FOG Collected Design Notes and Explanations

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SirGarnet
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FOG Collected Design Notes and Explanations

Post by SirGarnet » Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:35 am

FOG Collected Design Notes and Explanations

Rev 2008.0315

INTRODUCTION While collecting tips for the tactical tips collection I also sometimes collect useful comments explaining design decisions and design principles that I find helpful and think others may as well. Certainly some of the same questions keep recurring. Since this is from cut and paste and scribbled notes I don’t have the links and sometimes not the specific author, and though mostly quotes some may be shortened paraphrase, summary or a condensed quote. Some typos are corrected. Comments made by me or others are marked as such. This is what I saved - I know there's more out there, such as comments on the combat mechanics and POAs, so please add useful references or links below or PM me with them and I can add them in.

Basic Design Principles:

Army Structure: (quote or paraphrase) The fundamental starting point was to reflect how battles were really organized and fought:
1. 10-15 major blocks of similar troops (battle groups) under junior generals who stuck to their commands.
2. A few senior generals who mainly kept to their portion of the army or battle group but at times changed position. Some led charges, others managed the battle behind the lines. Commanders can roam but this may often be impractical.

Comments: The BG structure obviates the level of individual base micromanagement and associated micro-skills seen in DBM and its successors. The player can focus on a higher tactical level. The observed result is that new players with tactical skills but low rules knowledge and a knowledgeable and helpful opponent often play comfortably and effectively from their first game.

Scale and Shape: The rules at p 124 themselves recommend ignoring the nominal 250 man/base scale: “in practice we recommend ignoring this and treating each army as a coherent whole, representing whatever full-sized army its prototype usually fielded. Our companion list books are specifically designed to create the correct SHAPE and feel of each army, allowing a good historical representation of how it fought."

“It is a little hazardous to try to relate the top-down balance too much to bottom up calculations. They are a useful cross-check but no more. The aim was always to get the top down feel of the interaction correct and balanced with the missile range. The figure scale can float to a considerable degree to achieve the army looking and feeling right on the battlefield.” Simon Hall

(Condensed/Comments) It's the shape and feel -- not actual numbers in a particular recorded instance. Troops of a particular kind always used in a single body even if numerous might be limited to 1 BG while those always present and routinely divided between the flanks might have a minimum of 2 BGs. This means numerous hordes of indifferent troops of no great tactical value can be represented by a single large BG of Mobs.

Dramatic Results: “So it’s a choice at the margin where the two systems will give 95% the same outcome - at the margin I prefer the one we have made. Personally I prefer the bell curve to keep its edges as this adds realistic entertainment to the game and in my 35 years of gaming have come to the view I find this more interesting as a game as you get occasional dramatic [events] to deal with, which is part of the fun. As long as they don't dominate a game I view this as a good thing, but that will be down to personal preferences, that's all.” Si

(Comments) Design team mentioned the choice of dice roll mechanisms to reduce the impact of any single roll and even out results.

Firepower: (summary) To reflect history, the effect of shooting is designed to be primarily cohesion loss and secondarily casualties. The rules leave off before the age of ascending firepower.

Other Maxims
“At every stage this ... ‘does it create the correct overall feel at the level of abstraction we are using?’ ... has been the founding father of the thought processes.”

Eliminate mechanisms that create complexity without benefit.

“In the end we decided that explicitly representing something the actual historical workings of which we don't know anyway wasn't worth the extra complexity.” RBS

“One of our design precepts was to keep the game flowing as much as possible, hence there are no requirements for rallying from charges, evades or pursuits.” RBS

A FOG turn does not represent a fixed period of time. Movement in FOG is intended to be episodic rather than continuous.

“We tried to leave out as much as possible of the 'blindingly obvious' from the rules, because otherwise they would appear too overly complex to the newcomer.” RBS

Also see pages 8-10, 15-17, 80, 124-130, 138, & 151-157 of the Rules for more discussion relating to design philosophy.

