De Bellis Magistrorum Militum by  Wargames Research Group Ltd

Free download for personal use: DBM 3.2 http://www.wrg.me.uk/WRG.net/History/DBM%203.2.pdf


Local copy of DBMF – Hastur   where you can also find DBMF Army Lists for Warhammer

When we first discovered DBA, DBM, and HotT, we quite naturally wanted a DBM version of Hordes. We called it DBF (no relation to the commercial rule expansion with the same name). It was an integrated fantasy replacement for DBM, using an OCR copy of the DBM rules. Quite naturally, it was not and could never be, intended for sale. The primary developers were me (Markus Viklund) and Torbjörn Andersson. The last DBF version was updated to DBM 3.0, and summarily playtested.

With DBM out of print and the publication of DBMM, I’ve decided to update the DBF rules for DBMM. This time, the DBMF ruleset will not be integrated into a copy of DBMM, but presented as a set of changes and additions. This enables me to “publish” it here for all to see, and hopefully comment.The


The intended purpose of this copy is to provide the framework for adapting DBMF to Glorantha and the 10mm scale.

Troop Definitions

  • Aerial troops can be Avatars, Dragons other than (X), Flyers, and Airboats. Aerials are assumed to move and charge on the wing, but do most of their fighting on the ground. Therefore, aerials are also classified as either naval, mounted or foot.
  • Mounted troops are Behemoths (Elephants), Dragons, Flyers, Knights, Cavalry, Clerics, Light Horse, or Expendables.
  • Foot troop types are Avatars, Auxilia, Blades, Bows, Giants, Hordes, Magicians, Pikes, Psiloi, Shot, Spears, or Warband.
  • Train troop types are Artillery, War Wagons, or Baggage.
  • Naval are Galleys, Ships, Boats, or Airboats. Airboats are assumed to fly so close to the ground that they remain at least partially vulnerable to shooting.
  • Avatars, Dragons, (X) Clerics and all troops graded (E) are collectively referred to as Supernaturals.

Troops within each type are additionally graded for efficiency relative to the average for that type, taking into account lesser differences in morale, degree of training, equipment or mobility, but not in prestige alone. This is necessarily subjective.

  • Superior (S) Troops recognized to be of significantly superior morale and/or efficiency.
  • Ordinary (O) Representing the great bulk of troops of that type.
  • Inferior (I) Brittle troops identifiable as of significantly inferior morale or efficiency.
  • Fast (F) Troops who move faster and further than average but are worse protected.
  • Construct (C) Golems, clockwork men, mindless undead and other troops completely lacking both initiative and fear. Also some elementals. If well-made by an artificer or necromancer well-versed in warfare, constructs can be regular. Constructs never make spontaneous moves of any kind.
  • Entity (E) Troops who are undead, demonic, angelic or otherwise out of this world. They are always irregular. They are always impetuous unless Train.
  • Heroic (H) Troops whose leader is so superior in courage and fighting ability so as to upgrade the entire unit, wether by exceptional strength or skill, magical weapons or the favouritism of gods or authors. In most cases they are threated as (F) units, but they can count themselves as any other troop grade for the purpose of receiving rear support. A heroic element can never give rear support. Heroes are usually irregular. Mounted heroes can dismount and remount freely, even if their mounts would normally have been lost in the chaos of battle.
  • Exception (X) Other troops treated as special cases.

    Lord Death on a Horse – https://mikeperryart.deviantart.com/art/Lord-Death-on-a-Horse-379848935
    Lord Death on a Horse – https://mikeperryart.deviantart.com/art/Lord-Death-on-a-Horse-379848935

Dragons [Dr]

Including only the traditional large intelligent armoured flying creatures. They are too arrogant and indiscriminate in their fighting methods to co-operate closely with other life forms and especially not with other dragons. They are at risk from heroes and magicians, but largely invulnerable to other troops. Being extremely long-lived, they have much to lose, so are apt to panic on finding themselves in real danger of death. They are always irregular. Unless specifically mentioned in a rule, dragons behave as aerial behemoths.

