The author has stated over and over again how DBA is a much more abstracted game than DBM(M). Slowly, the supporting ranks have been dwindled down to just pikes at this point. At this level, I suspect that even pikes could take a pass on supporting ranks. Here are some mods worth trying to bring back balance to the game and get rid of supporting ranks once and for all.
1) No unit can support from the second rank anymore. This includes pikes.
2) Since pikes no longer get a support bonus, the combat factor should be increased per unit. Each pike unit now has +6 vs infantry or cavalry. When fighting in bad going, they get a double penalty (-4!). This will bring them in line with spears in bad going.
These two mods will actually make pike armies a bit more attractive as now they can deploy a line the same length as an enemy and enjoy a bit more firepower with the improved phalanx.
DBEs: I don’t like them for the extra functions and penalties in DBA 3.0. However, those brand new pike units (heck any heavy unit!) might look a lot better as a DBE. Just treat them as a normal unit. They should recoil a half base depth rather than a full base depth.
If Pikes are +6, then you may need to change how shooting works, as Bows will not be any good against them any more. I have toyed with getting rid of supporting bases for DBA (based on my Armati background) but I think supporting bases is part of the DBA “charm” that makes it different. Rather than removing Pikes entirely, it may be better to go with DBA1 with Pikes +3 support and Spears +1 support and then remove the DBA1 Psiloi support bonus for Blades and Spears. I must admit I didn’t mind V1.0 too much, don’t actually mind DBM, and V3.0 is looking pretty good (besides the DBEs which was weird in DBA2). I am actually still quite taken with the original pre DBA 1.0 (DBSA?) that was short, sharp, 2 pages and no Bows. Simple but fun, though I would not be able to help myself and add Bows back in, but maybe still with no range.