Time to limit the number of BGs?

This forum is for any questions about the rules. Post here is you need feedback from the design team.

Moderators: hammy, Slitherine Core, Field of Glory Moderators, Field of Glory Design, hammy, Slitherine Core, Field of Glory Moderators, Field of Glory Design

shall
Field of Glory Team
Field of Glory Team
Posts: 6137
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:52 am

Post by shall » Mon May 04, 2009 7:35 am

and that is also a damn good point

I (think I) play fairly fast, in fact I try to play as fast as I can. In club games I would expect to be finished in 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I have only finished 1 21 Bg game (I lost BTW)

not losing is good, but army breaks are substantially better.

I think the big no of BG army will fade - it doesnt win so well
This was our view early on in the development and i think it is borne out on average.

Some people will do very well with lots of BGs but you need to be a very fast player to make it work well.

Otherwise often better to be more direct and have a BG of 12 bases with a general in the front rank!!!

Si
Simon Hall
"May your dice roll 6s (unless ye be poor)"

zoltan
Captain - Heavy Cruiser
Captain - Heavy Cruiser
Posts: 901
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:40 am
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Time to limit the number of BGs?

Post by zoltan » Mon May 04, 2009 10:05 am

In NZ armies with large numbers of BGs circa 16 to 18 are not uncommon. Also not uncommon is their defeat by better generals with fewer BG armies!

Just play harder and faster next time!

:wink:

jcmedhurst
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 64
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 10:20 pm

Thoughts

Post by jcmedhurst » Mon May 04, 2009 11:17 am

As I understand it, the advantage of the large number of BGs are two-fold

1. The army is harder to break - thus the player using it is less likely to give his opponent 5 pts for defeating his army, and his opponent needs to kill more BGs to remove points from him in normal play. The downside of this is that the units are smaller or of lower quality and thus easier to break in general.

2. The army can make use of its superior number of BGs to engage an opponent frontally and then manouevre onto his flanks, this is made easier by the fact that the player with many BGs can afford to lose a few of them setting up the situation for the rest of the army.


The first advantage could be easily moderated if desired, by making the army breakpoint not 1 AP/BG but 1 AP/BG up to say 12 BG, then 1 AP/2 or 2 AP/3 BG. This would make the armies less linearly dependent upon numbers. It also avoids the horrible consequences of the DBx 'The More of You the Braver You Are' syndrome, which had such bizarre consequences - and which is incidentally totally contrary to everything the ancient authors themselves say about the relative strengths of lots of poor troops and smaller numbers of better ones. The theory here would be that even very large armies are vulnerable to the local effects of suffering heavy losses. It is a rule change, which is a downside, but quite a simple one from which many effects follow. The existing score sheet could be retained, and the penalty for losing BGs would remain the same, so large armies would suffer proportionately greater points defeats in competition for a given number of BGs lost, since these would be a higher proportion of the army break point.

The second advantage is much more difficult to counteract, since it is fundamental to the design of FOG and the lethality of flank charges. These are necessary to control certain types of unit, such as Superior Pikes and Knights, who would otherwise be more or less invincible except to their equivalents. To get round this would require some sort of command point system. At the moment the penalties for small units are relatively greater vulnerability to shooting and less influence of generals. Their advantages are greater manouevrability (and somewhat oddly reduced vulnerability to base losses). Much less sure about this change which would be a big one.

My point is that the two different advantages require separate treatment and probably require different consideration of what are the advantages of large numbers of small units and whether these are game artifacts or have some basis in reality.

John

Ghaznavid
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
Posts: 800
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:44 am
Location: Germany

Post by Ghaznavid » Mon May 04, 2009 2:53 pm

I don't think your advantage #2 is worth worrying about. It sounds good in theory but requires a good player with excellent timing and a bit of luck (or a rather accomodating opponent) to pull off on more then one or two BGs.
Average players (like me) can use a swarm army and defensive play to avoid losing. Winning with a swarm vs. an equally comptent player is much more tricky though.
Karsten


~ We are not surrounded, we are merely in a target rich environment. ~

hazelbark
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4957
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:53 pm
Location: Capital of the World !!

