out, it was hailed as a brave new direction in game design.

When DBM came out, it became the standard for tournament gaming around the world.

So… what happened? Why don't WRG rulesets dominate the hobby today? Was it an issue of substance, or packaging?

And if WRG rulesets are not dominant any more, why hasn't something else taken the place that WRG once held?

Was the hobby a better place when "everyone" played DBM?

Personal logo Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2016 10:48 p.m. PST

DBA was great on it's own. DBM pushed it too far. DBMM tried to fix it, but distribution and availability allowed a lot of other contenders to get in the door. In the end, WRG succumbed to the one pressure it could not control: itself.

GarrisonMiniatures Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member10 Nov 2016 10:57 p.m. PST

Wargaming is a mass of individuals and has never had a single unambiguous set of rules unifying every period and used by every club/individual. It isn't like chess where everything is 'fixed'.

So people always had their own interpretations or local rules – I do – and would pick and choose the elements they wanted from DBA and others. 'Elements' are one example – I used the word unconciously – and were adopted by GW for their Epic figures, for instance.

GW, as an example, was more about individuals than units, always had their own systems, though these borrowed heavily from other systems. Likewise, other companies would introduce whole systems including figures and rule sets. No standardisation there. In fact, lots of gamers never moved over to DBX from earlier WRG rulesets.

Add to that the word 'fashion' – DBA fell out of fashion as people introduced rules that were more fashionable, WRG/DBA basically closed shop and stopped producing new updates and books… they just got left behind.

I still use 'versions' of DBX, but being a solo wargamer these days everything is modified to my wants and I'm still updating lots of figures I've bought in the last few years. Lots of these are based for other systems at the moment.

Mr Elmo11 Nov 2016 4:00 a.m. PST

DBA could be successful if it were presented in a modern style rulebook.

1. Well written rules and explanation bubbles
2. Color glossy pictures

Johnp400011 Nov 2016 4:03 a.m. PST

I always felt that it was 6th edition that was the dominant set, from my memory DBM split the gaming community there was a significant minority that never moved over. I think WAB's rise was due to disgruntled 6th edition players playing it rather than DBM.
Nowadays with the internet, it is unlikely that any rule set would dominate again, as there is so much information available to make informed choices and see what is out there.

arsbelli11 Nov 2016 4:19 a.m. PST

"Was the hobby a better place when 'everyone' played DBM?"

Good grief, no! Variety and choice are good things.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2016 4:35 a.m. PST

I only ever played DBX a few times. It never felt or looked like a "real" Ancients game.
Plus there were situations that never made sense, like the "buttocks of death".
Finally, there were too darn many revisions and editions.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Nov 2016 5:19 a.m. PST

Phil barker's DB work has been hugely original. The importance can be measured by the huge amount of rules that use his ideas. Those ideas are mainly element and outcome simplicity. I my humble opinion Phil is one of the important/influential rule designers of the last 50 years. Phil was writing rules before many gamers were actually born. It is probably impossible to know what the usage of DB is . Mainly because there are probably(who knows) more gamers who play in isolated groups than talk here on tMP or attend conventions.

When DB started there were still relatively few new rules sets released each month. At the present time there are about 12 new ancient rule sets released each year.

Just thoughts


martin

Marcus Brutus11 Nov 2016 6:31 a.m. PST

I agree with Winston. DBA does not even remotely connect with modelling an ancient battle in my experience. It did simplify the mechanics of ancient gaming and I think that legacy continues in other sets. No more keeping track of individual losses and removing single figures from the WRG days. Thank goodness. As gamers age we have less time to game and we need rules that can get an outcome in a reasonable time.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2016 7:10 a.m. PST

Both DBM and DBA were tinkered one tink too far in later editions.

lkmjbc311 Nov 2016 7:20 a.m. PST

It matured.

DBX had an amazing run as the leading ancients game. It dominated for 20 years. It is still widely played… but the market simply matured.

