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Variant Rules

Impetuous or Dilatory Allies

The following variant rules are designed for use in Big Battle and Huge Battle DBA games involving use of allied commands and were inspired by Phil Barker's "Dilatory Allies" rule for Horse, Foot and Guns. They are based on the assumption that "Impetuous" commands are eager to engage and thus more likely to move first, whereas "Dilatory" commands are those who are slow to engage, preferring others to do the fighting and dying. By simulating varying levels of aggressiveness within a specific army, they are intended to lend uncertainty and "friction" to the game. The rule should normally only be used by agreement of the players in games where Allied Commands are used to comprise a Big Battle army.

  • If an Allied General's command has a higher aggression factor than that of the Commander in Chief's, the Allied command is impetuous. In this case, the CnC's command does not move until the number of friendly bounds completed by the Allied command(s) exceeds the difference.

  • If an Allied General's command has a lower aggression factor than that of Commander in Chief, the Allied command is dilatory. It does not move until the number of friendly bounds completed by the CnC's command exceeds the difference.

  • If the Allied General and Commander in Chief's commands share the same aggression factor, then both sides throw PIP dice and move as normal.

It should be noted that this variant rule relies on the assumption that high aggression armies will be more impetuous and low aggression armies more dilatory. This is a shakey assumption at best in DBA, since many irregular and impetuous armies (e.g. Illyrians, Thracians) are classed as low aggression (where aggression seems to be defined as a likelihood to engage the enemy on foreign turf). By the same token, high aggression conquest armies like the Romans are typically well disciplined and less likely to be either impetuous or dilatory. Therefore, the following alternative methods are offered:

  • Use the method above, but reverse the effect of the DBA aggression factor (i.e. a low aggression army is more likely to be impetuous and a high aggression army more likely to be dilatory).

  • Roll a D6 for each command and compare results. Allied commands whose result is higher than the CnC command are impetuous (i.e. must complete the number of turns equal to the difference in the die rolls before the CnC command can move). Allied commands whose result is lower than the CnC command are dilatory (i.e., can not move until the CnC command has completed the number of turns equal to the difference in the die rolls). To make this option more interesting, you could add +1 to the die of each command for every three elements of Warband and/or Knights it contains.

  • Roll 1D6 for each allied command with the following results: 1=Impetuous, 2-5=Normal, 6=Dilatory. Then roll 1D6 for each Impetous or Dilatory Command to determine when they can begin to move in comparison to the CnC's command.


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Last Updated: Dec. 31, 2002

Comments, suggested additions, and/or critiques welcome. Direct them to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.