Field of Glory Ancients version 2

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spike
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Terrain Placement Rules

Post by spike » Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:07 pm

The rules placement of terrain items and the distribution of the terrain items favours those with mobile troops. I am aware that these rules are designed for competition, to avoid stalemates caused by over defensive terrain, but IMOH this often leads to dull billiard table terrain on which to play. Why can there not be more Gentle hills, and make these more likley to end up in the centre area.




Spike

david53
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Rear Support

Post by david53 » Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:31 pm

Could this be changed so as too count those troops that might not be directly behind ie like the romons deployed

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Post by hazelbark » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:28 pm

More gentle hills. (Smple placing 2 small slopes 4x6 per side after all other terrain and it overlaps exisitng terrain.)
Reduce billard of steppe by disallowing double terrain takes depriving opponents of options.
Make roads go through terrain and neither block or be prohbitied by.
Something to make Poor non-LF worth taking in numbers. historically I think the rules are pretty valid. But something to encourage a weaker army. Cheaper points for poor formed troops.
Abandon Skilled Swordsmen the roamnd barbarian action is overkill.
Make HF more viable by increasing move to 4 or bringing others down.
The bow army skirmish LH needs ways to be more vulnerable in a table top timed game.
Dont do anythign to increase game time.

More Radical
Finish eliminating the gamey bits by ONLY allowing moves in MU increments. Yes troops moved imprecise amounts but generals didn't tell people to be Gnats todger. Troops would get close enough to do the objective. Eliminates all sort of fincking bits.
Is the board too wide at 800 points?

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Post by hazelbark » Sat Aug 07, 2010 8:38 pm

Also something to strengthen a BATTE LINE fighting. Encouraging the mutli BG formations. I think many players (dom swarm and LH being emblematic) use BGs like elements from DBM. drilled encourages this.

Say a General can be assigned to a Battle Line and applies a CT benefit (limit of +1 even if the IC) to every BG taking a test resulting from Losing an impact, losing a melee or shooting caused test (ie not from seeing a general die or bg break)

This would certainly be used by armies that have a mass of decision -- [phalanx, legion, barbarian, lancer charge) right now there is every incentive to break these up to exploit thigns, the only current advatnage in combat is the overlapping bases thorwing extra dice. A good one, but is that enough?

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Post by GordonJ » Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:26 am

1 A general point about how the rules are presented. Many rules (but certainly not all rules in FoG 1.0) are unambiguous but we still have difficulty applying them in practice. More examples need to be provided in the book – for example on evading and pursuit. This doesn't need to make the rules themselves longer because the examples can be boxed out in the relevant chapters.

I grant you the book itself might have a few more pages, but I'd be willing to pay an extra pound for an extra 16 pages if those pages were used for examples that made the intention of the authors clearer (but not so keen on paying for 16 extra pages of eye candy). Most discussions on the table are not about what the rules say, but about what they are supposed to mean.

2 Troop types and movement. Although I like the simplicity of MF going faster at the expense of being more vulnerable to cavalry and heavy foot in combat, I think FoG 2.0 should formally separate movement rate from troop type and make them two independent characteristics. But rather than say that all Swiss pike always trot around at 4MU and all defensive spears plod at 3MU (or even 2MU), instead allow all units the ability to increase their march speed at the disk of disordering themselves.

I'd make it a serious gamble: Roll 8+ on 2D6 to avoid becoming "disordered" or disrupted for adding 1MU; 9+ if moving an extra 2MU. And for going an extra 2MU I'd definitely say the price of failure should be disrupted (or worse -- see below). If we went for "disordered" rather than disrupted I think it would have to be a modification of the current FoG 1.0 status because we would want the unit to stay disordered until it passed a test to become steady again. However, this distinction may not be worth the extra complication in the rules and in keeping track of stuff on the table.

It might be a lot simpler to say: declare that you are going to add either 1MU or 2MU to your move; make the move; then roll 2D6. If you pass, fine (quality re-rolls would apply but not the presence of a general). If you move +1MU and you fail by rolling 3 to 7, you are disrupted; roll a 2 and you are fragmented. If you move +2MU and you fail by rolling 5 to 7 you are disrupted; roll a2 to 4 and you are fragmented.

Possibly these penalties are a bit too severe, but I think that introducing the concept of variable moves would put paid to drilled foot calmly turning 180 degrees and walking way from approaching enemy heavy foot, safe in the knowledge that they cannot close the gap.

3 Drilled troops. This is a related point: the turn 90 degrees and make a full move is probably too much. Perhaps the norm should be turn 90 degrees and make a half move. But since you are going to be throwing dice to attempt the move anyway, perhaps a very high score would allow a unit to turn 90 degrees and make a full move – say 11 or 12 allows the unit to do so, while 7+ allows the half move after turning?

