After game questions

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vincent
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After game questions

Post by vincent » Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:44 am

I just had my first victory, using Alexander macedonian against classical Indians.

Several questions or remark were raised during the game.
  • 1) Do steady pike in a one rank deep formation prevent an opponent from using its swordmen POA?(same applies for chariots, lances...). Ranks are necessary to get the Pike POA, but do not seem to be to prevent the opponent getting theirs.

    2) I tried, once again, to stop an elephant with a LF unit. This time, I used superior Agrianian javelinmen. Despite winning the Impact phase with some luck, the result was eventualy a rout after 4 or 5 bounds of melee. Despite being praised as the most efficient troops in the antiquity to stop elephants, LF regularly fail to do so in AoW. Looking at the number of dices involved, the same would probably applies too against scythed chariots. One possible solution for this issue, if it is felt as such, would be to allow LF not to divide their number of dices against elephants or scythed chariots.

    3) The restriction on moves for undrilled troops within 6 of enemy is creating some problems IMO. In our game, an elephant BG broke a LF BG and pursued, getting past the companions which were engaged against the indian archers. Despite having no direct enemy and being led by a general, the elephant failed 2 CMT in a row, effectively putting them out of the game.
    Here is a photo of the situation after the first rout/pursuit move.
    Image
    One possible solution to avoid such a situation would be to require a CMT only if the undrilled troop has some enemy, facing it, within 6MUs straight to its front. The idea is to create a sort of "zone of control" which would extend 6MU in front of all units. Undrilled troops would be required to test for wheeling only if they are in the "zone of control" of an enemy unit which is also in their own "zone of control". One possible refinement would be to allow non skirmishers to disregard skirmishers "zone of control".
    With the current writing of the rule, it is possible to have a unit completely overlapping a BL, yet to be unable to get it into the enemy flank due to bad dices on the CMTs.

    4) As long as a troop is winning, the +2 bonus makes it almost immune to the death roll. This is specially true for small BG when used in a concentrated area. Their small frontage prevent the enemy to have too many dices against them. With several POA advantages, they get few hits and almost no casualties unless the player is really unlucky. This means that there is no real fatigue effect and that a group of high quality troops can easily create a hole in the opponent's army with no real risks. Having several lines of troops does not help the opponent since the BGs emerge intact and still fully functionning from each melee. The problem is made worse by the fact that there are 3 rounds of fight (one impact and 2 melee) between each move phase of a given player. Superior well equipped troops are therefore too powerfull IMO (especially if led by a general) and by the time the opponent has managed to get to the flanks, 1 or 2 BGs have been broken in the front and the player can just turn around and blast away the flankers.
    This creates IMO a real play balance issue with low quality large armies being greatly disadvantaged.
    I see 2 possible solutions to this issue:
    • a) delete the +2 bonus for winning BGs (or reduce it to only +1)
      b) accumulate the hits received from one melee to the next until a death roll is failed (a unit winning a melee with 12 hits to 8 in a single round will automaticaly lose a base, the same unit winning 4 consecutive melee with 3 hits to 2 in each round will never lose one)
    5) Pike proved extremely efficient against elephant, much more than the reports of the historical battle of the Hydaspses tells us.
Best regards


Vincent

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Post by vincent » Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:28 am

2 extra remarks/questions with some photos to explain the positions:
  • 1) Corner to corner contact
    In the course of the game, we ended up with a pike BG charging an elephant BG. Nothing happened during the first round (except Olivier being very surprised to see the elephants fight at --)
    During his bound, Olivier brought up some cavalry in overlap, resulting in the following position:
    Image
    During the next bound, the elephant failed a death roll test. With only 1 base left, the BG was removed from the game, resulting in the following position:
    Image
    Since there was no failed COH test, hence no break nor rout move, the pike did not pursue.
    How do you handle such resulting corner to corner contact?
    We ruled it was not a melee. I also felt that I could not declare a charge (there is no position for the pike to line-up in front of the cavalry due to the archers being there) so I choose to advance, reducing my front to a 1 base wide column in the former position of the elephants to avoid staying in contact with the cavalry. In their own bound, the indian cavalry turned to face the pike, leading to that position:
    Image
    During my next bound, I declared a charge with the pike. The impact position was:
    Image
    After line up and expansion during the move phase, the melee was resolved with the following "better looking" position:
    Image
    Please note that if the cavalry had not turned (for example if they had been undrilled foot and had failed the required CMT), the pike charge would have been a flank attack. Note that only the presence of the archers to their front prevented the cavalry from wheeling to charge the pike in the flank themselves.
    Were these moves correct?
    Could the cavalry have declared a flank charge interception of the pike charge? I.e., can you intercept a charge declared against yourself? We ruled against it.
    Is the fact that the pike has not enough room to complete its wheel relevant in any way? We implicitly applied a kind of "kinked column" rule, but I hate to require room on my left to be able to make a wheel toward my right.
    I am now playing mostly Armati. In that rule, there is no compulsory line up of the base after contact. The troops are kept where they are when contact occur. As a convention, exact line-up are deemed to be impossible and troops are slightly shifted to avoid this when it occurs. Has some attempt being made to play AoW without classical line-up of bases? Since there are no recoil after combat, angled contact as in the 4th photo above are not a real issue. Not lining up can sometimes result in strange looking positions (e.g. the second photo, with just a slight shift of the cavalry, could be a legal melee), but lining up can also have bizarre effects: e.g. take the position above and assume that the indian army has some troops in a second line beyond the photo. After lining up, the pike are offering a wide flank opportunity to this second line since they cannot stay in the angled impact position.

