15mm scale legal Full-Edge Camps for DBA
By Neldoreth
September 8th, 2009

The full-edge camp is intended to do a couple of things: to provide a legal sized camp for DBA players, and to provide one that is truly in scale with the figures used for your average DBA army. More than a few of my camps are disembodied bits of city walls or halves of buildings or excerpts from largers scenes. This didn't sit all that well with me; like many gamers I am a stickler for details and I like to keep things in scale, and it's impossible to do with DBA camps that follow the size restrictions. Even in the case of tent camps, you can never get nearly enough tents in scale to make all that much sense.

There is also the Built Up Area (euphamism for cities bastically, typically abbreviated as BUA) option that is much larger than the camp, but as I had shown with my Trelleborg it's still too small to do a proper representation of a city or fortress. Also, the whole BUA thing is shunned by many DBA players for reasons I won't go into. Finally, not all armies can even field a BUA. For example, the Early Russians, who have a very low aggression and are therefor always on the defensive, can't field a BUA. The Russians fought outside (or from inside) their cities very often, and it's just crazy that you can't really field one in DBA.

So, I put my head to work coming up with a way to do full, in scale camps for DBA. I figured that the best way to do it was to simply build the majority of the terrain on a separate piece of board designed to extend the standard DBA terrain board; essentially, making the terrain a part of the board, an unplayable part, but an extension that allows the terrain to take up pretty much as much space as it needs to.

The pieces that make up the Granada Walls full-edge camp

The basic scheme for making a full-edge camp is a simple one. First, you need a strip of board for the part of the camp that will extend the DBA game board. Then you need a piece of board that will sit on top of the extension strip and hang over on to the DBA board itself to represent the camp. You can make the part that hangs over onto the DBA board any size you want, small or large.

This full-edge camp represents the medieval walls of Cagliari. It is another three-piece full-edge camp designed similarly to the Granada camp. Note that in the picture above it is set up so that the gateway section that actually supports the camp is on the far left.

Once you have the board it is time to design the full-edge camp. Firstly, you might want to cut the strip of board that you plan to use as an extension into two ore more pieces. I found that three pieces work the best, allowing for three different camp placement options, but if you cut the extension piece into more pieces, it will give you more options for campl placement, but less stability overall as you will have a number of little pieces that can more likely get knocked around.

The Reyen camp that I made for my Medieval Persians is a single piece that was designed to represnt the structure in 15mm scale. It only allows for a single spot for camp placement, but I think the drawback is well worth it.

There are a handful of caveats to these full-edge camps that you won't have with the standard DBA camp. Firstly, they force players to play over large amounts of potentially high terrain. I've used the Granada city walls during a game before though, and it doesn't make things all that much more difficult even though it's my tallest full-edge camp.

It works for any wall-like structure, not only for actual walls! For example, above is a scale model of the gateway of the Dinorben hill fort in celtic Britain. Despite that though, this could easily be used as a fortress for a wide variety of armies, including Vikings, early Franks, Saxons, etc.

Another caveat is the camp position. The fewer pieces you use to make your full-edge camp, the fewer options you will have for camp placement. For me, this isn't all that important, but there could be a real issue potentially. If you camp placement options all somehow reside in rough going, then you will have to figure something out with your opponent... With my local group, the rule of thumb is that one base width remains between the board edge and any piece of terrain, so if you keep the actualy camp base part of your full-edge terrain less than one base width deep then you should be fine.

Finally, versatility might be an issue. If you play on different boards with various heights, you will have to come up with a way to handle that. Likely bringing some extra bits of board or foam to put underneath the full-edge camp to raise it up if required will be the best solution.

Overall, I am quite happy with these full-edge camps, and I plan to make one for all of my armies, not the least of which are the ealy Russians! For more images of my full-edge camps, please check out the 15mm Full-Edge Camps gallery!