DBM 24

About This Document

These rules were spurred by my annoyance with several aspects of DBM, including the size of the armies, the length of the games, the awful terrain system, and the use of a points system. They will certainly not work well in tournaments without a strong theme and a lot of work by a referee. I really had campaigns in mind when I drew them up, for which purpose the shorter playing time, fewer figures required, and the assumptions about even matches are well suited.

Some of the rules in this document are not entirely necessary to facilitate the change in scale, but are rather my attempts to fix little things that bother me about DBM (such as the invincibility of Bd when shot at, or the inability of Pk to form square). All of these rules are marked Optional, and will show up in red if your browser understands my tagging.

Army List Building

Army lists should be reduced so that armies number between 16 and 30 elements, averaging around 24. An army should feel the right size, but be balanced appropriately against whomever their intended counterparts are to be (i.e., a typical English 100YW army should probably be 16-18 elements of mostly or entirely Reg(S) troops, while its typical French counterpart should be 26-30 elements but include lots of troops of questionable quality).

Options should be in the spirit of DBA, allowing options only in groups or packages that change the composition of the army to match some historical OOB, or at least a probable one. Camps should consist of 4 Bg elements if the army has less than 24 elements, otherwise camps should be 6 Bg elements. Any army which historically fortified its camp should automatically have enough TF to surround all its own Bg elements.


This system is meant to give something of a feel of choosing, instead of tailoring, terrain. It depends upon the deployment rules to work.


Battle Rules

  1. Each general gets a d3 instead of the normal d6.
  2. Ally generals are unreliable on an initial PIP roll of 1.
  3. No command may have fewer than 4 elements.
  4. Pk get a +3 for having a second rank, and no bonus for further ranks, as in DBA. Pk(X) get only a +1 for a second rank.
  5. Ranges of all shooting elements are cut in half:
  6. Art(S) do not turn to face enemy, but do fight as if the first edge contacted is their front edge until close combat is over.
  7. Bg elements have no front edge and no zone of control (any element can pass freely across any edge within any distance of the Bg element).
  8. A friendly foot element may occupy the same space as an immobile Bg element, and must be recoiled or destroyed out of contact before the Bg element may be fought. This is so that camps may be defended by combat troops. The ground scale is too large to comfortably allow camp outlines much larger than the Bg they surround.
  9. Kn are +3 vs. shooting.
  10. Optional: Skirmisher definitions. Ps of any grade armed with bows or slings may support other Ps. This is to make up for my regrading of many DBM Ps in the DBM24 army lists. I've found that the rulebook guidelines for grading Ps don't necessarily result in proper historical behavior.
  11. Optional: Shooting resistance. Bd and Sp are +3 vs. shooting.
  12. Optional: Dismounting. Elements which dismount during the game may not remount.
  13. Optional: Hedgehogs/schiltrons. 2 elements of Pk allowed by their army list to form a hedgehog or schiltron may line up back-to-back and get the following benefits:
    • they do not recoil;
    • they do not turn to face;
    • they count as the front edge the first edge contacted during movement;
    • they count rank bonuses toward their front edge as if they were lined up and facing the right way.
    Obviously a hedgehog or schiltron can't legally move as a group without first lining up facing the same direction. Recommended only for Scots, Swiss, and various Hellenistic armies. May also be applied to Ax(X) and Sp if appropriate to the army.