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Close Combat

Close combat occurs after the Movement Phase between those elements which are in Frontal Close Combat Contact Position (like Bd3 and Kn on the diagram below).

The player whose bound it is now, just chooses the order in which such pairs will fight.

If at the same time another friendly element is in Flank or Rear Close Combat Position, then it does not fight separately but give -1 combat modifier to the enemy element. Also, such a Flank or Rear Close Combat leads to DESTRUCTION of recoiling enemy element.

Close Combat Positions
Diagram 1: Close Combat Positions
  • Bd3 is in Frontal Close Combat Contact with Kn
  • Bd1 is in Left Flank  Close Combat Contact with Kn
  • Bd4 is in Right Flank Close Combat Contact with Kn
  • Ps is in Rear Close Combat Contact with Kn

Overlap and Support Positions

Diagram 2: Overlap and Support Positions

The following elements are in Frontal Close Combat Contact: Pk3  vs LH, Pk2 vs Kn1, Pk1 vs Ps1 (violet).

  • Ps2 gives an overlap to Pk3 against LH (Ps2 overlaps LH)
  • Ps1 (white) overlaps Ps1 (violet)
  • Bd1 overlaps both LH and Kn1 (simultaneously)
  • Pk6 gives support to Pk3
  • Pk4 gives support to Pk2
  • Pk5 does NOT give support to Pk1, because Pk5 (or Pk1) is in Bad Going

See also Close Combat with Camp Position.

Each of two fighting elements uses its Combat, Tactical and Support Factors.


Bd +5 v foot, +3 v mounted.
El +4 v foot, +5 v mounted.
Sp, SCh +4.
Kn, Pk WWg, HCh +3 v foot, +4 v mounted.
Cv, Art, LCh +3.
Aux, Wb +3 v foot, +2 v mounted.
Bw, Lb, Cb, Cm +2 v foot, +4 v mounted.
LH, Ps +2.
CF +1.


+2 Foot occupying a camp
+1 General in Close combat or being shot at
+1 fighting from uphill
-1 for each enemy element:

  • giving overlap support (See Overlap Position)
  • in Flank or Rear Close Combat Contact Position
  • also shooting at that Target element (during Distant Shooting Phase)

-2 if any, but Aux or Ps, Bw and in BGo
-2 mounted in Close Combat with enemy in BGo



If none of two elements is in BGo, neither attacking a camp

  • Pk support Pk (+3) (not having moved in contact with enemy Bows or Artillery this bound)
  • Sp support Sp (+1) fighting v Sp or Knights
  • Wb support Wb (+1) fighing v Knights, Cavalry or Light Horse

Psiloi support Sp, Bd or Aux if fighting vs Mounted or warband or attacking a camp.


COMBAT OUTCOME (both for Close Combat and Distant Shooting)

If Defeated (but not doubled)

El. Destroyed by Ps, Aux, LH, Art, or if in BGo. If not, recoil.
SCh Destroyed.
Kn Flee 600p from El. Destroyed by SCh, LH, or in BGo, or by Bw with whom they have moved into contact during this bounds bound. If not, recoil.
Other mounted. Flee 600p from SCh or if in BGo. If not, recoil.
Aux Destroyed by Kn if in GGo. If not, recoil.
Bw. Destroyed by any mounted, If not, recoil.
Wb Destroyed by El, Kn, SCh if in GGo. If not, recoil.
Ps Destroyed by Kn or Cv if in GGo. If not, recoil.
Art Destroyed by any if in close combat. If not, recoil.
WWg Destroyed by Art, El. If not, stay
CF Destroyed
Other foot. Destroyed by Kn, SCh if in GGo, or by Wb. If not, recoil.

If Doubled (i.e. its total is half that of enemy)

Cv Flee 600p from Pk or Sp if in GGo. If not, destroyed.
LH Destroyed by any mounted, WWg or Bw IF IN CLOSE COMBAT or if in BGo. If not, flee 600p
Ps Destroyed by Kn, Cv, Cm, LH if in GGo, or by Bw, Aux or Ps. If not, flee 600p.
Others. Destroyed.


Recoil means moving straight backward one base depth.
Recoiling element can pass some friends facing in the same direction:

  • Psiloi through any
  • Mounted through any (not pikes, not elephants)
  • blades through blades, spears
  • pikes through blades
  • bows through blades

"Impassible" friends (not El or WWg) can be pushed back if facing in the same direction.

If a recoiling element meets the following obstacles, it is destroyed:

  • impassible terrain
  • gameboard edge
  • camp
  • friends which cannot be passed through or pushed back
  • enemy element

If such enemy element is contacted other than on its FRONT edge, it is also destroyed.



A fleeing element makes RECOIL move, then turns 180 degrees . From then on, it changes direction only by the minimum necessary to avoid enemy, friends it cannot pass through, BGo (not for Ps),  impassable terrain. If fleeing element meets the board edge, it is considered destroyed.

Copyright Wargaming.net 1999-2013
DBA 1.2 Rules Wargames Research Group 1995
DBA 1.22 Rules Phil Barker, Richard Bodley Scott, Sue Laflin Barker 1990-2000