Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

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Eques
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Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by Eques » Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:33 pm

We found this a bit confusing yesterday.

Would someone be able to give a step-by-step procedure for when a Battle Group engaged to it's front is then charged from the side (but not necessarily the flank), including the impact itself, then the subsequent melees?

Many thanks

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by ravenflight » Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:32 pm

Eques wrote:We found this a bit confusing yesterday.

Would someone be able to give a step-by-step procedure for when a Battle Group engaged to it's front is then charged from the side (but not necessarily the flank), including the impact itself, then the subsequent melees?

Many thanks
Well, I'm pretty sure that the BG can ONLY be charged if it is in the flank unless there is an 'open' base (i.e. one not in frontal combat with an enemy) in which case you fight as normal.

To explain further: A BG who has all of its bases in frontal contact cannot be 'charged frontally' by another enemy BG. It can ONLY be charged in the flank or rear. If the charging BG does not quality to flank/rear charge then the charge is cancelled, and they would have to move into an overlap position.

In essence, one base CANNOT fight two bases.

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by grahambriggs » Tue Sep 23, 2014 12:16 pm

Eques wrote:We found this a bit confusing yesterday.

Would someone be able to give a step-by-step procedure for when a Battle Group engaged to it's front is then charged from the side (but not necessarily the flank), including the impact itself, then the subsequent melees?

Many thanks
So, I assume it's not a valid flank charge. So let's say that the enemy is a pike phalanx, 4 deep, fighting your auxilia toe to toe and you have another BG to the side - say an armoured impact foot/sword legion - who want to join in. The legion aren't behind the flank, so can't do a flank charge, but want to charge anyway.

First thing is, they are only allowed to charge the 3rd or 4th rank of pike - it says that in the errata or whatever it is on the filed of glory website. So, step by step:

- declare the charge
- do any initial wheel, then straight forward so your front corner hits the flank edge of the 3rd or 4th pike base. If there was anything to step forward into you'd do that but let's keep it simple.
- fight the impact as if you had hit the front base. So the enemy will get a + for 3 ranks of pike and a + for 4th rank of pike. You'll get ++ for impact foot so evens.
- do any post impact cohesion, base loss or general tests as per usual.
- so that's impact phase done unless something breaks etc but again let's keep it simple.
- movement phase, you need to conform.
- you can't conform to the front edge (the auxilia are there). But you are allowed to conform to an overlap posision. You need to do it by the shortest move possible.
- so keep the legion front corner where it is and rotate it back so it is in side edge to side edge contact with the pike flank
- slide the legion backwards just enough so that your side two bases are in side edge contact with the pike base at the front (the one that is in front edge contact with the auxilia). I'm not 100% on this but I think as you count as fighting the front chap you conform to him.
- in the melee phase the pike will fight the auxilia and the legion will fight as an overlap.

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by Eques » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:11 pm

Sorry, still need some clarification on this.

The target was a 2 rank BG already engaged to it's front. A long enemy BG then came in from the side, with well over half it's length in front of the target's front edge, which the rules say would not be a flank charge

The main difficulty we had, though, was working out which bases fought which in melee. how you tally up the hits against both sides, and do you apply the -PoA (for fighting in 2 directions) to both sections of the target line?

The target was legionaries, with legionaries to it's front and Spanish Cavalry coming in from the side.

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by philqw78 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:34 pm

If its not a flank or rear charge you can't do it then as the bases are already fighting
phil
putting the arg into argumentative

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by grahambriggs » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:17 am

Eques wrote:Sorry, still need some clarification on this.

The target was a 2 rank BG already engaged to it's front. A long enemy BG then came in from the side, with well over half it's length in front of the target's front edge, which the rules say would not be a flank charge

The main difficulty we had, though, was working out which bases fought which in melee. how you tally up the hits against both sides, and do you apply the -PoA (for fighting in 2 directions) to both sections of the target line?

The target was legionaries, with legionaries to it's front and Spanish Cavalry coming in from the side.
Hello again. I'd perhaps need a diagram but I think you may have misread the flank charge rules. So, for example in the following diagram:

:D is a unit of 4 spanish cav facing right
:!: is a space (say a base width)
:evil: is the enemy legion facing down
:roll: is our legion facing up.

The cavalry can execute a flank charge.

:D :!: :evil: :evil:
:D :!: :evil: :evil:
:D :!: :roll: :roll:
:D :!: :roll: :roll:

If, however, they were directly to the front of :evil: - so directly to the rear of :roll: - they wouldn't be able to do a flank charge even if they had a base behind the flank.

In my diagram above, if the cavalry charge in you'll get

:D :!: :mrgreen: :evil:
:D :!: :cry: :evil:
:D :!: :roll: :roll:
:D :!: :roll: :roll:

:mrgreen: has been hit by the flank charge and is not in front edge contact so turns. the other base - :cry: - has also been hit in the flank . He doesn't turn as he's fighting the base to has front but he still fights an impact contact against the cavalry. It should be 4 dice for the cav at ++, 3 for the now disrupted legion at --.

