Play Test

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DavidT
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Play Test

Post by DavidT » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:49 pm

A few friends and I refought Breitenfeld on Monday and tried out some of the proposed rule changes.
We used the revised autobreak (AVG and SUP break >50%, POOR and DRAG break = 50%) and it seemed to work very well, without unbalancing things, although, due to a certain degree of incompetency on the part of the Imperial commander facing the Saxons, we never got to test it on the POOR infantry.
We had artillery hitting mounted on 5 and this meant that horse were no longer targeted as a priority by the artillery and when they were, they didn't disappear after a few turns of fire (helped as well by the change to the autobreak level for AVG).
We had the sole unit of dragoons moving at 3MU when within 6MU of the enemy so more thought had to be given on how to use it effectively, particularly on a battlefield with minimal terrain.

So a big thumbs up for the above proposed changes. We'll be trying it again this Saturday so hopefully we'll see the effect on the POOR Saxon foot.

We didn't change the commanded shot as I am not totally sold on the current proposals (although if we had it would have prevented most of the Swedish horse on their left fleeing when the two units of commanded shot with them disintegrated in short order when they rolled 1s on their death roles after being fired on for the first time).

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Re: Play Test

Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:25 am

DavidT wrote:A few friends and I refought Breitenfeld on Monday and tried out some of the proposed rule changes.
We used the revised autobreak (AVG and SUP break >50%, POOR and DRAG break = 50%) and it seemed to work very well, without unbalancing things, although, due to a certain degree of incompetency on the part of the Imperial commander facing the Saxons, we never got to test it on the POOR infantry.
We had artillery hitting mounted on 5 and this meant that horse were no longer targeted as a priority by the artillery and when they were, they didn't disappear after a few turns of fire (helped as well by the change to the autobreak level for AVG).
We had the sole unit of dragoons moving at 3MU when within 6MU of the enemy so more thought had to be given on how to use it effectively, particularly on a battlefield with minimal terrain.

So a big thumbs up for the above proposed changes. We'll be trying it again this Saturday so hopefully we'll see the effect on the POOR Saxon foot.

We didn't change the commanded shot as I am not totally sold on the current proposals (although if we had it would have prevented most of the Swedish horse on their left fleeing when the two units of commanded shot with them disintegrated in short order when they rolled 1s on their death roles after being fired on for the first time).

Thanks for that. Taking the time to test these is very much appreciated. Glad they seem to work OK.
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DavidT
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Re: Play Test

Post by DavidT » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:54 am

In our second refight of Breitenfeld, we got a slightly more historical result.
This time the Saxons broke - their horse got beaten, a few foot units went fragmented and the whole lot ran. However, it took the Imperialist player facing them a long time - not due to any changes in the rules (we used the revised break points again) but more because the player delayed his attack until far too late, to get everything lined up perfectly - when it did go in it was devastating.
This meant that the Swedes were able to defeat the Imperialists facing them and then commit a lot of troops to picking off the few remaining Imperialists needed to break Tilly's army.
We allowed horse with commanded shot to march three times - this helped, but commanded shot are still pretty useless at helping average armoured determined horse against superior heavily armoured horse - obviously when Gustav's right wing bounced Pappenheim's horse seven times they weren't using FoGR :)
And the highlight of the day? When my opponents average armoured carbine armed horse, all on their own, destroyed the elite Finnish hakkapeliita (unarmoured, impact mounted, sword) supported by commanded shot :cry: It made my opponents day :)
A big thumbs up for the proposed changes (revised break points, revised 'to hit' for arty v mtd and dragoons) again (except for commanded shot).

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Re: Play Test

Post by nikgaukroger » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:29 pm

Once again many thanks - it has reminded me about something relating to commanded shot :D
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DavidT
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Re: Play Test

Post by DavidT » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:50 am

We tried some of the changes out again tonight.
Italian States Milanese v Early Henrician English.
Used:
revised autobreak - this worked well, although it did seem strange with average LH still being a pain after two base losses.
artillery hitting mtd on 5+ - worked well. It meant the artillery picked on the landsknecht keil rather than the enemy mounted.
re-rolls for better armour rather than a POA - this was easy enough to implement and helped the Henrician horse who are usually speed bumps for the Italian gendarmes - although the gendarmes still triumphed in the end. It did change the dynamic of the foot slog between the Swiss pike keils and the foot MAA where the heavy armour of the MAA no longer evened things up v the Swiss. However, it did make me consider taking my Swiss as unarmoured rather than armoured and using the points on something else - normally it is a no brainer to take armour.

