cheesy terrain?

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david53
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Re: cheesy terrain?

Post by david53 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:03 pm

madaxeman wrote:As inflicted on me a couple of times at Britcon

Player 1 gets initiative, picks agricultural or similar - basically with fairly innocuous terrain as compulsories

Places small compulsory, then for his 2 pieces places a river down one edge of the table, and a road down the other

Player 2 has already placed one innocuous piece, but any subsequent pieces falling on the sides of the table are discarded - and probably any bits falling in the middle are moved by player 1 anyway.

Result - artificially empty middle of board and especially flanks.

I hereby name this cheese "The Byzantine Bowling Alley" ("BBA" for short)

Just wondered what army did you play with again.

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Post by philqw78 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:20 pm

david53 wrote: You mean to say its a matter of life and death to some, and not moving lead figues around a wooden table in a large room with many other people called wargamers. Not actually fighting the said battles and people dying and things like that. Now thats something
You'll see how seriously I take this game when you suffer under the power and might of the Strathclyde Sub Roman Brits on monday

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Post by david53 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 4:00 pm

philqw78 wrote:
david53 wrote: You mean to say its a matter of life and death to some, and not moving lead figues around a wooden table in a large room with many other people called wargamers. Not actually fighting the said battles and people dying and things like that. Now thats something
You'll see how seriously I take this game when you suffer under the power and might of the Strathclyde Sub Roman Brits on monday

Ah its coming out now your mind games don't work on me Phil I'm just too stupid for them to work :wink:

Theres no cunning plan that will save you this time sir run from the Spears of my Scottish Warriors:)

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Post by madaxeman » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:14 am

Semi-seriously (for a change) the question I was trying to highlight was whether the ability of roads to block terrain on both the flanks when used in combination with a river was spotted at playtest stage, as it seems to mean the main role of picking a road/river is to block other terrain placement by the opponent. Or, put another way, a road is almost like a terrain pick that doesnt give you a feature, but instead is "I get another +1 or 2 when rolling to remove your terrain picks"

FWIW I'd think the reasons to pick these terrain pieces should be because "I want a road" or "I want to fight next to a river to secure my flank" or even "I dont want to pick any more terrain features that impede movement as part of my mandatory choice of 2"...

... The other question is that now it seems to have been spotted, whether people think this may lead to a disproportionate number of battles being fought on a fairly open plain between a road and a river (much as the "one side always picks a river or waterway" happened in some of the early iterations of DBM)?


Given that a roads effect on the game is pretty much totally inconsequential, and the only time they are even vaguely likely to have a game-enhancing (as in, they can make it more interesting by creating new and different tactical possibilities for both players) effect is where they go through closed terrain, on a slightly different level it also seems like a shame to me that they are denied this opportunity as any terrain played after them cant fit on top.
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Post by david53 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:34 am

I understand what your asking but even if you lose the PPI you still get a compulasry piece which can be double sized pieced. Rolling 1,2,3,4 will allow you to place it were either the road or river runs. I know the oppenont gets a chance to move it but it is with a minus so its 50 to 50 to move it. I think this was spotted a while ago by certain players.
Dave

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Post by peterrjohnston » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:15 am

If it is a problem, a simple solution would be to redefine a side edge for the purposes of terrain placement
as the playing-area side-edge or the edge of a river or road if within 6MUs (or 12) of the playing-area side-edge.
Thus the behaviour of rivers or roads at the side becomes akin to that of coasts.

Although I don't know yet if it's a problem; I was looking forward to trying it out here in Italy,
especially on Guglielmo :twisted:

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Post by timurilenk » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:40 am

madaxeman wrote:Semi-seriously (for a change) the question I was trying to highlight was whether the ability of roads to block terrain on both the flanks when used in combination with a river was spotted at playtest stage, as it seems to mean the main role of picking a road/river is to block other terrain placement by the opponent. Or, put another way, a road is almost like a terrain pick that doesnt give you a feature, but instead is "I get another +1 or 2 when rolling to remove your terrain picks"

FWIW I'd think the reasons to pick these terrain pieces should be because "I want a road" or "I want to fight next to a river to secure my flank" or even "I dont want to pick any more terrain features that impede movement as part of my mandatory choice of 2"...

... The other question is that now it seems to have been spotted, whether people think this may lead to a disproportionate number of battles being fought on a fairly open plain between a road and a river (much as the "one side always picks a river or waterway" happened in some of the early iterations of DBM)?


Given that a roads effect on the game is pretty much totally inconsequential, and the only time they are even vaguely likely to have a game-enhancing (as in, they can make it more interesting by creating new and different tactical possibilities for both players) effect is where they go through closed terrain, on a slightly different level it also seems like a shame to me that they are denied this opportunity as any terrain played after them cant fit on top.
I agree with you Tim (scary!) this is something that should be dealt with in FOG 2.0 - I think Peter's suggestion is a good one - i.e to redefine 3 & 4 to be table edge or contacting a river. Further the only interest for road is running through otherwise troublesome terrain as you say.

