Most historically accurate minatures (ancient) game?

Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

I've been wanting to try out minatures gaming (ancient) and I was
wondering what the is generally considered to be the game that is most
likely to reproduce battlefield results of ancient warfare. I'm not
speaking primarily of reproducing particular battles, but a system which
would more often than not reproduce what would be the likely result of
battles given troop and terrain type (and whatever else would likely be of
influence.)

I know that DBA and DBM are the most popular, so I'd be likely to try
those out too so as to have people to play with. I've read that some
people don't think that v3.0 DBM does what I am asking about above.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the various rulesets (basically)
in regard to historical probability?

Thank you for your time.

Patrick
7 answers Last reply
More about most historically accurate minatures ancient game
  1. Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

    Might of Arms produces a decent result and feels right at it's level of
    abstraction. I invite you to play it at Cold Wars coming up. I did 7 or 8
    years ago and never looked back. I'll be running a couple of Might of Arms,
    with some additional rules for Samurai, and I think that the author will be
    running a few as well.

    It's excellent for multiplayer, and it tends to be popular with clubs and
    for wargaming scenarios. It's less usefull for one on one competitions like
    DBA/DBM is designed for. It's excellent for set piece battles and
    historical scenarios.
  2. Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

    cptnapalm <cptnapalm@hotmail.com> wrote in
    news:pan.2005.04.06.07.20.01.344000@hotmail.com:

    > I've been wanting to try out minatures gaming (ancient) and
    > I was wondering what the is generally considered to be the
    > game that is most likely to reproduce battlefield results of
    > ancient warfare.

    For my money, the set that most convincingly produces the feeling
    of being an ancient general is DBA (probably version 1.1).

    Of course, I have never been an ancient general, and consequently
    I have no rational basis for this conviction. However, the
    course of a typical DBA battle seems to me more recognisably like
    the battle maps and descriptions in Arthur Barker's Atlas of
    military history than that of other rules. A DBA game will be
    decided by one, two or maybe three critical decisions or strokes
    of luck during the course of the game, and that, ISTM, is about
    the same number of critical decisions as would have occurred in a
    real battle.

    Most wargamers probably prefer more complex rules, but this
    preference for complexity should be recognised for what it is.
    Detail and "realism" (whatever one may understand by that) are
    quite different things.

    All the best,

    John.
  3. Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

    Short answer is I could not recommend any of the commercial sets for
    historical results.

    I used to play DBM/DBA and am currently playing Warhammer Ancients.

    To my mind the most important thing in any warfare is Morale. DBM/DBA does
    not have it and WAB only has a limited degree.

    Perhaps WRG 7th (or 6th) or Warrior would be the way to go.

    Of course my own rules are available for free download (and giving
    historical results was what I wanted to do)

    http://www.3vwargames.co.uk/alea.zip
  4. Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

    "cptnapalm" <cptnapalm@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:pan.2005.04.06.07.20.01.344000@hotmail.com...
    > I've been wanting to try out minatures gaming (ancient) and I was
    > wondering what the is generally considered to be the game that is most
    > likely to reproduce battlefield results of ancient warfare.

    If there was a set of rules available which fell into this category,
    everyone would be playing it.

    > I know that DBA and DBM are the most popular, so I'd be likely to try
    > those out too so as to have people to play with. I've read that some
    > people don't think that v3.0 DBM does what I am asking about above.

    Dunno if they are the most popular, they are certainly popular and figures
    based for DBA/DBM can be used with pretty well any other set of Ancients
    rules, even ones which require individual figure basing (boo, hiss). All my
    Ancients are based for DBA, even though I rarely play it.

    > What are the strengths and weaknesses of the various rulesets (basically)
    > in regard to historical probability?

    Depends how much abstraction you are happy with, DBA & DBM use a modified
    opposed dice combat system and broad unit classifications so e.g. a unit of
    Carthaginian spearmen would rate a +4 in combat, a unit of legionaries +5,
    so the legion has a slight advantage (D6+5 vs D6+4) in combat. This
    advanatge can be nullified or reversed by supporting the spearmen with other
    units, flanking the Romans etc. At the other extreme (e.g. WAB) players are
    concerned with the armament of individual figures, special abilities they
    have etc. Different sets of rules like to emphasise different things - a
    particular favourite set of mine are Strategos, but they are designed to
    present an operational view of historical battles so the whole thing is
    oriented to troop quality, C3 & morale issues. Tactical combat is abstract
    in the extreme and and there are only four major troop classes (heavy and
    light infantry, heavy and light cavalry) with various subclasses such as
    phalangites, cataphracts etc however the game works very well as the
    differences in troop quality, command ability etc mean a heavily outnumbered
    but experienced and well led army can tear huge holes out of an ill led
    horde - Gaugamela anyone?

