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A more decisive Impact phase.

Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:01 am
by Rekila
I will suggest that impact phase should be more deadly. As the first step of the combat it was probably more violent. Also there are only one impact phase followed by various melee phases, so the melee Poas are in fact more relevant in the end. I suggest adding +1 to all combat dice on the impact phase (so with equal POA a 3 gives a hit) and a -1 on the Cohesion test for losing the impact combat. That will also speed play.

Posted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:10 pm
by spikemesq
Although the Impact Phase might be worth a boost, recall that shock mounted get that tasty breakoff, so the "only one Impact Phase" is not quite true.

Posted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:14 pm
by VMadeira
I agree with the -1 on the Cohesion test for losing the impact combat.

The points paid for melee weapons are basically identical to the impact weapons and the melee POA's are much more used, the break off rule is just an exception that only applies if mounted vs foot and then only if at least half of their front bases are steady.

Another positive effect is that it would improve barbarians (and others like them), as they are dependant of disrupting the opponent in impact.

Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:59 am
by rbodleyscott
VMadeira wrote:I agree with the -1 on the Cohesion test for losing the impact combat.
The authors have already considered this seriously, but the problem is that it significantly increases the chance element in the game. We feel that the skill/chance balance is currently good, and do not want to increase the element of chance.

We are, however, considering -2 CT modifier for losing the Impact Phase vs Undrilled Impact Foot. (Drilled stay at -1).

Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:49 pm
by grahambriggs
rbodleyscott wrote:
VMadeira wrote:I agree with the -1 on the Cohesion test for losing the impact combat.
The authors have already considered this seriously, but the problem is that it significantly increases the chance element in the game. We feel that the skill/chance balance is currently good, and do not want to increase the element of chance.

We are, however, considering -2 CT modifier for losing the Impact Phase vs Undrilled Impact Foot. (Drilled stay at -1).
The +1 to the impact dice is an interesting idea. More base losses at impact. In terms of combat results, say with 6 dice per side:

Equal POAs - no great change.

+POA vs. -POA: 6 dice each would currently give a 3-2 result. With a +1 would give a 4-3, and I suspect slightly more chance of a big loss for the disadvantaged troops.

++POA vs --POA: 6 dice each would give 4-2 win at present, would be 5-3 with as +1, and I suspect slightly more chance of a big loss for the disadvantaged troops.

So no huge change, but does beef impact up a bit.

Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:12 pm
by ethan
This may fall into the "too much complexity for too little gain" area, but I will throw it out anyway.

What if you did PoAs differently in impact. Instead of one PoA changing the dice rolls to 4+/5+ what if the first PoA increased the chance of hitting.

So if we both get a PoA in impact we both hit on 3+.

If I have a ++ and you have + then make is 4+, 3+

and ++ vs 0 PoA is back to 5+, 3+

This would increase the number of hits and the chances of base losses for both the winner and loser in impact which might make it a bit more decisive.

Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:15 pm
by Strategos69
spikemesq wrote:Although the Impact Phase might be worth a boost, recall that shock mounted get that tasty breakoff, so the "only one Impact Phase" is not quite true.
Moreover, in my opinion close combat already lasts too little so making it last less does not provide more benefits to the game (at least from a tactical point of view). If some troops are thought to need a boost because they scared the enemy with their charge, a better option is being forced to check a CT when receiving a charge from them. Knights fall into this category, maybe elephants and Scythed chariots too.
rbodleyscott wrote:We are, however, considering -2 CT modifier for losing the Impact Phase vs Undrilled Impact Foot. (Drilled stay at -1)
The problem with that is, for example, some troops that get upgraded in special campaigns and then suddenly lose their ardour at impact (for example, Hannibal's Spaniards). I don't think that a general statement can target properly the troops we want to boost (in this case, Germans and Gauls, maybe also the Celtiberians). In that regard, I recently read about the cuneus formation of the Celtiberians (I think I read about that too for the Germans as well, Sacred Band Thebans also apply). a new capability such "can form a wedge" (cuneus) which would be that if you are in four ranks you get an extra PoA at impact. Another option is an extra die per overlap to avoid contractions of the front before contact.

