I have just returned from a visit to one of the local wargames clubs today and I found myself reflecting on the popularity of DBA here in Christchurch. It has been around 16 months since DBA 3.0 has been released and I must say one of the really pleasing aspects for me is the adoption of the rules locally. Initially we had very strong interest and rather than fade, as often can be the case with anything new, we have seen consistent growth and interest.
Indeed, we have now reached the point that DBA is being played regularly at both our wargames clubs. So much so it seems to be the only Ancients game that is regularly being seen. The popularity of DBA is such that at one club you almost don’t need to arrange a game prior to the meeting as there is almost always a core of players on hand. Further, these players are a mix of hardened DBA veterans, refugees from other historical rules and players interested in playing Ancients for the first time. This is something I haven’t seen before in Ancients for many years. Ancients here has been fragmented between different rules and scales for longer than I can remember and monopolised by the more competitive players.
It’s also not just old armies being deployed, rather a number of new armies are taking the field. This includes a number of players who have decided to build their first Ancient army as well as others expanding their existing collections. A couple of examples are shown in this posts.
Above for example are a couple of photos of one player’s Classical Indians, his first army and purchased via eBay, engaged against a Roman army finished a couple of months ago. Others include recently painted armies such as the Early Hoplite Greeks and Gauls below. Yet it doesn’t stop there. Further new 15mm armies that spring to mind include Parthians, Camillan Romans, Macedonians, Later Carthaginians, Norse Irish, Italian Condotta and Koreans.
I’m reasonably sure that we are seeing sustained interest in DBA and Ancients locally. The players seem to be enjoying themselves immensely and games are friendly and challenging with a colourful mix of armies.
Perhaps some regular visitors would like to post their thoughts on interest in the period? What has drawn you to DBA? Have you been playing Ancients before or has DBA providing you with your first Ancients experience? Are new armies being built and deployed in your area? I look forward to some comments from readers of this blog.
The team working on the the DBA Frequently Asked Question file have just released an updated version.
This latest version aims to clarify common questions that have been submitted since the last update and that have come up in a number of games. The file can be found in the “Resources” section of this site.
If you are like me many years ago you will remember “The Purple Primer”, or “Ancient Wargaming” by Phil Barker. It along with several other books from the local library provided great inspiration. This evening Sue Laflin-Barker sent an email to a few people advising that her new book “Start Ancient Wargaming Using DBA 3.0” is now available.
Available as paperback with black-and-white illustrations this 196 pages book retails for £14.95. The product description provides a useful overview of what is included…
This book introduces the fascinating subject of ancient wargaming using the latest edition of DBA version 3.0. De Bellis Antiquitatis have become known for the combination of simple game mechanics and playability. The rules are easy to learn, but the finer details of tactics are hard to master. The rules are extensively used for competitions around the world. The book starts by discussing how to choose a period of history and build an wargaming army, then it includes the complete DBA 3.0 rules with a detailed step by step play through of a sample game- Germans v Romans on the bank of the river Rhine. There are also numerous sample army lists with discussion of the sources on which they are based. Sue Laflin-Barker was a key contributor to the development and success of WRG. This is her first solo authorship of a wargaming book.
Initially available via Lulu or John Curry Publishing, Sue Laflin-Barker indicates that it should be stocked on Amazon in a few days. No doubt other outlets will stock it in due course as well. This is clearly a title aimed squarely at the new or budding ancients wargamer.
Sue Laflin-Barker advised those on the DBA 3.0 play test group that copies of DBA 3.0 have been dispatched from WRG to various resellers yesterday. They should be available for sale from a variety of sources shortly.
As to the format, DBA 3.0 will be hardcover book with 144 pages. A significant increase in page count from early versions.
Based on my viewing of the last drafts sent to the play test group, the rules package comprises only a few pages of actual rules, as previously, but the fully revised rules are now supported by a number of diagrams which greatly assist with clarity. The rules themselves are of course much revised and in my view offer considerable improvement to game play and realism. All these factors combined will, I am sure, be well received.
The bulk of the package however is a greatly expanded army list section. Indeed, each of the 300+ armies are provided with background historical material and suggested additional references. This is a great addition for both old and new players. Further, each list is broken down into expanded sub lists. While some lists have just one list, others have several. As an example the Later Hoplite Greeks have 12 sub lists where the various troops and options are briefly described. These points combine to create a much clearer format and are a very impressive addition.
I plan to provide a more in depth review when my copy arrives.