Roads Not Taken:

No Recoils: “We originally had recoils but they caused major complications in multi-BG combats. The rationalisation, as you say, is that at this scale, falling back 50 meters wouldn't be noticeable. The downside is that the traditional explanation of Hannibal's plan at Cannae cannot be properly represented. This is unfortunate, but is something we have in common with every other set of wargames rules I have ever seen - in which, even if the rules have recoils, the Spanish/Gauls don't last long enough anyway to get the desired effect. Cannae was rather an exceptional battle. . . . it does work well for the vast majority of historical battles and vastly simplifies play.” RBS viewtopic.php?t=3996 “We had it in originally and it proved a huge time sink for very little value in testing.” Simon

No Roman Line Replacement (paraphrase summary): Roman interpenetration and line replacement mainly just added complexity and flavor. No actual information how it worked and whether it was used in combat, and at the game scale it is internal to each Roman Hastati/Principes BG. Treating Hastati and Principes as the same within a BG gave the same results as including replacement rules. Current academic works seem to indicate that the first two ranks of the legions worked more closely together than initially thought.

No General Breakoff for Light Troops (paraphrase): Various ideas were considered during development but their effect was to make LF and LH too effective and also to slow down the game. If you don't want your skirmishers in melee, evade. RBS

Army Lists:

What does “Core” mean? “It doesn't have any enforced meaning. It just indicates which are the typical forces present in most armies fielded by the nation. For those who want to field a typical force rather than a game-optimised one.” RBS

Army List Design: The team worked to get the overall feel of every army correct, and for troop types focus on primary tactical preferences and opponents rather than simply the gear they carried. Nik Gaukroger wrote, "Troop classifications are based on their historical performance and with an aim to ensure that the troops upon which the army relied on historically are those that are relied upon on the table top." Hammy wrote “There are areas where troops have been categorised to make sure that they work correctly against historical opponents and there are also places where lists have been tweaked to make them slightly more viable (a lot of the really weak armies have one or two BGs of good troops for example). The lists are however trying to be as historical as possible without adding spurious distinction between troops who were probably very similar in reality.”

Regarding some troops classified as MF or HF when classified differently under other rules sets: “We have felt it better to break with the past and go for historical results, rather than continue previous basings purely for the sake of backwards compatibility.” RBS

Anachronistic Opponents; Army Points System: Don’t play anachronistic games and this is not an issue. “Some troop types, such as spears, pikes and shooty cavalry types are better able to cope with anachronistic opponents than others. These are often the troop types that continued in use during the later periods. So in that sense, they are not anachronistic at all. Where troop-types went out of use in favour of other types, it is reasonable to expect the rules to reflect their obsolescence in favour of those types.” RBS

“In devising the points system, we have tried to reflect a balance between cost effectiveness within theme and cost effectiveness in open tournaments. However it isn't possible using a single points system to make all troop-types equally cost-effective both in themed games and in anachronistic games. Certain troop types, such as cataphracts, are particularly cost effective in certain themes ("Legions Triumphant" particularly), and much less cost effective in open tournament because of the existence of severely unfavourable match-ups. Other types, such as spears and pikes are equally plain vanilla, and equally cost-effective, in themed and open tournaments. Lance/bow cavalry are most effective within their own theme. (In the case of Byzantines, literally.)” RBS

“It should be obvious that it is impossible for a points system to ensure that both sides have an even chance of winning in every possible matchup. For example, if you were fighting Norse Irish, the points the Vikings spent on armour would be wasted as the Irish all have Heavy Weapon. The best a points system can hope to achieve is for troop types to be correctly valued on average over the whole range of possible opponents.”

Why aren’t Spartans Elite? “They are not necessary to get the feel correct and in fact would create the wrong feel. The feel of a Spartan army should be that if feels ELITE OVERALL AS AN ARMY and that LOTS OF THEIR TROOPS ARE OF A SIMILAR HIGH STANDARD. Mass superior troops creates this feel most correctly in the rules.”

