BRITCON FEEDBACK - RULE SUGGESTIONS

This forum is for any questions about the rules. Post here is you need feedback from the design team.

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shall
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BRITCON FEEDBACK - RULE SUGGESTIONS

Post by shall » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:09 am

Please post here any suggestions of rule amendments that you feel would enhance the game ... or if you cannot think of any suitable tweak the issues you found and the authors will see if they can think of an approriate tweak.

Tx

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Post by AlanCutner » Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:35 pm

Thoroughly enjoyed the games at Britcon - my 2nd-7th FoG games. A lot of the rules became a lot clearer once I saw them in action.

However I think the mechanism for choosing a flank march goes against the grain of the rules. Apart from when selecting a flank march there is no record keeping. Which means that the only thing you ever have to write down is the act of a flank march - which gives the game away. The only way around this at present is to write down something at the start of every game, even if its 'Theres no flank march'.

I would far prefer to use a variant of the ambush marker. Each player can put down a marker on each flank. Underneath it specifies whether theres a flank march, and possibly which BG's. The markers are removed either when the flank march arrives or when the player gets to the first occasion they'd have to dice for the flank march, and there isn't one. No paper keeping, but variant of existing mechanism.

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Post by Pikeaddict » Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:31 pm

I agree with alan on the flank march !

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Post by babyshark » Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:38 pm

Somehow I contrived to post my reply twice, so I tried to delete one.
Last edited by babyshark on Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by babyshark » Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:39 pm

AlanCutner wrote:I would far prefer to use a variant of the ambush marker. Each player can put down a marker on each flank. Underneath it specifies whether theres a flank march, and possibly which BG's. The markers are removed either when the flank march arrives or when the player gets to the first occasion they'd have to dice for the flank march, and there isn't one. No paper keeping, but variant of existing mechanism.
This is a great idea. I really like the ambush mechanism. Although, to be fair, there still would need to be some pre-game writing, as the BGs taking part in the FM would need to be noted. Unless a player decided to use the same ones each game and wrote them down in advance on his/her army list. Regardless, I think it should be explored.

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Cosolidated thoughts

Post by lanceflint » Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:39 pm

Another great Britcon, thanks to all who organised, played or in any way contributed.

I am a lot less sceptical now than before and see the rules doing very well in the future.

My reaction to six interesting games:

1. A camp should be worth either 3 or 4 AP`s, if you decide to take one. Presently its loss is too insignificant. Many armies totally relied upon a safe logistical base to stay in the field and its loss could cripple a campaign. However some more mobile forces could maintain, or fight, a battle so far away from their logistical base as to make it irrelavant on the tabletop? Maybe DBR and DBMM have a more realistic compromise or does it have to feature at all?

2. Mounted seem rather too tough against Elephants, especially Superior types led by a General who usually get quite a few re-rolls. POA`s seem about right but the Cohesion test could have a -2 for mounted fighting elephants?

3. Serious concerns about armies coming out of a corner and then swinging round to fight on 4` of table frontage. Having an empty flank zones free of troops at deployment reduces this and also prevents corner sitting even more (snuggling up to that waterway/coast seems a little too inviting).

4. The POA for being uphill is too powerful, maybe this could again be changed to a minus on the Cohesion test.

5. Generals - boy do they get in the way and end up drifting around/through/in BG`s. Simple - when a general has the move distance to replace any of the elements of a BG he does just that, remove the BG element and replace it with the General. If a mounted leader joins a foot BG then he dismounts temporarily on the approprite sized base and fights as if he was that element and the same for foot generals joinig a mounted BG. When he leaves he remounts his donkey/nag/hack and the BG element is replaced. If he cannot completely replace an element then he is not with the BG! He is still a general and be spledidly painted to look the part whilst all those BG`s that grow peculiar lumps which frequently shrink and then swell on another edge of a BG would dissappear.

6. PLEASSSSEEEEE more Poor troops in the lists and more choice to downgrade others as well? Elites and Superior types should be the shock troops/cutting edge/troops of significant distinction and relability of the army and possibilly available in the numbers that some lists allow?

