AARs

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shadowdragon
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Late Republican Roman vs Gallic

Post by shadowdragon » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:55 pm

Late Republican Roman
Designed to reflect Caesar in Gaul, so no elephants, asian horse archers, etc.

IC - Caesar
1 X FC
3 X 4 elite legions
2 X 6 superior legions
1 X 4 superior legion
2 x 4 armoured, superior HC
2 X 6 LF archers
2 X 4 LH javelin
Points - 802

Gallic
2 X FC
1 X 6 armoured, superior HC
3 X 4 protected, superior HC
4 X 10 warriors
1 X 8 warriors
1 x 6 LF javelin
1 x 6 LF archers
Points - 802

Roman deployment was with 4 legions up (from right to left - 2 elite and 2 superior, frontage = 10 bases) and 2 legions in support. Cavalry was in echelon to protect the flanks. The Gallic plan was a mad rush up the centre to test their new version 3 capabilities - 4 warrior bands up front with a 12 base frontage. Cavalry also protecting the flanks.

Result was a decisive Gallic win with the warriors sweeping away Caesar and his legions in the centre. Admitedly the Romans had some bad combat dicing but in previous versions they'd usually be able to claw their way to victory. Both sides commited their generals with Romans adding their to the superior legions to bring them up to elite and the Gauls to the warrior bands on the flanks to increase their advantage of numbers there. The close combat battle lasted 3 rounds. On the first turn of combat a superior legion in the centre was routed with the FC general killed in the first turn (Hits - Roman vs Gallic - were 10 to 13 for the impact round and 8 to 13 for the melee round). In the 2nd turn the Romans lost an elite legion in the centre, freeing up some warriors (hits were 6 vs 9). In the 3rd the flank roman legions were destroyed / routed (hits were 1 vs 7). The same turn the Gauls that had burst through the centre of the Roman line piled into the 2nd Roman line which ended the turn with one unit fragmented and the other disordered. The Romans lost 7 bases to hits compared to the Gauls 1base.

I did have a challenge keeping track of the various factors on the version 2 QRS and the various posts here, but I think I didn't make too many mistakes. Might be worth trying again with the cavalry more engaged on the flanks. I also wonder if some field fortifications for the Romans might be useful. No longer a straight forward win for the Romans.

I'm not sure about the new rules for generals but maybe that's because I need to re-think how they're used. Right now I'm not tempted by the TC - at least not for this match up where winning the impact round is so important.

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Re: AARs

Post by petedalby » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:01 pm

I don't think that using the horse archers as a single line would work against cavalry opponents, you'd get pushed off the table in jig time unless you get lucky with your shooting die rolls, same with a load of LH. It's obviously a known risk, but if your shooting doesn't work (you are only getting 1 round in anyway), it's going to hurt.
I probably disagree. Based upon this match up shooting and evading is your best option. There is a small chance you will be caught in the evade but in V1 or V2 allowing unprotected cavalry to be hit in a straight up fight by better armed and armoured opponents is a one-way ticket to defeat. You are down at impact and in melee. The V3 proposals will merely accelerate the effect.

Why not try it again keeping your average cavalry in a single rank but doubling up the Skythian Nobles to pick on 1 unit of LAPs?

Did the LAPs really have 7 x 4 Armd Sup Cav? Seems a lot of points?
Pete

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Re: AARs

Post by petedalby » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:12 pm

I also wonder if some field fortifications for the Romans might be useful.
Funnily enough I've just finished reading Caesar's alleged account of the Gallic conquest and I was struck by how often the Romans appeared to rely upon FF.

Try your Legions as Superior in 6's but deploy 2 wide and 3 deep with intervals to mitigate impact and exploit melee when your armour will give you a plus. Fielding the Cavalry as Protected and as rear support will free up points and will add much needed rear support. Don't commit Commanders to combat - my mantra in both V1 and V2.
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Re: AARs

Post by Three » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:22 pm

petedalby wrote:
I don't think that using the horse archers as a single line would work against cavalry opponents, you'd get pushed off the table in jig time unless you get lucky with your shooting die rolls, same with a load of LH. It's obviously a known risk, but if your shooting doesn't work (you are only getting 1 round in anyway), it's going to hurt.
I probably disagree. Based upon this match up shooting and evading is your best option. There is a small chance you will be caught in the evade but in V1 or V2 allowing unprotected cavalry to be hit in a straight up fight by better armed and armoured opponents is a one-way ticket to defeat. You are down at impact and in melee. The V3 proposals will merely accelerate the effect.