  • Superior (S) The eldest and most powerful of all dragons, akin to gods in power.
  • Ordinary (O) Younger dragons, not yet out of their second millenia. Gloranthan dream dragons.
  • Inferior (I) Mere hatchlings, or greater dragonkin such as the larger wyverns.
  • Entity (E) Undead or chaos-corrupted dragons, and some draconic demons.
  • Exception (X) Sea dragons and serpents. They cannot fly, and therefore count as naval instead of aerial.

Avatars [Av]

Including all major spirits, greater demons or angels, and all avatars of pagan polytheistic gods or goddesses such as those of Olympus, but not those of Asgard, who instigated rather than assisted mortal battle. They are nearly invulnerable, and fickle. They should not be invoked until in real need, lest they get bored and leave too soon. Avatars are always irregular.

  • Superior (S) Avatars of gods of war appearing on a battlefield, possibly with a retinue of immortal warriors.
  • Ordinary (O) All other godly avatars, and the greatest demons, elemental rulers and other extradimensional beings, who are powerful enough to serve no higher power.
  • Inferior (I) Mortals possessed by a major spirit, but lacking the true essence, and all other major demons, angels and divine servitors who are the subjects of a greater power.

Flyers [Fl]

Troops with flying ability, usually due to wings or flying steeds, but mechanical contraptions such as light gyrocopters are certainly possible. They are mainly useful for raiding, or harassing the rear of engaged ground troops. They are always irregular.

  • Superior (S) Powerful flyers either the size of small elephants and minor dragons, such as pterodactyls, or with gryphons and suchlike with well trained, armed and armoured riders.
  • Ordinary (O) Light flyers with armoured riders. Powerful flyers without crew, such as the great eagles of Middle Earth. Also dwarven gyrocopters.
  • Inferior (I) Snotling bat-riders and the like.
  • Entity (E) Winged lesser demons or angels.
  • Fast (F) Light flyers with unarmoured riders, such as valkyries on winged horses.

Elephants [El]

Including all ground creatures or machines of exceptional size and physical or magical strength or invulnerability. Note that grading is even more relative than usual – elephants with crew that might qualify as (S) in our world might be only (I) or (O) in some worlds, depending on how large and fearsome their biggest creatures are.

  • Superior (S) Extremely powerful giant monsters, such as hydrae or wingless dragons, or crewed dinosaurs. Also behemoths that would be (O), but accompanied by their own organic anti-skirmisher troops.
  • Ordinary (O) Large elephants or mammoths with fighting crew. Also large dinosaurs, giant tortoises, the thomplods of Kregen, Paluan giant lizards, and larger landships.
  • Inferior (I) Smaller elephants and suchlike, with small fighting crews. Leonardo’s turtle cars and other smaller clockwork or steam tanks.
  • Fast (F) Faster but lighter dinosaurs and large lizards.
  • Construct (C) Undead elephants or mammoths. Some clockwork tanks.
  • Entity (E) Huge demons and chaos spawn. Magic-powered juggernauts and dragon engines.
  • Heroic (H) Heroes mounted on behemoths, such as some Indians on elephants, and also some intelligent and self-willed behemoths, counting as heroes in their own right.
  • Exception (X) Bolt-shooting engines mounted on behemoths. They shoot and inflict shooting outcomes as if (F) artillery, but suffer shooting outcomes as (I) behemoths. They are treated as (I) behemoths in all other circumstances. Opponents use their CF against behemoths if in close combat, or if war wagons or bowmen shooting or shot at, that against artillery if not.

Expendables [Exp]

  • (O) as before.
  • Entity (E) Stampeding undead or demonic cattle-herds, or scythed chariots crewed by the undead. Also ghostly apparitions and spirit hosts, frightening but with little substance.

