De Bellis Minimus
De Bellis Minimus is a "fast play" variant for DBA, which uses the basic rules mechanisms with modified army lists, deployment and victory conditions. The idea is to fight your battle and get it over with fast. It uses half-sized armies and a quarter-sized gaming area to bring about a decisive result in record time. Now you can play whole campaigns in an couple of hours!!!
Here are the key rules:
Dan Higdon I tried this out over the weekend, and I must say it's a hoot. The games are over almost incredibly fast (10-15 minutes or so from pre-setup to victory), but still maintain the essential flavor of DBA. Of course, one deployment mistake or bad die roll and you've lost, but the games are so fast that you don't have to try to dig yourself out of a hole - just concede victory, and set up again.
What we did for deployment was the "you place one stand, I place one stand" method, without first declaring which stands we would use. That added some tension to the setup process.
The only down side (other than extreme brevity, small number of stands, and a fanatical devotion to the p..., er, sorry. is that the game becomes even *more* unforgiving of bad tactics. Making the breakpoint 3 units instead of the more mathematically correct 2 is absolutely necessary, since you can lose 2 elements in a heartbeat. For instance, when my line (LH/Wb/Sp/Wb/LH/El) collided with my opponent's line (Sp/Bd/Bd/Bd/Bd/Sp), two lucky rolls with my warband broke his line completely, and the resulting overlaps (and another good roll) allowed me to kill a third blade with my spear, thus winning the game in one turn. The board is so narrow, that these lines really stretch the entire width of the board, and there is little time for maneuvering once the game is underway.
I've mentally toyed with a few modifications, but I'm not sure they're really needed, and probably add complexity to little purpose. But here they are, just in case anyone's interested:
If anyone has a few minutes to kill, I highly suggest trying De Bellis Minimus. It's probably also a good way to introduce novice wargamers to DBA.
Last Updated: Oct. 25, 2000
Comments, suggestions and gamer feedback are welcome. Send input to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.