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Wadi is a Arabic term for the narrow valleys, dry river beds or drainage washes typically found in arid desert regions.  They are invariably dry, with no surface water, except during rare periods of brief but heavy rainfall. Because the bed of a wadi is typically flat and sandy, they often provide the equivalent of a road through otherwise difficult terrain.

For DBA purposes, wadis are an optional terrain feature for armies classified with the Dry terrain type, and are treated as (dry) rivers for purposes of deployment and play, with the following variations:

  1. The wadi is considered good going for troops moving along its length (which is permissible)

  2. Its banks are sloped (gentle or steep) and provide slope advantages to defenders.

  3. A group move across a steeply sloped wadi must be in single-element wide columns.  Troops crossing a steeply banked wadi must continue crossing at the same angle or line up in close combat with an enemy element that is defending the opposite slope.

  4. Although the nature of the wadi's banks (gentle or steep) are known to both players at deployment, each element crossing a wadi with steep banks and off-road must dice separately and score 3 or more to cross successfully.  On a 1-2 result, the element loses its pip and remains on the near bank, preventing any further element crossing the wadi anywhere this bound.

  5. A fleeing element cannot avoid a wadi, which destroys it if steep banked.


The Wadi Shallal in the northern Sinai is a good example of a wadi with both gentle and steep (bordering on impassable) banks.

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Last Updated: 18 August 2015

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