The following variant rule modifies the DBA 2.0 rules for War Wagons and was developed by the Washington Area De Bellis Antiquitatis Gamers (WADBAG) as a house rule for club games.
Use the WWg rules as published (i.e., combat factors, QKs, +1 pip to move) with the following modifications:
WWg do NOT turn to face when hit in the flank.
WWg can shoot from every side.
WWg do NOT exert a ZOC.
WWg cannot move while in enemy ZOC.
WWg fight with their horses unhitched and protected, typically in a round or square formation designed to present a defensive face in all directions. They are not tanks--if enemy charged them while wagons weren't in static defensive posture (i.e. with teams unhitched and wagons chained together and/or gaps filled with barricades), they would be quickly overcome.
WWg are not allowed to ZOC a foe since a ZOC is an attempt to prevent enemy forces from doing fancy adjustments and sideways maneuvers while under threat of enemy charge and since WWg deployed for battle can't charge.
The "fire from behind QK" rule will keep enemy forces at least vaguely facing WWg while in missile range. Plus the fact that the nominal "front" of a WWg element has no particular correlation with the axis of threat it exerts on enemy troops, unlike all the other element types.
These modifications, taken together, make WWg a little stronger when used in a semi-static role (with all maneuver happening before getting in enemy ZOC) and significantly weaker and more awkward if they are caught when not positioned well. They don't become some super element -- the advantage of firing from the sides and rear is more than counteracted by the disadvantages of being unable to move while in enemy ZOC, and of not exerting a ZOC themselves. But most importantly, these modifications make WWg function the way they should function historically.
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Last Updated: Nov. 29, 2002
Comments, suggested additions, and/or critiques welcome. Direct them to Chris Brantley at IamFanaticus@gmail.com.