Friday, 22 August 2014

The Alpha and the Omega of Phil Barker

Having quite recently finished "my first complete run through" of Phil Barker's DBMM new (2010) rule-set (I say first, as I know there will have to be many potentially painful passes before I really get to grips with it), I unexpectedly came across his original Airfix Guide to Ancient Wargaming (1975) book when I was rummaging around in my cluttered garage.

The 1975 book endorsed the WRG (4th Edition) rules. I took the slim,  purple aside over the next few nights and I found it quite informing, stimulating and refreshing, hankering back to an era of fruitful experimentation and "make-do with models and rules". The butchers knife coming out to assemble in a Frankenstein manner new troop types from various boxes of mixed Airfix figures. In reading his chapter on tactics I saw that I have the uncanny knack or is it ability ability to commit every wargame sin under the sun as per one of his diagrams "Ho hum!" (see below):


Reading through DBMM v2, the spirit of the original tome (promoting WRG 4th ed, and I must confess to have never actually played the WRG Ancients rule sets, although I seem to have picked up battered copies out of "collectors interest") still seemed in keeping with his latest. The same refreshingly (to me at least) anti-competition style gaming and more praise for the historical aka Society of he Ancients.

Good reads, both of them, I hope I can get a few more DBMM games this year.

4 comments:

Pat G said...

Much the same here - started with the purple primer and ended up with DBMM.

Enjoy - they are a great set of rules.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Thanks Patci hope to get some more ancient games under my belt this year

John Lambshead said...

I played the original DBM rules and found them very strange. Not at all to my taste.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Hello John, yes it is strange, but like Guiness, you get used to it by repetition and I think in the long run it is good for the blood.

It's even stranger when you talk to people and they tell you "how they think it should be played" - usually to their advantage, but if you stick true to the rules (and are prepared to take the rough with the smooth) then it plays well

If you are a competition gamer, I think you will hate it :)