Reward for historical Formation

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by JaM2013 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:27 pm

I think what is missing is another cohesion state for units that could be placed between current distruption and fragmention. Disruption should be something that could be achieved a bit easier, even from moving fast (let say full movement for 2-3 turns for close order infantry), or from being targeted by light infantry, of being charged by heavy infantry equipped with heavy javelins... It should have its impacts, but those should clear up at faster rate than other two (new one and fragmentation), which should be related to actual losses.. presence of General in close vicinity could also have impact on clearing that effect up, as well as having other units "in support" position nearby.

This way, player would be rewarded for fighting in formation, not hurrying up into contact, or by supporting his units by second line to ease up the disruption effects faster.
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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by Cheimison » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:34 pm

JaM2013 wrote:Disruption should be something that could be achieved a bit easier, even from moving fast (let say full movement for 2-3 turns for close order infantry), or from being targeted by light infantry, of being charged by heavy infantry equipped with heavy javelins
I would say that the effect of losing an impact against heavy/shock infantry is representative of cohesion loss from a successful charge, including javelins that may be used. These are always less in volume than the barrage of javelins represented by Fire attacks, so I think doubling up on it would make missile units a lot weaker.

As far as fast movement, infantry moving over rough ground is already 'Disordered' if it is heavy enough; though perhaps heavy units might be able to sprint a bit in exchange for becoming temporarily disordered. I think that's more appropriate than disruption as a state. In Rome: Total War some heavy units can set their formation to 'loose' which allows them to maneuver more easily, I think that becoming disordered from rapid movement could be thought of in a similar way.

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by Aryaman » Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:47 pm

First of all, I would like to point that our knowledge of ancient battles ad how armies fought is very uneven, some sourcess are valuable, many are worthless, and they should not be taken together without discriminating that point. Regarding the Romans in particular we have usually only the Roman point of view, it is normal to present Roman armies facing much larger armies and still prevailing because of their civic virtus, it is a well known literary tropos that probably has nothing to do with reality.

Secondly, this is a game, we play in turns what in real time were hours, because just to deploy an army of some size will take hours. According to that I think it is good we see fast breakings.

Finally, we are not playing a simulation, at the end of a battle usually there are no recognizable battlelines, just units fighting in isolated groups. I would like to see something like an entire army routing, panic stricken.

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by Cheimison » Mon Oct 30, 2017 5:09 pm

Aryaman wrote:Regarding the Romans in particular we have usually only the Roman point of view
There is quite a bit of Greek writing on Roman military action, too, notably Polybius. But I agree that 'we fought X-million dudes!' is a trope of the Romans, as well as the Greeks.
I would like to see something like an entire army routing, panic stricken.
The best part of Rome: Total War was chasing down the entire army when it routed so there was nothing left of it after the battle.

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by JorgenCAB » Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:12 pm

Cheimison wrote:
Aryaman wrote:Regarding the Romans in particular we have usually only the Roman point of view
There is quite a bit of Greek writing on Roman military action, too, notably Polybius. But I agree that 'we fought X-million dudes!' is a trope of the Romans, as well as the Greeks.
I would like to see something like an entire army routing, panic stricken.
The best part of Rome: Total War was chasing down the entire army when it routed so there was nothing left of it after the battle.
Many historian liked to include non combatant people into numbers and then exaggerate them as well, not very strange that some numbers are way off when some combatants had like ten times the numbers in people with them from those that actually fought in battle. :)

Every bit of information must be critically examined, especially when armies are much bigger than the Romans (or the victors who write history). The Romans were masters of logistics and could field vast armies, most other relied more on what resources they could find in the area and therefore had much more restrictions on their actions. Any area can only support that much concentration of force before it becomes completely exhausted of resources.

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by JaM2013 » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:08 pm

Actually, that chase after battle, was the only thing that actually made perfect sense... it was precisely what usually happened after battle... why would you leave enemy army withdrawn intact after you defeated it... only dead would not fight you back again... Only problem was, CA made it cheesy way, and any army attacked for second time in single turn, would be wiped out completely.. so you had no chance to survive against bigger odds... so with that in mind, you had to fight the first battle, even if retreat was better choice initially, because AI would attack you again that turn, and your entire army would get wiped out...
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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by Kaede11 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:28 pm

Aryaman wrote:Finally, we are not playing a simulation, at the end of a battle usually there are no recognizable battlelines, just units fighting in isolated groups. I would like to see something like an entire army routing, panic stricken.
Probably this could be achieved easily with little changes. If you end up winning by a considerable difference, instead of just saying "the enemy lost heart" in a pop up and winning instantly, you could start getting cohesion checks with a malus because of how the battles is going on.

