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A Visigothic Romance
The Second Fall of Rome Tournament
By Neldoreth
Oct 4th, 2010
The Map of the Barbarian Invasion of Rome

Rome's days are numbered, but it should be a fine night!


This event was born out of Mr. I Was A Teenage Visigoth's tournament of the same name. It was run at the 2009 Fallcon as the Friday night DBA event, and I was unfortunately not able to make it.... The problem was that I had to run a tournament on the Saturday, and I had to pick only one day at the con because how could I neglect my family for more time than that? I was so sad that I missed it I decided to see if I could recreate the magic! Of course, I will never come close to the magic that the Teenage Visigoth managed to pull off, but I'll see what I can do.

A benefit for running an event based on a period of a previous event is that there are a plethora of armies already out there! Thus, for the very-few people who don't already have an army, there will be (more than) a few loaners!

The rules and scoring...

Now for the complicated bits. The rules for this tournament are those of DBA. Everything in the rulebooks is a go, except that the use of both BUAs and rivers is forbidden. Despite the state of the DBA rule book, the rules aren't the complicated bits.

Visigothic, Lombard, Gothic Warriors illustration

Rome is ripe for defeat!

The scoring for the tournament is the real challenge to DBA snf non-DBA players alike! Scoring for this tournament is loosely based on scoring for DBA campaigns as outlined in the DBA version 2.2 rulebook, with a few modifications to encourage boldness! Players will earn prestige points during play through the following means:

In short, you win the tournament by winning with large margins... That is, if you destroy four elements and lose none, you gain four points. However, if you destroy four element and lose three, then you gain only one point. Furthermore, capturing camps and killing enemy generals are both great ways to get points!

The final way to generate points is to have your general out there forcing enemy units to route and be destroyed! Every time your general makes such a kill, you gain a prestige point. This little rule was added in to ensure that generals would lead from the front, in spite of potentially giving points if they get killed themselves.

As an example, a very successful player could get up to twelve points from a single battle by: winning the battle with a score of 4 elements destroyed and none lost (worth four points), killing the enemy general (worth an additional two points), sacking and holding the enemy camp (worth another two points), and by having destroyed all of the enemy elements with the general's element (at one pointer per kill, adds an additional four points!). The final score would be expressed as 6G-0, resulting in 12 points and is extremely difficult, but not impossible to do!

Another thing to note is that a losing player may very well get more points that their opponent! By sacking an enemy camp and destroying an enemy general with a general's element, a player could still lose 4-3G while gaining five prestige points, while their opponent would only gain one! This will hopefully make for some interesting game of DBA!

The Prizes

The tournament will feature two prizes:

  1. A Gothic/Late Roman tower or gateway camp, scratch-built by yours truly,
  2. and a wooden palisade gateway camp designed after late Rome, but could be used for pretty much anyone that made wooden palisades...
That's it for this year. Last year I also included a camp for the player who did the worst, hoping that it would smooth the whole tournament experience out for them, but I feel it might have had th opposite effect... Incidentally, I've seen those camps rarely used! Then again, I rarely use any specific camp, so I guess it's just the way the cookie crumbles as far as camps are concerned. In any case, that ruined tower camp was my favourite camp of all I think... but I digress...

15mm Wooden Palisade DBA camp

The Wooden Palisade DBA camp, one of the prizes up for grabs!

The prizes will be awarded to the player who accumulates the most prestige (or points) during the tournament and the player that has the most snazzily-painted army, as voted by those playing in the tournament. I reserve the right to break any ties that may occur! So, if everyone votes for themselves, and I wouldn't hold it against anyone, then I get to pick the winner!

15mm Gothic or Lombard stone tower DBA camp

The Gothic or Lombard or Late Rome stone tower DBA camp.

Now you might be asking, which camp goes to which winner (please, no grammar remarks on the previous), well the winner of the best-painted army gets first choice, and the winner of the tournament gets second choice. Also note that players pushing around loaner armies don't qualify for the best-painted army.

A report on the action

This being the second tournament that I ran, I didn't want it to be as poorly organized and managed as the first one, so I did some more preparation before the event. This event was in the afternoon, and followed an event that had a lot of complex little bits and bobs, which were extremely cool, but also got players ready to play! Note to self, always take the afternoon slot!

The event started off with six barbarian armies and only two Roman armies. My plan was to count up the victory points for each army's side and add them up to decide whether Rome was sacked or not, but with the vast majority of armies being barbarians, things looked bad for Rome from the outset; Rome had to do exceptionally well to pull out a victory, of course Rome was meant to fall, so either way it's a win!

