Current concerns about FOG2

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: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by JaM2013 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:23 pm

Another great example of using depth was battle of Pharsalus, where Caesar placed fourth line composed of 6 veteran cohorts behind his cavalry so once enemy cavalry charged his cavalry, they got surprised by infantry counterattack and driven off the battlefield - If Labienus knew Caesar has infantry there, he would definitely not commit his entire force for that charge... So with human player will replay that battle, he would never fall into such trap if he can see those units standing there...

but i guess mr Frontinus forgot to read the Bello Civili in detail if he forgot about it :D i think the most probably, he did not mentioned it, because he couldnt imagine having 100% unobscured view of the battlefield is even possible..
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by 76mm » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:28 pm

rbodleyscott wrote: And if you don't believe a real Roman officer, try this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgywD3XJaWU
Cool video, I trust the flaming logs are in the game too? :D

I also recall a battle (or rather near-battle) between Antigonus and Eumenes in which Antigonus sent spies to Eumenes camp with news that he'd been reinforced, and when he deployed for battle he then halved the depth (and doubled the width) of his line, convincing Eumenes that Antigonus had doubled the size of his army, causing Eumenes to withdraw.

I don't have P&S or the Japanese game (don't care for the eras), how do those games handle FoW?
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by JaM2013 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:30 pm

that scene is completely made up, has nothing to do with the last Spartacus battle (besides, there are no accurate depiction of that battle, just few words mentioned 100 years after uprising was destroyed)

it actually was quite inaccurate,for example there were no Velites at that time, all citizens were already allowed to serve as heavy infantry... instead, Romans tend to use auxiliary forces to provide skirmish duties (Cretans, Balearic slingers, Numidian Javelinmen etc)
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:34 pm

JaM2013 wrote:maybe i have used wrong word, but being able to see entire battlefield from bird perspective was not a thing back then either.. My point is more about the fact, that for example at Leuctra, if Spartan King knew Thebans massed 50rank strong force against his royal guard standing in 4 ranks, he would not offer battle but would adjust his deployment accordingly.
Greek hoplite armies simply weren't capable of redeploying in the face of the enemy because of an unexpected enemy deployment.
Similarly, at Ilippa, if Hastrubal and Mago knew immediately that Roman Legions are not where they were deployed for past week, he would do something about it, instead of going into battle..
The whole point of Scipio's strategy was to lull the Carthaginians into complacency, because they "knew" what his deployment would be from the previous days. On the day of the battle Scipio fed and armed his army before daylight then advanced close to the enemy. By the time they realised that his deployment had changed, it was too late for them to do anything about it. (Especially with an army 2/3 of unreliable Spanish allies)
I wouldn't call a 1950 movie to be a proof of anything btw...
Apart from LOS.
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:35 pm

JaM2013 wrote:that scene is completely made up, has nothing to do with the last Spartacus battle (besides, there are no accurate depiction of that battle, just few words mentioned 100 years after uprising was destroyed)

it actually was quite inaccurate,for example there were no Velites at that time, all citizens were already allowed to serve as heavy infantry... instead, Romans tend to use auxiliary forces to provide skirmish duties (Cretans, Balearic slingers, Numidian Javelinmen etc)
You are missing the point. I was not citing it as evidence of Roman formations, merely as evidence of what can be seen.
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by JaM2013 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:40 pm

of course on hilly terrain you should see more.. but on flat terrains you should not see units that are directly behind front lines... thats been my point from beginning.. and Pharsalus is good enough example why it actually was a thing back then, and it practically decided the Civil War for Caesar... who was badly outnumbered in infantry and cavalry, without supplies and cut off from his line of retreat...
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:44 pm

JaM2013 wrote:Another great example of using depth was battle of Pharsalus, where Caesar placed fourth line composed of 6 veteran cohorts behind his cavalry so once enemy cavalry charged his cavalry, they got surprised by infantry counterattack and driven off the battlefield - If Labienus knew Caesar has infantry there, he would definitely not commit his entire force for that charge... So with human player will replay that battle, he would never fall into such trap if he can see those units standing there...

but i guess mr Frontinus forgot to read the Bello Civili in detail if he forgot about it :D i think the most probably, he did not mentioned it, because he couldnt imagine having 100% unobscured view of the battlefield is even possible..
Again you are presupposing this LOS issue:

To quote Caesar's Civil War:

"At the same time, having noticed the arrangements mentioned above, fearing lest his right wing should be surrounded by the multitude of cavalry, he hastily withdrew individual cohorts from the third line and out of these constructed a fourth line, stationing it opposite the cavalry, explaining what his object was and reminding them that the day's victory depended on the valour of these cohorts."


