Better armour PoA

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philqw78
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Post by philqw78 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:42 am

marioslaz wrote: Athens at start of Peloponnesian War was an economical power and I cannot believe they couldn't afford metallic breastplate for their hoplites if this is a real advantage.
But did the people that could afford it fight, or send someone else? Or were they spending most of their money on ships? The choice may have been go myself, buy a breastplate or pay ten men with what it would have cost for a breastplate. There were more people in the city so they were worth less.
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Post by Lamachus435 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:11 am

The reduction of hoplite armour to me seems the effect of many factors rather than an economical choice.
And there is still no conclusive proof that this reduction was really significant. Helmets became generally lighter and metallic breastplates probably went out of use (though we can not be sure how many hoplites had them during the Persian wars) but references to all sorts of infantry armour continue to appear in Xenophon, Plutarch etc.
But did the people that could afford it fight, or send someone else? Or were they spending most of their money on ships?
Normally, the purchase of weapons was personal obligation of the citizen, while ships (as well as magnificent buildings) were paid from the funds collected among the allies and from the state revenues (“Laurion silver”, for example) or “taxed” from extremely rich Athenian oligarchs.
The choice may have been go myself, buy a breastplate or pay ten men with what it would have cost for a breastplate. There were more people in the city so they were worth less.
In fact, in the V century BC every citizen had to carry out his military service personally: substitutes usually were not allowed.

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Post by guthroth » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:37 am

Not directly related to the armour debate, but 6-4thC BC Greece was far from the universal democracy we often think of. Barely 10% of the inhabitants were actually able to vote, but voting - like serving in public office and serving in the army was mandatory for those who were of teh social class to do so. To not serve risked punishment of varying degrees up to and including loss of citizenship.

As others have said already, all equipment was supplied by the individual not the state, so I imagine a decline in armour is more likely to be directly related to personal wealth rather than fashion.

I have a good little book on life, status and roles in Greece at teh time at home, and I'll post the citation later.
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Post by marioslaz » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:22 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
marioslaz wrote:
rbodleyscott wrote:(The reduction in hoplite armour over the 5th century is attributable to reduced ability of hoplites to afford expensive armour, rather than a perception that armour was of limited value - though admittedly the other items of hoplite equipment probably made it less of a factor than with other weapon systems).
The reduction of hoplite armour to me seems the effect of many factors rather than an economical choice.

[...]
I accept that there are good reasons why metallic armour would be less important to hoplites than to other troop types. This should not, however, be extrapolated into a general assumption that armour wasn't all that important. Clearly it was less of an issue if you also had a helmet, greaves and a whopping great shield. However, the Romans, with similar equipment, thought it worthwhile.
I totally agree. My post, in fact, was against economic reason for hoplites armour reduction, not against POA for armour in FOG.

Just for love of talking about ancient warfare, we can debate if Hellenistic hoplites could be anyway classified armoured, instead of protected, even if equipped with linen armour. But I think the problem with POA armour is another: you classify troops to balance historical match up, but in an open tournament you can have unhistorical match up and this kind of game can influence the perception of players about POA armour and so they can have the feeling some armies are favoured.
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Post by madaxeman » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:08 pm

Isn't much of the anguish concerning "armour" really because Protected cavalry, protected spearmen and generic barbarian foot are all pants?

If spearmen were a bit more robust in combat - maybe armour not counting against steady spearmen, looking at the "in two ranks" POA or even allowing spears to be fielded in 7's and 9's to allow rear rank replacement - then there would be a rationale for taking protected spearmen more often.

Protected cavalry are harder as there are so many armoured ones tooling about, but again a different solution - perhaps a reduction in skirmish shooting effectiveness against them, or the removal of the "unless in one rank" shooting POA - might well given them more viability?

Impact foot barbarians lose to armoured stuff because there are more rounds of melee than impact. Allowing them to break off occasionally might make this a better interaction - again without necessarily tweaking the armoured POA too much.
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Post by hazelbark » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:12 pm

The whole armour world debate probably gets easier is protected was cheaper points.

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Post by ethan » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:11 pm

hazelbark wrote:The whole armour world debate probably gets easier is protected was cheaper points.
I might do armoured infantry up a bit and protected cavalry down a bit.

Armoured cavalry is too much the norm to increase it would make some armies pretty tough to field. Armoured foot is the "plus up" with protected being pretty common.

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Post by hammy » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:16 pm

hazelbark wrote:The whole armour world debate probably gets easier is protected was cheaper points.
Well if you reduce the cost of protected troops how do you cost unprotected? Often the cost difference is only 1 point.

I quite like the idea of armour only giving an advantage if you are otherwise disadvantaged but I can also see points where it needs to give a clear benefit.

I don't think anyone would argue that a heavily armoured swordsman would have an advantage over an armoured swordsman in melee.

You could horribly complicate the armour POA by making it give an advantage if all other capabilites are equal AND making better armour a mitigating POA if you are disadvantaged.

i.e.
armoured sword gets the edge on protected sword (identical capabilities)
armoured spear has the advantage over protected spear (identical capabilities)
armoured sword get no advantage against disrupted protected spear (even POA, non identical capabilities)
but armoured sword get a mitigating POA agaist steady spear (base POA negative)
For me that is WAAAAAY to complex and should be avoided at all costs but without something like this there will be interractions that break if the armour melee POA is removed from the game.

