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De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA)

These fast-play rules allow entire armies to be represented by less than 50 figures. Covers 3000 BC to 1485 AD. The booklet also includes rules for big and giant battles, diagrams, and over 600 army lists. DBA was the first game in the DBx series, which now includes DBM and DBMM (more complex versions of DBA), HOTT (a fantasy version), DBR (a renaissance version), and Horse, Foot, and Guns (1700–1920s).

Phil Barker, Sue Laflin Barker
Wargames Research Group
In Print
24-page, digest-sized booklet
Each figure represents an unstated number of actual combatants. Each army is composed of 12 elements (stands). Ground scale is 1" = 100 paces (when using 15mm figures or smaller; double for 25mm figures). One turn represents 15 minutes. Can be used with 25mm, 15mm, 6mm, or 2mm figures.
The width of the base depends upon the scale of figures being used; the depth depends upon both figure scale and type. The number of figures per base also depends upon the figure's type. For instance, an element of 15mm swordsmen is composed of 4 figures mounted on a 40mm (frontage) x 15mm (depth) base; a 15mm elephant is mounted alone on a 40mm x 40mm base.

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This entry created by Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian on 9 September 1999. Last revised by Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian on 9 January 2017.

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De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA)

Quick play wargame rules with army lists for ancient and medieval battles

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star no star no star no star (7.09)
Total Votes: 82


Richard Bodley Scott was credited as a designer on earlier versions.

First edition is available here (23-page PDF).


Mighty DBX Empires

These campaign rules are based on the Mighty Empires Game produced by Games Workshop and the DBA Campaign system.
Mighty DBX Empires

Unofficial expansion. 22-page PDF

DE BELLIS NAVALIBUS - DBA V.1.1 Naval Extension 3000BC-1485AD

Unofficial variant by Tony Barr.

Napoleonic DBA Rules

Steve Burt's variant rules are archived online.


A variant of the simple DBA rules for use in playing games of the American Revolution.
– designer's listing

New World DBA

For many years I’ve been keen to wargame within the New World. Aztecs and Conquistadorestook my fancy, as did Tupi and Portuguese Bandeira when I discovered them later on. Standard DBA is a poor simulation for this period of warfare but has the advantage of being quick and fun so I wrote my own variant, “New World DBA”.
– website intro


Combines DBA 3.0 with elements of HotT 2.0. It allows you to play both fantasy and historical armies using the same DBA 3.0 mechanisms. Available from Thomas Thomas.