Cohesion Tests

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Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:47 pm

RichardThompson wrote:
nikgaukroger wrote:
Ranimiro wrote:I think you are missing a point Nick.

The failure can be due to other factors, as the enemy overlapping or flanking the deeper formations, the disorder in extra deep formations preventing it from gaining it´s suposed advantage and simply bad luck. All of this factor already exist in FoG, why don´t give extra deep it´s bonus and try to reproduce the other factors instead of assuming thay it NEVER existed.
I don't believe that a depth bonus as being suggested reflects any material difference that needs to be represented.
No depth bonus, as such, has been suggested in this thread.
Apologies - getting my threads mixed up.

The benefit would come as a side effect of penalising troops that take more HPB in the cohesion test.

IMO, a unit of 4 cavalry would be more likely to lose cohesion if it took 4 shooting hits than if it took 2.

IMO, a unit of 8 HF would be more likely to lose cohesion if it lost the melee 8-1 or 4-1 than if it lost 3-1.

This is what my suggestion was primarily trying to simulate.

As with Hammy I think this may well have merit :D
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Post by Strategos69 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:04 pm

I think you are both missing the point. Generals thought increasing the depth of the formation could give an advantage. FoG players are cleverer than Ancient generals then and as there are no rules no one does it. The proposal we did in other post was making it risky, but worth trying. So, if you have an extra PoA for the 4th rank and hits received per base are counted only for the first two ranks (the ones figting), then you have to put some thought on it. And to avoid the extensive use of columns, as I think a column formation is not a combat formation, any unit in a column should fight in a net --, as if charged on a flank or rear. Columns should only be used to speed and ease movement.

Analizing what you commented:

Marathon.- I agree with you: depth matters. As there is no scale in FoG, one rank deep could be an option, but what about if we want to depict this with lots of miniatures?

Pharsalus legionaries formation was a success for Pompeius. He feared his troops will flee at first contact and they only did so when they realized they were flanked. He did quite well with the deployment of the legions and it was Labienus cavalry charge that failed.

Leuctra and Mantinea are examples of success.

Cannae is an example of failure, but it was succeeding when the Romans got stuck by the charge on both flanks. Again it was the flanking but not the depth of the formation or, to say it better, how Hannibal took advantage of the weakness of a deeper formation.

In Bagradas even if the Romans lost the battle, we are looking at the performance of the formation and their deeper formation allowed them to stand against the elephants. But surrounded by the cavalry and with a fresh Carthaginian phalanx in front they did not have much chance.

In Magnesia there was not a double depth formation as the phalanx was inferior in numbers and quality to the Romans. Maybe you are referring to Cynoscephalae, where Philip V of Macedon formed in a double depth phalanx because there was not enough room for the whole phalanx. Curiously the right wing of the phalanx that did have double depth defeated the Romans and went downhill until they were caught in the rear by some parts of the Roman right that were detached after pushing back the left wing of the Macedonians. It seems again a success to me, but battles are not only won just for deploying in a deeper formation than the enemy.

In some cases the fact that you had a deeper formation did that those armies did not have any reserves (Pompeius to counter the flanking on his left), Philip V not close in the gap, Romans to counter the cavalry in Cannae, but the formation worked for what it was intended. The point here, and that is what makes wargaming interesting is that deploying your army in front of no matter what does not give you the victory. With more options I think wargaming would be more fun, some armies would have more possibilities and then flanking manouvers will be again the key to success.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:21 pm

Strategos69 wrote: Marathon.- I agree with you: depth matters. As there is no scale in FoG, one rank deep could be an option, but what about if we want to depict this with lots of miniatures?
This is stretching things beyond credibility. Yes, FoG has no declared scale, however, it does have normal formations and for Spearmen that is 2 ranks, therefore, a thinned formation would be less than that - i.e. 1 rank in this case.
In Bagradas even if the Romans lost the battle, we are looking at the performance of the formation and their deeper formation allowed them to stand against the elephants.
I am pretty sure that Polybios states that the Romans formation meant that they got trampled by the elephants more than they would have done in their normal one.