Say the legion survive with no more damage or morale drops. The cavalry can feed in a base (the one at bottom left on the diagram as he can't fight). So dice are:

3 for the cav (2 bases touching enemy plus the fed in chap who'll be back rank or overlap)
4 for your legion
enemy legion has 4 bases. Disrupte, so down to 3 dice. Two are in front edge to front edge with your legion, plus the chap at back right is also facing that way so 3 want to fight the legion. 1 is facing the cav. You must lose 1 die in 3, and since there are 3 bases fighting your legion he'll lose a dice from there. So 2 dice v the legion, 1 vs the cav. ALL of his dice have a minus POA for fighting in two directions.

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by zoltan » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:44 am

So Graham does this illustrate your first sequence of events (but possibly not the OP situation)?

Image

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by grahambriggs » Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:30 am

Yes that captures my first posting - though I think in your number 4 they should move back a bit more so BOTH base side edges are touching the side of the enemy fron base (so slide back about another half base depth perhaps). But I'm not 100% sure

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by pyruse » Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:03 pm

If the target is only two deep and you can't make a flank or rear charge as defined by the rules, then you can't charge at all.
You can move into an overlap position, but there will be no impact, and you'll just contribute an overlap in the melee phase.

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by Eques » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:10 pm

Thanks all, yes that was the key to our misunderstanding - we did not realise that if you can't charge the flank you can't charge, which makes sense logically I suppose.

Now what about the melee rules if there is a flank charge in a 3-hander? How do you handle three sets of PoAs,where do you apply the minus for fighting in 2 directions, how do you allocate the hits between the 3 groups?

Thanks

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by ravenflight » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:56 pm

Eques wrote:Now what about the melee rules if there is a flank charge in a 3-hander? How do you handle three sets of PoAs,where do you apply the minus for fighting in 2 directions, how do you allocate the hits between the 3 groups?

Thanks
If there isn't a flank charge you aren't fighting in two directions.

If there is a flank charge, the POA is just added to the rests... but remember that the POA for fighting in two directions only counts in melee, not in impact.

So, for example, if your normal POA with plusses and minuses all over the place give a total of +1POA for the guys in the front and -1POA for the guys on the flank, well the guys on the front will have a +2POA and the guys on the flank will have a +0. Remembering that the guys who were flanked will have a lot less dice because they will probably be disrupted (or worse) and will have fought one round of overall ++/-- for the flank impact.

NONE of this counts if it was a charge similar to the one indicated above by Graham.

Remember that POA's are determined base by base, so you CAN have 4 bases in contact and have 4 different POAs.

Sorry, I just re-read your question and you asked about allocating hits. Well, the bases that do the damage allocate the hits and this determine 'who wins'.

So, if your guys on the flank do 3 hits and have 1 inflicted on them, and the guys on the front do 1 hit and have 2 inflicted on them, both the guys who are flanked and the guys on the front will have to test as both 'lost' combat (received more hits than they gave).

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by grahambriggs » Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:33 am

Eques wrote: Now what about the melee rules if there is a flank charge in a 3-hander? How do you handle three sets of PoAs,where do you apply the minus for fighting in 2 directions, how do you allocate the hits between the 3 groups?

Thanks
See my example above.

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by RobKhan » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:05 am

Hi Graham et Al,

In your Pike Aux Legion example, why do the pike get the 4th rank POA when it is only the 3rd and 4th that have been hit. Would this also apply if it were only the 4th rank that was impacted? Intuitively ridiculous if you ask me!

The Pikes are fully engaged frontally with another BG, but somehow have the ability to "create" the phantom resources of 4 ranks to fight another enemy. The Aux, Legion outnumber the Pikes "frontally" but get nothng for it. The 2 ranks of pike not fighting get the benefit of 4 ranks, yet the front 2 ranks are fighting the Aux.

This is bad game design.

It would be better to simply pull the 3rd and 4th rank out to face the "frontal" charge of the legion and then the Pikes have to use their resources to meet the changing situation, instead of getting the double benefit from existing resources. After all, if it were a flank charge the 3rd and 4th would have to turn and face, so why not come out and fight frontally if it isn't a flank charge and they are contacted? This would then give some benefit to the Legion, because the Pike have to change formation to meet the impact, then in the Melee, the Aux and Legion get some benefit from the changed situation forced on the Pike, and the Pike have to make do with what they have.


Cheers
Robkhan
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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by gozerius » Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:43 pm

I've beat that dead horse for years. I've finally succumbed to the "but that's how we play" mentality.
My opinion, worth nothing, is that the entire file fights its frontal opponents unless contacted by a legal flank charge. But that's not what the rules say. The rules say that each base in contact fights. POAs are based on the entire file.
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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by RobKhan » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:13 pm

Ridiculous - I am now awaiting the FoG 3 discussion - or I may do a pike army to get multiple bangs for my bucks. These guys are really more powerful than just the factors.
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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by ravenflight » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:17 am

RobKhan wrote:Ridiculous - I am now awaiting the FoG 3 discussion - or I may do a pike army to get multiple bangs for my bucks. These guys are really more powerful than just the factors.
Robkhan
Ultimately, you are getting a free charge so have nothing to complain about.

