So I've been back into wargaming for the last 3 years and whilst I enjoy fantasy I want to branch out into more historical gaming.
I have been painting up some 10mm ECW and 28mm Napoleonics however the gaming scene around here (South Cheshire) is GW based and I have to use public transport which limits access to clubs.
So I'm looking at rule sets and came across DBA (I think I played some WRG stuff back in the late 80s with someone elses models at a club in Chester) however to be honest some of it is a bit confusing so I'm hoping for people to point me in the right direction.
So here are my questions:
1) looking on the bhgs site the conventions page mentions FoGAM/DBMM/ADLG among others - I have deciphered DBMM but am confused by the others. I'm gathering they are different rules for different periods
2) what are the common periods and scales - I don't want to limit the possibilities of games why painting up an army
I will take a crack at answering your questions, however, I am sure there will be others who have more informed answers for you.
1) FoG is a rules system called Field of Glory, as far as I know. I do not know what the "AM" stands for, though. ADLG is for Art De La Guerre, which is another rule system, and I think is somewhat similar to DBA. I think both FoG and ADLG cover the same periods as DBA, in that they are both quite expansive.
2) For DBA, the army lists are divided up into four big chunks of history called Books, with each Book focusing on a different time period:
Book I - 3,000 BC to 500 BC Book II - 500 BC to 476 AD Book III - 476 AD to 1071 AD Book IV - 1071 AD to 1570 AD
And they have armies from all over the World.
I think it is more important to have a common base width to have the miniatures on between competing armies than having the same scale of miniatures between competing armies, however, the most common scale seems to be 15mm and then followed by 25/28 mm.
I think the most popular armies come from Books II and IV, but any army from any book can go against any army from any Book, as they all use the same rule set, etc..
One of the main reasons why I started playing DBA was the relatively low miniature count needed to make an army... just 12 stands!
3) I did not check your profile to see where you are located, but I hope people chime in and reply with an affirmative, that there are players and/or clubs near you.
You also found a great forum here... really friendly people here and there are tons of resources available for you as well.
I will suggest checking out the wiki page for DBA too, and if you want to see some excellent game play, check out one of the fellow member's (Tony Aguilar), youtube videos, which you can find a link to in the "Rants and Raves" section... the same section you posted your first of perhaps many messages
My personal journey started with a Greek DBA force I picked up from a chum, ended up buying the rest of his army eventually. The next two DBA forces I got were EIR and Ancient British, both now built up to much bigger forces.
Def agree get something you have an interest in and get the two DBA sized forces done they may then encourage you to grow them to larger armies.
Either that or start on Book 1 army 1 and keep going.
So am I right in that you start with a DBA army or two and work up to the larger versions.
Any tips for choosing a first army?
Hey! Welcome to DBA!
I would ask what was your inspiration for getting into Historicals?? For me it was the Kenneth Branagh version of Henry V. So for me I started off with a 100yrs War English and Med French. And it has grown from there. DBA is a great game with lots of fun and interesting challenges. But be aware, it is very broad brush history, there is very little exact period crunch. But personally I don't mind that.
I’d advance two other considerations, after agreeing with going with whatever period you’re interested in. The first is, given multiple periods of approximately equal appeal, you might go with the one that will be easiest to paint. The second possiblility would be to go with the one with the most cross-over potential; so, a batch of Dark Ages spearmen with round shields could comfortably fill out a bunch of different armies, for example.
As all have said before - get the purple book then pick a pair of armies that you like and you feel happy with.
My favourites: I started with Alex vs Porus. Can’t argue with Alex! I love Polybian vs Carthaginian - but Carthage isn’t for newbies. I like Rome vs Gauls = good games! You can’t go wrong with Romans! Teutons vs Poles is my go to match up for a fun battle. HYW or WOTR are both classics that need playing.
Other thoughts: Book 1 Biblical armies give good even fights. The troops might not be colourful but the fighting is! Try NKE, Sea People or Neo-Assyrians! I like the Arab armies as they are easy to paint and have camels. Some of these armies have less than 36 figures and so are quick to paint. Book 2 are classics! It’s where ancients are at their best! If you get only one DBA army make it Polybian Roman! If you want lots of armies with a few figures look at the Successors. Don’t forget that you get elephants in many of them! You’ll never regret a Book 2 army! Book 3 - a bit of an acquired taste but plenty of gems to be found there! I like the Arab armies as well as the Feudal armies. If you want to get started quickly then I’ve painted an Islamic Berber army in 10 hours - and it’s no slouch on the table! Book 4 - High Medieval and is fantastic stuff. If you want a Book 4 army that has good utility and lots of enemies look at Medieval Germans. I also like the colourful armies like Low Countries or Burgundy but think the Crusaders are really nice armies and good to paint.
Anyway - that’s just my 2p! Other people’s views will differ!
The reason for looking into the game is that I was getting into Napoleonics with a mate who sadly passed away during lockdown. This led me to the world of historical gaming via the Plastic Crack Podcast. Now I'm looking at trying different games and this is one that keeps cropping up.
Army wise biblical could be fun but I also like my medieval history. Might go crusades or something in this area.
How does it work with historical timings and different armies fighting?