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Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:23 pm
by w_michael
Score sheet updated.

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:05 am
by MikeC_81
Just my own thoughts on the post mortem. Thanks for running this.

There are a lot of things in the rules of the campaign that make it less than a true competitive experience so maybe focusing on that aspects like force ratios and free victory points isn't necessary. That said, it might help to avoid some of the more asymmetric match ups altogether. I did not enjoy being target practice for an all horse archer army when I invaded Saka last round. Nor enjoy trying to get at the few Parthian infantry units while herding the masses of light horse this round either.

-In terms of vassals, too much is dependent on movement order. Perhaps a coin flip element should be introduced in that if the defender wins, they have a 50% chance of making their attacker a vassal. I am not sure if this is how it works currently but if someone is vassalized, the winner shouldn't necessarily get the entire vassal tree for free. Also overlords should either just move for their vassals or vassals should just contribute VP but retain autonomy. As you mentioned we aren't sitting around at a table socializing so it just takes more time to get each turn started if everyone is trying to figure out who is allowed to do what.

-I know picking your army after seeing terrain is gamey but I think picking the right army for the terrain and opponent is a major skill differentiator in the game. Keep in mind in DBA, we got to arrange the terrain and that was a "skill" in tabletop play. Meanwhile FoG auto generates it blind for us. Auto force selection can be a terrible mistress as well with the computer picking nonsensical choices which can be a drag on enjoyment. If we are talking about a more competitive environment, over the course of two official tournaments I have personally seen my opponents lose games essentially at force selection and deployment so these things do matter a lot.

A middle ground that is currently unavailable due to the way the game is set up would be to select your army while knowing your opponent and terrain choice before you see the terrain to minimize the min-maxing. Or you can mandate players submit a 1200 FP army list ahead of time that they have to take into battle regardless. That way you get to avoid the gameyness while not forcing 100% Auto Force Selection. I am ok with AFS it since I didn't treat this event as a super competitive event but as others have pointed out, they seem to hate it a lot.

-In the same vain of 'I didn't really care that much' but it could be an issue: 200 FP is next to impossible unless its a good army vs a bad one or AFS was brutal on the opponent and very generous to you. Even 100FP is actually a lot when you think about it. Its basically an extra vet Phalanx or vet Legionaire worth of points. AFS ironically helps mitigate this issue because it might be 100 points of bad or low impact units. For example an extra 100 FP worth if Irr Foot didn't really help either Armenia or Atropatene when I invaded them, they were just an easy and low skill way for my Pikes to run up the score on them.

On the whole though it was a good time. Definitely got to play against some armies that normally wouldn't be played.

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:21 pm
by ulysisgrunt
many thanks!
i enjoyed this thoroughly
Is it over??

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:22 pm
by rbodleyscott
Thanks very much for organising this.

I would have enjoyed it more if my army wasn't so awful, but I did volunteer. It is possible to make such armies slightly less awful with player force selection - I think that auto-force selection was the nail in the coffin for the Armenians.

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:22 pm
by w_michael
Ulysisgrunt wrote:many thanks!
i enjoyed this thoroughly
Is it over??
We're still waiting on the results of four battles before the campaign is over. I just wanted some feedback on the campaign about what worked and what didn't. I had my own ideas and posted them. I'm still hoping come up with a simple (but fun), generic map based campaign system that engages every participant in each round. There have been some good comments/suggestions.

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:24 pm
by SnuggleBunnies
Mountain Indians are victorious vs Atropatene, 23-55.

So I won every battle I played, and control 1 vassal, due to my other offensive victory timing out. This doesn't really bother me that much, but it does suggest that this type of tournament should not be marketed as anything competitive.

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:59 pm
by w_michael
Score sheet updated.

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:42 am
by MikeC_81
The game between ianiow and I has gone to turn limit at 57 - 57.

