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Near Eastern Campaign
(550 BCE)

by Robert Runnels

> Campaigns > DBA Resources > Fanaticus

This campaign is designed for use in conjunction with the DBA rules. The campaign can be played by up to 10 players. There are 6 major states and 4 minor states on the map. The major states control more than one territory and one of the territories is designated as the capital. The minor states consist of only one territory. Many of the territory names were chosen arbitrarily by the author.

Major States

  • Media -- The Medes control 3 territories: Media, Armenia and Carmania. Media is the capital. At the beginning of the game, the Medians have one DBA army in each territory. All of the Median armies use DBA Army List I/40c and naval list 24a.

  • Babylonia -- The Babylonians control 3 territories: Babylonia, Syria and Dedan. Babylonia is the capital. At the beginning of the game, the Babylonians have one DBA army in each territory. All of the Babylonian armies use DBA Army List I/44b and naval list 23.

  • Persia -- The Persians control 2 territories, Persis and Susiana. Persis is the capital. . At the beginning of the game, the Persians have one DBA army in each territory. All of the Persian armies use DBA Army List I/60a or I/60b. At the beginning of the game, or whenever a Persian army is created, it will use either DBA Army List I/60a or I/60b. It must continue to use the same list throughout the game. The Persians use naval list 28a.

  • Arabs -- The Arabs control 2 territories, Arabia and Dilmun. Arabia is the capital. At the beginning of the game, the Arab army in Arabia uses DBA Army List I/6c and the Arab army in Dilmun uses DBA Army List I/8c. Both Arab territories use naval list 29. Whenever a new Arab army is created, it uses the list for the province in which it is created.

  • Egyptians -- The Egyptians control 2 territories, Egypt and Libya. Egypt is the capital. At the beginning of the game, the Egyptians have one DBA army in each territory. All of the Egyptian armies use DBA Army List I/53 and naval list 29.

  • Lydia/Ionian Greeks -- The Lydians and the Ionian Greeks each have one territory and their forces are combined to create a major state. At the beginning of the game, each territory has a DBA army. The Lydian army uses DBA Army List I/50 and naval list 18d. The Ionian Greek army uses DBA Army List I/52g and naval list 18d. The Lydians and Ionian Greeks are not allowed to combine their incomes to raise armies. However, the Lydian and Ionian territories are quite rich.

Minor States

  • Cyprus -- Cyprus consists of one territory and its army uses DBA Army List I/35c. It uses naval list 18d.

  • Scythians -- The Scythians are a nomadic tribe and have one territory. Their army uses DBA Army List I/43a. The Scythians have no navy and can't use naval movement.

  • Cimmerians -- A nomadic tribe related to the Scythians, the Cimmerians also have one territory. Their army uses DBA Army List I/43a. The Cimmerians have no navy and can't use naval movement.

  • Lykians -- Lykia consists of one territory and its army uses DBA Army List I/62. It uses naval list 24c.

It is recommended that each player control a Major State and that a neutral player or referee control all the Minor States.

Economics and Alliances

Each player receives income in the form of "talents" from each territory he controls. Persis, Dilmun, Egypt, Ionia and Lydia each produce 6 talents per turn and all other territories produce 4 talents per turn. If the player lost a camp in a DBA battle, 2 talents is deducted from his income on the following turn. The player doesn't have to spend his money each turn and can carry a balance from turn to turn.

Talents can be spent to replace DBA elements that were lost in a battle. Replacements automatically go to their assigned army. Talents can also be spent to build new armies. A player must spend 12 talents at one time to build an army. The new army is then placed in one of the player's home territories.

Talents are also required to keep the player's population happy and supplied with life's essentials. Each home province requires 1 talent per turn to keep the masses under control. Each conquered province requires 2 talents per turn. This expenditure of income for each province is called "upkeep." If a player elects not to use his income for this, the provinces might revolt. Not paying "upkeep" is cumulative from turn to turn.

The people have a long memory as well, so there is always a chance of a revolt as long as the "upkeep" account is in arrears! Each turn that a province does not receive "upkeep," or the "upkeep" balance is negative, roll one die. On a roll of a 1, the province is in revolt and a civil war battle will be fought. Modify the dice roll by a -1 for each talent in excess of 1 that is owed to the province. Modify the dice roll by a +1 for each friendly army in the territory. If there is a friendly army in the territory, a Civil War takes place immediately (This takes place before any of players' campaign moves. Another player leads the uprising. Preferably, that player should have a territory bordering the province in revolt. If not, then the player with the closest territory (for measuring this, each province is presumed to be the same size....so, for example, Carmania and Dilmun would each be considered to be 2 provinces away from Babylonia). should lead the uprising. If two (or more!) players are equally close or have territories bordering the province in revolt, then the commander of the uprising should be chosen based on the following order of preference: player at war with the owner of the territory, player who used to own the territory, high dice roll. The forces behind the revolt use the army list appropriate for their territory at the beginning of the game. The leader of the uprising is the defender and he gets to choose the terrain for the Civil War battle, pursuant to the DBA rules.