Folks got tired of DBM… Phil took it in another direction… DBMM… which is arguably a better game… but wasn't the direction the community wanted.

Now DBMM is played quite a bit in England/Aus/NZ… but the change to it occurred after quite a few competitors were on the market… thus FOG and now LADG were/are the popular games.

DBA has a different story. Version 3 is quite popular in England/Europe, in Aus., and in NZ. It is also played in the US south, and on the west coast. My own book on Historical Battles for DBA sold quite well… outside the US.

It is not played in the east… This is because the main backers of DBA on the east coast decided to publish their own game. DBA 2.2+ had a short run, though declined quickly. They have resurrected it as "Triumph"… which is really just DBA 2.2++.

So, in reality, they are still playing DBX. In fact, many of the newer Ancient rule sets have DBX in their DNA. LADG certainly does. It is simply a mashup of DBX and Armati (and a pretty good one at that).

So, the revolution DBX sparked is still continuing. The game is still being played… and its children are healthy and growing.

Not to be ghoulish… but I think that DBMM and DBA will probably be redone as full color glossy rule sets sometime in the future. Phil is very much "old school" with his marketing and presentation. When he passes the torch on to others, you will see a presentation that better fits the market of today.

Just my thoughts…

Joe Collins

lkmjbc311 Nov 2016 7:27 a.m. PST

Winston Smith…
3 or 4 editions for DBA in 20+ years…
You have a different opinion of too many than I.

As to not looking like an ancient or medieval battle…

Perhaps this book will change your mind…
link

I can assure you… these look like ancient and medieval battles… at least in the way I envision them.

Joe Collins

Thomas Thomas Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2016 8:14 a.m. PST

Mr. Barker's ideas and rules are still dominant just scattered a bit.

DBA, DBM, DBMM all have active communities and when all those players are added together they dominate the ancient/medieval market.

The French game is a derivative of the DBX model and clearly the product of Mr. Barker's great breakthrough in game mechanics – so its players too should be added in.

DBX remains the dominant model simply because it is far and away the best simulation of ancient and medieval battle anyone has come up with (why I play) and makes a cracking good game (why most people play).

Ironically the most played alternative model is the old WRG1-7th edition (now called Warrior) – also designed by Mr. Barker. Its DBA Darn Barker Again! (This is a family site).

We should also mention the old Warhammer model somewhat morphed into Black Powder/Kings of War. Combinded they too have a considerable following. This is largely due to catering to 25mm something which the DB model has oddly failed to do. One of the many many marketing mistakes that plague DBX – which despite terrible marketing still succeeds.

DBX success does prove that quality can succeed even when marketing fails but I suspect this is not a lesson of history to apply in the future.

TomT

Delbruck11 Nov 2016 8:27 a.m. PST

The French game is a derivative of the DBX model and clearly the product of Mr. Barker's great breakthrough in game mechanics – so its players too should be added in.

Clearly ADLG is a DBx spin off. And in my personal opinion is closer to what DBM(M) should have been.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Nov 2016 8:36 a.m. PST

Thank goodness, no. If DBM had been the first game I'd played I'd have chosen another hobby.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2016 8:37 a.m. PST

DBX failed because there WERE too many revisions.
DBM was a joke because not only were there many revisions, but endless revision and Amendment sheets to what was described in the preface as " the most heavily Play tested rules in history" a week after publication.
There were published 2, 2.1, 2.2 etc.

Every time somebody whined that Late Early Slobbovians never win as much as they should, a new revision came out to rectify that.
Which to be fair describes most other Ancients rules. Cough cough Warrior.
WRG 7th etc.

I have completely washed my hands of Ancients. The only figures I have left are appropriate figures for sedan chair races.

madaxeman11 Nov 2016 9:41 a.m. PST

By my calculations there are probably a shade over 500 individuals in the UK who have entered at least one "ancients" event over the past 12 months.

