What FOG is missing

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What FOG is missing

Post by hazelbark » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:25 pm

I think what all the FOG rules have in common is too much an obsesion with tournament open games.

I obviously have a history of doing that extensively.

But I think some helpful chrome is lost in the obsession for equal point battles.

There are a lot of options that can be added and even put in a section that is titled for non-tournament games.

I also think a selected card overlay could add to the game. Each player gets a card that effects terrain, deployment, first move, another move, and 1-2 combat cards. Say each category has 5-9 options and you get one randomly in a game for each category.

They would not be shattering things but mild. For example
Terrain additional piece and multiple shifts
Deployment requier a BG to go forward 5 MU from where it is deployed. So you can play it on opponent's troops too.
Move prevent a single BG from double first move
Combat add a POA is you are down a POA or more.

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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by hazelbark » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:29 pm

The terrain rules need a big fix.

We need to end the possiblity of functionallly bare tables.

Make the "6" just allow the player to increase or decrease the level. i.e. upgrade an uneven to a rough.

Add more chrome terrain like the obstacle of FOG R rules.
Perhaps the mandatory gentle hills of FOG N.

Add a fortified village/town/castle small feature that may or may not (dice throw) have a light artillery battery and each corner. REquire it against a table edge.

But do MORE with terrain that clutters and effects the battlefield. But maybe soften some of the penalties.

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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by hazelbark » Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:31 pm

Undrilled foot troops

These clearly need some serious help to be relevant. There was talk about making drilled foot less manuverable. Regardless lets allow undrilled foot the same manuver options as undrilled foot beyond 6 MU. This would make the marginally more able to get into the fight. There is still an issue of 3 MU speed, but at least a spear wall isn't completely crippled once one BG fails.

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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by philqw78 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:21 pm

hazelbark wrote:There is still an issue of 3 MU speed,
This is easily mitigated with smaller tables. Ptolemaic did very well at Roll Call.

IMO a 66x40 MU table would give the optimum size for all troops to get a chance of being in the fight, or doing their thing.
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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by philqw78 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:22 pm

A sfor your first post they did promise a set of Campaign/scenario rules. These would go a long way to help improve and vary games.
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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by philqw78 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:25 pm

I do like the option of allowing better manoeuver for undrilled outside 6MU. But maybe make it 6 from enemy lights and 10 from enemy battle troops. Then if you have a skirmish screen even on a shallower table you can do some shuffling prior to battle being joined.

But I think we may be too late for any of this.
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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by philqw78 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:29 pm

hazelbark wrote:But do MORE with terrain that clutters and effects the battlefield. But maybe soften some of the penalties.
I don't think there should be more terrain, unless its effect is considerably lessened for most types. Terrain rarely seems to have played a big roll in major battles. Especially for heavy foot it tends to slow the game as it is now, or just get in the way of HF so that manoeuverable troops can keep them out of the game.
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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by stecal » Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:13 pm

I think more needs to be done with the randomness of terrain placement. What is the use of winning initiative & choose a village or hill only to have it end up in my opponents deployment area? Some kind of terrain/deployment advantage/disadvantage system is needed. I.e. if I place a village in my deployment then my opponent gets to have a flank march or I must leave a unit off table in reserves or he gets to choose an advance deployment or similar terrain advantage, etc.

Ambushes are pretty useless right now, think how much better they would be with a specifically placed terrain piece in the right spot.
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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by ravenflight » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:26 pm

hazelbark wrote:Make the "6" just allow the player to increase or decrease the level. i.e. upgrade an uneven to a rough.
Whilst I like where you're going with this, what you could do with this rule is essentially turn a Steppe into a jungle.

"Open Space" (Oh, I rolled a 6 - I'll make that into an open field) x 2
"Gully" Oh, I'll turn that into a forest

etc etc.

Sure, it would take a succession of good luck rolls, but I've seen them.

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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by ethan » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:37 pm

philqw78 wrote:
hazelbark wrote: Terrain rarely seems to have played a big roll in major battles.
The problem in FoG is that, as RBS has stated, the tabletop is larger than the battlefield. So there needs to be enough terrain to create a viable smaller battlefield. While terrain doesn't seem to have played a big role, it also is the case that the large sweeping maneuvers FoG players execute also didn't tend ot happen very often. Given that our game represents a certain amount of pre-battle maneuver we need enough terrain to create an actual "battlefield." Or the table needs to be narrowed considerably (which I realize is also on the table). But even some of the propsed narrowing still leaves a lot of space.

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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by babyshark » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:14 pm

ethan wrote:
philqw78 wrote:
hazelbark wrote: Terrain rarely seems to have played a big roll in major battles.
The problem in FoG is that, as RBS has stated, the tabletop is larger than the battlefield. So there needs to be enough terrain to create a viable smaller battlefield. While terrain doesn't seem to have played a big role, it also is the case that the large sweeping maneuvers FoG players execute also didn't tend ot happen very often. Given that our game represents a certain amount of pre-battle maneuver we need enough terrain to create an actual "battlefield." Or the table needs to be narrowed considerably (which I realize is also on the table). But even some of the propsed narrowing still leaves a lot of space.
The problem is that if we do too much to make the battles "historical" in that regard, we will risk reducing the playability of the game. Let's face it: a significant percentage (maybe most) of ancient battles were of the line-'em-up-and-go-forward variety. And that, however historical, is not a fun game. At least not more than a couple times.

Which is one significant reason why there is a tendency in FoG for players to run drilled and cavalry armies. They get to do more.

