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.
- 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.