Historically inaccurate, doesn't reward good tactics,defence

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Dunadd
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Historically inaccurate, doesn't reward good tactics,defence

Post by Dunadd » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:44 pm

This game is hopelessly historically inaccurate, does not reward good tactics and does not allow defensive tactics.

I downloaded it, looking forward to playing 7th edition style battles on my pc. I tried the battle of the Metaurus as Carthaginians and found that Roman heavy cavalry can rout elephants (is there even one historical example of this?) and Libyan spearmen when charging them to the front. That's ludicrous.

On top of that troops with enemy to their front must attack them every turn, no matter how disadvantageous it is to do so - and must follow up if they rout the enemy. That means that fighting defensively where you're outnumbered or outclassed in that part of the battlefield is impossible.

Skirmishers get only one single volley of javelins, after which their only possible attack is to melee - that's seriously historically inaccurate and makes them largely worthless.

It's frequently impossible to turn to face or charge units you've completely outflanked, even when they're engaged to the front already.

Overall downloading this game was the worst £20 i ever spent.

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Post by JayRaider » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:34 pm

I was gonna spend the time to reply but you seem to have made up your mind.

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Post by Malty666 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:36 pm

WOW you really can't please everyone all the time :shock:

I'll try to answer some of your points without getting into an argument about the game (which I happen to really like and enjoy).

The combat system is a 'rock/paper/scissor' type which provides advantages and disadvantages according to historical results. While cavalry can attack elephants they are disadvantaged by doing so. But as the system (like just about any other wargame system out there) uses dice and thus has an element of randomness, so things outside the norm will happen (just as the laws of probability say they will). So while cavalry CAN rout elephants - it is quite uncommon and if you play a few dozen games you will see this is so.

As regards troops being 'forced' to attack enemies to their front even when they are going to lose, then what else are they supposed to do? Rout immediately? Perhaps. Make daisy chains and sing a lullaby hoping the enemy falls asleep? Unlikely. The enemy is obviously NOT going to stop attacking so they have to defend themselves. And the combat is simultaneous, remember, so just because it's your turn to click on the sword icon, the battle actually represents both sides in a swirling melee. If you let disadvantaged troops get engaged by far superior troops then your deployment or maneuver was wrong - not the game mechanics.

Regarding the automatic follow ups - there is considerable historic evidence of this. Most troops pursue enemies that are running from them - it's how you get loot and cause the most casualties. Otherwise the enemy tends to rally and come back for some more. If you saw your enemy turn tail and run, you would want to hack him down before he recovered his fighting spirit and took another swing at you.

Skirmishers get limitless volleys. You must be using them wrong.

Outflanking with undrilled units - who must spend a move to change face - requires a bit of planning. You need to spend more than one turn maneuvering them into position - hence the UNDRILLED bit. Romans, on the other hand, can be very effective at flanking, except they rarely have the numbers to do it.

All-in-all, stating that the game is 'the worst ever' after only playing a single scenario is harsh. Give it a bit more time and get into the mechanics that it - rather than any other system you may be familiar with - uses to simulate ancient wars and you will find it is actually very detailed, very enjoyable and very tactical.

Give it another go...you know you want to :D

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Post by jomni » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:52 am

Just to reinforce the other post.

Cannot comment on historical accuracy because I am not an expert in antiquities but the game mechanics make for a very tactial and thought provoking game. Yes luck has a lot to do in the game but employing proper tactics will increase your chances of winning.

As for the fact you cannot chose to disengage in a melee or prevent troops from chasing routing units, I believe that is proper modeling of ancient warfare. In a melee everyone is just fighting for their lives so even if you are in the losing side and the odds aren't good, you as lone warrior will still swing your sword at the enemy and try to kill him. Do you really think you have the privelage to wait for your commander's directions when the person in front you is swinging a sword at you? Finally, the unit as a group does not disengage at will and will only rout when the collective morale and condition is low. This game mechanic actually makes you think twice before engagin in a melee. Fighting defensively is still possible... you just have to choose to engage in melee in the right circumstances (instead of being forced into bad situations).

With regards to skirmishers, you can shoot as many times as possible. It is actually "unrealistic" as there is no supply of missle weapons like in other computer games. But its not so much of a problem as these gives you more tactical flexibility. Because of the luck factor. These light troops can actually be able to do some real damage in the right circumstances (like lure enemy light troops into a melee as lights don't run away from lights, and the flank them with shock troops to earn you some easy rout points).

Changing facing is all a matter of how your troops are trained. Distinguishing between 'drilled' and 'not drilled' is a nice feature of the game.