Based on the data I can find, around 60-70% of them entered events to play one or another of the DBx-based rulesets (DBA, DBM, DBMM, L'Art de la Guerre) and a further 20% or so were playing rulesets that are using DBx basing conventions, DBx-style near-zero record keeping and DBx-style "no single figure casualty removal". So, DBx-influenced games.

If that's a failure, 20+ years after DBA first came out, I'm really not sure what you think success should look like.

Personal logo Battle Cry Bill Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2016 9:46 a.m. PST

The editor has put forth a number of interesting questions with all types of possible permutations. I will just comment on one aspect. I find it hard to separate discussions of the popularity of ancient rules sets from the tournament form of gaming. It is fair to say that of all the types of wargaming, only ancients with DBx and other competing rules sets has come close to the GW tournament world in terms of scope and size and market impact. DBx has its own fantasy version in HoTT. FoW has taken the GW tournament model to WW2 and beyond. (And a lot of ancient gamers have left that genre for FoW.)

This is a whole different world from the rest of wargaming. Public tournaments are easier to put on in some ways than other games. When you put on a tournament as a GM, if people bring all their own stuff, it can be a lot less work and you only have the issue of managing the tournament. (Granted the organizers often provide terrain and armies to borrow, not to mention being judge and jury, so no disrespect meant.) There is a buzz with others in the build up and the collecting that doesn't exist in the ACW gaming world as an example. In the model normal wargaming model there is usually an individual or a club put on a game by writing/ learning the rules, collecting the figures, etc.

After helping coach a chess team, I decided to investigate the tournament gaming scene and the jury is still out for me. I like it a lot of it more than I thought I would, but I have no desire to get into the serious competitive aspects. The non-historical match-ups are still an issue for me. C&C Ancients approach of ignoring balance across history makes the most sense to me. I don't like complex army lists either. I'd rather lose a thousand times than spend 2 minutes trying to optimize an army, even if you give me a spreadsheet. I got that out of my system coaching kids sports.

If Phil Barker did start a lot of this I am fine giving him credit. But it seems like there have been a lot of other people working on modeling ancient warfare. I really like the Society of Ancients and the work that they do. And I like a lot of the DBA model as a game and as a simulation. All games require abstraction and I find I can live easily with those in DBA.

Anyway, that is where I am at. Winston, what would bring you back to gaming ancients and what would that look like? Since I am committed to bringing back the Thistle & Rose ancient, dark age and medieval 15mm figure line to the market next year, I am very interested in your answer. I have to admit that wanting to play games with these figures is part of what pushed me into trying all these ancient games.

Bill

mashrewba Inactive Member11 Nov 2016 10:17 a.m. PST

One rule to rule them all -Hordes of the Things.

Khusrau11 Nov 2016 11:53 a.m. PST

I think Winston is re-writing history to suit his prejudices. DBM was revolutionary in it's time, and had 13 years of dominance that seems unlikely to be bettered any time soon. Not only in the anglo-sphere, but in France, Germany, Spain and Italy, Sweden and Switzerland. You could get a standard game in virtually every club from New Zealand to New York.

The claim about most extensively play-tested was almost certainly true at the time. But no amount of play-testing is going to find all the kinks that 500 competition players will encounter in a year. Amend, rinse and repeat.

We are still waiting to see any set with the same longevity and broad appeal worldwide.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2016 1:05 p.m. PST

So, Khusrau. Are you saying that my experiences with DBX are invalid, simply because they are mine?
What does "world wide popularity" have to do with the fact that I kept buying (foolishly) the newest published editions AND the army lists AND was disappointed with the fact that they were very quickly thrown under the bus?

Plus, I found that every time I tried to play it the results looked silly and clunky. My experiences are invalid? I have to bow to world opinion and don't have a right to dissent?

