Column fighting in two directions

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JimmyThePict
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Column fighting in two directions

Post by JimmyThePict » Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:51 am

We were unable to find in the rules how the following column fighting in two directions could feed more troops into the melee,
V = Spearmen facing down the page
A =Impact foot facing up page, last in the column turned to face the LH in their rear
LH = Light horse facing up page having contacted the impact foot rear

VVVV VVVV VVVV
VVVV VVVV VVVV
........AAAA
........AAAA
........AAAA
........AAAA
........AAAA
........AAAA
LHLH LHLH
LHLH LHLH

No where could we find any rule that said the impact foot could not feed troops into the melee to face either the spearmen or the Light Horse, but in doing so they would break contact with the the other BG.

In the end we thought that the only logical solution would be to have the impact foot able to feed into the melee with the spearmen and move the Light Horse forward to keep in contact with them. (we then forgot to give them a - POA for fighting in two directions, but it was near the end of the evening).
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Re: Column fighting in two directions

Post by SirGarnet » Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:42 am

I don't see how you can feed any bases into combat since you would have voluntarily broken the BG in two.


On a related question, the base removal rules don't expressly address splitting a unit if you lose a base. It only mentions closing up gaps sideways. The definition of formations does say units can be forced out of formation by compulsory moves. Forcing the attackers to move forward to close up could have other side effects on the game and I don't see it supported where I checked.

So I would conclude in the case of a base loss that the normal replacement rules apply with bases being drawn from the middle, which would leave the BG out of formation with a hole in the middle until the combat is resolved - probably by a rout, which would result in their removal.

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Post by DaiSho » Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:16 pm

I can see where Mike is coming from, but by the same token there are instances where the rules cover 'going against the rules' and one where I can think of is the old 'If you can't line up, you leave everything as it is and fight as if you'd lined up'.

I think this is one of those circumstances that are so unusual that they haven't really been covered as it never came up in play-testing.

The one problem I have with Mike's interpretation is that it goes against what I believe the intent of the rules is. There are instances where the rules are written such that you cannot reduce the amount fighting. I.e. "you cannot wheel during an impact charge such that in doing so you would reduce the number of bases fighting". Therefore, if we go into our minds and role-play out this combat. We have a real mess of a combat. Enemy lapping around the sides, enemy behind us, we're totally surrounded. If we expand our frontage we will be able to have those troops standing around doing nothing actually doing what they are paid for. Lets expand.

That's my gut feeling.

Quotes above are my words for the feeling of the rules, not actual rules quotations.

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Post by SirGarnet » Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:20 pm

DaiSho wrote:Therefore, if we go into our minds and role-play out this combat. We have a real mess of a combat. Enemy lapping around the sides, enemy behind us, we're totally surrounded. If we expand our frontage we will be able to have those troops standing around doing nothing actually doing what they are paid for. Lets expand.

That's my gut feeling.Ian
The base removal question is more interesting to me since I think the initial question is resolved by it not being a legal feeding in bases by expansion.

In the RPG aspect, the impulse of human troops is to fall back into something orb like when surrounded, possibly densely enough to get in each other's way. Getting caught in column from back and front seems Cannae-like to me, beset on both sides and the troops in the middle useless until their turn comes.

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Post by DaiSho » Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:22 pm

MikeK wrote:
DaiSho wrote:Therefore, if we go into our minds and role-play out this combat. We have a real mess of a combat. Enemy lapping around the sides, enemy behind us, we're totally surrounded. If we expand our frontage we will be able to have those troops standing around doing nothing actually doing what they are paid for. Lets expand.

That's my gut feeling.Ian
The base removal question is more interesting to me since I think the initial question is resolved by it not being a legal feeding in bases by expansion.

In the RPG aspect, the impulse of human troops is to fall back into something orb like when surrounded, possibly densely enough to get in each other's way. Getting caught in column from back and front seems Cannae-like to me, beset on both sides and the troops in the middle useless until their turn comes.
Yeah, as I said, it's a tough one. I'm not set in my ways by any means.

Ian

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Post by petedalby » Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:03 am

I agree that this isn't covered by the rules.

An umpire could go one of 2 ways.

Personally I would argue that more bases should be fed into the melee, and the bases moved to maintain contact, including the enemy BGs if required. This aligns with the authors intention of allowing troops that could fight to do.

The same would need to be applied to base removal.

But this is only my opinion. Do what you think looks right.

