I gave up DBMM at the start of the year. Had a few too many games where, as a result of army matchups, terrain, weather or time of day, one side had an edge before the first pips were thrown. Just did not suit my (emphasise my) preferences – so I played the other game this year instead. However, Benny pushed for DBM240 games, and having 2 games on a club day, or 3 games per day in a competition seemed to offer a way around my problem – one game might be a bit dull, but the next one good.
This is exactly what I found. At the comp, my middle game was not that enjoyable (I attacked an encamped enemy in pitch black with 3 hours till sun-up and my magic night-vision allowed me to avoid his KnS and attack the softer bits of his army to win), but the other two were good well-balanced games (admittedly both Free Company vs. Free Company which naturally balances play).
Playing DBMM240, I did not feel as though I had compromised anything to play the shorter game. It felt just like a full DBMM game but in about half the time.
The analogy is 1-day cricket. The problem with 1-dayers is that while the first 15 overs (that setup the innings) and the last 10 hours (the bash) are interesting, the middle 15 overs have become a grind. The idea of 20-20 (not realised IMO) is to cut the dull middle bit out. That is what DBMM240 felt to me – it had all the set up bits and all the finishing bits, and missing out the middle bit was no great loss.
Whether it was connected, I found at the end of 3 x 2.5hr games I was no where near as tired as I usually feel after 2 x 4 hr games.
Overall a good day. I liked it and will be back for more. But I can’t think of any reason for me to play 400+pt games anymore – 240pt games work better for me.
I would encourage anyone who has not looked at the DBMM200 to give it a go. Now here are my (stupidly long) thoughts after the comp on the key rule changes in the DBMM v1.1 draft rules (of 24 November 2009).
(Short conclusion – the march rules had the biggest impact on my games (not sure if for good or bad), the other changes had little impact in practice. I had no rules disagreements with other players, which is positive.)
This was significantly different and had a big effect. Partly this is because it was DBMM200 rules – marches are long relative to the table size.
To some extent I thought it undid the uncertainty that pips provide. For example in one game my opponent deployed some KnO on his baseline, while the other commands marched up a table edge to turn perpendicular to his base edge, to form an ‘L’. However, I threw good pips and could calculate with certainty that I could march across the face of these flanking commands to end up just in front of his Kn. This would give me a turn or two to defeat them because his other commands could not march into me given the need to wheel first.
I also found redeploying pretty easy. In two games I got my relative positioning wrong. I had a BdS command right-front that needed to be left-front given matchups. But since I was deploying second, I simply deployed the BdS facing a side edge and marched them across the back of my Kn. By turn 2 they were in combat on the opposite flank. Seemed a bit easy.
It also seemed in a few cases that the best move to safety for troops was to march forward past approaching enemy. I had some BwS being approached by enemy BdS. While I actually did not have the pips in the end, I calculated the safest place was to march past the BdS to get behind them. Troops go backwards slowly but march forwards fast.
Mandated Order of Movement
I did this in all three games. This was because I started to see that it can provide an advantage if using impetuous troops.
Under v1.0 with all spono moves last, it can be hard to support impetuous troops with tactical moves – the spono troops are often in the way. But a few times I was able to do spono moves of one command, and then use tactical moves of the next command to get into overlaps that would not normally be possible.
One oddity was that I was able to use a tactical move to first shift an element of one command that was blocking another command’s group from marching, which then allowed them to march multiple times. This seemed to undo the concept that march moves are longer ’cause they occur in both bounds – here clearly they could not start marching until the single element just in front had shifted, but then could move multiple times in the same time the single element could only move a small distance.
The one thing I would definitely conclude – if the aim of this rule is to speed play – it doesn’t. At best it makes no difference. But there were times I had to stop to try to work out all the march/tactical/spono moves of several commands in my head to work out which command to start with.
General’s Power Up
I disliked the +1 if a General wins going into the comp as another piece of chrome in a rule set already stuffed with chrome. But in practice it was fun.
Only concern is that it probably provides a marginal extra benefit to some types of generals. I was using 3 KnS generals who were going to fight anyway – so it just made them a bit better. Could imagine other generals will not quite get so much benefit.
Better, but still not sticking for me, and watching some of the other games I was not alone in this.
I did notice a few people using mantra’s based on “offensive (S)” and “defensive (S)” to help remember. Hopefully when the (S) grading is finished some helpful soul will codify the rules into words like these for me.
I ignored it, except in my last game where my opponent shamed me into doing it. I wasted a bit of time tinkering with where things were, but it had no impact on what I wanted to do. Silly rule.
Most of the time, the spono rules were obvious and sensible (as they were in v1.0). But there were a couple of times where I could not hit an obvious flank and had to spend pips instead. Not being able to turn onto flanks certainly makes spono troops less valuable overall.
I did find it ironic that I was chatting to a player filling in the questionnaire who was writing that they found the spono rules easier. I asked why and they gave their explanation of how spono rules work which I 100% disagreed with! I must remember to finish that argument with him offline … you know who you are. I do wonder if there is a common understanding of how the spono rules work.
Irr LhS suck. Phil obviously has decided to hate them in lieu of Sp.
The most significant thing I noticed at the comp was how few (any?) rules issues there were. Not that we were not making lots of mistakes, but I don’t recall a single disagreement on the rules – just people pointing out a rule the other person did not know or forgot. No idea why – certainly can’t be that we are all nice agreeable people or that we knew the rules – but obviously a positive.
Author: Campbell Millar – originally posted to the DBMM Yahoo!Group.
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