Hope this provokes some thought, looking forward to the next FOG encounter.

Lance.

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SKIRMISHERS SHOOTING / ARMY FLANKS

Post by madaxeman » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:22 pm

I found that small units of shooting skirmishers on a flank were able to break units of foot and/or cavalry (even Kn) simply by repeated shooting in all 6 of my games. I know my army design was crap, and I needed to have a 4th general on table to bolster my units once they got disrupted etc etc etc - but it seemed a bit harsh that my conclusion from this learning experience was that unless I could match LH with LH I would need to commit at least two units and a general to have any chance of protecting my flanks from (& not losing at least 1 unit as well) 2 x 4 LH in every game.

This is because LH & LF in 4’s and 6’s can easily withdraw out of enemy shooting range to reform unit by unit (or even to withdraw totally once they get disrupted), leaving friends to hold up the enemy, and move so fast that they can even go and “find” a nearby general quite quickly. Cavalry or foot facing them are stuck in place, so need to be bolstered in place and will nearly always be shot at by the remaining skirmish units manoeuvring to concentrate fire. Foot or to a lesser extent cavalry probably need a general tasked only with rescuing them from falling down the cohesion ladder to be a viable alternative.

This ability to withdraw LF & LH makes them maybe/almost better than foot bowmen, who even thought they get a few more shooters suffer from being unable to withdraw and regroup so they have to be bolstered whilst locked in place - and they cant be bolstered in aturn they take a further fall. I didn’t see any other groups of foot bowmen in any of my opponents’ armies, and mine frankly did more in combat than they did by shooting.

 IS THE -1 IN COHESION TEST FOR NON SKIRMISHERS NEAR THE TABLE EDGE ACTUALLY NEEDED - THIS SEEMED A DOUBLE WHAMMY ?
 SHOULD YOU BE ABLE TO BE BROKEN FROM SHOOTING ALONE (OR FROM LF/LH SHOOTING ALONE) ?
 SHOULD SKIRMISHERS SHOOTING BE LESS EFFECTIVE THAN FOOT SHOOTING (NUMBER OF DICE, DIFFERENT MODIFIERS IN CT FOR HITS FROM LH/LF SHOOTING ONLY,
 SHOULD THE - IN CT FOR BEING FRAGGED / DISR ETC ACTUALLY APPLY TO BEING SHOT AT / SHOT AT BY SKIRMISHERS?
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UPHILL

Post by madaxeman » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:24 pm

Being uphill as a full POA seemed a lot – there aren’t many “++” combats anyway, and being uphill made my bowmen practically as good as decent foot.
 SHOULD BEING UPHILL BE A COHESION TEST MODIFIER NOT A POA?
 OR A “LIGHT SPEAR/ONLY IF NO OTHER NET POA” TYPE MODIFIER?
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SCYTHED CHARIOTS/ELEPHANTS

Post by madaxeman » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:27 pm

Should generals be able to join these types of units in combat – or give “with them” CMT and CT advantages at all?

Elephants are simply not good enough vs knights (or mounted)

Small unit sizes actually make elephants quite disturbingly manoeuvrable, especially when with a general

 CHANGE IMPACT POA’s/DICE ROLLED VS MOUNTED
 RESTRICT QUALITY RE-ROLLS AGAINST THESE TROOPS
 RESTRICT INFLUENCE OF GENERALS ON CMTS & COMBAT REROLLS FOR THESE TROOPS
 RESTRICT ELEPHANT MOVES TO WHEELS ?
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PURSUIT

Post by madaxeman » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:31 pm

I had defensive spearmen pursue several times into bad situations – once they even ended up charging into combat with knights !!

I also had bowmen (who were fighting with just 2 bases out of 8 in contact as contributors to a much larger fight) pursue broken enemy and come down off a rough hill - into the open where they were then massacred!

This is made worse as the enemy pursuers rush towards usually don’t even take a Cohesion test for the routing friends - most routers will move more than 3" anyway (all mounted, some foot with a good VMD roll).

