Friday, 22 August 2014

Derby Wargames Show

I am up for visiting Derby (October 4th & 5th) this year and wondered if any one else was interested.  As Ness is away that weekend I was thinking of putting a large game on one day and visiting the show on the other day.

Let me know who is interested and I will put some thought into it.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

DBMM Mantras.......

Here is something rather helpful

DBMM Mantras 

These are some mantras for players to chant while they play DBMM. they aren't all entirely accurate and some of them may be overstated for emphasis but they pick up on things that some reasonably experienced DBMM players still forget:
  1. Recoiling into someone never kills you.
  2. Foot never follow up mounted.
  3. Just because you are impetuous doesn't mean you pursue.
  4. Some PIPs are cumulative, some aren't.
  5. Remember pressing forward.
  6. Skirmishers don't run away when facing you.
  7. Your cavalry can be killed by Knights when they charge in.
  8. You do get your (S) when fighting Elephants.
  9. Your War Wagons can't move sideways, or anywhere else for 1 PIP.
  10. Your Bows flee from War Wagons if they lose.
  11. Your Spears do get killed on a recoil by Blades.
  12. You don't get a 3rd or 4th rank of Warband against mounted.
  13. Lines and Columns are much more important.
  14. Psiloi are impetuous in the TZ of foot.
  15. Elephants don't quick-kill Cavalry.
  16. Light Horse don't quick-kill Knights (and are not the anti-Kn troops of yore).
  17. Deploy in depth with a reserve.
  18. Hd do not recoil.
  19. Not all mounted kill Psiloi.
  20. Not all mounted kill Bows two deep.
  21. If you are irregular and not moving straight ahead, you are paying an extra PIP, even if you move into contact.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Not ANOTHER set of rules!

Yes I have done it again.........

Introducing a new set of rules is always a big risk and I have gambled with DBMM. We have only played the one game last week and my own thoughts were pretty positive, bearing in mind we had an absolute nightmare when we tried to decipher the rules a few Years back.

 On Thursday, Phil spent the evening with a glazed look in his eyes whilst Mark was transfixed with the new shiny playsheet (trying to find the best troop types). I knew what I had led myself into weeks before but have to say that despite the complicated nature of the rules they do seem to play very well so far based on our game last week.

Since then I have been reading the rules trying to understand some of the other parts of the book, it is a pretty badly written set of rules and only because Phil Barker has his own way with words which is a shame.

When Phil and I started off with wargaming we played a lot of field of glory and I have to say that both these rule sets are equally complicated.

I do feel that DBMM is better geared toward command and control over FOG simply because you have to roll pip dice and make a decision based on what you get. In FOG everything moves in your bound.

There are a lot more tactical factors and rear support rules which do add complexity to the game but in the interest of realism and that's really what DBMM is about.

DBA will always give you a faster paced game but at the expense of abstracting for a less detailed gaming experience. DBMM on the other hand sets out to cover all angles and I would say that so far does a pretty good job.

The question we must ask is "Do you accept a compromise in realistic game play and stick with the DBA V3.0 rules or do we embrace DBMM and accept that the games will be a little slower, more complicated but resulting in a "richer" gaming experience"

It's a tough call to make and one which we may well not be ready to make after only two games of DBMM.

Tomorrow is the last bash for the time being and it will be quarter 1 2015 before I look at the rules again so I plan to use the movement rules and spontaneous advance rules tomorrow. We already have some limited experience with the combat rules so it should not be too much to take on board on a Thursday night!

DBMM - Part 3 "ME" Morale Equivalents

Unlike DBA wherein your command is broken at a 3rd of it's total elements lost DBMM has a more detailed system to handle morale (no surprises there!)

When you are organising your troops into their commands each element has a "ME" rating, the total of which adds up to give your commands a number.

Lose a quarter of your total ME and your troops will become disheartened (this makes them fight with a -1 in close combat)

Lose a third and your broken which is the equivalent of what we have been playing in DBA. (you can hold elements or groups in place at the cost of a pip each, otherwise all your troops will turn 180 and rout towards the table edge they arrived on)

Lose half and your command is shattered - remove all elements that remain.

Now that you know the morale status modes above the ME points for elements are as follows......