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2016 1:35 p.m. PST

It is difficult for a revolution to continue for over 25 years. DBA set the stage for most ancient games that came later and have since passed. DBA is still in the UK; there's quite a number of tournaments, likewise in Australia New Zealand other parts of Europe, the Midwest of the USA, the south of the USA the west of the USA. The only place that It has slowed down is in the big eastern conventions, and then to a look-alike, la art de la guerre. Warhammer ancients was supposed to be the replacement, it is gone, field of glory likewise. There are lots of new games cropping up, looking for their niche. Maybe some will catch on. Everybody likes to try something new .

I really don't care what other people play. My local club plays DBA every few weeks as big giant battles, I don't really care for the tournament scene anyway. We enjoy ourselves, what more can I ask of a set of rules

David Smith Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2016 3:09 p.m. PST

Agree with Madaxeman. Mr Barker is the 'Steve Jobs' of ancient/medieval wargaming. I would also suggest that Arty Conliffe was as inovative and creative, although, unfortunately, shorter lived. I think the various area gaming systems are another way forward [To the Strongest, Command and Colors], dispensing with the most cumbersome and complicated parts of all the systems before it, which is moving the units/elements.

Timotheous11 Nov 2016 4:55 p.m. PST

A shame that the Northeast crowd has gone their own way with DBA 2.2+/Triumph. Not saying they can't do what they want; it's a free country after all. But in the heyday of DBA in the late 90's-early 2000's, there was so much creativity from the WADBAG/Washington Grand Company group and others to add so much to the experience. Since they dominate at Historicon, I have less incentive to go.

I'm just glad that ThomasT and Joe Collins have taken on the task of promoting DBA 3.0 in the US. I intend to be at Siege of Augusta to participate in keeping 3.0 growing!

Temporary like Achilles Inactive Member11 Nov 2016 5:06 p.m. PST

WRG (and Phil Barker in particular) has been a huge part of making ancients gaming (especially 15mm gaming) popular and enduring. Nothing lasts forever, but most currently played ancients rules stand on the shoulders of DBx in some way.

These DBx 'successor' rules still dominate 15mm ancients gaming now.

Cheers,
Aaron

Lucius11 Nov 2016 7:46 p.m. PST

WRG ossified ancients for two decades. DBA had a few good ideas. Ancients ossified again.

Tactica was the real trail blazer. Love it or hate it, it blew up the WRG monopoly, and gave other games room to grow.

Tarty2Ts Inactive Member11 Nov 2016 8:13 p.m. PST

WRG had a good run. Arguably because there was no competition ?.. yes.. maybe. Not taking anything away from Phil's efforts but I doubt very much there will ever be anything with that sort of dominance again. He was a trail blazer and deserves recognition for that and being good shoulders for rule sets that have come through since. His army lists are exceptional and set the benchmark …still.

arsbelli12 Nov 2016 5:58 a.m. PST

Nothing lasts forever, but most currently played ancients rules stand on the shoulders of DBx in some way.

Well, some of them clearly do, and some others have different pedigrees altogether. There is no doubt that Phil Barker has been a tremendous influence in Ancients wargaming, both for good and for ill.

On the other hand, of the Ancients mass battle rulesets I personally have most enjoyed playing:

Legion (1976), by Al Margolis
Tactica (1989), by Arty Conliffe
Archon (1996), by Bob Jones
Hail Caesar (2011), by Rick Priestley

None of those listed above derive in any way from DBx, whose mechanics and gameplay do absolutely nothing for me. If DBx rules were the only options available, I would simply not have any interest in Ancients wargaming.

Other popular Ancients mass battle rule sets with non-DBx pedigrees include:

Armati
Warhammer Ancient Battles
Warmaster Ancients
Lost Battles
War & Conquest

I suspect that the upcoming Swordpoint ruleset by Gripping Beast will also prove to be quite popular, but naturally only time will tell.

Vive la différence!

Drusilla199812 Nov 2016 6:16 a.m. PST

The DBX system, has been and still is the standard for competitive ancients gaming. I played DBM for over ten years and to me, it was the best game, for representing an ancients battle. Of course, that is only my opinion. I have now gone over to DBMM and to me, it has taken a step towards an even better gaming experience.