Hell, it could be totally changed for all battles and it would be awesome. Basically whenever win conditions are met, instead of getting an auto-win, every single unit must pass a cohesion check with a -3 for every turn until they all end up routing or the losing side is able to make a comeback. Also, if the comeback is accomplished, all the routing units would make a rally test simulating their spirits lifted up because their mates where turning the tide of the battle. It could be like a last resort thing, difficult to accomplish, but very rewarding if done.

That would make for very interesting end of battles with climatic ends and avoid those moments where battle still seems not to be decided at all but since you reached the win condition threshold you end up winning, even if you desired to continue the battle.

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by Cheimison » Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:19 am

rbodleyscott wrote: On purpose, so as not to degrade the AI. There are excellent reasons to have a partial reserve line without such a rule. Hellenistic armies did not use reserve lines anyway, so it isn't realistic for them. Even the Romans only had a partial rear line - with gaps opposite the units of the "second" line.
Yes, tactical reserves are very much modern military doctrine.
A game that had more realistic C&C would make this impractical, because you 1) have to be aware of a weakness to exploit or where your line needs shoring up, which is almost impossible, especially if your general is fighting (as most of them did) and 2) have to be able to convey the message in time to your reserves so they can arrive and help. They work well in tactical GAMES because you have magical psychic control and can see all your units and their current status.

Strategic reserves are also a modern thing. There is no evidence that any ancient army ever intentionally kept troops in reserve behind a theater of operations.

So, people who are using these techniques in ancient era games are actually doing something that was neither practical nor practiced in history.

Most history and science fiction tactical/strategic games are basically WW2 reskinned. People generally don't want to know what a nightmare of chaos ancient empires and battlefields were.

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by TDefender » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:40 am

Cheimison wrote:
Yes, tactical reserves are very much modern military doctrine.

Strategic reserves are also a modern thing. There is no evidence that any ancient army ever intentionally kept troops in reserve behind a theater of operations.

Most history and science fiction tactical/strategic games are basically WW2 reskinned. People generally don't want to know what a nightmare of chaos ancient empires and battlefields were.

:shock:
This is completely false. Reserves have always been used by disciplined armies from ancient to modern warfare. Forget the childish Total War concept where battle are just a frontal crush where every unit is involved and everything turn out in a ten-minute carnage. :wink:
especially if your general is fighting (as most of them did)
:shock: :shock:

Do you really think Caesar and Annibal wasted their time in a battle fighting as they were soldiers???

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by Aryaman » Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:40 pm

According to Vegetius, the Spartans were the first to use reserves, he devoted a whole chapter of his Epitoma to their use in battle

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by Cheimison » Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:41 pm

TDefender wrote: This is completely false. Reserves have always been used by disciplined armies from ancient to modern warfare. Forget the childish Total War concept where battle are just a frontal crush where every unit is involved and everything turn out in a ten-minute carnage. :wink:
No, it's not. While the principle of tactical reserves was known, in practice it was rarely used - either by Carthaginians, Hellenistic kings and doesn't seem to have been that useful to the Romans, either. When it was attempted it failed as often as not, for example when Hasdrubal's double-line caused his troops to fight each other in their panic to escape.

Even when the generals were not fighting on the front lines - and Caesar is much later than the period I'm talking about anyway - the amount of dust, men and terrain occlusion makes it almost impossible to keep track of the majority of your army, much less communicate with a reserve in time to send them up.
According to Vegetius, the Spartans were the first to use reserves, he devoted a whole chapter of his Epitoma to their use in battle
Spartan armies were tiny, simple and had very short lines compared to Hellenistic armies.
The Romans were masters of logistics and could field vast armies,
Romans had large numbers of men in the field at any time, but their individual armies were generally smaller than those of their opponents - around 30k men. The difference was that Romans would have several such armies running in multiple theaters, whereas Ptolemy would have one huge 80k man army that represented almost everything in his pocket.

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by JorgenCAB » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:40 pm

i would both agree and disagree about reserves in ancient armies. Alexander used reserves in several battles to good effect for example. There are many battles involving Roman armies that clearly stationed reserve forces and used them to good effect many times. Even in battles the Romans lost their reserves kept the army fighting much longer or allowed part of the army to escape.

There are different ways to use reserves but most often whey were stationed and prepared for a specific reason. Phyrrus used his elephants to rather good effect as reserve and calling them in at the right moment at the right place.

