4th Victorian FOG N Championships

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richafricanus
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4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by richafricanus » Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:28 am

Hi all,

Only a few weeks away our 4th FOG N Victorian Champs. Once again we’re expecting about 8 visitors from NZ and a few from Sydney as well. All in all we should get 20-24 players as we’ve had in the past so it should be fun. We won’t be using scenarios this year, but rather the new set up rules in v2. They look more complicated than they are but they’re really quite simple and give lots of variety to how the games play out.

Details of the tournament as follows:

Date: 15 & 16 July 2017

Venue: Club Tivoli 291 Dandenong Road, Windsor, Melbourne, Victoria

Rules to be used: FOG N v2 (4th Draft)

Lists: v1 lists with attached errata (in addition to published Slitherine errata)

4 rounds – 800 point armies (15mm)

Lists submitted to me by 7 July 2017 if possible

Entrance fee $30 ($15 if playing one day only)

9.30am start both days

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by richafricanus » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:46 am

Runners and Riders for the tournament below:

· 10 Unreformed to 8 Reformed (with 1 Cav Corps)
· 4 British
· 4 French
· 4 Russian
· 3 Austrian
· 1 Prussian
· 3 armies of other nations (Spanish, Wurttemberg & Saxon)

Andrew Duncan - Russian Guard 1813/4
Kit Goldsbury - Anglo-Netherlands 1815
Mike Haycock - Spanish 1793-5
Brett Preston-Thomas- French Infantry 1814
Richard Stubbs - Russians 1799 (Korsakov)
Dave Inglis - Russian Infantry 1812
Kendall Blue - Wurttemberg 1809
Richard Gordon - French Cavalry 1812
Geoff Crick - Anglo-Netherlands 1815
Philip Abela - French Army of the Pyrenees 1793-5
Alastair Donald - Anglo-Portuguese 1814
Stu Todd - Mamelukes 1798-1801
Steve Green - Saxons 1809
Andrew Mezzi - Austrians Lower Rhine 1796-7
Tyler Jefferson - Prussian Spring 1813
Mick Griffiths - Austrians in Germany 1799
Steve Kennedy - Russian Infantry 1813/4
Adrian Fryer - French 1814
Daniel Karakaltsas - British 1810-11

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by richafricanus » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:06 pm

Thanks to everyone who attended on the weekend. All good fun (even being pasted again by Andrew D).

Top 10 results as follows (anyone else who wants to know their position can ask privately to spare blushes...)

1st Andrew Duncan 93 points
2nd Brett Preston-Thomas 62 points (on tie break)
3rd Kendall Blue 62points
4th Richard Gordon 61 points (including the avg of 3 games for 1st round bye)
5th Mike Haycock 57points (on tie break)
6th Stu Todd 57 points
7th Kit Goldsbury 56 points (on tie break)
8th Richard Stubbs 56 points
9th Mick Griffiths 48 points
10th Dave Inglis 47 points

Special mention for Andrew Duncan of course for an almost perfect score. Even if there had been a 5th round he couldn't have been caught. Also, well done Mick Griffiths for his first top 10 finish!

In terms of Reformed vs Unreformed, while reformed took top 3 places and a cav army came 4th, 5 of the next 6 places were unreformed so the unreformed are certainly competitive.

We tracked what strategies were chosen and blocked and here are the stats:

Chosen
1. Positional Defence 13
2. Flexible Defence 11
3. Probe 8
4. Envelopment 11
5. Prepared bombardment 14
6. Frontal Assault 6

Blocked
1. Positional Defence 10
2. Flexible Defence 17
3. Probe 6
4. Envelopment 13
5. Prepared bombardment 16
6. Frontal Assault 18

So frontal assault was blocked the most but chosen the least, either meaning people fear it the most but actually it's not very popular, or it's being blocked successfully. I suspect it's the former. Probe was once a favourite but has become the least favourite and least feared.

All in all, the strategies are working well, with all of them being used regularly and none of them proving to be flawed. Well done Brett who's creation they are!

Also, the v2 rules appear to be in good shape with no major queries coming up over the weekend, only the usual points of clarity that we can clean up in the next draft - except the pass through Kit!

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by Carriage » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:08 pm

In terms of blocking strategies, I had a skilled commander and rolled a set of doubles in both games I played so I had no choice other than to decide to not block something. Given that I was new to the ruleset I didn't take that option so the blocked strategies were essentially random. I wonder how common that was?

