At 08:40 AM 10/7/97 -0500, you wrote:
>The current rules for battles are the weakest part of the game in my
>I know there is some debate over how much BR should be a wargame and how
>much it should be an RPG, but it seems obvious that a lot of its appeal is
>in the ability to rule in addition to the rich world setting. If you are
>going to have the Domain aspect there will eventually be war, so then the
>question is how to best resolve this in a way that is not so clunky yet is
>not a huge investment in time and effort.
>Has anyone here played with the DBM or DBA battle rules? They seem pretty
>good, very simple and intuitive.
I have played DBA on a couple of occasions (I have a nice 15mm army of
Italian condottiere sitting on my desk), and I highly recommend it as a
real easy way for someone to get into miniatures. It doesn't take forever
to paint a 15mm army with only a dozen or so stands, the game runs fast,
and the rules are dirt-simple. Give it a shot, if you're so inclined.

Now, on to the other point about the War Cards...Knowing that I couldn't
assume that any significant portion of our audience had an interest in
serious miniature gaming, part of my mission in designing Birthright was to
provide some form of mass-combat resolution. It's intended to be simple and
fast, as opposed to an exhaustive treatment of fantastic medieval warfare.
If you find that you want more detail, feel free to expand on it!

The randomness of the battle card results is actually pretty simple. There
are nine different battle cards in the basic set; at the highest attack
(+3) eight of those nine cards list a good result (H, R, or D) for any
particular icon mix. At the lowest level (-3) only two cards in nine lists
a good attack result for any particular icon mix. The other columns
increase to two, three, four, five, and six positive results as you
increase the odds of the attack. In short, your chance of drawing a hit on
an enemy unit increase from 22% to 88% as the attack-defense ratio goes
from -3 to +3. But, as always, plain old dumb luck can always be a factor
in any given fight.

Rich Baker
Birthright Designer