I do however agree that the kind of reserves we are talking about and using in the game were probably very hard to use with no radios and the perfect view of the battle field that we have.

Imagine if you only was given verbal communications from someone else who play the game on what is going on, also imagine that person rolling a dice to see when he tells you what happen and where (different info can arrive at different times). Also imagine your orders only reaching a bit randomly to. Using those reserves suddenly become very difficult. You could imagine officers taking matters into their own hands, but in many armies this was not so easy, Romans were rather exceptional here in many respects. Local generals most likely had even less of an overview of the entire battle so taking the right decision locally can be a hard one.

Medieval armies for example where rather tiny compared to ancient armies and they had access to better technology so battle techniques and reserves were more viable.

The pure fact that the player operate and steer the army as an omnipresent spirit with no problem of communication makes this way too easy than it should be.

Yes, reserves was used and used effectively, not all used it because it was a rather advanced way to deploy an army.

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by TDefender » Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:26 pm

Totally agree. I've read the post of Cheimison in the main forum about" The Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare" book and I've found it very interesting but there are other several historical resources that certify the use of reserve in ancient warfare. Of course, the concept of reserve can be very variable according to specific armies and situations even of the same era.

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by Cheimison » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:48 am

JorgenCAB wrote:Alexander used reserves in several battles to good effect for example.
Could you give an example of Alexander deliberately using a reserve? Certainly he would deploy free troops to trouble areas when he could, but that's not the same thing as a reserve. Much like the strategic reserves in the ancient world largely being an accident - garrison troops - actual use of tactical reserves seems to be more opportunistic use of troops who were not currently engaged than a deliberate retention of troops out of action to be deployed as needed.

Romans seem to have had the most thought of an actual reserve, but even then it's not clear - their Principes and Hastatii may have actually closed the lines in their checkerboard formation and not actually been kept in the rear. It's hard to say, because the sources are so scanty.

As far as games go, this is one reason why a courier system or leader activation is much more realistic. But players tend to find this infuriating, because they want to control everything.

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:03 am

Cheimison wrote: Could you give an example of Alexander deliberately using a reserve?
Gaugamela will no doubt be mentioned with the line of troops behind the phalanx. However, I rather think that was a counter to the size and width of the Persian army and possibly more akin to a marching square than reserves as we would normally talk about.
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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by TDefender » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:52 am

Cheimison wrote:
JorgenCAB wrote:Alexander used reserves in several battles to good effect for example.
Could you give an example of Alexander deliberately using a reserve? Certainly he would deploy free troops to trouble areas when he could, but that's not the same thing as a reserve. Much like the strategic reserves in the ancient world largely being an accident - garrison troops - actual use of tactical reserves seems to be more opportunistic use of troops who were not currently engaged than a deliberate retention of troops out of action to be deployed as needed.

Romans seem to have had the most thought of an actual reserve, but even then it's not clear - their Principes and Hastatii may have actually closed the lines in their checkerboard formation and not actually been kept in the rear. It's hard to say, because the sources are so scanty.
As you said above the sources are different and conflicting, you can't state reserves were not used. On the contrary, several ancients battle "reports" make me think reserves were used both incidental (any free unit in battle not engaging in the first line became a "reserve") and intentionally (and not only Romans).
As far as games go, this is one reason why a courier system or leader activation is much more realistic. But players tend to find this infuriating, because they want to control everything.
Here I agree with you. :)

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by Aryaman » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:57 am

Cheimison, I think it is better to rely on a critical reading of ancient sources instead of modern games to understand how thinhgs worked in ancient battles, I paste here what Vegetius wrote about the use of reserves in an english translation

The method of having bodies of reserves in rear of the army, composed of choice infantry and cavalry, commanded by the supernumerary lieutenant generals, counts and tribunes, is very judicious and of great consequence towards the gaining of a battle. Some should be posted in rear of the wings and some near the center, to be ready to fly immediately to the assistance of any part of the line which is hard pressed, to prevent its being pierced, to supply the vacancies made therein during the action and thereby to keep up the courage of their fellow soldiers and check the impetuosity of the enemy. This was an invention of the Lacedaemonians, in which they were imitated by the Carthaginians. The Romans have since observed it, and indeed no better disposition can be found.