Why not try it again keeping your average cavalry in a single rank but doubling up the Skythian Nobles to pick on 1 unit of LAPs?

Did the LAPs really have 7 x 4 Armd Sup Cav? Seems a lot of points?
I'll freely admit lack of expertise in using shooty cavalry armies, and poor deployment cost me a bit of flexibility, but 7 units of my cavalry against his 9, all in a line ruled out picking on a single LAP unit. I had all my Noble cavalry together. I did manage to get a Noble unit and a LH against one of his bow armed units, but I managed to cause 1 test which he passed and he shot me down to broken. I'll offer him a rematch and at least try something different.
I make his list out to be 799 pts, 3 LH, 2 protected Superior and 7 armoured superior.

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Re: AARs

Post by shadowdragon » Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:33 pm

petedalby wrote:
I also wonder if some field fortifications for the Romans might be useful.
Funnily enough I've just finished reading Caesar's alleged account of the Gallic conquest and I was struck by how often the Romans appeared to rely upon FF.

Try your Legions as Superior in 6's but deploy 2 wide and 3 deep with intervals to mitigate impact and exploit melee when your armour will give you a plus. Fielding the Cavalry as Protected and as rear support will free up points and will add much needed rear support. Don't commit Commanders to combat - my mantra in both V1 and V2.
Good advice - re committing commanders I usually go along with your mantra but this was testing. However, I'd still be tempted with the Gauls to get the most out of the impact phase. Another option for the Gauls would be TC to commit in the melee phase.

Definitely felt that 4 base units were fragile.

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Re: AARs

Post by petedalby » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:41 am

Definitely felt that 4 base units were fragile.
Agreed! And even more so under V3.
Pete

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Re: AARs

Post by shadowdragon » Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:55 pm

petedalby wrote:
Definitely felt that 4 base units were fragile.
Agreed! And even more so under V3.
Tried the 6 packs of superior legions initially in 3 ranks. It helps, but the Roman player can't just trust to a straight forward charge and wood-chip away. I'm guessing it's now about a 60-40 encounter in favour of the Romans instead of the, at best, 80-20 previously. That's reasonable for a classic encounter with approx equal points in the front line - I had 5 X 6 legions with 2 TC vs 5 X 10 warriors with 3 TC (490 vs 455). Even when the Romans win a melee round they can easily lose a base which hurts them far more than the warriors. When they lose in the impact phase they're likely losing a base even if they don't drop in cohesion - so there's fewer times the warriors win impact without any result on the Romans.

So...

With this AAR I like the greater impact dice and better 'to hit' chances. It makes the game faster, improves the importance of attrition compared to cohesion loss and improves the importance of impact compared to melee. One result is that there's better balance between large vs small units. The latter are more manoeuvrable and add unit count but the former are now significantly tougher.

The upgrading of average warriors is a nice touch for those armies but it remains to be seen if they can stand up to the full range of army types.

Eta: while greater dice might seem to make results in terms of hits more predictable, surprisingly the end result of the total package was more uncertainty in the overall outcome.

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Re: AARs

Post by petedalby » Thu Sep 15, 2016 5:23 pm

Thanks for the positive post - overall that sounds like we're heading in the right direction.
Pete

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Re: AARs

Post by terrys » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:37 pm

So does the base loss have an appreciable game effect since you won? Obviously depending on the game and reserves. With only 8-10 Battle troops. A base loss could matter if there is an additional foe to fight head on after beating one foe. But if the games are largely resolving in the initial clash (meaning the two lines striking not just impact) then it matter less.
MY calculator gives the following results:
> 4 Sup lancers vs 4 average cav (V2) gives:
4 dice on 4's re-rolling 1's (66% wins)
4 dice on 5's no re-rolls (13% wins)
under V3 (no re-rolls for either side if the average have a general)
6 dice on 3's (60% wins)
6 dice on 4's (23% wins)
So the result is much closer, although still heavily in favour of the lancers (at impact).

