The Waving Flag: DBMM For The Befuddled – Part 10

Saturday 1 November 2008

DBMM For The Befuddled – Part 10

Another issue for clarification.  The diagram contains what I think are two “illegal moves”. 

In #1 the group moves sideways to “line up” outside the Threat Zone (TZ) in the middle of a move.   In #2 the group moves sideways inside the TZ.  Both moves end in contact.

I think these aren’t allowed because the last paragraph on page 28 says
“[A group move cannot] include … any sideways movement or oblique movement except to line up in front edge combat, …”
The issue for clarification is the timing of the sideways move.  Other people have said for #2 that as long as the move ends in combat the timing is not crucial because once in the TZ you may choose to line up (page 33).

If this is correct then the wording on page 28 should be changed.  If not the rule should be played as written. Hence the need for clarification.

Update: Wed, 21 Jan 2009

Well after two and a half months a clarification of sort has emerged.  I posted this on the DBMMlist as part of a discussion of items that needed clarifying.  Chris Handley, who was heavily involved in play testing the rules with Phil Barker, replied as follows:

So move #1 is illegal for a group whilst #2 is allowed as the group is in the Threat Zone (TZ) and the timing is immaterial.  It’s nice to get clarity although I think the section on page 28 could use a tweak or two.

Having finally sorted this issue I’m not sure whether I actually like it as a mechanism. It’s obviously there to ensure contact happens as easily as possible but it allows “sloppy” play in that you don’t have to worry about blocking your own attacks.  I’ll have to see how it works out in practice. This will certainly change the way I look at attacking moves.

Updated: Tue, 26 May 2009

Today, Phil Barker posted a proposal on the DBMM list which, if it makes it into DBMM v1.1, would formally clarify this issue:
“Any move that will enter; or starts in, or at the front edge of, an enemy Threat Zone (TZ) must immediately line up opposite[,] or in front edge-to-front edge combat with[,] the TZ-ing [sic] element most directly in front.”

Let’s see if it survives the DBMMlist and makes it into DBMM v1.1 by the end of the year.


James said...

Wow! DBMM is so NOT the game for me. But I suppose a set of rules that are primarily for competitions have to have everything sewn up tight with no room for doubt.

Vexillia said...

These rules have been out for 18 months now and are due to be "tidied up" sometime soon. I hope so because the fact that things like this arise is steadily putting me off too.

I've made an effort to learn the rules and was making progress. What concerns me now is there's no easy mechanism to get this sort of problem resolved. All the various lists provide are opinions on both sides of the argument and no resolution.

I'm sure this, and the fact that the rules are hard to grasp at first, is the reason why there are a lot less people playing DBMM than were playing DBM or are now playing Field of Glory.

Anonymous said...

number 1 is impossible because outside a TZ you cannot slide a group sideways, you have to wheel or move as individual elements. Move the group into the TZ. Either move straight forwards as far as possible without contacting the enemy, or move in and line up, or move in, line up and move into contact.
The rules are worth persevering with, they are so much better than both DBM and FOG

Vexillia said...

Thanks for the encouragement.

Agreed about #1 and "Move the group into the TZ. Either move straight forwards as far as possible without contacting the enemy, or move in and line up"

Not sure about "move in [to TZ], line up and move into contact". I read the bit on page 28 as prohibiting sideways movement unless "in front edge combat" not as unless "ending in front edge combat". Hence the request for a clarification.

Aside from this, allowing a group to "sidestep" into contact like this, especially when blocked by their own troops, would only serve to reward poor play. Good players would try and avoid being blocked in the first place.

Anonymous said...

If you're just playing for enjoyment rather than a tournament, I'd say your boisterous Normans, hardbitten Byzantines, wild Avars, etc, are not going to be too concerned about the precise timing. Let them contact.
If you're playing in a tournament--then yes, Phil desperately needs an editor who speaks English.

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