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Re: Play Test

Post by quackstheking » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:00 pm

DavidT wrote:revised autobreak - this worked well, although it did seem strange with average LH still being a pain after two base losses.
.
In the proposal, light troops break on 50% losses so a 2 base Light Horse unit would be broken! :D

Don

DavidT
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Re: Play Test

Post by DavidT » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:53 pm

I thought we might be doing it wrong but didn't have time to check the revised proposal.

DavidT
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Re: Play Test

Post by DavidT » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:35 pm

Had another play test last night.
Italian States (Milanese) v Border Reivers (my friend has just painted up the army and wanted to use it and, apart from Swiss, all I really have in this period is Milanese).
The following were relevant to this game:
Revised autobreak (latest proposal)
Artillery changes
Latest armour proposals
However, just used current points

The fact that Superior LH break with 2 base losses in the same way as Average LH was a bit of a concern - the new points may need to address this.
Combats involving average troops (and there were a lot of these) went on longer, lengthening the game, although it would have been a long game anyway due to the different nature of the armies.
The number of Heavy Weapon and Arquebus armed foot meant that the armour rules rarely came into play - the only time they did was when an armoured Swiss Pike Keil fought an unarmoured BG of Bowmen. Seemed OK. And for those who think bow are too good, the arquebusiers were much more effective than the bowmen v the Swiss.
Artillery was fine (I had a battery of Heavies and my friend had a battery of Lights) - moving Lights in a division definitely helped.
Overall a very close game which was great fun. Average troops may be more survivable and better value now, but nothing beats an Armoured Elite Swiss Pike Keil - none of this trying to choose between Armoured or Elite :D

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Re: Play Test

Post by Vespasian28 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:41 pm

Combats involving average troops (and there were a lot of these) went on longer, lengthening the game, although it would have been a long game anyway due to the different nature of the armies.
Same as we found on Saturday with combats taking longer. Russian Horse was held up for a couple of bounds longer than usual by Average cavalry so didn't manage to influence the action in the centre.

Strange that the FOGAM boys are all about speeding the game up and we are for slowing it down.

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Re: Play Test

Post by Jhykronos » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:06 am

Two players in my group playtested the rules proposals yesterday.

Armies were Later 30YW German (1632-4 period) vs 30YW French.

Comments from the German player:

"Went well. Ave tougher to kill. Got dragoons smashed by foot. A Horse vs Det A horse Sup was a grind. Not sure HA is worth it, but ground him down.( kill rolls). Germans outshot French but that was a grind as both lasted longer. Not sure Commanded shot is worth it but didnt melee with them, Same cost as Reg Gun."

Comments from the French player:

"We tried new points and some of the new changes based on the info you sent <SNIP>. On the points deal I used the reductions to take all of my mounted units as determined horse. The superiors were quite a bit less expensive as before which I think is good. The average ones only went down in points slightly but changing the auto break so they hang in like superiors makes up for the cost of the two being closer together. The most significant items to me were

1) the dragoon mount/dismount movement change makes it much more difficult to get them out if they are losing an exchange of fire because within 6" of the enemy the only move 3 not 5. So when I turned mine around to get out he could stay closer to them and keep shooting. What we were unsure of was their rout move, we did 3" as the base for the initial rout and 5" once they were no longer in contact. I like this change as it seemed to me to be more realistic than they shoot like foot but move much faster.

2) The armor better/worse thing we used option #1 so the heavier unit got one level higher reroll. We had this in 2 places, unarmored superior DH verses Armored Superior H and Armored Superior DH verses Heavily Armored H. We did not pay attention to how many 2s were rerolled but the lighter armored DH hung on real well against the more heavily armored opponents. I think this worked well because it was easy to do as part of the initial comparison of what each player was going to have for the combat, Dice/Rerolls and POAs and then we dropped the dice. Bottom line was the lessor armored DH fought all game against the heavier horse due to not being a POA down for the armor and because they were DH dice loss for stand loss was less critical as I had them a couple of ranks deep.

3) The Average troops auto break going up to the greater than 50% really made the Average units hang on better in this game both horse and foot, we both took 4 stand horse and 6 stand foot. Being one who likes an average army with some superiors (gds etc) I liked this as well."