    2) As an aside to the above position, I have 2 small querries:
    • a) In the position shown above in the first photo, the Indian cavalry is in the ZOI of the companion cavalry fighting the archers. How many dices do the indian cavalry bring in the melee with the pike? We played with 2 dices, thinking that the ZOI did not apply since the companion were effectively engaged in melee and could not intervene, but is it correct?
      b) In the position shown above in the first photo, the Indian cavalry is disordered by its own elephants. However, since they have only 2 dices and disorder implies the loss of 1 in 3, this disorder has no practical effect in the game. For the same reason (only 2 bases affected), the elephants failed to provide any advantage to the indian archers which were charged by the companion when they were placed in overlap position. Is this interpretation of the disorder effect correct?
Best regards


Vincent

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Re: After game questions

Post by rbodleyscott » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:57 pm

vincent wrote:
  • 1) Do steady pike in a one rank deep formation prevent an opponent from using its swordmen POA?(same applies for chariots, lances...). Ranks are necessary to get the Pike POA, but do not seem to be to prevent the opponent getting theirs.

    2) I tried, once again, to stop an elephant with a LF unit. This time, I used superior Agrianian javelinmen. Despite winning the Impact phase with some luck, the result was eventualy a rout after 4 or 5 bounds of melee. Despite being praised as the most efficient troops in the antiquity to stop elephants, LF regularly fail to do so in AoW. Looking at the number of dices involved, the same would probably applies too against scythed chariots. One possible solution for this issue, if it is felt as such, would be to allow LF not to divide their number of dices against elephants or scythed chariots.
Salut Vincent

I will leave your other points to be answered by Simon, but the answers to the first 2 are:

1) Yes. They only need to be 1 rank deep to cancel lances and swords if they are steady.

2) The LF are supposed to shoot (throw javelins) at the elephants, not savage them with their trusty fruit knives. :wink:

Close combat in AoW means close combat, it does not mean skirmishing at close range. (Unlike in DBM). The reason that LF were good against elephants and scythed chariots historically was that they could shoot at them, then evade them. These activities are explicit in AoW rather than subsumed into close combat as in DBM.

++

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Post by jre » Tue Jan 09, 2007 11:06 am

I am not Simon, but I wonder why the pikes did not just wheel just a tiny bit to the left and then charge home. The end result would have been similar (with boths BGs reforming and the charge not counting as flank even if the cavalry was contacted on the flank). Just one turn earlier and with less artificial moves.

Jos?©

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Post by shall » Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:19 pm

1) Do steady pike in a one rank deep formation prevent an opponent from using its swordmen POA?(same applies for chariots, lances...). Ranks are necessary to get the Pike POA, but do not seem to be to prevent the opponent getting theirs.
As Richard said the pikes still cancel the Sw effect. But it takes away both the +s. So typically this will result in a 0-0 showdown but with the pikes having only half as amany dice in melee.
2) I tried, once again, to stop an elephant with a LF unit. This time, I used superior Agrianian javelinmen. Despite winning the Impact phase with some luck, the result was eventualy a rout after 4 or 5 bounds of melee. Despite being praised as the most efficient troops in the antiquity to stop elephants, LF regularly fail to do so in AoW. Looking at the number of dices involved, the same would probably applies too against scythed chariots. One possible solution for this issue, if it is felt as such, would be to allow LF not to divide their number of dices against elephants or scythed chariots.


Jav the most effective missile weapon against them and you can evade enough to get away from Elephants. As RBS mentioned we are trying to model reality as it was rather than too abstract so the idea is not to stand and fight them. IF you get 6 jav at 2 El you get 3 dice at a + so needing 3s to hit. Should force a cohesion test eveytime and El are all average so likely to fail quite often. Try it that way. You should find jav armed Ps are the best at it. Bow armed ot so good. Xbow armed should be Ok but haven't tried them yet.
3) The restriction on moves for undrilled troops within 6 of enemy is creating some problems IMO. In our game, an elephant BG broke a LF BG and pursued, getting past the companions which were engaged against the indian archers. Despite having no direct enemy and being led by a general, the elephant failed 2 CMT in a row, effectively putting them out of the game.
Here is a photo of the situation after the first rout/pursuit move.

