Breaking Off

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petedalby
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Breaking Off

Post by petedalby » Mon May 14, 2007 8:25 am

We both forgot this rule in our last game and other posts have highlighted this as an issue.

Is there any reason why Break Offs shouldn't occur within the Melee Phase as an outcome move? We do Breaks and Pursuits - why not Break Offs? I think this would be clearer and keep things in sequence.

Pete

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Post by petedalby » Wed May 16, 2007 6:22 pm

Just to follow up my first query - is breaking off compulsory?

In our last game I charged a Superior Protected Bow Sword Cavalry BG into a BG of Avg MF Unprotected Bow in open terrain.

I was at a '+' in the Impact and a '++' in the Melee. Despite the Cav winning both rounds the MF remained Steady.

The sensible thing for the Cav would appear to be to stay in Melee on '++'. By breaking off, the MF are given an opportunity to shoot again which doesn't seem very sensible?

I can see why the Cav would break off if they were at a disadvantage but being at a big advantage surely they'd want to stick with it?

Pete

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Post by hammy » Wed May 16, 2007 9:14 pm

fair point,

One thing that happened in a game at the club on Monday was that Mark Muslek moved a BG of his own MF archers close behind one of his cavalry BG's in melee with some archers to mean that they couldn't break off so had to stay and fight..... Possible cheese?

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Post by rbodleyscott » Wed May 16, 2007 9:39 pm

petedalby wrote:Just to follow up my first query - is breaking off compulsory?
Yes.

It is what gives MF archers a chance vs cavalry. Don't get hung up on the cavalry POAs - the overall effect is what matters.

If cavalry fail to break into steady foot in 2 rounds of combat, they have to break off and try again. What POA they might have had if they had stayed in contact is irrelevant, because they are not allowed to stay in contact - so they don't have any! Both are simply rules mechanisms.

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Post by rbodleyscott » Wed May 16, 2007 9:44 pm

hammy wrote:fair point,

One thing that happened in a game at the club on Monday was that Mark Muslek moved a BG of his own MF archers close behind one of his cavalry BG's in melee with some archers to mean that they couldn't break off so had to stay and fight..... Possible cheese?
A bit cheesy, but not a good place for the archers to be if the cavalry break.

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Post by markm » Wed May 16, 2007 11:11 pm

If those cavalry broke the game was over anyway.

They were Agema with an FC, facing MF unprotected bow in the open who would be flank charged next turn :)

mmmm... smell that fromage!

petedalby
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Post by petedalby » Thu May 17, 2007 4:12 pm

Okay.....still not entirely convinced, but is their any chance of moving Break Offs to the end of the each Melee rather than holding over to the Joint Action Phase?

Pete

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Post by malekithau » Thu May 17, 2007 10:34 pm

Perhaps a test to see if they stay in the fight with re-rolls allowed to simulate the more aggressive superior/elite troops?

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Post by markm » Fri May 18, 2007 12:23 am

Okay.....still not entirely convinced, but is their any chance of moving Break Offs to the end of the each Melee rather than holding over to the Joint Action Phase?
Makes sense to me. Do melee; resolve results; do actions.

petedalby
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Post by petedalby » Fri May 18, 2007 10:36 am

mmmm... smell that fromage!
This should serve as a warning that the rule may be suspect.

It makes perfect sense for Cav who have charged and are now at a disadvantage to Break Off - I'm sure there are plenty of historical examples - Hastings is an obvious one. But when the Cav are at an advantage what is the rationale for making them break off?

This example of closing up behing the Cav to stop them breaking off should be a cause for concern that even in testing players are using 'suspect' tactics to overcome a questionable rule.

An opportunity to reconsider? Or are we starting to get too far down the track to suggest these kind of changes?

Pete

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Post by markm » Fri May 18, 2007 10:44 am

Pete,

I don't have a problem with it.

If standard cavalry tactics were to withdraw from steady foot, then that's what they will do. I, as the C-in-C, 'force' them to stay by bring up the reserves. If I get it wrong it all goes tits up. If I get it right, I have modified their trained behaviour based on the situation.

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Post by petedalby » Fri May 18, 2007 11:00 am

But that's the bit I don't get - when was this a standard cavalry tactic? Agreed if they're in trouble - they'd clear off.

But if Superior Armoured Cavalry Swordsmen at virtually no risk to themselves are kicking 10 bells out of unarmoured peasants with a bow who are too stupid to run away, why would the Cavalry think it sensible to withdraw themselves?

Pete

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Post by rogerg » Fri May 18, 2007 12:40 pm

Presumably the way we know the cavalry are kicking 10 bells out of the peasants is if the peasants are disrupted. If the peasants are not disrupted after the impact and the melee phases then they have found a cunning plan, good luck or courage that is working for them. It seems reasonable that the decision to break off is taken on what has happened rather than looking at the factors. A sort of 'we should be winning but...' this suggests it is a good time to break off and try again.

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Mounted Forced to break off

Post by lanceflint » Sun May 20, 2007 6:03 pm

I am totally with Pete on this one, yes I was that peasant archer.

The game is forcing all sorts of false conclusions by its own terminology. it seems to, me that the mounted, in the example given, are cutting down the foot in significant numbers, so what does it matter whether they are Disrupted or not, they are still losing.

We have had BGs that have gone to autobreak without ever being Disrupted, the will to fight on remained but without any significant ability to suceed.

Lance.

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Post by jre » Sun May 20, 2007 8:55 pm

I would say it is another case of player omniscience interferring with the local situation. Many analysis are discussing how much contact there were between formed infantry and mounted, and the general impression is that no matter how trained, horses will not willingly crash into formed ranks (the formed square syndrome).

So you may know they should win, and the local commander probably knows it too, but he also knows that he is not doing the expected running down the infantry but rather they are bouncing back.

Therefore break off and reform.

Jose

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