Relics (Rc)
Troop Type

By David Lawrence
(aka MacBeth)


> Rules Variants > Resources > Fanaticus

There are various elements represented as Litters or War-Wagons in DBA, which have special religious or other significance in motivating and sustaining the morale of an army engaged in battle.  Examples in the DBA lists include the Medieval Italian Carriocco, the Khagan's wagon of the Khazars and the Anglo-Norman Standard of St. Peter and St. Cuthbert.   Other examples include the Ark of the Covenant for the Early Hebrews.  These elements were not deployed as front line combat units, but provided morale support and a rallying point for the army.  To more accurately depict the role of these elements in DBA, the Relic Troop Type is proposed.

Relics (Rc)

All DBA elements classified as Litters (Lit) and certain War Wagons (WWg) that represent a Religious Artifact or Personage are to be treated as a new element type - the Relic (Rc).   The particular elements and their armies are:

  • I/2a Early Egyptian – Lit(Gen);
  • III/16 Khazar – WWg(Gen);
  • III/72a Communal Italian – WWg;
  • III/72b Communal Italian – WWg;
  • IV/2 Anglo Norman – WWg;
  • IV/10 Mound Builder Indian - Lit(Gen);
  • IV/70 – Chanca - Lit(Gen); and
  • IV/81 Inca - Lit(Gen).

Harking back to WRG 6th edition when Sacred Standards were worth taking, the following additional armies can either replace their general or their most prevalent element with a Relic to add some further spice:

Replace General

Replace Most Prevalent Element

I/25a Middle Assyrian & Early Neo Assyrian

I/1b Early Sumerian

I/25b Middle Assyrian & Early Neo Assyrian

I/1c Early Sumerian

II/69 Sassanid Persian

I/27 Early Hebrew

II/77a Late Imperial Rome (West)

I/45 Neo Assyrian Empire

III/25a Arab Conquest

I/51 Neo Assyrian Later Sargonid

III/40a Viking

I/60a Early Achaemenid Persian

III/40b Viking

I/60b Early Achaemenid Persian

III/40c Leidang

I/60c Early Achaemenid Persian

III/23 Khmer or Cham

II/7 Later Achaemenid Persian

III/63 Nikephorian Byzantine

II/43 Maccabean Jewish

III/74 Fanatic Berber

II/53 Ancient British

III/76 Papal Italian

II/54b Scots Irish

IV/4a Feudal French

II/81d Sub Roman British

IV/4b Feudal French

III/1c Early Slav (Others)

IV/64a Medieval French

IV/7 Early Crusader

IV/64b Medieval French (not with 5Wb option)

IV/17 Later Crusader

IV/64c Medieval French

IV/63 Aztec


IV/80 Hussite

Relics are based as WWg and move as heavy foot - 200 paces off-road, 400 pages on road. Like WWg Relics cannot move off road in Bad Going, and cannot move into edge or corner contact with an enemy or enemy controlled BUA or camp.

Relics engage at +4 vs. Foot, +4 vs. Mounted (just add "Relics" to the line for combat factors for Spears, Scythed Chariots or Artillery if Shooting)

Relics do not shoot.

Relic suffer the standard Bad Going penalty of -2 for close combat.

Rear Support factors (p10) – any element add +1 if supported by a friendly element of Relics lined up in contact directly behind them and facing the same direction or directly behind a friendly element in side edge and front corner to front corner contact with them, or in side edge contact with a friendly element of Relics.

Combat Outcome (p11) Relics are NOT destroyed if they added +1 in rear support and the element directly in front of them is destroyed.

Combat results are treated the same as War Wagons (just add "Relics" to the appropriate line of the combat results table) – this means Relics do not recoil.

For recoils – “If it is not Elephants, friends facing the same direction are interpenetrated if allowed otherwise pushed back unless Elephants, War Wagons or Relics.” – this means that troops recoiled into Relics are destroyed.


In the case of the medieval WWg in the lists identified above, there are often calls for their complete removal from the DBA army lists on the grounds that:

  • they represent a single wagon used to carry a sacred standard or relic, which makes them out of scale compared to other elements
  • they do not shoot
  • the use of them as WWg in an offensive fashion is "cheesy" (Anglo-Normans especially get a lot of criticism)

Those who would like having the Khazar Khagan Whagan, the Carriocco or the Anglo-Norman standards of St Peter and Cuthbert are often told to put them in the camp, where the Ark of the Covenant was banished to in the Early Hebrew Army.

Litters are similarly disparaged because they are meant to represent a single litter bearing a general and carried by bodyguards. Their depth and speed make them difficult to use.

However I would contend that these interesting element types add considerable character and interest to the game and should be included because:

  • They were moved closer to the battle line (sometimes right in the thick of things) and NOT left behind in the camp;
  • They were commented on by sources which suggests that their impact was much greater in terms of visibility rather than the physical area they occupied; and
  • They had a specific purpose, to improve the morale of the army.

Therefore, my proposal is for them to become a new troop type -- Relics (Rc) -- whose principal role is to provide rear support to front line units.

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Last Updated:18 August 2015

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