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What is DBA?

De Bellis Antiquitatis ("The Wars of Antiquity") or DBA is a set of fast-play rules for ancient and medieval wargaming using miniature figures. The rules are originally authored by Phil and Sue Barker and Richard Bodley Scott and published by the Wargames Research Group.  The current edition (3.0) was released in late 2014 and is authored by Phil Barker and Sue Laflin-Barker.

A pre-publication or test set of rules, dubbed De Bellis Societatis Antiquorum was authored by Phil Barker in 1989 and is the precourser to DBA.

Out-of-print editions of DBA include 1.0 (1990), 1.1 (1995), and 2.0 (2001).  Edition 2.2 (2004) is available as a print-on-demand reprint.  There were also non-print versions released by the authors as amendment sheets (v1.2 in 1998; v1.22 in 1999; and v2.1 in 2003).

Where Can I Buy the Rules?

The DBA 3.0 rules are available globally from and from On Military Matters (North American Customers), as well as from selected miniature companies (e.g. Black Hat) and local gaming stores.

Sue Laflin-Barker has also published an introductory book Start Ancient Wargaming With DBA 3.0, which includes the full rules and approximately 100 army lists (done as matched pairs).  Published as part of John Curry's History of Wargaming Project, START is also available print on demand from Lulu, and stocked by various wargaming webstores and selected sources such as On Military Matters.   It can also be purchased from Amazon.Com and

The DBA Version 2.2 rules have been republished by John Curry's History of Wargaming Project and are available for purchase as a bound soft cover print-on-demand from Lulu.Com in both a [6x9] and [8.5x11] version.

A group of DBA tournament organizers from around the world joined together to modify and update DBA 2.2 with a set of line-edits, the result of which is dubbed v2.2+, which is available as a free download as a unofficial supplement to the DBA 2.2 rules.

Fanaticus does not sell the DBA rules.

Questions About Getting Started in DBA

Start by browsing the DBA Tips and Guides section for essays on choosing your first DBA army, where to find figures, painting and basing, etc. 

The WADBAG group has published the "Unofficial" Guide to DBA 2.2 and an Update for v.2.2+

Get advice from experienced DBA'ers on how to get started, army advice, etc. in the Fanaticus Forum.

Questions About the Rules and Rules Interpretations

Rules questions are welcome and can be submitted either to the DBA 2, v.2.2+ or DBA 3.0 Rules Forums, depending on which version you are playing.

Questions About DBA Army Lists

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Last Updated: 18 August 2015
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