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Post by philqw78 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:29 pm

I personally don't think this is worth the effort. If Alexanders Companions performed better or worse than Seleucid cataphracts is moot, they never met. Also the Seleucid cats can be average if they do. I think elite companions would pull them to pieces. If Early Hoplites performed better than later hoplites is also moot, during the time in which they could meet you can choose them as armoured or protected depending on personal thoughts on the subject. If you think they were as good pay for them as armoured and model them as linen armour.
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Post by rbodleyscott » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:17 am

philqw78 wrote:I personally don't think this is worth the effort. If Alexanders Companions performed better or worse than Seleucid cataphracts is moot, they never met. Also the Seleucid cats can be average if they do. I think elite companions would pull them to pieces. If Early Hoplites performed better than later hoplites is also moot, during the time in which they could meet you can choose them as armoured or protected depending on personal thoughts on the subject. If you think they were as good pay for them as armoured and model them as linen armour.
Moreover, if the later hoplites counted as Armoured, we would need other means of making them sufficiently disadvantaged against pikes.

Yes, I know there is a school of thought that hoplites weren't that badly disadvantaged against pikes, but in my view this idea is untenable given that everyone eventually changed to pikes. Given that this reduced your frontage by 50% (as armies had a given number of men, and did not use a points system) there must have been sufficient advantage to justify this. A plus POA in the impact phase simply isn't enough.

Or you count the pikes as Armoured too, and then everything else needs to be rejigged.

It isn't worth it, just to get anachronistic matchups to work more "realistically".

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Post by lawrenceg » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:29 am

Remove POA for better armour

Add a quality upgrade if you have better armour (like a general in front rank).
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Post by philqw78 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:40 am

Surely of your armour is better it would downgrade your enemy's attacks, not upgrade your own.
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Post by rbodleyscott » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:48 am

lawrenceg wrote:Remove POA for better armour

Add a quality upgrade if you have better armour (like a general in front rank).
That would indeed get the 1/2 POA effect, and we did consider it for V1.0, but felt that it muddied the mechanisms.

As a result of the previous decision not to adopt it, the major interactions were balanced on the basis of a whole POA for armour advantage, so the above would alter certain key interactions which are (in our opinion) currently balanced correctly.

Any solution has to take this into account.

From a FOG design perspective, getting the effect of armour absolutely "correct" (bearing in mind that opinions vary as to what would constitute correct) is less of a priority than getting the major historical interactions to give the correct historical results overall (Also subject to opinion, but easier to determine from the historical record than the degree of effect of armour).

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Post by hammy » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:53 am

philqw78 wrote:Surely of your armour is better it would downgrade your enemy's attacks, not upgrade your own.
Well unless the armour POA takes you to double plus that is exactly what it does

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Post by philqw78 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:56 am

hammy wrote:
philqw78 wrote:Surely of your armour is better it would downgrade your enemy's attacks, not upgrade your own.
Well unless the armour POA takes you to double plus that is exactly what it does
Armour could only take you to a single plus, meaning harder for the enemy to hit. You need something else to make double plus
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Post by rbodleyscott » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:13 am

philqw78 wrote:
hammy wrote:
philqw78 wrote:Surely of your armour is better it would downgrade your enemy's attacks, not upgrade your own.
Well unless the armour POA takes you to double plus that is exactly what it does
Armour could only take you to a single plus, meaning harder for the enemy to hit. You need something else to make double plus
Which was, I think, Hammy's point.

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Post by philqw78 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:21 am

rbodleyscott wrote:
philqw78 wrote:
hammy wrote: Well unless the armour POA takes you to double plus that is exactly what it does
Armour could only take you to a single plus, meaning harder for the enemy to hit. You need something else to make double plus
Which was, I think, Hammy's point.
Exactly, but my quote was in reply to someone saying that better armour should improve troop quality, which improves chances of hits.
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Post by rbodleyscott » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:32 am

philqw78 wrote:
rbodleyscott wrote:
philqw78 wrote:Armour could only take you to a single plus, meaning harder for the enemy to hit. You need something else to make double plus
Which was, I think, Hammy's point.
Exactly, but my quote was in reply to someone saying that better armour should improve troop quality, which improves chances of hits.
:oops:

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Post by rogerg » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:55 am

What about making better armour a +1 on the cohesion test when losing a melee? (It would need to be 'better armour than all opponents' probably and include 'except against troops with heavy weapon').
Better armour would keep troops in the melee longer rather than making them hit better. This would make armour a protective feature which is what it should be.

This one is growing on me. Armoured knight become reasonable. Swarm armies of Roman average armoured auxilia are less tough. Armoured skilled sword legionaries are only a single plus against protected opponents, but can potentially sustain the fight longer. Armoured spear are inferior to pikes, but might hang in their long enough to hold them.

Any disadvantages to this?

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Post by sphallen » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:49 pm

I think there may be too many unintended consequences of big changes on the armor POA. I think it is better to change the movement rates and/or change the cost.

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