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by marty » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:17 am

Do the results leave you concerned we may still have a bit of a guard problem? Or at least an army that can have lots of cheap guard problem?

Once you factor in the points changes I don't think unreformed are any worse then before but probably no better either. You would not seem to be doing your chances of finishing at the top of a comp any favours by using them.

Wish I could have made it down!

Martin

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by richafricanus » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:51 pm

In terms of blocking strategies, I had a skilled commander and rolled a set of doubles in both games I played so I had no choice other than to decide to not block something. Given that I was new to the ruleset I didn't take that option so the blocked strategies were essentially random. I wonder how common that was?
Carriage, I'm not quite following what you mean? Not sure why you chose "to not block something" (your split infinitive, not mine :D )
Do the results leave you concerned we may still have a bit of a guard problem? Or at least an army that can have lots of cheap guard problem?
Even before the comp, Brett and I were discussing probably dropping the reroll for Guard in combat. They're good enough without it. So yes, Guard are probably still a little too effective. But I wouldn't read too much into Andrew Duncan winning with them. He's probably NZ's best player so would have done well with anything, I'm sure.
Once you factor in the points changes I don't think unreformed are any worse then before but probably no better either. You would not seem to be doing your chances of finishing at the top of a comp any favours by using them.
Unreformed certainly require more skill to use than reformed. With all the v2 changes, I'm not sure how you can say they are no better than they were in v1. And in the right hands, I believe they are just as competitive as reformed. Kit from NZ uses them all the time, and you and Alex use them regularly and do well with them.

And yes, sorry not to see you in Melbourne this year. Hopefully next time?

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by Carriage » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:08 pm

I didn't choose to not block something. What I'm saying is that I had a skilled commander and for example rolled a 5 and two 1s. So apart from potentially wanting someone to "fall into my trap" of allowing my opponent to pick a strategy that suited my plans, I have no choice. I didn't choose to do it because I had no trap so I just blocked everything without making a decision on which ones to block.

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by marty » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:05 pm

Do the results leave you concerned we may still have a bit of a guard problem? Or at least an army that can have lots of cheap guard problem?
Even before the comp, Brett and I were discussing probably dropping the reroll for Guard in combat. They're good enough without it. So yes, Guard are probably still a little too effective. But I wouldn't read too much into Andrew Duncan winning with them. He's probably NZ's best player so would have done well with anything, I'm sure.
This would also have the advantage of simplicity and consistency.
Once you factor in the points changes I don't think unreformed are any worse then before but probably no better either. You would not seem to be doing your chances of finishing at the top of a comp any favours by using them.
Unreformed certainly require more skill to use than reformed. With all the v2 changes, I'm not sure how you can say they are no better than they were in v1. And in the right hands, I believe they are just as competitive as reformed. Kit from NZ uses them all the time, and you and Alex use them regularly and do well with them.
The minor positive changes are counterbalanced by the reduced effect of mounted on skirmish fire and the fact that most unreformed are in the first book and therefore have very limited access to artillery support.

And yes, sorry not to see you in Melbourne this year. Hopefully next time?[/quote]

Certainly hope so. One of the best comps I have been to in many a year!

Martin
Last edited by marty on Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by geoff » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:27 pm

It's good to hear you are considering dropping the hand to hand re-roll for Guard. I mentioned to Brett during the comp that I thought it should be dropped in favour of re-instating the re-roll for morale. Guard is really about morale after all. That's consistent with them ignoring hits etc.
Having said that, you could drop all re-rolls and they would still be worth it in my opinion. The level dropping in HtoH and Shooting is well worth the price.

I'm certainly happy with unreformed now. I feel the points changes have made which army to take more about what I feel like using instead of outright effectiveness. Agree that unreformed require more thought.

Just like to echo how great this comp was yet again. I didn't win a gamer but enjoyed all four battles.

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by BrettPT » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:15 am

Just on unreformed infantry, I've found them to have benefitted massively under V2. I consider them to be competitive with reformed armies.

- They can now move 6MU (when outside of 6Mu of enemy). This is huge. It removes what I believe to be the single biggest disadvantage of unreformed under v1 - they seldom got to use their additional numbers because they couldn't move fast enough to bring them to bare before being broken by a concentrated smaller enemy force.

- Numbers count. And not having to roll to pass CMTs beyond 6MU, makes for more ability to move the masses.
- Cheaper. 28 points for your basic small av drilled unreformed unit can make for some big armies.
- Unreformed (more or less) just as good standing off against enemy mounted as reformed units are, but much cheaper.