Even if the lancers win, as long as their opponent can get an overlap, melee is at evens (1 casualty plus disrupted leaves 4 dice).
In general - if there is space to get an overlap in. larger units are better - but that often means infantry are improved against mounted.

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Re: AARs

Post by hazelbark » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:26 pm

terrys wrote:
MY calculator gives the following results:
> 4 Sup lancers vs 4 average cav (V2) gives:
4 dice on 4's re-rolling 1's (66% wins)
4 dice on 5's no re-rolls (13% wins)
under V3 (no re-rolls for either side if the average have a general)
6 dice on 3's (60% wins)
6 dice on 4's (23% wins)
So the result is much closer, although still heavily in favour of the lancers (at impact).
So you are introducing a new variable for apples to apples you should have stats without general.

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Re: AARs

Post by terrys » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:17 pm

So you are introducing a new variable for apples to apples you should have stats without general.
Obviously there are a number of variable, but since a TC can't upgrade a superior BG, it's quite reasonable to assume that in a number of combats the average BG will be fighting with a general leading whereas the superiors may not be.
Of course that depends on whether or not the players has one available or wants to commit him. It also depends on whether or not the superiors have an FC available.

The main point being that (as long as he doesn't double drop) a large average BG will be fighting on even numbers in melee.

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Re: AARs

Post by hazelbark » Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:54 pm

Well that is true but you are not committing what 101 points (6 average armor ((no impact weapon)) + TC) vs 64 (4 Superior armor lancer) that's a heck of a commitment of power to stall one unit.
You also have to commit a general at impact for average dudes right? And with a 3/5th chance of losing and a higher risk for the general. That ends up like something like a full 10% change the general will die in the impact (losing % * odds of loss?)

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Re: AARs

Post by terrys » Wed Sep 21, 2016 6:02 pm

Well that is true but you are not committing what 101 points (6 average armor ((no impact weapon)) + TC) vs 64 (4 Superior armor lancer) that's a heck of a commitment of power to stall one unit.
It's still better than it was previously.
Under V2 that lancers have a 5:1 advantage at impact, whereas under V3 that is reduced to less than 3:1
Assuming the lancers cause a disruption and a base loss:
In melee:- Under V2 the lancers would still have almost a 2:1 advantage - under V3 it would be 50:50

I agree that you'd have to commit more points, but it's only an example.
I'd generally choose to have bow armed cavalry in 4's, and average combat cavalry in 6's.
Bow armed cavalry in 6's have too wide a frontage to use effectively - unless the enemy are known to be MF

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Re: AARs

Post by terrys » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:01 pm

Had a game against Graham yesterday - Mongol conquest against Spartan.
Mongols:
CinC .... FC
Sub .... FC
Sub .... TC
8 BGs of 4 CV (all superior- 2 armoured, 5 protected, 1 unprotected)
3 BGs of 4 LH (all average bow/sw)
1 BG of Allied CV (unprotected, average bow/sw)

Spartans:
CinC .... FC
2x Subs .... TC
2x8 HF .... Off Spears, Superior, protected, drilled
2x8 HF .... Off Spears, average, protected, drilled
4x8 HF .... Off Spears, average, protected, undrilled
1x8 MF .... HW, average, unprotected, undrilled
1x6 MF .... Off Spears, average, protected, drilled
1x6 LF .... Superior, bow
1x4 LC .... Average, Javelins

So - Both sides effectively have an army size of 11

TERRAIN: Since the Mongols won the initiative we fought in agricultural, and ended up with even less terrain than Steppe. Due to a number of 6's there was only 3 pieces of 'open field' remaining on the table.
DEPLOYMENT: The Greeks deployed from the table edge on their left starting with 8MF, then 6BGs of average hoplites, with drilled ones at each end. Their right flank was slightly refused and held by the 2 superior BGs.
LF deployed on the left, the 6MF giving rear support in the centre, and the LH to their wide right.

