Not a request for change/amendment, but worth debating?

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RonanTheLibrarian
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Not a request for change/amendment, but worth debating?

Post by RonanTheLibrarian » Wed May 17, 2017 3:54 pm

I realise it's a bit late to do anything about it now, in terms of amendments or whatever, but - just humour me here - why do we have to tell an opponent the morale level of our units when we deploy? Troop type, weaponry, and even armour, can be determined visually as ranges decrease, but why should they know, before any contact has been made or a die been rolled, whether a unit is Elite, Superior, Average or Poor? I can't think of an example from the Renaissance era, but certainly during the Napoleonic period there were several instances of troops being dismissed as low grade because of how they were dressed and surprising their opponents. I've seen some very gamey targetting of Superior units by massed artillery (and done it myself, I must admit), when they were not the most obvious target.

I realise that once a unit is in action, the mechanics of the game require its morale to be common knowledge, but it's worth remembering that armies still gave the "post of honour" (ie the right flank) to their best units - or had to deal with a big-time strop if they gave it to someone else - and the next senior unit on the left flank, so would they have responded to an enemy's deployment by placing their best units opposite weaker ones when they were still too far away to recognise them as such?
"No plan survives the first contact with the dice."

"There is something wrong with our bloody dice today!"

hazelbark
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Re: Not a request for change/amendment, but worth debating?

Post by hazelbark » Wed May 17, 2017 5:17 pm

That is a different type of game. And for the competition games invites...errors that benefit a player and could be perceived as unsportsmanlike.

Personally whether a unit if elite, superior or Average is not enough relative to do they have pistols or armor.

In a campaign there were units that were well known for their elan. In the Napoleonic wars you had to get pretty close to note the differences in a uniform between the 3rd or 5th dragoons of almost any nation.

Some rules have a unit as a block at certain distance then you know mounted, foot or artillery at another distance and then when you get close you know the details. Fun, sometimes cumbersome.

Add in that equally commanding officers didn't always know which units had dysentery last night and which bent on vengeance today.

RonanTheLibrarian
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Re: Not a request for change/amendment, but worth debating?

Post by RonanTheLibrarian » Wed May 17, 2017 10:50 pm

hazelbark wrote:In the Napoleonic wars you had to get pretty close to note the differences in a uniform between the 3rd or 5th dragoons of almost any nation.
Yes, but a quick glance (albeit through a telescope) could tell you that (a) they were dragoons, (b) they had no body armour, and (c) they were armed with sabre, two pistols and a musketoon/carbine - which is all the information we should need to give an opponent at the deployment stage of a game.
"No plan survives the first contact with the dice."

"There is something wrong with our bloody dice today!"

jonphilp
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Re: Not a request for change/amendment, but worth debating?

Post by jonphilp » Thu May 18, 2017 12:56 pm

Hi, I am not sure that with the state of our eye sight even a telescope will help. Also if you got hold of your opponrnts battle plan would that help! Keep deployment as it is

Vespasian28
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Re: Not a request for change/amendment, but worth debating?

Post by Vespasian28 » Thu May 18, 2017 6:30 pm

Interesting idea but in this case simplified game play trumps realism I think. Quite happy to give it a go in a friendly at the club though Ronan.

timmy1
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Re: Not a request for change/amendment, but worth debating?

Post by timmy1 » Sun May 28, 2017 10:42 am

Keep it simple and clean. No change required here IMO.

Jhykronos
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Re: Not a request for change/amendment, but worth debating?

Post by Jhykronos » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:30 pm

RonanTheLibrarian wrote:I realise it's a bit late to do anything about it now, in terms of amendments or whatever, but - just humour me here - why do we have to tell an opponent the morale level of our units when we deploy? Troop type, weaponry, and even armour, can be determined visually as ranges decrease, but why should they know, before any contact has been made or a die been rolled, whether a unit is Elite, Superior, Average or Poor?
That's pretty much the current game etiquette for Historical Miniatures in general. 30+ years back, it used to be the other way... I remember a fairly prominent rules author once specifically stating that troop type, armament, and quality does not need to be disclosed... the onus would be on your opponent to discern such details from your figures. Of course, that attitude pre-supposes that accurate figures are available (and used), the opponent is familiar enough with the army to identify the figures accurately, the player himself is familiar enough with the army to select and paint the figures accurately, and nobody is being a git.

And of course, there is justification both ways... I'm certain if we spent enough time we can find plenty of examples for troop quality being readily apparent and troop quality being unknown until after the fact. I'm not certain going with one default mechanism is any more accurate than the other... so unless the rules are actually going to address the issue on a case by case basis (a la the questionable "fake hussars" in the Polish lists), it's probably just as well the general rule is the one that prevents "gamey" shenanigans.

Heh, next we're going to have someone suggest we go back to the good old days of banning pre-measurement.

Vespasian28
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Re: Not a request for change/amendment, but worth debating?

Post by Vespasian28 » Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:07 pm

Heh, next we're going to have someone suggest we go back to the good old days of banning pre-measurement.
Well I used to like it as I was notorious for estimating distances by eye far too accurately for my opponents. A genuine skill in this game of chance :D

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