The Great DBA Civil War....

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The Great DBA Civil War....

Postby Frizzenspark » Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:56 pm

Agh... my brain is hurting from reading the cross-bickering between the various parties involved in the fight for the future of DBA (De Bellis Antiquitatis) .... The problem is that I love and respect all entities involved; so it's like a child watching his/her parents fighting...

First, we have Phil Barker the creator of DBA and similar games.... he has designed several games through WRG (Wargames Research Group).

The people of WADBAG (Washington Area DBA Gamers)

And the people of Fanaticus a fan Blogsite....

The problem lies with resistance to updating the current rules to a "3.0" version by the author, whereas the members of WADBAG intend to continue using the current "2.2" version or a threatened "2.2+" version which will have locally modified rules.

There are accusations of copyright violations, threats to not permit the "3.0" rules to be played in competition. There has been bucket-loads of snide remarks, back and forth.

I'm very much in the middle of this as I see reason in both sides...

I probably lean a little more into Mr. Barkers camp, as it is his creation, and he has attempted to get a consensus on the new version. I do fault him in that he has been jealous of the folks at WADBAG who have explained the DBA rules at length in their free downloadable guide. I understand that Mr. Barker would feel that the WADBAG folks are picking his pocket, but players that have the guide soon buy the WRG published rules.

The other reason is that Mr. Barker feels that the rules need no interpretation, naturally an artist does not want his work ultimately defined by others....

The WADBAG folks are hesitant of change, new rules might require rebuilt armies, etc.

The Fanaticus folks are across the board and have members in both parties....

Ultimately, it's about control of the game, does it go to the players, or the creators...?
"Why piddle about making porridge with artillery and then send men to drown themselves in it for a hundred yards of No Man's land? Tanks mean advances of miles at a time, not yards.".
Maj-Gen Percy Hobart (1885-1957)79th Armoured Division

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Re: The Great DBA Civil War....

Postby Whiterook » Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:05 pm

Wow, my brain hurts just reading that!

Gut reaction....the creator over-rules (no pun intended). It's his baby, so he should say if it's diapers are loaded or not, no matter the stink around it. If an organzation is that invested in the game system, either work with the creator as best as can be managed, or get pernission for house rules to be played at their events??? Just shootin' from the hip here....sounds more complicated than my meager interpretation would support.

All that said....I frown on designers that let the fruit die on the vine, so I too can see the other side.
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Re: The Great DBA Civil War....

Postby MAGNA » Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:57 am

A common problem I'm afraid.

We all get used to a favourite edition of a ruleset then another one comes along and it's changed somewhat.
Immediate reaction - I don't like this, a bit like vanilla coke for me. As with rules and coke though, you still have
the original choice as a personal thing.

When it comes to tournament gaming it gets a bit hairy of course as everyone must use the same set. Problem.

The other thing I've noticed over time is what I call the Hollywood Syndrome. The first movie is a big seller. Good
audiences for a good plot with lots of action and a decent thread. Beauty - that worked - let's make it into a
trilogy. The second one is passable with more of the character development of the first and more detail. Still
popular and everybody wants part three. Enter the syndrome..... we need something new here so we will add a bit
of this and completely change that. Ooops... How many times do you hear someone say "The first one was great
and then they changed everything by the third one and stuffed it".....

That is an unfortunate thing that happens to rulesets as well. When you design a set and become so familiar with
it you can add lots to it simply because you know the rest without picking up a sheet of paper. The additions can
be really daunting for less experienced players. One of the later editions of D&D suffered from this as players
complained about the complexity and the way some aspects of combat were changed without making them
easier or more fun. Bad thing. This happens a lot.

Game designers need to be wary of changing too much or adding complexity for the sake of putting out a new
version. If you can't think of a better way to do it or if there are no complaints about it's current state then it
probably ain't broke so don't fix it.

Software is a good example of this. Sometimes you get a "Brand new version with N+ new features" only to find
out it doesn't do any more than the last one. The only real change is the screen and the fact that all the menus
and utility windows are completely different to last time. You have to relearn how to use the whole damn thing
and it doesn't give you any bonus at all.

Having said that, gamers also need to give new rulesets time to sink in. Battlefront was very different as far as
WWII set s go for us when we first tried it. Separate moves rather than simultaneous. If you moved you don't fire
and vice versa, very unusual and at first, a bit disconcerting. The defensive fire phase where your units all get a
shot made things clear though and I then realised it gave each side a possible two shots per turn. It's a matter
of being patient and letting the new ideas / rules sink in.

One rule of rule testing - draw up a sheet of paper with two headings over two columns. Like and dislike. Each
player fills out the columns as they play without commenting or discussing. The papers are all looked at after
the game and glaring problems immediately surface as does the good stuff. This can be communicated to the
game designer to let them know obvious good / bad aspects - hopefully they will listen or at least explain the
setup and why.
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Re: The Great DBA Civil War....

Postby Frizzenspark » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:31 pm

It seems somethings are cooling down on all fronts; essentially all parties are on the same side.... it's an argument on whether to break the egg on the large end or the smaller end.... the goal of course is to break the egg....

It's not over yet by any measure....

The sides are talking though.....
"Why piddle about making porridge with artillery and then send men to drown themselves in it for a hundred yards of No Man's land? Tanks mean advances of miles at a time, not yards.".
Maj-Gen Percy Hobart (1885-1957)79th Armoured Division

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Re: The Great DBA Civil War....

Postby MAGNA » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:22 am

That's a good start anyway. Hope they sort it out soon.
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Re: The Great DBA Civil War....

Postby Frizzenspark » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:44 pm

Ah, a little snip from the DBA Creator last night.....

As I see it, you will have 3 choices of DBA variants:

2.0-2.2, which is familiar, but derives from a version now 10 years old.

3.0, which incorporates improvements suggested by the player base, has been under test for more than a year by a widening group of named players including competition organisers around the world, and is now available on this site to everyone who wants to try it, and will be published this spring in printed and ebook versions incorporating extra diagrams and much more informative army lists.

2.2+, which is a series of currently secret line edits (also greatly different from 2.2) produced by a small almost entirely anonymous group (claiming to be mainly North American competition organisers) with no known track record in rule writing, which one of its members a month or so back was implying had and would employ special influence to stop 3.0 being played in competitions.

I would say compare the versions and make your own judgement, but you are not yet being allowed to do that.

Phil Barker

"Why piddle about making porridge with artillery and then send men to drown themselves in it for a hundred yards of No Man's land? Tanks mean advances of miles at a time, not yards.".
Maj-Gen Percy Hobart (1885-1957)79th Armoured Division

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Re: The Great DBA Civil War....

Postby TRDG » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:57 am

Interesting Frizz, what direction do you think this will take in the end of this "tail"?

Cheers

Tom

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Re: The Great DBA Civil War....

Postby Frizzenspark » Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:11 pm

I'm trying to gauge what the parties in question will do in the coming months... I'm still happy with 2.2....
"Why piddle about making porridge with artillery and then send men to drown themselves in it for a hundred yards of No Man's land? Tanks mean advances of miles at a time, not yards.".
Maj-Gen Percy Hobart (1885-1957)79th Armoured Division


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