Each player represents a faction of powerful and influential groups (noble families, local bourgeois, clergy, etc.) held together by legal, economic, political and familial bonds. The player's job is to advance the power and prestige of his own faction. Ruling nations and controlling land are secondary (though important) aspects of this power. Prestige is gained in battle (of course), but also in taking power away from other factions.
One of the objects of this system is to get everybody in on each battle, so nobody sits out while DBA is being played. There can theoretically be any number of players, but the practical limit is 8. Any more and the battlefields will be too factious.
Each fief must have a fortress strength, a number representing the ability of a fief to resist a siege. See Sieges below for details.
The fiefs must be grouped into regions, each representing a territory with somewhat homogeneous terrain, politics, population, etc. Regions are the minimum political unit recognized by nations.
Fiefs can either be drawn as territories on a map, or as nodes with interconnecting routes like in the standard DBA campaign. In either case, the route between two fiefs should be classed as either normal, sea, or rough. The type of route affects campaign movement. Long sea routes can be split into territories, or have intermediate sea nodes.
Some number of these fiefs must be capitals. Capitals do not count as part of any region, even if nested entirely within a region. At the beginning of the game, each capital is the seat of a nation, which includes some number of whole regions.
Players hold fiefs all over the map, regardless of regional and national borders.
Initial control. Before the game begins, the fiefs must be divided up. This can be done through scenario rules or at the whim of a referee, or by the method below:
No player may put a control or claim marker into a fief in a region where he already has one, unless he has no other choices.
No player may have one kind of marker (control or claim) in all the fiefs of a single region. A player must skip his turn if his only move would violate this rule.
The player who controls each capital also controls the ruler for that nation. No player may control more than one capital at the beginning of the game. A player may have claims on more than one capital, however.
After all the fiefs have control and claim markers in them, each player must make one of his fiefs into his home fief.
Players dice off see who goes first, then go clockwise around the table from there.
Each player may do any one of the following:
If a war or rebellion was declared this year, or is continuing from a previous year, a campaign starts after the last player has taken his action.
A player may only make a claim on a capital fief if he controls more fiefs in that nation than the player controlling the capital.
To exercise a claim, the player with a claim marker in that fief assumes control of the fief (i.e., replaces the control marker with one of his own).
The player declaring war must also declare a pretext for the war. The possible pretexts are:
The throne. The player must have a claim marker on the capital fief of the nation he declares war on. Each region of the enemy nation which the player captures becomes part of his own nation. If he captures the capital, he gains control of it, but the player losing control of it keeps a claim on it.
Territory. The player must claim one or more regions, and must have a claim marker in at least one fief of each. The claim markers in the other fiefs of the claimed region(s) must belong to players who have more fiefs in his own nation than in the enemy nation. If he captures all the fiefs of the region he's claiming, it becomes part of his nation.
Honor. Each player on the ruler's side gains one prestige point for each fief of the enemy nation that he ravages.
The ruler of each nation at war gets one army, and may start it in any fief of his own nation.
When a player declares a war, all of the other players in the game must declare which army they will join. The player controlling the capital of the defending nation may not join the attacker's side (obviously).
At the start of the second or later season of the first campaign, or in any later campaign of the war, a player who contols the capital of a neutral nation may declare that he is joining the war. He must also declare which side he is joining. He may start an army of that nation in any fief of the mobilizing nation. Players who do not control rulers involved in the war may switch to this new army, if they do so as soon as it is announced.
A war between two nations ends as soon as the army of one side is disbanded or sues for peace. Each contested region reverts to the control of the nation which owns the most fiefs within it (the original owner wins ties). A nation "owns" the fiefs of a region which belong to a player on its own side.
If he has a claim on the throne, the rebellion is a usurpation attempt. Otherwise, the rebellion is an independance movement.
In an independance movement, the leader of the rebellion must declare which regions are attempting to gain independance. He must control at least one fief in each rebelling region. His home fief must be in one of the rebelling regions.
The player starting the rebellion gets one army, which must start in his home fief.
The ruler of the nation may assemble one army. It may start assembling in any fief of the nation.
Each fief is friendly to the side on which the controlling player sits.
If the army of the rebellion is disbanded or sues for peace, the rebellion ends and the rebelling regions return to control of the nation. If the national army disbands or sues for peace, the rebellion automatically succeeds, and the regions in rebellion become a new nation together. The home fief of the player who started the rebellion becomes a new capital, and the player owning it must declare a new home fief immediately.
A campaign represents up to a year of military activity.
Each campaign is divided into the four seasons, starting with
spring and progressing through summer, fall, and then winter.
The spring and fall seasons each have 3 campaign turns.
The summer season has 4 campaign turns.
The winter season has only 2 campaign turns.
If the war or rebellion was declared this year, the player who declared it decides in which season he is going to start campaigning. He starts with the initiative, in the first turn of this season. If the campaign is a second or further year of a continuing war or rebellion, it starts with the first turn in spring, and the leaders dice for initiative.
The defending player, and any player who raises an army after the war has started, must assemble his army before he can use it.
An army may do any one of the following each campaign turn:
Assembling and Disbanding Armies.