Charging

". . . throughout we have aimed to stop skirmishers interfering unreasonably in the actions of much heavier troops. IMHO this is one of the breakthroughs that makes the game feel more like a real battle and much less artificial. The general principle is that the heavier troops should be able to do what they would do if the skirmishers were not there, unless said skirmishers have the bottle to get in the way and obstruct them physically.” Simon Hall 2009.0120 viewtopic.php?t=9128

The rules intentionally limit the ways to force enemy into combat other than by charging. “The primary thing we want to make sure is that if you do get round a flank well then you get to charge the flank. Getting to charge a flank is not easy in FOG and deserves its reward. I would consider it more "cheesy" that the BG expands to weasel out of getting [flank charged] as it deserved." Simon Hall

Comment: It is intentional that you can’t flank charge from an overlap position, which presents the tactical decision of moving into overlap to contribute to combat now or instead moving into position to flank charge next Impact Phase and foregoing the two intervening rounds of melee.

The restriction on charging into a side edge is only against troops who are already fighting prior to this Impact Phase, so charges may contact both front and side of an opponent that was unengaged at teh start of the Impact Phase. "This is entirely deliberate to allow multiple BGs to charge a single BG and select who fights to some degree.” Simon Hall 2009.0208 viewtopic.php?t=9288

Charging Without Orders
“. . . certain troops are naturally aggressive in nature, others not; this is most evident in our decision to have OFF and DEF Sp. In the main aggressive troops are not going to charge without encouragement, because in the main they will get used aggressively fitting their style. I was persuaded that actually Roman legionaries were as likely to break ranks and charge in this situation as anyone. A very interesting realisation.
So rather than being intended to create massive unwanted charges ... it is intended to create realistic difficulties for you all in 2 situations:
1. when you try to use naturally aggressive troops to do something defensive and hold position near to enemy in a situation where they feel very confident in themselves having nothing to upset their bravado nearby (terrain) OR
2. if you get baited in completely open terrain where you are very confident (e.g. knights at Hattin perhaps) where confidence or local commanders may try to solve their local problem against your masterplan's wishes."
"In general we wanted to failed test to create control traps for players but not to open up all sorts of horrible little terrain traps”. Simon Hall 2009.0209-10 viewtopic.php?t=9226

Impact

Other Combat Issues

Definition of Close Combat (p134): “Any unit that would get a combat dice when the next combat phase comes around is clearly 'in combat'. Any other definition would negate all sorts of other options for counter-charging, intercepting, evading etc. There are clearly defined exceptions to this, but none of them affect units that are in contact with either their own or their opponent’s front edge.” RBS

Pursuit: "BGs pursue their frontal opponents even if there are unbroken enemy who were only fighting them as an overlap" and BGs without frontal opponents pursue the opponents they only fought against as an overlap.

Movement Rules

Difficult Moves (Summary): The intention is that Undrilled troops if not led forward personally by a Commander "in the right place at the right time" will have more difficulty than others manoeuvring in the face of the enemy. For Undrilled, "complex things are hard but ADVANCE FULL and CHARGE are easy to do." (Simon Hall) If you are close enough to the enemy for them to block your full advance then you are close enough to charge. (Hammy)
Comment: The simple way to remember Difficult Moves is to look at the QRS, Table C on rules page 173. The first line under Advances covers all Difficult Moves.

Feeding Bases into Melee: Why feeding bases must always be in the form of a contraction or expansion: "When we thought about the wording there were issues with things like Pikes. We didn't really want a rear base moving across to recover one that has lost a base, as the drop to 3 ranks is part of the process by which they deteriorate. To a lesser degree the same of other troops. So it’s set up that an entire file of Pikes can move from being a spare to an overlap. Course if both front ranks had only 2 ranks left technically you could do it too but by then the damage is largely done. The current wording does mean that BGs losing bases have to fight that way for a little longer than simply filling them up with spares." Simon Hall 2009.0204 http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=7742

(Summary) The FAQ explains that the only way a feeding base’s expansion can contact a new BG of enemy and bring them into close combat is through creating an overlap. It cannot expand and with its front contact a new enemy, or with its side contact the front of a BG in position to flank charge the expanding BG. These opponents should not be deprived of their opportunity to move away, or to deliver a flank charge as a reward for gaining a flank position. Those put into overlap have the opportunity to move away. If they do not, they are no longer a new enemy so an expansion might contactthem frontally. This includes skirmishers in overlap “If a BG of skirmishers decides to join a melee as an overlap and then gets sucked into the combat as a result of more bases being fed in then tough. Nobody is forcing the skirmishers to provide the overlap after all.”

