Variations on a Theme

Mini DBM 3.1

25mm 100AP DBM on a DBA Table

by Nick Grant

[January 2002]

  • Design Philosophy

    This idea came about thanks to Jeff Bolton's DBM Condensed Scale on the DBM Home page, and because of my rather dismal performance at the '99 New Zealand national's (don't ask!), essentially due to a lack of practice. Ok, and no small amount of a basic lack of skill!!

    With a young family, my commitments at home are pretty high. So I don't get much chance to have an afternoon off to play a full sized 25mm game.

    However, I do have a 4' by 4' board that I can put on the kitchen table to play DBA when the kids have gone to bed. So I figured, why not just straight DBM on a DBA table?

    Since the playing area of a 4' by 4' 25mm DBA table is approx. 35% of that of a full sized 9' by 5' 25mm DBM table, I have just altered the set up rules accordingly.

    Use DBM v.3.0 rules with the modifications listed below.

  • Ground Scales

    Measure distances on the table using a 300 pace card strip marked at 50 pace intervals, where 50 paces = 40mm measured on the table (the standard movement for 25mm DBM). This will allow for a quicker DBA style game, yet with all the inherent subtleties of DBM. Deploy your troops 250 paces from the table edge.

    Alternatively, you could measure distances where 50p = 25mm on the table. This is the same measurement as for 15mm DBM - just over half the normal 25mm movement, justified because a 4 foot table is half the width of a competition 25mm table (8' by 6').

    Using 15mm distances does tend to "give the feel" of a full sized 25mm game because of the longer time it takes to get the opposing elements into contact, and hence the extra "space" available to re-deploy or do something clever before the combats begin.

    If using this 15mm scale for movement, deploy 400 paces from the table edge.

  • Army Selection

    Select an 100 Army Point army from the normal DBM lists, dividing all the minima and maxima by four, rounded up.

    Only one general (and hence only one command) is allowed for each army. The command points for the general (as opposed to the cost for the general's element) is halved from the normal cost.

    For example, a Regular [Roman] Cv(O) general costs 28AP in standard DBM. Reduce this to 18AP (10AP (the command points) + 8AP (the cost of a Reg Cv(O) element)).

    Likewise an Irregular [Early German] Wb(S) general costs 15AP in standard DBM. This reduces to 10AP (5AP (the command points) + 5AP (the cost of an Irr Wb(S) element)).

    The army must have 2 baggage elements.

    One Allied contingent may be purchased providing all the minima for the main army are met first. All of it's elements must be grouped together at the start of the game, but it is not a separate command and uses the same pip dice as the rest of the army. Allies do not require a separate baggage element.

  • Generals

    When facing an Irregular general, Regular generals can add an extra +1 to their PIP dice roll, unless they roll a 6. This simulates the advantage a Regular general has in being able to swap dice between his commands in a full sized DBM battle.

  • Terrain

    These variations to DBM are designed for a 4 foot square table. The players sit on opposite sides from one another, these sides being called (for the lack of a better term) "the players edge".

    Terrain is laid out as per DBM 3.0 using DBA sized terrain pieces (as defined in DBA 2.0), or, failing that, pieces no larger than those used for 15mm DBM games.

    The table is only divided into 4 sectors, not 6. Each sector is assigned a number (1 to 4). Roll either 1D4 (a four sided dice) to determine which sector the terrain pieces are to go in, or 1D6 (a six sided dice) and re-roll the dice if it turns up a 5 or a 6.

    The invader can place either:

    • a waterway (if he has at least half the maximum allowed naval elements)
    • a river flowing from one of the player's edge's to the other, and between 200p and 400p from one of the side edges
    • or a road running down the middle of the table plus 0 or ½-1½ feature equivalents of entirely steep hills.

    The defender now places 1 feature (of ½-1 feature equivalents if an area feature) of each compulsory terrain type if not yet present, then a further ½-1½ feature equivalents of his choice.

    The terrain features are placed within the appropriate sectors in the usual DBM 3.0 fashion.

  • Flank Marches

    Up to one flank march is allowed as per the normal rules. My reasoning for allowing flank marches is simple - I want to recreate DBM on a smaller scale. The possibility of having to counter an enemy flank march often means significant differences in your initial deployment than if you don't have to worry about it. It's one of those subtle differences between DBM and DBA that in my opinion makes the former more challenging.

    The flank march's arrival is announced on the [unmodified] roll of a six on the dice - a regular general cannot add his extra one to a five on the dice!

    It does not have a general, is not considered to be another command by itself, and uses the same PIP dice as the rest of the army.

    The elements arrive on table in the normal manner, and once they are on the table, they then make any tactical or march moves at the normal expenditure of PIP points as per the standard DBM rules.

    (This will usually mean that they are going to be subject to the "general out of contact" [over 1200p or out of line of sight and over 600p away from the general] PIP modifier, initially at least).

    If not all of the elements in the flank march are able to get onto the table in the same turn, the rest have to wait until another bound where an [unmodified] 6 is rolled.

  • Defeat

    The defeat conditions for the army are the same as the DBM rules for a demoralised command, since there is only one command in the army.

    That is to say, the first side at the end of any bound that has lost at least a third of their army's original element equivalents, and has also lost more element equivalents than the enemy, looses the battle.

  • Acknowledgments

    I would like to thank Stan Walker for play testing these rules with me, and helping to iron out some of the problems. Also to Luke Ueda-Sarson, for pointing out the problems with my original general's costings.

Well, for what it's worth, there you have it. Feel free to fiddle around with any or all of it, as suits. If you have any suggestions to improve it please let me know.




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