Alternative Army Lists for DBM

by Luke Ueda-Sarson

This page last modified: 14 May, 2006 (to Late Republican Roman list)


DateList nameOld List Name
655 BC - 359 BCEarly MacedonianEarly Macedonian
578 BC - 380 BCTullian RomanTullian Roman
575 BC - 74 BCKyrenean GreekKyrenean Greek
448 BC - 275 BCAthenian GreekLater Hoplite Greek
401 BC - 298 BCMercenary GreekLater Hoplite Greek
359 BC - 319 BCPhilippic MacedonianAlexandrian Macedonian
348 BC - 375 ADBosporanBosporan
336 BC - 323 BCMacedonian ExpeditionaryAlexandrian Macedonian
334 BC - 329 BCAlexandrian MacedonianAlexandrian Macedonian
334 BC - 323 BCAlexandrian ExpeditionaryAlexandrian Macedonian, Imperial Macedonian
334 BC - 281 BCThraco-MacedonianLysimachid
333 BC - 301 BCWestern Asiatic SuccessorAsiatic Successor
329 BC - 321 BCImperial MacedonianAlexandrian Imperial
323 BC - 301 BCEastern Asiatic SuccessorAsiatic Successor, Seleucid
323 BC - 250 BCPtolemaic SuccessorPtolemaic
322 BC - 316 BCEumenid SuccessorAsiatic Successor
320 BC - 285 BCAntigonid SuccessorAsiatic Successor
319 BC - 294 BCMacedonian SuccessorMacedonian Early Successor
300 BC - 162 BCImperial SeleucidSeleucid
163 BC - 135 BCMaccabean JewishMaccabean Jewish
161 BC - 64 BCLate SeleucidSeleucid
132 BC - 25 BCLate Republican RomanPolybian Roman, Marian Roman
110 BC - 75 ADIndo-Skythian and Indo-ParthianSkythian, Parthian
80 BC - 72 BCSertorianAncient Spanish
1461 AD - 1552 ADMapuchenone
1471 AD - 1477 ADBurgundian OrdonnanceBurgundian Ordonnance


I am posting these lists both to generate some discussion and also as an indication of I what I think any future DBM version 3 army lists should be like. As Phil Barker has himself admitted, hoping to squeeze a full set of army lists into 4 slim books was optimistic, and this has left many lists bereft of known historical options which really ought to be included.

The current army lists are also in many ways incompatible with the stated aims of the rules, which is to provide "rules that retain the feel and generalship requirements of ancient or medieval battle" at a scale of something like 64 men per figure while at the same time having a "full sized table" that is "covered with figures", and to do so in conjunction with army lists that "closely simulate their real life prototype".

Unfortunately, these aims are clearly contradictory for an army like Richard the First's at Jaffa, comprising as it did just over 2000 men. There is simply no way that this historical army can possibly be closely simulated by a wargames army of "several hundred figures" at the rules' chosen representational scale. Hence I have given scales in these army lists showing what number minima and maxima must be multiplied by to render an accurate representation of the army. These multipliers do not apply to the number of generals. Note that these scale multipliers must be considered when examining external ally contingents. If your army is scaled at 1:250, and the allied army list's scale is 1:500, you must use twice as many elements in the allied contingent as normal (ie. at least 1/2 all their minima, and up to 2/3 the maxima). If your army is scaled at 1:250, and the allied list is at 1:125, you must use only half the usual number of elements (ie. at least 1/8 the minima, and at most 1/6 the maxima). Also note that the number of elements quoted for restricting foreign allied contingents is quoted in the scale of the main list, not the ally's list.

The number of TF allowed to all armies using fortified camps is much greater than allowed in the current official lists. The current lists allow a standard camp just 12 TF - enough to protect the Bg and not much else. In fact, fortified camps, when built, were invariably large enough to protect the entire army. Although some of the camp is off-table, at the very least, more than 1/4 of the camp must be on table (since for a standard squarish camp at least one whole side, plus the corners will be represented on the tabletop) - and even a single camp side for an average encampment will be more than 12 TF worth (which is only just over half a kilometre's worth of fortifications). Even so, the number allowed might still be somewhat on the low side, for instance Curtius records (7.6.25) Alexander the Great's camp perimeter being nearly 8 miles, ie. 200 element width's worth, so that a single side would still be 50 elements long.

Thanks to those who have commented on these lists, most especially Duncan Head.

A note on troop classifications

You will notice that the classifications of some types of troops differs from those given in the rules. The reasoning behind this is fairly involved, so I am preparing some supporting information at the moment that appears here separately than being included (and repeated) in the notes of every list. In most cases, the older interpretations are still allowed for those who disagree with my conclusions! The most important items to note are that 'peltasts' around the time of Alexander are Reg Sp (I), as are thureophoroi in the 3rd century BC, and that Greek cavalry serving Alexander are Kn (I), or, if Thessalians, Kn (F).

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