Withdrawals: “In play-testing, it was found to be too easy to withdraw large chunks of troops if a turn 180 degree and move was allowed. (Too easy compared with historical accounts of battles). Hence the above restriction.” RBS: “It is not behaviour that we read about often in battle accounts. . . . Perhaps it was the commonly reported problem that troops receiving an order to retire might misinterpret it as a general retreat, and other troops, seeing them retire, might fear being abandoned and break. Whatever the reason, we chose to have the rules encourage actual historical behaviour. Further to RBS comments, from a game design point of view we don't want to many options to turn and run away or everyone will find it very easy with certain armies to recover from mistaken decisions. This leads to long drawn out games, too few results and at times rather boring games. . . . If you needed to run away then you should have made the decision to get into evade formation.” Simon Hall

Points of Advantage

Shooting Points of Advantage:

Crossbow POAs: Responding to a question regarding crossbow effectiveness over time: “If you average it out over a game the above might be true, but it certainly wouldn't be true if enemy were advancing into contact, nor would crossbowmen under a hail of longbow fire be likely to hang around long enough to shoot off their entire ammunition supply."

"Unfortunately the game mechanisms have to deal with
1) Prolonged shooting without enemy interference
2) Intense episodes of shooting against advancing enemy or against enemy who are shooting back (with faster shooting weapons)
using the same mechanisms.
This does entail some compromises, but we feel that we have got the balance about right overall.”

Close Combat Points of Advantage:

Mounted Light Spear: “Javelins can be both thrown and thrust, though in the latter role inferior to lances (or any contravening POA) so the POA only counts as a tie-breaker. That does make it useful vs. most missile troops.”

Cohesion Tests

The big gap in cohesion levels lies between Disrupted and Fragmented. "DISR is a minor problem from which you can often recover. FRG is on the brink of breaking and takes some recovering from. This shape is very deliberate." Simon Hall

Cohesion Test Modifiers:

"We deliberately avoided complicating the rules by adding additional modifiers for unusual cases. You can, of course, make a case that the rules would be more "realistic" with such a modifier. If, however, we had included modifiers for all equally deserving situations, the modifier tables would be about three times longer than they are. As usual, there is a tradeoff between increased "realism" and ease of assimilation and playability.” RBS

Losing to Certain Types: (Comments): The -1 for losing to certain types of troops is intended to increase the odds of a decisive loss, reflecting greater disruption or discouragement of the losing BG. E.g., LF expect to lose routinely to HF, MF don’t. If EL or SCh or Lancers win, this may reflect greater disruption of the enemy formation.

Use of Columns in Rear Support: “The mechanic allowing columns was carefully chosen on several bases but primarily in order to balance the power of rear support with the points you had to pay to have some. Generally speaking you can rear support 4x troops with x troops. So you are paying 25% for such support roughly. This we felt gave a decent trade-off in the rules betwix "to have and to have not". We don't know how all rear support worked in practice and being in columns and expanding out when needed seems pretty logical and was used a lot in later periods. I am finding it works really well in that at times I justify the points and at other not - so my Gauls justify the price when AVE but not the SUP ones and my Romans I simply can't afford much rear support except in the Mid Republican where 2 base Triarii are quite efficient at doing so.” Simon Hall

Miscellaneous

Light Foot Fights Between the Lines: (summary) People are unhappy that a clash of battle lines can be delayed by an extended skirmisher melee between the battle lines. Such a melee is voluntary for both sides since either can evade to avoid it. There are numerous forum threads on this, including viewtopic.php?t=8429

Light Foot Role: (summary) Light troops have their uses. The main ones are to screen the army against enemy skirmishers, to try to soften up enemy heavies with missiles, to exploit open space and close it down to the enemy, and to engage other enemy skirmishers. Light foot are not there to charge into the flanks of heavy units as DBX psiloi might.

Points Balancing: "You will find the equality of the points system will come through the more you play. Certainly in the early days some troops look good value - but as you get used to the tactical subtleties the others come back into being good value for money.

