Monday 14 October 2019

Enlarging the Standard Command.

The comments have been surprisingly favourable for the enlarged single command. Below are a list changes to the standard game.

The Game Board

The game board need only be increased by 50% when using this option. As an example, our standard game board is 80cm x 80cm is now increased to 120cm x 80cm for this option.

Terrain Pieces.

The number of terrain features for use with the BBDBA option are increased, but all our tests found no reason to increase this for DBA24, for two reasons; larger pieces could now be used and discarding pieces due to lack of space became a rare occurrence.

Twice the Number

DBA24 simply duplicates the number of elements forming a single command. For some armies this will mean other options can now be used to bring the total number of elements to 24. The Han Chinese as an example may field a mix of infantry and cavalry or alternatively an all-mounted command.

Two Generals

Twice the number of elements will also produce two generals. One is designated a CinC with the second serving as a subordinate general. Although the loss of the subordinate general counts as one element lost, his function is to extend the command distance a further 8BW. If the CinC is lost during battle, the subordinate assumes command of the army on the subsequent turn.  

Allied Contingents

If employed, this too will double in size with a possible increase in the diversity of troop type.

Demoralisation (01-05-2021)

Players familiar with DBA are aware that demoralisation of a command is a feature found only in the big battle option. Demoralisation is reached when it suffers a certain level of losses precipitating the flight its elements to an army’s base edge. The rule is particularly useful if playing medieval period scenarios that divide an army’s force into three ‘divisions’; van guard, main division and rear guard. 

To determine the ‘demoralisation’ for each ‘division’, calculate this as a third of the division’s original elements, excluding horde and camp followers. Reaching demoralisation, flight would take place on the player’s next turn. Expending pips, a player can hold elements or groups in place with the process repeating each turn. Victory is reached when 8 elements are lost or (new) if two of the three divisions (vanguard, main battle or rear guard) are demoralised. (see page 13, paragraph 7). 

Additional Time Required to play?

Beginning DBA24 may require some adjustment as movement will seem slower than one is used to. The standard 12-element game, a decision can be reached on the 4th or 5th turn, but an extra two turns were all that was needed to declare a victor. Some games were resolved in 40 minutes needing seven turns while the longest required thirteen turns or 70 minutes to reach a decision.


The single die cast to shift 24 elements required some rethinking as troops needed three or four turns to move assault troops and supporting elements into striking distance. What has worked successfully is following the ancient text books regarding deployment, regrouping fragmented formations and the use of reserves.

Click on the Index to Storm Within the Empire, scroll to the bottom to find Enlarging the Single Command to 24 elements which lists many examples of battles.


  1. Hi Timurilank, I also was doing DBA24 back in the early 1990's, if you can find a copy of Wargames Illustrated 97 October 1995 I have an article published. It is called "Highly Irregular DBA" and may be of some interest to you.
    The 24 element army looks so much better on the table (twice as good!) than the 12 element army.

  2. Hi Paul,
    Early 90’s meant you used DBA1.0, correct?
    Have you posted the article to your wargame blog?
    If so, how about a link?

    1. Hi Robert, yes it was DBA1.0 and I played little else for years.
      I could scan the article and put it on the blog but would I be in breach of copyright law?.
      Failing that I could scan it and email it to you.

    2. I not sure about copyright infringement, but if you wish to send me any information, here is my email address: timurilank (at) aol (dot) com.

    3. I got my son to send them as he is much more tech savvy than me.