3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
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Re: 3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by Jagger2002 » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:09 pm

The first time it was used against me, it felt wrong and aggravated me. Soon I realized the tactic was becoming common and I joined the bandwagon. Now, I just see it as a normal and expected part of the game. Doesn't bother me anymore.

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Re: 3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by choppinlt » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:29 pm

From what i have read fall back blocking is NOT intended to work in FOG2, but RBS has been reluctant in the past to change it due to potential unintended consequences. The TT version of FOG has no fall back blocking...in fact it is penalized. It's penalized in other TT ancients rules as well. RBS appears to have been giving this some thought based on his post above, and I think it's a great solution to beta test and see.

I have done a lot of TT gaming, but I found rule lawyering to be exhausting and reduce overall enjoyment... The beauty of FOG2 is the TT feel without worrying about rule lawyering. If you can do it, then you can do it! Since fall back blocking is NOT intended to be a thing, then I am all for closing the loop hole since many agree this is a gamey tactic. OTOH, if fall back blocking is deemed to be an intentional representation of circumstances in the game, then game-on and block away! :twisted:

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Re: 3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by nyczar » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:24 pm

ahuyton wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:39 am
I do not really understand why it needs changing. It is annoying of course when opponents find ways to get an advantage, but that is the nature of a game and I think it is perfectly possible to rationalise what happens. Also I think that there are armies that need this tactic in order to have a chance.

If I did play again against my friendly old adversary, Nyczar, I would be very happy to have a gentleman's agreement not to indulge in such tactics. But I hope we don't have more layers of ifs and buts with an amendment to the system.
Addressing Fall Back Blocking (FBB) is a game design issue that is right and ripe to be tackled. Still, I know this is a coding issue where budget may be tight given the reality of Covid-19.

With this and all the thoughts I have read in mind, I have been thinking a lot on this of course after I made my initial post. I appreciate all the commentary. First time I made a post that got a lot of attention. Its an honor.

One thing I have been mulling is how would it work if it was not game code but a gentleman's agreement that addressed the issue of FBB? When I did my thinking, it indeed got complicated because there are a lot of ifs and buts as ahuyton says. This cant be avoided and it is hard to untangle.

For me, blocking infantry with any unit does make sense to allow. However, it is the blocking of cav from doing its normal behavior that i would say is not. No blocking without an adverse risk (CT) of a cav spear, lance, bow or LH with any other unit from doing a fall back. Things that happen, like skirmishers evading and blocking a fall back--- so be it, it is RNG.

I dont have any remorse if a game deign fix means that some cav list are nerfed to behave the way the designers intended. We should not cheer the use of cheesy play. I anticipate that any cav list that is nerffed would only be so if played for an anachronistic match up. For geographically accurate match ups I anticipate the list would do well despite a change in the fall back code. Hence the concern probably only applies for tournament play that involves anachronistic matches (like the Digital League). As it stands now there are many infantry list that are never or seldom played because they cant compete effectively in an anachronistic forum. Fine if some cav lists are never or seldom played as well. Community will decide. Fine. I bet plenty of us will still get bloodied and pierced by bow lancers.

On the issue of Cav being ZOC locked by infantry. Similar to the cadence fix to the number of fall backs that was implemented some time ago, I would suggest that a cav unit that is ZOC locked by an infantry unit have a random chance of falling back three squares rather than two and that this random chance increases the more times the same Cav and Inf unit impact. ie, the cav unit is granted more surface area to change the relationship of the battlefield situation. Or just make cav fall back three squares (along with the right diagonal equivalent).

