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"DBR" Topic

De Bellis Renationis

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Rich Knapton24 Mar 2010 10:35 a.m. PST

I'm putting together a rule's section on the Renaissance Wargame Society website but I need some help. I want to present what other gamers think about various rules. I thought I would start with DBR. This is not to start a flame war. I
just want to know the good and the bad about DBR. While your at it
could one of you tell me how "condensed" differs from the regular
rules and why it was included.



I seem to have the lists, but not the rules. how this happened I don't know, but It's been like that for a few years.
They seemed okay when I started reading them, but I never got around to playing them, and then everybody switched to WH ECW.

skinkmasterreturns24 Mar 2010 5:30 p.m. PST

Despite having the rules and several armies,I have only played a handful of games. I began to feel bad for my Jacobite Scots when they ran up against even an Inferior force of Scots Government troops. Poor Highlanders stand no chance. However,we did do the battle of the Boyne which was much more balanced,even though the Irish completely trashed the Anglo-Allied force. I think I like playing DBA-RRR more,as I am more used to DBA. That said,I am very eagerly waiting on FOG-R.

Phillius Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Mar 2010 5:45 p.m. PST

Hi Rich, here is my second attempt to respond to your question.

DBR are written with competition style gamer in mind, and do a reasonable job of covering a period of history that could easily be represented as four or five wargaming periods.

At first they seem to reflect the nature of the period very poorly, being focussed on troop type interactions. However, after multiple games it is possible to understand how they represent battles of the time. You must always remember they are an abstraction, and some of that abstraction is not obvious the first time you read them or play them.

If I was playing one of the sub-periods, Italian Wars, TYW, ECW, etc, I would not use them. If I was playing (as I do) in a group with wide and diverse interests, with many different armies, then these rules are well suited.

Hope this helps.


lkmjbc324 Mar 2010 5:51 p.m. PST

I play condensed DBR for Italian Wars. I find it a wonderful rules set. I've done Ravenna, Agnadello, Seminara, and Fornova all with great success. I also modified the rules and am currently doing Guingate, and other 15th century battles (primarily WOR).

Condensed scale allow the replay of even the larger battles of the period. Play is quick and easily picked up by both DBA folks and non-DBA folks. Being element based, one can easily recreate the formations of the period… like the Spanish Colunellas when the shot deployed with the pike or separately.

I haven't found another rule set better..

Joe Collins

The Wargames Room27 Mar 2010 1:17 a.m. PST

I believe DBR is an excellent set of rules which I use for the ECW as well as the wider Renaissance period. While I occasionally play in competitions most games I play use DBR in historic or near historic engagements.

The ability to play in two scales is ideal when trying to model historical battles.

A brief description of DBR can be found here and may be of use to you:

RNSulentic01 Apr 2010 7:40 a.m. PST

I think that 'condensed' was added to mimic DBA and also create a quicker game at lower point values.

It differs in that some troop types have different combat values, and any factors for depth of units are either modified or done away with, depending again on the troop type.

The condensed scale also has some utility in trying to recreate actual battles where Orbats are known--on a managable scale for the gamer.

I have seen some heated discussion on the merits of condensed scale vs normal scale in DBR. Not quite the French Wars of Religion, but close.

madaxeman03 Apr 2010 4:26 a.m. PST

Good – based on familiar DBx mechanisms and basing, focuses on re-creating and simulating outcomes of historical interactions between different troop types, can cover the full Renaissance era

Bad – element-based movement and combat system can mean key Renaissance era "formations" (ie pike and shot) can break up into constituent parts quite/too easily/often, some struggle with the way DBR has added complexity to the core DBA/DBM mechanisms to achieve Renaissance interactions and outcomes.

Condensed Scale – Some combat factors & outcomes tweaked to allow allow troops to fight in shallower (ie one base depth) formations, allowing simulation of larger scale battles.

Stuart MM06 Apr 2010 9:57 a.m. PST

Hello Rich

My thoughts on the matter;

Good; Army lists and basing system.

Bad; Shooting & Combat resolution can take a while to get used to despite making myself a two page rules sheet I often forget to add or subtract things and pike fights can take an age to resolve.

It has its faults but i've yet to find another rules system to match its overall feel.



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