    Big advantage of DBA if you are starting out is that the armies are tiny so
    you don't need to paint many figures, and the rules are very cheap. There
    are links to the very early version of DBA (DBSA) from
    www.freewargamesrules.co.uk as well as oop editions of various WRG rule sets
    and lots of other free Ancients rules which might give you some ideas.

    Martin
  5. Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

    Let me preface this with the info that I don't play ancients and I've
    never played DBA/DBM :P I do play mideval/renaissance and both Armati
    and Might of Arms cover both our periods. Armati is good for tournament
    style play, and I like it since it plays fast and doesn't have the
    abstraction that DBA does limiting how many troops get to move each
    turn. It feels "realistic" as far as a tournament style game can I
    guess. It also allows you to play with a limited number of figures,
    with the option of using larger numbers for more tabletop army-size
    realism.I like Might of Arms better though, it feels even more
    realistic in my mind, and like Mike I played it at Historicon once and
    got hooked. There are rules in it for tournament style play but it
    plays out historical fights very nicely, includes morale and
    weapon/troop types without loads of cumbersome rules, and is well
    written. I've played one of the Swiss/Burgundian fights (can't remember
    the name off the top of my head :( ) using both Armati and MoA and in
    my opinion MoA worked much better. I'd assume it does as well with
    ancients but I don't have first hand experience.
  6. Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

    cptnapalm wrote:
    > I've been wanting to try out minatures gaming (ancient) and I was
    > wondering what the is generally considered to be the game that is most
    > likely to reproduce battlefield results of ancient warfare. I'm not
    > speaking primarily of reproducing particular battles, but a system which
    > would more often than not reproduce what would be the likely result of
    > battles given troop and terrain type (and whatever else would likely be of
    > influence.)
    >
    > I know that DBA and DBM are the most popular, so I'd be likely to try
    > those out too so as to have people to play with. I've read that some
    > people don't think that v3.0 DBM does what I am asking about above.
    >
    > What are the strengths and weaknesses of the various rulesets (basically)
    > in regard to historical probability?
    >
    > Thank you for your time.
    >
    > Patrick


    Patrick,

    I refought the Battle of Magnesia (189 BC) between the Romans and the
    Seleucids using the following rulesets -

    DBM
    Ancient Warfare
    Macedon and Rome


    Magnesia is an interesting battle in that the Romans were outnumbered
    and had some disasters, but still won the battle.

    All of the rulesets give some historical flavor to the battle. Of the
    three rulesets the one that came closest to a historical result was
    Macedon and Rome, a computer-moderated ruleset from Computer Strategies.

    The next closest to the real thing was DBM.

    Ancient Warfare will give a close result but you have to make some
    special rules to simulate the fragility of the elephants and chariots in
    the battle. These items are built-in to the other rules.

    I have not tried Armati yet, but I would like to see how it would fair
    in the test. I have played Armati many times and I think that it would
    fair well. Armati also has the ability for light troops to handle
    elephants and chariots.

    I like all of these rulesets but I play Ancient Warfare the most. I
    used to be an avid DBM player. One of the things I like about the
    computer-moderated rules is that the scale is easily changed. Each unit
    has 'real' men in 'real' ranks. Casualties are tracked in terms of real
    men. Ammo, morale, and fatigue are tracked separately as well.

    Larry Irons
  7. Archived from groups: rec.games.miniatures.historical (More info?)

    Thanks for all the responses. I very much appreciate it all.

    "If there was a set of rules available which fell into this category,
    everyone would be playing it." - Martin. Point well taken. :)


    I hadn't heard of Might of Arms before, I shall look into those
    rules as well.

    Larry - I hadn't heard of Macedon and Rome before. I'm happy to hear that
    DBM did well, seeing as it is quite popular, at least around here.

    Mike - I live in Louisiana so I'm a bit far from Pennsylvania, but I
    appreciate the offer :)
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