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Post by IainMcNeil » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:38 am

I think you have misunderstood how the game is supposed to work. As far as most people who know about these thigns FoG is the most accurate simulation of ancient warfare out there.

1) What was the exact situation where the elephants were broken by cavalry. The cavalry woudl have had a huge combat disadvantage. Was terrain involved? Were supporting units involved? What cohesion level were the elephants at before the combat and how many casualties had they taken. It is technically possible for any unit to win any fight but the chances can be very very low. Without more details it is hard to say whether this is working as intended.

2) The point about atacking every tuirn is that you are in a melee! If you dont want to fight someone you have to avoid getting in to melee with them. I can't see how you can think this is unrealistic. The research shows that except in extremely unusual situations, once in melee the combat ended with one side routing or the other. The exceptions are cavalry breaking off etc. and some specific events at specific battles but the rules are designed for the 99% situations. This is working as intended and realistic.

3) Skirmish can shoot as often as they like. Unless you found a new bug you must have just have misunderstood how to shoot. Were you in range?

4) You can always turn to face. I assume you just didnt know how to do it. Did you ask anyone or check the manual? Just right click on the unit before it moves and it can face any direction.

I think you should have another look and find out why this is the most popular historical gaming system ever.

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Post by Donegal » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:24 pm

I think you should have another look and find out why this is the most popular historical gaming system ever.
I think this is a bit exaggerated. My opinion is Great Battles of History serie (GMT games) is the most popular and complete game in ancient warfare simulation :)

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Post by keithmartinsmith » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:41 pm

FOG TT has sold over 200,00 copies of the rules and related books. That indicates the system is fairly popular. Having the right balance between playability and historical accuracy.

GMT Great Battles is a fine board game system. But you have to work through a ton of rules to play, never mind all the setting up and all the special rules in every scenario. For most players this is just too much effort to get a result.

The PC game is inspired by FOG TT and is a balance between playability and historical accuracy. Its easy to play and rewards good tactics. It is also already very popular with a series of great reviews. It has the great benefit over the TT and board game system of reviews the painting,cuttig out counters, and spending an age to set up and put away.

It is impossible to please everyone all of the time. Its nice that there are so many different systems out there so we can find the one we all like most.

Keith

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Post by IainMcNeil » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:53 pm

I dont know the numbers but Great Battles would have struggled to sell more than a few tens of tousands of units. I'd be surprised if it came anywhere near that.

Field of Glory Renaissance is coming to the tabletop next year and Field of Glory Napoleonics wont be far behind. You'll have to wait to find out about PC :)

As far as I know Field of Glory Tabletop and PC game combined are way more popular than any historical wargame but I may be wrong :)

Donegal
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Post by Donegal » Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:23 pm

I dont know the numbers but Great Battles would have struggled to sell more than a few tens of tousands of units. I'd be surprised if it came anywhere near that.
Well, there are around 20 titles published in Great Battles of History. A game is only published if it reachs 500 preorders. So the minimun sells are 500x20=10000 so they are at the same level.
Anyway I have to admit Field of Glory PC is the best tactic ancient game in the market nowdays (the Great Battles of History PC version was better but it was released on 1996 and it doesn't run in Windows 7 or Vista nowdays) :)

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Post by Dunadd » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:42 pm

I accept your point that it has a high random factor - however if it's high enough that it allows heavy cavalry to rout elephants or good morale close order spearmen in a frontal charge then either it's too high a random factor or else cavalry (or possibly Romans) have been over-powered in it.

As for Romans being disciplined and better at out-flanking there is no historical evidence for that. Hannibal repeatedly outflanked and routed Roman armies including ones that heavily out-numbered him. The most important factors were which side had more cavalry and how experienced the troops were. Veteran irregulars beat inexperienced regulars every time, just as Hannibal easily outflanked and massacred the green legions at Cannae.

In earlier battles where the Roman troops were more experienced they were still easily outflanked and wiped out by Hannibal's cavalry though.

Being Roman is not equal to being well drilled and discipled - being a veteran largely was, whether Roman or non-Roman.
What was the exact situation where the elephants were broken by cavalry. The cavalry woudl have had a huge combat disadvantage. Was terrain involved? Were supporting units involved? What cohesion level were the elephants at before the combat and how many casualties had they taken. It is technically possible for any unit to win any fight but the chances can be very very low. Without more details it is hard to say whether this is working as intended.
The elephants were in good order and had taken almost no casualties, their flanks were covered and the cavalry were attacking them from the front.
The point about atacking every tuirn is that you are in a melee! If you dont want to fight someone you have to avoid getting in to melee with them. I can't see how you can think this is unrealistic. The research shows that except in extremely unusual situations, once in melee the combat ended with one side routing or the other. The exceptions are cavalry breaking off etc. and some specific events at specific battles but the rules are designed for the 99% situations. This is working as intended and realistic.
The point is that it prevents merely defending and drawing out the fight in certain parts of the battlefield - while attacking all out on others- which was entirely possible and happened frequently.