Post by hazelbark » Mon May 04, 2009 7:10 pm

Ghaznavid wrote:I don't think your advantage #2 is worth worrying about. It sounds good in theory but requires a good player with excellent timing and a bit of luck (or a rather accomodating opponent) to pull off on more then one or two BGs.
Average players (like me) can use a swarm army and defensive play to avoid losing. Winning with a swarm vs. an equally comptent player is much more tricky though.
I think you under estimate the pulling people around effect. But you are generally right that it is done only to 1-2 enemy BGs. The point then is that blows a decisive hole in the enemy army and you pile through with escalating results, opportunities and effects.

babyshark
Field of Glory Moderator
Field of Glory Moderator
Posts: 1336
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:59 pm
Location: Government; and I'm here to help.

Post by babyshark » Mon May 04, 2009 8:24 pm

hazelbark wrote:
Ghaznavid wrote:I don't think your advantage #2 is worth worrying about. It sounds good in theory but requires a good player with excellent timing and a bit of luck (or a rather accomodating opponent) to pull off on more then one or two BGs.
Average players (like me) can use a swarm army and defensive play to avoid losing. Winning with a swarm vs. an equally comptent player is much more tricky though.
I think you under estimate the pulling people around effect. But you are generally right that it is done only to 1-2 enemy BGs. The point then is that blows a decisive hole in the enemy army and you pile through with escalating results, opportunities and effects.
True, but as Ghaznavid says, this requires a player of at least some skill to accomplish. I do not think that the available evidence supports the notion that large numbers of BGs are overly important.

Marc

paulcummins
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Sergeant First Class - Panzer IIIL
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:01 am
Location: just slightly behind your flank

Post by paulcummins » Mon May 04, 2009 8:41 pm

the plan is to get on the flanks with LBG armies - but if your opponent knows what they are doing its very difficult. Try dong that to a competently generalled LRR army - I tried with 21 BGs. I dont think I got in a single flank charge. My only option was to run away. It wasnt the LBG that saved me, but the drilled MF'ness of the army. In fact the LBG'ness was a hazzard as I couldnt get the buggers out of the way of the onrusshing legions with out getting in each others way.

lawrenceg
Colonel - Ju 88A
Colonel - Ju 88A
Posts: 1536
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:24 pm
Location: Former British Empire

Swarms not the army of choice

Post by lawrenceg » Tue May 05, 2009 5:15 am

There aren't many Dom Rom swarm armies listed in the runners and riders for the IWF WIC. Unless they are disguised as something else?
Lawrence Greaves

Ghaznavid
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
Posts: 800
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:44 am
Location: Germany

Re: Swarms not the army of choice

Post by Ghaznavid » Tue May 05, 2009 5:39 am

lawrenceg wrote:There aren't many Dom Rom swarm armies listed in the runners and riders for the IWF WIC. Unless they are disguised as something else?
Possibly they were reincarnated into a medieval swarm ;) Both Santa Hermandad and Later Ottomans can get into the 18 BG region easily (actually I think Santa Hermandad can produce an far uglier swarm then Dom Roms, slightly slower, but being HF spear with no vulnerability vs. Mtd). Additionally Middle Hungarian can produce an ugly LH swarm. In a few weeks time we will know more. :)
Karsten


~ We are not surrounded, we are merely in a target rich environment. ~

jlopez
Sergeant Major - Armoured Train
Sergeant Major - Armoured Train
Posts: 589
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 6:57 pm
Location: Spain

Post by jlopez » Tue May 05, 2009 8:42 am

petedalby wrote:
Im becoming less convinced on the lots of BG thing - I was using a 21 BG army the other day - and all I achieved was tying myself in knots as I couldnt give myself enough room for them to move around each other.
I guess that's the point I'm trying to make Paul.

I'm not suggesting they will always win.

But while you were CMTing and moving 21 BGs - did your opponent get the opportunity to beat you?

Pete
I won a small tournament in Lisbon last year (Later Achaemenid with 23 BGs) mostly thanks to my greater experience. However, I have to admit that even when faced with difficult games at no moment did I feel in danger of losing due to the sheer size and flexibility of the army. I don't think I would do half as well against more experienced players but I'm pretty certain that my army would not break.

