Double DBA

> Rules Variants > Resources > Fanaticus

These rules are intended to allow fast big battles with 24 elements per side using the DBA rules, without adding further complexity to the rules. Double DBA is appropriate for single players going head-to-head or for two teams of two players each fielding a command.  Double DBA is much simpler than Big Battle DBA, and retains the speed of play of normal DBA.

Unless specifically altered by the variant rules below, rules are standard DBA.

Army Composition

Each side gets two full DBA armies. The armies don't have to be identical; they may even be different army lists. If you want to play historical battles, the armies should be the same army list or historical allies. If playing with two players per side, each team must designate one player as its CnC.

In games with a single player per side, the forces available don't need to be kept together as separate 12 element army groupings during play. You can place them and move them as if they were all one happy family.

In games between teams of two players, normally each player will start with a standard 12-element command, although this is not required.  If fighting with two of the same army list, players may elect to swap elements between their commands when determining the composition of their commands. Alternatively, players may opt to run different sized commands (as long as the total number of elements = 24), adjusting their breakpoints accordingly.   For tournament play, any rules regarding army selection, command composition and element swapping should be specified by the gamemaster in advance as part of the tournament notice.

Each side deploys only one camp.

The Map

In Double DBA you should use a 48" wide board that is 36" deep for 15mm scale gaming. (Can also be fought on a 48x24 board using regular DBA deployment depth of 6 inches).


The deployment rules are modified as follows to reflect the increased number of players and the widening of the playing area:

  1. Both CnC's throw dice.   The low scorer chooses and places terrain.
  2. Terrain includes 1-3 compulsory figures and 3-4 optional features (not more than three of which can be the same type). No more than one each of Waterway, River, Oasis or BUA is allowed.
  3. The players flip a coin for selection of starting edge (choosing between long edges only). 
  4. The low scorer (on the dice roll) places his camp; it must be in the center 24" of his side. Then the high scorer places his camp similarly on his side.
  5. Now the players alternate placing commands, starting with the low scorer. Elements must be deployed within 9" of their home baseline.
  6. After all elements are placed, the low scorer takes the first bound.

Command and Control

In a two-on-two game, each player rolls his own PIP die and normal command radius rules apply.

In a one-on-one game, each CNC commands all 24 elements. The general rolls 1d6 for pips, but doubles the result to give between 2 and 12 pips. The general's command radius is increased to 1800 paces, 900 paces if obscured by intervening hills, built-up areas, or woods.

As an option, you can roll 2d6 to determine pips rather than doubling the roll of a single die. Note that this will give a uniform result, with extreme results happening less often. This might be appropriate for well-controlled armies like the Mongols or Romans. This decision should be made before beginning a battle, and cannot be changed half-way through.


In both the single player and two player games, an army is defeated if it loses 8 elements, or if it loses its CnC and has lost more elements than the enemy. While a camp is occupied by the enemy, it counts as four elements lost, plus the loss of the camp follower (if any).


This variant is based on a 1998 proposal by David Kuijt, adapted to include 2 on 2 play.  Similar variants were developed by John Garvey, Mike Demana and others.  The major variations relate to recommended board size (30 x 24) and/or the use of a points system (using DBM army lists or other) to determine 24 element army composition.

See report of DBA Doubles at Historicon 2008.

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Last Updated: 18 August 2015

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