DBA players seeking to add a degree of uncertainty to their army composition or involve troop types permitted in De Bellis Multitudinus but not included in the DBA army lists might try this alternative to a Points System.
Tim Donovan posted the following variant method (as edited) to the rec.games.miniatures.historical newsgroup. It requires reference to the De Bellis Multitudinus army lists with respect to proportions and elements not included in the DBA lists. However, the same method could be used with only the DBA army lists by making a deck with a card for regular and optional element and then drawing twelve cards. I am particularly intriqued by his idea of including special terrain or event cards in the deck.
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Tim Donovan: I read an article in Solo Wargamer (I think) of a great way to mix and match up DBA armies. For each army make cards in proportion to the elements listed, and then add a few from the DBM lists that were more rare but could be justified. Then simply shuffle and draw out the number of cards equal to the number of elements one wants in the battle.
For example, the Norse Irish (#112) would normally have:
Using this example, simply make up index cards listing 4 Sp, 12 Bd, 4 Wb, 16 AX, 12 Ps. Then throw in 1 Knight card (Norman mercenaries), a unit of Bow (Welsh or Viking allies or mercenaries) and/or perhaps 1 or 2 Light Horse (as there is debate as to when they actually started using them). Players then simply agree on the number of elements to utilize and then draw out the appropriate number of cards.
In addition players can place special cards in the mix for terrain features, ambushes, flank marches, reserves held off board etc allowing some "stratagems" into the game. This can go a long way in adding some flavor and variety (and increase its longevity of interest) to the game without a point system.
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Last Updated: December 29, 1997Comments and suggestions welcome. Send them to Chris Brantley, email@example.com.