"At the same time the horse on Pompeius' left wing, according to orders, charged in a body, and the whole multitude of archers poured forth. Our cavalry, failing to withstand their attack, gradually quitted their position and retired. Pompeius' cavalry pressed forward all the more eagerly, and deploying by squadrons began to surround our lines on their exposed flank. Caesar, observing it, gave the signal to his fourth line, which he had composed of six cohorts. These advanced rapidly and with colours flying attacked Pompeius' horse with such fury that not one of them stood his ground, and all, wheeling round, not only quitted the position but forthwith in hurried flight made for the highest hills. "

No mention of surprise.

Protecting your flank with reserve infantry when you are deficient in cavalry is hardly an example of genius. Nor does it require concealment.
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by JaM2013 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:48 pm

it was not surprise for Caesar of course... but definitely it was a surprise for Labienus...


here is what Livy wrote about battle of Suessa:

"After some brushes between cavalry scouts the two sides met by mountain near Suessa in the Auruncan country. Manlius commanded the Roman right, Decius the left; the Samnites were on one wing "at the foot of the mountain", probably in rough ground to which their style of fighting was better suited than the Roman. Since the Latins were armed, organized and deployed in the same way as the Romans, a prolonged infantry slogging match resulted. The Roman Hastati were pushed back, and Decius leading the Principes to their support was killed. The Rorarri too were committed, but the Romans were still forced back. Instead of committing Triarii, the orthodox course, Manlius kept these kneeling out of sight in the rear and sent in the unreliable accensi. The Latins unable to see the Triarii believed Accensi were the last Roman reserve and sent their own Triarii. Those broke through the Roman line after a fierce fight,but were surprised by the sudden appearance of the Roman Triarii, who charged the tired,disordered and astounded Latins and routed them at once."
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:51 pm

JaM2013 wrote:of course on hilly terrain you should see more.. but on flat terrains you should not see units that are directly behind front lines... thats been my point from beginning..
And my point is that terrain is seldom completely flat. And that is why is wasn't a "thing".
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by JaM2013 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:56 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
JaM2013 wrote:of course on hilly terrain you should see more.. but on flat terrains you should not see units that are directly behind front lines... thats been my point from beginning..
And my point is that terrain is seldom completely flat. And that is why is wasn't a "thing".
Battles were typically fought in flat terrain. only very seldomly they would be fought in harder terrain, because neither side would accept battle if terrain was not favorable for them. It was very common to leave battlefield and reposition in different place next day to see if enemy accepts the battle... sometimes it took weeks until battle commenced.

practically all phalanx vs phalanx battles were fought on flat plains... Romans were more versatile in this, but again, they had to fight whenever enemy offered a battle to them if they wanted to defeat them
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:00 pm

Moved further down because of crossed posts.
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by JaM2013 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:03 pm

and back to Pharsalus:

3.85 Pompey camped on a hill and deployed his army at its foot. Caesar offered battle further away but would not engage Pompey at the foot of the hill because the terrain was unfavorable to him. On the last day Caesar had decided to pull up camp and leave since Pompey would not offer battle on ground he could accept. The tents had already been struck when Pompey led his army out, this time further from the hill. Since the ground was more favorable now, Caesar led his army out to give battle.

3.92 There was enough space left between the two battlelines for the charge of the two armies (inter duas acies tantum erat relictum spatii, ut satis esset ad concursum utriusque exercitus). One of the unusual features of Pharsalus is described next. Pompey orders his line not to move from their positions (neve se loco moverent). The rationale give is that by so doing the force of the first attack would be lessened, Caesar's line would be disordered, the pila thrown by Caesar's men would have less force if his men held their positions (they would not be running into the oncoming pila) and that Caesar's men would be tired because they had to run twice the usual distance. Caesar comments that he does not agree. There is a natural fire in all men that the general should encourage, hence the traditions of trumpets sounding and the war cry (a very loose translation). The Latin follows:

Sed Pompeius suis praedixerat, ut Caesaris impetum exciperent neve se loco moverent aciemque eius distrahi paterentur; ... ut primus incursus visque militum infringeretur aciesque distenderetur, atque in suis ordinibus dispositi dispersos adorirentur; leviusque casura pila sperabat in loco retentis militibus, quam si ipsi immissis telis occurrissent, simul fore, ut duplicato cursu Caesaris milites exanimarentur et lassitudine conficerentur. Quod nobis quidem nulla ratione factum a Pompeio videtur, propterea quod est quaedam animi incitatio atque alacritas naturaliter innata omnibus, quae studio pugnae incenditur; hanc non reprimere, sed augere imperatores debent; neque frustra antiquitus institutum est, ut signa undique concinerent clamoremque universi tollerent; quibus rebus et hostes terreri et suos incitari existimaverunt.

3.93 This paragraph contains the heart of the battle description. Caesar's men charge but see that Pompey's men are not moving. On their own, based on previous experience, they stopped about midway so that they would not tire themselves out. After a brief rest they renewed the rush, threw their pila and drew their swords, as Caesar had ordered them to do. Pompey's men threw their pila and drew their own swords. At the same time (eodem tempore) Pompey's cavalry attacked from his left, followed by all of his archers. Caesar's horse did not bear up to the charge and gave way a little. Pompey's horse pressed harder and the turmae began to attack Caesar's lines on the flank. Caesar, seeing this, orders the 6 cohorts of the fourth line to attack Pompey's cavalry. None of the cavalry stood up to the attack but the entire force fled to the high mountains. The archers and slingers, being abandoned by the cavalry, were killed. The cohorts then wheeled around Pompey's left flank to attack them in the rear. The Latin text follows:

Sed nostri milites dato signo cum infestis pilis procucurrissent atque animum advertissent non concurri a Pompeianis, usu periti ac superioribus pugnis exercitati sua sponte cursum represserunt et ad medium fere spatium constiterunt, ne consumptis viribus appropinquarent, parvoque intermisso temporis spatio ac rursus renovato cursu pila miserunt celeriterque, ut erat praeceptum a Caesare, gladios strinxerunt. Neque vero Pompeiani huic rei defuerunt. Nam et tela missa exceperunt et impetum legionum tulerunt et ordines suos servarunt pilisque missis ad gladios redierunt. Eodem tempore equites ab sinistro Pompei cornu, ut erat imperatum, universi procucurrerunt, omnisque multitudo sagittariorum se profudit. Quorum impetum noster equitatus non tulit, sed paulatim loco motus cessit, equitesque Pompei hoc acrius instare et se turmatim explicare aciemque nostram a latere aperto circumire coeperunt. Quod ubi Caesar animadvertit, quartae aciei, quam instituerat sex cohortium, dedit signum. Illi celeriter procucurrerunt infestisque signis tanta vi in Pompei equites impetum fecerunt, ut eorum nemo consisteret, omnesque conversi non solum loco excederent, sed protinus incitati fuga montes altissimos peterent. Quibus submotis omnes sagittarii funditoresque destituti inermes sine praesidio interfecti sunt. Eodem impetu cohortes sinistrum cornu pugnantibus etiam tum ac resistentibus in acie Pompeianis circumierunt eosque a tergo sunt adorti.

3.94 At the same time Caesar ordered the third line, which to this point had been quiet, into battle. The fresh troops replace the tired men (succedere: to come after, to go in the place of). Being also attacked from the rear, Pompey's men turn and run. Caesar credits his foresight in withdrawing the 6 cohorts because it was by them that the cavalry was routed, the skirmishers killed and the left side of Pompey's line surrounded and forced to be the first to flee. Seeing this, Pompey himself quits the battlefield and retreats to the camp. The Latin:

Eodem tempore tertiam aciem Caesar, quae quieta fuerat et se ad id tempus loco tenuerat, procurrere iussit. Ita cum recentes atque integri defessis successissent, alii autem a tergo adorirentur, sustinere Pompeiani non potuerunt, atque universi terga verterunt. ...Ab his enim primum equitatus est pulsus, ab isdem factae caedes sagittariorum ac funditorum, ab isdem acies Pornpeiana a sinistra parte circumita atque initium fugae factum.
here is Plutarch account on the battle:

