The Camp – A DBA or HOTT Mini-Campaign

I was browsing through some old wargaming magazines and found an article by Steve Burt called “The Siege of Antirhinum, an Ancients Mimi-Campaign”. It looked a good basis for a short campaign for two players. I’ve changed a few things from Steve’s original to fit DBA/HOTT and to give more choice to the players.

Steve’s original scenario is nominally an incident near Antirhinum in 51 BC as Caesar besieged the Pompeian forces. It could easily, however, be transferred to any other setting where an outpost garrisons a camp to protect an off-table main body.

Campaign Rules

The campaign lasts up to 18 days. Each day has a cycle:

  1. Attacker secretly chooses an attacking strategy.
  2. If attacker chose a “Rest” strategy, they declare this immediately and play skips to the next day.
  3. Defender deploys on table, in the camp.
  4. Defender chooses and reveals the day’s forager.
  5. Roll 1d6 for the turn on which the attackers enter the table.
  6. Fight battle with
    1. defender taking first turn.
    2. Attacker moves on table on the previously determined turn.
  7. Attacker reveals Feint, Attack Foragers and Full attack strategies.
  8. Determine Element Recovery

Attacking strategy

Each day the attacker can Rest, Feint, Attack Foragers, or conduct a Full Attack. The Attack Strategy determines the nature of the attacking force and whether they can attack the camp.

You will need pack of nine Attack Strategy Cards. The table shows how many of each type of Attack Strategy Card you need. At the start of each day the attacker secretly picks a card of their choice from the pack. The attacker may not choose a card which allows all troops (i.e. Attacker Foragers and/or Full Attack) on two consecutive days. Once all the cards have been used, then go through them a second time; this gives a maximum length of 18 days.

There is no battle on a Rest day, so move immediately to next day; the defender is assumed to forage uninterrupted.

Feint, Attack Foragers and Full Attack lead to a battle. The aim of each is to interrupt the foraging, inflict casualties, and/or take the camp. Leave the card face down on the table; it is only revealed to the defender after the day, although it will probably become obvious.

Activity Attacking force Can Attack Camp? Number of Attack Strategy Cards Random (1d6)
Rest None. No 3 1-2
Feint Only Cavalry (Cv, LH) and Light Troops (Ax, Ps). No * 3 3-4
Attack Foragers All No * 2 5
Full Attack All Yes 1 6
Total 9

* If the camp garrison is reduced to one element, or the camp is empty, the attacker can attack the camp as part of a Feint or Attack Foragers activity.

(As a complete alternative to the card, just roll randomly – this will have to be public. The die required for each strategy is given in the table above)

MAP_camp.PNG (34721 bytes)

2′ Table for the Camp
Map produced in CC2


The defender deploys within the camp.

At the start of the battle the attacker throws 1d6 to determine on which turn they arrive. The attacker picks one or more entry points (A-E). All troops must enter the table within 600 paces (6″) of those entry points.

Foraging strategy

Each day the defender needs to forage for food and water near the river. The defender selects an element to do the foraging. Other elements can guard the foragers and/or remain in the camp garrison. No element can be the forager two days running, unless there is only one element surviving. To be successful a foraging element must move to the bridge and back to into the camp.

There are consequences for the defender if they fail to forage, and this gets worse over time. For every two complete days without forage the defenders suffer a -1 in close combat. For example, the defender is unaffected on the first day without forage, at -1 on days 2-3, at -2 if they are without forage for 4-5 days, and -3 on days 6-7, etc. If the defender manages to forage on any day then they start this cycle again, i.e. any negative combat modifiers no longer apply.

Determine Element Recovery

Roll for each element lost that day. This gives the number of days it takes for the element to return to duty. Some never return and are removed permanently from the campaign.

Element Recovery: 1-2: Next day; 3-4: +5 days; 5: +10 days; 6: Never


The campaign ends when when any of the following happens:

  • The attackers take the camp, i.e. at least one attacking element is inside the camp, and no defending elements are inside the camp. This results in the immediate victory for the attacker.
  • The siege ends. One each day from 13 to 17, throw 1d6. On a 1 on day 13 the siege ends; on a 1-2 on day 14; on a 1-3 on day 15; 1-4 on day 16; and 1-5 on day 17. The results in a victory for the defender.
  • End of day 18. The results in a victory for the defender.

Period Briefings

Roman Civil War Briefing: Breaking the Siege of Antirhinum

It is 51 BC and the Civil War is raging in Spain. Caesar has trapped some Pompeian forces in the fortress of Antirhinum and is investing it closely. The defenders can hold out for at most two more weeks. A Caesarian subordinate, Nefarius Purpus, has been given the job to ensure siege is not disturbed. Purpus has constructed a fortified camp defending the pass through which any relief force must come. The Pompeian legate Habeas Corpus is trying to break the siege. To do this he must capture the Caesarian camp in the pass.

Caesarean Forces (Defending)

1x3CV or 4Bd (Gen), 2x4Bd, 1×3/4Ax, 2x2Ps, 1xArt

Pompeian Forces (Attacking)

1x3CV or 4Bd (Gen), 2x4Bd, 1x2LH, 2×3/4Ax, 2x2Ps, 3xEL


Burt, S. (1996 Jul/Aug). The Siege of Antirhinum, an Ancients Mimi-Campaign. Practical Wargammer, 38-40.

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