Expendables, Horde (I), Camels (X), Artillery (X), War Wagons (X) and rear elements of required double based elements - 0 ME

General's element (any troop type) 4 ME

Baggage (S) other than a generals element 3ME

Elephants (X) or (I), Knights, Cavalry (S), Camelry (S), Spears (S), Blades (S), War Wagons (S) or (O) reguar army baggage = 2ME each

Warband except (S), Auxillia except (S), Bows (I), other Horde Psiloi and irregular spears (I) irregular pikes all - ME 1/2

Other troops and irregular or command baggage  except (S) = ME 1

That's your lot on this now, it's time to try and put all this into practice tomorrow.

I have been trying to de code the rules on the spontaneous advance and I have made some progress but there are bound to be mistakes or things missed tomorrow so please don't crucify me!

I managed to find some very handy print off sheets giving examples of spontaneous advances so these will come in handy. I think for tomorrow's game it will only be the Carthaginian's with the Warband who will have to work on the rule.



Tuesday, 12 August 2014

DBMM Part Two - Destroyed Elements and Recoils

Here is part two of some other stuff I found in the rules this evening.

There is something going to put a big grin on Jon's face too........


Well we all know the basics here but this is DBMM and after reading the section in the book a second time I was suprised to find these little rules....

When you destroy an element it is removed, there are no more rules for losing rear supports or flank supports (this is covered in recoils below) however......

The book states.... Only a single element is destroyed, except that when an element OTHER THAN psiloi is destroyed as a CLOSE COMBAT outcome, ALL friendly elements with any part directly beyond are also destroyed ONLY if their nearest part is LESS than the initially destroyed element's base depth AND

1. They are foot AND the destroyed elements frontal opponent was...... WARBAND!

This means that if you have say 2 elements of blade, one in rear support, fighting Warband and the Warband destroy the lead element the rear support will also be coming of the table. I'll post on the forum later because I need to define the phrase "BEYOND" I think that this must mean elements behind otherwise a single warband would end up killing flank supports and rear in one outcome. I'll clarify by Thursday but it still looks rosy for Mr Gaul :)

I guess Jon will be looking forward to his purchase now.......

2. An enemy element's front edge is in contact with ALL of their side edge.....

This is interesting at it potentially interprets that if you are within a base depth behind your friendly element just destroyed and have an enemy element in contact with your side edge (as above) you are destroyed.

There are a few other sub rules for Bow, Elephants and also Psiloi but I think the above is enough to Sober any Roman blade! I'll clarify from the book before we start on Thursday.


Recoiling represents troops responding gradually to enemy pressure. A recoiling element moves back it's base DEPTH to it's rear without turning.

You can't recoil IF a) it meets (or is in contact with) friends it cannot pass through OR push back b) an enemy element c) impassible terrain d) a battlefield edge.

A mounted OR foot element which is unable to start a recoil is penalised in combat with a -1

If a recoiling element meets a friend facing the same direction it will pass through to the friends rear if permitted (see interpenetration rule) if it can't it will push back this element.

Slightly different rules here to DBA in that instead of dying when you can't start a recoil you fight at a -1 in the close combat. The push back rule works only by allowing you to push back any troops that are able to recoil ( this is defined in the book)

We will be playing 230 AP this week which is roughly the same 2 command armies we used last week.

I'll post a final part tomorrow on Morale or "ME" just so everyone understands this!

Grande armee

When I can't be bothered to paint and I want to get my mojo flowing
I always set up a table for Historical/random battles
This will be the first Grande armee battle
Sorauren July/august 1813

Sunday, 10 August 2014

DBMM - Movement

Some further reading has led me to posting this while it's fresh.

I thought it would be handy to do a few posts on certain parts of the rules.

I will start with Movement.

Movement types

Well there are 4 in total, these are:





1. Tactical moves are what we are very much used to already so nothing really new here except a few notes for you to take on board....

Light horse & Psiloi only get to move the once (this is very different to DBA wherein multiple moves are available)

2. March moves are new and we did not get to use these on Thursday as I had not read the rule book.

Nothing too difficult here though - you can opt to march elements or groups as follows:

You can march up to 6 times max in sequence.

You move in your bound and in the opponents

You have to end your march in contact with enemy and all but your last move must be at full speed.