As with any rules, the simple bulldozers are best value for money at the beginning. See how you feel after 10 games and 50 games. After about 150 games I am finding the points system quite keenly balanced and my views have changed a fair bit as I have played it out fully." - Simon Hall

“No troops are going to be points-cost-effective against their worst match-up. The points system is primarily intended for tournament games not historical refights. For tournament purposes the overall balance against a variety of opponents is what matters - though probably weighted somewhat towards "in-theme" opponents.” RBS 20090108 thread 8974, a thread regarding German warbands being “overpriced” against superior Legionaries and Legionaries being “overpriced” against Knights, but German warbands arguably well priced against Knights.

Attrition Points:
--All BGs are 2 APs:(Condensed/Paraphrase:) Making all BGs the same victory point (AP) value is a simple mechanism to incentivise players to use the troops more historically. LF harass the enemy on his way in, withdraw behind their supports or to terrain when the enemy approach, and then dance round the edges, helping pick off enemy on the flanks, and trying to avoid getting slaughtered. Having LF BGS count 2 APs encourages historical use, which some other games do not. In the case of light foot types this means keeping them out of the way of "proper" troops. Historically they didn't play too great a role on the whole but if their loss is very cheap in victory points they will get used up in a historically inappropriate manner, especially in mismatches where the disadvantaged player would do all he can with trash to stave off "real" fighting. With all BGs rated the same there is a definite incentive to get the expensive stuff stuck in so you aren't defeated by losing the chaff –you end up fighting with the troops that really would have done the fighting.

--“edge of the world”(Summary:) The "edge of the world" unrealistically prevents skirmishers from continuing to withdraw against foot. 1 AP gives foot armies an unhistorical chance to defeat them by driving them off the edge of the world, and it encourages skirmishers to continue to withdraw rather than stand to fight and suffer 2 AP by being destroyed. "The rules are designed to get a reasonably balanced game within the contraints of available space and time, with the unavoidable unhistorical compromises minimised and balanced as far as possible. 1 attrition point for an evade off table achieves the balance we want, within the prevailing contraints. [It] is an (unhistorical) concession to the foot army, not an exploit!" RBS 2009.0119 viewtopic.php?t=9115

Artillery: “As usual all calibrated to give good overall feel for the period which is:
* Artillery don't do much except against nice large dense targets, and even then nothing like later periods
* They can create some psychological effects though if supported by others
* They are pretty effective behind barricades
* They are very useful in a siege
* They were however used on battlefields and need to be represented” Simon Hall


Troop Classifications:
(moved to end of file due to length)

“This ties in with the top-down performance-oriented approach to troop classification to put behavior and tactical dynamics in focus rather than details of actual equipment, and to do this in the context of the overall army and its opponents rather than on a bottom-up troop type basis.”

Combat Capabilities: (summary) Capabilities are function based, not weapon based, although weapon names are used as suggestive labels for capabilities. Troops with full capabilities in all 3 combat areas (e.g., Lancer/Bow/Swordsmen) are avoided because of the functional classification approach, because the historical evidence suggests it was not usually possible to train troops to be equally good in all areas, because of the risk of needlessly creating “supertroops” and “killer armies,” and because “it would result in the usual ludicrous wargamers' search for "evidence" to justify weapon inflation - and the resulting special pleading.”
A classification does not mean all troops use the same equipment - spearmen formations can include some guys fighting only with swords - Arab spearmen, Vikings - who certainly fought in mixed formations of spearmen and swordsmen – but we classify the mix as spearmen. “General list policy dictates that an army that has nothing but spears cannot really be Defensive Spears.” RBS.
Some options represent variations in tactics or other attributes over time, while other “all one or the other” options represent two different interpretations of the evidence, and a list must pick one or the other. Raw levies usually lack capabilities, classified as Mob (fighting like MF).

