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Promoting DBA

A DBA Tournament Format

By Bruce Bretthauer

We gathered 6 made-up boards and 6 pairs of historically matched armies. Players took part in a round-robin, no matching of winners to winners, just "who haven't you played?" We had 10 players. Players got a W for a win, L for a loss, and if they were tied after one hour, both lost. I counted up the kills and losses, so you could win, say, 4-2. Camps counted as two elements. At the end, ties were decided by kills and losses.

We made up 6 envelopes for each round, each envelope having the army list for a pair of armies listed as Side A and Side B. At the start of each round a pair players would pick a chit out of a cup to see what board they were on, and then one of them would select an envelope. The guy who did not pick the envelope was always Side A when looking at the list.

If the game was not over after 1 hour, a referee adjudicated the battle by simply slamming all troops straight ahead and throwing dice (no finesse tactics). This only happened once, and resulted in a 7-6 loss for one side. That was in the first round, and after that players decided such butchery was not for them, and got their games over with.

We had prizes for most wins, most defeats, most lopsided defeat, worst luck (one player killed only one element in the four games he played!). Rulers and dice were provided by the referee.

All in all, it worked (it should, this has been used in fencing for a long time), and everyone had fun (more important).

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Last Updated: Aug. 23, 2000

Questions, comments, suggestions welcome. Send them to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.