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"HoTT, how similar to DBx?" Topic

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA)

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08 Jan 2017 12:17 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Comments or corrections?

Lord Hypnogogue11 Jan 2006 12:17 p.m. PST

Aside from magic and such are these very similar?

Farstar11 Jan 2006 12:24 p.m. PST

Core mechanics are the same. Rules surrounding troop types etc. are different.

Heritage Studios11 Jan 2006 12:38 p.m. PST

It is more of the DBA fantasy variant with simple resolutions based off the 12 elements, but there are ways to do it larger like the Double DBA or even DBM.

As for a major difference, HOTT is very "readable" and easy to understand. It doesnt have "concrete" army rules as there are guidleines to make your own, but does include some fantasy, historic and "odd" army lists to use a guidlines. Very simple and fun game.

There has been a huge run of it in the US lately, I know as I wiped my stock out. I am waiting on my restock as are many people so it might be a little hard to get right now.

Old Digger11 Jan 2006 12:39 p.m. PST

There are some subtle differences, but for the most part Farstar is correct.

HOTT is a better game IMHO. Although K'nigits are underpowered. Again, IMHO.


Personal logo PzGeneral Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2006 12:58 p.m. PST

Let me begin with, I've never played DBx. But I've played HOTT a number of times. So, IMHO, if you have HOTT, why do you need DBx? True, HOTT is a fantasy game, but, I was first introduced to it at ORIGINS 2004. My gaming buddy and myself played in a marathon 4 game session, none of which was a fantasy battle. We did:

*Charge of the Light Brigade
*War of 1812
*World War I
*World War II

I thought HOTT worked very well for the first 2 scenarios, but not so well in the World War games…..My point is, I find it to be such a versatile system, any time period is possible. So, since anything is possible, why play DBx? True, some might say because we WANT the "Concrete" army guidlines, but I think those people would also rather have a more complex (ie. realistic) system to begin with.

Just my 2 copper pieces,


Mirosav11 Jan 2006 1:01 p.m. PST

One of the advantages of HOTT over the other DBx rules is the increased number of diagrams to illustrate the rules.

Eric Landes11 Jan 2006 1:03 p.m. PST


When you're playing HoTT, you ARE playing DBx. Insofar that "DBx" refers to the family of games origniating from DBA. The name might be different, but DBA is more similar to HoTT than DBM.

And if you really want to see what can be done with DBA/HoTT, check out old Wargames Illustrated issues starting in mid-1993 or so. Nearly every issue for quite a while had a DBA variant/scenario/campaign of some sort.

Lord Hypnogogue11 Jan 2006 1:20 p.m. PST

The problem is, thanks to the use of certain chemicals in my youth, I have a little trouble learning.
No one in my gaming group plays HoTT yet, but they play DBA and DBM.
I tend to learn a bit better by actually playing with someone who knows what they are doing.
I'm hoping that by playing DBx, I'll have a better frame of reference for HoTT.

lugal hdan11 Jan 2006 2:26 p.m. PST

HOTT is almost identical to DBA in basic rules and feel, but with different troop types and the ability to spend PIPs to cast spells.

(There's no "spell list" by the way, you just try to "bespell" someone as an attack.)

The army lists are completely different in that HOTT is a points based system and is very free form. There's no reason you can't play HOTT with DBA armies, though since there aren't any psiloi you'll have to make some creative adjustments.

The things I Like Better About HOTT:

Only the defender gets a Stronghold, which defends itself and is very tough. If you lose it, you lose the game.

Lurker troops can actually ambush people.

Hordes are "immortal", and can be brought back on the board for 1 PIP. That makes them truly "horde like".

The "fantastical" troops types are very well chosen for balance against each other, and can be used (with some creativity) for a wide variety of non-fantasy purposes (see the various WWI and WWII interpretations around).

Things I Don't Like About HOTT:

No pikes, psiloi, light horse or war wagons.

Shooters ("bow") are very effective. Actually, I do like this, but it makes historical armies a little odd.

Behemoths are too easy to move. (DBA Elephans need 2 PIPS, HOTT Behemoths don't.)

platypus01au11 Jan 2006 5:18 p.m. PST

So the take home message is…

Yes, they are similar. But they have some differences in the detail.


Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2006 8:46 p.m. PST

First came DBA, then Phil and Richard did HOTT which was pretty much like DBA with fantasy things (magicians with 1 spell option, flyers, Paladins, Air Boats, Gods, Dragons) then Phil revised DBA but not HOTT, (in the meantime DBM came and was revised a few time) so a gap between the two started, then DBA 2 came out, now there were many differences — If someone knew DBA 2, he could not just take up HOTT too many differences. Then Richard noticed that there were such big differences and began a HOTT 2 revision. Sadly for those who want to play both DBA and HOTT, he did not just add the fantasy aspects to the DBA2 but made a very different game (with still many similar aspects). Since he preferred DBM, he used that as a common reference point.

For example, if an element is within a base width distance of more than one enemy, in DBA, the element can attack any of the elements, but in HOTT it can attack only one, the one reached with shortest move (as in DBM). It is these subtle differenes that makes it a pain to switch back and forth.

I much prefer the mechanics of HOTT. The rules are much more clearly written and there are diagrams. A person can read HOTT and actually play the game with little trouble, not so with DBA. I am working on an ancients game using the HOTT mechanics but the DBA troop types — HOTTA. Like Warmaster Ancients is an ancients version of Warmaster.

Do not try to play HOTT without studying the rules, assuming it is just DBA with different elements. Well, you can if you want to, who am I to say what you can do.

I will be running a HOTT tournament at Cold Wars, providing armies for players, so if you want to learn more about it, drop in.

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