Battle Group composition clarification

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plewis66
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Battle Group composition clarification

Post by plewis66 » Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:25 pm

I've just been reading the thread 'AoW First Reading...', and Richards most recent post there (concerning Hastati/Principes) suggests to me that I have misunderstood how battle groups are composed.

Page 52 (4.04) says that 'Unless specifically stated otherwise in an army list, all troops in a battle group must be of the same quality, training and armour class. This applies even when a choice of quality, training and armour class is given in the list'.

My question, then is: what constitutes 'explicitly', and how are multiple options to be interpreted?

Specifically, in the Hastati/Principes case, the list states 'Hastati and Principes', and then gives two options in each of Quality and Armour.

Does this 'and' constitute the explicit statement of alternatives? The assertion that it is possible to mix Hastati and Principes suggests that it does.

However, the presence of two options potentially gives four possible combinations of quality/armour. Are we to assume that the first option in each category relates to the first stated troop type, and the second to the second, such that Hastati are Sup/Arm, and Principes Ave/Prot?

I think a little more explicit statement, perhaps with an example might make this clearer to the inexperienced reader (me!).

Also, the wording of the quoted paragraph on page 52 seems to imply that provided quality, training and armour class are the same, different troop types could be combined in the same battle group, provided one is prepared to read the min/max per BG as applying to just that troop type. So for example, a single battle group could be made up of:

4 bases of Average, Drilled, Protected Cavalry, plus
6 bases of Average, Drilled, Protected Italian Allied Infantry.

As all minima/maxima are honoured, and attributes needing to be matched, do so.

I suspect this is not the intention!

Further, in the case where there is only one troop type (eg Cavalry in Mid Republican Roman), but there are multiple options in multiple attributes (quality and armour in this case), are all four possible combinations permissible, or should we read that Superior must also be Armoured, and Average may only be Protected?

Finally, in rereading this section, I finally noticed the statement that BGs should originally have an even number of bases. What is the justification for this? If the intention is to have each BG deployed in even ranks, stipulating an even number of bases does not enforce this, and it would be possible to do so with any non-prime number. It seems to me like this could make using up those last few points on army selection a little tricky, and seems rather arbitrary.

Many thanks
P

vincent
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Re: Battle Group composition clarification

Post by vincent » Sat Jan 13, 2007 12:59 pm

plewis66 wrote:Finally, in rereading this section, I finally noticed the statement that BGs should originally have an even number of bases. What is the justification for this? If the intention is to have each BG deployed in even ranks, stipulating an even number of bases does not enforce this, and it would be possible to do so with any non-prime number. It seems to me like this could make using up those last few points on army selection a little tricky, and seems rather arbitrary.
I agree. getting to the 800 mark is quite difficult indeed. Most of our games with Olivier were played with a + or - 3 points margin, sometimes with both armies differing by up to 2 or 3 points.
In the case of troops fighting only in line (elephants, chariots, possibly knights), allowing an uneven number of troops could be useful.
Best regards


Vincent

rbodleyscott
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Re: Battle Group composition clarification

Post by rbodleyscott » Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:02 pm

plewis66 wrote:I've just been reading the thread 'AoW First Reading...', and Richards most recent post there (concerning Hastati/Principes) suggests to me that I have misunderstood how battle groups are composed.

Page 52 (4.04) says that 'Unless specifically stated otherwise in an army list, all troops in a battle group must be of the same quality, training and armour class. This applies even when a choice of quality, training and armour class is given in the list'.

My question, then is: what constitutes 'explicitly', and how are multiple options to be interpreted?

Specifically, in the Hastati/Principes case, the list states 'Hastati and Principes', and then gives two options in each of Quality and Armour.

Does this 'and' constitute the explicit statement of alternatives? The assertion that it is possible to mix Hastati and Principes suggests that it does.

However, the presence of two options potentially gives four possible combinations of quality/armour. Are we to assume that the first option in each category relates to the first stated troop type, and the second to the second, such that Hastati are Sup/Arm, and Principes Ave/Prot?

I think a little more explicit statement, perhaps with an example might make this clearer to the inexperienced reader (me!).
Each battle group represents both hastati and principes in manipular chequer board formation. All 4 combinations are allowed, but all the troops in each BG must be graded the same.

Obviously we need to find a way to clarify this.
Also, the wording of the quoted paragraph on page 52 seems to imply that provided quality, training and armour class are the same, different troop types could be combined in the same battle group, provided one is prepared to read the min/max per BG as applying to just that troop type. So for example, a single battle group could be made up of:

4 bases of Average, Drilled, Protected Cavalry, plus
6 bases of Average, Drilled, Protected Italian Allied Infantry.

As all minima/maxima are honoured, and attributes needing to be matched, do so.

I suspect this is not the intention!
Indeed it is not. We need to clarify this. The only mixed BGs permitted are the ones which are given in the lists in the form 2/3 this 1/3 that or similar.
Further, in the case where there is only one troop type (eg Cavalry in Mid Republican Roman), but there are multiple options in multiple attributes (quality and armour in this case), are all four possible combinations permissible, or should we read that Superior must also be Armoured, and Average may only be Protected?
All the possible combinations are permitted (if not, the permitted possibilities would be listed on separate lines), but all the bases in a BG must be the same as each other.

We will try to clarify.
Finally, in rereading this section, I finally noticed the statement that BGs should originally have an even number of bases. What is the justification for this? If the intention is to have each BG deployed in even ranks, stipulating an even number of bases does not enforce this, and it would be possible to do so with any non-prime number. It seems to me like this could make using up those last few points on army selection a little tricky, and seems rather arbitrary.
It is arbitrary, but it helps to prevent unhistorical min-maxing, and to create brittleness in elephant BGs.

rbodleyscott
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Re: Battle Group composition clarification

Post by rbodleyscott » Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:07 pm

vincent wrote:I agree. getting to the 800 mark is quite difficult indeed. Most of our games with Olivier were played with a + or - 3 points margin, sometimes with both armies differing by up to 2 or 3 points.
This is a pet hate of wargamers, who always want to squeeze out the last ounce of advantage. But in reality, what is even 10 points here or there to the chances of victory?

vincent
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Re: Battle Group composition clarification

Post by vincent » Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:11 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:This is a pet hate of wargamers, who always want to squeeze out the last ounce of advantage. But in reality, what is even 10 points here or there to the chances of victory?
I agree. BTW, what is the convention about budget?
  • * 800 points is an absolute maximum
    * budget may be depassed by less than the cost of the cheapest base in the army
Best regards


Vincent

rbodleyscott
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Re: Battle Group composition clarification

Post by rbodleyscott » Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:14 pm

vincent wrote:
rbodleyscott wrote:This is a pet hate of wargamers, who always want to squeeze out the last ounce of advantage. But in reality, what is even 10 points here or there to the chances of victory?
I agree. BTW, what is the convention about budget?
  • * 800 points is an absolute maximum
    * budget may be depassed by less than the cost of the cheapest base in the army
The stated points (which may be 800 or something else) is an absolute maximum. The alternative makes more work for list checkers and really makes only a psychological difference to the players. It would also be a throw-back to old WRG rules.

vincent
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Re: Battle Group composition clarification

Post by vincent » Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:36 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:The stated points (which may be 800 or something else) is an absolute maximum. The alternative makes more work for list checkers and really makes only a psychological difference to the players. It would also be a throw-back to old WRG rules.
Fine with me. I guess we'll keep going slightly over occasionaly during our test games with Olivier though. The impact is not critical anyhow.
Best regards


Vincent

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