The art of a cav list command is figuring out how to be effective given the threat that they might fall under an infantry unit's influence. It should not be the art of calibrating a FBB. I believe this community can determine how to make the majority of all list types playable in anachronistic tournament play without relying on a code of ethics. In a competitive setting, I dont think self regulation will work. Competitive play i know is what has kept my interest up (and wallet open) these 24 plus months. we need to struggle through a fix to address fall back blocking in as best a way as we can. It is clear that a solution to FBB will need to be a balance of (conflicting) game mechanics and opinions. There is passion on this issues; my post definitely hit a chord of chat history. The game has been well managed in its changes and some changes in these mechanics needs to be done. Incremental is fine with me. Lets stop the manipulation of 2 or more light cav to lock in heavy units as issue #1.
Last edited by nyczar on Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: 3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by nyczar » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:35 pm

Jagger2002 wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:09 pm
The first time it was used against me, it felt wrong and aggravated me. Soon I realized the tactic was becoming common and I joined the bandwagon. Now, I just see it as a normal and expected part of the game. Doesn't bother me anymore.

I do it as well because I must to play competitively. That I have accepted the tactic up to now doesn't make it less wrong the first time I saw it or more right because I have jump on the bandwagon too. We settled because we love this game. Because we love this game we need to get this fixed.

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Re: 3218 hours in am my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by Schweetness101 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:58 pm

SLancaster wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:32 am
Yes, in 1) you could just have a cohesion check if a friendly unit blocks your fallback and not enemy javelin cav, etc.
+1

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Re: 3218 hours in am my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by rbodleyscott » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:05 pm

Schweetness101 wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:58 pm
SLancaster wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:32 am
Yes, in 1) you could just have a cohesion check if a friendly unit blocks your fallback and not enemy javelin cav, etc.
+1
Hard to justify the logic though.
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Re: 3218 hours in am my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by Schweetness101 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:35 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:05 pm
Schweetness101 wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:58 pm
SLancaster wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:32 am
Yes, in 1) you could just have a cohesion check if a friendly unit blocks your fallback and not enemy javelin cav, etc.
+1
Hard to justify the logic though.
yes, it would be, but I guess you'd just have to weigh the negative impact of permitting blocked fallbacks of your own units without consequence, against the negative impact of having a kind of illogical but effective rule punishing it.

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Re: 3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by DanZanzibar » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:41 pm

I'd like to reiterate my suggestion as when I wrote it the first time I had an unhappy baby on my lap and it came out less coherent than I would have liked.

If lights are blocking a fallback or a pushback:
- Friendly lights will evade even if they have already evaded this turn.
- Enemy lights will test to see if they evade as if they were being charged by the unit falling back. I'm not sure if it would be necessary to allow enemy lights to evade if they have already evaded this turn... probably not.
- If lights are still blocking (due to not evading or being engaged) then blocked fallback penalties apply.

If friendly or enemy non-lights are blocking a fallback/pushback:
-Blocked fallback penalties apply

Blocked fallback penalties - mounted:
-CT is taken. This is the same CT roll as combat would use. I would also suggest that the CT should be in the CC group, i.e. they can't stack with other combat drops.
- A -1 modifier is applied for blocked fallback.

Blocked fallback/pushback penalties - foot:
(I need this confirmed but I believe the only time foot ever fallbacks or is pushed back is after losing CC. The following is predicated on this assumption.)
-When losing CC leading to a fallback or pushback, a -1 modifier is applied for blocked fallback/pushback on the ensuing CT.


I think this is fairly simple and does cover all possibilities (please point out any holes). All a player really needs to understand is that non-lights blocking a possible fallback or pushback is bad and will cause a CT or make the CT that is happening worse. ... and enemy lights, while not being as sever, can also potentially be bad to have behind your troops. As well, the overall penalties for blocking a fallback are not extremely sever. If a player really needed to they can still block a cav in to stick when charging (but it requires a non-light now, no lights) but they are taking a risk.

I have left out the logical justifications for any given point as I think most are fairly self evident, but if you are wondering about any of them I can explain. For now I want this to be short and clear.

RBS - I'm really curious to see what you think.

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Re: 3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by rbodleyscott » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:56 pm

DanZanzibar wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:41 pm
I'd like to reiterate my suggestion as when I wrote it the first time I had an unhappy baby on my lap and it came out less coherent than I would have liked.