Are you in position to flank charge? No.
Can you charge the engaged front bases? No

The choices are:

Go into overlap in movement - or - charge and count as if you are charging the front.

There are many examples that are similar, but covered to make the rules work and not have people do gamey geometric tricks. For example, if you allow 'your version' of the charge, you would have people deliberately charging totally uncommitted pike on the 4th rank even though they would and could have charged the front.

It's a game, and many things are in it to stop gameyness. As much as I'm not a fan of FoG:AM, I DO appreciate the efforts the authors have gone to to stop gamey play.

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by hazelbark » Tue Oct 07, 2014 3:42 am

RobKhan wrote:Ridiculous - I am now awaiting the FoG 3 discussion - or I may do a pike army to get multiple bangs for my bucks. These guys are really more powerful than just the factors.
Robkhan
I think you over state. I see your point. But here is the problem. It becomes ridiculously easy to pull pikes apart under the system where you can hit the succeeding ranks. In reality they should have created what we would look at as double deep bases or just mandate they all are one. When they created FOG they felt they had certain legacy constraints. Instead of working a larger solution, they just opted for what you have encountered as a "fix".

It is somewhat due to the excessive maneuverability of units that creates these frequent flank options. Add in the I-go u-go situation and we have lots of potential problems. So units that require depth need this feature to protect them. It is not pleasant but it is a solution to other effects.

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by MDH » Tue Oct 07, 2014 5:26 pm

hazelbark wrote:
RobKhan wrote:Ridiculous - I am now awaiting the FoG 3 discussion - or I may do a pike army to get multiple bangs for my bucks. These guys are really more powerful than just the factors.
Robkhan
I think you over state. I see your point. But here is the problem. It becomes ridiculously easy to pull pikes apart under the system where you can hit the succeeding ranks. In reality they should have created what we would look at as double deep bases or just mandate they all are one. When they created FOG they felt they had certain legacy constraints. Instead of working a larger solution, they just opted for what you have encountered as a "fix".

It is somewhat due to the excessive maneuverability of units that creates these frequent flank options. Add in the I-go u-go situation and we have lots of potential problems. So units that require depth need this feature to protect them. It is not pleasant but it is a solution to other effects.

When I fight ancient pike units I invariably have them as a solid block 4-6 units wide . They may eventually break up a bit of course. For me that is the historical grand tactical model . Allowing attacking 3/4th ranks as if a new melee seems to me to be both perverse and absurd .We don't do it. Charge the flank by all means.

Interestingly a very old ( as in many years of playing and, as important, reading) wargaming friend who tried his first FoG(AM) recently medieval game thought that while was a good game it was a pretty dodgy simulation overall and it was the "excessive maneuverability of units " as you say that he focused on in particular.

This is a legacy as you also say - going way back to the 1960's -1970's and the introduction of the unit concept to ancients gaming. Since the range of armies used was very limited in those days the idea of a cohort as a basic unit ( at a 1/20 ratio 24 figures is one cohort) with many other " barbarian" units in multiples of 1,000 men (50 figures) more or less worked provided you did not have figures too deep.

The FOG(AM) " battle group" with its loosely defined size and base/figure ratio is a the attempt to get round some of the problems but still produces some compromises in terms of " simulation " accuracy and the spatial dynamics.

Are those third and fourth ranks of pike really there anyway? Breadth versus depth is the perennial problem for miniatures once you get above ratios of 1 figure = about 10 men.

But now I think we produce something that sometimes does not look or feel right (as a model of battle) to cope with a much wider range of armies ( and to be fair better games as such). One way to avoid it is to keep the table width constrained especially with infantry dominated armies but I prefer just to increase the size of armies to fill the space available!

But modern rules also have to avoid forcing people to have to buy big armies to spare their pockets.

As far as " core " W European medieval goes in FOG(AM) I have concluded that the best thing will be for myself and my fellow gamers to impose a vanguard - mainward - rearward structure each having its own dedicated commander who cannot command any units in the other blocks, adjust the command structure and command reach etc to suit more and require the initial set up to be more like the FoG(N) approach . That way there will be incentives to keep the constituent parts of the three blocks more or less together

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Re: Melees with Multiple Battle Groups (V1)

Post by gozerius » Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:01 am

MDH wrote:
Are those third and fourth ranks of pike really there anyway? Breadth versus depth is the perennial problem for miniatures once you get above ratios of 1 figure = about 10 men.
Section 18-1 "Figure Scale" (Page 133)
Base depths are always a compromise in tabletop armies and have been chosen to suit the figure size rather than the actual depth of the formation.
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