has pointed out, I myself have long been a proponent for allowing the invading-attacker to choose the table size.
And here are my reasons why.What do the table battlefield edges represent?
In reality they just don’t exist. They are nothing more than a totally artificial construct forced upon us wargamers.
In an ideal perfect world, the table playing area would be huge and nearly infinite, limited only by off-table terrain and coastlines.
Of course, such large tables are impossible in practice as we don’t have arms like an orangutan (well, not all of us!
So keeping away from table edges is the best we can do, and having larger tables helps in this aim.The current advantages of being the defender.
The defender chooses how much terrain is placed (between 3 to 5 pieces), their type (linear, good, rough, or bad going), their size (1½ x 3 BW up to 3 x 6 BW), and their orientation in each quarter (which way they face and how far from the table edge). And the invader has no say whatsoever about any of this, except to designate which quarter on a roll of ‘6’. Yes, the invader can choose the deployment areas...but even that is limited if the defender has also placed a road.
Now one would have thought that the invader, being an invader, would choose which part of the defender’s country to invade.
And mounted, pike, and spear armies would be unlikely to deliberately invade where the terrain was totally unsuitable for their armies!Let’s let historical reality be our guide.
For example, let us assume a good going army of mounted, pike, or spear is invading, and the defender has run up the slopes of a steep difficult hill or mountain and dug themselves in. Even the most uncivilized and uneducated barbarian wouldn’t attempt a direct assault...but that is exactly what DBA forces the invader to do on a small table.
In reality the invader would burn crops, pillage villages, storm cities, and do everything to tempt the defender’s out into the open.
As some of you will already know, “A common tactic throughout history when faced with an entrenched enemy is to go around them and cut their lines of supply, causing their opponents to eventually move or starve”.
Allowing the invader, and not
the defender, to choose the table size helps mounted and aggressive armies by spreading out the terrain and increasing the amount of good going suitable for their forces.
After all, the invader has the initiative and can choose where
he wants to invade...defending armies that just sit stationary in heavily defensive terrain can only watch helplessly as their country is overrun and burnt.ConclusionSmall Table Advantages:
easier to carry, benefits bad going armies, and makes tournament games quicker (although large tables are just as fast to play on if both players deploy as far forward as possible, 3 BW from the table centre-line).Large Table Advantages:
more realistic, benefits good going armies, and helps prevent fleeing right off the table (such as Cv, LCh, LH and LCm fleeing from Sp, Pk, and Hd).
So it’s all up to the players. Phil Barker
allows larger tables, but doesn’t tell us who gets to choose them.
I say let the invader decide...it would certainly help high aggression and highly mobile mounted armies such as the Scythians, Attila ‘s Huns, and Genghis Khan’s Mongols, all of whom would be highly unlikely to choose to fight on a small cramped battlefield.Some potentially useful player aids can be found here, such as the “Quick Reference Sheets” from the Society of Ancients,
and the new “Army List Corrections” file: fanaticus-dba.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Reference_sheets_and_epitomes
And this is the latest January 2018 FAQ: fanaticus-dba.wikia.com/wiki/FAQ_2018