To be honest, I think the issue isn't so much the number of BGs as time. Where both players have a go, games are often over in 5-8 turns. If your opponent is reluctant to engage there is very little you can do to force the issue without taking excessive risks AND fielding a mobile army. As players get more experienced they seem to become more cautious and the more I play the less I want to field slow armies. This is nothing new, it was also a problem in DBM.

As a result, there is increasing talk of reintroducing the Blitz system in Spain to impose a reasonable number of turns. Personally, I'd like to see a minimum of 13 turns played to guarantee heavy infantry armies the time to push skirmish/cav armies off the table if they avoid combat. What I don't want to see again is a Medieval German infantry army delay a Swiss army with skirmishers before turning 180 degrees and calmly march away in the full knowledge that it would have enough space to avoid a fight by the end of the game.

Julian

hazelbark
General - Carrier
General - Carrier
Posts: 4957
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:53 pm
Location: Capital of the World !!

Post by hazelbark » Tue May 05, 2009 6:08 pm

jlopez wrote: As a result, there is increasing talk of reintroducing the Blitz system in Spain to impose a reasonable number of turns. Personally, I'd like to see a minimum of 13 turns played to guarantee heavy infantry armies the time to push skirmish/cav armies off the table if they avoid combat. What I don't want to see again is a Medieval German infantry army delay a Swiss army with skirmishers before turning 180 degrees and calmly march away in the full knowledge that it would have enough space to avoid a fight by the end of the game.

Julian
I do agree this is something to watch. i can see the swarm actually wanting the extra time however. But I tend to agree now is not the time to get carried away with regulations.

I am going to try and monitor this to the degree possible at IWF. Assuming no one needs the umpire. :lol:

ethan
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1284
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:40 pm

Post by ethan » Tue May 05, 2009 8:15 pm

I see two main issues around the swarms (and I think it is too early to make a call, just things to watch):

- Can the swarms engage in battle without risk of defeat? One of the strengths of FoG is that it appears to largely eliminate this kind of play. It was very bad for DBM and encouraged all sorts of gamey play and unsatisfying games.

- Does the swarm tactic become important enough that everyone is forced to design their armies around it. My feeling is that FoG has a much stronger rock-paper-scissors component than DBM but if a specific army design becomes dominant to the extent one starts off army design with "how will I deal with the 18+ BG MF army?" and then figures out what else to do it is a problem.

Related to this should be a feeling that the natural counters to these armies are viable armies in their own right, not just specialized "anti-swarm" armies.

philqw78
Chief of Staff - Elite Maus
Chief of Staff - Elite Maus
Posts: 8721
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:31 am
Location: Manchester

Post by philqw78 » Tue May 05, 2009 10:34 pm

ethan wrote:I see two main issues around the swarms (and I think it is too early to make a call, just things to watch):

- Can the swarms engage in battle without risk of defeat? One of the strengths of FoG is that it appears to largely eliminate this kind of play. It was very bad for DBM and encouraged all sorts of gamey play and unsatisfying games.
I believe this is what they specialise at. They engage where they want. If they lose in that small area its not such a big problem. They have lots of BG.
- Does the swarm tactic become important enough that everyone is forced to design their armies around it. My feeling is that FoG has a much stronger rock-paper-scissors component than DBM but if a specific army design becomes dominant to the extent one starts off army design with "how will I deal with the 18+ BG MF army?" and then figures out what else to do it is a problem.
Maybe design your army not to lose to it. There is, IMHO, a change in what has happened in the big comps since it appeared. The big type in UK now is longbow/bow armies. There have been a number of Dom Rom Swarms in all the comps since their first appearance. The only really succesful user has been the obvious Graham Evans. He's a F good player.
Related to this should be a feeling that the natural counters to these armies are viable armies in their own right, not just specialized "anti-swarm" armies.
It is an army I won't lose to again, without a rush of blood to the head, but I believe it is hard to win with and my initial fear has evaporated. The only problem left is it is so hard to beat so many BG decisively even if used by an average player.

marioslaz
Captain - Bf 110D
Captain - Bf 110D
Posts: 870
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:11 pm
Location: San Lazzaro (BO) Italy

