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Do you have to own up to veteran troops??

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:36 pm
by miffedofreading
I have been meaning to ask this question for a while and keep forgetting.

A roman army for example may have some regular legions, some vets and some poor levies. They will all look identical on the battlefield.

When / how do you have to declare to your opponent how many of your troops are veterans and which are which??

Ta

Andy

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:47 pm
by carlos
When you deploy them. In fact you should declare everything about them, including quality, number, armour, equipment, etc.

This is common in most wargames rules to avoid confusion.

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:54 pm
by rbodleyscott
carlos wrote:When you deploy them. In fact you should declare everything about them, including quality, number, armour, equipment, etc.

This is common in most wargames rules to avoid confusion.
It is also considered the sporting thing to do, especially as wargames figures are not alway perfect matches for their historical prototypes. For example in other eras, the enemy could tell raw units from the brightness of their uniforms - veterans would look shabbier. But very few wargamers paint their veterans in shabby uniforms.

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:40 pm
by miffedofreading
Sounds fine to me, just wasn't sure :)

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:58 pm
by fukateesays
I can imagine one lot of Romans looking at another lot in a civil war situation and thinking " oh not not these guys, it's going to be bad-remember that bad night out in Ostia?"

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:27 pm
by hammy
IIRC there are accounts in civil war battles of whole legions swapping shields so as to confuse the enemy and lull them into a false sense of security.

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:47 pm
by kustenjaeger
Greetings

And an ironic example of misidentifying troops from Xenophon, Hellenica IV.3.10: 'But Pasimachus, the Lacedaemonian commander of horse, at the head of a few horsemen, when he saw the Sicyonians hard pressed, tied his horses to trees, took from the Sicyonians their shields, and advanced with a volunteer force against the Argives. The Argives, however, seeing the Sigmas upon the shields, did not fear these opponents at all, thinking that they were Sicyonians. Then, as the story goes, Pasimachus said: “By the twin gods, Argives, these Sigmas will deceive you,” and came to close quarters with them; and fighting thus with a few against many he was slain, and likewise others of his party' (of course this is smaller scale than FoG).

Regards

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:48 pm
by mikekh
In a competition it makes sense to declare everything - otherwise too much scope for gamesmanship!
In a 'friendly' - and certainly in a scenario game - I just declare that 'these are legionaries' or 'such and such are medium' etc. Basically information that could be detemined by looking. Non-visible characteristics such as quality are better not disclosed - it makes the game more interesting ( not that its lacking in the first place !!! ).

Cheers
Mike

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:03 pm
by nikgaukroger
hammy wrote:
IIRC there are accounts in civil war battles of whole legions swapping shields so as to confuse the enemy and lull them into a false sense of security.
Can't recall a whole legio doing it. Perhaps you are thinking of the couple of legionarii in 69AD at Cremona (IIRC) who picked up enemy shields (civil war so still Roman) to make their way through the enemy lines to disable the large stone thrower causing their own side problems.

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:48 pm
by ars_belli
mikekh wrote:In a competition it makes sense to declare everything - otherwise too much scope for gamesmanship!
In a 'friendly' - and certainly in a scenario game - I just declare that 'these are legionaries' or 'such and such are medium' etc. Basically information that could be detemined by looking. Non-visible characteristics such as quality are better not disclosed - it makes the game more interesting ( not that its lacking in the first place !!! ).

Cheers
Mike
I agree 100%, although the information should still be recorded somewhere before the battle begins. In my experience, this helps keep the game friendly, by removing the temptation to 'misremember' which of one's own troops were which. :wink:

Cheers,
Scott

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:55 pm
by Scrumpy
kustenjaeger wrote:Greetings

And an ironic example of misidentifying troops from Xenophon, Hellenica IV.3.10: 'But Pasimachus, the Lacedaemonian commander of horse, at the head of a few horsemen, when he saw the Sicyonians hard pressed, tied his horses to trees, took from the Sicyonians their shields, and advanced with a volunteer force against the Argives. The Argives, however, seeing the Sigmas upon the shields, did not fear these opponents at all, thinking that they were Sicyonians. Then, as the story goes, Pasimachus said: “By the twin gods, Argives, these Sigmas will deceive you,” and came to close quarters with them; and fighting thus with a few against many he was slain, and likewise others of his party' (of course this is smaller scale than FoG).

