Saturday, August 7, 2010

What's all this then?

This is a bit of an experiment for me.  I've recently started playing a small-scale historical miniature wargame called De Bellis Antiquitatis, or DBA for short.  The plan is that I'll use this blog as a way of recording the games and hopefully finding a way of getting better by thinking a bit harder about the decisions I make during the game.  I do have another blog but I'm guessing that the people who read that aren't really interested in my wargames (and vice versa) so I'll keep the two separate for now.

But first, why DBA?
  1. I have someone nearby to play against.  I live in a smallish town and my opponent is the only person I know here who plays any time of miniatures, and he already had a DBA army and knew the rules.
  2. It's relatively cheap and easy to start compared to most other miniatures games.  DBA requires exactly 12 units, or "elements", to make a complete army.  Each element has between two and four figures in it.  My army cost me under $55 Australian.
  3. It's easy to learn.  Although the rules are written in a strangled and incomprehensible form of English, there are "translations" and guides available online which are very easy to understand.  More to the point, it's a game that it's very easy to learn by playing.
  4. It's quick to play.  I've played four games so far and all of them have taken less than two hours from start to finish including setup, making coffee, drinking coffee, taking photos in between turns, and doing a post mortem afterwards.  Two hours is ideal for me since my life is only going to get busier in the next few years.
  5. The rules are stable.  I've played a bit of Warhammer and Warhammer 40K - they are fun but it's incredibly annoying how rapidly the rules evolve.  Because the entire ruleset, miniature set and "background setting" of these games is owned by Games Workshop, it is in their interest to have a certain level of churn in the rules, so rules updates and new uber-units are constantly being released, forcing players to keep spending to try to keep current.  DBA is a small set of rules that has been out in their current version since Jan 2004.  Nobody "owns" the rights to the Romans or the Spartans or the Egyptians so there are lots of figure manufacturers making interesting figures and there are lots of options available.
So bear with me while I try to figure out ways to take decent, unblurry photos and sensible ways to write up game reports, and also finalize a format for this oh so very plain blog.  Until then, if you're not (yet) a DBA player, why not visit and find out more?

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