I love competitions, but my real desire, is to play a game, which gives a feel of the time period and what we perceive to be a realistic battle. DBMM, by far, does that the best.

Lou

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2016 6:25 a.m. PST

While the mechanics were highly innovative, DBX always felt like doing math/geometry homework, played like a training session for advanded OCD and thrived on the tournament circuit, leading to Egyptian copper spears being able to take on late Medieval troops in plate or Hussites going up against Polynesians.

I remember my first game many, many years ago where I tried to charge my cavalry at the enemy and was told this didn't work … That was my very first "hold on" moment, followed near the end by one of my units being pushed back and if weren't for a difference of two milimeters my strongest unit was wiped out.

I don't really have a bone against DBX, I can appreciate the thought and innovation that went into it, but it's only one step up from earlier games, new rules and new ideas have made great headway in making things a bit more fun and interesting.

aynsley683 Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2016 7:50 a.m. PST

At the very least DBx standardised basing to a certain extent, because if you want to attract those players you can't make them rebase stuff to play your rule set.

As FOG kept the basing and ADLG now ( which has some DBx DNA in there ) or even the new Triumph set you can easiely get started or play your preferred DBx game ( DBM, MM or DBA) and still give them a go. So the revolution still has had an effect on the hobby that won't be going away anytime soon.

madaxeman12 Nov 2016 8:58 a.m. PST

The Life of Brian The Wargamer…

FRANCIS:
We're gettin' in through the underground heating system here, up through into the main audience chamber here, and Phils's wife's Sue's bedroom is here. Having grabbed his wife, we inform Phil that she is in our custody and forthwith issue our demands. Any questions?
COMMANDO XERXES:
What exactly are the demands?
REG:
We're giving Phil two days to dismantle the entire apparatus of the DBx Rulesets hegemony over the entire international World of Wargaming, and if he doesn't agree immediately, we execute her.
MATTHIAS:
Cut her head off?
FRANCIS:
Cut all her bits off. Send 'em back on the hour every hour. Show them we're not to be trifled with.
REG:
And of course, we point out that they bear full responsibility when we chop her up, and that we shall not submit to blackmail!
COMMANDOS:
No blackmail!
REG:
Wargames Research Group have bled us white, the bastards. They've taken everything we had, and not just from us, from our fathers, and from our fathers' fathers.
LORETTA:
And from our fathers' fathers' fathers.
REG:
Yeah.
LORETTA:
And from our fathers' fathers' fathers' fathers.
REG:
Yeah. All right, Stan. Don't labour the point. And what have their DBx based rulesets ever given us in return?!
XERXES:
Army Lists?
REG:
What?
XERXES:
Army Lists. Properly researched lists for many hundreds of previously obscure armies
REG:
Oh. Yeah, yeah. They did give us that. Uh, that's true. Yeah.


