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Variant Rules

Army Mobility and Terrain Placement

By Philip Woutat

The aggression factor used to make sense to me, and still largely does, but while the Mongols (to choose that over-chosen but in this case relevant example) were frequently -- nay, usually! -- in someone else's territory, they knew their strength was greatest in open country, and used their greater mobility to attempt to control the actual location of the battle. This seems to me like a logical tactic for any highly mobile army, not just the ever-cited Mongols. Suddenly, the aggression factors and their current role seem problematic. Here is a rule variant to attempt to address this discrepancy in results between army aggression rating and mobility:

Terrain placement initially per DBA v2.0 (Uh uh uh -- we're ignoring BUAs here! ). Then, the sum totals of the armies' good-going movement rates are calculated. For example, the Mongol Conquest army with 3 Cv and 9 LH would have a total of 3 x 400p + 9 x 500p = 5700p. Using the Art option instead, it would have a total of 3 x 400p + 8 x 500p + 1 x 200p = 5400.

For every full 1000p the army with the greater total has over it's opponent, that player may either:

  1. move an existing piece of terrain;
  2. remove an existing piece of terrain; or
  3. add a piece of terrain from the list of those available to that region.

IN SO DOING, the published rules for terrain may not be violated, except for an excess number of terrain elements! Spacing between terrain areas, minimums by quarter, etc., all still apply.

As noted by Magpie: "If you give the base-edge choosing advantage to the army with the higher aggression and the terrain-choosing advantage to the army with the higher "speed", then armies with low aggression that are mostly composed of troops who fight best in bad going are going to be *more* at the mercy of armies with lots of high-mobility troops." In order to ensure balance, therefore, this rule should be used in conjunction with Douglas Barker's "Light Troops and Terrain" variant used by the Manitoba Model Soldier Society (from the Fanaticus Rule Variants list):

"Each player rolls a die and adds to that the number of Aux and Ps in his army. If you beat your opponent, you can add one extra piece of rough going (if you want) in addition to what is already on the board. If you double your opponent, you can add up to two extra pieces of rough going."

After adjusting the terrain, invader numbers sides and rolls for side of entry as normal.

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Last Updated: Sept. 1, 2001

Comments and suggestions welcome. Send them to Chris Brantley, IamFanaticus@gmail.com.