It takes 1 full campaign turn to assemble an army. During this time, the assembling army cannot do anything.
An army cannot assemble in a ravaged fief.
If an assembling army is attacked, it must stand siege or disband. An assembling army must stop assembling while under siege, but may continue if the siege is lifted. Double all losses from attrition.
An army which disbands may re-assemble later. If it tries to re-assemble in the same campaign year it disbanded, it will only reach half strength, and must recruit to get back to full strength.
Disbanding is immediate. As soon as the player declares he is disbanding his army, he takes his army marker off the table.
An army may move any distance along normal routes, within the region in which it began the move. It must stop as soon as it crosses a region boundary, a rough route, or a sea route.
An army which moves over a rough route in winter must check attrition.
Armies which move by sea must begin and end the move on land; they may not stop at sea.
A move by sea may fail, if the weather turns for the worse.
To make a move by sea, the player must first declare where he is
trying to move, then rolls a 3-sided die.
Subtract 1 from the roll if it is spring or fall, subtract 2 if it
is winter, and subtract 1 for each sea route it crosses on the way.
If the result is greater than 0, the move succeeds.
If the result is 0 or less, the move fails. The army returns to the fief from which it started the sea move.
The army must check for attrition after it is done moving, whether the move succeeded or failed.
If a move carries an army into a fief containing an enemy army, the enemy army must either stand siege, fight a battle, or retreat. To retreat, the leader of the army moves it to any adjacent province, and rolls for attrition. If the fief retreated into contains an enemy army, the retreating army must fight a battle or retreat again (but may not stand siege).
Each time an army enters a fief that has been ravaged, it loses one element to attrition (do not roll).
When an army ravages a fief, it is destroying the food, shelter and other resources, and driving out the population, to make the fief inhosipitable to visiting armies.
A ravaged fief should be marked as such. Black smoke markers work nicely.
Pick up all ravage markers at the end of a campaign.
Sieges are abstracted into a simple dice-based waiting game, just like in the DBA rulebook.
Each campaign turn, the besieging player rolls a die, and adds:
|+1||for each element of artillery in the besieging army|
|+1||for each campaign turn already spent besieging the fief|
|-2||if the fief is occupied by an enemy army|
If the modified die score is higher than the fortress strength of the fief, the fief falls to the besieging army. Any army standing siege in the fief is completely destroyed.
If the modified die score is lower than the fortress strength of the fief, the fief becomes ravaged (if it isn't already), and all armies in the fief must roll for attrition.
When an army must roll for attrition, roll a 3-sided die, and apply the following modifiers:
|-1||if the army is in or entering a friendly fief. A fief is only friendly if the player owning it is not at war with the leader of the army, and agrees to be friendly.|
|-1||if it is summer|
|+1||if it is winter|
|+1||if retreating a second (or further) time this turn|
|+1||if travelling across a sea route in winter.|
The result is the number of elements it must lose.
Losses due to attrition may be any elements of the leader's choice, except generals' elements.
At least half (rounded up) of the elements lost to attrition must be mounted, if possible. If the only mounted elements left in the army are generals' elements, the player must dismount one general's element for each mounted element "lost". This does not destroy the general's element; it only dooms it to being on foot.
An army which spends a campaign turn recruiting may add one element back to the army from its reserve, if it is:
An army may recruit while encamping or encamped.
Each army has the option to encamp. To do so, it must be in a friendly, unravaged fief.
An army loses its encamped status if:
Armies that are not encamped during a winter campaign turn must roll for attrition at the end of the turn. This roll is in addition to any attrition rolls caused by other actions (such as sieges, movement, sea crossings, etc.).
When the winter season ends, the campaign is automatically over.
Woe to the defeated...
When a fief falls to siege, or is the site of a battle, it is conquered by the side that won.
When a fief is conquered, it immediately changes hands.
Remove any control or claim markers belonging to players who aren't
part of the conquering army.
If this leaves only a claim marker which belongs to a player with the conquering army, this player now assumes control of the fief, but gives up his claim to do so.
If both markers are missing, the leader of the conquering army must let a player (of his choice) in his army put down one of the missing markers (the leader chooses which one). The leader replaces all other missing markers with his own.
At any time during a campaign, any army leader may ask for peace. If an enemy leader accepts, the conflict ends with that leader immediately.
Any army which winds up at peace with all other armies on the table becomes a peacetime army. Peacetime armies may still take turns, but may not perform all of the same actions as an army at war or in rebellion. The actions available to a peacetime army are:
All fiefs are considered ravaged to peacetime army, unless they belong to the same nation as the army.
All losses from an army are put into a reserve. When an army recruits to replace losses, these new elements are taken out of the reserve and put back into the army.
If an army drops below 12 elements, it automatically disbands.
Each player who leads an army is the C-in-C for his side.
All generals' elements must be either Bd or Kn, unless campaign-specific rules say otherwise for the player's army.
Elements which recoil or flee off the table during battle may move back onto the table anywhere along the same table edge, during a turn in which the player rolled a 6 on his pip die.
