Using Big Bases for DBA

BBDBA Celtiberian Scutarii

Big Base DBA (also known as Big Base De Bellis Antiquitatis or BBDBA) allows fast games with a small number of playing pieces and lots of figures. Big Base DBA requires few modifications from the standard DBA rules.

Inspired by Philip Sabin’s Analysis of Ancient Warfare in Lost Battles I’ve drifted further away from normal DBA than you need to, but I’ll explain why as I go along. Mostly it affects basing.

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Who Were the Gardingi in Visigothic Spain? And were they armoured?

DBx and FOG are wrong. The gardingi were personal military retainers of the Visigothic king. They were wealthy and led their own retainers into battle. Given they were wealthy, and a military elite, they probably fought mounted. And in an army where even some slaves wore armour, it is beyond belief that these palatine officials were unarmoured.

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Revised DBA Army List for a Western German Horde

413AD-04 Vandals - Banner

It bugs me when rules writers introduce arbitrary distinctions between troop types and armies. From what I’ve read there was little difference between the Germanic tribes operating in western europe during the migration period leading to the Fall of Rome. I’m interested in the Early Visigothic, Early Vandal and Suevi because they operated in Spain and Portugal, either passing through or settling permanently. The DBA army lists for these armies, II/65, II/66 and II/72c respectively, highlight the issue for me as they differ in ways that are inexplicable to me. DBA is not alone as other rule systems also distinguish these armies in various ways. It is all too much for me. Too made up by the list writers. So here is my blended army list for a generic Western Germanic horde, whether Visigothic, Vandal or Suevi.

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DBA III/34 Andalusian 710AD-1172AD

The DBA army list III/34 Andalusian 710AD-1172AD is one of the two main Muslim armies of the Reconquista. I think the standard DBA list is pretty rubbish due to the high number light infantry. I don’t like it because it makes for a very weak army in DBA but also because it isn’t particularly historical. I’ll post a revision in due course. This post is part of my series on Troop Identities in DBA Army Lists.

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Germanic Lancer versus Light Spear Cavalry in Field of Glory

I was wondering why some Germanic cavalry during the Fall of Rome and Barbarian Kingdoms are counted as lancers in Field of Glory and some as light spear. It isn’t clear to me why the Early Frankish, Alamanni, Burgundi, Rugii, Suebi or Turcilingi and the Gardingi of the Later Visigoths count as light spear rather than lancer like the rest. Or vice versa.

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