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Re: Play Test

Post by nikgaukroger » Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:58 am

Very useful - thanks :D
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Re: Play Test

Post by benjones1211 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:11 am

Scots Royalist 1645 (Ben) v Parliamentarian (1643) Tom

2.5 Hours, set terrain, start 3" in. Test for Oxford Southern League round

Used Commanded Shot, Artillery, Break points, Dragoons, Mtd Points, but not Armour (still fuzzy on this one)
Terrain was (from scots Perspective) Left flank BG, Centre Brush, centre right (small brush) right flank steep hill mostly on the scots side across the centre.
Deployment
Scots Left to Right
3 Irish P&S, Strathbogie, 8 Man Musket* Highlander, Mc Coll, 4 Scots P&S, Moss Troopers
2nd Line Horse Pistol, , Pistol behind Irish, Horse Lt Lance behind Highlanders, Poor Scots P&S behind Scots.

Parliament Right to left
3 Horse 2 with CS, supported by 2 2 man HA Cuir, Guns with 6 P&S, 2 in reserve, with Horse in third line, and dragoons in front, Horse.

Dragoons took one look at Highlanders heading for central Brush and went to left flank and the steep hill. Horse w/o CS moved from right to centre.
Scots advanced, 2 Irish against Mtd, rest forward, 1 scots + Moss against dragoons on steep hill

Irish on left flank had two maneuvering Cuir try to out flank them, danced a nice Irish jig, line square line, and eventually pinned both, whilst Fragmenting one. Problems of 2 man average units taking test whilst hit once.

Next Irish faced off two Horse with CS, which took 2 bases whilst losing one. (We had the CS fire full effect Long and Short range don't know if this is correct). Horse charged at this point then repulsed, in hindsight thought should have shot longer with CS.

In centre firefight at long range once Highlanders in charge reach full blown charge. Also one Scots P&S had outflanked the line. Over 3 turns melee 5 P&S die as Strathbogie joins in.
Last Irish brigade died due to casualties from Artillery/Supporting P&S.
On Right Dragoons retire after losing a base and disrupting followed by faster Moss troopers.

Final charge by reserve Horse into Highlanders not effective as in column to stop routing troops going through, so 2 dice to 2 dice a draw despite double plus, melee a draw and Horse break off.

Final result Parliament lose 11 out of 15, Royalist 2 out of 14.

Comments
CS worked well but did need two to do the damage.
Dragoons, once in slight trouble retired,
Average Horse stayed around after 1 loss
Artillery, my Average horse where not unhappy to be faced by artillery
Overall Averages stayed longer, then disappeared quickly in the rout. Both thought Average armies would be more resilient.

Question on Armour
Armoured Horse against Unarmoured Pike, currently 0 POA (Pike V Armour) but under new rules would it be
1) 0 as currently
2) Horse at - with reroll
3) 0 with foot getting reroll
4) Something else

Next week Tom will bring the same army with tweaks from what he learned (ie. 2 man Cuir too brittle) and I will have either Late Royalist or Cornish.

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Re: Play Test

Post by nikgaukroger » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:18 pm

Very useful, many thanks :D

On the armour question, if we just make Better Armour a reroll then against the pike (2 deep in this case I assume and steady) the horse will be at a - PoA with

(i) the horse having a step better reroll if having better armour improves your reroll, or

(ii)the pike having a step worse reroll if having better armour degrades your opponents reroll.
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Re: Play Test

Post by benjones1211 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:55 pm

My only problem with that is currently Horse have to be a bit lucky to break foot, but do have a chance if better armoured v the pike, with this change they chance reduces by another 1/2 POA.

Currently
Armoured DH against Steady Foot
On Impact DH 6 dice at - Foot 6 dice at +
Expand DH and if no lose of cohesion or bases.
Melee Armoured DH 5 dice at -, 2 dice at 0
Foot 4 dice at +, 2 dice at 0

New Rules DH 7 dice at -
Foot 6 dice at +
And 2 dice either horse extra reroll or Foot minus reroll.

Now as mainly a foot player I would be quite happy, but I don't think you want to make it harder for mtd to break foot.

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Re: Play Test

Post by nikgaukroger » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:12 pm

benjones1211 wrote: Now as mainly a foot player I would be quite happy, but I don't think you want to make it harder for mtd to break foot.

As I've always disliked the mounted armour effect in this matchup I'm quite happy with degrading it.
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DavidT
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Re: Play Test

Post by DavidT » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:51 pm

Ran a playtest tonight to specifically test the proposals for commanded shot.

We used:
Dragoons change
Artillery change
Autobreak change
Commanded shot proposal
We were also playing with the better armour proposal, however, this didn't actually affect anything.
We used the current points costs for mounted with the proposed costs for commanded shot.