Regards
His opponent must have got an 11 or 12 for the post-combat general death roll.

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:01 pm
by korvus
R Bodley Scott wrote:
>It is also considered the sporting thing to do, especially as wargames figures are not alway perfect matches for their historical prototypes.

I always get a shiver when I hear someone say, "its the sporting thing to do," and not a good one either. Sportsmanship is by definition a relative relationship, and over here in Toronto, in most situations it would be considered sporting to have to be left guessing until some circumstance forces your opponent to reveal some detail that will allow identification of the quality of the troops. Or you force the circumstance on them.

And since the rules don't say one way or another, there is no way for players to know. And short of it being in the rules, this will be a cause of contention. Ex-Warrior players will take it for granted that the morale class is a secret until forced to be revealed, as thats the way it was in the game they played before. The rules don't say you have to reveal it, so why should you?

>For example in other eras, the enemy could tell raw units from the brightness of their uniforms - veterans would look shabbier. But very few wargamers
>paint their veterans in shabby uniforms.

Oh, now you take that back! Hollywood may believe stuff like this, but any reasonable reading of primary sources will tell you that how shabby soldiers looked has nothing to do with how elite they are, but how long they have been in the field or out of supply. And even thats not a hard rule. The Great Company's armour gleamed like mirrors at all times, and I doubt you will find a single source describing how shabby the cream of the French Chivalry looked at Crecy, Poitiers, or Agincourt (and in the later case it would have been hard to tell under the mud).

And that said, there are countless cases of deception to fool the enemy as to the identity of units beyond those identified here.

So, all this said, if you want people to have to reveal the quality and armament of their units, thats fine, but you should just say so in the rules (or in the Errata at this point). I'd prefer the opposite, FoG of war makes for a better game as far as I'm concerned. But its your game, and the decision one way or another will avoid needless arguments and wailing for the judges at tournaments.

Thanks,
Cole

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:25 pm
by hammy
It seems to me obvious from your post that not specifiying in the rules is the way to go but that tournament organisers should include a line to cover the way things are done locally.

For me I don't mind either way but I would be a touch upset if a BG of obviously Spartan hoplites turned out to be undrilled and average non Spartans.

If players are going to expect their opponent to be able to identify troops the troops should be right so identification is possible.

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:36 pm
by BrianC
FOG of war is something I have always been interested in. WWII in particular I think a referred game is great where the players have limited knowledge. FOG adds a little of this by allowing off board maneuvering as well as hidden units. But it could also be interesting to do this on a smaller scale if it was justified by the period or army. I recently did read a battle where Romans would do things such as close up to appear as if they had less troops, or increase the distance per man to make it appear they have more. So I think there is room for it. I am glad it is not in the rules but as I think the designers have mentioned you can always add scenario specific special rules.

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:19 pm
by rbodleyscott
korvus wrote:
>It is also considered the sporting thing to do, especially as wargames figures are not alway perfect matches for their historical prototypes.
I always get a shiver when I hear someone say, "its the sporting thing to do," and not a good one either. Sportsmanship is by definition a relative relationship, and over here in Toronto, in most situations it would be considered sporting to have to be left guessing until some circumstance forces your opponent to reveal some detail that will allow identification of the quality of the troops. Or you force the circumstance on them.

And since the rules don't say one way or another, there is no way for players to know. And short of it being in the rules, this will be a cause of contention.
But it is in the rules.

P.147

"The troop types of all battle groups must be fully defined to your opponent as they are placed on the table."

Far be it from us to leave anything to chance. :wink:

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:20 pm
by Fenton
I always liked the way Vis Bellica and to some reagrds Principles of war in reagrd to Hidden troops with blank baes the size of Brigades being put out with some false ones that remained until they are identified by the opposing general and the the figures put out, in these rules it was done by a spotting techinque using command points , so not sure how it would be done in FOG, but the size of the BG's might make this possible where it wouldnt have been in games like DBM

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:08 am
by shall
Fog of war is a concept we are thinking of for the campaign supplement ... far better plced there.

Si

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 12:13 pm
by korvus
R. Bodley Scott wrote:
>But it is in the rules.

>P.147

>"The troop types of all battle groups must be fully defined to your opponent as they are placed on the table."

Well, why didn't you say so in the first place :) Sorry I missed it, and then got all exited about the sportsmanship comment (although I do take that very seriously :)

Have fun!
Cole