After the first round of fighting, the Romans were indeed in trouble. Collectively the barbarians had 12 points and the Romans had three. Interestingly the army leading the charge were the Early Saxons! A players from the great white north of Alberta named Terry was pushing around the Saxons, and doing a great job of it! The Lombards and the Gepids were close behind the Saxons, with the Visigoths and the Romans in the middle while the Ostrogoths and the Huns failing to gain any points.

By the end of the second round, the Lombards, pushed around my Spanikopites of Fanaticus fame were in the lead with 9 points, followed by Mark Wall's Visigoths. Mark played extremely well all weekend it should be noted! Mark Wall was followed closely by Mark S. who was pushing around the Eastern Patrician Romans! So, it was a close race between the Lombards, the Visigoths, and the Patrician Romans! So, Rome rallies after all? At this points, the Romans are down by a score of 23 to 7, but if a Roman army won te tournament I decided I'd let Rome stand!

The final round saw the two Marks do battle, pitting the Visigoths against East Rome. Both Mark and Mark were playing extremely well, undefeated in the tournament so far, so it was going to be a pretty crazy match up. In the end, Mark Wall's Visigoths fell by a narrow margin and Mark S.'s East Romans managed to capture 10 points! Meanwile, the Lombards were busy sacking Roman cities and also managed to score 10 points... So, we ended with a tie for the win between the Lombards (which is likely my favourite barbarian army) and East Rome! So, I decided to create a little scenario to resolve the tie.

The final show down would be the Lombard general vs. the Roman general who both had the door closed on them... Since both generals were knight generals, it was a lot closer than it could have been, but it would produce a decisive and quick finish to the tournament! In a valiant show of ferocity, the Lombard general weighed into the Roman battle line, grabbed the hairy helmet of the Roman general and cut his throat! The win goes to the Lombards! In the end, Terry and the early Saxons finished third, and he totally deserves a special mention since the early Saxons aren't the easiest army to win with!

After the dust had settled on the battlefield, the votes for best painted and presented army were cast and counted. All of the loaner armies weren't qualified for this contest, which was unfortuntate because it left out three players. But when all was said and Done, Don Ray was the chosen player and was rewarded first choice of the prizes! His army was extremely well turned out, and it was also great because Don took the time to get some of the new players that were playing in the tournament entrenched in the game, so thanks Don!

The final score:

Check out below for some pictures of the action!

The Huns fo battle with an East Roman army

The Huns take the fight to the Eastern Patrician Romans. Mr. Ray uses his snazzy movement stick to weave circles around the Roman ZOC (marked with a rather striking ZOC marker featuring a large tree trunk!).

Lombards maneuver around the Visigoths

The very skillfully and colourfully painted Lombards maneuver around the flanks of their Visigoth enemies.

New packs of unpainted Navwar Mongols

The Visigoths attempt to send the Saxons back to their cold northerly climate while the Saxons hug the hills in a despirate attempt to hold on!

New packs of unpainted Navwar Mongols

The Patrician Romans come to blows with the Gepids. It was a close and hard-fought battle that the Gepids managed to get the upper hand in at the end.

New packs of unpainted Navwar Mongols

The Early Saxons face down the Lombards from the hill while the Lombards decide which Saxon sub-force to pursue.

New packs of unpainted Navwar Mongols

End of the second round score board. The blue shields are piling up! Rome is doomed!

New packs of unpainted Navwar Mongols

The line of late Visigoths square off against the Eastern Patrician Romans in the show down that would put the east Patricians in a tie for first place!

New packs of unpainted Navwar Mongols

The Gepids pursue the Early Saxons into the hills. Those Early Saxons spent a lot of time in the hills...

New packs of unpainted Navwar Mongols

The Lombards battle the Ostrogoths, and despite a deadly position the Ostrogoths manage to survive!

New packs of unpainted Navwar Mongols

The Patricians destroy element after element of their Visigothic enemies!

New packs of unpainted Navwar Mongols

At the end, the final tie-breaking show down between the Lombards and the East Patricians. This time it goes to the Lombards, and history repeats itself!

New packs of unpainted Navwar Mongols

The final score board.


I had a great time this year, and I'm happy I volunteered to run the event. It went heads and tails more smoothly than my first event, and was a walk in the park compared to running the campaign last year. Will I do it again, it's possible. If so, it will be a different theme (can we say Persia on the Warpath?), but with a similar points scheme.

I really liked the alternative points scheme; it didn't really focus on winning as would be expected, but specific feats of bravery and bloodletting. Some players weren't too keen on it, prefering the standard scoring: one point for a win and that's it. Part of the issue was that all of the tournaments on the weekend had similar points scheme. I might stick with it, but I might add some more points for winning, as that would be analogous with capturing a city in a campaign... In any case, it was fun and I look forward to next year!