- Less LI units around now, in general means less concentrated enemy medium range firepower. A good thing for unreformed.
- Reformed Veterans less common now their points have gone up. Again this means less nasty medium range shooting about.
-Ability to form extended line without dropping CT dice, if required, is occasionally useful.

Against this is that cavalry only reduce enemy skirmish shooting by 1 dice, not 2.

As Richard says, you still need a degree of skill to effectively run unreformed armies. You need to find a way to get your numbers into the game.
Backing up Richard's comments re. Andrew Duncan, I've seen Andy smash opponents with an unreformed army designed to be as big as possible - pushing 40 ACV from memory - based around a ton of small unreformed units that move rapidly on the flanks to give their opposing force a giant bear hug.

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by marty » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:47 am

Double post
Last edited by marty on Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by marty » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:50 am

- They can now move 6MU (when outside of 6Mu of enemy). This is huge. It removes what I believe to be the single biggest disadvantage of unreformed under v1 - they seldom got to use their additional numbers because they couldn't move fast enough to bring them to bare before being broken by a concentrated smaller enemy force.
This is quite often less effective (though more logical) than the 2 turns of full speed movement they used to get when attacking which would often take you within 6". The bigger change in bringing numbers to bear (and one of the best things in the new edition) is the new missions. No more always ending up sitting on your hands for two turns with often low initiative unreformed armies
- Numbers count. And not having to roll to pass CMTs beyond 6MU, makes for more ability to move the masses.
you still need PIPS and the generals available are often not great
- Cheaper. 28 points for your basic small av drilled unreformed unit can make for some big armies.

A clear win
- Unreformed (more or less) just as good standing off against enemy mounted as reformed units are, but much cheaper.
less true now than previously as the medium range shooting of reformed at cav is better
- Less LI units around now, in general means less concentrated enemy medium range firepower. A good thing for unreformed.
Not sold on this one as the LI are just as important, if not more so, in an unreformed army.
-Ability to form extended line without dropping CT dice, if required, is occasionally useful.
I still don't find myself using it, but I suppose in theory I could.

One fairly big pro you don't mention is only turning around on an outcome move of 6, rather than 4.
Against this is that cavalry only reduce enemy skirmish shooting by 1 dice, not 2.
And the shortage of artillery.

The proof is in the pudding though, and the top end of comps seems to be dominated by reformed armies from the second list book.

Martin

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by KitG » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:16 am

I think that fixing your combat result table, the outcomes table and its interaction with the pass through rule is of much more importance than faffing about with a perceived guards problem.

The new table is confusing as and has been for some time now.

Cavalry can pass through squares they have not damaged without a CMT and squash any wavering unit in the other side.

Under the old rules you could not pass through unless you were fresh or steady after the combat or you were disordered but you had "won" the combat by wavering the enemy. If both sides were disordered after combat the cavalry had to retire under the old combat results table.

Now a pass through will happen in almost every combat with a square under your rules. Indeed the cavalry can even lose the combat by becoming disordered, without disordering the square, and still pass through without even a CMT! You can't pursue if you are fighting infantry not in square and both sides finish the combat disordered. Why should you be able to pass through?

That's a pretty useless combat dynamic for something that the original rules desrcibed as a "rare event" and for a rule that comes in the pursuit section. Surely pursuit implies a victory in the combat which preceeded it?

And your new outcomes table is still confusing - Infantry in square fighting is seemingly attached to a sentenced concerning fighting cavalry and being behind an obstacle - the phrase tacked on the end "or in square" hardly makes things clearer -does this mean that if in square fighting infantry the square will retire?? What if it is fighting cavalry and infantry??? Or does it just stand there????? All these interpretations seem open.

Lastly, the Combat Resoloution Table is bogus when it comes to active units that are disordered by combat - they should halt in place, not make an out come move.

And how is removing the combat bonus for Guards going to fix the problem of Guards if everyone thinks it a fairly mundane advantage in the first place?

What is actually the problem with Guards anyway? I can't really see anyone having ever defined it.