In these cases we were pursuing routers who were either totally destroyed right in front of their unpeturbed friends, or (with the bowmen situation) the routers actually routed right through 3 units of skirmishers, who didn’t care and then proceeded to surround and overwhelm my previously victorious bowmen!

 SOME NATURALLY DEFENSIVE TROOP TYPES – OR TROOPS IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS – SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PURSUE AT ALL?
 MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR CMT’S FOR AVOIDING PURSUIT?
 MODIFIERS FOR CMTS TO AVOID PURSUIT BASED ON TROOP TYPE/TERRAIN/PROPORTION OF BASES ENGAGED IN COMBAT?
 RE-THINK WHEN AND WHERE THE COHESION TEST FOR FRIENDLY ROUTERS APPLIES OR IS TAKEN.
 ADD IN A CMT FOR SEEING FRIENDS DESTROYED / REMOVED ?
 IMPLEMENT A RALLY BACK MOVE FOR SOME TROOPS WHERE ENEMY ARE DESTROYED – MAYBE ONLY IN YOUR OWN TURN?
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“SKIRMISH” FEEL – WHY DOES THE GAME SOMETIMES HAVE THIS?

Post by madaxeman » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:36 pm

I have a bit of general feedback on this, but with lots of rule observations and suggestions embedded in it - but I've posted it in the "General Feedback" section - have a look there !!

Tim
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Breaking through the lines

Post by madaxeman » Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:18 pm

Once troops (especially foot) win a combat, they will often break through a line of battle and its then very hard for them to rejoin the line of scrimmage. Where units are matched up square on its very pronounced - but where they are offset it usually doesnt happen at all.

o A single unit of foot (lined up against another equal sized one) winning its combat will break through the enemy lines by breaking and pursuing its opponents - even where the rest of its friends in the line are losing. The “breaking through” unit then often preferred to push onwards (to avoid the “inside 3” friends dying” test), as attempting to wheel/turn back to rejoin the line of combat and save its friends is simply too hard to do – and because units rarely fight for more than 2-3 turns, the battle will be won or lost by then anyway

o For undrilled foot this is almost impossible to rejoin the combat - turning/wheeling to rejoin the line of battle after 1 or two rounds of pursuit is so hard (with CMTs and relative move distances) that it often is not even sensible to try – and if your friends have lost, the enemy will also have pursued so will be even further away by th etime you catch your breath!

 LIMIT/MAKE OPTIONAL PURSUITS WHERE YOU ARE FIGHTING IN A BL OR FIGHTING CLOSE TO ENEMIES / FRIENDS?
 MAKE IT EASIER TO TURN TO THREATEN / WHEN THREATENED BY / IN PROXIMITY TO ENEMY / COMBAT SITUATIONS?
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Re: Cosolidated thoughts

Post by madaxeman » Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:33 pm

lanceflint wrote:Another great Britcon, thanks to all who organised, played or in any way contributed.

2. Mounted seem rather too tough against Elephants, especially Superior types led by a General who usually get quite a few re-rolls. POA`s seem about right but the Cohesion test could have a -2 for mounted fighting elephants?
One of my points too
lanceflint wrote: 3. Serious concerns about armies coming out of a corner and then swinging round to fight on 4` of table frontage. Having an empty flank zones free of troops at deployment reduces this and also prevents corner sitting even more (snuggling up to that waterway/coast seems a little too inviting).
I never managed to achieve this - maybe I should have tried harder (or been more pragmatic and defended properly, as opposed to defending in the opponents side of the table most games!!!
lanceflint wrote: 4. The POA for being uphill is too powerful, maybe this could again be changed to a minus on the Cohesion test.
again one of mine
lanceflint wrote: 5. Generals - boy do they get in the way and end up drifting around/through/in BG`s. Simple - when a general has the move distance to replace any of the elements of a BG he does just that, remove the BG element and replace it with the General. If a mounted leader joins a foot BG then he dismounts temporarily on the approprite sized base and fights as if he was that element and the same for foot generals joinig a mounted BG. When he leaves he remounts his donkey/nag/hack and the BG element is replaced. If he cannot completely replace an element then he is not with the BG! He is still a general and be spledidly painted to look the part whilst all those BG`s that grow peculiar lumps which frequently shrink and then swell on another edge of a BG would dissappear. .
I often found generals elements to be confusing when attached to BGs, and especially to small ones - they make it difficult to see what the "real" formation is, especially when they are the same models. Maybe bite the bullet and say they are on round bases or similar ?
lanceflint wrote:6. PLEASSSSEEEEE more Poor troops in the lists and more choice to downgrade others as well? Elites and Superior types should be the shock troops/cutting edge/troops of significant distinction and relability of the army and possibilly available in the numbers that some lists allow?.
Exactly ! Do poor troops even exist? I saw none at all, all weekend. I also can't remember seeing any foot bowmen other than my own. Might mean bigger army sizes too , which woudl in turn limit diking about with small irritaing LH units ...?
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Re: Cosolidated thoughts