I was using Early 30YW Swedes (1631) v Early Louis XIV French (1658)

We chose the armies to see how average mounted with commanded shot could stand up to better mounted.
I had
3 Sup Swedish Brigades with RG
2 BGs of 3 Dragoons
2 BGs of Avg Arm P/P DH
2 BGs of Avg Arm P/P Hse
1 BG of Avg Unarm C/P Hse
1 BG of 2 Hvy Arty
All my mounted units had CS.
1 GC and 2 TC
11 BGs

My opponent had
2 Sup Inf BGs with arm pike, M*, IF
2 Avg Inf BGs with unarm pike, M*, IF
1 Avg Inf BG of M*, IF
1 BG of 2 Med Arty
1 Bg of 3 Dragoons
2 BG of Sup Arm P/P DH
2 BGs of Sup Arm IM/Sw Cavaliers
1 GC and 2 TC
11 BGs

My right flank was severely constricted with enclosed fields, the centre and left flank were open. I had a hill on my baseline (to set my arty on) while my opponent had an obstacle on his side in the centre. It was all set for a grand mounted clash.

In general
The new rules for autobreak made the average troops tougher to beat as previously. :)
The dragoons has severe problems on my right. Once committed to engaging the enemy, they were stuck and my Dragoons were shot to pieces by the enemy M* BG and Dragoons and had no way of getting away - they had to stick it out until they both became fragmented and then were charged and broke. :(
However, it was the mounted clash we wanted to try out. Could my CS turn the tide and stand off the attack of the French.
Shooting by the commanded shot was totally useless it caused almost no hits (2 in total), killed no-one and never forced a morale test. :(
When the French cavalry charged, the CS helped to slow down my defeat, but never really gave me a chance to stop it. The extra dice at impact against his P/P horse was balanced by his re-rolls, so had no effect. Then in melee, the CS had no effect and his re-rolls meant that he won most combats and drew some when I was lucky. :(
Against the Cavaliers, being evens at impact did nothing to offset his re-rolls so I lost, meaning that it was evens for melee and again, his re-rolls did for me. :(
My whole cavalry flank disintegrated losing 4 BGs. :cry:
I also discovered that giving CS to a reserve unit of mounted is a waste as it cannot get anywhere to help in time, unless you ditch the CS. :(
My opponents view was that the CS were useless and he never felt that his mounted were in any danger at any time.

My foot did roll over his two superior infantry units, mainly because his average foot stayed hidden behind the wall so I was able to concentrate 3 v 2 with arty firing overhead.

In the end, a 20-5 loss to me.

Looking at the new points cost, I will be able to upgrade most of my mounted to superior DH for similar points to taking CS and in the future that is what I will do if the current CS proposal proceeds.

To address this, some more thought is needed.
Over here in the Emerald Isle, we have never really had a problem with the CS rules as they stand (except for classing Swedish CS as Salvo - we have introduced an Irish rule to class them as Musket over here). However, if they must change, I think you need to seriously re-think this otherwise CS will become a thing of the past (which in a way they are as they didn't last much past the ECW :lol: ).

Possible options would be:
1. Seriously reduce the points cost for CS - however, their almost total ineffectiveness against superior would probably mean that they are still too expensive no matter what the cost.
2. Increase the shooting capability - however, this alone would not be enough as, once in combat, they are ineffective.
3. Consider adding them as two stands to the mounted BG (thus increasing an Avg BG to 6, enabling them to fight alongside the BG (being deployed at the side of the mounted BG) and enabling the whole mounted BG to count as protected using the current rules. Movement is still restricted as per the current proposal and they can be removed in the same circumstances).
4. keep things as they are.

We will be playing the battle again next week to check it wasn't a fluke (although in general my dice rolling was as good as my opponents, maybe better - except for pesky death rolls with my Swedish Brigades - 1 hit, death roll 1, oh well there goes all the advantages of being a Swedish brigade - this happened 3 times).

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Re: Play Test

Post by nikgaukroger » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:09 am

DavidT wrote: In general
The new rules for autobreak made the average troops tougher to beat as previously. :)
Which is what we want really :)

The dragoons has severe problems on my right. Once committed to engaging the enemy, they were stuck and my Dragoons were shot to pieces by the enemy M* BG and Dragoons and had no way of getting away - they had to stick it out until they both became fragmented and then were charged and broke. :(
Need to be more careful about where you commit them under the proposal methinks, which is certainly part of the thinking behind the changes. If you see a stronger force approaching it may be time to bug out - with the shorter move if enemy are close you'd need to do this earlier than previously.

However, it was the mounted clash we wanted to try out. Could my CS turn the tide and stand off the attack of the French.
Shooting by the commanded shot was totally useless it caused almost no hits (2 in total), killed no-one and never forced a morale test. :(
The shooting is meant to be fairly incidental, we do not want CS assisted BGs that otherwise do not shoot to become significant shooting BGs.

