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Mixed Units

Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:50 pm
by the_iron_duke
I notice in several armies mixed units that add a bow. The FoG Wiki has something on this :

The addition of the bow adds a missile capability but costs no extra. I understand mixed units with defensive or offensive spear lose some combat capability (FoG Wiki). Are they the only ones whose combat is affected? If others are unaffected can it be considered to be working-as-designed if it's a free bonus to add bow capability? It's a no-brainer - why even have the bow-free version in the army lists?

Re: Mixed Units

Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:18 pm
by Tiavals
There are two kinds of mixed bows. The lesser and the greater one.

The lesser one is free and doesn't hinder even mixed spears, but it rolls 1 dice to attack and helps only against cavalry charges.

The greater one adds cost to units(as far as I understand, especially to horses I think?) and cripples spear units completely. It does have 2 dice when shooting, though.

As far as I know, it's working as intended. There are plenty of flavor units in the game, such as LF Bows and Drilled LF Bows, which have absolutely no difference as I understand. Some people might prefer the "weaker" version if they aim to recreate a historical army of some ruler.

Re: Mixed Units

Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:21 pm
by TheGrayMouser
To add

light cavalry shoot w 2 dice regardless of weapon
cavalry use three dice for firearm, x-bow and bow
cavalry using *bow use 2 dice
cavalry or knights/cats using a rear rank bow or crossbow, 2 dice
no other effects


rear rank medium foot
shoots with 2 dice
gets 2 dice xtra at impact if receiving a charge from anyone, into their frontal hexes
costs additional ap's for the missle addon (howver, spears reduces the cost so it nets for spears)
the trade off though, are spears do NOT get to count the spear + POA as they are in a thin line, howver they do negate enmy POS like sword vs steady spear, lancer vs steady spear...
heavy weapons guys with rear rank missle have no mal effect, but do cost more

rear rank light foot support
1 dice when shooting
give 2 xtra dice at impact if receiving a charge from mounted ONLY
no charge....

Basically imho there should be a cost for lf support since the cumalitve effect from even one dice per bg can cripple enemy Bg's over time, something that doesnt happen in the TT
also, it makes no sence in lists where you can take either or, why would you EVER not take if you have the option? If no cost increase , at least limit the # of such bg's available in a list so there is a choice with a pro and con tradeoff.

BTW there is a chart in the rules index that has all of the costs for al lthe weapons etc

Re: Mixed Units

Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:50 pm
by the_iron_duke
Thanks for the detailed information on mixed units, guys.

There are a few armies where one can select the bulk of one's units to have the option of this free mixed LF bonus (one of these armies recently beat you Tiavals, although I probably shouldn't mention that!). As such, I can't see how it results in anything other than a real advantage to the player with them.

Re: Mixed Units

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:26 pm
by Tiavals
Bah, I was confused by your rhyming so my mind wasn't in the game! ;)

As I stated above, some people want to build their armies in a historically realistic fashion. But from a purely game mechanic point of view, you are entirely correct. The advantage is incredibly large for certain units too, like defensive spears or light spears, which become very resilient to cavalry, or Dailami which normally are quite vulnerable to cavalry, but with the mixed LF bonus, they can be used in normal ground without fearing that they'll be totally ripped apart.

If it cost 1 point more, I would see it as pretty reasonable. That way it would make sense to have a version of the unit without LF, since you might not always want them, because 1 point can be a lot if the unit is cheap otherwise.(6 vs 7 cost may be a big deal if you buy a lot of units, and think the LF bows are pretty useless)

Re: Mixed Units

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:46 pm
by Fedem

Two thoughts:

Light Spear Cavalry have a +POA against MIxed Def Spears with MF Bow rear support. Shouldn't Light Spears Cav also loose the "No other net POAs; mounted with LS?

Def Sprs with MF Bow rear support also roll 2 extra dice at impact when being charged; the same number as LF bow rear support. Maybe the last ones should only roll one extra dice when being charged? It seems a little unrealistic that they have one roll when shooting but two for impact rear support?