If lights are blocking a fallback or a pushback:
- Friendly lights will evade even if they have already evaded this turn.
- Enemy lights will test to see if they evade as if they were being charged by the unit falling back. I'm not sure if it would be necessary to allow enemy lights to evade if they have already evaded this turn... probably not.
- If lights are still blocking (due to not evading or being engaged) then blocked fallback penalties apply.

If friendly or enemy non-lights are blocking a fallback/pushback:
-Blocked fallback penalties apply

Blocked fallback penalties - mounted:
-CT is taken. This is the same CT roll as combat would use. I would also suggest that the CT should be in the CC group, i.e. they can't stack with other combat drops.
- A -1 modifier is applied for blocked fallback.

Blocked fallback/pushback penalties - foot:
(I need this confirmed but I believe the only time foot ever fallbacks or is pushed back is after losing CC. The following is predicated on this assumption.)
-When losing CC leading to a fallback or pushback, a -1 modifier is applied for blocked fallback/pushback on the ensuing CT.


I think this is fairly simple and does cover all possibilities (please point out any holes). All a player really needs to understand is that non-lights blocking a possible fallback or pushback is bad and will cause a CT or make the CT that is happening worse. ... and enemy lights, while not being as sever, can also potentially be bad to have behind your troops. As well, the overall penalties for blocking a fallback are not extremely sever. If a player really needed to they can still block a cav in to stick when charging (but it requires a non-light now, no lights) but they are taking a risk.

I have left out the logical justifications for any given point as I think most are fairly self evident, but if you are wondering about any of them I can explain. For now I want this to be short and clear.

RBS - I'm really curious to see what you think.
Well if that is simple, I would hate to see complicated!

Implementation would not be simple, but no doubt could be done. I will take it under consideration.
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Re: 3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by DanZanzibar » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:07 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:56 pm
DanZanzibar wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:41 pm
I'd like to reiterate my suggestion as when I wrote it the first time I had an unhappy baby on my lap and it came out less coherent than I would have liked.

If lights are blocking a fallback or a pushback:
- Friendly lights will evade even if they have already evaded this turn.
- Enemy lights will test to see if they evade as if they were being charged by the unit falling back. I'm not sure if it would be necessary to allow enemy lights to evade if they have already evaded this turn... probably not.
- If lights are still blocking (due to not evading or being engaged) then blocked fallback penalties apply.

If friendly or enemy non-lights are blocking a fallback/pushback:
-Blocked fallback penalties apply

Blocked fallback penalties - mounted:
-CT is taken. This is the same CT roll as combat would use. I would also suggest that the CT should be in the CC group, i.e. they can't stack with other combat drops.
- A -1 modifier is applied for blocked fallback.

Blocked fallback/pushback penalties - foot:
(I need this confirmed but I believe the only time foot ever fallbacks or is pushed back is after losing CC. The following is predicated on this assumption.)
-When losing CC leading to a fallback or pushback, a -1 modifier is applied for blocked fallback/pushback on the ensuing CT.


I think this is fairly simple and does cover all possibilities (please point out any holes). All a player really needs to understand is that non-lights blocking a possible fallback or pushback is bad and will cause a CT or make the CT that is happening worse. ... and enemy lights, while not being as sever, can also potentially be bad to have behind your troops. As well, the overall penalties for blocking a fallback are not extremely sever. If a player really needed to they can still block a cav in to stick when charging (but it requires a non-light now, no lights) but they are taking a risk.

I have left out the logical justifications for any given point as I think most are fairly self evident, but if you are wondering about any of them I can explain. For now I want this to be short and clear.

RBS - I'm really curious to see what you think.
Well if that is simple, I would hate to see complicated!

Implementation would not be simple, but no doubt could be done. I will take it under consideration.
Haha well the rules aren't really that simple and I can see how the implementation wouldn't be either but I think it plays out fairly simply for the player. Thanks for taking a look!