I have used this stratagem - only in practice/friendly games, though I would have no qualms using it or having it used against me in a tournament - I found it less useful at getting reliably open terrain than using steppes. Its biggest effect is surprising (and possibly annoying) your opponent if he has never seen it before.
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Post by sagji » Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:23 pm

philqw78 wrote:
sagji wrote:There is no increased chance to shift / remove a road - and a shift of 6MU is not sufficient to permit a minimum width piece to be placed touching the edge. Thus a 5 or 6 is required to negate it.
Pieces can be placed touching roads so a 6x4 would fit after the shift.
You are correct - however it may not be possible to shift the road if other terrain is blocking, so a 4 or 5 will often negate it.

And how is any of this cheesy. I believe filling the field with terrain is cheesy and unhistorical.
Because placeing a road near the table edge produces a disproportionate reduction in terrain density on the battlefield - or to put it another way because players are placing the road not for the benefit of having a road, not even for the benefit of having a clear line of approach, but for the benefit of preventing their opponent placing terrain.

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Post by Blathergut » Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:08 pm

Ah, isn't there always something in any ruleset that people find to use that others dislike. Being able to drop on top of a road would make it much more interesting.

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Post by marioslaz » Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:43 pm

peterrjohnston wrote:If it is a problem, a simple solution would be to redefine a side edge for the purposes of terrain placement
as the playing-area side-edge or the edge of a river or road if within 6MUs (or 12) of the playing-area side-edge.
Thus the behaviour of rivers or roads at the side becomes akin to that of coasts.

Although I don't know yet if it's a problem; I was looking forward to trying it out here in Italy,
especially on Guglielmo :twisted:
I rarely use terrain rules because we play often campaign games where terrain is decided by strategic movement, but IMO your idea is very good. If I think to historical situations, road and river on side of battle area are often present, but this doesn't mean terrain between was more flat than when such features were absent. IMO, rivers could be treated as coasts, while roads shouldn't prevent terrain features to be placed over them (haven't you ever seen a road aside a hill, or a forest, or even inside a forest?).
Mario Vitale

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Post by kal5056 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:00 pm

Ok time to chime in from this side of the pond. We have been having a similar "discussion" in the Gulf South as a response to the frustration some (read-Me) are feeling at the abundance of Steppe Armies showing up of late.

I do not so much object to the concept of Steppe Armies as I do the mechanics that virtually eliminate the chance that a non-Steppe player will get ANY terrain on which to anchor his army.

I take my Later Ottomans as an example. I have plenty of primarily mounted options available to me when designing this list. I perfer to play them with a hefty batch of Jannissaries, which disadvantages me if I know I will likely square off against more than 1 steppe army. I hate the fact that what I might face will change the way I compose my army if I want to be competetive.

Now to think "Historically" if I am the Sultan of an Ottoman Army (Jannissary Heavy) and I am having problems with some Faction of Seljiks what would I do? Take my foot army out into the Steppes and chase the Seljiks around like the "keystone cops" or would I rather go to the edge of the area that I live in and attack them when they get close to me? (where I just so happen to have a couple of pieces of terrain to use to my advantage.

I think the Initiative roll allowing the player to choose steppes is already a disproportional advantage over any other army's favorable choices but to add to that the ability to then eliminate or minimize any possible terrain choices tips the balances.

I play the game (and the beauty of the FOG books is) that there are varied armies with unique troop types available. In just over 2 years I am now weary of seeing Steppe armies fight armies designed to fight Steppe armies. Which is what the last few events I have played in have been.

I recently caused some consternation when I stated that I would be planning an "Oath of Fealty" themed event but would not allow the Mongol Conquest as a choice.

IMHO the whole point of a theme is to encourage diversity in army choices.

To get back to the point of this thread It has been proposed to me that I just eliminate the Steppes as a choice to the Mongols you have now shown a mechanism for a Steppe Army denied the Steppes as a choice can create a Defacto Steppe environment. I think the game will suffer if we do not tweak the terrain rules to limit the 'Power" of mounted armies to mandate the Field of Battle.

One thig I have asked is if it is the ability to scout the area that allows the iniative player to pick then why not count Light Foot bases into the equation also to thus allow foot armies a chance to get to the +4 also?

OR

Allow the non-iniative player to select the few options available in the Steppes.

OR

Limit the size of Open Spaces.

Thank You for letting me rant.
Gino
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Post by philqw78 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:18 pm

Where has this supposed advantage of Steppe or Agricultural road and river ever shown itself in competition???????

Perhaps every HF army should get 2 bits of impassable to place where he wants, and every MF army 2 bits of RGo wherever he wants and the mountd should be forced to fight where the Foot chooses. This would be historical I'm sure.

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Post by david53 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:04 pm

kal5056 wrote: not so much object to the concept of Steppe Armies as I do the mechanics that virtually eliminate the chance that a non-Steppe player will get ANY terrain on which to anchor his army.

