In addition to playing some DBA matched pairs Joel and I managed five DBA 3.0 games over the weekend. It was Joel’s first experience of DBA 3.0 and my first for a while. Each game used a limited play-test version that Phil Barker has released to a group of 30 people for testing and comment. Our first games over the long weekend pitted Carthaginians against Gauls. This was followed the following day by two Successor encounters and then, after another couple of days, two further games involving Marian Romans and Gauls.
Now, if you believe some commentators DBA 3.0 can be likened to the end of the world and this latest version will destroy a game system that is widely played and enjoyed. I’m afraid I don’t hold this view. I think it is fair to say that my son also doesn’t hold to this view. Some of our observations can be summarised as follows.
Firstly, the terrain system and especially the placement of terrain is a significant improvement on DBA 2.2. Battlefields are not as stylised and can not be customised as easily as they are in DBA 2.2.
The Threat Zone “TZ” was a point of much discussion. We believed the current version, which is sometimes referred to as being like an x-ray as stands do not block the TZ, is superior to that in DBA 2.2. In our games stands were far more constrained and were not freely shuffling left and right. As a result more consideration was given to reserves and the distance from the main line.
Light infantry overlaps, or the lack of them, worked very well and we found light troops being deployed in front of a heavy infantry line. In DBA 2.2 they were found behind the line or lurking in bad going far from the centre of the table.
We discussed at length how elephants are deployed in DBA and how this compares to their historical deployment. In particular how in several successor battles they were in front of the heavy infantry line along with light infantry. We both feel DBA 2.2 models elephants poorly. Joel felt that perhaps the compulsory elephant pursuit helps model them being in front of a main battle line. This aside elephant interactions have generally improved due to the pursuit move but also to the change in factors and outcomes.
Anyway, an interesting experience and I look forward to playing more DBA 3.0 test games. Even better the sky has not fallen, despite what some may indicate…