I didn't have any skirmishers or cav left and ianiow didn't have anything other light horse and skirmishers left :twisted:

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:39 pm
by w_michael
Score sheet updated (page 14). Two battles left to complete.

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:21 pm
by rbodleyscott
w_michael wrote:Score sheet updated (page 14). Two battles left to complete.
We are nearly done.

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:40 pm
by rbodleyscott
Armenians (rbodleyscott) defeated Bactrians (msaunders865) 30% to 55%.

I should note that Mike set the battle up with player force selection, and despite only having 1000 points of troops, this allowed me a much better army composition than the autoselected armies I have had in other games. Autoselection really punishes the "crap" armies, who are crap enough without it!

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:46 pm
by msaunders865
rbodleyscott wrote:Armenians (rbodleyscott) defeated Bactrians (msaunders865) 30% to 55%.

I should note that Mike set the battle up with player force selection, and despite only having 1000 points of troops, this allowed me a much better army composition than the autoselected armies I have had in other games. Autoselection really punishes the "crap" armies, who are crap enough without it!

Actually, it was not my intent to do player force selection, but being a bear of little brain, I got confused...I have a fair fit of thinking to do--still not sure why my heavy cavalry fared so poorly against yours in "straight up" matchups.

I do love this game, though!

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:49 pm
by rbodleyscott
msaunders865 wrote:Actually, it was not my intent to do player force selection, but being a bear of little brain, I got confused...I have a fair fit of thinking to do--still not sure why my heavy cavalry fared so poorly against yours in "straight up" matchups.
They didn't. You broke two of mine and I broke two of yours. And another one of yours was routed by shooting after panicking when our generals killed each other in a duel.

Which reminds me, we lost one general each (simultaneously in the same melee). I don't recall any others.

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:58 pm
by ianiow
rbodleyscott wrote: I should note that Mike set the battle up with player force selection, and despite only having 1000 points of troops, this allowed me a much better army composition than the autoselected armies I have had in other games. Autoselection really punishes the "crap" armies, who are crap enough without it!
Maybe 'autoselect' could be looked at and tweeked a little? Perhaps give a higher priority to high points value units and less to cheap units like skirmishers and irregular foot. That way rubbish armies will stand a better chance of getting their better units and make strong armies a little smaller.

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:01 pm
by rbodleyscott
ianiow wrote:
rbodleyscott wrote: I should note that Mike set the battle up with player force selection, and despite only having 1000 points of troops, this allowed me a much better army composition than the autoselected armies I have had in other games. Autoselection really punishes the "crap" armies, who are crap enough without it!
Maybe 'autoselect' could be looked at and tweeked a little? Maybe give a higher priority to higher points value units and less to cheap units like skirmishers and irregular foot. That way rubbish armies will stand a better chance of getting their better units and make strong armies a little smaller.
Possibly. In the historical campaigns I have resorted to giving some of the "crap" armies tweaked lists to give them a bit more of the good stuff. That would have to be revisited if the algorithm is changed.

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:08 pm
by MikeC_81
I am not sure how auto select works in terms of mechanics but it doesn't feel like it punishes any army any worse than others. If we view each army list as having a "strength" ceiling and floor in any given matchup, auto select is just a form of variance. Assuming "perfect" player skill, player force selection would mean that the gap between armies would be a constant since players would theoretically pick the "best" combination of units given likely opponent troop types and knowledge of terrain generated. Auto force selection simply randomizes that particular element of the game instead of making it reliant on player skill and it can be a welcome change of pace especially in friendlies.

Will and I have been playing a series of auto select games ever since launch. An recent example of auto select screwing over a very good army (Roman 105-25BC) was when he played against a Spanish list filled with mainly medium foot units and skirmishers and potluck generated pretty much open terrain with next to no hills. Autoselect gave him a lot of slack and raw legionaries with not enough cavalry or skirmisher support when player selection would have probably focused on regulars with a maxed out skirmisher screen and cav and just rolled over my guys without breaking a sweat. Instead his Raws and Slack legionaries just broke and ran so auto selection can severely hinder even a very good army in its preferred terrain.