In Magnesia there was not a double depth formation as the phalanx was inferior in numbers and quality to the Romans.
It most definitely was, from Livy:

"There were 16,000 infantry in the Macedonian fashion. known as the "phalanx." These formed the centre, and their front consisted of ten divisions; between each division stood two elephants. They were thirty-two ranks deep"

And Appian:

"The total force of Antiochus was 70,000 and the strongest of these was the Macedonian phalanx of 16,000 men, still arrayed after the fashion of Alexander and Philip. These were placed in the center, divided into ten sections of 1600 men each, with fifty men in the front line of each section and thirty-two deep."
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Post by Ranimiro » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:14 pm

I think there is a depth bonus implicit in this suggested change as DavidT said:
DavidT wrote:While on this topic, currently we have:
-1 for 1HP2B from shooting
-1 for 1HP3B from hand to hand

I would like this to be changed to:
-1 for 1HP2B from both shooting and hand to hand.

This is consistent and also improves the survivability of larger BGs in hand to hand slightly. Currently a 4 base BG and a 6 base BG will both suffer a -1 on CTs as a result of receiving 2 hits. With this change, the larger 6 base BG wouldn't.
As depth bonus I mean (in this case, because other suggestions have not been welcome). The plus efect of having a 6 base bg deployed in 3 rows. As its fronts is narower, it can received less impacts and becomes more resilent to CT compared to a 4 base bg or the same bg but in 2 rows (except if being overlapped or flanked, of course).

Sorry, i missed Richards post. I didn´t mean to missquote your suggestion. Just thought that the "implicit depth bonus" was obviuos to others reading the thread.

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Post by ethan » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:10 pm

I also think the change to -1 for 1hp2b may have some merit.

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Post by dave_r » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:26 pm

How often does it occur though? It largely benefits BG's in 12 or 8 that are three ranks deep - you normally manage to get the hits on these lads as they cover a wide frontage.

It is fairly rare not to get 1/2 in melee when you already achieve 1/3. What are you actually cutting out? If you get 2 hits in a 6 base BG, 3 hits on an 8 base BG or 4 or 5 hits on a 12 base BG.

Haven't seen a 12 base BG for ages, so it seems that this will only occur when you get two hits on a six base BG or 3 hits on an 8 base BG. Does it seem worth it?
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Post by ethan » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:04 pm

dave_r wrote:How often does it occur though? It largely benefits BG's in 12 or 8 that are three ranks deep - you normally manage to get the hits on these lads as they cover a wide frontage.

It is fairly rare not to get 1/2 in melee when you already achieve 1/3. What are you actually cutting out? If you get 2 hits in a 6 base BG, 3 hits on an 8 base BG or 4 or 5 hits on a 12 base BG.

Haven't seen a 12 base BG for ages, so it seems that this will only occur when you get two hits on a six base BG or 3 hits on an 8 base BG. Does it seem worth it?
Is it the whole answer? No. Is it a big change? No.

Is an extremely simple to implement change that marginally pushes things in a better direction? Yes. So why not make it?

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Post by Ranimiro » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:14 pm

You have responded yourself Dave. You havent seen a 12 bases BG in ages because they are too fragile and not worth taken. If the change improves variety in the army lists seen it is good to the game and at a minimal cost.

Sometimes i feel reading responses about propossed changesabout improving low quality infantry that some people is just too comfortable with their elite army and fear the possibility of other army list becoming competitive, and maybe being not very objective in their evaluation of the propossals.
Last edited by Ranimiro on Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Strategos69 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:25 pm

Regarding Marathon, I said one rank deep seems right, specially with a few miniatures, but as FoG has no scale, when increasing the number of points and miniatures it is no longer possible to depict battles properly. This is the case with Marathon
nikgaukroger wrote:
It most definitely was, from Livy:
"There were 16,000 infantry in the Macedonian fashion. known as the "phalanx." These formed the centre, and their front consisted of ten divisions; between each division stood two elephants. They were thirty-two ranks deep"
Sorry, you were right. I was using a secondary source I should not rely on that much. Anyway, I have read Livy's account of battle and I interpret that it was the spreading of panic of their troops routing what dissordered the phalanx more than the good performance of the legionaries. In FoG terms they failed their CT for seeing friends rooting, they were crossed by fleeing cavalry, etc. I should take a look at the sources for Cynoscephalae, but is seems we have another candidate for a 32 deep phalanx, something that does not exist in FoG, by the way.