The winning army of a battle takes over the initiative in the campaign.
|+1||per enemy element destroyed.|
|+1||for destroying an enemy element with a Kn element.|
|+1||+1 for destroying an enemy general's element.|
|+3||for ending an element's movement inside an enemy camp.|
|+1||per fief the player controls.|
|+1||per region the player controls.|
|+1||per capital the player controls.|
|+1||per enemy fief ravaged during a war for Honor.|
If playing with detachments, you will need to provide a dozen or so "detachment" markers for each army marker. Each detachment marker should have a unique identifier. Elements sent off in a detachment should be placed on a card or placard marked with the same identifier as the marker to keep track of its composition.
A detachment has a more limited list of actions it may take:
Assembling and disbanding.
A detachment may be assembled at any time during an army's campaign turn, from the elements of an army or another detachment. Simply assign 1-4 elements to an unused detachment marker, and either move the marker from its starting point, or leave it behind in a fief as the parent marker passes through.
A detachment may be disbanded at any time. If it is in the same fief as the army, its elements are rejoined with that army, even if the army is just passing through the fief at the time. If it is not in the same fief as the army, its elements are lost.
Assembling or disbanding a detachment does not count as an action for either the army or the detachment. An attachment may take an action in the same turn it assembles or disbands.
If an army disbands, all detachments assembled from it also disband.
Detachments are moved at the same time as the army takes an action. A detachment's actions are independant of the rest of the army's.
Detachments of entirely mounted troops may move any distance along normal routes, as long as they remain in the same region. Like armies, they must stop as soon as they cross a rough route.
Detachments containing any non-mounted troops may only be moved to or from a fief adjacent to the army.
Detachments may not cross sea routes.
Detachments may not fight battles. If attacked by an army or a larger detachment, they must either retreat, disband or stand siege. If they retreat or stand siege, they suffer attrition just like an army would. A besieged fief with a detachment standing siege inside it counts as being occuped by an army.
A moving or retreating detachment may only stop in an enemy-occupied fief if the enemy detachment is smaller. The enemy detachment must stand siege, retreat or disband.
A detachment or army may move or retreat through a fief containing an enemy detachment, if the enemy is outnumbered. However, the moving army or detachment must roll for attrition, to represent harassing attacks by the unmolested enemy detachment.
A detachment may besiege a fief if no enemy army or detachment is present, and the number of elements in the detachment is at least double the fortress strength of the fief.
If you wish to play with fleets, you will need to provide six fleet markers for each player in the game. Each fleet marker represents a portion of a fleet. A fleet is represented by a number of fleet markers all occupying the same fief. Fleet markers belonging to the same fleet must all move together; they may not move independantly.
Each nation may have one fleet. Each nation's fleet is controlled by the player who controls the capital.
A rebel leader may have a fleet if at least one of the rebelling regions has a friendly coastal fief.
Only a player declaring a war or a rebellion may start with a fleet. Other leaders must assemble a fleet by recruiting, one fleet marker per campaign turn, in a friendly fief of the leader's nation.
Armies may not cross sea routes without a fleet. To cross a sea route, an army must enter the coastal fief containing the fleet and cross one or more sea routes to another coastal fief, accompanied by the fleet markers. Each fleet marker may embark up to 6 elements.
Fleets may move without an army, by sea routes, or between fiefs connected by coastline.
A fleet may not fight unless carrying an army. An unladen fleet is automatically destroyed if attacked by a laden fleet, unless it retreats.
If a laden fleet enters a fief with an enemy laden fleet, the defender must retreat or fight a battle.
A fleet may retreat to any adjacent, friendly coastal fief, but must roll for attrition when it does so.
Naval Battles. If you wish paint and base miniatures and play out sea battles on the table, use these DBA Naval Rules. Otherwise, fight the sea battle like this:
The losing fleet is captured. Remove all of the fleet markers of the losing fleet, and count them. The winner may add one of his own fleet markers to his fleet for each enemy fleet marker removed after the battle. A fleet can never have more than 6 fleet markers in it.
The losing army must retreat onto land in the fief where the battle was fought. Treat this retreat exactly like a retreat on land (i.e., keep retreating until clear or destroyed, rolling for attrition each time).
When a player sends a ruler on crusade, the ruler is assumed to be absenting himself from the nation with some number of his nobles, friends and supporters while he marches off to risk his life for fame and glory in battle against the Infidel.
Each year a ruler is on crusade, the player rolls a single die to see what happens:
|1-4:||The Crusade continues. The ruler has not yet returned; roll again next year.|
|5:||The ruler dies. The player with a claim marker on the capital now exercises his claim. The player losing control over the capital gets a claim on it.|
|6:||A glorious victory. The player controlling the ruler may make a free claim on one fief of his choice in each nation.|
|7+:||The ruler returns. The player controlling the ruler may make one free claim on any fief in his own nation.|
Add +1 to the die roll for each year the ruler has already been on crusade (i.e., add +1 on the second year, add +2 on the third year, etc.).
In the year that the player sends his ruler on crusade, that is his only action for the entire year. In the following years, the player may take other actions or even pass, but he must still roll to see what happens to his ruler.