I think finding a way to make Irr foot more viable at 30 points should be a big priority since it would help clean up a lot of lists that rely on them. Also, if possible, potluck terrain should take into account army types and generate more rough terrain if one side has a medium foot force. Currently almost all potluck terrain is invariably very open and the medium foot armies are at a significant disadvantage.

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:32 pm
by w_michael
The scores have been updated (page 14). The shift of the Bactrian Kingdom from one vassal tree to the other shifted the scores a bit.

One game left.

Here is the new Overlords & Vassals:
Turn6_Vassals.jpg
Overlords & Vassals Final Turn
Turn6_Vassals.jpg (128.76 KiB) Viewed 1796 times

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:40 pm
by rbodleyscott
MikeC_81 wrote:I am not sure how auto select works in terms of mechanics but it doesn't feel like it punishes any army any worse than others. If we view each army list as having a "strength" ceiling and floor in any given matchup, auto select is just a form of variance. Assuming "perfect" player skill, player force selection would mean that the gap between armies would be a constant since players would theoretically pick the "best" combination of units given likely opponent troop types and knowledge of terrain generated. Auto force selection simply randomizes that particular element of the game instead of making it reliant on player skill and it can be a welcome change of pace especially in friendlies.

Will and I have been playing a series of auto select games ever since launch. An recent example of auto select screwing over a very good army (Roman 105-25BC) was when he played against a Spanish list filled with mainly medium foot units and skirmishers and potluck generated pretty much open terrain with next to no hills. Autoselect gave him a lot of slack and raw legionaries with not enough cavalry or skirmisher support when player selection would have probably focused on regulars with a maxed out skirmisher screen and cav and just rolled over my guys without breaking a sweat. Instead his Raws and Slack legionaries just broke and ran so auto selection can severely hinder even a very good army in its preferred terrain.


I think finding a way to make Irr foot more viable at 30 points should be a big priority since it would help clean up a lot of lists that rely on them. Also, if possible, potluck terrain should take into account army types and generate more rough terrain if one side has a medium foot force. Currently almost all potluck terrain is invariably very open and the medium foot armies are at a significant disadvantage.
Say what you will, I would be happy to play with an auto-chosen Roman army, but I will not be happy to play again with an autochosen Armenian army. I think you are wrong when you say it does not hurt the crap armies more. After all, if everything in the army list is good (not ideal for the terrain map, but good) then whatever is chosen is going to be good, but if most of the troops in the list are crap, then your only real hope is to take the maximum number of the few good troops - which autoselection will not do.

The crap armies are already disadvantaged enough, and it takes a brave man to play with them against a "non-crap" army. Giving them this extra disadvantage makes them no fun to play at all, and I for one will not be doing so again if they are on autoselect.

Irregular foot will be getting a slight boost in the next major patch, but they will still be relatively crap, because historically they are the dross of Ancient armies. (Not peasant levies, but dross nevertheless).

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:52 pm
by w_michael
I'm playing a MP game with a friend, his Indian to my Kushan, and he set up the game with Default Force Selection. Needless to say that I am fighting against 7 Elephants in a medium sized game. I prefer Auto Force Selection because I wouldn't have to play against the same Indian army with 7 Elephants every single time we played with these armies. I find trying to make the best of the army that I have available more satisfying, and the armies have a lot more variety. I don't feel cheated if the Auto army didn't pick only the best units for a given opponent, but rather that I have a more "realistic" situation where the general didn't choose his army from a shopping list.

One's preference for Default vs. Auto Force Selection is certainly subjective.

Re: Bactrian Empire Campaign 250 BC Gameplay

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:42 am
by TheGrayMouser
The Maury repulse the invasion of the Arabs. Unknown if any generals fell...