Mixed battle Groups

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MikeHorah
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Mixed battle Groups

Post by MikeHorah » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:19 am

Can someone advise me please on how combined battlegroups work . They are not new I know but I have seldom used them much hitherto -only Byzantines under V 2.0 and not much even then .The third set of lists now provides rather more circumstances when I might, especially combined men at arms and longbowmen. Some questions if someone can help please:
a) What counts as the target for being fired at? If the men at arms form the back rank of three ranks -in a unit of 6 bases in two files - presumably it is “protected” ( frontally) and “armoured” (to the rear) or frontally if the men at arms form the front rank. This is material for all save longbows firing at them, crossbows especially in era.
b) But if a base has been lost, say one men at arms base to the front, than what does the new front count as? Does the firer have to split his dice between one of each type as you would with two differently protected BGs side by side?
c) And in combat in the same situation having lost a base of men at arms which is replaced by a longbowman, does each file now count differently, one with sword the other with pole arm and also different protection?
d) I see it says they all count as heavy foot so the minus in the Cohesion Tets - testing for medium foot losing to mounted and heavy Foot does not apply– is it right to assume that if both men at arms bases have been lost that is still the case?
e) Can a front rank of men at arms in a combined unit lay or pick up stakes?

I quite like this attempt to represent retinues especially for the Wars of the Roses :) but it is a bit fiddly.
If one were to say that the virtual reality is that each base is really a mix of archers and longbowmen perhaps in “ clumps” within a retinue battle group - so that that they could move about freely within the footprint of the battle group that would make it easier to manage and envisage .Counting them all as heavy foo seems to infer that. But is that how it worked? :?

The requirement that the BG takes a CMT to swap ranks seems to belie that interpretation. That provision is also inconsistent with the retained freedom (from V2.0) of BGs wholly of dismounted men at arms or longbows to move through each other WITHOUT A CMT :shock: . One would have thought the reverse ought to apply :? Easier within a single BG than between separate ones. To be consistent both or neither should take a CMT.

ChrisTofalos
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Re: Mixed battle Groups

Post by ChrisTofalos » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:25 pm

That provision is also inconsistent with the retained freedom (from V2.0) of BGs wholly of dismounted men at arms or longbows to move through each other WITHOUT A CMT :shock: . One would have thought the reverse ought to apply :? Easier within a single BG than between separate ones. To be consistent both or neither should take a CMT.
A fair point...

petedalby
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Re: Mixed battle Groups

Post by petedalby » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:36 pm

I don't have any special insight into this new type of BG so look forward to a fuller response from one of its creators.

In the meantime some of your questions appear to be answered in the published text. I'm looking at Page 107.

a) - shooting is at each target base. If 1 base is in cover and another isn't you would adjust the POA accordingly. Hopefully the same applies here.

b) - same answer

c) - no change from currently. Melee is also by base.

d) - this is covered. If both men-at-arms have been lost the remaining bases count as MF.

e) - no - see last bullet on page 107 and page 119 of the rules.

On the final question, the interpenetration can only occur if there is room to interpenetrate. And is retained unchanged within V3.0. The combined BG doesn't require any additional room - it just swaps ranks so is arguably more versatile and a CMT is perhaps a reasonable compromise.
Pete

MikeHorah
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Re: Mixed battle Groups

Post by MikeHorah » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:54 pm

Thanks - no one I play with has any better knowledge or grasp of these finer points of the rules than I do myself :oops: ( neither has version 3 and one of them no version at all :roll: so no illumination to be had there) .

So that has saved me a lot of solitary rooting around re mixed BGs. It does feel a bit different to a game I fought against one T Shaw :roll: :oops: who as I recall said some different things re some late Roman mixed BGs and what counted as what in combat after front rank losses -where it seemed I was fighting against dragons teeth :shock: so I ended up confused . :? Then I read all this stuff.

And until this set of lists the issue of laying portable defences by a mixed BG had not occurred to me of course as it was not an option but in the 24 hours since I got the book I had not spotted that BP at the bottom of the page saying you could not anyway! :oops:

It makes the handling of these mixed BGs very awkward and needlessly difficult when you combine all the restrictions so you wonder why bother - just stick to the uniform BGs.

