DBA is amongst that rare breed of wargaming rules; it has been enduring and popular for over twenty five years. Written by a team effort of Phil Barker, Sue Laflin-Barker and Richard Bodley Scott, it was a radical shift from the wargames that had gone before. The interesting story of the DBA rules was included in the book DBA 2.2 Simple Ancient and Medieval Wargaming Rules (also published by the History of Wargaming Project). DBA has developed from the first edition of the rules presented at the Conference of Wargamers and the Society of Ancients Conference in 1989 and now, in 2014, the rules are version 3.0.
When the WRG Ancient Rules were first published in 1969, they were soon very popular amongst the tiny number of wargamers in the world. As the hobby of wargaming expanded, there were new players who were keen to start, but who needed a guide to help them get started in ancient wargaming. There were calls for a book about ancient wargaming to accompany the WRG rules. In 1975, Phil Barker answered this call and wrote The Airfix Guide to Ancient Wargaming; this so called 'The Purple Primer' provided such a guide and was sought after second hand long after it was out of print.
The aim of this new book by Sue Laflin-Barker is to provide a new 'Purple Primer' for those starting the hobby of ancient and medieval wargaming with the DBA rules. It covers a range of topics from choosing and assembling an army, to a discussion of the rules and sample army lists with explanations. This guide has been written for the current version of the DBA rules, version 3.0 and it is hoped this book will be of equal utility as its predecessor, The original ‘Purple Primer'.