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Variant Rules

Impetuous Armies

Impetuous armies (defined for our purposes as DBA armies having 6 or more warband or Knights) throughout history reflect armies that typically lack unit discipline and that have not been trained to fight in regular formations. They can still be formidable because of their ferocity in battle, but the lack of discipline is often their undoing against regular troops. Just consider the Romans and the Gauls for example.

DBM simulates the difficulties of controlling impetous troops by requiring expenditure of pips to hold each impetuous element (or group of elements) in place. Otherwise they automatically charge towards the nearest enemy and continue charging each bound until held by expenditure of a PIP or until close combat ensues. This mechanism could be borrowed for DBA.

Another approach offer for consideration and experimentation also relies on the PIP die. Here, however, instead of using PIPs to hold impetuous troops in formation, the General is put at the disadvantage of having to use all his PIPs each bound (or as many as can be realistically used). To avoid gamesmanship, two additional rules are required:

  • An element that uses second and subsequent movement can't end a bound in the same position that it began the bound.
  • Separate PIPS may not be used to move individual elements in a group that end the bound in the same group. For example, this prevents a general from using 6 PIPs to move forward a line of 6 elements.

By forcing generals to use all their pips, it will be harder to keep cohesion in the battle line and more likely that elements will strike the enemy in a piecemeal fashion.

This same method could also be used to simulate "hyperactive" generals commanding regular armies.

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Last Updated: April 29, 2002

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