These rules are for a small DBR campaign involving two main protagonists in a relatively small region – possibly a minor part of a larger war or a conflict between two regional nobles. The rules were inspired by The Wargames Foundry Campaign rules included with the 1644 rule set.
The map will represent an area about 20 miles by 20 miles. It should contain:
- A base town for each protagonist
- One or two other towns sympathetic to each main protagonist.
- A whole bunch of neutral towns (~11)
- Roads to link the towns. The roads must be divided into 1 mile segments to aid movement. Adjacent towns will be between 1 and 10 miles apart; 3 – 4 miles is typical.
- Any major river – in particular where it crosses roads.
- No mention of other terrain, however, the acceptable terrain types for the entire campaign should be specified before starting and this campaign list replaces those in the army lists of the protagonists.
The referee and each player should have a map. They will have all the above information plus the referee’s map will also have marked:
- Defence Value (DV) for each town (1d6 x 40 DV). This represents the town fortifications and the population’s general will to fight. It can be reduced during play, but can’t go below zero. It can be supplemented by earthworks.
Players will know their own town’s defence value, but not normally know that of neutral or enemy towns until they discover them during play. Optionally the referee will put defence values of the neutral and enemy towns on the map of each player, but not necessarily accurate values – use the following table.
|1||-120 (min of 40 DV)|
|2||-40 (min of 40 DV)|
|3 – 4||Accurate|
|5||+40 (max of 240 DV)|
|6||+40 (max of 240 DV)|
Each main protagonist starts the campaign with:
- A base town
- One or two sympathetic towns.
- An army (400 AP) in the base town.
- A garrison (1d6 x 10 AP) in each sympathetic town.
- Town fortifications for each friendly town including the base town (1d6 x 40 DV as above)
Winning the campaign
The campaign automatically ends if either base town is captured; the captor being the winner. Otherwise the game ends at Winter, and the winner is calculated based on victory points:
|Cause of Victory Points||Victory Points (VP)|
|Revenue earned in final week||= RP x 2|
|Each battle fought during campaign||= VP as per Victory & Defeat in DBR (p. 24)|
The Campaign Turn
Each turn is a week and has the following phases:
- Send out patrols
- Move field armies / fight battles
- Gather Revenue
- Supply base town
- Supply armies
- Construct earthworks
- Recruit troops
- Check for change of season
- Plan movement for next week
1. Send out patrols
Each army (40+ AP) may send out a single patrol (1-39 AP). Both garrisons and field armies may send out patrols. Patrols are either all mounted (go faster but are less strong) or mixed with both mounted and foot. Patrols count as part of their parent force for supply purposes. If the parent force is engaged in battle or a siege, the player has the option to recall the patrol thus aborting the patrol’s mission at that point.
All patrols are given an objective for the week, after which they return to their origin. The objective must be within the range of the patrol. Mounted patrols have a range of 10 miles and mixed patrols have a range of 5 miles. Patrol objectives are one of:
Scout along a road
The patrol observes a stretch of road and if an enemy army uses the road the scouts will report its position and composition. A variation of this is to scout ahead of an army. Hostile patrols scouting the same road will skirmish.
Reconnoiter a town
The patrol watches a town and after army movement they inform the player of the town’s defence value (DV), any earthworks (EW), and the garrison size (AP). If an enemy patrol is guarding the town, the two sides will skirmish.
Raid a town
After a week of burning and pillaging, the target town is prevented from generating revenue. If an enemy patrol is guarding the town, the two sides will skirmish.
Guard a town
The patrol will skirmish with any enemy patrols that are either reconnoitering or raiding the town. If the defending patrol wins the skirmish, the attackers abort their patrol and retreat, otherwise the attackers accomplish their objective as normal.
Each side rolls 1d6 and adds +1 for each full 5 AP in a mixed patrol (10 AP in an all mounted patrol). The higher score is the winner; in the case of a draw the higher AP wins. The loser must immediately return to its origin without accomplishing its mission. In addition, they lose 5 AP for each point they lost the fight by. The winner takes no loses and achieves its objective.
2. Move field armies
Armies (40+ AP) move up to 10 miles a week always along roads.
Armies that for any reason are reduced below 40 AP can not move except toward the nearest friendly army, controlled town or earthwork.
If opposing armies meet on a road they fight a battle. Defenders of a town or earthwork on a road/bridge can either come out to fight a battle or stay put to be besieged. Any force can attempt to retreat to avoid battle or siege, although this doesn’t always work. A base town, or a town sympathetic to the opponent will still opt to be besieged even if they have no garrison. Neutral towns with no garrison are captured without a siege.
DBR is used to fight battles.
Terrain placement differs from normal in that:
- A stationary army is automatically the defender, otherwise roll randomly.
- The terrain features must be from the campaign list not from those specified in the defender’s army list.
- A defender can always elect to defend a river on the table top if they are doing so on the campaign map.
- Although campaign movement is along roads, this shouldn’t constrain players on the tabletop.
- An opponent who out-scouts his opponent (see patrols) can move or remove replace a terrain feature just like the attacker can in the normal DBR rules; this occurs after the attacker has had their option to adjust the terrain.