It has been a couple of months since the HF brigade had a go about the Steppe terain. Now all you need to do is have an IC and 25 bases of Cavalry and you too can have +4 giving you a chance to pick PBI.

What is it that you don't like the fact LH can't be caught by HF, how unhistorical of the rule writers to allow this to.

BTW when HF armies are stretched across the table I think that should be adjusted in FOG 2.0 HF must be in minimum two ranks, while were at it only armies with BG's of 12 or less please.

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Post by hazelbark » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:18 pm

kal5056 wrote:
I take my Later Ottomans as an example. I have plenty of primarily mounted options available to me when designing this list. I perfer to play them with a hefty batch of Jannissaries, which disadvantages me if I know I will likely square off against more than 1 steppe army. I hate the fact that what I might face will change the way I compose my army if I want to be competetive.
This is an army ideally suited to killing steppe armies. Jannisary heavy especailly.

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Post by hazelbark » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:19 pm

kal5056 wrote:I recently caused some consternation when I stated that I would be planning an "Oath of Fealty" themed event but would not allow the Mongol Conquest as a choice.
ignore the turds that complained. Themes are themes for a reason.

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Post by philqw78 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:47 pm

kal5056 wrote: I take my Later Ottomans as an example. ..... snip. I hate the fact that what I might face will change the way I compose my army if I want to be competetive.
Ermm, I don't understand this at all. Being competetive is surely part of competitions.

As for people complaining about your theme, surely the reason for themes is to restrict army choice.

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Post by jlopez » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:03 pm

Generally speaking, I find the terrain rather inconsequential in FOG and that's without resorting to the river plus road combination (shame on you Pete... ;) ). I really can't remember a game where terrain played a significant part in one of my games other than providing my baggage with some extra protection. If an empty battlefield is what the authors wanted then the current system works just fine. Personally, I find it makes the game slightly less challenging as I'm mostly playing on billard tables and as a result I don't see the point of taking MF other than shooters.

With regards to the river and road issue, I really can't see why they can't be placed on top of other terrain that subsequently falls against a side edge. Has no one seen a road/river go through a forest or other terrain in real life? OK, you won't see many rivers going over hills but that's probably the only exception. It would resolve this issue nicely and I don't think it would detract from a visual aspect either.

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Post by DaiSho » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:32 pm

timurilenk wrote:I have used this stratagem - only in practice/friendly games, though I would have no qualms using it or having it used against me in a tournament - I found it less useful at getting reliably open terrain than using steppes. Its biggest effect is surprising (and possibly annoying) your opponent if he has never seen it before.
Yes, I use 'Developed' quite a bit and take the compulsory village on a steep hill, two gentle hills with plantations on it, and something else.

Opponents are either pissed off that they are left with little terrain or they shrug and say 'ok what will I take?'.

I think the road/river situation is taking advantage of something that wasn't fully realised in the playtesting stage, but that's life. We just have to get on with it. I'm kinda glad I read about it here, because now I'll not be annoyed when it's used against me.

I do think, however, that any terrain (except impassible) should be able to be placed under a road.

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Post by madaxeman » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:07 pm

david53 wrote: What is it that you don't like the fact LH can't be caught by HF, how unhistorical of the rule writers to allow this to..
Aaah - that's a separate issue entirely. I doubt anyone thinks they should be able to be caught - but quite a few think its a poor game balance to be able to force almost the entire enemy leave the field of battle and still not be able to record it as a victory. 8)


Yet again, to repeat, I'm not whingeing about the effect of BBA terrain - I now would only ever design armies to take to a comp that could deal with facing massed Lh and Cv on a billiard table - I just think its a missed opportunity to make the game more interesting and varied by letting roads run through other terrain pieces

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Post by dave_r » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:45 pm

I feel honour bound to defend the steppe armies here :)

Speaking as a "Gay Skythian" I feel compelled to point out that I much prefer that my opponent wins the terrain roll. He can then put as much terrain down as he wants. This enables me to run up dead close and shoot him to bits, but when he charges me, I still can't be caught, but I run away slower.... This means it takes him far longer to push me off my base edge.

If there is a small gap I simply put my best troops in there and bash through.

Bottom line, if you want to beat LH and Cav armies - billiard tables are the best opportunity you are going to get. That's what my Scots think anyway.

For those who claim that it is impossible to get any terrain on the battlefield, when I used the Lydians with PBI 3 and massed LF skirmishers with JLS and Armoured Hoplites then I often picked Hilly and got massive amounts of terrain. I managed to duff up at least two LH and Cav armies this way at Britcon last year.

Again the bottom line is if you need terrain then you need a high PBI to do it. This can normally be quite easily accomplished by buying an IC, which very few people seem to do in 800 point games any more.

Picking a road and river when you have lost the initiative is pointless - so if you need to win the intiative for your army to work then make sure you have a high PBI.

It's not exactly rocket science is it?

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