I deployed the Mongols with 1 LH on each flank plus one in the centre. 4 BGs of protected and unprotected cavalry facing the hoplites frontally. 5 BGs of cavalry to my left (including the 2 armoured ones) to exploit the open flank on that side.

The Spartans won the initiative. This didn't make any difference, because even if I move first they could still double move. The real difference is that it gives me one less move to make a decision on whether or not to bug-out. I didn't want to do this too early, because I wanted to keep the hoplites tied up until the left flank developed. However, I totally screwed this up and lost all of them before I could get out for -9pts (2 off the army)

Meanwhile the flank was developing with the Greeks in a difficult situation:
1 BG of superiors had broken:
1 BG of superiors was 1 base down and in orb being shot at by 8 superior armoured cavalry (from 2 directions).
1BG of average hoplites fragmented
1BG of 6 MF under fire from 2 cavalry BGs one to each flank.
1BG of LH broken
My LH was 1 move from the camp
The only other BG of infantry on that flank had already lost 25%
So not far off breaking.....

Then I made the best decision of the game:
I charged the ORB with both BGs of armoured cavalry
As Graham said at the time - Why did you charge? It's the only way you can lose the game !!!
My argument was that it was a good decision because I was at evens at impact and a POA up in melee - so the odds are in my favour!!!!!
(I'd been firing at this BG for about 6 shots, and had only caused 1 base loss so far - so was getting a little frustrated)
Both of us committed our CinC;s to the combat

You can guess what happened.....
The cavalry with the general drew the combat 1-1 and Graham rolled an 11 to kill him. The cavalry then failed it's test and dropped to disrupted.
The other cavalry had lost 2-0 at impact and lost a base. It now tested with -4 (lost/lost 1per2/lost 25%/2 reasons to test).
They double-dropped to fragmented, then lost 1-0 in melee and routed .... taking the army with it.

All in all it was a great game - Lots of decisions affected how the game played out:
Should I have flank marched?
Should I have pulled out from the front of the hoplite line earlier (and allowed Graham to move support to his right flank)
I eventually had to turn and fight close to my base edge - Perhaps I should have done so earlier
It's much more difficult to pin HF back frontally. Graham made some good decision on charging with some BGs while advancing 4MU with others. I'm thinking that a BG or 2 of LF would have been handy in forcing his line to break up.

And - of course, in retrospect, I should have kept shooting at his Orb rather than charge it. (I could at the very least have waited another move, which would have gained me another 5 attrition points).

NOTE: We slightly changed the HF rules for this game - the rules we used were:
A> HF move 4MU when making a SIMPLE move entirely in the open (3MU otherwise)
B> HF use 3MU as their base move when making a VMD

A> Makes drilled HF only move 1MU after turning or expanding (undrilled can't move at all).
They can still make a simple advance of 4MU, which can involve a wheel and a contraction.
B> Means that they are less likely to catch cavalry and LF which evade (which is now too easy) - and also gives all skirmishers an incentive to stand, shoot and evade rather than just turn round and retire. (since in general it slows down the advance - although Graham managed to roll more 6's than any other number for his charges)
We both thought the combination worked well.

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Re: AARs

Post by philqw78 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:05 pm

Why not just add 1 mu to everything? Farting around at the edges is a pump idea
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Re: AARs

Post by terrys » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:51 pm

Why not just add 1 mu to everything? Farting around at the edges is a pump idea
Because it doesn't change the balance.
Increasing the speed of everything effectively reduces the size of the table.
We already know what happens when you reduce the table size (without reducing the army size). It removes cavalry/Light Horse armies from the viable army list.
With MF moving 5" and knights moving 5" or 6" there would be no space for cavalry armies to operate.
One of our primary objective is to ensure that all existing armies remain viable.

