DBA v3

Today my copy of DBA v3 arrived, in the continuing struggle to find rules that accommodate by collection of ancients that seem to be gathering dust. So here is a quick review based in a 10 minute flick through.image

First thing to note is the format. A4 and hardback. Definitely a move up from the A5 paper bound 2.2 rules. There are also 142 pages. So what do we get for our £20?

The rules themselves still come in 14 pages and have added what looks to be a lot of chrome. The mechanics are the same with a few more troop types with more interaction. Gladly not the brain straining my bound your bound of DBMM. There looks to be a lot of expansion in the terrain section too.FINALLY moving to an all metric measuring system – hurrah! Welcome to the 20th century!

The next section are 15 pages of diagrams. The fact that you need 15 pages of diagrams illustrates the legendary prose Mr Barker is capable of.


I notice the comment about being understood by a dull 9 year old is now removed. Useful though to avoid argument

The last and most weighty section is the army lists. There are now nearly 300 lists. Expanding form the 3 or 4 line from the old rules, each list now has a DBM style paragraph with background and notes on the army. Most worthy as I like reading these! Especially the pithy comments … “fit only to kill chickens…”


As I understand it great attention has been paid to the clarification and simplification of the writing style. Only time will tell on that front. Overall a nice product , looking to be worthy of the title of magnum opus, as folk are already saying

Battle of Teutoburger Wald – Escape from Aliso

I’m looking for some willing participants to play in the second scenario from the Hail Caesar – Germania book


Escape from Aliso

The valour of Lucius Caedicius, prefect of the camp, deserves praise, and of those who, pent up with him at Aliso, were besieged by an immense force of Germans. For, overcoming all their difficulties which want rendered unendurable and the forces of the enemy almost insurmountable, following a design that was carefully considered, and using a vigilance that was ever on the alert, they watched their chance, and with the sword won their way back to their friends.
[Velleius Paterculus, Roman History, 2.120.4;
tr. F.W. Shipley]

Dio tells the story in greater detail  but does not mention the name of the fortress. It must have been a large stronghold (it had a prefect and is called a castra) in the valley of the Lippe. The name Aliso suggests that it is identical with the fortress that Drusus had built near the river Elison, Oberaden; but this had been evacuated in 8 BCE. On the other hand, Aliso is not the same as Elison, and perhaps we are allowed to identify the fortress with Haltern, which perfectly suits Dio’s and Paterculus’ words. It was hastily evacuated: in one of the potter’s pits, at least twenty-four soldiers were buried; weapons were stored away; coins were buried in hoards; much pottery survives intact.

We’ll play this game sing FOG, as I’m not sure everyone enjoyed Hail Caesar, and everyone is familiar with these rules.

Its a slightly smaller game than last time and can accommodate up to 6 players, but I can adjust if necessary.

I would look at Thurs 13th November to playthis.

Please let me know if you are interested.