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Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:02 pm
Xiggy wrote:The Americans also broke the Japanese code, so they knew they were coming, just not where they were. The randomness of midway, was that the armeicans found the Japanese first, if it had been the other way, history would have been much different. There is tons of randomness in history. The Iron Brigade in the American Civil war, routed after only being under fire for a short time late in the war after being rock solid in early battles.
If this game was so random, then why is it that pantherboy has not lost a battle since Beta? He seems to beat everyone, bad dice or no. I think we tend to look at key moments in a battle where we get a chain route of 3 or 4 units, or 2 or 3 mounted break off and end up behind your line. If we looked at all the combat results in a game, you would be surprised how even they are.
pantherboy obviously cheats
No seriously, obviously there's a skill involved here, and maybe I'm just too inexperienced to see what works and what doesn't. Hell, I've only been playing for a couple of months.
My problem is that there are relatively few units on the board (35-45 for normal armies, and 60-70 for horde/shooter) so bad luck in a single round affects a large percentage of your army. You can literally lose the game in one bad round of combat, since the ripple-effect can make a comeback extremely hard.
I can live with all this since the game is just plain fun, even with the odd results, I just think that there's room for improvement.
Couple of games ago I had my line of pikes (about 10 units) engage an enemy line of off. spears (a few more than mine, call it 12) and even though the POAs were on my side, I had 3 consecutive turns of combat where I won a total of 1(!) combat. No other modifiers, everyone was Protected, straight melee combat.
Same game had one of my cats charge a LF who evaded, got caught due to terrain, and beat the cats into disrupted status....
Needless to say, I lost that game *g*
Now, I don't mind that this *can* happen. There should be a level of odd things happening, otherwise there'd be no thrill.
My peeve is that it happens way too often, since the D6 system leaves little ground for a bell-curve of results.
PS: Just in case anyone should misunderstand my sense of humor (wouldn't be a first *g*), the pantherboy reference was very much tongue-in-cheek.
Posted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:39 pm
of course pantherboy cheats, everybody figured it out by now, but you
Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:30 am
Gersen wrote:I take back my earlier post. The LF being caught in an earlier game were indeed MF after closer inspection, and subsequent games in 1.3.5 have had sensible evasion tactics all round. Indeed as Ian says - the best way to catch lights now is to block off their escape routes.
Well, it might be the best way as far as the game allows, but I find it neither realistic nor satisfying
But then neither is lights getting regularly caught by heavies. A catch 22, but I prefer the current solution. In theory, the proper way of catching lights, is to use lights without the need to encircle, for example, light cavalry should regularly catch and dispatch light foot.
Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:25 am
you surely must be kidding with the "blocking" advice..
again, let's picture my game with ironclad:
let's split the board into 4x4 areas (A,B,C and D x 1,2,3,4) i am putting up a mixed troops (mostly HF, with some cavalry on the right wing) battleline facing N (B1, C1), and parallel with the top edge of the screen. he puts up a mostly HC with LF and some MF battleline, parallel with mine, but facing S (B4,C4). that's the most common battle alignment possible in any ancients wargame. I start moving N, he starts moving S. of course, as he moves twice faster as me, we'll make "contact" somewhere at the top of area A1,C1 or the bottom of the area A2,C2.
now, the first phase of the battle would be he shooting my battleline, while slowly retreating N. block his LF you say? with what?!
as my battle line pushes him N and the top of the map approaches, we'll enter the second phase of the battle: my cavalry from the bottom of C4 starts enveloping him on his left, thereby he starts pulling troops (in a sort of fake left flank roll up) from there and move them across the field (from C4 towards B4 and A4). again, block him with.. what?! my left and center troops have this movement screened by his battleline opposing them, un-pulled yet. and they have limited movement anyway. you can't have cavalry on both wings, as by splitting them, they both will be overwhelmed by his much greater cavalry numbers.
the frustrating thing is that all the time during this phase, and the following ones, my right flank (C4) enveloping cavalry constantly made contact with his running LF, but only to have them evade 4 hexes away each time. during the roll-up pursuit from C4 to A4 this happened for like 5-6 turns.
considering all the aspects, it was the only decent chance my army would ever got to catch his LF until cornering them in A1, chance non-existent due to artificial game rules which allow LF to outrun cavalry in the open field, thing which never happened in ancient battles.
phase three:his pulling up of troops results in massing them into A3,A4,C3,C4 threatening my left flank, which had to be pulled down to ease the pressure and prepare forming a vertical battleline (which can close the trap, as the height of the battlefield is smaller than his width, and can be reasonable closed by a HF army), and then sweep the field again from right to left (my battleline is strethcing across C4, C3, B2, B1 now) in the phase 4, to herd them all and mop them up in A1 in phase 5.
blocking their retreat only works if the armies are somewhat of the same type or there is a central battleline clash accepted ad break trough is made. assuming your opponent is a decent one and doesn't do critical mistakes.
Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:54 am
I can't help but agree with the sentiments here.
I really hate the herding approach needed to kill armies of LF. I also dislike the need to block retreat of LF to be able to catch them with LH/cavalry. I really don't think this is historical (as much as one can determine about events 2000 years ago - no youtube footage to review
GM has it spot on. LH/Cavalry should always catch LF if 2 hexes immediately in front of them. I also believe they should have a fair chance at 3 hexes and a small chance at 4, with no chance at 5. With Cats then I'd offset this by 1 (i.e. fair chance at 2, small chance at 3).
I also believe that this problem is compounded by the fact that missile troops have unlimited ammo. It's one of the reasons why so many horde armies are now so powerful. By the time you have herded them into a small area (maybe 10 turns to do this) your line is so fragile that it won't survive. Ideally the game would limit the amount of normal fire and then reduce the POA or damage after this to reflect the lack of efficiency in finding / reusing more ammo... which is probably imperfect (random stones versus selected stone/lead shot, or reusing damage javelins / arrows).
Clearly the point regarding the ammo is not going to be easy to address (and I'm not expecting Slitherine to do so), but if cavalry could run down LF in a sensible fashion then it would mitigate this ammo impact too.
I also agree that MF and HF shouldn't be able to catch LF unless they are blocked.
LF should have a chance to catch other LF - I guess this will appear with the new rules for LF stand/evade.... I hope so!
Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:16 pm
Ammo rules could be interesting. GBoH boardgames kept track of ammo in a cumbersome way, but computers make it simple. Jav would run out in three to five shots, bows at 20, etc. But what about Impact troops? Their rating assumes a shower of throwing weapons on the way in. Romans only carried two pilum, so they would lose impact abilities after two charges? Interesting questions, but moot cause it probably ain't gonna happen.