When the French cavalry charged, the CS helped to slow down my defeat, but never really gave me a chance to stop it. The extra dice at impact against his P/P horse was balanced by his re-rolls, so had no effect.
A slightly negative way of looking at it. From what you say your extra dice equalised the combat - without them his re-rolls would have given him the advantage.

Then in melee, the CS had no effect and his re-rolls meant that he won most combats and drew some when I was lucky. :(
Good point. Unless there is a PoA difference the CS do not do anything. Perhaps extend the extra dice to Melee if PoAs are otherwise equal like at Impact?

Against the Cavaliers, being evens at impact did nothing to offset his re-rolls so I lost, meaning that it was evens for melee and again, his re-rolls did for me. :(
My whole cavalry flank disintegrated losing 4 BGs. :cry:
Again isn't this a bit negative - at Impact the CS have negated the PoA advantage the Impact Mounted Cavaliers would otherwise have had thus you are hitting on 4+ instead of 5+ which is no small thing.

I assume, BTW, that your BGs all dropped cohesion at Impact so when you say that in Melee you were evens that was, again, due to the CS otherwise you'd have been a PoA down - so again a material effect I would suggest.

I also discovered that giving CS to a reserve unit of mounted is a waste as it cannot get anywhere to help in time, unless you ditch the CS. :(
My opponents view was that the CS were useless and he never felt that his mounted were in any danger at any time.
I'd ask why should they? IMO CS is all about making combats where you'd be at a significant disadvantage more equal, not about giving you the upper hand.

Looking at the new points cost, I will be able to upgrade most of my mounted to superior DH for similar points to taking CS and in the future that is what I will do if the current CS proposal proceeds.
For info under the current proposal what points do you think CS should cost?
Nik Gaukroger

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Re: Play Test

Post by madaxeman » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:03 pm

Thinking through the way CS played out in this playtest, it does suggest to me that the "new" CS paradigm means they should be in the range of "+1-2 points per mounted base in the unit".

You're getting an extra dice at impact, a POA some of the time, and some half-hearted shooting, netted off against slower movement and the fact this "half POA" can/will be "lost" if the unit using it wins and follows up.

You no longer get extra units, the extra width of formation, the fairly decent shooting.

On balance what we have now does sort of feel like a 1-point/base-type benefit at most.
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Re: Play Test

Post by jonphilp » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:00 pm

My main concern is that this set of rules has worked well when recreating historical Battles, especially of the TYW. With the changes to Commanded shot, dragoons and artillery etc I suspect if we refight Lutzen etc we will not get the same result as with the current rules, that of feeling the gameplay feels right when matched against the historical battle. As has been said in previous posts we may find that competition gamers go with the updates although I suspect the changes to the auto break rules will prolong the games (especially in the early period) and a large percentage of "historical" minded players retain the initial ruleset which in the end will defeat the object of increasing the numbers using FOGR. We will try to get test games run at our club but before any final decisions, we need time to work everything out. I have always found in the past once you have to add "house rule" to a rule set people to lose interest. Also when FOGAM went to version 2 we lost players who did not see the need for change. We do not want this to happen to FOGR especially as FOGR has rekindled interest in the Renaissance era but has also resulted in new rule sets arriving covering this period.

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Re: Play Test

Post by benjones1211 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:18 pm

I don't agree with the fact the Dragoons and artillery changes will make it less historical, if anything it will make it more historical, up until the end of the ECW/TYW anyway.

During that time dragoons found a piece of terrain in the flanks, and defended it. They where not used as a mobile sniping force. Once into late 17th century maybe they where closer to Horse than Foot, and through the beginning of the 18th century most turned into Horse.

The artillery rules just change the dynamic v Mounted, which most artillery didn't fire at anyway as they just moved away if necessary. The Light Artillery moving with divisions I see as making them more historical as the Lights seemed to have moved with the infantry, mainly as big regimental guns (or in some cases, regimental guns that where now massed).

Not being able to take and use artillery anymore just helps the flow, historically this was not done very often anyway, and when refighting those battles, just put in special rule allowing it. For instance at Edgehill (I think it was this refight) the dragoons on the left flank had light artillery with them so when we refought it, the could deploy there and didn't get a minus for firing for threatened flank.

Commanded shot I will admit is another matter, but how to represent them easily is difficult.

As for the new break rules, it just means the Averages stay around a bit longer, and makes the differential between Average and Superior not so great and I suspect will not really impact historical refights much.

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