The Waving Flag: DBA 3.0 Army Design Tool

Thursday 21 September 2023

DBA 3.0 Army Design Tool

I haven't played De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) for decades, but I do own a copy of the latest version.  Who knows I may use it one day.

I built this a few months ago after I spotted a nearly full data set on the Fanaticus DBA forum.  This was just before I left the forum and was looking for a small data project to occupy some dead time.  

It's really very simple and should be quicker than parsing an army list.  I've also put together a simple video showing how to use the database, how to reset it and to highlight the check sum feature.

Tech tip
YouTube automatically calculates the resolution of videos based on the screen size of the embedded video and so the above defaults to a low resolution (360p).  To see the video at it's best click the "Settings" icon (Gear symbol) and select 480p from the "Quality" menu.  This is especially useful if you prefer to watch the video in a "pop-out" window.

Get your own copy
If you use Google Docs, use this link to create your own copy.   If you don't, use this link to download a copy.  The downloaded version isn't quite as pretty but, in my limited tests, works fine.

Data issues
Some lists had to be split into sub-variants (ie not in the official lists) so that they worked as true logical records. Here's an example:

The original data set was courtesy of someone on Fanaticus.  Please report any errors in the comments.

An siginificantly updated version is now available.


Venta Silurum said...

that's brilliant and thanks Martin. I dont play DBA often enough but this may persuade me to get back into it...once I have modded it to add grids of course :-)

Jonathan Freitag said...

Martin, I do not play DBA either but I admire and appreciate a fella that takes on a data project like this simply for the sake of accomplishment. Congratulations!

Vexillia said...

Thanks guys and you are spot on John.

Chris said...

I just stumbled across this. That's a very nice addition to the sheet. I did run into a bug: lists without variations blows up the lookups (for example II/12). I stuck a "." into the Var column (C) and that fixed it.

At first the Elements and Player Choices columns threw me until I realized they weren't auto-updating. So I added a couple of formulas to autofill those columns where it could.

Vexillia said...

Thanks for reporting the bug Chris. I've fixed it.

If you're interested it was because the cell used to select the army ('Army list!!B4) wasn't formatted properly; it interpreted 1/3 as a number not text. Once formatted as plain text the selection works as do the lookups.

Please download a copy of the new version using the link in the post.

Vexillia said...

It hadn't occurred to me to make the Element column auto update. It does now. Now the only thing you have to do is chose the troop types. Thanks for the prompt Chris.

Please download a copy of the new version using the link in the post.

Vexillia said...

Finally, I haven't found a way to autofill the Troop types column.

It's easy enough to select the type when there're no options but, and it's a big one, when you have to manually select an option it replaces the formula meaning it won’t autofill when you write your next list.

Ideally, I'd like to automatically clear the Troop type column when starting a new list. However, the only way I've found uses a custom script. That would be fine for my use, but, because the way the scripts work, it would prove problematical for others due to security concerns.

If you've found another way send me an email with your approach/formulae.

Vexillia said...

A much improved version has been released. It includes an app script which provides the autofill functionality discussed above.

Chris said...

I wanted to post a quick follow up on this. I made another small-ish tweak to my copy of the file; I simply added another copy of the form that I reduced sizes so it would more conveniently fit on my phone screen.

I used it during a recent tournament and it made picking my army options, noting aggressiveness, and defender terrain type much easier than flipping through the rule book.

Vexillia said...

Good idea.

Vexillia said...

An error has been reported with 2/5f Phokian. The general unit was listed as Sp when it should be Cv. This error has been corrected.

All users should create a new copy.

Salute The Flag

If you'd like to support this blog why not leave a comment, or buy me a beer!

Salute The Flag