Knights [Kn]

  • Fig. 2: Sable Rider Queen: The Sable Riders ride giant sable antelope (about the size of horses) with long, curving horns. The people have black hair and dark eyes. They wear trousers (made from sable hide) and often a short cloak over their front and back. Wealthy Sable Riders often wear fancy headdresses decorated with Sable horns and bird feathers. Their clans are ruled by Herd Queens, who are also priestesses of the goddess Eiritha, Mother of Beasts. The Sable Riders have the best access to metal weapons and luxuries, as they are often in demand as mercenaries of the rich Lunar Empire. Our Sable Rider Queen has long black hair held in place with a headdress decorated with Sable horns and gold jewelry from some civilized land. She wears leather leggings and a short cloak. Her clothes are decorated with beads, embroidered designs, and feathers. Her face and skin has been painted with the runes, especially those of Earth, Beast, and Moon. Elaborately decorated leather bags hold magical medicine bundles with which she appeases the goddess of the herds. She carries a Neolithic dagger made from flint (presumably used in sacrifices and rituals) and holds a small stone statue of an animal-headed Mother Goddess
    Fig. 2: Sable Rider Queen: The Sable Riders ride giant sable antelope (about the size of horses) with long, curving horns. The people have black hair and dark eyes. They wear trousers (made from sable hide) and often a short cloak over their front and back. Wealthy Sable Riders often wear fancy headdresses decorated with Sable horns and bird feathers. Their clans are ruled by Herd Queens, who are also priestesses of the goddess Eiritha, Mother of Beasts. The Sable Riders have the best access to metal weapons and luxuries, as they are often in demand as mercenaries of the rich Lunar Empire. Our Sable Rider Queen has long black hair held in place with a headdress decorated with Sable horns and gold jewelry from some civilized land. She wears leather leggings and a short cloak. Her clothes are decorated with beads, embroidered designs, and feathers. Her face and skin has been painted with the runes, especially those of Earth, Beast, and Moon. Elaborately decorated leather bags hold magical medicine bundles with which she appeases the goddess of the herds. She carries a Neolithic dagger made from flint (presumably used in sacrifices and rituals) and holds a small stone statue of an animal-headed Mother Goddess

    (S), (O), (F), (I), and (X) as before.

  • Construct (C) Heavy clockwork chariots.
  • Entity (E) Undead chariots with large crews, and demonic knights fresh from the netherhells, often mounted on demonic steeds, armed with fell weapons and armoured in rune-encrusted plate.
  • Heroic (H) Most classical heroes, typically mounted on a splendid horse, armed with lance and enchanted sword, and either heavily armoured or protected by the gods. Also some heroic charioteers.

Cavalry [Cv]

  • (S), (O), and (I) as before.
  • Fast (F) Cavalry who would otherwise be light horse (O), but is too numerous to skirmish effectively.
  • Entity (E) Undead cavalry, riding ghostly horses across the hills. Demonic steeds with demonic or mortal riders.
  • Heroic (H) Heroic riders or charioteers that lack sufficient armour, or has too much discipline, to count as knights.

Light Horse [LH]

  • (S), (O), (F), and (I) as before.
  • Entity (E) Some demonic beasts, fearsome but cowardly, that roam the battlefield harassing anyone they deem weaker than themselves, always ready to flee should they have misjudged the enemy.

Camelry

  • (S), and (O) as before, except that they ride any local animal generally inferior to the local horse-equivalent.
  • (X) as before.

Clerics [Cl]

Including all holy priests, priestesses, mullahs, hermits or military leaders with powers which are protective rather than offensive. They hinder all magic in their vicinity and defy and sometimes daunt heathen gods. While mounted, they often dismount to pray, conduct ceremonies or fight manfully among their flock. They can be regular or irregular.

In general, an army will have Clerics or Magicians, not both.

  • Superior (S) Clerics and holy warriors born and bred to fight the infidel. They have the best equipment, both arms and armour, and have no time for pursuits other than combat. Unlike their lesser brethren, they habitually fight from the saddle.
  • Ordinary (O) Clerics well-equipped and trained, but usually with other duties that prevent full development of fighting skills, and sometimes followed by lesser brethren without mounts.
  • Inferior (I) Ill-equipped non-military hermits and holy men, strong in faith but weak in battle, often entirely on foot.
  • Heroic (H) Heroic holy warriors, mighty in their own right but too worldly to ascend to true paladinhood.
  • Exception (X) Paladins, including true unicorns and magical lions, and all those saintly human warriors whose strength is as the strength of ten because their hearts are pure and who are almost impervious to magic, such as Galahad or St. George. They are treated as (H) clerics in all ways, but are also supernaturals.

