Rules of New World DBA

These are the rules for New World DBA. It is a variation on DBA so you’ll need those rules for it to make sense.

Playing Area and Ground Scale (p. 2)

DBA in the New World is intended for the normal 2′ x 2′ DBA/HOTT table. For a large battle use a 3′ x 2′ table. If you do, then use more terrain features.

Army Size (p. 2)

Armies are made up of 75 army points (AP) worth of troops (or 90 AP for a large battle), plus a camp and an optional camp follower. Each army has a general who can be assigned to any element; the default troop type for the general is indicated in each Army List by (Gen). To allow some choice, each Army List includes about 45 AP of compulsory troops and has a maximum total – if all troops could be taken – of about 180 AP. The camp and optional camp follower are free, but other elements cost AP. Making a element a general requires no additional AP as all armies have one, and only one.

Troop Definitions (p. 3-4)

Scythed Chariots and Camelry, did not feature in the New World.

Ditto for War Wagons although except Litters (i.e. WW(I) ) were in use. Lit can not shoot.

Elephants, Cavalry, Light Horse, Spears, Pikes, Lit and Psiloi (renamed “Skirmishers”) are as the standard DBA rules. There were no Elephants in the Americas, but the Portuguese faced them a fair bit in India and further east.

Knights are simply renamed “Lancers”.

Artillery need to be beefed up to reflect their relative potency in the New World.

Auxilia, Hordes and most Warband have been merged into Blades, but with different grades possible. Otherwise Warband has only been retained for War Dogs, which cannot use a supporting rank.

Bows have been replaced by Shooters thus allowing the possibility of firearms within the same category. Shooters have different grades possible.

Troop Grades

Blades and Shooters have a Grade, but other troop types do not.

European (E):

European troops who generally because of equipment and/or attitude outclassed the locals by a considerable margin.

Base 3 or 4 figures to an element, i.e. Bd (F, O) or Sh. I think 3 figures per element makes the the contrast to the massed natives look more marked.


Jaguar Knight

Superior (S):

Native troops considered by their contemporaries to be significantly superior in morale and/or efficiency compared to the general tribesmen. Examples are members of Warrior Societies such as the Aztec Eagle and Jaguar knights, Tlaxcallan archers protected by Shield Bearers, and Tupi Archers.

If using existing DBx figures then these are likely to be based 3 or 4 figures to an element, i.e. Bd (I) or Wb (S) or Bw (S, O). I, however, prefer a massed look so recommend basing them like Hordes, i.e. 5-8 per element, or double-based elements (6 or 8 figures). To get this massed effect without rebasing you could just put two existing single elements together and treat them as one.

Ordinary (O):


Aztec

Representing the great bulk of Native troops of that type.

Once again we’re looking for the massed effect here so 5-8 figures per element. DBx Aztecs are perfect as is, but for nations that are classified as Ax (DBM Mixtec) or Wb (DBR Mixtec) or Bw (Tarascan, Texcalan) this will mean using two existing elements as one or double-based elements.

Artillery

Artillery factor, fire rate and fire effect are both increased and push back results are counted as a flee to reflect the terror that cannons induced.

Artillery either shoot or move in a bound, but not both. They shoot in their own bound (as in HOTT but contrary to the DBA rules) (p. 10).

+5 against foot and mounted (p. 10).

Any indigenous Blades, Shooters and Skirmishers count a push back result as a flee. (p. 11).

Conquest of Guatemala

Lancers aka Knights (Ln)

Mounted troops gave the Spanish an immense benefit over the Aztecs, who at first thought they were dealing with magical monsters with two heads and six limbs.

The speed of lancers has been increased.

Lancers, like Knights, are Impetuous: Under the same conditions as can Warbands they can move a second or subsequent tactical move during the same bound (p. 9), and must pursue their own base depth when a close combat opponent does a recoil, break-off, flee or is destroyed (p. 11).

Tactical move as Cavalry in DBA (p. 9).

+3 against foot and +4 against mounted (p. 10).

Blades

Including all close fighting infantry primarily skilled in fencing individually with swords, cut-and-thrust weapons, or heavy clubs, sometimes supplemented by hand hurled weapons. Irrespective of the nationality the typical tactics were a precipitate massed savage rush to contact.

Some Blades are Impetuous: Under the same conditions as can Warbands they can move a second or subsequent tactical move during the same bound (p. 9), and must pursue their own base depth when a close combat opponent does a recoil, break-off, flee or is destroyed (p. 11).

Unless otherwise noted treat Blades as DBA Blades.

European Blades (BdE):

Example, Spanish or Portuguese Sword and Buckler men.

+5 against foot; +3 against mounted (p. 10). All BdE are impetuous.

