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DBM 3.1 - worth a look

February 27, 2005 8:26 PM - Posted by Alan - Category: Rulesets

Now, I know that DBM has many critics in the gaming group around Zemst, Leuven and Brussels, but I have to confess that I still enjoy it. For me, it’s like playing chess with toys soldiers. A really interesting challenge, where good play within the rules system will be rewarded by good results. Luck of course is a factor, and can swing games, particulary of course between reasonably matched players.

One of the criticisms of DBM is that certain army types are disfavoured by the rules, and most notoriously the Romans and Byzantines. I won’t weary everyone with this debate, but I do want to report that the latest amendments to the rules will help out the beleaguered ranks of legionaries and other hard-done by outfits.

Version 3.1 of the rules redresses some of the imbalances caused by version 3, which gave a helping hand to armies of massed ranks of irregular Barbarians. There are some very interesting innovations, which reduce the power of skirmishers and really help out massed ranks of regular infantry.

I won’t bore you with the detail.

Graham and I tried it out, with his favourite army, the dreaded ‘Early Hu’ ( a sort of Scythian type outfit with support from Chinese warbands) against my ‘Sciri’ (Ostrogoths helped out by renegade Dacians and Huns). Both armies are a tad cheesy in design, but both are great fun to play. I’m sad for my bank account that our old gaming friend, Xavier from Barcelona, did not succeed in purchasing this army at Christmas, which was the plan. But very happy for my wargaming. My Gothic knights and Dacian warband are a good match for the Hu masses, and in a cracking game, which could easily have gone either way, my brave Kinghts cracked Graham’s warbands and archers to score a glorious, if close, victory. the new rules had some effect. Our troops are classified as ‘fast’, ie are more mobile but a little fragile. In the new rules they are even more fragile and we indeed found them dying off in bulk. Significantly, it was much harder for GW than usual to skirmish me out of the game, which is clearly a major improvement in the DBM world.

Ordinary Warband (Saxons, Goths, etc) also get a huge helping hand in the new rules, and this will have an interesting impact.

Watch this space for more news.

Comments on this entry

Is DBM 3.1 based on DBMM, the paradigm shift inducing rules Phil Barker has under development?

Otherwise, it looks like DBM 3.1 might induce a shift of its own: more power to warbands (huzzah!) and less to skirmishers. This will change army selections across the board, I think.

February 28, 2005 9:26 AM - Posted by Robartes

No, DBMM is a rather bigger change to the system. This is more the usual changes to factors and the balance of the game. Actually, it’s one of the good things about DBM, in the sense that the authors do take an interest in perfecting the rules.

February 28, 2005 9:26 PM - Posted by Alan

Hmmm. I had a look at the amendments and I have to say it had the opposite effect on me, it was a complete turn off. I know that I am not a regular DBM player but the thought of investing all that time and effort into splicing a very large amount of text into the very small and closely written and typed rule book,(an electronic version would be the easiest solution) and then learning it all was just too much for me. So I shall carry on playing DBA where things are a little more forgiving and look for another rule set for big battles. Oh and WAB too in 28mm. Warmaster ancients is due out in April. Since I have enjoyed the BlitzKriegCommander variant, and the original rules I think I shall start there. Both of these sets were intuitive to learn.

March 2, 2005 5:32 PM - Posted by Graham K