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DBA Period Variants

HORSE AND MUSKET DBA
(For Napoleonic and SYW Gaming)

By Ernst Boeder

I have been toying with Horse and Musket DBA rules. In essence it works just like the ancient rules, except that units do not have to touch, but start to engage in combat at the stated combat distances. In a way, all infantry and artillery act as a powerful unit of bows. It gives a fast neat game. Maybe some of your readers might like it.

Use the basic DBA rules, with the following modifications:

Play on a 8' x 4' table. A little bigger certainly would not hurt.

All measurements are in centimetres (1 inch = 2.52cm)

Element Frontage is 10cm by 5cm (for 15mm figures). I manage to put 10 to 12 infantry or 8 cavalry figures on this. For light infantry I just put 6 figures on the base.

The basic troop types are Light Infantry (LI), Regular Infantry (RI), Guard Infantry (GI), Light Cavalry (LC), Medium Cavalry (MC), Heavy Cavalry (HC), Horse Artillery (HA), Field Artillery (FA), and Reserve Artillery (RA). I have very deliberately minimised the number of troop classifications, but folks might want to incorporate more, such as Landwehr, Lancers or Guard Cavalry.

PIP's ­ role 3 dice ­ you can divide the army into 3 subcommands (mixed or by category) if you wish.

I use one of the Guard Infantry units as the CnC with the +1 bonus. Obviously any other unit will do as well.

No camps.

Close Combat and Movement

A unit can fire or move, except when the unit ends its move in contact (base to base) with an enemy unit. It must then engage in combat (melee).

Refer to the appropriate table for Napleonic or SYW gaming to determine combat capabilities, combat distances, and movement rates by basic troop type.

Napoleonics

Troop Type Abbrev. Vs.
Foot
Vs.
Mounted
Vs.
Artillery
Move Distance (cm) Combat Distance (cm)
Light Infantry LI 2 2 1 12 18
Regular Infantry RI 4 4 4 10 18
Guard Infantry GI 5 5 5 10 18
Heavy Cavalry HC 5 5 6 15 0
Medium Cavalry MC 3 3 6 20 6
Light Cavalry LC 2 2 6 25 12
Horse Artillery HA 6 4 2 20 24
Foot Artillery FA 8 6 3 10 36
Reserve Artillery RA 10 6 3 10 48

National Modifiers:

Britain: +2 Combat
France: +1 Combat, +2 Pips
French Guard: +1 (additional) to Combat

Seven Years War

Troop Type Abbrev. Vs.
Foot
Vs.
Mounted
Vs.
Artillery
Move Distance (cm) Combat Distance (cm)
Light Infantry LI 2 2 1 12 18
Regular Infantry RI 4 4 4 10 18
Guard Infantry GI 5 5 5 10 18
Heavy Cavalry HC 5 5 6 15 0
Medium Cavalry MC 3 3 6 20 6
Light Cavalry LC 2 2 6 25 12
Horse Artillery HA - - - - -
Foot Artillery FA 8 6 3 10 27
Reserve Artillery RA 10 6 3 0 40

Note: The Prussians, as well as Russians, had Horse Artillery available in the SYW, but in such insignificant numbers, that I have not bothered with them.

National Modifiers:

Prussia: +2 combat, +3 Pips.

Other Combat Modifiers

A non-light Infantry unit lends half (round up) its combat modifier to another non-light infantry unit, if lined up behind it. A non-light cavalry unit lends half (round up) its combat modifier to another non-light cavalry unit, if lined up behind it.

An infantry or artillery unit in hard cover deducts 3 from the opposing unitıs combat modifier.

When infantry attacks in column (two or more units of non-light infantry lined up behind the leading unit), deduct 2 from the opposing units combat score if more then 1/2 of the defending unitıs combat distance separates them. Deduct 4 from the opposing units combat score if less then 1/2 of the defending units combat distance separates them. Deduct a further 2 from the opposing units combat score if less then 1/2 of the defending units combat distance separates them and a light infantry unit is leading the attack; this unit would retire to the rear once it reaches the half-way point. (The British combat modifier offsets to some degree this advantage of attacking in column) The column attack rules should not be used for the SYW.

Combat Outcome

If less then the enemy, but more then half:

LI destroyed if attacked by LC, otherwise recoil
RI, GI destroyed if in bad going or hard cover, otherwise recoil
LC destroyed if in bad going, otherwise recoil
MC, HC destroyed if less then 9cm from RI, GI, HA, FA, RA or in bad going, other recoil HA, FA, RA - destroyed if less then 9cm from RI, GI, MC, HA, FA, RA, otherwise recoil
HA, FA, RA destroyed if less then 9cm from RI, GI, MC, HA, FA, RA, otherwise recoil

If half or less that of the enemy:

LI destroyed if attacked by LC, otherwise flee 25cm
LC destroyed if in bad going, otherwise flee 25cm
All other destroyed

Combat Outcomes

Recoiling works the same as in the original rules, but if a unit is destroyed, the supporting unit is not affected.

Heavy and all British cavalry will pursue.

Winning and Losing

Win when the enemy has lost either the general or 11 elements, and has also lost more elements then you.

Generic Army Lists

Napoleonic Army (33 elements): 4xLI, 12xRI, 3xGI, 4xHC, 3xMC, 3xLC, 1xHA, 2xFA, 1xRA

Seven Years War (33 elements): 2xLI, 12xRI, 6xGI, 4xHC, 3xMC, 2xLC, 3xFA, 1xRA

Conclusion

I would certainly appreciate any feedback. Also I am not very happy with my HC rules and would appreciate suggestions. Contact Ernst Boeder with input.


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Updated: December 17, 1999

My thanks to Ernst Boeder for sharing this period variant. Questions, comments and suggestions are welcome and can be sent to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.