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DBA Online Help     

Notes on Rules and Interface

The current version of DBA Online is based on official DBA rules version 1.22.
Version 1.1 (the one in the printed W.R.G rulebook) was upgraded to 1.2 and then to 1.22 by official amendments.



1. Battle Setup
2. Movement Phase
3. Distant Shooting Phase
4. Close Combat Phase

At the beginning of each bound the server determines the Movement Points (MP) to be used during this bound for the player using a random number generator.
In most cases 1 MP can be used for moving a Single Element, a Group or a Column.


First you must choose which type of Military Formation you want to move.

a. Single Element
b. Group (A group cannot start moving in or enter Bad Going or River)
c. Column
d. Group to be contracted into Column

See Group and Column Contact Diagrams at  Important Positions

A Group can move only straight forward or wheel forward.
A Column can move only straight forward or "bend" following the wheel of the leading element.

When Group's/Column's  front line contacts a front of enemy's element(s), it can shift sideways up to 80p to produce battle contact. ("Match Enemy" Button)

Moving a Single Element or a Group or a Column requires 1 MP
Extra MP are needed if the Element/Group/Column:

a. include Elephants
b. is out of Command Range (600p away from the General and beyond Woods or Hill, or 1200p away from the General)

DBA Online uses the same method of measuring distance traveled and hitting obstacles as tabletop DBA:

An element can move from its initial position to the specified final position if no more than one "corner line"  intersects an obstacle (forbidden terrain, friendly or enemy elements). This allows an element of, say Blades, to move from Rear Group Contact into Flank Group Contact.

The longest of these 4 "corner lines" is considered to be the distance moved.

Example 1: Cv moves from its initial position to the new position. The red arrow (a) indicates the Distance Moved
(It is the longest among (a), (b), (c), (d) "corner lines")

Example 2: Sp 2 can move to the specified position, despite fact that ONE "corner-line" (a) goes through an obstacle (element Sp1).

Such movement is allowed by DBA rules, provided that the other 3 "corner lines" do not go through obstacles.

In most cases you can move your troops to the desired position by mouse (freehand move).
When you move your element close to another element, the program automatically moves it into precise position, aligning with that friendly or enemy element

However, sometimes, when you need to move into certain precise positions, it may be convenient to use different Movement Types and Precise Movements.

At the end of Movement those elements which are contacted on the Flank or Rear (Combat Contact) turn to face the attacking enemy element. If there is another friendly element(s) blocking the space, they also turn, moving behind the first one.

IMPORTANT NOTE: HCh, LCh, Lb, Cb, 2Cm, SC move and fight 100% as follows:
HCh as Kn,  LCh as Cv, Lb, Cb as Bw, 2Cm as LH, SC as SCh


Heavy foot Elements (Bd, Bw, Wb, Sp, Pk) are allowed to move from any Flank Overlap Position into Side Close Combat Contact Position as one move.

(Geometrically they don't have enough movement distance)


Before you can move your element (column) on the Road with Road Movement Bonus, this element (column) must be already positioned PRECISELY on the Road. So, you must do that during the earlier tactical move or during Deployment phase ("Shuffle" mode ) using the "To Rd"-button.

Note: You will hardly manage to position an element precisely on the road by "Freehand" move with the mouse, so it's better to use the "To Rd"-button.

If your element starts its move on the Road (i.e. "Rd" oval is highlighted), but you want to move it off-road, you must highlight another Going Switcher, for example "Gr", "GGo", "BGo, "Rv", and also choose another type of movement, for example "Freehand", "Combat", etc. See Controls Info Page for more details


If an element is even partially in Bad Going (River), it is considered to be entirely in Bad Going (River).

If an element moves a part of its move on BGo (River), the whole movement is considered to be with BGo (River) Movement distance.

So, if you want to move with GGo Movement distance, your element must start, move and finish entirely in GGo.

If your element is in GGo and you want to move it into BGo or River, you must highlight BGo or Rv ovals (Going Switches).
That will allow your element to enter BGo or Rv, reducing the Movement Distance to the corresponding value.


Element Type



El, Kn









SCh, Cm



Sp, Pk, Bd, Wb, Bw



Ps, Aux



Art, WWg


cannot enter

By Road: LH - 500, all other - 400
In the River (not on the Bridge) - 100p


Second and subsequent moves can be made only by:

a) Light Horse, not ending that move within 600p of enemy
b) Psiloi, during their side's first bound
c) Warband, ending that move in close combat. (only 1 extra move allowed)
d) Any troops, if by road and not ending in Close Combat Position


If your element (as a single element or as part of a Group/Column) starts its move inside an enemy element's (elements') Zone of Control (ZOC) or moves into such ZOC, its further movement can only be:

a. towards Frontal Close Combat Contact position with that enemy element
b. towards the position right opposite the front of that enemy element
c. Straight backward

In other words if your element is in (or has moved into) the ZOC of an enemy element, it cannot just move across that ZOC or move into Close Combat Position with another enemy element.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The program requires that movement back to be PRECISE, so use the appropriate Precise Positioning Button

As a result of ZOC restrictions, usually, a group in ZOC can only wheel towards the ZOC'ing enemy and/or move straight forward towards that enemy.

 Examples of how ZOC works

Sp1 is in the ZOC of LH1, so it can only:

  • Move towards Frontal Close Combat Contact Position with LH1
  • Move directly Backwards

No other movement is allowed!

Sp4 is NOT in the ZOC of LH
because Sp1 BLOCKS that ZOC
(LH's ZOC is "stopped" by left front corner of Sp1)

Thus Sp4 can move to any direction until it moves inside that "unblocked" part of LH's ZOC.

Sp1 is BOTH in the ZOC of LH1 and in the ZOC of LH2, so it can only:

  • Move towards Frontal Close Combat Contact Position with LH1 OR LH2
  • Move directly Backwards

No other movement is allowed!


Mounted elements can pass through friendly Psiloi, Psiloi can pass through any friendly elements, if they are facing EXACTLY the same or opposite direction.



If a single element is in Frontal Battle Contact with enemy element, the only possibility for this element is to make a Break-off move from enemy.
Break-off can be done only if your element ends in the terrain where it has bigger Movement Distance than the enemy element.
If you Break-off from enemy Kn or HCh, Wb SCh they immediately pursue one base depth.
Other enemy in Flank Battle Contact with your element makes the Break-off Move impossible.



A Group can reform into a Column using 1 MP. Use "Contr.Group" button to select such a Military Formation. This is the way a Group can pass through Bad Going or a River.

The first element you select is the Leading element of the forming Column Part. You can move the Column Part using ordinary Column Move options. Then you move the second element behind the Leading element (in Column Contact position). Then you must shuffle (usually just shift sideways) the remaining elements of the Group Part until they finish in Group Contact with each other and the Column Part



The first side that at the end of any bound has lost either its general or 4 elements not including scythed chariots, and has also lost more SUCH elements than the enemy, loses the battle.

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