Regarding capabilities, Simon Hall wrote,“So being extreme I would have no problem having some historical figure that carries a Lance a Bow and a Sword and defining them as Cavalry with no POA capability if I felt they didn't pass muster in any area (not that I can think of any such troops yet). This would give the feel of an over-equipped soldier who was not capable with anything. “

Armoured Classification: “Protected is the widest armour class category, covering a wide range of protection levels. In particular, foot battle groups with metal armoured front ranks and textile/leather armoured back ranks are treated as Protected.” A formation does not need to be wholly mail (or similar) equipped to count as Armoured, just a high enough proportion. RBS said that for armoured classification something like 75% or more must qualify as armoured – “for foot, partial body armour + shield, or more extensive coverage if without shield.“

“However, bear in mind that the criteria are flexible. Getting the relative effects correct within period is a higher priority than adherence to strict criteria. The lists have been written as an integral part of the rules system - they are not a third party add-on. Hence we have deliberately manipulated the list classifications to increase the historicity of historical encounters.” RBS 2009.0310

Lancer Classification: (partial paraphrase) A Mongol may carry a lance for occasional use but generally fight much more with Bow and Sword – he lacks the lance specialization needed to deliver a proper lance charge and does not feel obliged to charge when close to enemy (which at the end of the day are the two characteristics that define a lancer in FoG). This is the key. Not whether he has a lance but rather whether he is sufficiently skilled/inclined in its use to do what we allow lancers to do in the rules. This then gives the correct feel.

The lance/bow issue comes up frequently. This explanation by RBS is worth quoting in full:

“Sarmatians were primarily lancers and did not make much use of their bows in battle. Hence the flexibility you are seeking would not be historical.

It is fundamental to the design philosophy of FOG that troops are classified according to their primary fighting style, not according to equipment carried. They don't automatically get a capability because they carried a weapon.

There is no evidence that Sarmatian heavy cavalry made any significant use of their bows in battle, hence they don't get Bow capability. Sarmatians with lance and Bow are classified as Lancers, Swordsmen because they were primarily lancers, whereas Avars similarly equipped with lance and bow are classified as Bow, Swordsmen because they were primarily horse archers.

Some Byzantine cavalry are classified as Bow*, Lancers, Swordsmen (which gives reduced bow effect) or as 1/2 Lancers, Swordsmen, 1/2 Bow, Swordsmen, because they had some ranks primarily armed with lance and some primarily armed with bow.

There are no troops at all in any FOG list classified as Bow, Lancers, Swordsmen, because our interpretation of the evidence is that troops used one or the other as their primary weapon. The Byzantines in the 6th century attempted to equip and train all their cavalry with lance and bow, but found that in practice it was impossible to train all the men to be equally proficient with both. Hence they put the best lancers in the front ranks and the best horse archers in the rear ranks, which gave them something approaching the same effect - which we represent in the rules accordingly, as above.

Even if troops were equally proficient with both weapons - a difficult thing to achieve as the Byzantines found - they still tended to have a tactical doctrine that favoured the use of one or the other weapon most of the time. Hence the Byzantines (according to the Strategikon) favoured an early charge with couched lance (despite being equipped with lance and bow) whereas the Avars favoured fighting at a distance with bows (despite being equipped with lance and bow).

Of course, this design philosophy requires a judgement to be made by the list authors, and not everyone will agree with our judgement in every case. However, we feel that this is infinitely preferable to the 1970s/1980s style wargamers' scramble to equip every unit with as many weapons as possible. This led to players straining the historical evidence for some armies to allow them to field such units, and rendered other armies useless under the prevailing rules because their army lists happened not to allow multi-arming - even though often the historical performance of armies with or without the sought after multi-arming was in fact indistiguishable.

The Sarmatian figures carrying lance and bow are correct, and you should use them for Sarmatians graded as Lancers, Swordsmen. . . . . Ultimately, we have to make judgements all the time when writing lists. It is inevitable that some people won't agree with all of our judgements. However, giving every list every conceivable option is not, in our opinion, beneficial, as it tends to have the paradoxical effect of making all table-top armies the same and hence reducing the historical flavour of each army.” RBS 2009.0111 Topic 9042

Chariots with Light Spear lack Javelins: “Romans recorded the Chariots as annoyingly harassing, but not causing serious difficulties to them. Also I think I heard from our history experts that the belief is that they largely dismounted to throw spears and then mounted up and ran off. In rules terms, we felt the limited throwing of such spears was best wrapped into the combat factors and that it made them a little too strong if they were allowed a full 4 dice of superior firepower. We didn't see them as being particularly potent as damaging enemy troops
with skirmish fire, but effective at blocking and running away (hence the evade option). Again done this way for top-down feel. With 2 dice each and superior they can close to combat and have a decent chance given they will break off if unsuccessful.” Simon Hall

Chariot Runners: “This was a vexed question which caused the list writing team some heartache. In fact there is very little evidence for the method of functioning of chariot runners. Such evidence as there is has often been over-interpreted - conclusions usually amounting to guesswork. . . . Moreover, it seems likely (from the available evidence) that chariot runners were an integral part of the Near Eastern chariot system and not a special NKE thing. Hence we have elected to represent them as part of the effect of the chariot bases and not separately.”