So, in general I think that the impact phase is well balanced right now, some minor changes should be added and only some troops should make it count more by having some extra benefits.

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:11 am
by VMadeira
The authors have already considered this seriously, but the problem is that it significantly increases the chance element in the game. We feel that the skill/chance balance is currently good, and do not want to increase the element of chance.

We are, however, considering -2 CT modifier for losing the Impact Phase vs Undrilled Impact Foot. (Drilled stay at -1).
I understand that, in terms of game balance, but find hard to justify in terms of historical accuracy, as a charge from Knights, Elephants, Scythed Chariots, etc... are certainly no less fearful than those by irregular impact foot.
The problem with that is, for example, some troops that get upgraded in special campaigns and then suddenly lose their ardour at impact (for example, Hannibal's Spaniards). I don't think that a general statement can target properly the troops we want to boost (in this case, Germans and Gauls, maybe also the Celtiberians).
True

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:43 am
by philqw78
VMadeira wrote:I understand that, in terms of game balance, but find hard to justify in terms of historical accuracy, as a charge from Knights, Elephants, Scythed Chariots, etc... are certainly no less fearful than those by irregular impact foot.
What? Bloke with blue tattoos or rather large, although dirty and grey, monster. What is more scary? I think bloke on F big horse, horse dragging big kamikaze battle car, or huge tree crushing beast that I have no chance of hurting far more scary. Mr Madeira, a fine drink, makes a good point.

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:53 pm
by Rekila
:!: Is just me or there is a major problem with Impact foot. All topics end debating around it.

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:07 pm
by batesmotel
Rekila wrote::!: Is just me or there is a major problem with Impact foot. All topics end debating around it.
The problem that gets most debate is protected impact foot, swordsmen HF and MF which are at a -- POA in melee against normal Roman armoured impact foot, skilled swordsmen. It's not a general impact foot problem, just the general ineffectiveness of protected ones especially when undrilled.

Chris

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:17 pm
by ethan
batesmotel wrote:
Rekila wrote::!: Is just me or there is a major problem with Impact foot. All topics end debating around it.
The problem that gets most debate is protected impact foot, swordsmen HF and MF which are at a -- POA in melee against normal Roman armoured impact foot, skilled swordsmen. It's not a general impact foot problem, just the general ineffectiveness of protected ones especially when undrilled.

Chris
I think it goes beyone just against Romans, the various Dark Ages average, HF, impact types aren't overly popular either...

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:43 pm
by madaxeman
ethan wrote:
batesmotel wrote:
Rekila wrote::!: Is just me or there is a major problem with Impact foot. All topics end debating around it.
The problem that gets most debate is protected impact foot, swordsmen HF and MF which are at a -- POA in melee against normal Roman armoured impact foot, skilled swordsmen. It's not a general impact foot problem, just the general ineffectiveness of protected ones especially when undrilled.

Chris
I think it goes beyone just against Romans, the various Dark Ages average, HF, impact types aren't overly popular either...
Impact is also the segment of combat when protected spearmen can often expect to be at an advantage as well.

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:32 pm
by nikgaukroger
spikemesq wrote:Although the Impact Phase might be worth a boost, recall that shock mounted get that tasty breakoff, so the "only one Impact Phase" is not quite true.
Any mounted, not just shock.

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:53 pm
by batesmotel
ethan wrote:
batesmotel wrote:
Rekila wrote::!: Is just me or there is a major problem with Impact foot. All topics end debating around it.
The problem that gets most debate is protected impact foot, swordsmen HF and MF which are at a -- POA in melee against normal Roman armoured impact foot, skilled swordsmen. It's not a general impact foot problem, just the general ineffectiveness of protected ones especially when undrilled.

Chris
I think it goes beyone just against Romans, the various Dark Ages average, HF, impact types aren't overly popular either...
Are the dark age ones protected or armoured? I suspect mostly the former but don't have my lists here. Protected, impact foot are at their worst against Romans but suffer against any armoured troops. But then protected Hoplites have a problem in that direction as well.

Chris

Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:21 pm
by marty
Its not just IF. Any undrilled foot who fight rather than shoot are very unpopular and with good reason. basically because they only usually get to fight if your opponent wants to.