Regarding Bagradas, I don't think that is the case:
"But the first ranks of those who were stationed opposite the elephants, pushed back when they encountered them and trodden under foot by the strength of the animals, fell in heaps in the mêlée, while the formation of the main body, owing to the depths of the ranks behind, remained for a time unbroken. 6 At length, however, those in the rear were surrounded on all sides by the cavalry and obliged to face round and fight them, while those who had managed to force a passage through the elephants and collect in the rear of those beasts, encountered the Carthaginian phalanx quite fresh and in good order 7 and were cut to pieces"
Polybius (I, 34)

In Bagradas it was the cavalry surrounding the Romans who won the day and the capacity of the elephants to keep pushing forward instead of turning back into their ranks. Again, it could be succesful or not, but we do know that in some battles generals increased the depth of the formation willing to have more staying power against certain enemies. That was a risky manouver as your flanks increase and you can be surrounded more easily but certainly it is not covered by FoG.

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Post by Strategos69 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:35 pm

ethan wrote: Is it the whole answer? No. Is it a big change? No.

Is an extremely simple to implement change that marginally pushes things in a better direction? Yes. So why not make it?
I agree: good point there. A really superior troop in terms of hits can sweep away a unit and this happened historically.

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Post by NickW » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:42 am

RichardThompson wrote:
nikgaukroger wrote:
Ranimiro wrote:I think you are missing a point Nick.

The failure can be due to other factors, as the enemy overlapping or flanking the deeper formations, the disorder in extra deep formations preventing it from gaining it´s suposed advantage and simply bad luck. All of this factor already exist in FoG, why don´t give extra deep it´s bonus and try to reproduce the other factors instead of assuming thay it NEVER existed.
I don't believe that a depth bonus as being suggested reflects any material difference that needs to be represented.
No depth bonus, as such, has been suggested in this thread.

The benefit would come as a side effect of penalising troops that take more HPB in the cohesion test.

IMO, a unit of 4 cavalry would be more likely to lose cohesion if it took 4 shooting hits than if it took 2.

IMO, a unit of 8 HF would be more likely to lose cohesion if it lost the melee 8-1 or 4-1 than if it lost 3-1.

This is what my suggestion was primarily trying to simulate.
I think this is a pretty reasonable suggestion to consider. I like that it gives an advantage to larger battle groups, which in turn may help those barbarian types in groups of 10-12 fighting small groups of Romans.

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Post by lawrenceg » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:42 am

dave_r wrote:How often does it occur though? It largely benefits BG's in 12 or 8 that are three ranks deep - you normally manage to get the hits on these lads as they cover a wide frontage.

It is fairly rare not to get 1/2 in melee when you already achieve 1/3. What are you actually cutting out? If you get 2 hits in a 6 base BG, 3 hits on an 8 base BG or 4 or 5 hits on a 12 base BG.

Haven't seen a 12 base BG for ages, so it seems that this will only occur when you get two hits on a six base BG or 3 hits on an 8 base BG. Does it seem worth it?
Well, if you swan around with BGs of 4 LH/cavalry then 1 per 3 is always 1 per 2 so, yes it would appear "fairly rare" not to get a 1 per 2 when you get a 1 per 3.

The FOG close combat system is set up to give three levels of CT (based on hits, ignoring other factors) which are:
Marginal loss: Test at 0
Normal loss: Test at -1
Big loss: Test at -2

Big loss is the worst and excessive hits or hit differences don't make it any worse.