One possible solution to avoid such a situation would be to require a CMT only if the undrilled troop has some enemy, facing it, within 6MUs straight to its front. The idea is to create a sort of "zone of control" which would extend 6MU in front of all units. Undrilled troops would be required to test for wheeling only if they are in the "zone of control" of an enemy unit which is also in their own "zone of control". One possible refinement would be to allow non skirmishers to disregard skirmishers "zone of control".
With the current writing of the rule, it is possible to have a unit completely overlapping a BL, yet to be unable to get it into the enemy flank due to bad dices on the CMTs.
Thus far this as been left as one of the risks of undrilled troops. We'll kick that one around as it is rather interesting. Another option we had at one point was to have wheel towards nearest enemy as a simple move. This would also solve the CMT issue with shock troops. It all just gets a bit annoying defining nearest - probably needs to be something along the lines of contactable by the shortest move. A good one for us to kck around.
4) As long as a troop is winning, the +2 bonus makes it almost immune to the death roll. This is specially true for small BG when used in a concentrated area. Their small frontage prevent the enemy to have too many dices against them. With several POA advantages, they get few hits and almost no casualties unless the player is really unlucky. This means that there is no real fatigue effect and that a group of high quality troops can easily create a hole in the opponent's army with no real risks. Having several lines of troops does not help the opponent since the BGs emerge intact and still fully functionning from each melee. The problem is made worse by the fact that there are 3 rounds of fight (one impact and 2 melee) between each move phase of a given player. Superior well equipped troops are therefore too powerfull IMO (especially if led by a general) and by the time the opponent has managed to get to the flanks, 1 or 2 BGs have been broken in the front and the player can just turn around and blast away the flankers.
This creates IMO a real play balance issue with low quality large armies being greatly disadvantaged.
I see 2 possible solutions to this issue:

a) delete the +2 bonus for winning BGs (or reduce it to only +1)
b) accumulate the hits received from one melee to the next until a death roll is failed (a unit winning a melee with 12 hits to 8 in a single round will automaticaly lose a base, the same unit winning 4 consecutive melee with 3 hits to 2 in each round will never lose one)
The objective is to make winning combats the key thing. We need tyo get an overall sense of such a play balance issue from the mass of players. Usk should help us greatly with this. One ofthe reasons for the +2 is to take the random element out a fair bit fromt he death roll. One of the most frustrating things to happen would be to win a combat and roll a 1 and lose a base - which can be pretty devastating. Hence in part the +2 for winners which seems to work well.

Accumulating hits is something we want to avoid, even if technically it is of course the most accurate way to handle base losses. If you did this you would just record until you get 6 hits and then take a base of but the recording is just not worth the effort in our view. Hence the Death Roll. Reducing to +1 as you say would be a possibility. We'll make this a topic of debate at Usk when we have a dozen or so players together.
5) Pike proved extremely efficient against elephant, much more than the reports of the historical battle of the Hydaspses tells us.
Pikes vs Elephants is pretty volatile. Pikes in 4 ranks a net + So likely to win 2/3rd of the time. IF the Elephants win then a -1 on the cohesion test makes it very sweaty indeed for the pikes. - the -1 is at a cusp around 7 on 2 dice so has a big effect. If the pikes fail they are no longer steady and lose a + and its evens in POAs but the El have more dice. So extremely effective...if they win the first round.....Not too good on hydapses but didn't the Indains get thrashed and the Elephants failed to carry the day vs the pahalanx but wt a few probelms here and there. If so the current rules would model this pretty efectively down a line perhaps.

Cheers

Si

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Post by rbodleyscott » Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:30 pm

shall wrote:
5) Pike proved extremely efficient against elephant, much more than the reports of the historical battle of the Hydaspses tells us.
Pikes vs Elephants is pretty volatile. Pikes in 4 ranks a net + So likely to win 2/3rd of the time. IF the Elephants win then a -1 on the cohesion test makes it very sweaty indeed for the pikes. - the -1 is at a cusp around 7 on 2 dice so has a big effect. If the pikes fail they are no longer steady and lose a + and its evens in POAs but the El have more dice. So extremely effective...if they win the first round.....Not too good on hydapses but didn't the Indains get thrashed and the Elephants failed to carry the day vs the pahalanx but wt a few probelms here and there. If so the current rules would model this pretty efectively down a line perhaps.
It is worth adding that in 4.06 elephants get the same POA in melee as in impact phase.