COMMANDO #3:
And The 40mm wide Element.
LORETTA:
Oh, yeah, The 40mm wide Element, Reg. Remember what a hassle it was with different basing for all sorts of sets or rules?
REG:
Yeah. All right. I'll grant you Army Lists and The 40mm wide Element are two things that the DBx based rulesets have done.
MATTHIAS:
And troops types based on relative effectiveness, not weaponry?
REG:
Well, yeah. Obviously the concept of troop types based on relative effectiveness not weaponry. I mean, troops classifications based on relative effectiveness, not weaponry goes without saying, don't it How ridiculous now would it be to write a set of rules where weaponry rather than relative effectiveness against historical opponents was part of the system anyway? But apart from The Element, Army Lists, and troop classifications based on relative effectiveness not weaponry --
COMMANDO:
No more tedious morale tests.
XERXES:
Rules that don't need a QR sheet to play them.
COMMANDOS:
Huh? Heh? Huh…
COMMANDO #2:
The end of single figure casualty removal?
COMMANDOS:
Ohh…
REG:
Yeah, yeah. All right. Fair enough.
COMMANDO #1:
And the same rules played all over the world.
COMMANDOS:
Oh, yes. Yeah…
FRANCIS:
Yeah. Yeah, that's something we'd really miss, Reg, if the same rules were not played all over the world. Huh.
LORETTA:
And it's now perfectly reasonable to publish a set of rules that contain command and control mechanics that mean your troops don't do exactly what you want all the time now, Reg.
FRANCIS:
Yeah, the introduction of DBx's "pip dice" rules certainly killed off the "Wargamer as Omniscient God" syndrome. Let's face it, those pip dice were the only mechanism that could kill off a cliché like that.
COMMANDOS:
Hehh, heh. Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.
REG:
All right, but apart from the Army Lists, the 40mm Element, troops types based on relative effectiveness, not weaponry, dice based command and control, the same rules played all over the world, no more tedious morale tests, the QR sheet, and the end of single figure casualty removal, what have the DBx rulesets ever done for us?
XERXES:
Given us an excuse to buy more figures.
REG:
Oh. More Figures? Shut up!

[bam bam bam bam bam bam bam]
[bam bam bam bam bam]

Personal logo gaiusrabirius Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2016 10:27 a.m. PST

This comment is not directly responsive to the question; but I want to say that DBA 3.0 is a very fine achievement and worth a good look.

Timotheous12 Nov 2016 11:49 a.m. PST

Indeed it is! I played every edition of DBA since 1.0, played in tournaments in California for years, ignored the detailed BUA rules in 2.0-2.2 like a lot of players. I was skeptical of using base widths for movement, and a little worried about whether the new game would still have the same appeal for me after so many changes.

Having bought and played 3.0, I can heartily agree that De Bellis Antiquitatis 3.0 is still a triumph of simplicity and elegance in wargames. Not to everyone's liking, but definitely on my short list of best games ever.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2016 12:53 p.m. PST

Original question is a false premise – respectfully.

DBA is 26 years old, HoTT and other variants such as DBR not much younger.

And it is still widely played AND still in print.

Can't say that for many other rulesets. I can't think of one right now – someone will remind me – but that doesn't take anything away from DBA et al being very successful in wargame rule terms. IMHO.

Yesthatphil Inactive Member12 Nov 2016 1:07 p.m. PST

Wargames Development came along and challenged the wargaming world to rethink the wargame. DBA was Barker's response. Its legacy has been colossal, but the move to rethink has spawned a whole subculture of orginal rules writing.

And along came Desk Top Publishing, easy file sharing cheap printing and Print on Demand,

Now everyone can be their own publisher and any rules set can flourish if the rules are good enough and the author is adept in social media.

But the Barker legacy remain dominant and nearly everyone uses the WRG basing system.

Phil

Ivan DBA12 Nov 2016 10:26 p.m. PST

Just played in an 8 player DBA tournament. I saw no other ancients games being played at the con, unless you count gladiators and Circus Maximus.

Piyan Glupak Inactive Member12 Nov 2016 11:28 p.m. PST

I really enjoy DBA (the earlier versions). Many years ago I tried DBR, and found that it gave much better games than the rules that I had been using for the Great Rebellion. I also love Hordes of the Things, and use a non-WRG/Phil Barker derivative for the Napoleonic Wars.

On the other hand, I do think that it would be a bit much to expect everyone to want to play in the same way, with the same rules, with the same figures sizes and the same periods. Wargaming is a hobby. People should wargame in the way that suits them.

Dave Crowell13 Nov 2016 6:36 a.m. PST

What happened to the DBx Revolution? It became mainstream.

My local club (southeastern Ontario) play DBA regularly.
DBx basing is widely used in Ancients gaming.