It will cost you extra pips to march but only after the 2nd (for irreguar troops) or 3rd ( regular troops) move

+1 pips

It also costs an extra pip to march into contact with the enemy.

3. Spontaneous moves are again something new.

They reflect "Impetuous" troop types such as warband and certain irregular troops.

You must move these troops in your bound and they nearly always have to advance in column.

The move doesn't cost you any pips but if you want to stop your troops you have to issue a halt order at the cost of 1 pip per element or group.

If you are moving in good ground and are not going to contact enemy you get to move an extra base width each time. If you are pursuing routers you get a double move!

There are a lot additional conditions and sub rules under this type of move and I will elaborate further on Thursday.

It's going to affect my Warband for sure!

4. Outcome Moves - well these are generally the same as DBA except we have Repulse which is a full move backwards facing the enemy. There is also "Spent" which generally relates to Skirmihsers. You lose the unit but it does not count towards your morale losses

I'll move on to another subject next......

But this is enough to digest for a few days.

Wargames Weekend

Met up with some friends who are part of a wargames club on the Wirral.  I used to go away for weekends in the past where the group would hire a hotel or outwards bound centre for three days and use the facility for an elaborate series of games or a major one off battle.  Everyone would put on their own particular game but there would be opportunities of an evening to check out an alternative game or play a wargames related board game.  The organiser is Andy Ashton who you may have seen at some of the bigger wargames shows with his trade stand "Last Chance Games" for which he has a shop in Wallasey.

This year they are hiring the Britannia Hotel in Wigan for a weekend in late October.  The plan is to meet up on Thursday evening 23rd October and finish approx lunch time on the Sunday.  I believe the cost is £150 full board and the use of their function room.

I thought I would put it out there and see if we want to look at this as an opportunity to play a large game or small campaign.  If there is any interest amongst us please let me know asap and I will get in touch with Andy.  Phil, one of the attendees is Dave Lloyd, if he is still to collect his specs have a word with him.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

New Baccus WW1 Artillery

Check out the Baccus site to have a look at the new artillery pieces.

There's a decent variation on guns and some nice models which may suit with what you are looking for Phil.

I do like the German pieces.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Moving on up

Nothing can stop me now......... unless it's DBMM!

Yes it's time to introduce the big guns. We have had ample experience with DBA now and I personally believe that everyone will be able to enjoy the added complexity and nuances of Phil Barkers' highly acclaimed DBMM V2.0

The plan is to gradually introduce sections from the rules into our current DBA setup. Based on previous horror stories with these rules I want to make sure that we don't end up dazed and confused and by a gradual phasing in the transition will be that much easier in the long run.

The first part of the plan is to introduce just the combat section. This will mean that everyone will have to re learn a good part of what we have been used to over the last weeks. It should be a lot easier as we are all now well versed in DBA terminology.

For those turning up this Thursday please don't expect a "smooth" ride. The game is bound to be a lot slower this week because of the new combat rules. Just to wet your appetites there are a whole lot more tactical factors plus the introduction of grading points wherein we finally get to start exploring troop quality types.

The rear support factors are totally different to DBA and you will also discover that outcomes will vary depending on whose bound it is.

Here below are the two playsheet pages from the back of the rules.
We are not going to concern ourselves with the first page below as this covers other areas in the rules.

This is the page that will be our bible. It looks a lot worse than it actually is to be fair and I do think that once we have grasped the nuances everything will start to run nice and smooth. Remember this just a more complex set of mechanics than DBA!

Game setup and the command and control rules will remain unchanged for the time being. I would like to play at least 2 more weeks using the new combat rules. I know that Mark is looking to do some Grand Armee soon so I just want everyone to have some experience with these combat rules.

I will be benching the project soon for a good few Months but I would hope that there is enough interest during the break for a re visit in the not too distant future. Phil has a nice Republican Roman Army to fight my Carthaginian's and I am working away at painting up Spartan and Persian 500 AP armies for next Year. Mark has his Early Romans and I hope that you buy your Gallic army soon Jon!

  After Napoleonics we have some more WW1 spearhead to play plus Victory at sea and some POW which will no doubt take us up to the end of the Year.

See you Thursday