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Post by hazelbark » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:56 pm

I agree. The bases get fed and the BG gets more smooshed. The enemy closes up to maintain contact.

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Post by JimmyThePict » Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:15 am

The problem with allowing the feeding of bases into melee in this particular situation is that the BG of impact foot in column would go from a very disadvantaged positions of:

fighting 2 vs 6 and -POA against the spearmen and 2 vs 4 at a +POA vs the light horse

to

expanding 2 bases to fight the LH pulling the spearmen out of the rough ground they were in (lots of BGs of 4 legion around looking tough and threatening in shinny armour) and getting 2 vs 6 and -POA against the spearmen and 4 vs 4 at a +POA vs the light horse.

For a BG caught in column front and rear :oops: , this appears to be a miraculous escape :D

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Post by petedalby » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:24 am

Given the added information I see why it is of concern.

But still can't see how else you'd provide a solution. A BG can't be split.

I think what you did under the circumstances was pretty fair.

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Post by SirGarnet » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:40 am

If something must be done, the fair thing would be to let the other player decide where the column expands and which way the column closes up for expansion or losses. Would minimize any advantages to be gained by the column.

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Post by rogerg » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:09 pm

Feeding bases in would be voluntarily forming an illegal formation. It should not be permited.
The same might also be said of any move that splits the BG into two.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:48 pm

I thin I concur with Roger.
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Post by philqw78 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:50 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:I thin I concur with Roger.
never

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Post by SirGarnet » Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:08 pm

rogerg wrote:Feeding bases in would be voluntarily forming an illegal formation. It should not be permited.
The same might also be said of any move that splits the BG into two.
People didn't like that answer.

In any event there is still base removal that can leave a hole in the middle UNLESS you remove 2nd rank bases before the chain of single bases needing to maintain continuity, which does its own violence to the rules.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:51 am

MikeK wrote:
rogerg wrote:Feeding bases in would be voluntarily forming an illegal formation. It should not be permited.
The same might also be said of any move that splits the BG into two.
People didn't like that answer.

In any event there is still base removal that can leave a hole in the middle UNLESS you remove 2nd rank bases before the chain of single bases needing to maintain continuity, which does its own violence to the rules.
That at least is not voluntarily doing violence to the rules, and I think the voluntarily part of Roger's view is important - the latter situation is something over which the player has no control so is not really the same thing.
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Post by rogerg » Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:02 am

An afterthought on removing bases, if a base is lost it comes from one doing the fighting in the contacted ranks. It is then replaced by a rear rank base if possible. The base loss would come from one fighting against the opponent causing most casualties. Strict application of p116 would suggest that the front rank base cannot be replaced because breaking a BG into two groups is not a legal formation. In the stated case, the column loses contact with the opponent inflicting the most damage.

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Post by jcmedhurst » Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:33 am

Alternatively just move up the unit causing the damage on the assumption that they are pressing in on the trapped enemy a la Cannae - maybe this is the nearest thing in FOG to a pushback :)

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Post by sagji » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:38 pm

rogerg wrote:Feeding bases in would be voluntarily forming an illegal formation. It should not be permited.
The same might also be said of any move that splits the BG into two.
Except the rear bases have already turned to face, so it is already in an "illegal" formation and is exempted from having to be in a normal formation.

It is unreasonable that 3 of the 6 bases are unable to contribute to the melee due to an artificial game constraint that the BG can't split.

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Post by rogerg » Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:07 pm

Reasonable is a matter of opinion here. A column getting hit from both ends may be in such confusion that deploying extra troops to fight anywhere might be considered unreasonable.

I don't agree with the logic about once the formation being disrupted a player is exempt from making it worse! That would open a rather large loophole I think.

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Post by SirGarnet » Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:08 pm

sagji wrote:It is unreasonable that 3 of the 6 bases are unable to contribute to the melee due to an artificial game constraint that the BG can't split.
As discussed above, this is a tactical situation where some of the BG bases being unable to contribute to combat is quite reasonable, although treating them otherwise one way or another can also be reasonable. There is a broad band of bad things that could happen to a column hit in front and rear, so several alternatives are reasonable here.

A rule set that says a battle group in column hit front and rear is picked up as destroyed would also be reasonable. FoG is more generous in its penalties.

Choosing the wrong formation in FoG is intended to have consequences - there is no "everybody always fights" rule - so it's not artificial unless the result is not intended.

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