View Full Version : Square board still needed?

David Brown
01-05-2012, 02:12 AM
Hi gang,

With the semi-random terrain system is there still a need for the square board?

You could go to a 2x3 board and have a more fleshed out terrain system with players sitting on a long edge as they generate terrain.


01-05-2012, 02:24 AM
that and a morale system and we will have 6.1 :D

Richard Lee
01-05-2012, 03:20 AM
Doesn't DBR compact scale for 100 point armies use 2' by 3' boards? Although I have been playing DBA RRR recently (on a normal 30" by 30" playing area) I seem to remember liking the compact scale 3' by 2' playing area.

It seems to me that an increased width of playing area is desirable, and, within reasonable limits, convenient. Excess depth can be a nuisance, in my opinion.

DBA doesn't intrinsically need a square board. BBDBA does not use a square board. However, I have a feeling that the square board for ordinary DBA is a feature that Phil Barker particularly likes, and is unlikely to abandon.

01-05-2012, 08:56 AM
If one envisions DBA as the sort of game you can break out in a pub over a pint or two then square makes sense as tables might often be square. Leaves just enough space to lay out a quick cloth with minimal terrain and still room enough to set your beer. :up

But, if DBA is more likely the sort of game you play at a game club or at home or at a convention or tournament then square is just a shape and probably not a good one considering that many of us are somewhat larger than we were in our youths. :o

I think the question of 2x3 might be worth discussing simply on its merits (or similar increase for 25mm games). What issues does it address and what problems does it solve that are not already addressed by the larger, now optional but soon to be standard, square playing area provide for in the rules?

Does it provide for more and varied terrain? Does it resolve deployment and edge of the world issues? Does it mitigate in favor of mobile armies?

I think that these types of questions, and their answers, are what we should be looking at if we are to consider a change to table shape.

Chris Brantley
01-05-2012, 11:31 AM
With the semi-random terrain system is there still a need for the square board? You could go to a 2x3 board and have a more fleshed out terrain system with players sitting on a long edge as they generate terrain.

In my area, we've experimented with 2x3 boards and the existing terrain rules and they work fine. You have to change the procedure for selection of base edge, which does affect terrain placement strategies somewhat. Not sure how much the the new "semi-random" terrain system would change that.

In any event, however, we ultimately went with square boards to stay as close to DBA rules as possible, sized to 30 inches because that is what fits on the standard hotel tables at the U.S. HMGS-East gaming conventions.

01-05-2012, 12:38 PM
Funny, but the square board was always one of the things that appealed to me about DBA.

The other thing that my group liked about square boards, was that when we made our full-size campaign two summers ago, we pre-set a 15X15 square grid for the campaign, each square of which was its own DBA board! No diagonal strategic marching was allowed. Made a nice strategic map, and "choosing terrain" became a really cool strategic movement subgame.

EDIT: Note there were pool tables of course, but the funny thing was that the horse armies really moved across those quickly (no one would stand and fight them there) but they got bogged down in the hills and forests.

However, I vote Arthurian DBA gets played on a 3-foot diameter circular board!

01-05-2012, 01:06 PM
When I use double-sized stands, a rectangle works fine. Super impressive looking game. Each unit is 4 regular stands on a sabot base. Double all movement, ranges, terrain sizes, etc.

For regular games, I prefer 30" boards. For double sized, a 4' x 5' fits better on my dining room table. And is much easier to cut out of a sheet of plywood than a 5' x 5' :cool

01-05-2012, 09:24 PM
The great thing about DBA is its flexibility. You can play on various size battlefields. 2 Feet square is about the smallest you can do with 12 element armies. The large end of things for 15mm figures is the proportional 32" board. Note that the 30" board is an artifact that allows a bigger area on eastern Hotel tables. 32" is in proportion to the original 25mm board of 48".

I recently suggested to Phil that he not specify a particular size but just say that the game is played on a square board ranging from 24" per side to 32" for 15mm and smaller, and 36" to 48" for larger figures. Then people can use what they want.

I have done games on rectangles too. A few years ago at Historicon, I did a Duplicate Game based on Fornovo with the French moving the long way, and the Italians moving across the short side of a 2' by 3' board.

The small version of DBR - 100 points - does use this size; I have quite a few with historical battles marked out on them. What size does the 100 point DBMM game use?

Richard Lee
01-06-2012, 04:03 AM
What size does the 100 point DBMM game use?

It uses "a 1,200p to 1,800p square tile", which equates to a 600mm to 900mm square tile (roughly 2' to 3' square). When I tried it I used a 30" square, and, on another occaision, a 3' square.

Edit: The sizes in mm and feet I quoted are for 40mm wide bases (15mm and 6mm figures).

01-11-2012, 08:44 AM
If deployment area was determined by measuring from the vertical and horezontal centre lines then rectangular tables would be viable - although of course the longer edge could be the side edge and not neccessarily the base edge.