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Re: AARs

Post by hazelbark » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:35 pm

terrys wrote:
Why not just add 1 mu to everything? Farting around at the edges is a pump idea
Because it doesn't change the balance.
Increasing the speed of everything effectively reduces the size of the table.
We already know what happens when you reduce the table size (without reducing the army size). It removes cavalry/Light Horse armies from the viable army list.
With MF moving 5" and knights moving 5" or 6" there would be no space for cavalry armies to operate.
One of our primary objective is to ensure that all existing armies remain viable.
Reducing the size of the table is something you need to look at through either this mechanism, another or just a table saw.
You are in beta for your 2nd modification to the system where the constant argument has been the shooty cav were overpowered. So you are in the 2nd successive effort to de-power them, but you may be working the wrong end of the problem. Something to think about. I tend not to favor the every one faster solution either.

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Re: AARs

Post by LEmpereur » Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:11 am

terrys wrote:NOTE: We slightly changed the HF rules for this game - the rules we used were:
A> HF move 4MU when making a SIMPLE move entirely in the open (3MU otherwise)
B> HF use 3MU as their base move when making a VMD

A> Makes drilled HF only move 1MU after turning or expanding (undrilled can't move at all).
They can still make a simple advance of 4MU, which can involve a wheel and a contraction.
B> Means that they are less likely to catch cavalry and LF which evade (which is now too easy) - and also gives all skirmishers an incentive to stand, shoot and evade rather than just turn round and retire. (since in general it slows down the advance - although Graham managed to roll more 6's than any other number for his charges)
We both thought the combination worked well.
If you really need to change the speed of HF... I reiterate my comments of beta test, it has to be strategic movement only.

Overall, the proposed changes create exceptions and change the fundamentals... here the speed different between single and double move move.

What makes the rule more complex and therefore less accessible.
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Re: AARs

Post by Three » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:36 am

AAR LRR v Pontic
Pontic List
FC, 2 x TCs, FC Armenian Ally
1 x 6 LF Bow Average
1 x 6 LF Javelin Average
1 x 4 LH Javelin Average
1 x 4 LH Bow Average Armenian Ally
1 x 6 Cataphracts Superior Armenian Ally L/Sw
1 x 4 Sarmatian Cavalry Armoured superior L/Sw
1 x 4 Pontic Cavalry armoured superior Lt Sp/Sw
4 x 6 Armoured drilled average Imitation Legionaries
1 x 6 Theureophoroi protected MF Off Sp

LRR List
3 x TCs
2 x 4 Elite Legion
2 x 6 Superior Legion
2 x 4 Superior legion
1 x 6 average LF Javelins
1 x 6 Cretan LF superior bow
2 x 4 Armoured superior Cavalry Lt Sp/Sw

Terrain
Pontics won PBI and picked Agricultural. 3 areas of OF fell on Pontic left, then a small SH and a small enclosed field in the centre section. A further enclosed field fell on the Pontic base line. 1 piece was lost on a 5 for placement as there were already 2 pieces in the centre sections. The only real effect was the small SH gave the Romans something to anchor their flank on, but by the end of their 2nd turn they were past it anyway.
Deployment
Essentially a mirror deployment. The Romans went (right to left) – 2 Cavalry in single rank, Elite legion, 6 strong Superior legion, 4 strong Superior Legion, 6 strong Superior Legion, 4 strong superior legion, 4 strong elite legion then the 2 BGs of LH on the left in the OF. The 2 BGs of LF were in front of the right hand elite/superior 6 pack. All as far onto table as allowed.
The Pontics went (right to left) – Pontic HC, Sarmatians, Armenian Cataphracts, 4 BGs of imitation legion with the 2 LF BGs in front and opposite the Roman LF then the 2 BGs of LH. The MF were in the OFs and linked the LH with the left hand Imitation Legion.

Pontics won roll for 1st move and moved forward maximum across the table. Romans did likewise with Legions, LH and LF, moved the HC a single move and contracted to a 2x2 formation.
The left hand Elite Legion angled towards the HC, moving 8” meant it was able to prevent the Armenians and Sarmatians from ganging up on a single Roman cavalry. Pontic shooting was ineffectual, Romans caused 2 tests, both of which the Pontics failed, 1 on the javelin LH and 1 on the Bow LF.

