Turns out that all things need to happen in their own time and at their own pace. Phil is engaged and providing some very interesting and useful insight into his game design philosophy. And let's face it: for all the complainer's about "Barkerese", his ancients rules - in all their various forms - are clearly the most played ancients rules on the planet. (Might they also be the most played wargaming miniatures rules, regardless of period or genre, out there? Quite possibly, but the Warhammer franchise probably beats them. If counting only historical, quite probably, but it is hard to tell, given the popularity of Flames of War.)
Enough gushing. Here are some noteworthy changes from the last draft (or from the previous version, if I did not note it in the last draft, but it was there):
- Army lists can now swap three elements from their list with three elements from an allied list.
- Clarity on terrain piece sizes.
- Choosing a BUA does not take away the attacker's choice for a baseline.
- Having a lot of War Wagons in your army does not exempt you from having a camp if you don't have a BUA.
- Littoral landing force can have a maximum of only three elements now (down from four).
- You can have a landing force if your, or an allied contingent's, home topography is Littoral.
- Clarified that a single element only gets a 0 PIP move if on the road.
- Allied elements cannot make a group move with non-allied elements.
- The < 1BW slide movement has been clarified.
- Distant shooting targeting priority has been clarified.
- Turning to flank when a column has been contacted is now clear.
- Clarified that recoiling is a controlled retreat (which explains why mounted have a choice in how far they recoil).
- The Buttocks of Death is no more!
- Rear support from Psiloi is gone! This got rid of the controversy of rear-supporting Psiloi being destroyed if any of the three elements it was supporting were destroyed, but definitely changed the dynamic of the game. I wonder if this change will survive past this draft...
- If you recoil but cannot complete the move, you are not destroyed; only if you cannot start the recoil are you lost.
- Fleeing is no longer "recoil, turn 180º, then move a full move". The initial recoil is now gone.
- 4Kn (cataphracts) do not pursue like other Knights.
- Loss of a General no longer results in an automatic loss in some cases; it now simply counts as an extra element lost.
- Only the first double element lost counts as 2 elements lost; all subsequent double elements count as 1. Given the rumors that the Thebans could have a substantial number of double element Spears (8Sp), this is good news indeed!
An element can move into close combat against an enemy flank edge only if it starts entirely on the opposite side of a line prolonging that edge ...
Update: I now see that my reading was incorrect. The reference to "that edge" refers to the flank edge, not the front edge! So those contacts are legal because the element is beyond the flank line.I am definitely in the camp of buying and playing DBA 3.0 when it comes out. With each passing draft of the rules the writing gets clearer. (Is "Barkerese" now a dead language?) It is unfortunate that the 2.2/3.0 schism appears to not be going away, but some people just do not like the faster movement, changed deployment area, and randomized terrain, all things that I favor.
But, as with choice of WW II rules, fantasy rules, Napoleonic rules, etc. to each their own.