DBA Resource Page

Unofficial Rules Variants

Horse Archery Variant Rule

Under the DBA rules, Light Horse is described as essentially javelin, bow, or crossbow armed light horsemen or camel riders who sought to harass and impede the enemy by galloping past shooting once or twice at close range. For that reason, Light Horse is not allowed to engage in distance shooting, but the effects of their missile fire is factored into their modifier for close combat resolution. There is some argument, however, that certain bow-armed Light Horse in DBA (e.g., Mongols, Scythians) were capable of sufficiently heavy volumes of fire at sufficient distance to justify an allowance for distance shooting. To allow for that interpretation, the following variant rules for Horse Archery can be used upon mutual agreement of the parties:

  1. Eligible Light Horse elements with horse bows may shoot at 200 paces at +1 vs. foot and +2 vs. mounted. Enemy affected by them treated it as if from the "Bows" class.

  2. The Light Horse engaged in horse archery must select the closest element within their arc of fire (one element base width of straight ahead) as their target.

  3. If the Light Horse loses the missile fire roll, there is no effect unless the firing element is doubled and the target element is Light Horse or Psiloi, in which case the firing element will flee 600 paces to avoid the return missile file.

  4. This rule variant should only be used for those Light Horse elements in Army lists for which a historical case for high volume horse archery can be made. At present, that should be limited to:


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Last Updated: August 16, 1998

Comments and suggestions welcome. Send them to Chris Brantley, c.brantley@ieee.org.