2 problems a solution

Post by marioslaz » Wed May 06, 2009 7:34 am

I think that this thread have some points in common with the one I started a couple of weeks ago. My thread was about introduction of house rule to improve domino's effect for army rout. (A note: we still are not ended our first game with that house rule, so no input about untill next friday :oops:). I think this 2 threads have points in common because the problem of big armies was morale. Big armies contain poor/average troops, that are prone to rout in mass when things start to go bad. FOG lacks a similar mechanism.
An example. I make just for fun an army list of MRR at 800 points with 19 BGs. In this army list I used a poor legions and all BG of 4s (Triarii of 2s). Poor legionaries BGs autobreak after 2 casualties, as average ones. I can also buy cavalry, MF and of course velites to cover legionary flanks. I can deploy this army with legionaries on 2 rows, the first with poor troops and a BG of average. The second row of all average and Superior Triarii has 2 BGs less than the first. All first row BGs have rear support. When some BG of first row breaks I can substitute with another one of better quality (but of course I lose rear support). I have also a couple of TC to give support to fighting troops. Poor legionaries are anyway worst than average, but they have just a slight worst percentage to hit, so they are still good fighting troops (impact foot, swordsman). You must not worry about to lose your poor troops, because even if you lose all poor troops you would be far by army rout threshold. This is surely not an all purpose army, but it can be lethal against many armies of its time and area.
Mario Vitale

shall
Field of Glory Team
Field of Glory Team
Posts: 6137
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:52 am

Post by shall » Wed May 06, 2009 7:37 am

Just to re-assure all

As authors we have been keeping a watching brief and discussing this since before Warfare 08. As yet we are not convinced there is a need for anything but we will see how it goes.

"Big brother is watching you ......"

Si
Last edited by shall on Wed May 06, 2009 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Simon Hall
"May your dice roll 6s (unless ye be poor)"

zoltan
Captain - Heavy Cruiser
Captain - Heavy Cruiser
Posts: 901
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:40 am
Location: Wellington, New Zealand

Swarm schmorm

Post by zoltan » Wed May 06, 2009 8:14 am

I know its only a game but.....

I just don't understand the line of argument that hints that it's almost "cheating" to use a large BG army of weaker/cheaper troops that keeps avoiding contact on an 8x4 table in order not to lose, even if it can't win. To me a large army of crap that nips here and there and then pulls away to avoid being smashed by heavier troops is an historically legitimate option. But draws winnith not the laurel leaves!

A better general who plays quickly with a smaller army and exploits the available terrain will as often as not be able to push the skirmisher off the table before time is called. That's the generalship challenge presented to that general.

Conversly a better general may also be able to avoid combat with a swarm all game and play for a draw (historically legitimate outcome - he who fights and runs away etc). Similarly, the QHIOQ argument reflects those historical examples where small elites were simply over-run by massive numbers of crap.

I suspect the record actually shows that better generals with large BG armies usually beat their opponents 25-0 because they have a plan and know how to use their army to win, not to stall. These are not guys who are off taking smoke breaks and urinating, in order to run the clock down for a draw. They get stuck in and demonstrate how a better general with large numbers of modest troops can beat a modest general with a smaller number of overconfident, highly trained and better equipped troops.

jlopez
Sergeant Major - Armoured Train
Sergeant Major - Armoured Train
Posts: 589
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2007 6:57 pm
Location: Spain

Post by jlopez » Wed May 06, 2009 8:17 am

ethan wrote:I see two main issues around the swarms (and I think it is too early to make a call, just things to watch):

- Can the swarms engage in battle without risk of defeat? One of the strengths of FoG is that it appears to largely eliminate this kind of play. It was very bad for DBM and encouraged all sorts of gamey play and unsatisfying games..
In the case of my 23 BG list I would say almost definitely given most units can evade, have rear support, an IC and there isn't enough time to hunt 12 BGs down. In fact, I deliberately sacrificed units to set up flank charges to the extent that in one game I lost 8 BGs before I beat a well played Hun with lots of superior cavalry (my nemesis). That still gave me an 18-7 victory.

ethan wrote: - Does the swarm tactic become important enough that everyone is forced to design their armies around it. My feeling is that FoG has a much stronger rock-paper-scissors component than DBM but if a specific army design becomes dominant to the extent one starts off army design with "how will I deal with the 18+ BG MF army?" and then figures out what else to do it is a problem.