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Post by shall » Tue Jan 09, 2007 1:41 pm

1
) Corner to corner contact
In the course of the game, we ended up with a pike BG charging an elephant BG. Nothing happened during the first round (except Olivier being very surprised to see the elephants fight at --)
Why --. El get a + vs HF. Pike get + for 4th rank but not the other + if charging shock mounted - which El are. So evens in bound one if the Pk charge IIRC. IF the Pk receive a charge fromthe El its ++ for the Pk and + for the El for a net + to the pikes. Unless I am missing soemthing.
During his bound, Olivier brought up some cavalry in overlap, resulting in the following position:

During the next bound, the elephant failed a death roll test. With only 1 base left, the BG was removed from the game, resulting in the following position:
Since there was no failed COH test, hence no break nor rout move, the pike did not pursue.
How do you handle such resulting corner to corner contact?
We ruled it was not a melee. I also felt that I could not declare a charge (there is no position for the pike to line-up in front of the cavalry due to the archers being there) so I choose to advance, reducing my front to a 1 base wide column in the former position of the elephants to avoid staying in contact with the cavalry. In their own bound, the indian cavalry turned to face the pike, leading to that position:
A good one. The evaporating unit is something we are looking at at present so may be a parital soluition there. You are correct that this is not a melee at present. And I agree there is no easy way to get in. WE could perhaps allow the mechanism for getting troops into combat to apply - expansion by a file. This would be quite realistic as neither side has room to charge and it would result in a generally engatged melee. Views?
During my next bound, I declared a charge with the pike. The impact position was:

After line up and expansion during the move phase, the melee was resolved with the following "better looking" position:

Please note that if the cavalry had not turned (for example if they had been undrilled foot and had failed the required CMT), the pike charge would have been a flank attack. Note that only the presence of the archers to their front prevented the cavalry from wheeling to charge the pike in the flank themselves.
Were these moves correct?
They seem it to me so far. As I mentioned above I don't think either side has room to charge without some manouvring about. I would rather have a solution that allows the troops tyo engage in a melee without charges.
Could the cavalry have declared a flank charge interception of the pike charge? I.e., can you intercept a charge declared against yourself? We ruled against it.
no
Is the fact that the pike has not enough room to complete its wheel relevant in any way? We implicitly applied a kind of "kinked column" rule, but I hate to require room on my left to be able to make a wheel toward my right.
Columns can be kinked. As a general point we dispace troops tro make room for action to take place. I think we may need to add a bit of specifiicity to deal with your scenario.
I am now playing mostly Armati. In that rule, there is no compulsory line up of the base after contact. The troops are kept where they are when contact occur. As a convention, exact line-up are deemed to be impossible and troops are slightly shifted to avoid this when it occurs. Has some attempt being made to play AoW without classical line-up of bases? Since there are no recoil after combat, angled contact as in the 4th photo above are not a real issue. Not lining up can sometimes result in strange looking positions (e.g. the second photo, with just a slight shift of the cavalry, could be a legal melee), but lining up can also have bizarre effects: e.g. take the position above and assume that the indian army has some troops in a second line beyond the photo. After lining up, the pike are offering a wide flank opportunity to this second line since they cannot stay in the angled impact position.
An interesting thought. We have found it tidier to align bases but we will give it some thought. I suspect that the example you have given is better fixed a different way.
2) As an aside to the above position, I have 2 small querries:

a) In the position shown above in the first photo, the Indian cavalry is in the ZOI of the companion cavalry fighting the archers. How many dices do the indian cavalry bring in the melee with the pike? We played with 2 dices, thinking that the ZOI did not apply since the companion were effectively engaged in melee and could not intervene, but is it correct?
2 as far as I can see. Not sure about the ZOI point.
b) In the position shown above in the first photo, the Indian cavalry is disordered by its own elephants. However, since they have only 2 dices and disorder implies the loss of 1 in 3, this disorder has no practical effect in the game. For the same reason (only 2 bases affected), the elephants failed to provide any advantage to the indian archers which were charged by the companion when they were placed in overlap position. Is this interpretation of the disorder effect correct?
Yes it is. Whiule a quikr of the losing 1 per 3 effect it is quite handy becayuse the El basically will disorder troops facing them and reduce a dice but will tand not to disorder overlaps down a level. So if you are facingt he El you are bound to go down a dice as you satart with 4 (vs 2 el bases). Hope that makes sense.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:05 pm

shall wrote:
Pikes vs Elephants is pretty volatile. Pikes in 4 ranks a net + So likely to win 2/3rd of the time. IF the Elephants win then a -1 on the cohesion test makes it very sweaty indeed for the pikes. - the -1 is at a cusp around 7 on 2 dice so has a big effect. If the pikes fail they are no longer steady and lose a + and its evens in POAs but the El have more dice. So extremely effective...if they win the first round.....Not too good on hydapses but didn't the Indains get thrashed and the Elephants failed to carry the day vs the pahalanx but wt a few probelms here and there. If so the current rules would model this pretty efectively down a line perhaps.
At Hydaspeses the Makedonian phalanx had its hardest ever fight when facing the elephants and suffered pretty high casualties - one of the stated reasons for the later mutiny of the army was that rulers further into India had even more elephants than Poros did. However, the fact is that the phalanx did win - although I recall that some Thracians were involved in the fight as well. Also I seem to recall the phalanx was initially driven back then locked shields and pushed forward - but don't ask me the source as it may just be a modern interpretation of a hard fight :o

