DBA Resource Page

Unofficial Rules Variants

Simultaneous Bounds


Chris Brantley's Proposed Variant

Traditional DBA requires movement and combat to alternate between players in opposing bounds. Player A moves, shoots and attacks. Player B moves, shoots and attacks. This is certainly a viable method and may even reenforce the somewhat linnear constraints of moving large bodies of men in ancient/medieval warfare. It detracts somewhat, however, from the historical feel of battles where both sides engaged simultaneously in a chaotic ebb and flow. This "simultaneous bounds" variant rule is provided as an alternative to the alternating movement/attack bounds method as an experiment to see if it better captures that feeling, without adding undue complexity to the game.

New Sequence of Play:

Both sides die for initiative. The player with the higher initiative takes first action, moving a single element or group. Movement then alternates until both sides have exhausted their initiative points. If a player rolls an initiative die result double to the opponent's, the player may make two movements for every single movement of the opponent (e.g., Player A rolls PIPs of 6. Player B rolls PIPs of 2. Player A moves two elements or groups. Player B moves one element/group. Player A moves two elements or groups. Player B moves one element/group. Player A moves two elements or groups.).

Once movement is completed, low roller may shoot any single element of artillery, war wagons or bow (with their supports). Shooting alternates between players until all eligible elements have shot and outcomes have been determined.

High roller may then engage in close combat, selecting one element (i.e. attacker) and resolving the outcome. Close combat's alternate between players until all opportunities for close combat have been resolved.

All other rules of DBA apply.


Alex Aimette's Proposed Variant

I had the following idea for Simultaneous Bounds:

  1. Both players dice. If they roll equal, the turn is said to have ended.

  2. If the rolls are unequal, the high roller subtracts the low roller's score from his to determine PIPs. He then moves, or fires that many elements or groups of elements until he has either used all PIPs OR moved/fired all his elements he desires. At that point the turn is said to have ended.

Note that some units may not have the opportunity to move/fire. The turn may end unpredictably, before either player has finished. I haven't playtested this yet, but shall very soon!


Gamer Feedback

Alex Aimette: Tried the simultaneous bounds last night and decided that it didn't work well. We ran into the problem of too many melee resolutuions in relation to movement and fire. The system we tried was each turn had ten possible pips to use. The two sides started by rolling against each other, and the high roller subtracted the low roller's score and had that many pips to spend. This continued until the ten pips were used up or we rolled the same number, which abruptly ended the turn. It cost pips to fire and move an element or group. We also allowed multiple fires a turn to make up for the loss of free firing (it now cost a pip, whereas before it was automatically once a turn). While we agreed that it made the interaction between the two forces more uncertain and we liked that, there was a drastic increase in melee resolution periods (every pip roll-off). The alternative was to make that cost a pip also, but it made the elegant simplicity of the game disappear.


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Last Updated: August 21, 1999

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