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by BrettPT » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:46 pm

I think that fixing your combat result table, the outcomes table and its interaction with the pass through rule is of much more importance than faffing about with a perceived guards problem.
Richard is reworking the combat result table in the hope of making it clearer. We'll have a look at the outcomes table as well.
Cavalry can pass through squares they have not damaged without a CMT and squash any wavering unit in the other side.
We are considering the possibility of having cavalry only pass through if they end the combat at a higher cohesion state than the square. ie fresh pass through disordered & wavering. Disordered pass through wavering.
And your new outcomes table is still confusing - Infantry in square fighting is seemingly attached to a sentenced concerning fighting cavalry and being behind an obstacle - the phrase tacked on the end "or in square" hardly makes things clearer -does this mean that if in square fighting infantry the square will retire?? What if it is fighting cavalry and infantry??? Or does it just stand there????? All these interpretations seem open.
Will look and see if this could use clarification
Lastly, the Combat Resoloution Table is bogus when it comes to active units that are disordered by combat - they should halt in place, not make an out come move.
Why? It would change the dynamic of the game massively if only fresh units could pursue. Cavalry winning a cavalry fight usually end up disordered or wavering and this suggestion would see very few pursuits at all.
At the moment we have disordered cavalry pursuing unless they pass a CMT - which they usually elect not to take. Disordered infantry currently need to pass a CMT to pursue. It seems realistic to me that cavalry in poor order (disordered) would be less in control and more likely to pursue their opponents than those who have retained good order (steady). What we have seems to have been working fine in the test games to me.
And how is removing the combat bonus for Guards going to fix the problem of Guards if everyone thinks it a fairly mundane advantage in the first place?
What is actually the problem with Guards anyway? I can't really see anyone having ever defined it.
It is my perception that guards could use just a slight tweak down. If I had to define the problem with Guards, it would be that steady Guard Cavalry nearly always win their combats against other cavalry. It's reasonable to expect this, Guards are supposed to be good after all. However from a game point of view it can be pretty frustrating for the player who doesn't have Guard cavalry and has to constantly face them.

Removing the re-roll 1's for Guards would:

- reduce the effectiveness of Guards in combat (so mainly effect cavalry), just a little bit; and
- highlight the point of difference with superiors. Superiors are aggressive & enthusiastic, they can dish it out. Guards are stubborn, hard to shift and can take it (don't lose as much cohesion when taking the hits).
- remove a rule (ie be a simplification).

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by KitG » Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:46 pm

At the moment your outcome table for a disordered active unit states:"Outcome move for active player units and Disordered that are not Passing Through. Steady opponents follow Pursuit rules" p41.

That's not what you are saying at all.

The difficulty is that the old rules used to operate on the principle that you had the opportunity to pursue only if you won the combat.

The new rules appeared to have departed from this principle and are now confused as a result.

My point does not concern disordered units being able to pursue per se.

The issue is what happens when the units of the NON ACTIVE player is disordered AND unit of the ACTIVE player is disordered? Here your table and the statement above just does not make sense as it would seem that the NON ACTIVE player would follow an out come move AND then the ACTIVE player would follow an outcome move - thus each unit would be retiring. There is no mention of the term "Halt - no pursuit", which was a most useful phrase and present in the old Combat Resolution Table.

Given that many cavalry combats end with each side disordered, the way your Combat Resolution Table functions is a major problem in these rules - and this is only about the 10th time I have mentioned it.

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by BrettPT » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:16 am

Hi Kit
Ok, so you were meaning to say that disordered units should not pursue disordered opponents, rather than saying that disordered units should not pursue, full stop.

Very good.
Richard has reformatted the Combat Results Table since the Melbourne comp and I can confirm that under the revised table, it is indeed clear that disordered units do not pursue disordered opponents. Rather they halt in place.

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by BrettPT » Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:39 am

I wouldn't read too much into Andrew Duncan winning with them. He's probably NZ's best player so would have done well with anything, I'm sure.
I had a club game on Sunday against Duncan. Andy came 1st in Melbourne and I came 2nd, however we did not end up playing each other over the ditch. A chance then for me to take some moral high-ground by giving him a good thrashing.

I took 1813 French Guard and Andy fielded 1799 Russo-Austrians.

Andy's army had minimal cavalry (2 LC and 2 Cossacks), no Guard and - apart from a single LI unit and 1 artillery unit - the rest of the army consisted entirely of small unreformed line infantry units.
So quite the opposite of what he won Melbourne with.
A few of Andy's infantry were average veteran Austrians, the rest average drilled Russians.

My army had 6 units of Guard infantry, 5 guard cavalry and one artillery unit. About 50% of my force consisted of Conscript Young Guard types.

I definitely had my chances and some early opportunities, but in the end Andy managed to kicked my butt, 17:8.
Bugger.

But the game reinforced my personal impression that v2 has landed on a pretty good balance between reformed and unreformed armies. It's not so much what you've got, but how you use it.
Which is good. Unless you are playing Duncan. When you need all the cheese you can lay your hands on.

