LF Screens

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Aetius
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LF Screens

Post by Aetius » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:03 pm

I had a number of interesting 'experiances' at Britcon this year where my lack of FoG gaming experiance got me into a real pickle (with my Late C15th Swiss).

I have 'grown up' playing Aramati (so I have no DBA/M/X heritage) which allows me to screen my Pike divisions (battle groups) with LF (schirmisher infantry) screens but when these LF are attacked by enemy LF they can either engage in melee or evade (much the same as FoG). However, my problem was that unlike Armati, if the schirmish screen melee gets bogged down (and in one of my games we had such a melee going on for 6 continious game turns) the Pike blocks behind the 2 schirmish screens both became trapped and unable to manoeuver or move (all a bit pointless).

Now I know that the answer is that to avoid this happening in the first place, I should just evade my LF (back through my pike block) on every occation or leave enough room for my Pikes to manoeuver past my LF - but it looks odd on the table and to be frank offends my visual perseption of what things should look like on the table top.

In Armati, my LF (SI) would be either able to attempt a break-off manoeuver (throwing a dice with the possibility that if they fail the test they will either remain in contact or at the very worst panic & break & rout back through the pikes); or my Pikes can advance into the melee dispersing their own SI (and those of the enemy) to get to grips with the enemy Pikes behind.

Anyway - this is really more of a question to throw into the melting pot - but do we think it's right that a protracted & indecisive LF melee should hold up larger 'heavier' foot divisions behind? Is there a simple mechanism to avoid this, or are we saying this is an integral part of the FoG mechanisms?

Personally - I think the game could potentially benefit from a mechanism that allows LF to disenage from heavier troops they ahve got into melee with - but it could be based on a stronger / more robust Cohesion test. Just a thought.

Aetius

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Post by jlopez » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:36 pm

Break-off is a no-no as far I'm concerned. All you would achieve is to make skirmishers just that little more powerful and invulnerable to heavy troops and, believe me, that was the bane of my life in DBM and it would break the balance in FOG.

Next time, I suggest you leave enough space for your pikes to overlap the enemy LF or even better, as you recognise, just don't fight with the light stuff.

Julian

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Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:37 pm

Well my personal experience is that LF do disengage from heavier troops - through the mechanism of routing :shock: :lol:

The hot LF on LF action that can bog down is best avoided by, as you suggest, not letting it start. IMO it is only to the advantage of the player with weaker heavies behind the lights to have any sort of light on light fighting, if you have the better heavies get the lights out of the way move or evade) and roll the proper troops forward IMO.
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Post by BrianC » Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:44 pm

The only problem I have with the just move your skirmishers back argument is that you then loose the skirmish war and your troops are now exposed and prone to potential un wanted charges. This then leaves your line disorganized and more vulnerable.

So if I play Roman I should not have my skirmishers in the front at all as if I don't want to engage in a prolonged melee between opposing LF they really do little good. Sure I can screen the HF until I get close to the enemy line but in the end I will lose the skirmish battle.

Its always been a pet peeve of mine regarding FOG but something I just overlook as a game mechanism. I seem to play in games where the LF battle go on and on. Then we get the heavies in and things go quicker :D ,

Still its a small peeve with all else added in.

Brian

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Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:11 pm

Ah, this is where skill in co-ordinating troops, judging moves and distances, predicting what may happen and where to put generals comes in. Not that I'd claim mastery of anyof these :?

Also ask yourself why there needs to be a skirmish battle ...
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Post by ars_belli » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:15 pm

Welcome to FoG, Aetius! I would like to respectfully suggest that your thinking might be more influenced by the rules you have played up to now, rather than historically attested tactics. In the historical battles with which I am familiar, skirmishers in heavy infantry-based armies (Macedonian, Hellenistic, Roman, etc.) did not typically engage in pre-battle melees with one another. Instead, they would usually cover the deployments and/or flanks of their own heavy foot, harass those of their enemies, toss missiles back and forth against opposing skirmishers, and then get the heck out of the way when the lines of heavy foot approached one another. Now, one can probably find an occasion or two in which opposing skirmishers did engage in hand-to-hand combat prior to the clash of the main battle lines, but these would be the 'exceptions that prove the rule.' And offhand I can't think of a single historical instance in which heavy foot routinely marched through and dispersed formations of skirmishers, whether engaged in combat or not.

Just my two denarii worth, in any case. I do hope that you continue to play and enjoy FoG. :)

Cheers,
Scott
Last edited by ars_belli on Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by hammy » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:05 pm

If you advance with heavies behind your own lights against an enemy line also screened by lights if the enemy have shock foot they are really asking for trouble by leaving their lights in front.

Consider this:

You advance so that your heavies are say 6MU from the enemy but both sets of lights are still there. The enemy lights are within 3MU of your heavies but your heavies will not have to charge because the only enemy in charge distance are skirmishers and they would have to burst through your lights to get to them.

