DBA 2.0 Points System
By Philip Woutat
The suggested point values below stem from the same calculations made in variants One, Two, and Three above, updated for DBA version 2.0 and DBM version 3.0. The results were then rounded up or down; up if the troop type has a combat factor of "+4" or better (which in practice seems a threshold assuring notably better element survival), down if the troop type has a combat factor of "+3" or less. Artillery were rounded down to better reflect their difficulty in maneuvering and their susceptibility to any other troop type in close combat. Camp Followers were given a point value of 2 largely to reflect the fact they make another element available in the field, since by point system Variant One they would now receive a score of "-1", which doesn't seem appropriate.
My recommendation would be to use these point values to tally the army totals for whichever armies are being considered for a battle, and then add units as appropriate (based on troop type balance in the standard DBA/DBM army lists and historical army composition) to the weaker side. Barring additional units being available, of course, elements could be eliminated from the army with the higher point total. Each army's break point should then be adjusted if necessary to one-quarter the total number of elements.
Based upon my experience playing DBA, these seem like a reasonable first approximation for a point system to replace the arbitrary "12 elements per side" rule, and hence could lead to more even match-ups of armies. These have not been play-tested, however, and I would encourage anyone who does so to report their response, positive or negative, through the Fanaticus Forum or through e-mail to Chris Brantley to post here in the Rules Variants section of the Fanaticus web site.
Jason Gibbons: I tried your points cost system to play an expanded DBA 2.0 Polybian Roman vs. Later Carthaginian. Army compositions: Roman: 3xCv, 2xPs, 2xSp, 6xBd, 4xAx (121) and Carth: 4xLH, 2xCv, 3xSp, 3xWb, 5xAx, 3xPs (124). I still think these are reasonably balanced armies in terms of their composition. What I had been finding prior to this is that using the 12 v 12 recommended armies the Romans were beating the Punics with ease (not all down to my generalship I hope). We have now played this version twice and it is 1 win apeace, both contests going down to the wire. Exciting stuff! Now lets introduce some elephants and see if they tip the scale...
In summary I like the points system. It seems to make for more balanced games where generalship and use of terrain seem to be the dominant factors, not dice rolls or inherent element strength.
Last Updated: 23 Sept. 2005
Comments, questions and feedback welcome.