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Campaign Scenarios and Rules

Athens vs. Sparta
An Alternative Linear Campaign Format

by John McLennan

The following is a variation on the linear campaign format outlined in Chris Brantley's Campaign Conquest scenario. My linear campaign pits Athens vs. Sparta in a war of hoplites for control of ancient Greece.

I originally designed the campaign for a friend and I, to get him involved in DBA. As an old Napoleonic player, he was interested in BIG games with BIG figures. And as his main interests lay in the Spanish War, this idea worked for him. So I put the campaign together, which got him going. The idea of keeping the General alive, and having a reason for the battles was the selling point.


There are 12 campaign boards, with boards 1 and 12 being the respective home boards of the opponents. For my Athens vs. Greek campaign game, the boards would be represented as follows:

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Decide on the terrain to be used for each board in advance, and the facing for each. This is a linear campaign after all.

Army Selection

Two historical opponents are chosen. The size of the pool of troops available is then decided. I usually use 72 elements, with a maximum of any troop type equal to six times that on the list for that army.

For example, for Early Spartan this would give:

  • Hoplites (Sp) -- 66 - 72
  • Psiloi (Ps) -- Up to 6

And for Athens (Early Hoplite Greek):

  • Hoplites (Sp) -- 54 - 66
  • Cavalry (Cv) -- Up to 6
  • Peltasts (Ax) -- Up to 6
  • Psiloi (Ps) -- 6 - 12

All selected troops go into the pool. To fight a battle, you recruit an army list from what's available in the pool. All army lists must be legal according to the DBA lists. When an element is destroyed, it is removed from the available pool. When a troop type has all available elements destroyed it can no longer be used. This may result in the need to field smaller armies. E.g., with the Hoplite army above there is a compulsory Ps element. If no Ps remain in the pool, then only 11 elements maximum can be fielded.


There are only three Generals in the pool. They are allocated at the start of each game. A General is lost from the roster if the element he is with is killed, and is lost on a roll of a 4,5 or 6 if the element he is with flees off the board. (In a DBA game this would count as destroyed, but for the sake of the campaign he may survive.


Roll die to decide whether the first battle is fought on Board 6 or 7 (i.e. the center or beginning boards). Or you can roll randomly and start on any board. If Athens or Sparta is forced back to their home board (Boards 12 and 1 respectively), they may elect to stand siege instead of fighting.


Whoever succeeds in killing all three of their opponent's generals or taking the opponent's capital wins the campaign.

Have fun.

Gamer Feedback

Bob Beattie: I really like the Athens vs. Sparta campaign system. The new terrain deployment scheme for DBA 2.0 adds another aspect. The 6 boards for each state can be of its terrain type, set up by that player. Thus Athens sets up 6 boards and Sparta sets up 6 boards with the required and optional terrain types. On the Athens boards, Sparta is always the invader and vice versa. The invader rolls for which board edge he gets. To add some spice, the closer the board is to the capital, the less choice the invader has. So, taking the Sparta victory trail, on Athens board 7 play Sparta just picks the edge he wants. On board 8 play as written- Sparta numbers the edges the 1-2-3 and a preferred side 4-6. On board 9 play the old way, Sparta numbers edges 1-4 and gives two adjacent edges 5 and 6. On board 10 reverse the procedure-- Athens numbers edges 1-4 and gives 5-6 to two adjacent ones, on board 11, reverse the new rule, Athens numbers 1-3 and a preferred side 4-6. This is important as you get closer to the home land as you can determine where your built up area goes. And lastly on the home board, Athens just picks its side.

I am looking forward to trying this. It might get boring with the same two armies. Maybe go to 10 or 8 boards.

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Last Updated: April 22, 2000

Questions, comments, and feedback are welcome. Sent them to my attention at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.