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.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

DBAS - Scoring the Side Effects of Moves

Continuing on with the catalog of combat moves, still looking only at a single element moving. Next let's look at the single element flanking, or attacking from the rear, an enemy group.


When we looked at a single element flanking a single enemy element, there was no obvious advantage to the contact as combat to contacting the front edge; without another element in place, the enemy element simply faces to make front edge contact. Without other factors to consider, that produces no advantage or disadvantage.

Let's look at four basic flanking moves.

DBA.DBAS,catalog,moves DBA.DBAS,catalog,moves DBA,DBAS,Moves,Catalog DBA,DBAS,Moves,Catalog
Move to Flank Contact Move to Flank Contact of Group Move to Flank Contact of Deep Group Move to Flank Contact of Supported Group

The first, Move to Flank Contact, we have seen before. Again, with no other context this move produces no greater value than the Move to Front Contact. The Move to Flank Contact of a Group, creates an advantage for the attacker in that it fragments the enemy's command (i.e. it will now require two PIPs to move the two elements where previously it only required one) in addition to creating a threat of destroying an element should it recoil twice.

The Move to Flank Contact of a Deep Group - which would apply not just to elements with base depths greater than 1/2 the base width, but also to elements in two ranks - creates an even greater threat; if the flanked element recoils once, it is destroyed.

The Move to Flank Contact of a Support Group adds an additional advantage over the Move to Flank Contact of a Group: the flanked and turning element no longer receives rear support. Whether this is advantage should be scored separately is questionable; it will be factored in with the Combat Value differential.

The more I ponder the moves the more I realize that the moves themselves are not the keys, but the list of advantages and disadvantages the move brings. If you consider named advantages and disadvantages, such as:
  • Fragments enemy command
  • One recoil will destroy*
  • Two recoils will destroy
  • Breaks rear support**
  • Combat Value differential
  • Can Quick Kill enemy element
  • Etc.
* This is effectively the same thing as a Quick Kill on the Combat Outcome Table, so should be scored the same.
** This will be a factor in changing the Combat Value differential, but is there additional reason to score this?

So, can the actual moves be ignored - thus saving me from cataloging their variations, ad infinitum - and you simply score the side effects the move will produce?


  1. Another interesting post! I think your observation about it being the effect of the moves which is important is a good one. Doing this will make it possible to analyze the interactions of multiple groups more efficiently, rather than trying to catalogue all permutations. This is particularly so when considering things that might happen in a couple of turns, eg: two recoils will put the mounted into bad going.

    Although this series of posts is about developing a solo DBA opponent, I find that it's making me think harder about the decisions I make in my face to face game, and perhaps is making me a better player!

  2. Although this series of posts is about developing a solo DBA opponent, I find that it's making me think harder about the decisions I make in my face to face game, and perhaps is making me a better player!

    If you read some of my earlier posts on the Solo DBA forum, that was definitely one of my goals. My hope was to come up with some mechanism to quantify these preferences to tactics and codify players. Long way to go for that though.

    As it stands, when I get interesting tactical situations and I want to figure out the "best" moves (for scoring), I pose the question on Fanaticus and use that discussion to drive these scoring mechanisms.


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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").