It's just that after a quarter century it doesn't seem revolutionary or "new" anymore.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2016 12:50 p.m. PST

To be historically accurate, DBX used WRG basing. grin

evilgong13 Nov 2016 1:58 p.m. PST

The last comp game I played was with DBA, the last club game was BB-DBA and the next comp I play will be DBA, so I guess I'm a die-hard revolutionary.

To Bill's question, I think DBx needed to push out the next rules sets to go beyond 1700 rather than go back and do new editions of DBM, all those years ago.

(PB claims to have three sets to go from 1700 to 1914-ish ready in draft form)

While committed revolutionaries such as me have no problem with the idiosyncratic DBx presentation style the reality is many people do – and the spread of professional quality desk top publishing packages means everybody can knock up a document that has high production values and ease of use.

If you're offering something for sale by a professional or semi-professional outfit you really need to make it a higher quality than the punter can do in their spare time at home. And probably back it up with you-tube clips and similar.

DBm did get stale for many of us who played it non-stop for many years, it probably needed a set of scenario books of historical or hypothetical actions to mix up with standard equal-points comp style games.

(Yes we did some ourselves, but it would have been nice to draw on the efforts of others when time presses).

DBmm's inclusion of stratagems is a great idea, sadly the extra chrome of that set makes it hard to love.

As others have mentioned the ease of getting a product to market means many are trying and each set will have something to appeal to a segment of the playing market. They will spring up and decline like desert flowers, DBx will probably stay a major feature in the market until / unless something has a huge break through.

David F Brown

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2016 8:40 p.m. PST

Phil Barker is a unique author, not a business man. He seems to have no interest in promoting his rules. He presents it in the most sparse way possible (although 3 is a much better presentation but still will not catch the eye of any new person based on presentation). He does not care if people play it or not. He did not even worry about some people perhaps violating his copyright. He seems not to care how people interpret the rules, even refusing to answer questions as he thinks the rules are self explanatory -- they say what the mean and they mean what they say. Phil writes them and then move on to something else, not seeming to be interested in the commercial aspect of the work. The revolution was started by Phil writing the rules, but carried out by the players and so continues. That is why it is difficult to get new people involved unless they are converted by the faithful.

The rules are completely dependent on the promotion by the players themselves. Many are still DBA Evangelists to the cause.

I think Dave Crowell's comment sums it up --" DBx became mainstream" and self generating.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2016 8:45 p.m. PST

By the way, regarding "Was the hobby a better place when "everyone" played DBM?

There was never a time when everybody played DBM. There was a time when many people played DBA, but even then there were still several versions of WRG ancients at tournaments. When DBM came out, there was a split between those who played DBA and DBM -- very few doing both. Then Warhammer Ancients arrived, and then Warrior, and then FOG, then DBMM. Now there is a large majority who play LADLG, but not "everyone"

Yesthatphil Inactive Member14 Nov 2016 1:47 p.m. PST

Now there is a large majority who play LADLG, but not "everyone"

Hardly a majority, I think … large or otherwise … (that's the whole point) …

And DBM didn't split DBA … certainly not in the UK … at that time many UK ancients players played 7th or 6th edition for big games and plenty of those players played DBA for quickies. DBM took most of the players from both 7th and 6th. DBA, as far as I could see, was totally unaffected by DBM's arrival and huge (200 player tournament style huge) success.

But, details aside, was it better? No … diversity is good and no one game was ever going to fit every requirement.

Phil

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2016 5:07 a.m. PST

LADLG ? Genuinely, can't think of what rule set this is.

HarryHotspurEsq17 Nov 2016 5:27 a.m. PST

@20thmaine:

l'Art de la Guerre.

A really nice rule set drawing inspiration from DBX and Armati.

Thomas Thomas Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2016 1:34 p.m. PST

Great wisdom from Bob. (But what else is new.)

I'm trying to create a vehicle in A Game of Fire and Ice to allow new comers to learn the basics of DBX without a devoted instructor.

In addition I'm an engaged author and do want to help players (old and new) enjoy DBX.

TomT

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.