I'd like to extend this concept to undrilled troops. Perhaps a troop characteristic of "veteran" would allow them a (pretty small) chance of doing complicated manoeuvres. This would be in addition to the existing Poor, Average, Superior, Elite categories; quality re-rolls would apply. Army lists would have to state either the maximum proportion of certain kinds of units capable of trying to do drilled-type manoeuvres, or state the maximum number of manoeuvre attempts and price them in some way.

My big worry here is that I wouldn't want to significantly increase the amount of dice rolling that players with big, undrilled army find themselves doing. So here's a very un-FoGlike mechanism to consider: the player buys a number of "manoeuvre" cards for X points when building the army. Imagine buying six "manoeuvre cards" for 3 points each (the Early German list might allow one card per 100 points of troops, whereas the Western Turks list might allow you to purchase one card per 50 points of troops). When you want to try a fancy move you play a card (only one attempt per unit per turn, of course); roll the dice and see if the unit managed it; discard the card.

4 Redeployment. Getting troops from one side of the battlefield to the other in FoG 1.0 is close to impossible except for light horse. How about allowing special redeployment moves: units in column (ie, a single base wide) and more than 15MU from any enemy and with a general can make a "redeployment march" at three times their standard movement rate for mounted and four times their standard move for foot? Additionally, you might say that "redeployment marches" can only be made within 10MU of your own table edge.

This formation should not be something to use lightly: the unit(s) have to get into column first and when they get to the other end of their line (which could be two or three turns) they will still be well to the rear of the army's front line. If any enemy come within 15MU while they are still in their "redeployment march" column formation they should make a complex move test: fail, and they become disrupted. Given that they will quite probably be within 6MU of the table edge, they could become quite vulnerable and slow to sort themselves out.

5 Weapons. "Skilled sword" causes problems in equal-points games because so many Roman foot opponents end up at a double minus in melee (and even Dacian falxmen fight at a -1). Why not treat skilled sword (I think the category itself has merit) the way FoG 1 treats a mounted light spear: it only applies if the combat would otherwise be evens? Armoured legionaries fighting protected swordsmen would now be +1, not +2; protected legionaries would also be +1.

And we could extend this approach to melees between skilled swordsmen and heavy-weapon armed foot, although I acknowledge the objection that the historic Roman response the to the falx was to increase the legionaries' armour rather than spend more hours at sword practice. Legionaries would still be +1 in melee against falx wielders.

I can see the argument for saying "skilled sword" represents certain troops' ability to outfight almost all foot opponents except a solid line of steady spearmen, but it has an undesirable, chilling effect on players' willingness to choose many of Rome's opponents in equal-points games.

One other point about weapons: is there a case for splitting the "heavy weapons" category? I'm broadly happy with heavy weapons not counting against mounted at impact, but if cavalry lose an impact combat against polearms (ie, weapons designed principally to hit and/or unhorse mounted opponents) maybe the cavalry should suffer a -1 on their cohesion test (in the same way as foot get a -1 for losing to impact foot). But such a rule requires that polearms be distinguished from axes and maces.

6. Campaigns. I've gone on long enough now, so I'll limit myself to saying: please include a chapter in the FoG 2.0 book or publish a full supplement or .... prepare an author-sanctioned downloadable PDF.

petedalby
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Commanders

Post by petedalby » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:30 am

Most players commit their commanders to close combat and the chances of losing them are slim.

Increase the chance by 1 - with the extra counting as wounded.

So a winning commander dies on a 12 and is wounded on an 11. A losing commander dies on an 11 or 12 and is wounded on a 10.

If wounded, the commander is removed - but with no cohesion test for friends.

I think this would see a lot less commanders fightig in the front rank.
Pete

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Movement

Post by petedalby » Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:35 am

To see more HF armies I'd like to see HF movement increased to 4 MU. They should still be penalised for terrain though.
Pete

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Post by timmy1 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:05 am

Pete, if you are going to make HF move 4 MU, should it not be limited to Protected and Uprotected HF? As a Late Republican / Principate Roman player I would love it if Marius's Mules moved 4 MU but I am not sure that Armoured MF should have the same move as Thracian Peltasts.

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Post by madaxeman » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:48 am

Even at supposedly "equal points", many armies and certain troop types consistently fail to appear on table relative to their historical prototypes - MF bowmen and any form of protected foot spring to mind, arguably undrilled HF too. Others appear a little too often - LF, LH, armoured superior cavalry - or do not get used as they were (highly maneuverable pikemen & drilled MF skipping away from enemies, skirmishers who stick around all battle). These would all therefore seem to be areas to look at. How they are addressed is another question.