In your move you pull back your lights and advance your heavies so they are 3MU from the enemy heavies. Now they have to test not to charge and if they don't fail will stand and watch as parts of their line charge you.

If the enemy lights are further forwards then pull your own lights back and advance right into the face of the enemy lights with your heavies. They will then have to pull back or be charged. Should your heavies charge and end up with a raggy line remember you can intercept charge with BGs left behind to catch up if you find the enemy upon you.

The long and short of it is that if you don't want a long random skirmisher fight then don't fight, evade or pull back beforehand.

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Post by BrianC » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:17 pm

hammy wrote:If you advance with heavies behind your own lights against an enemy line also screened by lights if the enemy have shock foot they are really asking for trouble by leaving their lights in front.

Consider this:

You advance so that your heavies are say 6MU from the enemy but both sets of lights are still there. The enemy lights are within 3MU of your heavies but your heavies will not have to charge because the only enemy in charge distance are skirmishers and they would have to burst through your lights to get to them.

In your move you pull back your lights and advance your heavies so they are 3MU from the enemy heavies. Now they have to test not to charge and if they don't fail will stand and watch as parts of their line charge you.

If the enemy lights are further forwards then pull your own lights back and advance right into the face of the enemy lights with your heavies. They will then have to pull back or be charged. Should your heavies charge and end up with a raggy line remember you can intercept charge with BGs left behind to catch up if you find the enemy upon you.

The long and short of it is that if you don't want a long random skirmisher fight then don't fight, evade or pull back beforehand.
Brilliant Hammy.

I never would have thought of that tactic as I was thinking more of inercepting from the side not the rear. With this tactic don't you have to move your interceptors a little forward so that they cross the path of the enemy charge? I mean you can't intercept with your BG that fell behind to a point where you are in front corner to corner contact ccan you? Because at that point you are not crossing the enemies charge path or is that considered charge path if you even touch the extreme end of it?

Brian

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Post by philqw78 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:31 am

An intercept charge is one that moves into an enemies path. So if 'A' BG is 2MU in front of BG 'B' and 'A' has a charge declared upon it by a wider or offset Enemy BG that does not also count B as a target B can intercept.

:evil: :evil: :evil:
:evil: :evil: :evil:

3MU

8) 8)
8) 8)
2MU from front of BG A
___ :wink: :wink:
___ :wink: :wink:

:evil: Enemy HF Charging
8) BG A
:wink: BG B can intercept as foot within 2MU

Aetius
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Post by Aetius » Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:20 am

Thanks folks ... so the long & short of it all is just: "don't get my Swiss LF Hand Gunners trapped infront of my Swiss Pike blocks!"

It will take considerable resolve on my part to withdraw my LF screen asdoing this under Armati I'd just be exposing my pikes to a whithering missile barrage from the enemy LF (SI) line, but that's fine - in FoG I have come to realise - that 12 base Swiss pike BG's seem to generally shrug of such things - like water of a ducks back!

On the break-off thing - there does appear to be a break-off mechanism in FoG with the fact that lancers in unresolved melee seem to do this thing of breaking-off and charging back in (must admit my Swiss Kn seem to just win or die to be honest) but this seems fair enough.

On the schirmisher melee historical president - you get a few such melees (Swiss handgunners v Burgundian longbows at Grandson for example) but mainly it seems to be in rough terrain. In fact I can see it more likely that 'trapped' LF will occur in terrain where they are supporting MI.

Anyway ... guidance much appreciated

Aetius

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Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:03 pm

Skirmishers is definitely an area where there can be much confusion when moving between rule sets as it is one where writers often seem to have quite different views on how they worked :?
Nik Gaukroger

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Post by BrianC » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:10 pm

philqw78 wrote:An intercept charge is one that moves into an enemies path. So if 'A' BG is 2MU in front of BG 'B' and 'A' has a charge declared upon it by a wider or offset Enemy BG that does not also count B as a target B can intercept.

:evil: :evil: :evil:
:evil: :evil: :evil:

3MU

8) 8)
8) 8)
2MU from front of BG A
___ :wink: :wink:
___ :wink: :wink:

:evil: Enemy HF Charging
8) BG A
:wink: BG B can intercept as foot within 2MU

Thanks Phil,

I was always thinking of interceptions as getting in the way of a charge such that the first base the enemy chargers hit is one of the bases of the interceptors, then the rest of the chargers step foward where they can. Thanks for the clarification on the intercept. I guess it makes sense as you are helping out your friends by not allowing overlaps and it is at the limit of your 2MU intercept range. I just got hung up on the Crossing the chargers path line. Thats where the confusion lays.

