Probably grinding an old ax: Compatibility of movement rates

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Claudius
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Probably grinding an old ax: Compatibility of movement rates

Post by Claudius » Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:22 am

I have never understood the seeming discrepancy between foot and mounted movement rates in "Open" terrain.
Almost all of the Field of Glory unit performance assumptions are OK, but the ones discussed below are problematic.

Light, Medium and Heavy Foot move at 5, 4 and 3 MU. That seems reasonable.

Light Horse, Cavalry and Knights move at 7, 5 and 4 MU per turn.

Upon comparison—some of these movement rates are counter-intuitive.
It is hard to believe that Light Foot can outrun Kn, and keep pace with CV.
It is also hard to believe that Medium Foot can keep pace with, or not be caught by Kn.

Battle histories are replete with mounted of all kinds catching up with, and running down LF, MF and HF.
Kn are often described as making a maximum effort at maximum speed when charging—after closing at lower speeds.

Perhaps a better movement rate for CV is 6 MU per turn, and for Kn 5 MU per turn.
That allows CV to run down all Foot units, and brings the Kn up a notch to represent their maximum effort charges and pursuits.

Derating unit performance in a counter-intuitive manner just doesn't seem correct.
Cheers!

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Post by philqw78 » Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:48 am

Perhaps it would be better to reduce the movement speed of the foot. Increase in the move rate of mounted would substantially reduce the effects of shooting

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Post by dave_r » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:18 am

Then the heavy foot would never catch an all mounted army, whereas presently it is simply difficult!

LF don't have to dress lines, worry about the horse getting tired etc, etc. I like the movement rates as they stand. They do give something to everybody.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:33 am

In an ideal world - or another (related) rule set :lol: - I'd drop MF to 3 MU, LF to 4MU and, just possibly, LH to 6MU.
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Post by Ghaznavid » Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:13 am

Of course the question remains if classing some troops as HF and some as MF is the right approach at all. With the possible exception of Pikes most foot seem to have been able to cope with most terrain well enough. So the distinction seems artificial and mostly based on wargamer tradition.
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Re: Probably grinding an old ax: Compatibility of movement r

Post by DaiSho » Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:18 pm

Claudius wrote: Upon comparison—some of these movement rates are counter-intuitive.
It is hard to believe that Light Foot can outrun Kn, and keep pace with CV.
It is also hard to believe that Medium Foot can keep pace with, or not be caught by Kn.
It might be counter intuitive, but the facts are that infantry and cavalry move at about the same pace. Despite what they show on movies, mounted can only gallop for an extremely short period of time before they are totally wasted. Thus, the majority of movement on the battlefield would be done at the walk, or at the very fastest a trot. These paces a horse can keep up a long time, but anything like a gallop, that's it - done.

Thus, in terms of the FoG scale, I'd imagine that maybe 1" of their MU is the final 'gallop' and the rest is an easy walk up to about that range.

Incindentally, on a strategic scale, infantry can move faster than mounted, as mounted need a lot more forage.

Regards

Ian

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Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:41 pm

Ghaznavid wrote:Of course the question remains if classing some troops as HF and some as MF is the right approach at all. With the possible exception of Pikes most foot seem to have been able to cope with most terrain well enough. So the distinction seems artificial and mostly based on wargamer tradition.
It is indeed. Si and I were bouncing around some ideas around getting rid of it but maintaining enough variety to be interesting during FoG development - alas it was all too late in the day to be properly worked through, tested, etc.
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Post by DavidT » Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:49 pm

In older rules sets, troops often had a longer charge move than their normal move. Increasing the move of mounted in a charge would be one way of representing that charging mounted would move much more quickly than foot for a period and be more likely to catch them in a charge while not enabling them to move around the table any more quickly than at present.

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Post by deadtorius » Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:24 pm

I think the VMD simulates the possibility of either not moving too quick or running as fast as you can rather well.
Originally I found the lack of a charge move odd, but the game works well without it and it seems to give a proper historical feel to the table top battles over all.

One way to cut down lights would be to allow the winners to remove one enemy stand when it breaks and then do the rout, hows that for knights cutting down poor unfortunates? Gets them to auto break a little faster and when the lights outrun you you still got some extra body count.

Just a thought for all you blood thirsty types :wink:

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Post by hazelbark » Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:37 pm

I really don't find it that significant.

LF are quite weak versus mounted especially Knights. The Knights can nearly ignore the LF excet for missile fire and maybe then.

