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Historical Scenarios

Page history last edited by Rob Brennan 11 years, 11 months ago

This page contains links to historical scenarios for DBMM.


John Warry Warfare in the Classical World Project

This is a set of scenarios based on the battle plans in John Warry's highly recommended book and the DBMM Army Lists.

Marathon 490BC

Platea 479BC

Assault on Sphacteria 425BC

Leuctra 371BC

Mantinea 362BC

Chaeronea 338BC

Granicus 334BC

Issos 333BC

Gaugamela 331BC

Hydapses 326BC

Raphia 317BC

Cynoscephalae 197BC

Lake Trasimene 217BC

Cannae 216BC

Zama 202BC

Carrhae 53BC

Pharsalus 48BC

Idistaviso 16AD

Boudicias Revolt 60AD


Adrianople 378AD


The Battle of Duplin Moor 1332 (English vs Scots) by Thomas Thomas


Patay, June 18, 1429 (English vs French)


Pharsalus (Caesar vs Pompey) by "bayankhan"


The following is the last of the historical scenarios I used to play test DBMM 2.0, I played this game basically continuously two weeks as new versions of DBMM appeared faster than I could report results.  I haven’t bothered with write ups of the results as all versions tested are out of date and additional changes may have appeared since the last public text making further playtesting useless.
The Scenario recreates the Battle of Duplin Moor fought just before commencement of  the Hundred Years War primarily between Edward III’s allies “the Disinherited” - “Scots” loyal to Edward Balliol opposed by Scots loyal to David Bruce.  English language versions of the sources are readily available and an excellent modern study appears in Clifford Roger’s War Cruel and Sharp.
The battle makes for a good introductory game and a decent solitaire scenario, if you lack opponents.  (If playing solitaire, take the English and just have the Scotts advance using all available PIPs, Pressing Forward etc.  Always spend the first PIPs on any Scottish element/group able to reach an English element, than the next nearest etc.)  I’ll certainly use it for my great battles demo games at the local game store.
                For those unfamiliar with the battle:  to reinstate his claim to the Scottish throne Edward Balliol recruited a force of some 500 English men at arms supplemented by a force of 2000 “archers and foot soldiers” (some sources say only 1000 archers and foot).  Balliol traveled to Scotland by ship allowing Edward III to at least nominally deny he had allowed Balliol expedition to invade through England.
                After landing a driving off a large body of Scots loyal to David Bruce, Balliol’s forced pressed inland to link up with supposed ally the Earl of Mar.  Instead the Earl stayed loyal to Bruce and now commanded a loyal Scottish army estimated at over 30,000.
                Desperate, Balliol attacked the Scottish camp at night only to discover he had raided the camp followers section of the sprawling camp.  As morning dawned two (and perhaps three) Scottish battles formed up and bore down on the tiny English force.
                The English mass the men at arms in the center in three ranks with a fourth rank possibly composed of “foot” using captured Scottish spears (according to Rogers).  The archers are placed on low hills on each side of the men at arms.  Balliol held back a small force of mounted “German” men at arms (probably less than 50).
                As this point several sources have the Earl of Mar (under suspicion from fellow Scotts) and the Earl of Carrick quarrel, with both insisting on rushing forward in an attempt to come to grips with the English first.  Hence the “MTC” aspect of the battle.  The first Scottish battle (commanded by Bruce) arrives in some disorder but initially pushes back the English men at arms.  Somehow the English men at arms hang on while the archers begin to drive those Scotts opposite them into the main battle.  As the first battle loses momentum and the archers begin to shoot into its broad flank the second battle arrives and manages to collide with the first throwing the Scotts into complete disorder.  The English envelope the helpless Scottish mass where, if the chronicles can be believed, Scottish bodies heap up to the length of a spear. 
                The English then remount and set upon the remaining Scotts who flee in all directions.  Scottish loses exceed the size of Balliol’s entire force many times over (Balliol loses only 35 knights and esquires and no archers.)
                It was a stunning victory against enormous odds and would leave Scotland in turmoil for decades to come.
The Battle in DBMM
Edward Balliol and the Disinherited (110 points)
2 Reg Bl(S) with CIC (Balliol)
2 Reg Sp(O)
8 Reg Bw(S)
1 Reg Kn(O) (the “Germans”)
(18 ME )
The Scotts (128 points)
The Earl of Carron (Robert Bruce)
18 Ireg Pike(I) 1 with CIC
 (12.5 ME)
The Earl of Mar (Earl Donald)
18 Reg Pike(I) 1 with Gen
 (12.5 ME)
The Numbers
                To roughly balance points, I used a very low estimate of 10,000 for Scottish numbers based on approximating  total strength from causality figures.  Casualty figures tend to be a tad more accurate than initial number estimates since casualties can at least be counted.  The Deeds of Edward III give Scottish loses as “18 bannerets, 58 knights, 800 esquires, 1200 well armored infantry [armati] and many common footmen [pedites]”.  This gives 2076 dead amongst those with at least some armor.   Doubling this to account for “common footmen” and then doubling this again to account for survivors gets us near 9000 or about 4500 per Scottish battle.  Rogers thinks Scottish numbers were much larger, at least 15,000, so there is plenty of room to add another Scottish battle.  (Contemporary sources give the Scotts 40,000.)
                Conversely I took the largest estimate of Balliol’s numbers (500 men at arms and 2000 other “foot”) and then applied a liberal conversion ratio.  Balliol’s force contained many noted long service campaigners so all troops are rated as Regular to reflect both experience and leadership.
The Battlefield and Set Up
The battle can be played on a 4 X 4 in 25 or 28mm scale.  Balliol sets up on one end of the board with two low hills 160 paces apart and about 400 paces from the back edge.  The edges of the board should have several steep hills and bogs to channel the Scottish advance.  The Scotts set up 400 paces from Balliol’s line. 
Historical Set Up
To match the historical set up I had Balliol’s two elements of Blades set up between the hills with the Bw(S) in two blocks of 4 set up on the hills.  Rogers believes that some of the foot got captured Scottish spears and formed a fourth rank behind Balliol’s men at arms.  As the convoluted DBMM rules for Spear support don’t allow any bonus against Pike, I instead set up the two elements of Spear just outside the TZ sticky zone as a hole plugger.  The mounted Germans were kept as a final reserve.
                 I set up the Scotts in several different ways.  Initially I did the battle as a DBMM100 game with only one General per side and the battles lined up in column behind each other.  Instead of colliding the effect was to just feed extra stands into the front battle.
                I then ran the game several times in the current format with the two Scottish commands, starting parallel but using every available PIP to move forward causing them to hit the English line in a historically accurate uncoordinated manner.
Special Rules
1) If playing with several players have each player command a Scottish Battle (you may add a third Scottish battle if you have an extra player).  The Scottish player who kills Balliol’s Blade element wins (other Scotts and Balliol lose – this should make for a keen competition to close first with Balliol).  You may also add another “Disinherited” General  and split Balliol’s forces between two players.
2) The Scotts automatically get the first turn.
3) You may allow Balliol’s Spear to give +1 Rear Support to the Blades as the Spear are equipped with long Scottish “Spears”.

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