DBA Resources

Variant Rules

DBA Hit Markers

The following rule is expanded from a club rule forwarded by Peter L. J. who offers that it "is particularly annoying when a line of your chaps pushes back ALL their apponents, to no effect!"

Every time an element is forced to recoil or flee, it receives a hit marker. An element suffers a cumulative -1 modifer to close combat and distance shooting and requires an additional pip to move for each hit marker placed.

Hit markers can be removed in two ways. They can be removed by paying one PIP per marker if the element is stationary that bound and not otherwise engaged in combat. Or one hit marker is automatically removed if the element engages in close combat and inflicts a favorable combat result on the opposing element (i.e. destroys it or forces it to recoil or flee).

Fanatici Feedback

Roy Beers: My pet hate is when an element is eliminated because it can't push back some element behind it, but in recoiling would only be "blocked" by a fraction of a base-width. I'd suggest that in a blocked recoil an element takes another marker and is not destroyed. So it takes one marker for combat result and one for being unable to fully recoil. This means a blocked unit will be worn down eventually, assuming no change in circumstances, but would not be "vaporized" right away.

You could also choose to apply this idea solely to close-fighting types likely to bitterly resist - Bd, Pk, Sp., maybe Wb.

When gaming with 20mm or large figures, you could use dropped items like spears and sheilds as markers. You could even have a shield with a Roman numeral blazon to show the number of markers it represents. This would avoid the counter clutter which makes some otherwise excellent games look like a boardgame-cross.

Ron Vaughn: We have been using the hit marker idea for sometime. It works great and makes the game more interesting-- do you throw in a unit with a minus marker, or wait a turn to rally it. I will not even play DBA without the rule! Our rule is that you do do have to spend points, they rally automatically if they do not move or engage in combat for one phase (the owner's turn). In Big Battle DBA games we make them permanent, except they can be removed if the commander stand and the unit in question are adjacent for one entire turn and one pip is spent.

Richard Jeffrey-Cook: At Valhalla (a small show in Farnborough, Hants, England) next month (14th June), I am running a participation game that will be using this variant. The game is actually DBA squared - where 4 bases in a 2 x 2 represent a single element and all distances are doubled. The game will be in 25mm and is actually Sea Peoples vs New Kingdom Egyptians. The slight twist is that each time a "hit" is taken a base is removed. 4 "hits" and the element is automatically lost. I will let the forum know how I get on.

Mike Taber: Hit Markers is a great way to play DBA. We play DBA as well as several different variations for different eras. In all cases the hit markers work wonders on the games. We don't use an Automatic removal rule. To remove hit markers a unit must be 4" from any enemy stand(s) and must be stationary - has not moved this turn - use a pip to remove a marker. We also use an endurance rule in some games - for DBA we play that a stand can take three hit markers then it will be destroyed (in other games we use varying endurance levels, varying the number of hit markers required to destroy a stand). All in all a great idea; if you try it, you will never go back.


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Last Updated: May 16, 2003

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