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Re: 3218 hours in am my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by MikeC_81 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:59 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:05 pm
Schweetness101 wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:58 pm
SLancaster wrote:
Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:32 am
Yes, in 1) you could just have a cohesion check if a friendly unit blocks your fallback and not enemy javelin cav, etc.
+1
Hard to justify the logic though.
Would you be willing to implement a "fall back in place" only when the unit is the aggressor? The primary issue right now is the abuse of fall back blocking is the "cheap" way it is being used to strip ZoCs off of powerful units that otherwise would still have them if the fallbacks took place. If we can get a targetted mechanics fix just on this specific circumstance, and you are willing to live with the incongruence of different behaviour in attacking vs defending, which already exists under some conditions (ie Foot charging lancers vs receiving the charge), then we can deal with the worst part of the problem and you can probably remove the very clunky "units don't turn vs skirmishers if stuck in combat" rule you recently implemented. Being locked into melee can still occur but only if the person charges into a unit that doesn't have a fallback square and thus that is a choice left to the player who initiated the action and the consequences are left to that player to bear.

This would allow us to avoid the Lancer vs Foot problem (they would now be stuck in melee if blocked while charged by infantry) while at the same time remove the worst exploitative use of this mechanic.
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Re: 3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by TheGrayMouser » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:52 pm

Wouldn’t the simplest solution be to disallow the ability to partially move a unit, then activate another for a partial move, then back to the first? Is there really a need for this feature other than mini-maxing every AP available?

Or, just change the break off rules so 1 melee must be fought before a break can happen. Less need for blocking and would make lancer armies more interesting.

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Re: 3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by PDiFolco » Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:08 pm

I think it's cheesy
Skirms should be pushed back as well, and not block any unit from falling back.
Non skirms blockers should get a CT, and the blocked unit another as well.

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Re: 3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by MikeC_81 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:17 am

TheGrayMouser wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:52 pm
Wouldn’t the simplest solution be to disallow the ability to partially move a unit, then activate another for a partial move, then back to the first? Is there really a need for this feature other than mini-maxing every AP available?


Or, just change the break off rules so 1 melee must be fought before a break can happen. Less need for blocking and would make lancer armies more interesting.
I don't see how that fixes the problem. It just means that the setup needs to be sequenced properly (which players will learn how to do anyways) or takes an extra turn to setup. This phenomenon is part of the reason why the game still tilts its favour towards swarm armies and punishes elites.
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Re: 3218 hours in am my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:56 am

MikeC_81 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:59 pm
rbodleyscott wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:05 pm
Schweetness101 wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:58 pm


+1
Hard to justify the logic though.
Would you be willing to implement a "fall back in place" only when the unit is the aggressor? The primary issue right now is the abuse of fall back blocking is the "cheap" way it is being used to strip ZoCs off of powerful units that otherwise would still have them if the fallbacks took place. If we can get a targetted mechanics fix just on this specific circumstance, and you are willing to live with the incongruence of different behaviour in attacking vs defending, which already exists under some conditions (ie Foot charging lancers vs receiving the charge), then we can deal with the worst part of the problem and you can probably remove the very clunky "units don't turn vs skirmishers if stuck in combat" rule you recently implemented. Being locked into melee can still occur but only if the person charges into a unit that doesn't have a fallback square and thus that is a choice left to the player who initiated the action and the consequences are left to that player to bear.

This would allow us to avoid the Lancer vs Foot problem (they would now be stuck in melee if blocked while charged by infantry) while at the same time remove the worst exploitative use of this mechanic.
Interesting idea.

Can anyone see any flaws with this? It appears to fix the "block your own unit's recoil" exploits, which are definitely gamey. It does not prevent blocking enemy recoils but that is arguably a more historically plausible "tactic".
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Re: 3218 hours in am my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by kronenblatt » Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:42 am

rbodleyscott wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:56 am
MikeC_81 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:59 pm
rbodleyscott wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:05 pm


Hard to justify the logic though.
Would you be willing to implement a "fall back in place" only when the unit is the aggressor? The primary issue right now is the abuse of fall back blocking is the "cheap" way it is being used to strip ZoCs off of powerful units that otherwise would still have them if the fallbacks took place. If we can get a targetted mechanics fix just on this specific circumstance, and you are willing to live with the incongruence of different behaviour in attacking vs defending, which already exists under some conditions (ie Foot charging lancers vs receiving the charge), then we can deal with the worst part of the problem and you can probably remove the very clunky "units don't turn vs skirmishers if stuck in combat" rule you recently implemented. Being locked into melee can still occur but only if the person charges into a unit that doesn't have a fallback square and thus that is a choice left to the player who initiated the action and the consequences are left to that player to bear.

