Post by felixs on Jan 12, 2020 22:02:34 GMT
Not sure where this belongs, so I went the safe way and put it under "rants and raves", even though it really is neither. It rather is a very brief playtest report.
Since a few years I am in search of an acceptable set of rules for gaming fantasy battles. HotT would have been my rules of choice. But DBA 3 is (in my view) much superior to DBA 2 and HotT (which is based on DBA 2).
I never really liked the way that HotT handles Magicians and Heroes anyway; the "enscorceled" meta-game and the possibility of re-appearing mages and heroes never really appealed to me. Neither did HotT's take on Dragons and Gods. And Lurkers in HotT always were a bit of a pain. And I do not want to even get started on Sneakers.
But I really like Auxilia in DBA 3 and I think that Scythed Chariots (Expendables) and the different types of Warbands, Blades, Knights etc. have a lot of potential for portraying fantasy armies.
So I realized that - for me - the only thing that DBA 3 lacks in comparison to HotT are aerial units. And then I thought further and realized that Airboats are pretty rare and that Flyers could be portrayed by Light Horse in a pinch for most cases.
So no reason not to use DBA 3 as written (but with fantasy army lists) for fantasy!
It works brilliant. And this is best exemplified by an example (Hah!).
Today's game was Undead vs. Elves.
Elves (Forest, Ag: 1) were:
3Kn (Gen), 2x 3Kn, 2x 3Cv, 1 El (giant treeman), 2x 6Bd (elves with mattocks), 3x 3 Bw, 1x LH (pegasi).
Undead (Hilly, Ag: 3) were:
LH (Gen, wraith and ghost dogs), 3x Cv, 6x 7Hd (skeleton hordes), 2x 3Wb (Ghouls).
Elves were defending in both games and placed a few patches of woods in both games. Looked about right. The elvish 6Bd were quite vulnerable, but the elvish treeman wroke havoc on anything in its path. The skeleton hordes fell as they should, but occasional steadfastness was a nice touch and lend a sense of uncertainty to the whole affair.
The first game was won by the undead, mostly due to extremely lucky dice, helped by the elves struggling with their rather narrow deployment zone. One 6Bd, one 3Bw and the LH died quickly, the only casualties on the undead side were two Hd.
The second game was equally fast and furious, but dice luck was not as extreme. This time, the undead player (me...) made a mistake and the general was flanked and killed. Still managed to kill one 6Bd and one 3Bw, but the game ended in defeat for the undead, who lost their General, one Wb, lots of Hd, and finally a Cv.
We discussed that the 3Bw should really be 3Lb and that the undead general should be 3Cv instead. Otherwise we were very happy with the game. The pegasi as LH felt absolutely fine. Monsters and giants as El work perfect.
I will try other army lists and I feel pretty confident that even rather wild combinations should be both playable and fun. Since balance is not an issue in DBA (there just is none and no-one pretends that there is), a rule-of-thumbish approach is fine. Since battles are short, there is always time for another game or for switching the armies to see what the other side of the table feels like.
If you are interested in fantasy gaming at all, I can very much recommend adding a few fantasy elements to your historical armies, or building a fantasy army or two for DBA 3.