Spears [Sp]

  • (S), (O), and (I) as before.
  • Construct (C) Undead or clockwork spearmen, excellent at standing in line but lacking initiative.
  • Heroic (H) Heroic spearmen, such as some dismounted heroes.

Pikes [Pk]

  • (S), (O), (F), (I), and (X) as before.
  • Construct (C) Undead or clockwork pikemen, excellent at standing in line but lacking initiative.

Blades [Bd]

  • (S), (O), (F), (I), and (X) as before.
  • Construct (C) Clockwork swordsmen and skilled golems.
  • Entity (E) Mummies, wights, wraiths and other long-dead but skilled fighters. Demons equipped with infernal weapons and fighting in formation.
  • Heroic (H) Most heroes who would be knights if they were to be mounted. Spartacus and other heroic gladiators.

Warband [Wb]

  • (S), (O), and (F) as before.
  • Inferior (I) Goblin warbands, and other extremely brittle warbands with little belief in themselves. In most cases, these should probably be classed as Hordes (S) instead.
  • Entity (E) The greater part of all lesser demons.
  • Heroic (H) Most barbarian heroes, such as Conan, Bran Mac Morn and others.
  • Exception (X) Very lightly armed and armoured, but skilled and supremely fanatic. Counts as (S) when in close combat to their front, (F) in all other circumstances.

Bows [Bw]

  • (S), (O), (I), and (X) as before.
  • Fast (F) Centaurs or other quadrupeds relying on static shooting with bow rather than lance and cavalry tactics.
  • Construct (C) Skeleton archers and crossbowmen.

Shot [Sh]

In most fantasy worlds, Shots are either unavailable, or restricted to (I). In others, firearms are better handled by Bows, as the latter are less brittle in melee. Shots as presented here should only be used for fairly primitive and/or unreliable firearms, unusual enough to frighten troops unused to them.
  • Inferior (I) as before. Also regiments of the least of wizards, casting minor spells in volleys, but incapable once enemies close.
  • Ordinary (O) Elite musketeers, with armor and melee weapons and trained in their use, capable of defending themselves in melee for a short while.
  • Exception (X) Bearing large rifled jezzails or long rifles, often with poisoned or enchanted bullets. They can shoot at the same range as Bows, but are treated as (I) shots in all other circumstances. Often required to be double-based.

Auxilia [Ax]

  • (S), (O), and (I) as before.
  • Entity (E) Dryads, tree-kin, and other spirits of the land.
  • Heroic (H) Wood elf wardancers, superbly trained according to ancient traditions. Little John and others of the Merry Men who where less skilled with the bow than their leader, but as good woodsmen.

Psiloi [Ps]

  • (S), (O), (I), and (X) as before.

Hordes [Hd]

Hordes other than (S) can sometimes be replaced when lost. The specifics depend on the army list. Typically, (O) and (F) are recruited from a BUA, while undead (C) and (E) are summoned or created on a graveyard.

  • (S), (O), (F), and (I) as before.
  • Construct (C) Skeletons, zombies and other mindless undead, lacking any particular skills or equipment.
  • Entity (E) Minor demons and elementals of little ferocity, lacking any particular skills or equipment.

Giants [Gi]

Giants have roughly the same battlefield role as behemoths, but have different weaknesses. A particular fondness for alcohol being one of them. They are always irregular.

  • Superior (S) The greatest and most skilled giants, or tree-men. Usually with retinue to keep enemy skirmishers away, or fighting platforms. These giants are tall enough to attack over fortifications.
  • Ordinary (O) Lesser skilled giants, and elite ogres with good weapons. Giants who would otherwise be (I), but with close skirmisher support.
  • Fast (F) Small lightly armed and armoured giants noted for their ferocity, such as rat ogres.
  • Inferior (I) Numerous but relatively weak, small, or ill-motivated gigantic humanoids, such as trolls and ogres.
  • Construct (C) Giant golems, zombies and skeletons. Some elementals. Large war clanks.
  • Entity (E) Spectral giants, lesser efreeti, or very large humanoid demons lacking in magic. Many elementals.
  • Exception (X) Large giants bearing fighting platforms filled with archers and bolt-shooters. They can shoot and inflict shooting outcomes as (F) artillery, but are treated as (I) giants in all other circumstances.

