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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Sunday 1 March 2015

DBA revisited

I am sucker for a new rule set. My bookshelves creak with rules that at best I have read and played only once or twice. One reason why I think PDF versions are a very good idea!

I played the original version of DBA when it first came out and enjoyed it. Moved on to DBM, which I played for several years before getting fed up with many aspects of the mechanisms. Played a couple of games of DBMM, but largely the same faults as DBM, although I accept they do give a decent 'feel' for an ancients battle.

I blame the Historical Wargames podcast for my purchase of the latest version of DBA. They did a very good interview with an enthusiastic group of USA gamers who helped develop this edition. It's written in the same basic style as the original, although Phil Barker's writing style has been improved by some external input. No eye candy here, just the rules and all the army lists you will ever need.

My first game today reminded me what a good short game this is. Just 12 elements a side, quick set up and easy to remember factors. I played two games, Han Chinese v Later Greek Hoplites and it ended one each. I doubt if I will be a regular player, but when I fancy a quick evening game, I can see me returning to this set of rules again.

In many ways it feels more like a game of chess, which leads me to mention a very nice gift I was given on a trip to the Western Isles this week. A replica of the famous Isle of Harris chess set. The originals were carved from Walrus ivory and whale teeth. Looks great in my study and I will enjoy the odd game of chess with them.


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