Martin

Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:16 am
by grahambriggs
ethan wrote:
batesmotel wrote:
Rekila wrote::!: Is just me or there is a major problem with Impact foot. All topics end debating around it.
The problem that gets most debate is protected impact foot, swordsmen HF and MF which are at a -- POA in melee against normal Roman armoured impact foot, skilled swordsmen. It's not a general impact foot problem, just the general ineffectiveness of protected ones especially when undrilled.

Chris
I think it goes beyone just against Romans, the various Dark Ages average, HF, impact types aren't overly popular either...
The issue with undrilled heavy impact foot is partly that they aren't the best troop type and partly the structure of the armies they are in. They tend to appear in either monoculture armies of warband or with medium weight mounted in insufficient numbers.

One of the few such armies I've found viable is Merovingian Frank, as they have large numbers of cavalry. They don't like fighting armoured foot. Oddly, they work well against shooty mounted (heavy foot anvil, 28 cavalry as the hammer). They also can do well against heavily armoured knights if in a proper shieldwall with generals and rear support. That match up really depends how the first impact goes. If the warband stay steady they will usually drag down the pretty bows with numbers.

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:33 pm
by iversonjm
One possible solution to this problem is use impact POAs (but not support shooting) in both the impact phase and melee phase immediately following impact. Melee factors would only come into play in suceeding turns. This creates a number of (IMHO) beneficial results:

1. Makes it harder for cav to charge steady spears/pikes frontally (they would have to disorder their opponents to ever get the benefit of heavier armor).
2. Increases the value of impact foot.
3. Gives bow-armed MF sword types (Janissaries and longbowmen) more of an incentive to employ fortifications in the open.
4. Gives lancers a bit more umph against armored bow/sword cav types.
5. Gives armored knights a bit more umph against armored lancers.

It does put non-impact sword-only types at an additional disadvantage, which might need to be counteracted by an impact/sword tie-breaker type POA that works like mounted LS currently does.

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:43 pm
by spikemesq
iversonjm wrote:One possible solution to this problem is use impact POAs (but not support shooting) in both the impact phase and melee phase immediately following impact. Melee factors would only come into play in suceeding turns. This creates a number of (IMHO) beneficial results:

1. Makes it harder for cav to charge steady spears/pikes frontally (they would have to disorder their opponents to ever get the benefit of heavier armor).
2. Increases the value of impact foot.
3. Gives bow-armed MF sword types (Janissaries and longbowmen) more of an incentive to employ fortifications in the open.
4. Gives lancers a bit more umph against armored bow/sword cav types.
5. Gives armored knights a bit more umph against armored lancers.

It does put non-impact sword-only types at an additional disadvantage, which might need to be counteracted by an impact/sword tie-breaker type POA that works like mounted LS currently does.
This presents two problems.

First, tracking which melee phase the fight is in will cause headaches. This would spiral as new BGs enter the fray. If Unit X is charged by A in one turn and then B charges into the mix in the following turn, X will fight with melee POAs and impact POAs in a single melee phase.

Second, what about break-offs? Mounted can to bounce off of steady foot after the melee phase. Would this remain true? If so, then mounted basically win or leave on their impact factors. Why give them a swordsmen POA at all?

Posted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:01 pm
by iversonjm
spikemesq wrote:
This presents two problems.

First, tracking which melee phase the fight is in will cause headaches. This would spiral as new BGs enter the fray. If Unit X is charged by A in one turn and then B charges into the mix in the following turn, X will fight with melee POAs and impact POAs in a single melee phase.
This is true, but the tracking would far less difficult then things we already do as a matter of routine, such as keeping track of who rolled what hits in multiple unit combat and files with different POAs.

[/quote]Second, what about break-offs? Mounted can to bounce off of steady foot after the melee phase. Would this remain true? If so, then mounted basically win or leave on their impact factors. Why give them a swordsmen POA at all?[/quote]

Yes, as mentioned, this is an intended effect. IMO reducing the effectiveness of cav against the front of steady foot (particularly spears and pikes) is a move in the right direction. The point of the sword for cav would be (1) for use against other mounted in a scrum, and (2) for chopping up disordered foot.