Brian

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Post by BrianC » Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:10 pm

Just to make sure I am on the same page as everyone else, I like to be exact and paraphrase what is said to me to make sure it is 100% clear so here are some pics of what I think has been said above. This should be a valid Interception Charge:

Image
The Carthaginian elephants declare a charge on the Roman HF


Image
The Triarii declare an Interception Charge since they are excalty 2MU behind the Hastati\Principe


Image
The Triarii move their max Interception move of 2MU, This brings them in corner to corner contact with the HF and now in line.


Image
The elephants now charge straight ahead and impact both Roman BGs.

I would have posted pics sooner but my fiancee and I were playing Arkhams Horror :D and I didn't have access to my table.

Just trying to be precise

Thanks

Brian

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Post by philqw78 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 11:30 pm

The Triarii move their max Interception move of 2MU,
Only one point * the Triarii would move to be in the path of the charge *. They do not need to move 2MU, their maximum, and normally in an intercept would not. They just move to a point in the way of the charge then stop, then the Elephants move.

But yes the photos are right for your example, as the Triarii are not a target of the charge as the Elephants cannot step forward to make contact which they would have to if they could.

*(mainly for others just catching this)
*(where it would normally end or before that if it is a shorter move)

In essence an intercept moves the minimum to make contact with the chargers for the path of where the charge would end. Then the Chargers move and make contact with the interceptors, then the initial target of the charge if possible.

Or, if the Triarii were instead Cataphracts, with an intercpet move of 4 MU, they would only move to be level with the H&P as this is where the charge would have ended and is the minimum move to get in the way.

But I didn't write the rules so may be talking arse

Read the FAQ

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Post by BrianC » Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:52 am

Thanks for your reply Phil,

In this case I set it up so that the triarii were 2 MU behind the front BB, so they would need to move the full 2MU just to line up front corner to front corner.

The FAQ actually muddies it a little for me. I was under the impression that the interceptor can move forward up to its limit, either 2MU for foot or 4MU for mounted. The FAQ talked about the interception charge only "moved sufficiently to get in the way of the original charge". What does sufficiently mean? Does it mean the minimum necessary to block their charge? So if I have a cavalry BG that can intercept an enemy BG but only needs to move less than 1MU to sufficiently get in the way of the chargers, why can't I move further if possible to better intercept the charge and protect the BG they are intercepting for?

Thats the way we have been playing it. As far as we can tell from the rules you can move up to your ZOI limit, 2 or 4MU.

If you look at the example on page 62, the cavalry BG moves 4 MU rather than just that which is sufficient to get in the way of the charge, or the minimum which looks like it would have been 3MU. This is why we thought that you could still move up to your full intercept charge distance, in order to better block the chargers.

Brian

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Post by philqw78 » Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:37 am

If the intercept charge can move a full 4 or 2 MU it is possible to contact not charging troops etc. It is a minimum move.
but the why can't I move further
its not your move. Its still a game and as above it could give badly balanced results

and its L8 o nfriday/sat early so 2moro

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Post by hammy » Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:53 am

philqw78 wrote:If the intercept charge can move a full 4 or 2 MU it is possible to contact not charging troops etc. It is a minimum move.
but the why can't I move further
its not your move. Its still a game and as above it could give badly balanced results

and its L8 o nfriday/sat early so 2moro
It must have been past your bed time Phil :twisted:

An interception charge cannot contact the front of a charging BG. It can contact the flank or rear. The interception charge is upto the allowed distance (2MU or 4MU) but does not have to be the full distance. It must touch the path of the charge otherwise the interception is not allowed.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:11 am

Why can't an Interception Charge contact the front of a charging BG?

The diagrams in the rules show just that happeneing :shock:
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Post by petedalby » Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:20 am

An interception charge cannot contact the front of a charging BG.
I worry when I read things like that - was it very late when you wrote that?

Pete

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Post by lawrenceg » Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:46 am

nikgaukroger wrote:Why can't an Interception Charge contact the front of a charging BG?

The diagrams in the rules show just that happeneing :shock:
The diagrams on pp 62-64 do not show this.

The rules do not prohibit contact by the intercepting BG but in the FAQ we have
FAQ v4 wrote:...If the interceptors are intercepting the chargers from the front, both chargers and interceptors are in reality charging semi-simultaneously. However, for the sake of simple game play the interception charge is moved sufficiently to get in the way of the original charge and then the original chargers are moved into contact. The interceptors do not make contact – they therefore do not step forward. The original chargers step forward as usual.
The diagrams do show the intercepting BG moving further than the minumum necessary to get into the path of the charge.

Neither the rules nor the FAQ mandate you to stop as soon as you are in the path of the charge. The rules say "must cross the path of the charge", the FAQ does not say "minimum" nor "necessary" and "sufficient" does not imply minimum necessary.
Lawrence Greaves

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