It may also be worth noting that when Seleukos had nearly 500 elephants at Ipsos they were not used to fight Antigonos' phalanx - Seleukos commanded one of the phalanx taxeis at Hydaspeses IIRC which may have influenced him perhaps?

Whether all this justifies a 2/3 chance of the phalanx winning the impact is a question I'll leave up to you :D

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Post by shall » Tue Jan 09, 2007 2:30 pm

Thanks Nik,

My sense is that the rules at present would model that pretty well. I might give it a try at some point. Hard to be 100% sure without trying it specifically.

If we had a big elephant charge of 6 BGs of El vs 6 of Pike then a couple of pike phalanxes will be in trouble on average and 1-2 are likely to go DISR if they are AVE quality.

The Pikes on a + need 4s to hit so on average losing El BGs will suffer 2 or 3 hits. This makes it unlikely that they will lose a base due their +1. So about half will drop to DISR and the rest will battle on and get a second go at the pikes at a net -.

It should therefore be sweaty for the pikes and I would predict on balance 4-5 BGs f Els would break but for the loss of 1-2 BGs of pikes.

So overall a sweaty win for the phalanx in a head up charge I suspect.

Si

PS Vincent. Not sure if you had + in melee as you are using the last version but one. In future El have + in impact and Melee.

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Post by olivier » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:19 pm

PS Vincent. Not sure if you had + in melee as you are using the last version but one. In future El have + in impact and Melee.[/quote]

No; I hadn't any POA in my rule :( . With a + in melee Elephant will be better against foot and it's good.

Concerning Pike in one or two rank, I think the negating of the Sw Or Ssw POA is an overkill. In fact Heavy armored or armored Pike happilly lose their factor for negating the POA of legionnary and matching the frontage and keeping a POA advantage with their better armor.

Olivier

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Post by rbodleyscott » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:58 pm

olivier wrote:In fact Heavy armored or armored Pike happilly lose their factor for negating the POA of legionnary and matching the frontage and keeping a POA advantage with their better armor.
This would be true, but (as far as I recall) there are no heavy armoured or armoured pike in any of the army lists. They are all Protected. This is because we treat foot BGs with a mix of heavily armoured front ranks and lightly armoured/unarmoured back ranks as all Protected.

Don't forget that Wargames books usually illustrate the best equipped men - armour is usually over-represented.

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Post by shall » Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:41 pm

Also to add...

The negating of Sw and Sk Sw is quite a subtle mechanism in that the idea is that the swordsmen can get an edge if they can DISR the Sp or Pike. If not the Sp and Pike keep them at a distance and tend to have an edge.

So what will happen is that Pk are fine until they start to break up and become vulnerable. Then the Sw cuts in and the trouble starts. It seems rather nicely realistic. There are a few examnples of this in history. Otherwise Pikes seem to do fine.

Olivier,

Sorry you didn;t have the + in melee for the Elephnats in time...go get him next time :-)

Si

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Post by vincent » Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:03 am

shall wrote:
3) The restriction on moves for undrilled troops within 6 of enemy is creating some problems IMO. In our game, an elephant BG broke a LF BG and pursued, getting past the companions which were engaged against the indian archers. Despite having no direct enemy and being led by a general, the elephant failed 2 CMT in a row, effectively putting them out of the game.
Here is a photo of the situation after the first rout/pursuit move.