Related to this should be a feeling that the natural counters to these armies are viable armies in their own right, not just specialized "anti-swarm" armies.
No. I don't think army lists are the issue. Time is. Given enough turns you can adopt appropriate tactics to beat anything, no matter how mismatched the army. However, if your opponent doesn't want to play or slows down play once he's in difficulty, your chances of winning dwindle drastically and this applies particularly to slower armies.

I don't want to sound like I'm on the Slitherine payroll (usual Swiss bank account, Simon) but to date I have found nothing wrong with the rules themselves. They work fine. The army lists I might bleat about every so often but again, nothing dramatic. IMHO, the competitive army issues raised in this post and others have to do with the competition rules rather than specific army list design and other voodoo.

To summarise, if you want to give all army types a fair chance of winning their games you need to give them ALL the time to use adequate tactics. Based on my personal experience in 16 competitions over the last eighteen months, I think most competitions are biased towards fast armies. A blitz system would I believe restore the balance.

Julian

DaiSho
1st Lieutenant - Grenadier
1st Lieutenant - Grenadier
Posts: 792
Joined: Sat May 24, 2008 10:02 am
Location: Australia

Re: Time to limit the number of BGs?

Post by DaiSho » Wed May 06, 2009 9:34 am

zoltan wrote:In NZ armies with large numbers of BGs circa 16 to 18 are not uncommon. Also not uncommon is their defeat by better generals with fewer BG armies!

Just play harder and faster next time!

:wink:
Yes, I have to admit to still maintaining a DBMesque concern for my flanks. I understand that flanks are important in this game, but vastly more difficult to get around than in DBMM. Being a Hoplite (and now Viking) player with mostly slow moving troops has meant in the past that I couldn't react to the totally devistating effect of having troops on my flank (even just a single psiloi element), so carry some of that nervousness over into Field of Glory. I perhaps don't play as furiously as I should - concerned about getting my flanks beaten upon.

Ian
Viking (15mm)
Syracusan (15mm)
Palmyran (10mm - 15mm basing)
Horse Nomad (15mm)

shall
Field of Glory Team
Field of Glory Team
Posts: 6137
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:52 am

Post by shall » Wed May 06, 2009 3:05 pm

Yes, I have to admit to still maintaining a DBMesque concern for my flanks. I understand that flanks are important in this game, but vastly more difficult to get around than in DBMM. Being a Hoplite (and now Viking) player with mostly slow moving troops has meant in the past that I couldn't react to the totally devistating effect of having troops on my flank (even just a single psiloi element), so carry some of that nervousness over into Field of Glory. I perhaps don't play as furiously as I should - concerned about getting my flanks beaten upon.

Ian
Using my Greeks I found the best overall plan was to let the flanks go a bit and assume I would lose 1 BG each side and rapidly trample everything else underfoot across the rest of the table. Worked for me. Mucking around too much to protect the flansk lost too much time.

For those who worry large skirimisher armies do well try fighting a Christian Nubian with them. Being skimishers is alright until you meet something that shoots back with a vengence. You can't flee off table as they don't charge you. They cause a CT almost every shot. They are a threat from 10MU away. Quite capable of shooting 12 skirmisher BGs to pieces within 2 1/2 hours with 48 Sup bowmen.

"There is always a bigger fish".....Qui Gon Yin, The Phantom Menace.

Si
Simon Hall
"May your dice roll 6s (unless ye be poor)"

ethan
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1284
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:40 pm

Post by ethan » Wed May 06, 2009 3:11 pm

shall wrote:
For those who worry large skirimisher armies do well try fighting a Christian Nubian with them. Being skimishers is alright until you meet something that shoots back with a vengence. You can't flee off table as they don't charge you. They cause a CT almost every shot. They are a threat from 10MU away. Quite capable of shooting 12 skirmisher BGs to pieces within 2 1/2 hours with 48 Sup bowmen.
I agree. The large skirmisher armies are not the real problem. They have a number of pretty obvious and effective counters. IMO if there is a problem it is the 4 element BGs of MF armies.

Post Reply

Return to “Rules Questions”