The Roman LH then charged in against both Pontic LH, bow armed units drew, but the disrupted Pontic Javelin LH lost 5-1, lost a base and dropped to fragmented.
Romans failed a 1 test not to charge and a 6 legion pack rolled a 6, moved forward 6”, causing both Pontic LF units to evade. This meant it was well with charge reach of the Pontics and without support. In next Pontic turn an Imitation legion charged in Impact phase, with a TC attached, the plan being to move up two further Imitation legions in the movement phase to get overlaps.
However, the Romans did 9 hits in the impact phase to 1 Pontic (9 dice, a 5, a 2 and seven 1s), lost two bases, general killed on a 10 and double dropped. BGs either side then both dropped as a result of seeing the general die. The Romans won melee phase 6 -1, so the Pontics autobroke. The BGs either side then dropped again for seeing a friend break. On the cavalry flanks the Pontics were only slightly better, the Armenians charged in against the Elite Legion with their general attached and lost impact, disrupted but didn’t lose a base. The Sarmatians won 4 nil, the Roman BG double dropped and lost a base, the Pontic HC drew with the 2nd Roman HC BG and neither lost a base.
Romans moved their Legions up into charge range, cavalry melee was a draw for the two HC spear units, a draw for the Sarmatians and a loss for the Armenians despite being a POA up. Lost a base and stayed disrupted. We forgot about the break off move here, unfortunately.

Pontics couldn’t charge with fragged legions, but did with the remaining steady one against the other 6 pack Superior legion, TC attached and lost impact 9 -6. Again lost 2 bases, General killed and double dropped. Broke in melee, and 1 already fragged legion broke in support. Moved the MF into overlap v the roman LH and did 1 hit, whilst the bow LH they were supporting lost the melee, a base and went disrupted.
Romans then charged in with legions, broke remaining Imitation legion. Pontics lost 4 x Imitation Legion, 1 LH Javelins and had the 2nd LH fragged as well as the LF Javelins fragged from Cretan archer shooting, so broke. Romans had lost 1 LH, and both HC units.

I wasn’t going to post this as I was afraid it might come over as moaning about dice luck, I only managed to fail 12 out of 16 CTs (yes, I was sad enough to record them), but the effectiveness of the Superior Legions in the impact phase was striking. That was on even POAs and no rerolls. I’d think that average Off Spear are going to need to be lucky, especially in 6s. I doubt I’d take pike in 8s either if fighting in period. The other striking feature was the 4” charge range of HF in the open, it’s going to take a bit more effort for me to take this into account. Entire game was over in a little over 2 ½ hours.

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Re: AARs

Post by philqw78 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:48 am

The problem with HF armies is that they cannot captalise on any break throughs that they make. It takes them far too long to turn/wheel/move to get into contact with any other BG after they have broken their opponents. That is the problem that needs solving.
Making them move faster at the start of the game only advances their contact with enemy maybe one bound. Making them move faster within 6MU increases their influence enormously, and does awful things to shooting. So neither of those work well (IMO). They also have the problem of when beating mounted the mounted generally break off and are then at no risk from the foot giving them chance of escape

You need another mechanism to allow HF (and probably others) a chance to be exploit their success. You also need something simple

Allow any troops all of whose opponents broke this phase and outdistanced them in pursuit, or all of whose opponents broke off to make a 2MU move at the end of that phase
-Its an extra step in the turn sequence at the end of Impact and Melee phases
-It will mainly advantage heavy foot as they are most likely to be outdistanced
-It will allow any foot to get within charge or Effective shooting range of enemy that have broken off from them. (This will stop people keeping their foot disrupted to fight mounted so their mounted opponents don't break off - cheesy)
-Once troops make a success they get the chance to use it.
-Being a move of only 2MU for all advantages nobody more than others (except HF will get to do it more often)
-Drilled and undrilled with a general could turn, but no troops could turn and move
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