Sunday, May 24, 2009

Comparing DBMM and DBM

They are working on DBMM Army Book 4 (later Medieval) on the DBMM list, so I've been sucked into playing around with the system again. I set up a couple of 100 point games pitting the Later Carthaginians vs Polybian Romans. The Romans won all three, but two of them were very close. In fact, one game saw the Romans disheartened(1/4 casualties) in the same bound that the Carthaginians broke (1/2 casualties). I think the game works really well. The rules are very terse, but once you get the hang of it, its a pretty good game.

Feeling adventurous, I decided to set up a similar battle using DBM. I managed to play twice, with the Carthaginians winning both matches. This was caused by two things. First, the army lists are a bit different between the two rules sets. Second, the interactions of the troops are very different. In DBMM, blades quick kill spears, which allowed them to easily defeat the Carthaginian heavy foot. The auxilia fared a bit better, but wasn't enough to defeat the legions. In DBM, blades are at a disadvantage against warbands, so the Gallic foot were able to kill enough blades to carry the day. To defeat warbands in DBM, the Roman player has to break them up via maneuver. Interesting stuff.

I rearranged the Carthaginian DBMM list to use some Gauls, and tried the fight again. This time, Carthage handily won. Granted, it was only one game, but it felt noticeably different. In DBMM, Sp vs Bd is a losing proposition. Wb vs Bd is much more interesting.

Which system is "better"? Its hard to say, since the two are very similar. DBMM is more complicated than DBM, but I don't see that as a problem. I feel that the units have more flavor in DBMM, and the My Bound/Your Bounds stuff is fine. I do think that it will take less time to play a regular sized DBM game. They both seem to produce reasonable results, which is good. In theory, some of the cheese factor that is present in DBM has been removed from DBMM, but I don't know enough to say. Hopefully I'll get a chance to play more and see. (FWIW, Phil Barker is going to be at Historicon, and will be running a small DBMM event. If I go, I'm going to try to sign up for it.)

My next match up will be Marian Romans vs Mithradates. The Pontic armies have a couple of Kn, some LH, and some light foot. Should be interesting.

(I've been doing a lot of research on the Late Republic recently. Really interesting stuff...)

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