Now my perception is that you very rarely get a test at 0, occasionally a test at -1 and commonly test at -2.

It seems to me that it might be justifiable to adjust things so you get more results in the Normal loss bracket and less in the Big loss. Agaisnt that, it may be that the authors deliberately calibrated the system to make most combats a big loss.

Furthermore anything that makes 12 and 6 base BGs more common would appear to be a beneficial change as these are currently seen as not worth their points (probably because they do not benefit from rounding errors in the 1HP3B calculation, which is important in close combat and critical in missile combat).
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Post by grahambriggs » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:51 am

RichardThompson wrote: No depth bonus, as such, has been suggested in this thread.

The benefit would come as a side effect of penalising troops that take more HPB in the cohesion test.

IMO, a unit of 4 cavalry would be more likely to lose cohesion if it took 4 shooting hits than if it took 2.

IMO, a unit of 8 HF would be more likely to lose cohesion if it lost the melee 8-1 or 4-1 than if it lost 3-1.

This is what my suggestion was primarily trying to simulate.
The penalty for such a unit is already quite severe: test on -2 (for any of these losses) and more chance of losing bases. And then there's the cumulative effect that makes it more likely you'll be badly beaten again next round. So I doubt change is needed. But if such a change were felt to be needed perhaps "-1 for being beaten by x or more" would be the way to do it?

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Post by RichardThompson » Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:46 am

grahambriggs wrote:
RichardThompson wrote: No depth bonus, as such, has been suggested in this thread.

The benefit would come as a side effect of penalising troops that take more HPB in the cohesion test.

IMO, a unit of 4 cavalry would be more likely to lose cohesion if it took 4 shooting hits than if it took 2.

IMO, a unit of 8 HF would be more likely to lose cohesion if it lost the melee 8-1 or 4-1 than if it lost 3-1.

This is what my suggestion was primarily trying to simulate.
The penalty for such a unit is already quite severe: test on -2 (for any of these losses) and more chance of losing bases. And then there's the cumulative effect that makes it more likely you'll be badly beaten again next round. So I doubt change is needed. But if such a change were felt to be needed perhaps "-1 for being beaten by x or more" would be the way to do it?

The -2 can be cancelled out by a general and rear support. An average unit testing on evens will pass 21/36 of the time. This seems to high for a unit that is at a huge disadvantage in a melee.

The problem with "-1 for being beaten by x or more" is that it would hurt big units more than small ones.

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Post by philqw78 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:03 am

Perhaps, instead, an additional minus in CT for 1 hit per base. Normally all front rank bases in a unit would have to be fighting to get to such a figure . If three+ ranks deep it would be hard to achieve unless overlapped both ends and possibly fighting to flank rear if really big.
Just a pain for chariots and Knights again. But it would make their combats fast
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Post by grahambriggs » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:25 am

RichardThompson wrote:
grahambriggs wrote:
RichardThompson wrote: No depth bonus, as such, has been suggested in this thread.

The benefit would come as a side effect of penalising troops that take more HPB in the cohesion test.

IMO, a unit of 4 cavalry would be more likely to lose cohesion if it took 4 shooting hits than if it took 2.

IMO, a unit of 8 HF would be more likely to lose cohesion if it lost the melee 8-1 or 4-1 than if it lost 3-1.

This is what my suggestion was primarily trying to simulate.
The penalty for such a unit is already quite severe: test on -2 (for any of these losses) and more chance of losing bases. And then there's the cumulative effect that makes it more likely you'll be badly beaten again next round. So I doubt change is needed. But if such a change were felt to be needed perhaps "-1 for being beaten by x or more" would be the way to do it?

The -2 can be cancelled out by a general and rear support. An average unit testing on evens will pass 21/36 of the time. This seems to high for a unit that is at a huge disadvantage in a melee.