Still not sure about the logic of the CMT though. The pass through of M@A and Longbow BGs was virtually unique in the lists previously. (I can't claim knowledge of them all eg the Far East) Now given the era and game system I find it odd that it is, as before, seen as a simple move. Doing a CMT close to the enemy - 5MUs - would at least make some sense. And why a pass through anyway and not a unit for unit swap?

Then you see that the later period mix of swiss halbediers and pikes is treated as all pikes so you wonder why they bothered with this. Allowing that and/ or a pass through would make every bit as much sense historically for Swiss especially when you look at diagrams of the later 16th century tercios and landsknect formations. Maybe a bit of reverse game engineering is needed - was not the Swiss model one of the methods/formations they evolved from??

I guess its another case of bending the historical info and data to match the existing game system rather than the opposite. :wink: Fails of its promise in this respect if you ask me. Just fixing the things people thought were broken, if that is what was mainly involved was a bit conservative. It is just a nudge to medievalism only and in my view FOG (AM) is still much more A than M in design and culture. As before I think I will go my own way with mid to late medieval games and my own house rules. 8)

terrys
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Re: Mixed battle Groups

Post by terrys » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:56 pm

So that has saved me a lot of solitary rooting around re mixed BGs. It does feel a bit different to a game I fought against one T Shaw who as I recall said some different things re some late Roman mixed BGs and what counted as what in combat after front rank losses -where it seemed I was fighting against dragons teeth so I ended up confused . Then I read all this stuff.
The Romans I was used in that game had a 3rd rank of supporting light infantry against cavalry (and of no use against infantry) - so totally different from mixed HF/MF BGs in the medieval period.
It makes the handling of these mixed BGs very awkward and needlessly difficult when you combine all the restrictions so you wonder why bother - just stick to the uniform BGs.
Mixed BGs (for the British) were introduced to replicate something that was unique to those armies. they are not compulsory and you can stick to the uniform BGs if you wish.
Now given the era and game system I find it odd that it is, as before, seen as a simple move. Doing a CMT close to the enemy - 5MUs - would at least make some sense. And why a pass through anyway and not a unit for unit swap?
The passing through of M@A and longbow BGs is a simple move because all they are doing is making a normal move forwards (albeit through another BG). If the moving unit is undrilled, then it must make the normal 'full' move unless it is led by a commander or passes a CMT. The option of doing a unit for unit swap was considered, but it cause many problems, particularly when the longbow BG has stakes.
Then you see that the later period mix of swiss halbediers and pikes is treated as all pikes so you wonder why they bothered with this. Allowing that and/ or a pass through would make every bit as much sense historically for Swiss especially when you look at diagrams of the later 16th century tercios and landsknect formations. Maybe a bit of reverse game engineering is needed - was not the Swiss model one of the methods/formations they evolved from??
I'm not interested in 16th century formations - They are irreverent since the introduction of firearms quickly made the older pike formations redundant.
We only allow mixed BGs in cases where the differently armed bases have missile weapons. During the later 15th century there some pike formations still had some halberdiers and in the centre, but this was as likely to be because there weren't enough pikes to go round as it was a deliberate choice. The issue is that they should perform on the battlefield as close as possible to their historical performance, and they historically performed as pike blocks. Adding a couple of bases of pole arms makes no difference other than making the block 5 ranks deep and paying an additional 2pts per base for the extra ones. In the interests of game play and historical use we decided to leave them out.
I guess it's another case of bending the historical info and data to match the existing game system rather than the opposite. Fails of its promise in this respect if you ask me. Just fixing the things people thought were broken, if that is what was mainly involved was a bit conservative. It is just a nudge to medievalism only and in my view FOG (AM) is still much more A than M in design and culture. As before I think I will go my own way with mid to late medieval games and my own house rules.
I strongly disagree that " it's another case of bending the historical info and data". A Swiss pike block is primarily that - a 'pike block' and your suggestion of making it something more than that is an interpretation that isn't supported by their performance on the battlefield prior to the 16th century.
You are also incorrect in thinking that our aim was to "fix the things people thought were broken", the intention of V3 is to make the game more interesting, and to bring into the mix some of those armies and troops types that historically performed well but did not do so under V1 and V2 of the rules.
We've always been happy for players to modify the rules to suit their own interpretation of the period. Feel free to create as many house rules as you want.

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