Personally I'd also like a bit more unpredictability in the IGOUGO move sequence, and a shift towards more breaking of units by inflicting casualties as opposed to causing them to take and fail successive waver tests. But those are more personal preferences.
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Post by azrael86 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:15 pm

madaxeman wrote:Even at supposedly "equal points", many armies and certain troop types consistently fail to appear on table relative to their historical prototypes - MF bowmen and any form of protected foot spring to mind, arguably undrilled HF too. Others appear a little too often - LF, LH, armoured superior cavalry - or do not get used as they were (highly maneuverable pikemen & drilled MF skipping away from enemies, skirmishers who stick around all battle). These would all therefore seem to be areas to look at. How they are addressed is another question.
Protected foot do appear in quite a lot of popular armies: Pikemen, Longbow and Almughavars all come to mind.

The whole LH/Cav issue may not actually be a problem with the rules, more with the lists, in that there is a general tendency to classify mounted as superior as the default, rather than the exception. This applies to knights as well as turkish style Bow sword cav.

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No more super heroes?

Post by azrael86 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:23 pm

One of the biggest problems I think is that troops in FOG have effectively superhuman endurance and in the case of missile troops, endlessly supplied.

Also a simple change is to restrict terrain to the side losing initiative.

ethan
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Post by ethan » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:43 pm

  • Eliminate skilled swordsmen, it does not add enough to be worthwhile and as others have said it is overkill on the Rome vs. Barbarian interactions.
  • Consider doing something to help the troops that have swords only. Right now they are pretty worthless, but several chinese armies have front rank sword, rear rank bow which is just terrible. Similarly, the Indian armies with their MF with sword are a pretty worthless troop type. They should probably be about as good as as sword/lt spear as they cost the same AP...Perhaps sword only troops should get a PoA light mounted light spears - at least then they could charge bows...
  • Revisit AP. In particular armoured knights seem too expensive, if you could have a viable 5-7 BG armoured knight army they might be more interesting, right now they are slow unmaneuverable and not dangerous enough. Don't get tied down to changing rules instead of AP.
  • Cataphracts should be able to count their lances against knights. I doubt their is any historical interaction between the two troop types and cats are expensive as is.
  • Do something to help out undrilled HF, perhaps drilled just need to be more AP
  • Swarms need to go. They are an attempt to turn this back into an element based group rather than group based. Lots of options here.
  • Any troops that flee off the board should count as full losses
  • Consider making "filler" less attractive still. Getting a BG of 4 poor LF shouldn't really be a benefit...
  • Reduce the "Benny Hill" part of the game. Cutting down on the drilled 90 degree + full move is probably the key here - especially for MF. 180ing and running away with HF from other other HF also seems a bit silly as it is now.
  • If army lists are up for review as well re-consider how elites are being used (or just eliminate them altogether). We have Romans that can turn the entire core of their army to elite and whole army lists books that don't contain any, it feel inconsistent. I don't think it is generally worth it to be elites, their AP is probably fine but the feel is wrong right now.
  • Consider some modification of the initiative rules for the American armies, since none have mounted it is solely down to the generals now which feels odd in comparison to the rest of hte game.
  • Consider making the initiative bonus of FC and ICs a choice that you make at army design. So if you want to take and IC you can choose an initiative bonus of 0, 1, or 2 (perhaps even negative numbers, -1, or -2). This let's you disguise the nature of your commander and choose if you want to be aggressive (i.e. move first) or have more terrain control. It should be done at army design, NOT on a game by game basis though.

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Post by ethan » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:44 pm

madaxeman wrote:Even at supposedly "equal points", many armies and certain troop types consistently fail to appear on table relative to their historical prototypes - MF bowmen and any form of protected foot spring to mind, arguably undrilled HF too.
Armoured may be a bit too good/too cheap.

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Post by azrael86 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:55 pm

The present "relative armour" doesn't work when handling open competitions. Any pre 1000 AD army should have its armour downgraded one class when facing a post 1000 AD one.

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Post by hazelbark » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:17 pm

GordonJ wrote:
5 Weapons. "Skilled sword" causes problems in equal-points games because so many Roman foot opponents end up at a double minus in melee (and even Dacian falxmen fight at a -1). Why not treat skilled sword (I think the category itself has merit) the way FoG 1 treats a mounted light spear: it only applies if the combat would otherwise be evens? Armoured legionaries fighting protected swordsmen would now be +1, not +2; protected legionaries would also be +1.

