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Unofficial Rules Variants

De Bellis Solitarius

Chad La Mons

This system for solitaire DBA is designed for use with D.B.A version 1.1. Play without altering any of the rules. A random terrain generator is recommended but not included in this system.

Terminology

NPG: The Non-Player's General

YOU/YOUR: Refers to you the player (i.e. the NPG's opponent)

Mounted or Foot?

Determine NPG's deployment of any of his elements that can be fielded as either mounted or foot at the start of a battle. Roll1D6, adding or subtracting any applicable modifiers and consult the following table to determine the deployment result:

Die Roll Results
0 All foot
1-2 One mounted, rest foot
3-4 Half mounted, half foot
5-6 One foot, rest mounted
7+ All mounted

Modifiers

  • -2 Battlefield contains a river or more than 2 bad-going terrain areas
  • -2 Your army has more than 3 Bws or a WWg.
  • -1 NPG army contains 4+ Bws
  • +1 Your army has more than 3 mounted.
  • +1 Your army has more than 2 Ps or Aux.
  • +2 NPG army has 6+ Mounted

Camps

If NPG starts a battle with a camp, it will ALWAYS be garrisoned by a camp follower. Placement of NPG's camp is always to its rear edge, as centered as terrain will permit.

Deployment Engine

Group all of NPG's elements according to their type (e.g., All Bows form one group, all Knights another, etc.). No group may be larger than 8 elements (e.g., the Spartan army (#24b) contains 12 Spear; 8 of those Spear will form one group, the extra 4 will form another.

Determine actual placement of each group by rolling 1d6:

1-2 Left Flank
3-4 Right Flank
5 Center
6 Reserve

Actual positions (i.e., Center, Flank, etc.) will vary according to the size of your battlefield. For a 2' x 2' game board: CENTER & FLANKS will rest on a 600p front line with spacing of 200p between the above positions. The frontline (i.e. the CENTER) should be centered in the middle of the game board. The RESERVE is paced 300p behind the frontline.

When positioning groups, it is possible to end up with the whole NPG army in one massive group in one area (i.e. center, reserve, etc.). Assume for example, the die results have two groups of Spartan spear both being placed in the center. The Spartans are thus placed in a huge phalanx 2 ranks deep, 6 elements abreast.

When multiple groups are occupy a mixed position in the Center, Flank, etc., deploy them consistent with the following rules:

  1. All Pikes, Spear and Warband will be in support of each other (i.e., 2 ranks); Psiloi will support Blades only if YOUR army contains more than 3 mounted elements.

  2. The fastest elements are placed on the outer extremities of a group. Fastest mounted have priority over slower mounted. (e.g., 3xCb, 4xPk & 1xSch have been grouped together on the left flank, the 4xPks are sandwiched between the CB and the SCh since they both move faster than the Pk.

Some positions may be rendered impractical due to the pressence of impassible terrain or terrain an element cannot enter (e.g. the die roll indicates that a group of two Ottoman bombards are to be placed on the left flank where there is a large bad going marsh. Since Art can't be placed off-road in bad-going, the 2Arts must roll for a new position.).

Tactical Engine

At the start of each NPG bound roll 2 dice. The first die determines movement points. The second die determines the NPG BATTLEPLAN for this bound (essentially what element(s) shall warrant priority in expending move points).

Die Roll Battleplan
0-2 Defensive
3-4 Cautious
5+ Aggressive

Modifiers

  • -1 Each element NPG has lost
  • +1 Each element you have lost

After rolling the above dice, move the NPG's elements acording to the following BATTLEPLAN priorities (which reflect the NPG commander's mood):

Aggressive Cautious Defensive
  1. Attack
  2. Maneuver
  3. Cohesion
  1. Maneuver
  2. Attack
  3. Cohesion
  1. Cohesion
  2. Maneuver
  3. Attack

Attack: Moving of element(s) into melee or into shooting range.

Maneuver: Moving element(s) toward your side of the battlefield, swinging around to your rear positions and camp. Also responses to your attempts to outflank. Groups confronted by bad-going will form column to pass through it, but only so long as none of your Psiloi or Auxilia are currently occupying it.

Cohesion: Maintenance of groups. Elements that have recoiled, fled or been destroyed and rendered a group in disorder are corrected; individual elements that are in even a slight chance of being destroyed are retreated to safety or reinforced by forming a new group. Groups in column and not in bad going will form line.

Exercise your best tactical judgment while at the same time remaining within the parameters of the NPG's mood. For example, an Aggressive mood indicates that all avenues of directly engaging in melee or volleys (i.e., Attacks!) should be exhausted before attempting to maneuver element(s) around a flank. It might be helpful at this point to view the NPG as your Commander, issuing out orders that you must manifest as best as you see fit.

Concluding Notes

D.B.S can provide a competent opponent ready to do battle at any time. Indeed, with a few (albeit complex) modifications, D.B.S can be easily adapted to D.B.M or any other miniature wargame. Feel free to share D.B.S with other websurfing wargamers or create a more advanced Tactical/Deployment engine, the possibilities are limitless.

Try it out and let me know what you think!


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Last Updated: July 19, 1999

My thanks to Chad La Mons for providing this variant rule. Comments and suggestions welcome. Send them to Chris Brantley, IamFanaticus@gmail.com.