In the life of Caesar Plutarch, said to have followed Caesar's own account for this section, notes the cavalry sizes as 7,000 for Pompey and 1,000 for Caesar and the infantry forces as 45,000 and 22,000 respectively. On the last morning, after Caesar had struck his tents his scouts told him of Pompey's deployment. Caesar marched his legions out for battle. He withdrew the 6 cohorts to the rear and kept them out of sight of the enemy. Pompey concentrated all of his cavalry on the left. Pompey himself was on the right wing (?). Plutarch has Pompey ordering his line to hold fast, saying this time that he was apparently not aware that the running charge lends extra force and is a most important element in kindling the fighting spirit. The story of Crassinus is told again, in much the same terms. As Pompey's cavalry squadrons deploy they are attacked by the 6 cohorts who ran up but did not throw their pila, rather using them to thrust at the cavalrymen's faces. The cohorts then ignored the cavalry and attacked the rear of Pompey's army. Pompey, who was on the other wing of his army, saw the disarray and left the field of battle, his whole army following.

and Frontinus:

Frontinus gives us only two paragraphs on the battle, one describing Pompey's dispositions, the other, Caesar's. However his brief remarks contain several interesting details. He says that Pompey posted 600 cavalry on is right, near the river. He also notes that to supplement his cavalry Caesar sent light infantry who were very fast runners (velocissimos) and were used to fighting with the cavalry (ad morem equestris pugnae exercitatosa). Finally, he notes that the six cohorts were places behind the cavalry and at an angle (et dextro latere conversas in obliquum).
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:05 pm

JaM2013 wrote:
rbodleyscott wrote:
JaM2013 wrote:of course on hilly terrain you should see more.. but on flat terrains you should not see units that are directly behind front lines... thats been my point from beginning..
And my point is that terrain is seldom completely flat. And that is why is wasn't a "thing".
Battles were typically fought in flat terrain. only very seldomly they would be fought in harder terrain, because neither side would accept battle if terrain was not favorable for them. It was very common to leave battlefield and reposition in different place next day to see if enemy accepts the battle... sometimes it took weeks until battle commenced.
Yes, the battles usually took place on flat terrain, but the camps were often on higher ground, so it would be possible to see the enemy's dispositions from that higher ground.

Anyway, I think we have both made our points.

Frontinus does in fact say that the onset of the reserve line at Pharsalus was unexpected.

It probably was possible to conceal troops behind other troops, but only if the ground was completely flat. Most battlefields (if you include the camps) were not perfectly flat, so if we did introduce LOS for blocking units, we would need to place higher ground near the rear of the armies on most battlefield maps, otherwise such stratagems would be used all the time by players, which would not be historical.
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:13 pm

JaM2013 wrote:it was not surprise for Caesar of course... but definitely it was a surprise for Labienus...


here is what Livy wrote about battle of Suessa:

"After some brushes between cavalry scouts the two sides met by mountain near Suessa in the Auruncan country. Manlius commanded the Roman right, Decius the left; the Samnites were on one wing "at the foot of the mountain", probably in rough ground to which their style of fighting was better suited than the Roman. Since the Latins were armed, organized and deployed in the same way as the Romans, a prolonged infantry slogging match resulted. The Roman Hastati were pushed back, and Decius leading the Principes to their support was killed. The Rorarri too were committed, but the Romans were still forced back. Instead of committing Triarii, the orthodox course, Manlius kept these kneeling out of sight in the rear and sent in the unreliable accensi. The Latins unable to see the Triarii believed Accensi were the last Roman reserve and sent their own Triarii. Those broke through the Roman line after a fierce fight,but were surprised by the sudden appearance of the Roman Triarii, who charged the tired,disordered and astounded Latins and routed them at once."
Why did they need to kneel to be out of sight if they would have been out of sight anyway?

I think you have made your case that it was sometimes possible to conceal troops behind other troops, but not that it always or commonly was.

