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Unofficial Rules Variants

Scouting For Deployment

The DBA rules base the order of deployment on the result of an unmodified dice roll. Like most DBA rules, this abstraction simplifies and speeds-up play, but ignores the ability of a General who has outscouted his opponent to pick the most favorable ground for battle. To provide for this "scouting" option, one of the following variant rules may be used by mutual agreement of the players:

Variant One

Before rolling for deployment, determine the scouting modifier (SM). Start by totalling the scouting value (SV) of all elements in each command:
Light Horse 3
Psiloi 2
Cavalry 1
Auxilia 1/2
All others 0

Compare the total SV against the following chart to determine the SM:

Value (SV)
Modifier (SM)
0 -1
1-4 0
5-10 +1
11-15 +2
16-20 +3
21+ +4

Both players add their scouting modifier to their inital deployment die roll and then deploy normally as indicated by the DBA rules.

Variant Two

The following variant was developed by Jeff Bolton and originally published on the dbm-list@lists.stanford.edu mail list. It provides a more complex system that allows for use of ambushes and flank march variant rules.

Before performing the set-up dicing, figure the scouting value (SV) for each of the opposing armies. To determine the SV for an army, total up the scouting values for the elements in the army. The values for the elements are:

Light Horse 3
Psiloi 2
Cavalry 1
Auxilia 1
All others 0

Exchange the values for Psiloi and Light Horse if the scouting occurs in predominantly rough terrain.

Once the SV for the opposing armies is determined, divide the larger SV by the smaller.

If the result is 2 or less, there is no effect.

If the result is greater than 2, but less than 5, the army with the larger SV can choose whether to be considered the attacker or defender.

If the result is 5 or more, the army with the larger SV can choose whether to be considered the attacker or defender. In addition, the side with the lower SV can not perform any flank marches. Finally, there is a possibility of a major ambush. Both sides roll a die. If the side with the higher SV rolls a 6 (applying their CinC's grade to the roll) and the side with the lower SV rolls a 1 (applying their CinC's grade to the roll), a major ambush occurs.

In a major ambush, the side with the lower SV does not deploy on the game area. Instead, one entry point is designated along the army base edge for each command. Each command must enter at its designated entry point in a one element wide column. Each column must move towards the enemy base line by the shortest route and best speed possible along good going or roads. Rivers do not block the shortest route. The commands can not deploy until the bound following that in which the enemy is visible; exception - skirmisher (i.e. Psiloi and Light Horse) units can deploy normally upon entry to the game area. Those units that do not enter the game area on the turn of entry enter in later turns, in a one element wide column, at the entry point for their command.

Source: This is a variant of the scouting rules that are in WRG 7th (I don't like or play it, but I do read it). The scouting rules simply make the deployment aspects of the game more uncertain.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1, 1997

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