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Official DBA movement scales and how I adapt them

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Official DBA movement scales and how I adapt them Empty Official DBA movement scales and how I adapt them

Post  PeterT May 26th 2016, 16:50

Glad everyone seems to enjoy a few DBA games and especially glad Chris enjoyed his first couple of games and had the hang of it pretty quickly.

As some of you may have detected I tend to play fast and loose with the official rules on scales, for both movement scale and table size. For friendly and beginners games I don't think it matters much, and it is only really in competition games, where experienced players are trying to use every trick that can think of to give them the edge in a game that it really matters, and I don't go out of my way to find games with 'rules lawyers'.

But for what it is worth here are the 'official rules' and how I adapt them.

There are three main things that matter (width of an element base, scaling the measurements given in 'paces' especially for movement, and table size), and two options for scales are given in the rules. These are intended mainly to accommodate those players who like to play with 15mm figures and those who like to play with 20/25/28mm.

The two scales work out like this:

                     Element Base Width       100 paces=         Table Size

15mm             4cm                             4cm                  2 foot x 2 foot
20/25mm.       6cm                             6cm                  4 foot x 4 foot

I like a few other players out there like sometimes like to play with larger 'double-based' elements, which is also the size used for unit bases in Impetus. Extrapolating the two official scales the scales that you should use for 'double-based' are: 

                     Element Base Width       100 paces=         Table Size

'Double based'.      12cm                      12cm                 8 foot x 8 foot

I personally find converting everything for movement in centimetres a bit messy (especially 6 cm to 100 yards) and so clearly do other people as it is suggested to make special measuring sticks to accommodate this.

2cm is not that far off an inch (closer to 2.5cm in fact, but not that big a difference) and I think it is just simpler and easier to convert paces into inches and measure in inches. If I was to be using 15mm figures on 2x2 foot table this would give me 2 inchs: 100 yards. Therefore a normal heavy foot move would be 200 yards, ie. 4 inches. It is worth noting that trying to use this scale on anything bigger than 2x2 foot table will  4 inches per turn moves can make it a bit of a slow game.

If I am playing a 20mm game on 4x4 foot table I am using 3 inches:100 yards. A heavy foot move would then be 6 inches.

Obviously the typical club table (here and at my last club) is normally bigger than 4x4 foot, and usually rectangular, typically 6 foot plus by 4 foot. It would be possible to put a cloth of the table that is 4 foot wide to get the correct boundaries for the game, but I take the view that in real life there would be no natural 'board edge' so why impose one if I don't need to? If you are that worried about the table not being square another alternative as we make a 6x4 table by pushing 2 tables together in is that difficult to add a third. This would give you a 6x6 table.

It is worth noting that for the double based game, the official conversion for 100 paces is 12cm. Using inches is not an exact conversion and 12cm is actually closest to 5 inches (12.5cm) than 6 inches. An 8x8 table is pretty big, so I more likely to use a 6x4 or a 6x6. So I will probably fudge things and use 4 inches:100 paces or even 3 if board is very small.

So basically if I am using a 6x4 foot table I tend to use 3 inches:100 yards regardless of whether I'm using regular 6cm wide elements or bigger 12cm 'double-based elements'. This gives already gives a nice big  6 inch move to heavy foot, 9 inches for light foot, 12 inches for cavalry and 16 inches for light cavalry, which is similar to other rules that use that size of table.

The only things that really get thrown out of whack by messing with scales are things like distance required to get to a capture a camp (on narrow tables they will be closer and easier to reach). The other thing to take into account is the size of terrain pieces. There are official size limits in the rules, and for double-based they should be scaled up, but this is only a consideration for competition style games and doesn't much affect friendly ones or for that matter historic re-enactments.

Anyway a lengthy explanation but if you are reading the rules yourself to improve your play this might help you understand any inconstistences with how I set up games.


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