There is a big danger in designing wargames rules to allow rarely-used stratagems if that then allows players to use them in every battle. It would therefore need to be made a rare thing for the terrain to be such as to make such stratagems feasible.
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by JaM2013 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:13 pm

btw, here is Pharsalus map with elevation marked:

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position of camps and battle location:

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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by JaM2013 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:16 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
JaM2013 wrote:it was not surprise for Caesar of course... but definitely it was a surprise for Labienus...


here is what Livy wrote about battle of Suessa:

"After some brushes between cavalry scouts the two sides met by mountain near Suessa in the Auruncan country. Manlius commanded the Roman right, Decius the left; the Samnites were on one wing "at the foot of the mountain", probably in rough ground to which their style of fighting was better suited than the Roman. Since the Latins were armed, organized and deployed in the same way as the Romans, a prolonged infantry slogging match resulted. The Roman Hastati were pushed back, and Decius leading the Principes to their support was killed. The Rorarri too were committed, but the Romans were still forced back. Instead of committing Triarii, the orthodox course, Manlius kept these kneeling out of sight in the rear and sent in the unreliable accensi. The Latins unable to see the Triarii believed Accensi were the last Roman reserve and sent their own Triarii. Those broke through the Roman line after a fierce fight,but were surprised by the sudden appearance of the Roman Triarii, who charged the tired,disordered and astounded Latins and routed them at once."
Why did they need to kneel to be out of sight if they would have been out of sight anyway?

This was to preserve stamina of these troops.. Triarii were older men than Hastati or Principes. It was a common practice with Triarii so they would not have to hold the 7-10kg heavy shield while they are waiting if they will be needed to fight.

but thats a common knowledge, even miniatures are made with Triarii kneeling:

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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:18 pm

JaM2013 wrote:
rbodleyscott wrote:
JaM2013 wrote:it was not surprise for Caesar of course... but definitely it was a surprise for Labienus...


here is what Livy wrote about battle of Suessa:

"After some brushes between cavalry scouts the two sides met by mountain near Suessa in the Auruncan country. Manlius commanded the Roman right, Decius the left; the Samnites were on one wing "at the foot of the mountain", probably in rough ground to which their style of fighting was better suited than the Roman. Since the Latins were armed, organized and deployed in the same way as the Romans, a prolonged infantry slogging match resulted. The Roman Hastati were pushed back, and Decius leading the Principes to their support was killed. The Rorarri too were committed, but the Romans were still forced back. Instead of committing Triarii, the orthodox course, Manlius kept these kneeling out of sight in the rear and sent in the unreliable accensi. The Latins unable to see the Triarii believed Accensi were the last Roman reserve and sent their own Triarii. Those broke through the Roman line after a fierce fight,but were surprised by the sudden appearance of the Roman Triarii, who charged the tired,disordered and astounded Latins and routed them at once."
Why did they need to kneel to be out of sight if they would have been out of sight anyway?

This was to preserve stamina of these troops.. Triarii were older men than Hastati or Principes. It was a common practice with Triarii so they would not have to hold the 7-10kg heavy shield while they are waiting if they will be needed to fight.
As an older man myself, if I was to kneel for any length of time I would not be able to do much when I got up again,
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by JaM2013 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:25 pm

Triarii were not too old.. maximum age was 46 if I recall right. so these were 35-46 old men typically, mostly those who would want to get into some lower offices, as Roman citizen was only allowed to take a public office if he served his 10 years in Legion. Therefore anybody who did not serve whole 10 between his 17-35 age, would do that as Triarii. it was also one of the reasons why they were not even sent into combat that often, while sometimes completely left guarding camps, like for example at Cannae.. which contradicts the usual view of them to be Elite force - at Cannae Romans tended to break Hannibal with the best they have, yet they left Triarii home... if anything, Principes were more prominent units, as these were experienced men in prime strength. After all, word Princeps (first citizen) was later used as a title for Emperor, and eventually it evolved into word Prince...

I'd say, Triarii were reservists, not the elite. But im not saying they were useless.. after all, even today reservist units sometimes beat young soldiers in combat exercises, like tank shooting excercises US Army does each year..

btw, im 40
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Re: Current concerns about FOG2

Post by IainMcNeil » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:34 pm

The point is here the game mechanics are designed to cover normal battle situations. They are not designed to allow for the oddities of battle and the strange occurrences that may have happened in one or two special cases. If you try and model them you end up with a very unrealistic portrayal of normal battles. Many games have fallen in to this trap and tried to simulate special weapons or effects. You end up with flaming pigs or scythed chariots being overpowered, or super power Aztec armies because they used multiple weapons.

The mechanics are design top down to achieve realistic results and do not attempt to replicate these oddities, but instead we add a random element to combat resolution. This is where all those unforseen things are happening. The rabbit holes that broke a cavalry charge, the heroic stand of one officer rallying his men. You cant model those things and you represent them by an abstraction and a random element.

Anyway I'm closing this thread as its run its course.

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