This would allow us to avoid the Lancer vs Foot problem (they would now be stuck in melee if blocked while charged by infantry) while at the same time remove the worst exploitative use of this mechanic.
Interesting idea.

Can anyone see any flaws with this? It appears to fix the "block your own unit's recoil" exploits, which are definitely gamey. It does not prevent blocking enemy recoils but that is arguably a more historically plausible "tactic".
Would that also include a CT on the aggressor unit falling back in place?
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Re: 3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by Nosy_Rat » Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:50 am

I'd like to point out that right now fall back blocking is the only way for cavalry to reliably engage infantry, either to get a flanking attack or to break through the ZoC. While this "tactic" itself is indeed strange and should be removed, doing so without other rework of cavalry vs infantry interactions imo would shift the balance even further towards infantry-based armies (it would be interesting to hear Richard's thoughts on this matter with regards to him playing German Horse Tribes in DL).

For example, with fall back blocking removed, line of defensive spearmen set 2 tiles apart from each other while looking like a net full of holes would become a literally impassable obstacle to any amount of cavalry.

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Re: 3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:14 am

Nosy_Rat wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:50 am
I'd like to point out that right now fall back blocking is the only way for cavalry to reliably engage infantry, either to get a flanking attack or to break through the ZoC. While this "tactic" itself is indeed strange and should be removed, doing so without other rework of cavalry vs infantry interactions imo would shift the balance even further towards infantry-based armies (it would be interesting to hear Richard's thoughts on this matter with regards to him playing German Horse Tribes in DL).

For example, with fall back blocking removed, line of defensive spearmen set 2 tiles apart from each other while looking like a net full of holes would become a literally impassable obstacle to any amount of cavalry.
Agreed. Cavalry armies would need somewthing to compensate for removing this exploit. The question is what?
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Re: 3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:15 am

Nosy_Rat wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:50 am
I'd like to point out that right now fall back blocking is the only way for cavalry to reliably engage infantry, either to get a flanking attack or to break through the ZoC. While this "tactic" itself is indeed strange and should be removed, doing so without other rework of cavalry vs infantry interactions imo would shift the balance even further towards infantry-based armies (it would be interesting to hear Richard's thoughts on this matter with regards to him playing German Horse Tribes in DL).

For example, with fall back blocking removed, line of defensive spearmen set 2 tiles apart from each other while looking like a net full of holes would become a literally impassable obstacle to any amount of cavalry.
Agreed. Cavalry armies would need something to compensate for removing this exploit. The question is what?
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Re: 3218 hours in and my first real game gripe- fall back blocking

Post by TheGrayMouser » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:34 am

rbodleyscott wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:15 am
Nosy_Rat wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:50 am
I'd like to point out that right now fall back blocking is the only way for cavalry to reliably engage infantry, either to get a flanking attack or to break through the ZoC. While this "tactic" itself is indeed strange and should be removed, doing so without other rework of cavalry vs infantry interactions imo would shift the balance even further towards infantry-based armies (it would be interesting to hear Richard's thoughts on this matter with regards to him playing German Horse Tribes in DL).

For example, with fall back blocking removed, line of defensive spearmen set 2 tiles apart from each other while looking like a net full of holes would become a literally impassable obstacle to any amount of cavalry.
Agreed. Cavalry armies would need something to compensate for removing this exploit. The question is what?
...I just posted a possible fix for this above...Have break offs happen not immediately after impact but after one melee. If that is deemed to harsh, have the first potential break off trigger to be right after the player hits end turn . Three units held up by one unit because the potential bounce off of all three in impact is annoying and defies the notion that the charges are not sequential, even though it appears that way do to this being a turned base game.

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