Superior Blades (BdS):

Example, members of Warrior Societies such as the Aztec Eagle and Jaguar knights.

+4 against foot; +2 against mounted (p. 10). BdS of some nations are impetuous, see the Army Lists.

Ordinary Blades (BdO):

Example, Aztec Clan Warriors.

+3 against foot; +2 against mounted (p. 10). BdO of some nations are impetuous, see the Army Lists.

Conquest of Guatemala

Shooters

Representing foot who fought in formed bodies by shooting at long range with bow, crossbow, firearms, sling or atlal dart-thrower, and who relied on dense shooting, light spears or side arms, or sometimes interspersed shield bearers, for survival at close quarters instead of skirmishing or evasion.

Shooters of certain nations (as specified in the Army Lists but including Portuguese and Tupi) used shooting as a brief preliminary to charging into hand-to-hand. Such Shooters are Impetuous: Under the same conditions as can Warbands they can move a second or subsequent tactical move during the same bound (p. 9), and must pursue their own base depth when a close combat opponent does a recoil, break-off, flee or is destroyed (p. 11).

Unless otherwise noted treat Shooters as DBA Bows.

European Shooters (ShE):

Example, Spanish Crossbowmen, Arquebusiers, and/or Musketeers.

+4 against foot; +4 against mounted (p. 10).

Superior Shooters (ShS):

Example, Texcalan archers protected by Shield Bearers, Tupi Archers, or Inca Regulars.

+3 against foot; +3 against mounted (p. 10).

Ordinary Shooters (ShO):

Example, other Texcalan archers.

+2 against foot; +3 against mounted (p. 10).

Basing Your Figures and Models (p. 5) /h2>

In my view, one of the improvements of DBR over DBM was the reduction in the variety of base sizes – DBR mostly uses 40 mm x 20 mm or 40 mm x 40 mm, with a few 40 mm x 30 mm.

To emphasise the numbers of the locals you could consider putting the European foot and skirmishers on 40 mm x 20 mm bases and others on 40 mm x 40 mm bases with a corresponding increase in the number of figures. This is similar to the Square Element Bases proposed by Michael Fischer. Similarly for HOTT elements, if you use them. I’d use 40 mm x 40 mm bases regardless of the type.

Having said that, I admit that my figures are based on the normal, i.e. 40 mm x 20 mm, stands.

Creating the Battlefield (p. 6)

The Army Lists indicate the type of terrain features appropriate for each army.

Because these armies have a larger number of elements than standard DBA you may want to use a larger than standard table size. I am currently using a 3’x2′ table for 90 AP armies. Restrictions on the number of features depends on the size of the table. For terrain placement the table is divided into 1’x1′ sectors.

Terrain Selection Table Table size
2’x2′ 3’x2′ 4’x2′
Num. Compulsory features 1-2 1-3 2-4
Num. Optional features 2-3 3-5 4-6
Num. 1’x1′ sectors 4 6 8
Num. sectors to include at least part of a feature 3 4 6
Num. sectors to include a Waterway, a River or some bad going 2 3 4
Maximum num. of each of Waterway, River, Oasis or BUA. 1 1 1
Maximum number of features of any one other feature type 2 3 4
Suggested AP for army 75 90 2 x 75

Winning and Losing (p. 11)

The first side that at the end of any bound has lost either its general or at least 1/3 of its elements not including camp followers or denizens loses the battle. A camp or BUA occupied by enemy during the battle and still under enemy control counts as 2 extra elements lost. Elements that recoil, flee or otherwise move across a battlefield edge count as lost, but reappear in the next turn of a campaign.

The Flowery War

Some Mesoamerican nations, e.g. Aztecs, used warfare as a means to acquire captives for ritual sacrifice. This had a detrimental impact on their fighting ability relative to the Europeans. In his article Duckworth (1992) simulated inclination to capture by allowing the Aztecs the option to capture their enemies rather than kill them. Gaining sufficient captures gave the Aztecs victory; in other words the Aztecs are trying to achieve an utterly different objective from the Conquistatores.

I have not bothered to directly simulate this characteristic of Mesoamerican warfare. I’m interested in open field battles rather than skirmishes. In an open field battle the commander is concerned about the state of whole bodies of men rather than the fate of individuals. The fact that individual Indians are trying to capture rather than kill is factored into the lower combat factors of the native troops. I leave it at that.

Army Lists (p. 20-50)

See the New World DBA Army Lists. There are specific army lists for:

References

Duckworth, P (Nov 92). The Death of Quetzalcoatl – Fall of the Feathered Serpent The Conquest of the Aztecs. Wargames Illustrated 62, 12-13.

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