If the uprising succeeds, or was unopposed, then the player who led the uprising now controls the province. The province will not produce any income on the following turn, but it will still require "upkeep." The army for the revolt remains in the province and is restored to full strength, and any army that lost a civil war battle is considered to be completely destroyed (nasty business putting down revolts!!). If the player owning the province in revolt had two armies in the province, then only one army at a time can attempt to put down the revolt in battle. If the first battle is lost, then the player can choose to retreat the second army to a friendly adjacent province (if possible), or he can instead fight a second battle in an attempt to quell the rebellion.

Alliances are declared verbally by agreement between players at the end of the economics phase. There are no tributaries or overlords as in the DBA campaign rules. You either control the province or you don't! Alliances are not allowed to be formed with minor states. If only two players are left in the game, then they can not be allies anymore.

The Campaign Year and Movement

As with the DBA campaign rules, there are 4 seasons per year - SPRING, SUMMER, AUTUMN and WINTER - each season represents a campaign turn. Use a counter or some other marker to represent each field army the player has. They are moved on the campaign map.

Supply status for each army is checked at the beginning of the turn. The army must be able to trace a line of supply through friendly provinces to one of its home provinces. If it can't trace a supply line, then it loses one element of the owning player's choice. If this condition persists for two turns in a row, then on the second turn, the army loses two elements instead of one (and so on for each turn it remains out of supply...so if you were out of supply for three turns, you would lose three elements at the beginning of the third turn you were out of supply). Losses from lack of supply are doubled in WINTER.

Each player dices at the beginning of the campaign turn and the highest roll goes first. Play then proceeds clockwise to the next player at the table and so on till each player has moved. Each army can move two provinces or sea areas per turn (no movement is ever allowed on the Caspian Sea...this was not a major naval theater), except in winter when movement is limited to only one province per turn and no sea movement is allowed. However, each player only moves his armies one province or sea area prior to the next player making his moves. After each player moves his all of his armies one province or sea area (or chooses to pass on his move for an army or armies), then go around the table one more time allowing each player to move/pass with all his armies one more time.

Once a player moves an army into the same province as an enemy army, movement ceases for that turn for the armies of both players in that province and a battle will ensue. No more than two armies of any one player, or ally, can be in a province or sea area at any one time. Of course, an enemy can also have two armies in the same province as well.

If enemy armies occupy a sea area at the same time, movement for both forces ceases in that sea area and each player rolls a 6-sided die. If both players roll the same number, then their forces will meet in a battle on the seas during the combat phase. Use the naval rules in the combat phase to see who is victorious. The winner will be able to complete his move for that turn after the combat phase has ended. The loser picks any 4 of his elements as lost and his remaining 8 elements return to their starting point after the combat phase has ended. The winner and loser in the naval battle can't violate the stacking limitations in the area they end the turn in. If they do, then they must stay at sea. A losing army forced to stay at sea might have to fight a naval battle on the next turn with only 8 elements! If the roll is not a tie, then the fleets pass each other undetected and can complete their moves for the turn.

Any time a player has more than one army in a province and outnumbers the enemy forces and his allies in the province, then one army is chosen as the main force and the other army is considered to be an Allied Contingent and follows the rules laid out for participation by allied contingent in the DBA rulebook (see DBA rules, page 15). If both sides have two armies in the province, then two battles will take place. The player who controlled the province at the beginning of the campaign move chooses which army will face which opponent. After the two battles, if one side has not won both of the battles, then the two victorious armies will face each other in another battle to decide the fate of the province!


All land combats are resolved using the ordinary DBA rules, with the added twist that additional forces from a second or allied army in the province might be able to participate as an allied contingent. It is recommended that the DBA campaign rule for sieges be ignored. For those who like sieges, take a built up area if you are allowed one by your topography and think of its defenders/denizens as being besieged!

The losing army in a battle retreats to the province from which it came at the end of the combat phase. If it can't do that because of stacking limitations, it then moves from connected province to connected province towards its home province and won't stop till it reaches a province in which it will not violate stacking limits. For each province it retreats to beyond its first move, the army loses 4 elements of the player's choice (lack of forage, supplies). If it is forced into a sea area in its retreat, then it is destroyed. If an invading army loses a battle in a WINTER turn, then it can't retreat and is destroyed! If the invader moved into the province from a sea area (amphibious invasion), then it can't retreat and is destroyed if it loses the battle.

All naval battles are played using the Humberside De Bellis Navalibus rules. After the naval battle is over, its effects are as dictated in this campaign's movement rules. It is possible for allied contingents to be involved in a naval battle, but it is unlikely. For that to occur, the allied or second naval force would have to roll the same number as the other fleet did to start the battle in the first place!

Winning the Game

It is recommended that the game length be set at 12 seasons. The game starts with the Spring 550 BC turn. At the end of the game, add up the economic value of all the provinces under each player's control. Add to that any talents still in the player's treasury. The winner is the player with the highest total economic value for his empire!

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Last Updated: 4 July 2004.

Thanks to Robert Runnels for this submission.
Comments and feedback welcome.