Post by nikgaukroger » Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:21 pm

lanceflint wrote:
3. Serious concerns about armies coming out of a corner and then swinging round to fight on 4` of table frontage. Having an empty flank zones free of troops at deployment reduces this and also prevents corner sitting even more (snuggling up to that waterway/coast seems a little too inviting).
From the point of view of somebody who casually observed games throughout the weekend it looked as though a lot were these sorts of "turning" games.

I'm not sure if it is good or bad but it doesn't feel quite right to me.

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Re: UPHILL

Post by hammy » Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:27 pm

madaxeman wrote:Being uphill as a full POA seemed a lot – there aren’t many “++” combats anyway, and being uphill made my bowmen practically as good as decent foot.
 SHOULD BEING UPHILL BE A COHESION TEST MODIFIER NOT A POA?
 OR A “LIGHT SPEAR/ONLY IF NO OTHER NET POA” TYPE MODIFIER?
Another possibility would be an impact only POA or impact only light spear type POA.

Thinking back I have never attacked up a hill or down a hill in FoG so the above is merely speculation.

Hammy

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Post by rogerg » Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:58 pm

Three amendment suggestions:

SHOOTING
Shooting, particularly by skirmishers, is still a problem.
1) I had LF break superior knights by shooting them in a couple of bounds.
2) Armoured foot had to chase LF across the table just to stop them shooting. A couple of not too lucky rolls and even armoured foot could be down to fragmented from the shooting of a few skirmishers.

The solution: A cohesion test in response to shooting should never take a BG below disrupted.

I cannot think of an historical situation where shooting is reported to be so devastating. Once disrupted, a battle group is down to two-thirds combat effectiveness and at a cohesion test minus. That is as much as normal shooting should achieve. Then is the time when the enemy should close in to fight.

Disrupted units could still be shot at and would continue to take death rolls for hits. This is sufficient for the extreme cases of massed shooting on an isolated BG. It does allow the possibility of a significant shooting result through 25% loss and autobreaks.

FIFTY PER CENT LOSS - the black knight scenario
The extended melee where superior groups of four fight on until they take 75% losses is too common. 50% losses is not ‘just a scratch’. It should be crippling. 50% loss should be auto fragmented. (This might also add some variety to army composition and speed up a few melees).

THREATENED FLANK
If a BG is a ‘mega-unit’, then why is a threatened flank, which would only affect the units at the end of the BG, a cohesion negative? It is also a double whammy, because when the flank is actually charged there is (usually) a cohesion step loss and big melee disadvantage.

The threatened flank from the edge of the table is a nice idea to keep the figures in the centre.
Simplify the whole thing. Remove the ‘able to be charged in the flank’ penalty and have a simple -1 for any BG within 6MU of the edge, skirmishers included.


Some comments on other suggestions:

UPHILL
Just an impact factor, once the general melee has started this should not be a major factor. It also avoids the problem where a successful uphill impact does not push the defenders back over a crest.

CAMPS
Loss of two attrition points is quite enough. Otherwise, the games will degenerate into light horse encounters around the camps.

