On the 26th of March 2008 Dublin Games Guild organised our first 100AP DBMM competition on a club night. This page contains some images of the day, the final results of the competition and some first thoughts on the DBMM rules.
We had a good turn-out for this club event with 8 players plus an umpire (Rob Brennan). Everyone had a good time and there was a real buzz in the pub afterwards for the post-event "analysis". Unfortunately (?) it turned out to be a very well attended club night in general so we were a bit squeezed for space (see the photos) but we secured enough space for our four 60cm x 60cm game boards. We used preset terrain to enable players to get playing as soon as possible and there were a number of pre-designed armies available with tailored player aid sheets for each army. This enabled players (many of whom had no previous DBMM experience) to easily participate.
We played three 1-hour rounds and used the standard DBMM100 0-10 scoring from the rules book. We used one modification to the standard DBMM100 rules, light troops were allowed to setup between 200p and 400p from the board edge instead of only allowing all troops to setup 400p from the board edge. This suited the 60cm boards and made the rules feel a little more like "full" DBMM. We did not use the weather rules either. The defender was allowed to pick his base edge on our preset terrain boards, deployed first and moved second. Armies were limited to those from this year's RINIWA League theme: The Armies of India and Indo-China.
The results were as follows:
Position Name Score Army
1 Donal Coghlan 27 Early Achaemenid Persian
2 Jan van Embden 20 Arab Indian
3 Antti Puurula 17 Early T'ang Chinese
4 Mick Hession 16 Late T'ang Chinese (Southern Han)
5 Rory Meehan 15 Khwarizmian
6 Tony Farrell 13 Alexandrian Imperial
7 Mike Whelan 6 Ilkhanid
=7 Phil Waldron 6 Classical Indian
Obviously there was a fair amount of paging through the rules since most players had either not played a game of DBMM before or had played 1 or 2 practice DBMM100 games. Despite this, the games flowed well. This is because most of us are very familiar with DBM and the basic principles of play - troop types, PIPs, combat, etc are the same. Sure there are new variations and the optimal approach to game-play is different but in terms of just getting a game going the new mechanisms can be crudely characterised as "DBM with new PIP costs, changes to many combat factors and a completely new combat results table". This time out we were most interested in getting some exploration of the rules in action and that means playing and observing the results rather than just reading and re-reading the rules. It will take a while before we start to get a handle on the new tactics required. Of course playing a bunch of opponents and opposing armies with a single army/OOB in rapid succession is always great for this and hence the "competition" format, even though this was primarily a learning experience for everyone. By round 3 we were having no problem getting a result for most games in the 1 hour recommended for DBMM100 - we even finished the competition spot on time at 10.30pm, something that surprised most players.
DBMM100 on 60cmx60cm boards seems like an excellent way to explore the basic mechanisms of maneuver/PIP costs and the new combat interactions between the troop types. This is because there is little scope for grand tactical maneuver or redeployment via march moves and combat is very possible on bound 1. Stratagems and flank marches are not allowed under DBMM100 so you don't have to worry about those rules. Obviously tabletop situations arise that cause you to consult the rules book and work through the interactions of various rules. This also helps building up a knowledge of where to find particular rules within the rules book and I previously found this to be one of the most essential skills for mastering a knowledge of the DBM rules (if only this also conferred tactical acumen and the sense of timing essential to mastering actual play!). Once again the similarity in structure of the DBM and DBMM rules books helps here. There were a couple of rules issues that cropped up during the event but since I was available to umpire and coach players we managed to keep things moving along. None of these have subsequently been seen to be unresolvable from the rules text itself.
High points mentioned by (mainly ex-DBM) players were:
Low points mentioned by players:
In summary, everyone had a fun time and we'll probably do another DGG DBMM100 comp in about 2 months. Most people are very enthusiastic to start playing DBMM full time once the World Championships in Helsinki are over in June.