I rather see MF archers have a longer long range, but that is trivial too.

Probably the only option would be to deny LH and (doubtfully CV) double moves. that would have curtailed them somewhat and representted the can't gallop every where.

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Post by deadtorius » Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:16 pm

At a demo game we put on at a local convention one of the players kept complaining about how the LH would scamper off and then move back during their player turn. He felt if they scamper away during his turn that should have been their move for the turn.

Personally I think FOG treats lights the best in any rules I have played. They can really do something in these rules. :)

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Post by viperofmilan » Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:06 pm

Amen to that Deadtorius. I think FoG provides all the right incentives and mechanisms to encourage and enable players to have LF operate as they should operate, and have the effect they should have.

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Post by Claudius » Sat Jul 25, 2009 4:04 pm

So—as modeled by the current rules—humans on foot are always as fast as humans mounted on horses?
And Mounted are not allowed to fully employ the additional movement that horses provide?
Indeed...seems like the Foot units are getting a little too much help from the rules.

I rather like Nik's ideal world "I'd drop MF to 3 MU, LF to 4MU and, just possibly, LH to 6MU."
That would bring the unit movement rates/speeds back into more apprpriate relationships—with Cv remaining at 5 and Kn at 4. And HF at 2 or 3?

Horses trot at 8-10 MPH, and canter at 10-17 MPH. Humans walk at about 3 MPH, and "jogging" usually is defined as running slower than 6 mph (10 minute per mile pace, 10 km/h, 6 min/km).

Various sources state that humans can easily walk at 3 miles/hour—even with backpacks and such. The most efficient running speed determined in one study varied between individuals, but averaged about 8.3 miles per hour for males and 6.5 miles per hour for females. That is for lightly dressed runners with running shoes, not warriors who may be carrying armor, weapons and necessities. Of course, runners on a school track don't have the incentives that warriors would experience.

From: http://www.ultimatehorsesite.com/info/horsespeedmph.htm
Horses speed varies with their stride length, body build, and other factors, but here is a basic idea of how fast-- in miles per hour-- horses move at their various gaits:
>> Walk: Roughly 3-4 MPH. A pleasure show horse can go as slow as 2 mph. Gaited horses-- who do not trot-- can do a 'running walk' as fast as 15 mph.
>> Trot: The trot is roughly 8-10 MPH. Again, a shorter striding horse could trot slower, and a horse with a long stride could move faster.
>> Canter/Lope: 10-17 MPH.
>> Gallop: This depends on the horse's condition and athletic ability. Some horses are not built to run fast an may only do a fast canter at their best; however, the gallop is about 30 mph. Thoroughbreds, which are bred for running distance but not speed, have been clocked at over 40 MPH. Quarter horses, bred and raced for short distances at speed, can reach 50 MPH in short bursts according to the AQHA's website.
Cheers!

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Post by hazelbark » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:34 pm

Claudius wrote:So—as modeled by the current rules—humans on foot are always as fast as humans mounted on horses?
And Mounted are not allowed to fully employ the additional movement that horses provide?
Indeed...seems like the Foot units are getting a little too much help from the rules.
NOT at all true.

LH are faster than all foot.
CV are faster than any organized foot. And same speed as LF. LF can't harm CV unless they use missile weapons which means they stay close enough to potentially be harmed. MF and HF will be caught.
KN have a problem but aren't really known for riding down foot who start with a lead, they usually hisotrically ride down the foot that either wanders too close are all ready routed.

So practically yea maybe the LF ought to have been 4.5 MU.

But i don't see this as a big deal.

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Post by dave_r » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:35 pm

So—as modeled by the current rules—humans on foot are always as fast as humans mounted on horses?
And Mounted are not allowed to fully employ the additional movement that horses provide?
Indeed...seems like the Foot units are getting a little too much help from the rules.
This is modelled by the VMD.

I don't think you can compare horses today with horses of the ancient times - they were a very different beast. They hadn't had centuries of in-breeding to create the perfect race horse and they were not always fed particularly well.

Also, racehorses don't have to dress lines which would slow them down also - even when charging.

I haven't seen a problem with foot being unbalanced against mounted so don't see the problem. What would it achieve making MF move 3" and LF move 4"? MF don't evade anyway so it is a moot point and LF get ridden down by most mounted anyway, even when they are a fair way away. Reducing LH to 6" would actually make LF significantly better as their main predator has just had their movement reduced, so would be against your logic anyway.