ELEPHANTS
I think the current rules are about right. To make them manouverable really needs the presence of a general. I doubt that they were that difficult to handle anyway otherwise they would not be used as working animals.
Their effect probably does not need changing. (Even though mine lost out to knights twice at the weekend). One of the things that makes FoG so playable is that there are no super troops. The Elephants have to be part of the battle line and need the overlaps just like all the rest.

BREAKING THROUGH
I am quite happy that pursuers shoot off through the battle line and do not easily return to the fray. This seems perfectly acceptable. Surely this is when the second line of troops moves into the gap. This is a good encouragement to have multiple lines.

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Post by hammy » Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:27 pm

rogerg wrote:Three amendment suggestions:

SHOOTING
Shooting, particularly by skirmishers, is still a problem.
1) I had LF break superior knights by shooting them in a couple of bounds.
Blimey, in my game last night I had 6 LF bow and 4 LH bow and some of the time another 4 LH bow shooting at 4 superior armoured cavalry all game and didn't even disrupt them once.....
2) Armoured foot had to chase LF across the table just to stop them shooting. A couple of not too lucky rolls and even armoured foot could be down to fragmented from the shooting of a few skirmishers.
In my experience generals and rear support are key against shooting. Armoured foot and heavily armoured knights should be pretty much immune and the are if they are supported.

Hammy

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Post by babyshark » Tue Aug 14, 2007 8:32 pm

rogerg wrote:Three amendment suggestions:

<snip>

FIFTY PER CENT LOSS - the black knight scenario
The extended melee where superior groups of four fight on until they take 75% losses is too common. 50% losses is not ‘just a scratch’. It should be crippling. 50% loss should be auto fragmented. (This might also add some variety to army composition and speed up a few melees).
Hmmmm. I do not dislike this too much. It is, after all, the Thermopylae situation. It allows famous last stands and heroic triumph against the odds by superior and elite units, which are just the ones we would expect to be doing this sort of thing. It may lead to over-reliance on superior and elite troops, as has been commented on by others in the post-Britcon dialogue, but that might be better addressed in the troops costs.

Marc

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Post by rogerg » Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:39 am

"In my experience generals and rear support are key against shooting. Armoured foot and heavily armoured knights should be pretty much immune and the are if they are supported"

1) Armoured foot requiring support and a general against half a dozen light foot is just not right. Having to tie up this amount of troops for a minor shooting threat is wrong.
2) Even then, if the skirmishers roll a couple of fives it is easy enough to get disrupted. Once disrupted it is all too easy to have a repeat and become fragmented.
3) If disrupted, and no general is immediately available it is probably necessary to charge at the LF to reielve the shooting pressure. This pulls the BG out of position with no way back and probably liable to getting concentrated fire from more skirmishers.

I am suggesting that the effect of the LF is out of all proportion to what it should be. Reducing a much stronger unit to disrupted - 66% effectiveness and with a -1 cohesion modifier, is a more than adequate result for a group of skirmishers.

Skirmishers, probably all shooters, should be disrupting the enemy prior to engaging them in hand to combat. With the rules as they stand LF (and more particulary LH) can be a game winner. I am not aware of any historical encounter where the battle was decided primarily by shooting, certainly not by skirmisher shooting.

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Post by shall » Wed Aug 15, 2007 9:00 am

If people feel this is a big issue there are toher ways.

We don't want to stop troops going FRG from shooting s it was indeed exactly hwo most bow realiant armies fought. It is eaactly how the Huns beat the visigoths.

The key to handling shooters is to be 3 deep.....do that and you won't take many tests....ask Neil Hammond how effective his shooting was against my poorr old protected Ancient Britons. The poblem is that many of you are still setting yoruselves up with a 3 frontage needing only 2 hits to corce a test. 8 base BGs 3 deep needs 3 to make it test. So look atthe odds

perming 2 x 4s out of 3 dice is about a 35% chance from memory
3 x 4s out of 3 is a 12.5% chance....

A much bigger effect than evrything else - then add a general for good measure adn you will not suffer so much unless the number of dice the shooters can arrange is rather high.

Si

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