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Variant Rules

Double-Based Pike

By Kyle Burley

I have been doing some thinking about the new army lists and how Pike Armies fare on the DBA table. I have been playing DBA since the game came out and have played many a game of DBM as well. I have become convinced that the Pike element's combat factors and size need to be changed to better replicate its historical combat function, as well as its unwieldly yet powerful characteristics.

As the DBA army lists are based on proportionality, I think that Pike armies have been "short-changed" due to the necessity of a second rank support to give the front rank element combat factors of 6 v. ft. and 7 v. horse. This decreases the proportional amount of pikes in a pike based army by half. DBA has matured enough as a rules set that it does not need to be tied to DBM anymore. The Pike elements complete nature can be changed.

I propose that Pike elements be represented on a double base with two ranks. For example, a 15mm Pike element would be represented by 8 figures on a 40x30mm base.

In addition, the combat factor should be changed to 5 v. foot and 6 vs. horse, with a multiplier of +1 for an additional rear rank (although the later is not really necessary).

To simulate the Pike's inherent weakness against missile fire, Pike suffer a -1 factor against missile fire and are recoiled when beaten and destroyed if doubled.

In this variant, a Pike element would be larger, better replicating the depth of a phalanx on the tabletop, without sacrificing real army elements. This would really give Bd armies a challange and might bring some balance back into the game as the favored armies are always Bd it seems these days. Remember, it wasn't the Roman short sword that defeated the Pike but Bd. in combination with missile fire.

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Last Updated: March 25, 2000

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