And we could extend this approach to melees between skilled swordsmen and heavy-weapon armed foot, although I acknowledge the objection that the historic Roman response the to the falx was to increase the legionaries' armour rather than spend more hours at sword practice. Legionaries would still be +1 in melee against falx wielders.

6. Campaigns. I've gone on long enough now, so I'll limit myself to saying: please include a chapter in the FoG 2.0 book or publish a full supplement or .... prepare an author-sanctioned downloadable PDF.
I really like the SKilled sword suggestion here.
Also think 1-4 pages on campaigns or non-equal points gamees is needed.[/quote]

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Post by johno » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:28 pm

According to local players who use them, elephants in 2-base units are too brittle/fragile for their points cost

Either allow 3-base units (the commonest suggestion), or reduce the points cost

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jrd
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Better armour POA

Post by jrd » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:49 pm

One problem in FoG at the moment is the "better armour" + POA in melee.
This has a huge and unrealistic effect on the relative effectiveness of troops in combat, which I don't think is supported by examining the historical performance of troops.

What problems does this POA cause?

1) Creates unhistorical differences in the performance of troops based solely on equipment. This is particularly noticable with protected and armoured troops in the Classical period. I don't think there is any basis in historical research for thinking early (armoured) hoplites were significantly more effective in combat than later (protected) ones, or that Seleucid Cataphracts were more effective than Alexander's Companions.

2) Has a strong effect on the playability of troops in FoG. Players will almost always choose armoured offensive spearmen over protected offensive spearmen, as their game performance is so much better. There is a point cost difference, but it does not offset the huge difference the armour POA makes.

3) Causes troops' armour to be graded inaccurately in order to support their historical melee performance. A good example of this is Macedonian Companions. Troops wearing metal breastplate and helm, unshielded, riding unarmoured horses, and yet they are graded as "armoured" when clearly "protected" would better describe their equipment. However, if they were "protected" in the current rules they would no longer be effective against historical armoured opponents (e.g. Persian Saka heavy cavalry). Grading Companions as armoured makes them unrealistically resistant to enemy missile fire. Another example of this problem is the later Seleucid armoured pike-armed troops - because the armour POA is so important, these have to be graded as protected to avoid them being too effective against in-period opponents.

Proposal: replace the "Better armour" POA with the following:

Better armour: + : If net POA from all other factors is – or worse, unless enemy has Heavy Weapons.

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Pike-armed troops

Post by jrd » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:54 pm

The rules currently require pike-armed troops to be in three ranks in order to qualify for POA at impact or in melee. Spearmen receive the same POA for being in two ranks.

I can see no historical justification for pikemen 8 deep being less effective than spearmen of the same depth. Certainly, Alexander certainly deployed his pikes in this depth, for example against the Persian hoplites at Issus - a decision which would be near-suicidal in FoG.

Although pikes are longer than spears, they are not long enough to reach past 6 ranks of their own troops, so it is not obvious what benefit the additional ranks are providing beyond that which would be provided by additional ranks armed with any other weapon.

Proposal:
Pike-armed troops should only need to be in two ranks to receive POA.

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MF Offensive Spearmen

Post by jrd » Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:57 pm

I am not convinced Medium Foot should ever be classed as Offensive Spear.

From the FoG definition of Offensive Spearmen (p130): "Spearmen accustomed to adopting an aggressive phalanx formation, with the aim of attacking and defeating enemy foot. For example, Greek hoplites."
I do not see this as compatible with the description of Medium Foot (p128): "Foot capable of fighting in close formation, but less reliant on formation for fighting style, and hence better suited than heavy foot to fighting in rough terrain."

I struggle with the idea of MF spearmen fighting as an "aggressive phalanx" without penalty in rough going (e.g. plantation, gully, brush). Also, is it reasonable that they also fight at equal factors against HF spearmen in the open?

Late Seleucid city militia are classed as poor MF Offensive Spear. Should these REALLY be shock troops? I suspect DBM's grading of these as Regular Auxilia (Inferior) more accurately models their capabilities.

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Re: Commanders

Post by marioslaz » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:24 am

petedalby wrote:Most players commit their commanders to close combat and the chances of losing them are slim.

Increase the chance by 1 - with the extra counting as wounded.
And losing a commander shoulh count as losing a BG.

There are also a couple of points which I would suggest to change.

Command structure. This is not to change, but to build. At present the only limitation is for allied troops, but this a too light limitation, because in most of armies all troops can be leaded by any of the generals. Commands are a must for me.

Combat system. Less troops = less dice = greater chances a long lasting fight. This is the opposite I would aspect.
Mario Vitale

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