Chariots Light and Heavy: “The "Near-Eastern chariot system" chariots referred to are the 2-horse 2-crew Light Chariots with bow armed crew. These are substantially more effective under the rules than light spear armed chariots such as Ancient British. They are mostly graded Superior, with dodgy Sumero/Akkadian proto-chariots and Elamite archer platform carts being graded as Average - making a substantial difference to in-game performance. There may possibly be a few exceptions who won't be perfectly modelled but not enough or well documented enough to justify unnecessarily complicating the rules. . . . If there is any remaining issue with relative efficacy, one can simply assume that any chariots without chariot runners have more chariots per base!” RBS

Elephants only Average: The 2 elephant bases represent a varying number of actual elephants - more smaller ones, fewer bigger ones or armoured ones. “The issue is that poor elephants would be so rubbish that I suspect nobody would use them. Superior armoured elephants would probably be rather too good.” Hammy.

Light Horse Light Spear/Bow/Swordsmen: “The only Cavalry classified as bow, light spear have their bow capability downgraded to Bow* (shoot with less dice) because we classify troops thus if they were not primarily horse archers, but more evenly split their tactics between use of bow and light lance. (e.g. Lithuanians).” RBS

Mixed Formations: (summary) Formations with 1/3 LF Bow represents a single rank of bowmen that would not produce significant shooting on the scale of the game, so only counts for the support shooting against mounted that was their primary purpose. Mixed formations with more archers tend to be represented as front rank Spearmen or Light Spear with second rank Bowmen or even both ranks MF bow with the front rank getting Light Spear. Regarding Crusader mixed foot and forming deep to gain the 2-rank Spearmen POA, “The reason they are in 6s is specifically to prevent any such shenanigans. There is no evidence whatsoever that the Crusaders did this. Even if they did double ranks, as the historical formation was only 3 men deep (one spearman and 2 crossbowmen), it still wouldn't amount to 2 base depths of spears. Hence the BGs are restricted to 6s as an easy way of making non-historical formations non-viable. The Byzantines are allowed BGs of 8 because their manuals do specify forming up 16 ranks deep when required.” RBS 2009.0205 viewtopic.php?t=9289
Last edited by SirGarnet on Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:45 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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Post by SirGarnet » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:53 am

This post has been updated with additions to the "Charging", "Movement Rules", "Attrition Points," "Lancer Classification," "Elephants Only Average" and "Mixed Formations" topics.

I'm trying to make sure to hyperlink so you can refer to the original topic thread.

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Post by SirGarnet » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:58 am

This post has been further updated as of March 15:
Added to Other Maxims
Added to Army Points SYstem under Army Lists
Added: Definition of Close Combat under new section Other Combat Issues.
Added Difficult Moves to Movement Rules
Added to Feeding Bases into Melee under Movement Rules
Added Pursuit mechanics to new section Other Combat Issues
Added "Crossbow POAs" to Shooting Points of Advantage.
Added Armoured Classification to Troop Classifications

Added quotes to Troop Classifications summary as of March 8.

This post has been further updated as of March 2:
Added to "Scale and Shape"
Added to "Other Maxims"
Added "Cohesion Tests"
Added to "Anachronistic opponents; Army Points System"
Added "Use of Columns in Rear Support" (Cohesion Tests)
Added "Attrition Points"
Added "Artillery"

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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:34 am
Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA

Post by dreiling » Fri Oct 08, 2010 4:28 pm

Thanks for the "Tips".
Will be trying them out as I play.
Never have so many bowmen shot so many arrows and done so little damage!

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