The problem with "-1 for being beaten by x or more" is that it would hurt big units more than small ones.
So you're saying that you can invest AP in a general and rear support yet if you're against better POAs (and so get beaten badly) you STILL have a 40%+ chance of failing? i.e. the enemy has invested in better front line troops rather than the morale modifiers. And if you don't have those modifiers you have a 70% + chance of failing? Those see high enough percentages to me.

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Post by RichardThompson » Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:50 am

grahambriggs wrote:
RichardThompson wrote:
grahambriggs wrote: The penalty for such a unit is already quite severe: test on -2 (for any of these losses) and more chance of losing bases. And then there's the cumulative effect that makes it more likely you'll be badly beaten again next round. So I doubt change is needed. But if such a change were felt to be needed perhaps "-1 for being beaten by x or more" would be the way to do it?

The -2 can be cancelled out by a general and rear support. An average unit testing on evens will pass 21/36 of the time. This seems to high for a unit that is at a huge disadvantage in a melee.

The problem with "-1 for being beaten by x or more" is that it would hurt big units more than small ones.
So you're saying that you can invest AP in a general and rear support yet if you're against better POAs (and so get beaten badly) you STILL have a 40%+ chance of failing? i.e. the enemy has invested in better front line troops rather than the morale modifiers. And if you don't have those modifiers you have a 70% + chance of failing? Those see high enough percentages to me.

Imagine a unit in melee against an enemy of higher quality, with better arms and armour, that overlaps it on both sides. Perhaps the gods (dice) are also frowning upon it and it is receiving vastly more hits that it inflicts.

Would a troop commander and a unit of cavalry 12MU away in rear support be enough to prevent it losing cohesion? Maybe, but the chance of it losing cohesion should be much more than 40%.

The idea the unit would be "badly beaten again next round" doesn't apply to steady infantry fighting cavalry unless the break-off rules are also changed (as I have argued in another thread).

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Post by grahambriggs » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:13 pm

But a unit vastly outnumbered by better foes doesn't last long anyway. In the blink of an eye it's lost 25% bases, and continual tests at -2 will soon do the job. In such circumstances you often lose the rear support and general too.

I'm really not sure why you see the need to speed up something that already happens very quickly.

Perhaps you're using this argument as a Trojan Horse to get the deeper formations you seem to want?

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Post by RichardThompson » Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:39 pm

grahambriggs wrote:But a unit vastly outnumbered by better foes doesn't last long anyway. In the blink of an eye it's lost 25% bases, and continual tests at -2 will soon do the job. In such circumstances you often lose the rear support and general too.

I'm really not sure why you see the need to speed up something that already happens very quickly.
I am trying to help skilled players who successfully concentrate their best troops against a weak point in their opponents line to achieve a rapid breakthrough.

My suggestion would increase the chances of a failed CT in the above example from 42% to 58% or even 72%. IMO, this would be reasonable for such an extreme case.
grahambriggs wrote:Perhaps you're using this argument as a Trojan Horse to get the deeper formations you seem to want?
This was not my primary intention though it would be another advantage.

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Post by dave_r » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:15 pm

RichardThompson wrote:
grahambriggs wrote:But a unit vastly outnumbered by better foes doesn't last long anyway. In the blink of an eye it's lost 25% bases, and continual tests at -2 will soon do the job. In such circumstances you often lose the rear support and general too.

I'm really not sure why you see the need to speed up something that already happens very quickly.
I am trying to help skilled players who successfully concentrate their best troops against a weak point in their opponents line to achieve a rapid breakthrough.

My suggestion would increase the chances of a failed CT in the above example from 42% to 58% or even 72%. IMO, this would be reasonable for such an extreme case.
grahambriggs wrote:Perhaps you're using this argument as a Trojan Horse to get the deeper formations you seem to want?
This was not my primary intention though it would be another advantage.
That is too extreme and would make the Combat Phase too quick. you need to understand that there must be some sort of come back for armies that are naturally defensive. If they simply get swept away at first contact (very likely given what you want) then that is all that would happen.

It doesn't seem to me to take much skill to get a load of Swiss Pikemen and charge them at anything that moves.
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