My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

DBAS - One Attacking Many

Last time I looked at a single element attacking a single element and didn't really find any reason to differentiate between the moves, so now I will try the same thought experiment with a single element attacking a group of elements and see what changes.

Move to Overlapped Front ContactMove to Double Overlapped Front ContactMove to Supported Front Edge Contact

The first move is the Move to Overlapped Front Contact. Essentially this put the attacker at a -1 disadvantage. Compare this to Move to Double Overlapped Front Contact. Although this move results in a -2 disadvantage, does it warrant being treated separately? The last is the Move to Supported Front Edge Contact, resulting in a +1 advantage to the defender.

Consider the following:

MoveCombat FactorDifference
Move to Front Edge Contact+3+3+0
Move to Overlapped Front Edge Contact+4+3+0
Move to Double Overlapped Front Edge Contact+5+3+0
Move to Supported Front Edge Contact+4+4+0

Given that the difference in each combat is the same, should the moves still be ranked separately or do they have equivalent weight, as they all result in a single element coming into front contact with a group of elements and resulting in a combat at +0? Put another way, which is more important: the move itself, or the resulting combat?

One factor in weighing the Move to Supported Front Edge Contact more heavily is that, unless the supporting element is a Pike, there is the potential for destroying two elements in this single combat. That alone warrants weighting, and thus differentiating this move from the others.


In my mind I have only found one case where the movement of a single element into combat is materially significant; all others seem to indicate that the resulting combat factors are the differentiator. I would like to hear your thoughts on this, either here or preferably on the Solo DBA Yahoo forum.


  1. One thing to keep in mind is that the outcomes from a +4/+4 combat are different to those from a +3/+3 combat because it's easier to double a 3 than a 4. The "difference" in attacker/defender doesn't sum it all up.

    So the +4/+4 combat is less risky for the attacker and the defender than the +3/+3 combat is. If you're scoring moves and one side is risk averse they will prefer the +4/+4 as they are less likely to lose a unit.

    The other thing to think about (and I'm sure it's on your list) is that attacking into an overlap situation makes you vulnerable to having the door closed on you in subsequent rounds unless you spend pips to control that space using ZOCs.

  2. Thanks for the thoughtful comment. Yes, I am aware that the odds change. Scoring a +4/+4 combat differently than a +3/+3 combat is possible with a computer program, but probably too clunky without it. I have chosen to score the combat on differentials (+0, +1, etc.), but you bring up a point for consideration: higher factor combats can be the tie-breaker.

    Of course, I was thinking of chucking the tie-breaker table...


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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").