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by KitG » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:34 am

"It is my perception that guards could use just a slight tweak down. If I had to define the problem with Guards, it would be that steady Guard Cavalry nearly always win their combats against other cavalry. It's reasonable to expect this, Guards are supposed to be good after all. However from a game point of view it can be pretty frustrating for the player who doesn't have Guard cavalry and has to constantly face them."

1. This cannot be the case - even a superior veteran guard cavalry unit with a general will not rout a small unit of shock heavy cavalry, because they will only get five dice. Your 'issue' only works if you are talking about a unit of superior guard shock heavies in combat against either non guard lights or non shock heavies. Even good quality guard shock heavies against other shock will hardly be an auto break with each side hitting on a 4+

2. "Guards are supposed to be good afterall" - yes - but as shown above the only 'auto breakers' guard have are the shock heavies. Given that these units are the most expensive units in the game and are usually routing units the cost less than half of their total points - what's the issue? That light cavalry units worth about 32 points get monstered by guard shock cav? I would suggest that given how even crummy old dragoons can now out run the shock cav, they shouldn't have been put in a position where the slower shock cav. could even charge them in the first place. BY all means degrade the guard, but then LC become too good and I want you to either increase either their points, by 1 points per base, or decrease their movement by an inch...what madness that would be.

3. Frustrating - well tough. It's also frustrating for unreformed infantry constantly facing reformed who move 50% faster when within 6 inches , so if that is your criteria for changing the rules then I guess we need a further movement boost for the unreformed infantry within 6 inches.

4. Guards are not just stubborn - they were also combat effective as well. That is, Guard units routed enemy units. This is why they have a re-roll and why they should keep it.

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by Daemionhunter » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:22 am

I tend to agree with Kit. More than gut instinct and frustration should be employed to determine if the rules need to be changed.

Guard cavalry are hard to deal with given their capacity to absorb hits. They also provide an advantage in that they allow the concentration of a lot of force at a single point. Careful strategy/tactics in their deployment and timing of their commitment to combat can be the winning of a game as Kit has astutely shown over many years, often at my expense. However, this concentration of force does make for weaknesses elsewhere and if forced to moved from behind a screen of infantry they can be outnumbered. Kit is of course an expert at avoiding this.

His Superior Veteran Guard Shock Heavy Cavalry unit costs 96 points. I can get 3 units of Average Drilled Light Cavalry for that. What happens if they fight each other?

First a straight up combat. I charge with all three units into the Guard. I get 15 dice (3 lots of 5 each unit having lost one dice for facing Shock) and perhaps 7 or 8 hits on 4s leaving the Guard Wavering or Routed. Kit has to split his dice 7 dice (6 plus one for facing lights) over three units so the best he can do is three disorders or a couple of Spends and if lucky a Wavering. With 2 pursuits there's a chance I'll catch and break the Wavering Guard if they're not routed already.

An alternative strategy would be to charge a single unit (perhaps with rear support from a safe distance) into the Guard or force the Guard to charge them by ramming then down his throat so he can't move. With 7 dice on 3s rerolling 1s and 2s the Guard should rout the Lights. The Guard will probably be spend and disordered from 5 dice on 4s but will probably recover. I then charge the Guard with the two remaining units in my turn. I'd have 10 dice against his 5 and might get a Waver whereas the Guard will one disorder one unit for sure.

Its tactics that will determine the results. Guard are easier to employ as they allow easy concentration of force. However, I can force the Guard to deal with one group of cheap cavalry whilst another threatens a flank elsewhere. The Guard can only be in one place at a time. I've no problem with them being both resilient and good at combat (reroll 1s).

Brett and I had a good game of 1813 French Guard against Suvorov's 1799 Russians in Italy on Sunday. I won but it was a 50:40. Brett played without rerolling the Guard 1s. If he'd rerolled 1s he would have won and deservedly so as I committed the attack on my right a turn too early before I could get my left flank troops committed.

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Re: 4th Victorian FOG N Championships

Post by BrettPT » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:31 am

It's not the output of guard that makes them scary, it's that they can take up to 5 hits in combat and only be disordered.
They have a decent chance of winning combats by way of dropping their opponents 2 levels, but only dropping 1 level themselves.
It's not superior veteran guards that are a concern, as noted out they cost a ton of points.
The issue as I see it that average guards will beat more expensive none guards.
Ask any Saxon HC commander what they think of cheap guard ...

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