De Bellis Antiquitatis 2.2, copyright  1990(1.0), 1995(1.1), 2001 (2.0), 2004 (2.2)

Phil Barker, Richard Bodley Scott and Sue Laflin.

Because of the difficulty in getting the primary author to agree to having a set of unified standards for interpreting the game for tournament play, at least,  and because of the many disagreements among players over the correctness of the various parts of the Commentary I have maintained, I have removed it.


 In keeping with the authors' philosophy, if anyone has a specific question about a rule, I will be happy to give my opinion or attempt to offer an explanation.


Better to contact the main author.  Consider his statement:

"Sets of interpretations by competition organizers often cause more problems than they solve, due to poor understanding, careless paraphrasing, or being made a vehicle for ill-judged amendments. Careful re-reading of the rules should solve most queries but you are welcome to phone Phil Barker on 0121-249-1566."


Further, Phil suggests - In tournaments, the Umpire "can decide if a player's actions or expectations, in a specific instance referred to him, accord to the letter and spirit of the rules, as the umpire understands them.  He can also alter an illegal action by the minimum necessary to make it legal.  Each decision should be made on individual circumstances and not taken to constitute a precedent."


Perhaps those who feel there should be a standard set of interpretations (or even clear rules) for tournament play will contact Phil and suggest that.    Getting people to agree to the rules is another matter.



I will continue to post comments from Phil that resolve issues that have come up.  Moreover, in my capacity as the DBA Coordinator for the North American Society of Ancient and Medieval Wargamers, I will post rulings for play in events run by that organization when there is a possibility that these may not agree with the text in the book. 


July 2005  -  Comments from Phil on"Meeting" something during recoil,  Shooting on the Rear,  and Forming Column.


A recoiling element meets another when it is stopped by it, ie. it would otherwise have moved further. If it has been able to recoil its full distance, it is not stopped. Thus, if it completes its recoil but ends in contact with a friendly element, it does not pass through it or push it back. If it completes its recoil but ends in contact with enemy, it is in trouble next bound.


It is not possible to shoot entirely on the rear edge of an element unless all of the shooting element is on the opposite side of a line extending the target's rear edge. Put a couple of elements out and look at them! (implication:  all of the shooting element, not just the front edge, is behind the enemy rear edge)


A group can always reduce frontage to become a column. "Such a column" in the group move rule means "a single element wide column."

When a group changes into a column, the future leading element of the column must move and the other elements of the group join in behind, slipping sideways to stay in contact with each other. They are NOT moving individually - the group is reducing its frontage. Once in the column, each element moves the same distance as the leader and wheels in succession at the same places through the same angles.  (implications:  elements making a group move to form column do not all move the same distance as is the case in other group moves.  All elements in the group do not need to be in the column at the end of their move. )