From Italy to Macedonia in an Afternoon

One of the advantages of DBA is the ability to play a series of games in a short amount of time. With each game typically lasting an hour evening games in an otherwise busy week, or perhaps a small gaming events in an afternoon at a club among a number of players, become very pleasant and relaxing exercises. Other situations for DBA games also exist, such as this afternoon where my son and I had four very enjoyable games on a hot summer’s afternoon.


Our first two games involved my recently painted Polybian Romans engaged against his Gallic host. These Romans are true veterans, dating back to version DBA 1.0 and with many games of DBA and then DBM under their belt. However, with the release of DBA 3.0 they have been repainted and over recent weeks have engaged a number of opponents.


Alas, their commanders are of indifferent skill, suffering defeat in equal quantity to victory. Indeed, in today’s games they won and then lost a battle in succession suggesting that the senate must appoint another consul before they can take the field again. At least the manpower of Rome supports the occasional defeat!


Above, the second game where the Romans have massed their cavalry on their left flank and attempt to break the Gallic right flank. The triarii are shown in reserve before they advanced. These games were followed by two Successor encounters. This time between my Asiatic Successor army (Demetrius Poliorcetes) and my son’s Lysmachid Successor. The first engagement found Demetrius reacting to an Lysmachid invasion.


After an initial stand-off, where Lysmachus (right) refused to attack a well-defended enemy, waited until Demetrius (left) was forced to abandon his position and attack. No doubt to stop Lysmachus’ troops from ravaging the province and disrupting the harvest! Unfortuntely Demetrius was soundly defeated for his troubles.


However, in the following campaign season, or in DBA terms the following game, Demetrius assembled a new army and counter-attacked gaining a stunning victory. These two Successors will clearly be continuing their struggles, though other Successors, such as Seleucids, are also known to be preparing armies. Such are the strengths of DBA…

8 thoughts on “From Italy to Macedonia in an Afternoon

  1. Looking good Keith, I finally played my first 3.0 game the other day, the big battle version – very good! More interested in the big battle version myself. Might even end up being the go to rules for Ancients. Like DBMM but without all headaches(!)

    1. Great to hear you have managed a game.

      Interestingly I played a 300 point DBMM on Sunday and followed three days later by the BBDBA game described in the previous post. It was interesting to contrast the two systems in a reasonably short timeframe. It has been a long time since playing a DBMM game.

      There are a number of aspects I really like that are standard in DBMM. Strategems, naval and weather to name a few. There are aspects I am not so keen on, but MM is a good game and improved in 2.0. However, BBDBA seems a reasonable compromise and allows a bigger game. It produces a balance of complexity vs result which may appeal to many. I can see BBDBA becoming a frequent game I play, 3.0 really has improved BBDBA.

      Standard DBA has other advantages, especially being able to play a range of opponents in a relaxed environment and experience different armies. It is far easier to introduce players to this than other rule systems.

      Certainly I tired of playing the same 400 point DBM games with the same armies where people are most focussed on building the “perfect” army and playing competitively. Fortunately people that like that format have migrated to FOG, at least locally.

      Perhaps my preferences are impacted, to some degree, by who I’m actually playing against. Did I just say that…

      1. Ah I missed that other post, cool! Yes both small and big DBA have their merits no doubt, and perhaps I’ll also have to give MM a try sometime. Agreed it has some nice ideas. Thanks Keith! 🙂

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