Re: Mixed Units

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:10 pm
by batesmotel
The light spear cavalry +POA also applies in this situation in the TT rules so this is working as intended. Note that they also get it against MF spearmen without rear rank bows so spears do not normally negate the mounted light spear POA. I think the thinking behind this is that light spears can be thrown as well as thrust so don't require getting as close to the spearmen as a lance or sword would need to do.


Re: Mixed Units

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:22 pm
by Fedem
Tks batesmotel.

However they do not have it against HF Def Sprs. Better than Lancers in this case then.

What do you think about the number of rolls for the rear support?


Re: Mixed Units

Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:51 pm
by the_iron_duke
I'm definitely of the opinion that LF support should cost 1 point and that the situation is unbalanced as it currently stands. I'm kind of minded to avoid using the army books where their use is prevalent (about three of them I think - SaS, EE and DaF) for multiplayer games where the opponent's army is unknown until this is rectified, unless anyone can prove to me it makes sense (which they so far can't). The whole aim of a points system is to promote fair play and a loophole like this only serve to undermine it.

Re: Mixed Units

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:43 pm
by the_iron_duke
I did some experimenting with mixed units and so I thought I'd throw in some figures. I tried out some situations with some mixed HF spearmen with LF bow support. I'm no expert on the rules so someone else (probably most of you) could probably draw deeper conclusions. I looked at the two bonuses the LF bow gives: missile capability and receiving cavalry charges.

1) The added capability of missile fire. Firing against MF infantry the expected hits were 0.5 as opposed to 1 hit for sling, javelin and bow. The mixed bow has the range advantage over the javelin and sling, of course, although the mixed can only fire in their forward arc. The other drawback is the lack of disruption capability.

2) Bonus on receiving a cavalry charge. I tried charging the mixed HF with some armoured cavalry and did the same charging some identical HF minus the LF support for comparison. Charging the HF without the LF bow support the win/loss percentages were 25% win/49% loss . Charging the mixed units the odds dropped down to 15% win/65% loss.

On top of trying to work out a value using the rules system there is the less quantifiable on-field tactical effect. For example, in one of my games I had heavy spearmen mixed with LF bow support. My opponent had some MF melee troops on top of a ridge of very steep hills. Now, in normal circumstances without LF support my options are to attack, in which case I'd be likely to lose, or change something tactically as I've hit a brick wall. With the added LF bow I was able to stop at the bottom of the slope and fire missiles for a few turns. Now it is my opponent who is forced to either attack, losing their terrain advantages, sit tight, suffering slow attrition (from 20 or 30 mixed BGs every turn) or retreat from their position. This isn't just the ability to add a few extra casualties here and there, but is a whole tactical game-changer and has a major effect on the dynamic of a battle.

I think the value of mixed LF support is somewhere between 0 and 1 point. On a pure rules effect assessment it's probably somewhere in the middle. However, I think that the mixed capability brings a real extra dimension to the unit's tactical versatility and is worth bringing the cost up to one point. Maybe the possibility of disrupting could be added, perhaps at half effect to try and bridge any gap?

The comments so far in this thread perhaps seem to support the idea that free mixed LF support is something worth re-considering. Does anyone have any further thoughts?

Re: Mixed Units

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:10 pm
by Xiggy
One of the DaF armies I have been playing around with can have offensive spears and lf bows. It makes it so you can sit on a hill and keep shooting. You never have to attack except on your terms. It makes a strong army even stronger. Since the list makes you take all Offensive spears mixed or none. You cant mix and match. The Arab conquest lists allow you to make up some very potent armies.

I think there should be a addtional cost or Allow less units if you use the mixed type. Say instead of 0-24, make it 0-18 if using mixed units. Just a thought.

Re: Mixed Units

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:37 pm
by Tiavals
Offensive spears are anarchy prone, so they can be baited to run down from the hill.

But there are defensive spears that have LF in DAF too, available in high numbers for certain armies(Abbasids, I believe?).