DBA 3.0 – what’s the damage?

So here it is, DBA 3.0 has landed. Others have reviewed the book, and yes it’s very shiny, although I’m worried that I’ll wreck it pretty quickly as the paper is pretty thin. I’ve played the drafts of the rules and enjoyed them, but it was with some trepidation that I went through the army lists.

The army lists in DBA 3.0 have been completely revised: to correct errors, to take into account new research, and to add in new, somewhat whimsical elements.

Looking at my armies, in a very few cases, the army is exactly the same. In others I have been lucky because I had extra elements for some armies. Others I can field but some options have gone. Some have had changes to the way that optional elements are grouped, so instead of, say “1 x a or b, 1 x c or d”, the 3.0 list has “1 x a or d, 1x b or c”, which makes it hard to compare the two versions. There are just a few that I won’t be able to field as legal DBA 3.0 armies without painting an element or two. Some have changed in nature quite significantly, for example I had planned one day to morph my Early Hungarians into a Magyar army, which used to have five infantry elements. It now has just one. That change brings the list into line with the DBMM lists, which were researched by better people than I (many of whom also worked on the lists for FOG, by the way) but there’s no way I want that army now. Whimsical changes include the addition of Command Posts and Litters to my Byzantine and Papal Italian armies, but luckily I can avoid those because they are optional. Sadly the Papal Italians’ Litter replaces their Papal Guard spearmen command element, which was the only interesting thing about the army.

The table below shows the results of my quick scan. What I do about these list changes is another thing though. I’m OK to make any change if the result will be more accurate and more fun than the old army was. Otherwise I might take the opportunity to create new armies out of old ones, which is some way down my priority list.

Army   Comments
I/6b Early Bedouin

This army has had a major camel infusion, but luckily I painted lots of camelry so I could use my DBA as an allied contingent in DBMM. The old I/6c is now basically within I/6b.
I/24b Hittite Empire

I’m OK with borrowed 3Ax until I paint some Magister Militum Syrians
I/26a Later Mycenaean

I/27 Early Hebrew

It would be nice to add the optional 3Bw one day. There is a 4Ax option but I don’t feel that winning ‘stick’ combat results compensates for the slower move.
I/29b Philistine

I need to paint a couple of elements to be able to field this army in 3.0. Swapping two Sp for 2LCh has had quite a big effect on this army, but I plan to mitigate that by using the Sp general option.
I/34c Later Hebrew

I/38 Libyan Egyptian

I need to add a 4Ax, representing later Egyptian infantry
I/43ab Cimmerian or Scythian

Although now that the Massagetae are a separate sublist I may want to paint a few elements for them one day.
I/45 Neo-Assyrian Empire

I’ll need a 3Bd and another couple of 4Ax for this army now, but at least the compulsory 7Hd are gone!
I/50 Lydian

I’ll have to get my opponent to blur his eyes until my Thracian 3Ax look like Greek influenced pre-Hopites. I’m not sure where the rule writers got 4Ax from the Irr Ax (O) troops in the DBMM army list, this looks like an error.
I/61a Early Carthaginian

There are now a fun looking couple of options for Gallic warband and Spanish auxilia in this army, but a solitary Wb is pretty useless.
II/81cd Sub-Roman British

Interestingly there are options for pedyt 4Sp in all the sublists, so there are a few tempting options to add for the Dux Brit etc, or Vortigern, but I mainly use this army for the Dux Bellorum rules.
III/24ab Middle Anglo-Saxon

I’ll survive with kite-shielded hird for the 4Bd option in III/24b until I can locate and paint some round-shielded figures. Again, I usually use this army for Dux Bellorum.
III/53 East Frankish

III/65 Nicephorean Byzantine

III/68ab Early Hungarian

Sadly the 3Bw option has gone, and the ‘a’ list has lost one of its Sp, so its infantry is now very weak. I’ll need at least another 2LH for this one. The ‘b’ list looks a bit better though with more Kn and Sp.
III/73a Communal Italian

The carroccio can now take its proper place as the camp!
III/76 Constantinian Byzantine

I’ll need another Sp element for this army.
III/77 Papal Italian

I’m not sure I have enough knights now to field any two of III/53 or IV/13, III/73, III/77, and IV/5 as I used to be able to, but that won’t matter for a while.
IV/1a Comnenan Byzantine

IV/5a Sicilian

IV/13a Medieval German

I could field up to six 4Bd now for this army, but I think I’ll stick to the four I have painted for a while. The optional 3Ax and 4Pk are no longer in this list, but they can easily be employed elsewhere.

I can field the army using my 2.2 army (which is not to say there are no changes)

I can field the army but there are other options for 3.0 that I might like

I can field the army but only if I borrow elements from another

I must paint elements if I am to field this army for 3.0

What do you think?

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