Magicians [Mg]

Including all learned humans or powerful supernatural beings capable of and willing to use offensive magic, such as wizards, necromancers, witches, druids, shamans and evil priests. Although classed as foot, since accurate arcane gestures and spell-reading require a steady posture, they are assumed to move with magical but finite speed. Although often good swordsmen, they still need protection by conventional troops. They are always irregular, as their magic seldom follows the dictates of tactical prudence.

In general, an army will have Clerics or Magicians, not both. Likewise, there should usually be no more than one Magician per command.

  • Superior (S) Mages from magically adept races, such as high and dark elves, and the mightiest of human wizards, such as Merlin.
  • Ordinary (O) Powerful human or other mages, or large groups of medium talent spellcasters.
  • Inferior (I) The very best mages and shamans from races and cultures known for their lack of magic skills, such as dwarves and halflings, or groups of the least mages.
  • Heroic (H) Wizards that combine superior wizardry with superior fighting ability, such as Elric.
  • Exception (X) Mages specialized in personal protections and enhancements. They count as (S) in close combat, but cannot bespell at range.

Artillery [Art]

  • (S), (O), (F), and (X) as before.
  • Inferior (I) as before. Also most kinds of gimmickry, such as man-held rockets and flame cannon. If irregular, fire-breathing lizards or other living artillery too long-ranged to be Ps (X).
  • Entity (E) Undead and demonic artillery that fire enchanted or living projectiles.

War Wagons [WWg]

  • (S), (O), (I), and (X) as before.
  • Construct (C) Clockwork war tanks, emphasizing shooting and battlefield presence instead of close combat. Zombie-powered war wagons.
  • Entity (E) Undead and demonic war wagons, plague carts, doom bells and the like.

Baggage [Bge]

  • (S), (O), (F), and (I) as before.
  • Entity (E) Undead and demonic command litters, portable shrines, and sacrificial altars.

Airboats [Air]

Airboats are always irregular.

  • Superior (S) Large heavily armoured airships such as dwarven Overlord airships, Lunar moonboats, or flying boats using liftwood or magic to lift large and well-protected crews.
  • Ordinary (O) Smaller lightly armoured airships, or magic or liftwood airboats with smaller or lesser skilled crews.
  • Inferior (I) War balloons and other lightly armed and armoured airboats with limited maneuverability.
  • Fast (F) Small and fast airboats, such as those from Barsoom.
  • Exception (X) Explosive or incendiary balloons, set afire and allowed to drift over enemy formations, where they crash. They are treated as (I) airboats in all cases, except when in close combat. In that case, they attack using Artillery shooting factors and outcomes and are destroyed at the end of combat.

Galleys [Gal]

  • (S), (O), (F), (I), and (X) as before. While normal oar-powered galleys are always regular, it is conceivable that some fantastic means of propulsion could produce irregular galleys.

Ships [Shp]

  • (S), (O), (I), and (X) as before. Ships are always irregular if powered by sail, sometimes regular otherwise.
  • Fast (F) High elf eagleships and other very fast and maneuvreable ships.

Boats [Bts]

  • (S), (O), (F), (I), and (X) as before.

Exchanging Mounted and Foot Elements

Add before the first bullet list beginning with “If armed with”:

If (H) with another (H) element of a basic type indicated below.

Add this paragraph at the end:

Flyers are troops that fight in the air, with enough stamina to last an entire battle. If so specified by their army list, other winged troops, including those mounted on winged steeds, can be designated air-mobile. Air-mobile troops deploy airborne, and can march, interpenetrate, flee, and rout as Flyers. They cease to be air-mobile after they (i) fail to march in their own bound or (ii) engage in combat. Once grounded, they’re unable to take to the air again.

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