Marc

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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by hazelbark » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:59 pm

philqw78 wrote:
hazelbark wrote:But do MORE with terrain that clutters and effects the battlefield. But maybe soften some of the penalties.
I don't think there should be more terrain, unless its effect is considerably lessened for most types. Terrain rarely seems to have played a big roll in major battles. Especially for heavy foot it tends to slow the game as it is now, or just get in the way of HF so that manoeuverable troops can keep them out of the game.
Agreed. But the terrain should shape the battlefield some. Edges and widths and such.

One comment i have heard is just ban anything byt uneven in the center. (define center). You didn't get battles where armies flowed around a lake in a grand tactical sense.

Either way th board looks atrocious bare with a few bits of felt.

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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by hazelbark » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:03 pm

ravenflight wrote:
hazelbark wrote:Make the "6" just allow the player to increase or decrease the level. i.e. upgrade an uneven to a rough.
Whilst I like where you're going with this, what you could do with this rule is essentially turn a Steppe into a jungle.
"Open Space" (Oh, I rolled a 6 - I'll make that into an open field) x 2
"Gully" Oh, I'll turn that into a forest
Sure, it would take a succession of good luck rolls, but I've seen them.
So?
First even in the extreme it would only be marginal.
Second a clever steppe deployment will minimize the risk.

lastly a steppe is a lousy game. It is either meaningless (both sides similar army configuration) or promotes a massive advantage to a shooty mounted force versus a non-one. It just distorts the game to be less fun. Note I have run steppe armies and beaten steppe armies its just repetitively boring or distorts the game and reduces army options.

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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by hazelbark » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:05 pm

philqw78 wrote:But I think we may be too late for any of this.
Very possible.

I was away from the game for a couple months and just looked back at it with some new thoughts.
Hopefully whatever new thing is coming breaks from the open 800 point game.

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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by hazelbark » Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:09 pm

babyshark wrote: The problem is that if we do too much to make the battles "historical" in that regard, we will risk reducing the playability of the game. Let's face it: a significant percentage (maybe most) of ancient battles were of the line-'em-up-and-go-forward variety. And that, however historical, is not a fun game. At least not more than a couple times.

Which is one significant reason why there is a tendency in FoG for players to run drilled and cavalry armies. They get to do more.
Which limits army choices and distorts the game in other ways.

I am not arguing for a line up at 6 mU and crash forward game. Although a game like that reserves may matter...whereas now the reserve should always be trying to flank.

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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by Strategos69 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:18 am

Regarding terrain I think that the problem is predictability: if you are knights, you would not get into a mud trap. Indeed, that happened historically. The main reason is because the terrain looked flat and good going until you got into it and it was too late. Thus, developing your idea, I would like to have some types of terrain whose difficulty is determined the first time it is controlled by any player (or that change with weather, with optional rules). For example, the first time you get into an uneven piece you roll. It can remain as uneven, downgraded to open or upgraded to rough. That would take out much of the feeling of playing chess with miniatures. As exposed, a campaign game could have helped defining features as weather, scenarios (for example, ambushes), variation in generals quality or troops grading during the game, fatigue, etc. That could have expanded the game.

Regarding deployment, I think that FoG is in the middle of the road. It is not the clash of the battle nor the development from the camp. If the idea was that the tabletop is not the battle place, I would have preferred something that we know, like development from the camp. The actual system produces weird things, like if you decide to depict your skirmishing cavalry as light horse you have some deployment options that are different if you prefer to depict them as cavalry. For the general they were skirmishers and they represent the same exact thing but the artifact of the game changes their deployment.

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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by Strategos69 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:25 am

hazelbark wrote:
babyshark wrote: The problem is that if we do too much to make the battles "historical" in that regard, we will risk reducing the playability of the game. Let's face it: a significant percentage (maybe most) of ancient battles were of the line-'em-up-and-go-forward variety. And that, however historical, is not a fun game. At least not more than a couple times.

Which is one significant reason why there is a tendency in FoG for players to run drilled and cavalry armies. They get to do more.
Which limits army choices and distorts the game in other ways.

I am not arguing for a line up at 6 mU and crash forward game. Although a game like that reserves may matter...whereas now the reserve should always be trying to flank.
I agree. Lately I have been taking a look at Philip Sabin "Lost Battles" and there are some interesting points there. It is too abstract for my preferences, but it is true that if you pretend to represent a grand tactical game, rules should be like that. Things like evading and alike should be out of scope and we tend to forget that not all the fun is in moving. That comes from chess, where you don't make anything but move. If you take away the complexity of moving (which speeds up the game) you can turn into other factors, such as when to commit reserves, where, more detailed cohesion, fatigue levels, etc. Indeed right now, despite the fact that you can move around a lot, I don't see in any AAR the kind of movements at the grand tactical level that are recorded in historical battles.

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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by hazelbark » Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:47 pm

Sabin's lost battles is inventive in the sense it boils things down to more clarity.

The issue every game developer should ask is what do we want to model (ie have players do for fun) then what is important to that and boil away the stuff that is a distraction.

For example in Napoleonics for years I was focused on the skirmisher part of the game. It intersted me etc. But if I want a Corps or larger elvel game that has to be sacrificed. BTW I think FOG N was inventive in good ways on that point.

So Sabin is intersting from one perspective. Having more rigidity in deployment is an option. There a myriad ways to arrange that without breaking or changing FOG.

For example requiring an army to have its width to be a battle line after commanders are added. Would functionally require reserve units if you want 4 TCs. Or you need an FC. Now I haven't throught that through and I am sure its messy in other ways. But my point is you can do a variety of things to make the battle more battle-ish looking.

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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by madaxeman » Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:00 pm

I think we can close this thread as we now know the definitive answer.

"A printed set of rules."

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Re: What FOG is missing

Post by david53 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:54 pm

madaxeman wrote:I think we can close this thread as we now know the definitive answer.

"A printed set of rules."

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LOL so true

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