Storming Works

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The DBA campaign rules provide a mechanism for resolving seiges - the beseiger rolls 1D6 and compares the result against the required total depending on whether the defender's field army is present and how many seasons have passed. If the seige roll is successful, the city or fortress and its entire garrison is bagged. If the seige is unsuccessful, then the beseiger loses one element, but can try again next season (until Winter). This is classic seige by attrition.

This variant rule provides an alternative; instead of standing a seige, the invader may elect to storm the works. This offers the prospect of a quick (and potentially bloody) resolution, and is historically appropriate for armies that lacked the resources to sustain a prolonged seige, armies commanded by rash or impatient lords, and/or commanders who must act before Winter forces them to abandon a seige. The variant is also better suited to campaign games where forces are significantly unequal or where campaign fortifications are small and would not hold an entire army as garrison. This variant also attempts to keep all players in a campaign engaged by giving players the option of fighting out seiges as a battle, rather than sitting out turns while other campaign players fight their regular battles. Players are encouraged to adapt this variant rule to their particular campaigns.

Defender places terrain normally, including a BUA which must be positioned in the exact center of the Board. Attacker may deploy anywhere on the Board at least 200P from the BUA.

The beseiged player may designate up to three elements from those available in his field army (or garrison) as defenders of the BUA. The defending elements are lined up in a deployment column in whatever order is desired (either in the BUA or off-board if space does not permit). The lead element is the active defender on the walls and is placed in the BUA. The defenders may not sortie outside the BUA.

All BUA rules are in effect, except as modified below.

If the active defender is killed, rather than the BUA falling, the active defender on the walls is replaced by the next element in the defender's column. The attacker does not move into the fortification (even if impetuous). Combat continues.

If the active defender is killed by artillery, then the BUA does not surrender. Instead a breach has occurred, and the defensive modifier of the fortification is reduced by -1 for all subsequent combats. Reductions for subsequent losses to artillery are cumulative. If the BUA's defensive modifier is reduced to 0, then mounted may attack the BUA without penalty.

Elements lost by the attacker or defender are returned to each player's reserve.

The attack continues until the BUA falls (i.e. the designated defenders are destroyed) or the defender voluntarily capitulates, the attacker suffers 4 elements lost, or the attacker abandons the attack. The attacker who is repulsed may elect to continue the seige or withdraw, but there is no seige roll for that season.

When a BUA falls to a successful storming attack, two extra troop elements from the defender's field army (if present) are transferred to his reserve in addition to the active defenders destroyed during the battle. This represents demoralised troops cut down in the sack of the BUA. The balance of defending troops present are taken as prisoners and are released when the defender assumes tributary status.

Other Optional Rules

This rule can be further modified to reflect different sized fortifications and garrisons. Each fortification on the campaign map is assigned one or more elements in the defender's field army to serve as a garrison. A small fortified keep or manor house may be alloted only one element in its garrison. A larger castle may be alloted two-three. A small walled city may hold three-five. Rome could hold an entire field army. In each case, the number of active defenders permitted should be modified accordingly - 1 for small, 2 for medium, 3 for large, and 4 for huge fortifications. Thus, in a campaign where you are defending a series of castles along a frontier, you need not worry that you will lose your entire field army if a single castle is successfully stormed. At the same time, in a campaign where you are defending a great walled city such at Constantinope or Ninevah, everything is at risk.

If a fortification has been beseiged for one or more seasons by an army containing one or more elements of artillery prior to the storming attempt, roll 1D6 for each season the fortification was beseiged. On a result of 5-6, the BUA's defensive modifier is reduced by -1. This reflects the cumulative battering of artillery on the walls designed to weaken the defenses prior to the storming attempt.

To spice things up further, friends of the besieged players may send allied contingents who fight normally, outside the walls, in an effort to break up the storming attack.

Dismounting elements dismount as provided by their army list, otherwise all Knights (HCh) may dismount as Blades, all Cavalry (LCh/Cam) may dismount as Auxilia or Bows, and all Light Horse may dismount as Psiloi.

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Last Updated: 4 January 2004

Questions, comments, suggestions welcome.
Send them to Chris Brantley, IamFanaticus@gmail.com.