The tournament in Auckland used the latest draft of the DBMM v1.1 rules. There was a nominal theme (blatantly plagiarised from an event in the UK earlier this year) which asked players to base their armies around a film or TV series. This resulted in some interesting army choices, although a number of the more ‘hard core’ players paid only lip service to the theme and chose highly geared armies that ensured the rules were given a reasonably thorough workout.
The format was 28mm 240AP on 6 foot x 4 foot tables and using the DBMM200 rules. This was a new format for most of our group who, up to now, have stuck with more traditional 400AP-500AP games, and it allowed three rounds to be played in the day without undue pressure. The general feedback was very favourable for the smaller size game, with many enjoying its shorter duration and faster, more decisive pace compared to larger games. Indeed, more than one indicated that this would be their preferred format from now on!
Certainly there was huge variety in the way people approached the abbreviated form, some going for quantity (Thracians & Germans) while others went down the high quality SBPF [Small But Perfectly Formed] route, with some success for the Free Companies and rather less for the Teutonic Knights and Mongols.
Anyway, the results were:
1/ Cam Millar – Free Company 62
2/ Andrew Fergus – Thracian 53
3/ Ivan Truong – Free Company 48
4/ Rob Sadler – Free Company 40
5/ Andrew Bennetts – Marian Roman 39
6/ Andrew Hunter – Later Crusader 38
7/ Philip Abela – WOTR – Tudor 35
8/ Al Donald – Early Hoplite Greek Spartan 34
9/ John Calnan – Viking Raider Medieval Serbs 33
10/ Lance Knighton – Mongol Conquest 32
11/ Brett Preston-Thomas – Tuetonic Knights 25
12/ John Moher – Early German 12
The predominance of Free Company armies was interesting and needs some explanation. Two of the three armies used are normally seen in the guise of Medieval Portuguese but, in the absence of a suitable movie or TV series, both players then looked to see if, given the smaller army size, they could use their English figures as a HYW combination. However finding that HYW English archers must now all be mounted, they both then decided to look further afield and settled on Free Company, whose archers do not require horses. Phil [Barker], if you are reading this, this is an example (for better or worse) of the way people approach army lists and so may be something to think about if compulsory mounted longbows are going to make HYW English extinct.
As nominal umpire (and player), I have to say not many genuine rules issues were reported, so obviously players were generally able to work through things on their own. In addition, I asked the players to fill in a questionnaire to see how they rated various of the new or revised elements of DBMM. The number of v1.1 games now played by the participants total nearly 30 and individuals experience range from some whose first games were those on Sunday through to a few who had played as many as seven v1.1 games. With most having played around 4 or 5, and while we can’t claim to have thoroughly thrashed v1.1 yet, I think the accumulated experience is enough to make the questionnaire results interesting and relevant. Pleasingly, a large majority think that v1.1 is a genuine improvement over v1.0!
All in all a successful event and bodes well for Battlecry in February  when we’ll use the same format (albeit without the theme) but in a 2-day, 6 game marathon!
Report by Benny (Andrew Bennetts); tournament organiser & umpire.
See photos of the event in the Gallery article DBMM240: ‘Armies of the Movies’ Photos and read a second article A Few Thoughts On The “Armies Of The Movies” Tournament.