A lament for Steppes...

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ChrisTofalos
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A lament for Steppes...

Post by ChrisTofalos » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:05 pm

We've been using the Beta and final version of V3 for some time at my club, MAWS, and I've yet to see a game that features Steppes. Has anyone else?

I much prefer infantry armies but have some sympathy for those (even Dave R!) fond of cavalry armies. The best they can hope for is the two open spaces in Agricultural. Not really fair and reduces the variety of terrain types in favour of infantry.

If you're going to effectively ban Steppes why bother listing it in the rules or army lists?

petedalby
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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by petedalby » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:30 pm

Check out period 3 for Campaign Chris - I suspect we'll see lots of Steppe there.
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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by philqw78 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:27 pm

It is a theme designed for steppe though
phil
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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by petedalby » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:23 am

Exactly! So it's not banned and that's why it's still in the lists.

When the Huns invaded the Roman Empire they didn't get to fight in Steppes. Ditto the Mongols and Eastern Europe.

V1 & V2 made it too easy for the horsey armies to fight on home turf. Under V3 it will be a little more challenging is all.
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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by ChrisTofalos » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:29 pm

Under V3 it will be a little more challenging
Let me know if you ever manage to see Steppes in a comp game, Pete. I can't see it happening.

V3's insistence on having to choose from your opponent's terrain and the lists removing massed LH from armies such as Bosporan, Parthian, etc tilts the balance a little too far in favour of infantry. IMO, that will be bad for the game; depriving it of some variety.

As for the example of invading Huns, what about the Romans v Parthians at Carrhae? Admittedly, the Romans were led by an idiot but it did happen historically. It isn't going to happen at all in V3. A pity...

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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by petedalby » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:05 pm

Let me know if you ever manage to see Steppes in a comp game, Pete. I can't see it happening.
Will do.
what about the Romans v Parthians at Carrhae?
In the accounts I've read there are references to the town of Carrhae, a stream and a hill - sounds a lot like Agricultural to me. :)
Pete

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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by philqw78 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:22 pm

But Catalaunian Plains looked a lot like steppe with no significant terrain at all
phil
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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by petedalby » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:49 pm

But Catalaunian Plains looked a lot like steppe with no significant terrain at all
6 : 1 on the initial initiative die roll? :wink:
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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by dave_r » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:33 pm

petedalby wrote:
But Catalaunian Plains looked a lot like steppe with no significant terrain at all
6 : 1 on the initial initiative die roll? :wink:
How would that help get Steppes though?

If the Romans get the initiative they aren't going to pick Steppes and if the Huns / Parthians get the initiative they can't pick Steppes.

The only way you will ever get steppes is if you have two cavalry armies facing each other and they both have steppes in their terrain.
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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by petedalby » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:46 pm

How would that help get Steppes though?
the Romans were led by an idiot
That's how.

Just looking at the R&R for Roll Call. 24 entries - only 6 of which can even have Steppes. So not a strong probability but hopefully some Steppes will be seen. Will report back.
Pete

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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by ChrisTofalos » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:16 am

hopefully some Steppes will be seen
Don't hold your breath! ☺

Perhaps we did see Steppes a little too often in V2. Anyone using a mounted army with them as an option would get a +2 on initiative, increasing the chances of them being used. But isn't virtually banning them altogether a bit of a knee jerk, severe reaction?

I'd like to see the writer(s) respond with an amendment. Say, you can pick terrain from your own list if you win the initiative roll by three or more (but the other side moves first)...

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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by dave_r » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:11 am

I've probably had a lot more games of V3 than most and I've used armies that I'd love to use Steppe with. They've even had stepps in their terrain choice. I'd say more than 30 games.

How many times have I actually used Steppe?

That would be none. Largely because I've never been able to.
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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by prb4 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:35 am

I've played a lot of V3 games as well.

None of them involved steppes as a terrain choice. However some of them involved very little terrain or what terrain there was pushed into the corners out of the way.
The result is a table that steppe loving armies would be quite happy with, even though steppes wasn't the terrain choice.

It is possible to end up with a table with no terrain on at all.
If woodland is chosen as a terrain choice, why is it not possible to end up with a table entirely covered with trees? Perhaps with a road through the middle of it....
Not sure how this is unbalanced in favour of infantry armies

I agree the new terrain system has reduced the variation in terrain density. Most tables seem to contain similar amounts of terrain.
What I'm not sure of yet is what types of armies it favours. There is always some terrain for MF to hide in, but not enough for an army of entirely MF. The tables aren't as empty as mounted armies would like, but when I play foot armies I never seem to get quite enough terrain against mounted to make me happy.
Overall this suggests the balance is probably about right. Very dense or very sparse tables can only occur when both armies want it.

Peter

P.S. Mongols don't seem to perform well under V3, any chance armoured bow sword cav can be 1 point cheaper and get a free lance too?

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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by prb4 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:39 am

Here's an example of non-steppe terrain that looks like steppe

http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtop ... 47&t=83250

How do mounted armies manage with so much terrain?

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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by dave_r » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:49 am

prb4 wrote:Here's an example of non-steppe terrain that looks like steppe

http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtop ... 47&t=83250

How do mounted armies manage with so much terrain?
That's because neither army wanted any terrain. There were a couple of additional pieces on the right of the table that you can't see. The difference, is that if the infantry army had wanted lot's of terrain, he could have had it and there is nothing the mounted army can do about it apart from to hope to throw sixes.
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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by ChrisTofalos » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:50 am

I agree the new terrain system has reduced the variation in terrain density. Most tables seem to contain similar amounts of terrain.
What I'm not sure of yet is what types of armies it favours. There is always some terrain for MF to hide in, but not enough for an army of entirely MF. The tables aren't as empty as mounted armies would like, but when I play foot armies I never seem to get quite enough terrain against mounted to make me happy.
Overall this suggests the balance is probably about right. Very dense or very sparse tables can only occur when both armies want it.
Fair comment Peter. But then what's the point of listing Steppes at all?

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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by prb4 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:31 pm

That's because neither army wanted any terrain. There were a couple of additional pieces on the right of the table that you can't see. The difference, is that if the infantry army had wanted lot's of terrain, he could have had it and there is nothing the mounted army can do about it apart from to hope to throw sixes.
Indeed, I think that's the point I'm trying to make.

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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by prb4 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:39 pm

Fair comment Peter. But then what's the point of listing Steppes at all?
Perhaps, so that when both armies want steppe it can be chosen?
The same question could be asked of why list Tropical?
Indeed given that 90 % of games take place in agricultural anyway, why not simplify the terrain choices down to just one. Agricultural only.

What I would really like to see is competitions with fixed terrain on the tables, then some can be 90 % covered in woodland, and a hill could be 4 foot long if the organiser wanted...

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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by philqw78 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:31 pm

I believe the terrain choice rules are unnecessary fluff.

Choose 2 to 5 bits, max 2 open, max 2 difficult, max 1 impassable. Roll to get them on.

Look at how many pages I've saved
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Re: A lament for Steppes...

Post by petedalby » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:17 pm

Here's an example of non-steppe terrain that looks like steppe

viewtopic.php?f=47&t=83250

How do mounted armies manage with so much terrain?
Thanks for sharing that Peter - most informative.
Pete

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