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De Bellis Antiquitatis, Just do it!

Sometimes, in order to go forward, one must take a few steps backward. Backward to me meant going back to where my wargaming journey began, many moons ago. The ruleset was De Bellis Antiquitatis or D.B.A. to the hobby illuminati! For the first time it seemed, you could get into wargaming with a simple game that was easy to learn and addictive to collect. Many years later, I had come to derive more and more enjoyment from painting and collecting than uber competitive tournament style games. As figures have got better and better, the urge to collect everything out there is just too great. D.B.A. allows you to have a variety of armies and the rules can even be stretched from the Ancient period into the Reanaissance and beyond (you have been warned!). So with Christmas and Godendag out of the way it was time to reorganise….

D.B.A. Of course uses the “industry standard” 40mm wide basing and that’s not what I was looking for. Impetvs had been tried and these bases looked great although I could never quite get into the rules system. A lucky hit on the Miniatures Page got me started, Impetvs bases with DBA rules. The DBA- rrr variant is also available and that lead me to reconsider the formative Renaissance rules we have been working on…..

Next post will be entirely devoted to the Ottoman army as this army spans the longest period of history. I was quite pleased with the new bases, and the speed at which one can rebase. I am a great believer in diving into new projects and this one in particular seems to have reached a rich seam. Sometimes you have to just realise that something needs changing and just do it!

Once I had started on the Ottomans, I rampaged through the collection and worked on my Alans. Not enough for a full army but enough for an allied contingent. The temptation is to go for more than twelve elements but I have promised myself that I will limit myself to just every option, and a camp, and the ability to field every army simultaneously…….

You guessed it! Before too much longer I was rebasing my French Ordonnance and Hundred Years War English! I’m really loving painting, fixing and reorganising. Now to get some games in and work on getting my sons into playing! 

Thanks for reading!


  1. Love the figures mate and like you enjoy the painting. My biggest frustration and I sense possibly yours too is there are so many things I want to paint but not a chance that I’ll live long enough to ever do all that I want! Still, plenty of fun to be had in the meanwhile😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. TWR

    I have found DBA to be a very enjoyable set of rules. It allows me to play a good number of games without too great an investment in time. Further, it allows me to flitter between different various sub-periods as my whims require. Good luck with your projects.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think my brain is getting to old to deal with ultra complex or even new rules! Totally agree with you as to helping the collector convince himself that the sixty or so miniatures will be the end of it. I’ve just stumbled on DBA napoleonics and acw now- I thank I may have to start my own retro wargaming movement!


      • TWR

        Detailed rules are an interesting topic.

        I personally believe that many wargamers like complexity, believing it brings accuracy. In reality much of the “supposed detail” being modelled is non existent in historic sources. We struggle for example to have more than a couple of thousand words describing many of the great classical battles. Still, that is just my view.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I definitely think you are on to something there. I do love the modern trend for the emphasis on game rather than endless tables of as you rightly point out spurious data. Some very interesting studies out recently saying a much higher proportion of combatants actually fight in modern firefights for instance, overturning the old ” only about five percent’ shoot…… Just roll dice!

        Liked by 1 person

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