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Rules Variants

Alternative Campaign Objectives

By Jason Ehlers

The DBA rules force what I call a "Conquest" and this of course gets nasty at the end. Another option is to use some other form of "ultimate victory." Some ideas would be:


These would be inanimate objects, such as an Ark of the Covenant, or Helen of Troy, placed in one or another's camp, or in a city, which can be carried off. When one side has all the relics for a certain amount of time, game over. [This suggestion prompted Jim Wright to offer a more detailed proposal for Relics for DBA Campaigns.


This is what it sounds like. When a the general is killed, game over. If you want a longer campaign, allow a certain number of "heirs" to take the ruler's place. A variant of this would be "matched heirs" where two players agree to marriage of their houses, and share the same "heir" and fate.

Time Limit

This allows any house rules or victory conditions to be included but still provides the playability aspect. It is important to make sure the "time" is measured by "game time" i.e. years, rather than "actual time"!

Limited Conquest

Each player's name is written on two scaps of paper and tossed into a hat. Mix 'em up. Each player draws two names and keeps them secret. If the second is the same, toss it back, and draw another, so that each player has two names. These are his "targets". Play proceeds as normal. The winner is the player who eliminates or reduces the assigned players to vassalage first.

Bipolar Superpowers

You can structure the campaign based on antagonism between two sides, each led by the two most experienced players who (this is very important) know each other very well outside the gaming world, in other words, two friends, whose friendship is not going to be affected by the game.This makes certain that the leaders of each coalition can demonstrate the banter is good-willed, and that it will be more fun. Also, because they are experienced in the game, they can help the newer players on their respective side.

The object of the game would be the elimination of the opposing LEADER's army, and none other.

Some examples: a four player campaign pitting Atilla's Huns (with Goth allies) against Aetius' Patrician Romans (with Frank allies). Or a six player campaign pitting Hellenistic Greeks with Carthaginian and Egyptian allies against Rome with Numidian and Gallic allies. It doesn't have to be historical.

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Last Updated: Dec. 11, 1999

Comments and suggestions welcome. Send them to Chris Brantley, IamFanaticus@gmail.com.