HF need to move 3" so that they can get across the table in an average 3.5 hour game. This is a very good move.

You only charge for about 30 yards - otherwise you would be too tired to fight once you got there. Quoting speeds of this nature is irrelevant.

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Post by Claudius » Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:49 pm

My concern is that CV and Kn are being penalized with movement rates that are too low relative to Foot.
Those low movement rates seem to limit the capability of CV/Kn units to move about the area of play.

Remember the history ...
War horses of various capabilities were bred for 1000s of years.
For speed, for endurance, for weight-carrying ability, for shock/mass, courage, special diets, etc.

Obsessively aggressive Kn would probably welcome the opportunity to run down [and could run down] any Foot within their grasp.

Suspect that Kn that moved too slowly to a 30 meter "charge" range would have been pin-cushioned with arrows and bolts by that range. Verbruggen [1997] suggests that Kn formations approached Foot formations at 250–500M a minute [9–18 MPH] to limit their exposure time to missile fire.
Cheers!

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Post by ethan » Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:14 pm

Claudius wrote:Suspect that Kn that moved too slowly to a 30 meter "charge" range would have been pin-cushioned with arrows and bolts by that range. Verbruggen [1997] suggests that Kn formations approached Foot formations at 250–500M a minute [9–18 MPH] to limit their exposure time to missile fire.
Sure, but what is the effective missile range they are charging through?

Let's assume 14MPH and missiles are effective at 200 yards (which seems generous). 14 MPH is 24,640 yards/hour so we cover our 200 yards in

200/24640 = 5/866ths hours = 20.75 seconds or so.

So our highly trained and valuable horses are only charging for about 21s or so which does not strike me as being incompatible with the view that they walk most of the time and only really go all out in the attack.

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move distance

Post by benos » Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:18 pm

200 yards in 21 seconds, seems not that fast, since i would estimate a human could do so (in battle gear) in about 30 seconds (depending on weight of kit)

light skirmishers with slings or a couple of javelins could probably manage it in 22 seconds (i used to run the 200m in less than that at school aged 16, so taking off a second or two for extra kit weight?)
heavier infantry would struggle depending on strength and endurance of the infantryman, since the speed is less of the issue in the armour (and especially the shield) as the ability to keep the charge up for more than about 70 meters, though from re-enactment and LARP expirience the maing prolem i found was the unwieldiness of the shield interfering with the run, armour was simply extra weight that cut a second or 2 off the time to cover the disance

Ben

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Post by Ghaznavid » Sun Jul 26, 2009 4:16 pm

Not sure pure speed is the key here, the ability to keep the formation while charging seem much more important.

That aside, be careful not to get carried away. The movement ranges are IMO a pretty important factor in the rather finely balanced system FoG. Change them and you effect the efficiencies of certain troops types significantly. Decrease HF speed and it becomes virtually useless vs. mobile armies and suffers much more from shooting. Increase charge ranges and shooters may suddenly face a lot more troops that can charge them without ever been shoot at (or at least never been shoot at effective range). Changing the shooting ranges in response again affects all other troop types again to varying degrees.
It's easy to lose sight of the whole while trying to improve one part of the interaction, but it might easily destroy the balance on a large scale.
That said I think LF could be reduced to 4 MU. Dropping LH to 6 MU is already pretty problematic. It won't hurt bow armed LH to much, but javelin armed LH becomes suddenly much less useful. Making MF slower (as it seems we are stuck with MF for the moment), makes me wonder what then justifies them costing the same as otherwise equal HF, given their much higher susceptibility to mounted and even HF? Being able to navigate terrain slightly better does little to offset their disadvantage in the open IMO.
Karsten


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Post by deadtorius » Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:36 pm

The movement ranges are IMO a pretty important factor in the rather finely balanced system FoG. Change them and you effect the efficiencies of certain troops types significantly
I would agree, overall the game works so why change what is not broken? Personally I like that my lights can run away and come back to harass again and again. since light foot can't charge non-lights, and light horse needs a nice open flank or rear, they are less of a threat and their main defence is to run and generally outrun anything that chases them.

One thing to keep in mind is that our ancient ancestors may have been smaller but were probably a lot tougher than we modern day types are, as has been proven in History Channel documentaries where they take us modern types stick us in the ancient world and watch as we can't cope with how life was. Civilization does make us softer. Those poor guys had to walk or run everywhere, no cars buses trains etc. More than likely they were faster than we think.

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