The loser permanently loses 1/2 the AP value of each demoralised command. The winner permanently loses of 1/4 the AP value of each demoralised command.
The loser of a battle retreats away. The winner of a battle, or an army whose opponent retreats away to avoid battle, can complete their campaign move.
Compare the attacking forces total AP to the total defensive value (DV + EW + Garrison AP). The contribution of the garrison may not exceed the DV + EW; any extra garrison troops don’t count. The attacker then rolls a die:
|1d6||Ratio of Attacker to Defender (%)|
|1 – 100||101 – 125||126 – 150||151 – 175||176 – 200||201 – 250||More|
The defending force holds out, but the defences are reduced by 1d6 x 4 DV as a result of the siege. This reduction is from DV but will also limit the size of the garrison that count as defenders next time.
The defending force is destroyed. The attacker moves in and the defence value reverts to its full value if it was depleted.
If the siege lasts more than one week, the garrison may not move, nor may it be reinforced. If the besiegers are attacked by a relieving force the garrison may attempt to break out to assist the relieving force in the resulting battle, but the success of the breakout is dependent on a die roll:
|1d6||Break out result|
|1 – 3||Garrison stays besieged|
|4||Garrison can join the battle as a flank march* only after the enemy has a command demoralised, and only if this is before the relieving army has a command demoralised.|
|5||Garrison can join the battle as a flank march*.|
|6||Garrison joins the relieving army before the battle.|
* Appears on a table edge on a PIP of 6, and can move on subsequent bounds.
If a defending army retreats from a town either before, after, or instead of a battle or siege, the total defence value of the town (including earthworks) drops to zero until it is captured. This also applies if the defenders were merely blocking a road leading to the town.
Armies retreat after losing a battle or to avoid combat. Retreating armies make another march of up to 10 miles away from their enemy toward a friendly controlled town. If the retreat is blocked by enemy (either an army or town) then the retreating force must fight.
If an army is attempting to avoid combat and successfully out-scouts their opponent (see patrols) they may automatically retreat, otherwise there is a risk of being brought to battle. The retreating player throws 1d6:
|Size of retreating army (AP)||1d6 score to avoid battle|
|1 – 199||3+|
|200 – 299||4+|
|300 – 499||5+|
3. Gather Revenue
Revenue is brought into the base town from outlying areas, where it is spent on the activities for the current week.
|Type of town||
|Base Town (doesn’t produce anything, only consumes and channels revenue)||0|
|Sympathetic town not occupied by enemy troops||1|
|Neutral or enemy town occupied by friendly troops||1|
Revenue can only be collected if the player can trace a clear road route from the revenue source to the base town. Enemy occupied towns always block revenue. It is possible to ‘run’ revenue through an enemy field force, but there is a chance the revenue will be captured:
|1d6||AP of blocking Enemy Force|
Captured revenue can be rerouted to the new owner’s base town if a clear route can be found, otherwise it is lost.
Unspent revenue is lost.
4. Supply base town
The base town does produce any revenue, but it does consume revenue. If not enough is spent then civil unrest and desertion depletes the garrison and the Defence Value of the town is reduce to reflect disaffected elements.
Deduct (1d6 – 1) x 10 AP from the garrison.
Deduct 80 DV from defence value of town (min 0).
Deduct (1d6 – 1) x 5 AP from the garrison.
Deduct 40 DV from defence value of town (min 0).
|2||Everybody is happy.|
5. Supply armies
Town garrisons do not have to be supplied, but field forces do. A field force is any force that spent any time out of a town during the week, and includes troops defending earthworks on roads/bridges. Patrols are considered part of their parent organisation for supply purposes.
To receive supplies a field force must be able to trace a clear road back to a its base town and be within 5 miles of a friendly controlled town. Enemy held towns and armies (40+ AP) block supply. An out of supply army suffers attrition of 1d6 x 5 AP, and must also move toward a friendly controlled town the next week, and if enemy blocks their route they must give battle. No army can deliberately move to be out of supply.
If within supply the supply cost depends on the size of the force during the supply phase, so if two forces join they may cost more to supply than if left apart:
|Size of field force||RP cost|
|1-39||0 (live off the land)|
6. Construct earthworks
Both town garrisons and field forces of at least 40 AP may construct earthworks. Earthworks add to the defence value of a town, and give field forces the option of being besieged. Up to 120 DV of earthworks can be constructed in any one spot, at a cost of 1 RP for 20 EW:
7. Recruit troops
Each week it is possible to recruit troops in a neutral or sympathetic town under friendly control (including the base town), but only if a clear path can be traced to the base town (for equipment and money). For a cost of 1 RP the player gains 1d6 x 5 AP in the target town.
8. Check change of season
Initially it is Spring. The game might end earlier, but it always stops as soon as winter arrives. Each season lasts a minimum number of weeks, between 2 and 9, depending on how long a campaign you want. After the minimum period throw a die each week to check check whether the season changes. On a score of 6 the season moves, e.g. from Spring to Summer to Autumn to Winter.
9. Plan movement
Plan the first two phases of the next week.