The line is solely designed to repulse, or if possible, break the enemy. If it is necessary to form the wedge or the pincers, it must be done by the supernumerary troops stationed in the rear for that purpose. If the saw is to be formed, it must also be done from the reserves, for if once you begin to draw off men from the line you throw all into confusion. If any flying platoon of the enemy should fall upon your wing or any other part of your army, and you have no supernumerary troops to oppose it or if you pretend to detach either horse or foot from your line for that service by endeavoring to protect one part, you will expose the other to greater danger. In armies not very numerous, it is much better to contract the front, and to have strong reserves. In short, you must have a reserve of good and well-armed infantry near the center to form the wedge and thereby pierce the enemy's line; and also bodies of cavalry armed with lances and cuirasses, with light infantry, near the wings, to surround the flanks of the enemy.

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:54 pm

Aryaman wrote:Cheimison, I think it is better to rely on a critical reading of ancient sources instead of modern games to understand how thinhgs worked in ancient battles, I paste here what Vegetius wrote about the use of reserves in an english translation

The method of having bodies of reserves in rear of the army, composed of choice infantry and cavalry, commanded by the supernumerary lieutenant generals, counts and tribunes, is very judicious and of great consequence towards the gaining of a battle. Some should be posted in rear of the wings and some near the center, to be ready to fly immediately to the assistance of any part of the line which is hard pressed, to prevent its being pierced, to supply the vacancies made therein during the action and thereby to keep up the courage of their fellow soldiers and check the impetuosity of the enemy. This was an invention of the Lacedaemonians, in which they were imitated by the Carthaginians. The Romans have since observed it, and indeed no better disposition can be found.

The line is solely designed to repulse, or if possible, break the enemy. If it is necessary to form the wedge or the pincers, it must be done by the supernumerary troops stationed in the rear for that purpose. If the saw is to be formed, it must also be done from the reserves, for if once you begin to draw off men from the line you throw all into confusion. If any flying platoon of the enemy should fall upon your wing or any other part of your army, and you have no supernumerary troops to oppose it or if you pretend to detach either horse or foot from your line for that service by endeavoring to protect one part, you will expose the other to greater danger. In armies not very numerous, it is much better to contract the front, and to have strong reserves. In short, you must have a reserve of good and well-armed infantry near the center to form the wedge and thereby pierce the enemy's line; and also bodies of cavalry armed with lances and cuirasses, with light infantry, near the wings, to surround the flanks of the enemy.
You will even find this section of Vegetius quoted in Section 31.2.3 of the game manual.
Richard Bodley Scott

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by JorgenCAB » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:28 pm

Cheimison wrote:
JorgenCAB wrote:Alexander used reserves in several battles to good effect for example.
Could you give an example of Alexander deliberately using a reserve? Certainly he would deploy free troops to trouble areas when he could, but that's not the same thing as a reserve. Much like the strategic reserves in the ancient world largely being an accident - garrison troops - actual use of tactical reserves seems to be more opportunistic use of troops who were not currently engaged than a deliberate retention of troops out of action to be deployed as needed.

Romans seem to have had the most thought of an actual reserve, but even then it's not clear - their Principes and Hastatii may have actually closed the lines in their checkerboard formation and not actually been kept in the rear. It's hard to say, because the sources are so scanty.

As far as games go, this is one reason why a courier system or leader activation is much more realistic. But players tend to find this infuriating, because they want to control everything.
The battle of Issus and Gaugamela are just two examples where Alexander posted dedicated forces in reserves. They did serve specific purposes but that is still reserve forces. The Romans had more tactical reserves than any other army and the count of their effectiveness are to numerous to even mention. One Roman battle is Trebia here the Roman reserve engaged the Carthaginian cavalry and kept them from attacking the main force in the rear. Even if the Romans lost the battle their reserves was doing its job well.

I just think that you might have a different perspective of what constitute reserve forces. Anything that is not thrown into the main battle line or acting as skirmishers are effectively reserves.

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Re: Reward for historical Formation

Post by kujalar » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:19 pm

I liked the old kampfgruppe game (world war 2) where you gave orders to your platoons and company hq:s. Then you advanced your turn forward and your troops tried to do what you had issued as orders. Germans were quicker to response than Soviets, so you needed to plan the delay there was before troops were moving. You could issue company orders where everyone moved according the formation or then you could order single units. Delays were smaller if the hq was close. You actually needed those company orders and formations, if you wanted to react fast. It could work in an ancient warfare game also. Actually the kampfgruppe felt very realistic after serving in military and seeing what it is like to move with other guys in forest.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYM_6i0PecI
looks quite awful now... not any fancy graphics, but the command control system was fine... and the sounds, they actually were the same as a platoon firing their weapons in woods when heard from a distance. Not a BANG BOOM, but prrr prrr :D

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