One possible solution to avoid such a situation would be to require a CMT only if the undrilled troop has some enemy, facing it, within 6MUs straight to its front. The idea is to create a sort of "zone of control" which would extend 6MU in front of all units. Undrilled troops would be required to test for wheeling only if they are in the "zone of control" of an enemy unit which is also in their own "zone of control". One possible refinement would be to allow non skirmishers to disregard skirmishers "zone of control".
With the current writing of the rule, it is possible to have a unit completely overlapping a BL, yet to be unable to get it into the enemy flank due to bad dices on the CMTs.
Thus far this as been left as one of the risks of undrilled troops. We'll kick that one around as it is rather interesting. Another option we had at one point was to have wheel towards nearest enemy as a simple move. This would also solve the CMT issue with shock troops. It all just gets a bit annoying defining nearest - probably needs to be something along the lines of contactable by the shortest move. A good one for us to kick around.
The "zone of control" idea is directly inspired from Armati (in Armati, when 2 units have their "zone of control" intersecting, then wheels are forbidden). I like the idea of being allowed to freely move toward the nearest enemy, with the added remark that non skirmishers should be able to ignore skirmishers when determining who is the nearest enemy. Defining the nearest is going to be troublesome though but "contactable by the shortest move" looks promising indeed. I'll give it more thought.
In another game, I had a warband overlapping Olivier's battle line and faced only by skirmishers. I ended up uselessly chasing them. In retrospect, my best tactic could have been to declare a charge against the LF with the biggest possible wheel : either the LF evaded, opening the flank of the battle line, either they stood and got butchered. IMO, I feel it very gamey to be able to freely wheel during the charge against the LF, if they come close enough to allow the charge while not being able to do it if they stand far away.
Another option would be to define a unit to be "engaged by an enemy" if it can contact that enemy's front within 6MUs in 1 or 2 straight forward move. With that definition, only engaged undrilled troops would be required to CMT to wheel. This has roughly the same effect of the "zone of control" above but might be easier to explain.
Best regards


Vincent

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Post by vincent » Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:40 am

shall wrote:
1) Corner to corner contact
In the course of the game, we ended up with a pike BG charging an elephant BG. Nothing happened during the first round (except Olivier being very surprised to see the elephants fight at --)
Why --. El get a + vs HF. Pike get + for 4th rank but not the other + if charging shock mounted - which El are. So evens in bound one if the Pk charge IIRC. IF the Pk receive a charge fromthe El its ++ for the Pk and + for the El for a net + to the pikes. Unless I am missing soemthing.
El were not shock troops in the 4.04 version we were playing, unless we missed it.
shall wrote:
During his bound, Olivier brought up some cavalry in overlap, resulting in the following position:

During the next bound, the elephant failed a death roll test. With only 1 base left, the BG was removed from the game, resulting in the following position:
Since there was no failed COH test, hence no break nor rout move, the pike did not pursue.
How do you handle such resulting corner to corner contact?
We ruled it was not a melee. I also felt that I could not declare a charge (there is no position for the pike to line-up in front of the cavalry due to the archers being there) so I choose to advance, reducing my front to a 1 base wide column in the former position of the elephants to avoid staying in contact with the cavalry. In their own bound, the indian cavalry turned to face the pike, leading to that position:
A good one. The evaporating unit is something we are looking at at present so may be a parital soluition there. You are correct that this is not a melee at present. And I agree there is no easy way to get in. WE could perhaps allow the mechanism for getting troops into combat to apply - expansion by a file. This would be quite realistic as neither side has room to charge and it would result in a generally engatged melee. Views?
Continuing the melee with the overlapping units would be a good idea IMO. They were already fighting in hand to hand combat in the previous bounds. Why should they suddenly stop doing it when their friends which were engaged in contact dissapear? Even if no dice were thrown, some of the troops on the flanks of the pike were certainly actively fighting with the overlapping troops. Rather than stopping to fight because another enemy died or fled, I would rather think that their friends would now turn to their help and expand the fight against that annoying enemy.
shall wrote:
I am now playing mostly Armati. In that rule, there is no compulsory line up of the base after contact. The troops are kept where they are when contact occur. As a convention, exact line-up are deemed to be impossible and troops are slightly shifted to avoid this when it occurs. Has some attempt being made to play AoW without classical line-up of bases? Since there are no recoil after combat, angled contact as in the 4th photo above are not a real issue. Not lining up can sometimes result in strange looking positions (e.g. the second photo, with just a slight shift of the cavalry, could be a legal melee), but lining up can also have bizarre effects: e.g. take the position above and assume that the indian army has some troops in a second line beyond the photo. After lining up, the pike are offering a wide flank opportunity to this second line since they cannot stay in the angled impact position.
An interesting thought. We have found it tidier to align bases but we will give it some thought. I suspect that the example you have given is better fixed a different way.
My experience with Armati is that aligning bases is not really necessary if there are no after melee movement (recoil/follow up...). The only strange side effect is the corner to corner melees but even that would not apply in AoW since troops are shifted in the movement phase to maximise troops in contact.
On the other hand, lining up leads to gamey tactics: e.g. in DBM, the best counter strategy against warbands by a line of heavy infantry was to break the line and slightly angle the troops to create multiple impossible recoils, I guess you both used and suffered it in your experience (I certainly did :wink: ).
shall wrote:
2) As an aside to the above position, I have 2 small querries:

a) In the position shown above in the first photo, the Indian cavalry is in the ZOI of the companion cavalry fighting the archers. How many dices do the indian cavalry bring in the melee with the pike? We played with 2 dices, thinking that the ZOI did not apply since the companion were effectively engaged in melee and could not intervene, but is it correct?
2 as far as I can see. Not sure about the ZOI point.
Here is the photo again
Image
If you look on the right part, bottom to top, you will see the companions then the archers, then the cavalry. A very devious player could claim that the cavalry is in the ZOI of the companion (straight forward and within 4MUs), hence that the second rank of the cavalry is not allowed to intervene. Making myself the devil's advocate, nothing says that ZOI do not pass through enemy units.
The solution would be to clarify that ZOI do not extend through enemy units (even a simple LF screen).
shall wrote:
b) In the position shown above in the first photo, the Indian cavalry is disordered by its own elephants. However, since they have only 2 dices and disorder implies the loss of 1 in 3, this disorder has no practical effect in the game. For the same reason (only 2 bases affected), the elephants failed to provide any advantage to the indian archers which were charged by the companion when they were placed in overlap position. Is this interpretation of the disorder effect correct?
Yes it is. Whiule a quikr of the losing 1 per 3 effect it is quite handy becayuse the El basically will disorder troops facing them and reduce a dice but will tand not to disorder overlaps down a level. So if you are facingt he El you are bound to go down a dice as you satart with 4 (vs 2 el bases). Hope that makes sense.
The "Yes it is" is clear. The typos in the rest of the text make it a bit hard to follow, especially for me poor foreigner who already has to cope with english :lol: . If I understand correctly, cavalry directly engaged by elephants is in trouble (unless it is in column, at least 4 elements are within 4cm, hence a dice is lost) but cavalry just in overlap is not.
Best regards


Vincent

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Post by vincent » Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:14 am

vincent wrote:4) As long as a troop is winning, the +2 bonus makes it almost immune to the death roll. This is specially true for small BG when used in a concentrated area. Their small frontage prevent the enemy to have too many dices against them. With several POA advantages, they get few hits and almost no casualties unless the player is really unlucky. This means that there is no real fatigue effect and that a group of high quality troops can easily create a hole in the opponent's army with no real risks. Having several lines of troops does not help the opponent since the BGs emerge intact and still fully functionning from each melee. The problem is made worse by the fact that there are 3 rounds of fight (one impact and 2 melee) between each move phase of a given player. Superior well equipped troops are therefore too powerfull IMO (especially if led by a general) and by the time the opponent has managed to get to the flanks, 1 or 2 BGs have been broken in the front and the player can just turn around and blast away the flankers.
This creates IMO a real play balance issue with low quality large armies being greatly disadvantaged.
I see 2 possible solutions to this issue:

a) delete the +2 bonus for winning BGs (or reduce it to only +1)
b) accumulate the hits received from one melee to the next until a death roll is failed (a unit winning a melee with 12 hits to 8 in a single round will automaticaly lose a base, the same unit winning 4 consecutive melee with 3 hits to 2 in each round will never lose one)
shall wrote:The objective is to make winning combats the key thing. We need to get an overall sense of such a play balance issue from the mass of players. Usk should help us greatly with this.
I fear that if winning combat is too important, then superior high quality troops will become indispensable and that armies which do not have access to them will greatly suffer.
It will make trying to play numbers against quality a very dubious strategy. While DBM is probably gone too far in the favour of numbers, I think that AoW is currently a bit too far the other way. I agree that the balance is very hard to strike. I'll be happy to hear reports from Usk.
shall wrote:One of the reasons for the +2 is to take the random element out a fair bit fromt he death roll. One of the most frustrating things to happen would be to win a combat and roll a 1 and lose a base - which can be pretty devastating. Hence in part the +2 for winners which seems to work well.
Even if you play small BGs (4 bases), losing a base can usually be lived for if it happens not too often, especially if the opponent fails its CT at the same time and is quite likely to have also lost a base himself. In order to keep the 2 difference between winners and losers, how would you feel about the following death roll modifiers?
  • shot at: +2
    winning a melee:+1
    drawing a melee:0
    losing a melee:-1
This would help in bringing in the wearing effect of combats which insufficiently represented in the current system IMO. Another random reduction effect could be to use average dices for the death roll (with or without an associated general -1 modifier, depending you want the game to be bloody or not).
shall wrote:Accumulating hits is something we want to avoid, even if technically it is of course the most accurate way to handle base losses. If you did this you would just record until you get 6 hits and then take a base of but the recording is just not worth the effort in our view.
Alas. I have been playing (and still do occasionally) a lot of WRG2 Renaissance "Gush" rules, so keeping records is no issue to me. However I am fully aware that players with that opinion are a small minority and that the rule should aim for the broadest public. The old 7th edition had casulaty markers (1 to 15) in its late days to avoid the book keeping obligation. I think that simple markers could have the same effect and could even be nicely aesthetic on table top with the numerous casualty figures now available from various manufacturers. The on-going poll on a related subject could be interesting to analyse if you want to change your mind on that issue.
Best regards


Vincent

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Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:56 am

vincent wrote:El were not shock troops in the 4.04 version we were playing, unless we missed it.
You are correct. They still aren't.

shall
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Post by shall » Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:10 am

Woops sorry. :oops: See I get things wrong too.

