Jay's Wargaming Blog

July 31, 2009

Top Tip!

Filed under: General,Reviews — Jay @ 8:17 am


I’m currently play-testing a scenario based on an incident from Henry VIII’s invasion of France in 1513. It should be ready to post in a week or two, but in the meantime here’s a ‘top tip’ for anyone out there who fancies a quick game of solo DBA without shelling out the money for armies…

I used to be a fairly regular player of DBA online (DBAOL), which (as the name suggests) is an internet implementation of the DBA ancients/medieval ruleset. In recent years the number of players has been on the decline, and there have been a series of reported issues that have made it a less attractive option (flaws in the program that unscrupulous players can exploit, and other alleged problems which I won’t go into here). However, it’s still a cracking game, and it’s still possible to freely download it onto your computer to play solo ‘hotseat’ games.

Why bother, you might ask… Well, for one thing DBAOL can be played solo as it stands, or it can be made a little more challenging by using the De Bellis Solitarius rules variant (print out the rules and equip yourself with a couple of dice). For another thing, the DBAOL program gives you access to 180 painted virtual armies, and allows you to play any match-up you like with a minimum of fuss and zero expense. I fancied a couple of quickies this morning, so I’ve just pitted the Later Imperialists against Burgundian Ordnance, and Italian Condotta versus the Later Hungarians. And I haven’t even had breakfast yet ;o)

So what’s not to like? Hopefully the guys behind DBAOL will resolve the outstanding issues sometime soon and I can go back to playing my favourite online game against real live opponents…in cyberspace. In the meantime, I’ve got the perfect computer based simulation for ancient/medieval solo play. You can download the game for free here: http://www.dbaol.com/

Happy gaming, companeros!



  1. I was addicted to this game! I was even in a DBA club back in high school like 20 yrs ago. I played tournaments in the “hot seat” mode. (the Alexandrian armies were the best!) I quit playing it a couple years ago since I had no computer. But this past March I bought a brand new Dell with Windows 7 (8 GB memory) and was all ready to resume the DBA tournaments. But after I downloaded the game, I couldn’t get any further than the screen where you enter your name and it would freeze up. I uninstalled it and reinstalled it..same result. I emailed the support and told them DBA is not compatable with Windows 7. I asked him if there was gonna be a update soon. One of the designers told me they have no plans on updating DBAOL. So I guess I am screwed. The game is about 8 years old…and it’s no wonder they are losing users. Great game…but it’s gonna die.

    Comment by Shawn — October 4, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

    • It’s a real shame, not least that it appears to be dying a lingering death that leaves players in the dark as to what’s happening. A lost opportunity really.

      Comment by Jay — October 5, 2010 @ 10:10 am

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