Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
redrum68
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Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by redrum68 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:00 pm

Particularly in MP, is there anything to encourage players to move towards the enemy side if they have beneficial terrain on their side of the map? I just played the first round in the tournament and in both games my enemy mostly sat on their side of the map in beneficial terrain waiting for me to attack and then trying to outflank me as I have lots of space behind and beside my troops. This allowed them to use rough terrain and some forests to their benefit which ultimately led to my demise. Currently, is there any scoring or mechanism to drive players to have to attack each other? Otherwise I guess I would have been better off sitting on my side of the map and waiting for him as well to pull him away from the beneficial terrain. Wondering if this eventually leads to stalemates.

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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by w_michael » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:15 pm

Tournament scoring systems should treat a stalemate (i.e. timed out game) as a loss for both sides. He can sit on the hill for a guaranteed loss, or take calculated risks for a victory. I've played in miniatures tournaments where my opponent said that he was playing for time to win on score, but changed his mind when I pointed out that an incomplete game was scored as a loss for each of us.
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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by MikeC_81 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:18 pm

None other than the fact that if no one makes a move, yoi both get 0 points. If its clear that he has entrenched himself and has no intention to move, i would just send a polite message informing him you have no intention of suiciding your army and the consequences of not coming out is that you both lose.
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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by ianiow » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:23 pm

When my opponent decides to camp his army in terrain I look for the weakest section of his line (ideally a flank section) and attack it with more or less my whole army.

If he wants to leave two thirds of his army doing nothing but guarding terrain then he will lose. His only option is to bring his troops out of the terrain to help his outnumbered flank but by this time he might be too late and of course his troops will no longer be in their good defensive position.

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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by TheGrayMouser » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:29 pm

I generally find myself attacking in this situation too, much to my detriment. However, its something you cannot do anything about. Its probably the biggest thing that drives me away from tournaments etc where some are perhaps too concerned about their scores for posterity instead of seeking to play to win instead of playing to "not lose". Some but not all tournaments etc count a "draw" as pointing higher than a loss which IMHO encourages such play. Your mileage may vary.

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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by redrum68 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:11 am

Interesting. So this does seem to be a general problem then. There are lots of different solutions to this problem as well. The fact of both players getting 0 points is pretty lame as that just means whoever is "the bigger man" will most likely attack into an unfavorable situation. The game mechanics themselves should address that not tournament scoring pressuring players not to draw. I would think having some sort of system that gives players incentives to move their units onto the enemies starting half of the map would eliminate this.

Ideas:

1. Always have an attacker/defender. I think this would be pretty historical as usually one side was attacking the other not just neutral armies fighting for the heck of it. The defender would win in draw situations so that attacker is forced to advance. You could give the attacker a small force points bonus or just the better unit list in tournaments.

2. Some sort of score for each unit on the enemies starting side per turn and this is used for tie breaker in draw situations.

3. Penalize units that are on their starting half of the map and not adjacent or engaged with an enemy unit for X number of turns. Essentially make it so players have to move to the opposite side or their army loses morale.

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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by Bombax » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:15 am

I had a kind of turbo-charged version of this behaviour recently, where my opponent stationed his whole army across a ford on one map edge - protected down most of the battlefield's edge by an otherwise impassable river. To add insult to injury, he put them in a wood on a hill. He expected me to (a) move my whole army up to his baseline, (b) shuffle it across to the river, (c) cross the ford one unit at a time, (d) attempt to rout him out of his forest and off his hill, while (e) he fired at me or charged downhill at me. After a few moves I conceded the game out of sheer boredom. And this was a FRIENDLY game, not a tournament game! :roll:

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Last edited by Bombax on Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by MikeC_81 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:36 am

redrum68 wrote:Interesting. So this does seem to be a general problem then. There are lots of different solutions to this problem as well. The fact of both players getting 0 points is pretty lame as that just means whoever is "the bigger man" will most likely attack into an unfavorable situation. The game mechanics themselves should address that not tournament scoring pressuring players not to draw. I would think having some sort of system that gives players incentives to move their units onto the enemies starting half of the map would eliminate this.
Actually this is rarely an issue. It is rare that a position is so impenetrable that there isn't a weak spot that you can get through especially since the turtler has next to no freedom of movement or he gives up that position by virtue of moving. Most of the time offending terrain is the blame and good knowledge of game mechanics can allow you to find and open up weak spots.

Since the game launched I have only ever been in 2 stalled situations.

In a player run round robin tournament, I had a game where a difficult stream cut across the entire map exactly at the mid point and both sides commanded heavy foot armies. Both sides started stringing out the armies until my opponent mis-deployed and had to vacate a section of the creek and I rammed skirmishers and foot across the gap while entering the creek myself to ZoC my opponents out of closing the breach. Ended up with a total victory, just took some time.

Currently in the middle of another stall where the middle of the map had a 300 height difficult slope mountain next to a big marsh in the middle, and a gentile ridge right next to the marsh. My opponent basically put pikes on top of that ridge and didn't budge with Lancers in support . Its taken 12 turns or so but I have finally managed to squeeze out a position and gotten troops into action on reasonably favourable terms while ZoCing counterplay paths and making it difficult to get support to the units he has in trouble. To be fair my opponent didn't have a lot of good options either since there was a chain of defensible hills on my side too.

Key is to be patient and tease out weak points slowly and methodically. Learn the ZoC rules and put the passive player in difficult spots where if they try to interrupt you while you move your army to take apart his weak points, he has to attack and vacate his strong positions to do so.
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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by jomni » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:50 am

All these are realistic and smart behaviours in my books. Just need to be creative. Don’t care about points and winning so much.