On skirmishers and turning you might well be right.

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Re: Historically inaccurate, doesn't reward good tactics,def

Post by honestabe » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:36 pm

Dunadd wrote:This game is hopelessly historically inaccurate, does not reward good tactics and does not allow defensive tactics.

I downloaded it, looking forward to playing 7th edition style battles on my pc. I tried the battle of the Metaurus as Carthaginians and found that Roman heavy cavalry can rout elephants (is there even one historical example of this?) and Libyan spearmen when charging them to the front. That's ludicrous.

On top of that troops with enemy to their front must attack them every turn, no matter how disadvantageous it is to do so - and must follow up if they rout the enemy. That means that fighting defensively where you're outnumbered or outclassed in that part of the battlefield is impossible.

Skirmishers get only one single volley of javelins, after which their only possible attack is to melee - that's seriously historically inaccurate and makes them largely worthless.

It's frequently impossible to turn to face or charge units you've completely outflanked, even when they're engaged to the front already.

Overall downloading this game was the worst £20 i ever spent.
See I'm NOT THE ONLY ONE! I rest my case! I wasted $29.99 also Dunadd don't feel alone.

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Post by jomni » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:24 am

No worries, people are entitled to their choices.

What would add to the understanding of game are "designers notes" that try to explain and justify the game mechanics and rules. This would help clear out a lot of stuff.

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Post by Xiccarph » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:42 am

jomni wrote:No worries, people are entitled to their choices.

What would add to the understanding of game are "designers notes" that try to explain and justify the game mechanics and rules. This would help clear out a lot of stuff.
That was the first thing I looked for once I got the game installed and was disappointed not to find it. It would be a great addition!

Cheers!

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respect,but..

Post by pomakli » Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:18 am

Hi!

Sorry that the game doesn't meet your expectations!

:oops:

I think, we all should have respect for your opinion, but give the game more chance and maybe you'll like it!

It's not the replay of any ancient battle, but it's fun!

:wink:

BR

Pomakli

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Post by Aryaman » Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:41 am

I think you may have been too influenced in your judgement by the scenario you selected, Metaurus is the only scenario so far in which I have been unable to win with both sides in multiplayer (although starter battle 3 could be another one, as the Indians seem hopeless). The Carthaginians are at such a disadvantage that even if your opponent make important mistakes still you can´t win.
In general, my only substantive complain is about too high random, as for historicity, the game is the best I have played on a PC regarding Ancient Battles, much superior to the Great Battles series. There is certainly room for improvement, but the game works reasonably well in this respect.

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Post by IainMcNeil » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:19 am

I think your intepratation of ancient warfare differs from the designers of the rules. It is possible to pick specific events and say it does not model them but the aim is to represent the vast majority of cases rathyer than the extremes. If you attemot to mdel extremes you end up with hopelessly complicated rules that dont model the general cases!

I think you shoudl try some more.

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Post by honestabe » Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:41 am

iainmcneil wrote:I think your intepratation of ancient warfare differs from the designers of the rules. It is possible to pick specific events and say it does not model them but the aim is to represent the vast majority of cases rathyer than the extremes. If you attemot to mdel extremes you end up with hopelessly complicated rules that dont model the general cases!

I think you shoudl try some more.
Lol Iain I think if someone told you they were allergic to something you'd still tell them to awww go ahead and try it you'll like it. LOL

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Post by e_barkmann » Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:13 pm

begs the question then, when you're allergic to something why the hell are you still hanging around getting allergic symptoms.

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Post by Toby42 » Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:58 pm

barkmann wrote:begs the question then, when you're allergic to something why the hell are you still hanging around getting allergic symptoms.
You're right with that comment. When does a person's opinion stop and trolling start? If you don't like the game, move on!
Tony

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Post by honestabe » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:19 pm

Tombstone wrote:
barkmann wrote:begs the question then, when you're allergic to something why the hell are you still hanging around getting allergic symptoms.
You're right with that comment. When does a person's opinion stop and trolling start? If you don't like the game, move on!
Umm I don't believe you are a moderator here and thus have no power or credibility as far as what anyone can post and for how long. Why don't you move along yourself TROLLS?! That's what you are because at least I talk about the game until trolls like you two come around trying to start and cause trouble.

I also paid for the game so I'll talk about it as much as I want to...got that? Good now move along Trolls.

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