DBA Resource Page

Newbie's Guide to DBA

The Mathematics of DBA Combat

By Jason Ehlers

Here is a quick guide for estimating win-push-lose in DBA. This table is based on the DIFFERENCE in final modifiers between two elements. There are 36 possibilities for each pair of die rolls.


                     DIFF.  WIN  PUSH  LOSE  ODDS*
                     +6      36    0     0   100%
                     +5      35    1     0   100%
                     +4      33    2     1   33 to 1
                     +3      30    3     3   10 to 1
                     +2      26    4     6    4.5 to 1
                     +1      21    5    10    2 to 1
                      0      15    6    15    50-50
                     -1      10    5    21    1 to 2
                     -2       6    4    26    1 to 4.5
                     -3       3    3    30    1 to 10
                     -4       1    2    33    1 to 33
                     -5       0    1    35   100%
                     -6       0    0    36   100%

*  Odds of winning (or not losing).

This chart is accurate in showing the possibilities for all matchups that involve both elements with a (-6) final modifier or better.

As the difference moves away from (+/-0), the odds increase/decrease progressively.

An advantage of +6 is 100% win. A disadvantage of -6 is 100% loss.

An advantage of +5 or better cannot lose (i.e., it will win or push), whereas a disadvantage of -5 or worse cannot win.

Doubling

An important factor in the DBA gaming is the occurance of "doubling" the foe's roll during the combat rounds.

The important thing to know is that elements with higher final modifiers are tough to double, but elements with low final modifiers can be doubled by even the weakest elements.

Here is a short table which demonstrates this phenomena. Down the left is the final modifer of the "defending" element, and next to it, the lowest possible final modifier of an "attacking" element that can possibly double the "defending" element.

                           
                           Lowest Mod. 
                     DEF.  that can double
                     ----  ----------------
                     +1        (-2)
                     +2        (+0)
                     +3        (+2)
                     +4        (+4)
                     +5        (+6)
                     +6        (+8)

Several interesting phenomena are shown by this chart:

  • Elements with +5 or greater can only be doubled by elements with a higher modifer.
  • Elements with a +4 modifier can be doubled by elements with +4 or better modifiers.
  • Elements with +3 modifier are at risk of being doubled even by +2 elements.
  • Elements with +2 modifier can be doubled by elements with modifiers as low as +/-0!

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Last Updated: Feb. 15, 2000

Comments, questions and additions welcome. Send them to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.