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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by redrum68 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:42 am

How is it realistic and smart for 2 opposing forces to sit and stare at each other? In history, there would have been an attacking force which would have advanced towards the defender even if they chose to sit in the more favorable terrain.

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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by jomni » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:57 am

redrum68 wrote:How is it realistic and smart for 2 opposing forces to sit and stare at each other? In history, there would have been an attacking force which would have advanced towards the defender even if they chose to sit in the more favorable terrain.
2nd Battle of Kawanakajima. Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen stared at each other and waited for someone to make the first move. They both withdrew in the end.

Attacker smartly attack if they have numbers against a smaller army in defensible terrain. Then that is the Attack / Defence scenario type and not Open Battle. If armies are equal, it is not smart to attack right?

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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by redrum68 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:29 am

Right but I would argue that in that case Takeda's forces "won" the battle as he and his allies held the Asahiyama fortress and I'd consider him the defender in that case.

There are many historic battles where smaller armies attack larger armies for various reasons.

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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by keyth » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:38 am

I'm on the fence on this one. I'm generally of the 'March or Die!' persuasion (or march and die in my case) and will attack in most cases, but I can't blame someone for holdong tight in superior terrain if the random map gifts it to them. This is especially true for some army lists that will pretty much get crucified in the open. One can choose to surrender freedom of movement and initiative to the enemy in return for a strong defensive position, with the various risks entailed therein.
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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by shawkhan2 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:25 pm

This issue simply reflects human psychology. There were aggressive and passive generals throughout history after all.
In the game there are aggressive and passive players. Two aggressive players can have a great time bashing each other, two passive players can be an exercise in patience/boredom.
People sometimes forget that this is a game and the main objective of a game is to have Fun, not simply to win.
As in other human activities( :) ), it sometimes takes two willing participants to have fun.

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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by MikeC_81 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:45 pm

Really the problem isn't that big of an issue. Rare is thr circumstance so extreme that you can't make any headway of any sort. The key is to not simply accept the battle solely on the passive player's terms and suicide. Find a weak point and carefully mass your units against it while closing off any paths that give counter play.

If he moves to respond, you got him off the terrain. If he doesn't, destroy the weak part of his army and move on to the next position.

If its an extreme example where his entire army is clustered on some super hill with difficult slopes on all sides then just let him know that the game will stall out.

By the same token though, if its something like a medium foot army vs a heavy foot army and you just sit your army in open terrain, you are arguably committing the same sin. In extreme asymmetric matchups, both sides have to be willing to play ball.
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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by Nijis » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:56 pm

Historically, I think armies would use skirmishers and (less frequently) artillery bombardment to goad the enemy into an advance. This was in fact one of the main uses of missile units.

Maybe, if no units rout during a complete player1/player2 turn, then the side than received the most casualties takes a 1% hit to their rout level? It would be cumulative, but probably not large enough to be decisive unless the skirmishing goes on for 10 turns or more.

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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by Patrick Ward » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:11 pm

redrum68 wrote:How is it realistic and smart for 2 opposing forces to sit and stare at each other? In history, there would have been an attacking force which would have advanced towards the defender even if they chose to sit in the more favorable terrain.
Erm no. I think you'll find that in Ancient history people generally didn't like dying and they would often stand there for hours (sometimes days) before someone worked up the courage to attack.

There's an extreme example of Roman army that went out and formed up in front of the enemy four days in a row, with neither side attacking. Then on the fifth day, the Romans deployed in a totally different formation, surprising their opponents, and then attacked. (hopefully someone can help with the name of this battle)
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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by julianbarker » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:19 pm

This is not unusual. Many ancient battles followed days of standing in front of one another. The example above is probably this -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Ilipa

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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by Hendricus » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:58 pm

w_michael wrote:Tournament scoring systems should treat a stalemate (i.e. timed out game) as a loss for both sides. He can sit on the hill for a guaranteed loss, or take calculated risks for a victory. I've played in miniatures tournaments where my opponent said that he was playing for time to win on score, but changed his mind when I pointed out that an incomplete game was scored as a loss for each of us.
That are two different things. Armies staring at each other can play their turns very fast, 24 turns hitting the end turn button is not that time consuming. The other thing is stalling the battle by taking long times between moves. Two totally different problems. Sometimes the calculation of risks have defeat as a result, ever thought of that ? Did you read the Ilipa comment. After days staring at each other the line up was different the next day. Seems historic proof to me of staring down at each other did happen. It's boring for a game to simulate. Imagine the top 10 staring contests, set up the armies, move the turn marker 24 times and done, set up the next armies and again it's the turm marker doing the job. Ten very boring battles, so back to the question, anything to encourage agression ?

He, the enemy on the hill can ask the same, can he encourage you to attack that hill ? In history defenders on hills came under attack too. You may use your calculator but please attack my defended hill he asks, how can you be encouraged to do that ?

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Re: Anything To Encourage Aggression?

Post by GiveWarAchance » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:44 am

It happened a lot historically. I read that it was the dread of massive casualties that caused armies on both sides to camp on hills, in forests and behind rivers for days in fear of battle and sometimes never did do battle at all like the Uesugi vs Takeda example mentioned above. Sometimes savvy generals would change their army deployment after many days to optimize what units would be facing each other and suddenly attacked to surprise the enemy.

In my MP games, all but one of my opponents camped in favorable terrain & waited for me to attack. The worst case was a player squeezed his army into the top right corner of the map in some kind of epic camp out and literally waited for me to move all my units over the whole map over many turns. :? When I finally attacked, my troops melted as he tore through them with ease and he even sent me gleeful messages of his success. My whole army routed in about 3 turns lol. I fear that game only reinforced that player's proclivity to hiding in the corner. :cry:

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