I have played DBA and DBM since they came out, and consider them both to be an advance on their predecessors, however there are several things I find frustrating about them. I believe the new Version 3 and the new DBA version 2.0 will go some way towards solving some of these problems. I have also tried to overcome their shortfallings with my own house rules for DBM. Some of my friends think these house rules improve on DBM, and some don't.
However since the Autumn of 2000 I have given up on DBA and DBM (temporarily at least) and gone over to Arty Conliffe's excellent Armati & Advanced Armati. To avoid any confusion if you are new to these rules, basically you really have to buy both sets of rules! (2002 update - these rules have been withdrawn and will be replaced by one new volume called something original like Armati II late in 2002)
I shalln't go into the differences between Armati and DBM in great detail, but in brief, Armati uses units comprised of 2-4 elements, and commands comprising normally 1-6 units, this means you can field a lot of troops on the battlefield, and still have quite a quick game as you are controlling less regiments than in DBM. It also solves the command and control issue in I think a more elegant manner, rather than random pip dice, your army is split up into a predetermined number of "Commands" before the game starts. Each of these commands can then be moved every turn of the game. The issue is there are never enough "Commands" available so you have to decide where to brigade units together and where to keep units flexibly independent. Much more elegant I think than DBM's randomness.
Likewise in combat units have a combat factor, roll against their opponents combat factor and the loser takes 1 break point. Close Formation infantry units can generally take 4 break points before they rout. Thus eliminating the "Lucky 6" element of DBM, it "Feels" more realistic and more fun, wearing down your opponent rather than individual elements collapsing at random.
Without covering the details each unit has more than one combat factor, it has special values for fighting to flank, against elephants etc, in rough terrain etc. Although the way it handles combat factors is very different from DBM, and on the whole a little simpler, I still feel it has at least as much diversity and historical feel.
The only serious competitor to DBM, which also uses units etc very similarly to Armati is Warhammer Ancient Battles. In my humble opinion the Warhammer offering is fairly childish and pathetic in comparison to Armati, only my own opinion of course.
Now to the main reason for this page's existence. Click on the link below to jump to my house rules for Advanced Armati. I should stress that all of these are unofficial, and many of the more experienced players on the Armati e-group disagree with the use of many of my house rules. However give some of them a try and see what you think yourself.
ADVANCED ARMATI HOUSE RULES
For anyone interested in Armati, the place on the Web to visit is the official Armati E-Group. There are experts there to advise you on anything at all Armati related, I can't recommend it highly enough. Click on the link below
Sme Armati players have their own web sites with some very useful rules additions, army lists etc. Currently I only have one "Lord Kurtus" check it out, there's a lot more than just Armati there.
Not forgetting of course my own Miniature Figure Picture Pages that contain photos of many of my 15mm ancient armies, as originally used for DBA and DBM, and now adapted for Advanced Armati usage
View my Ancient Miniature Figures Gallery
of books I have found interesting
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Please forward all comments on my rules, miniatures, or suggestions for additional content to the above email address. Remember to remove the leading "Z" from the email address, this is because of spam.