Si

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Post by vincent » Sat Jan 13, 2007 3:00 am

I played another game with Olivier Thursday evening. With a lot of luck, my Egyptian managed to win against his Hittites.

Here are a few questions and remarks which occured during the game.
  • 1) On one occasion, a LF BG managed to catch an evading LF BG in the back. The impact phase did not gave it an advantage since the LF passed the CT (they were not disrupted since only skirmishers caught them, nor did the unsecure flank modifier apply). The evade move had finished on a hill. In the melee phase, the evading LF got a POA due to being uphill. I think that the uphill advantage should be given only if the unit is standing uphill, or charging downhill, but to get it while retiring looks strange to me.

    2) How are bases removed from a BG after failed death rolls? In particular, if a BG is engaged in melee, can you remove front rank bases which are engaged in melee if they have no second rank, thereby reducing the BG's frontage, hence the number of opponent dices if it already had overlaps? Olivier thinks that all second ranks bases should be removed before a front rank base is removed. He might be right. What is your opinion?

    3) A LF BG was charged by a heavy chariot and passed the CMT to stand. In the impact phase, the heavy chariot has only one PoA against LF (mounted against LF in open), but in the melee phase, it has 2 PoA (the heavy chariot PoA counts against all foot). What is the rationale for this?

    4) HF as an advantage against MF. Why does MF not enjoy the same beneit against LF? Is the number of dices deemed a sufficient advantage? It proved enough, but the melee took a bit longer than expected.

    5) Both Olivier and I feel that the new inititive rule is giving too much of an advantage to cavalry armies, especially if steppes based. We fear that this advantage will be the downfall of many infantry armies, especially those based in bad terrains (woods, marshes...). The terrain placing procedure is fine, but the advantage of cavalry on the initiative test is creating an inherent unbalance.
Best regards


Vincent

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Post by marshalney2000 » Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:21 am

What is the new initiative rule?

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Post by rbodleyscott » Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:03 am

vincent wrote:1) On one occasion, a LF BG managed to catch an evading LF BG in the back. The impact phase did not gave it an advantage since the LF passed the CT (they were not disrupted since only skirmishers caught them, nor did the unsecure flank modifier apply). The evade move had finished on a hill. In the melee phase, the evading LF got a POA due to being uphill. I think that the uphill advantage should be given only if the unit is standing uphill, or charging downhill, but to get it while retiring looks strange to me.
The intention is that evaders who are hit count as being attacked in flank/rear - this will be clarified. Hence they are automatically on --, and the attackers are on ++.
2) How are bases removed from a BG after failed death rolls? In particular, if a BG is engaged in melee, can you remove front rank bases which are engaged in melee if they have no second rank, thereby reducing the BG's frontage, hence the number of opponent dices if it already had overlaps? Olivier thinks that all second ranks bases should be removed before a front rank base is removed. He might be right. What is your opinion?
We are giving this thought. What we don't want is people being able to remove rear rank psiloi in preference to front rankers. The intention of the rules is that you remove a base of front rank type and shuffle the other ranks forward. I agree that the frontage of the BG should not be reduced if it is possible to remove a base from a place where the BG is more than one rank deep.
3) A LF BG was charged by a heavy chariot and passed the CMT to stand. In the impact phase, the heavy chariot has only one PoA against LF (mounted against LF in open), but in the melee phase, it has 2 PoA (the heavy chariot PoA counts against all foot). What is the rationale for this?
This is our mistake. The chariots should also not get its POA vs skirmishers in the melee phase.
4) HF as an advantage against MF. Why does MF not enjoy the same beneit against LF? Is the number of dices deemed a sufficient advantage?
Yes
5) Both Olivier and I feel that the new inititive rule is giving too much of an advantage to cavalry armies, especially if steppes based. We fear that this advantage will be the downfall of many infantry armies, especially those based in bad terrains (woods, marshes...). The terrain placing procedure is fine, but the advantage of cavalry on the initiative test is creating an inherent unbalance.
We need to give this careful thought. It really only gives a big advantage to the cavalry army if one of the army has Steppes in its territory list. (Many cavalry armies don't). In any other territory type there is enough bad terrain for the side lacking initiative to get what they need. The Usk tournament may shed some light on this.

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