The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

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hidde
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by hidde » Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:56 pm

So the issue for me is whether this natural variation of the RNG, in its current form, can be modified in a way that reduces the likelihood of one player being seriously disadvantaged by a hostile cluster, or longer sequence, of results. If it could then I would have rather more sympathy with those who argue that a players' contingency plan should usually be able to cope with what the RNG has in store for you.
My gripe is not with the RNG and if results in hostile cluster too often or not. It's more with the nature of double-drops. A very few of them, even one sometimes, can be devastating.
The player doesn't "earn" them by outflanking, ganging up on a unit or any other clever move. It just comes out of the blue, often between units of similar capacity.
"it evens out in the long run". Yes, but what about individual games? Take the smallest example: two matches, in one I am lucky and my opponent suffers a double-drop or two. Game two the roles are reversed.
It evens out but both games are less enjoyable because of it.
Only this season I've had more than one game with 6,7-8 turns of fun maneuvering from both sides, trying to get the best position. Then at the start of, or early in the fighting...boom, double-drop!
I'm likely to have lost the games I lost and won the games I won were this happened but it sure didn't contributed to the fun in any of those games.
Reserves. Yes, but one can't have reserves everywhere and especially not with smaller armies with high cost units. The nature of double-drops also makes them hard, if not impossible to predict.
If I see enemy units mass on one of my flanks I can send some of mine over...there can be time for that. If one or more of my units get disrupted in a segment of the battle-line I can send units over there...there can be time for that.
If a unit gets fragmented "out of the blue" there's a much greater probability I'm caught with my pants down.
You guessed it...I'm no fan of instant fragmentation!

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by MikeC_81 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:12 pm

We are just talking in circles. I swore I wouldn't get involved again and I did in the main page. It the same thing over and over again. If he wants to make a contribution to the discussion there or ask a question he can. But sniping in two different threads is not productive
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:55 pm

hidde wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:56 pm
You guessed it...I'm no fan of instant fragmentation!
When might you still want them in the game? For rear charges? They should always be devastating, I guess. For situations where skirmishers get caught evading, particularly by cavalry? Anything else?

The other issue for me is that I would get rid of automatic cohesion loss for flank attacks as well. That is because, in many instances, I do not think that "flank attacks" and "rear attacks" are separate things. For example, where you have got an infantry units deployed in a line, say 100 men across and 10 men deep, and they are in a melee to their front - and then they get attacked by a similarly-sized enemy unit from the flank, only 9 or 10 of those 100 men from the front of the enemy unit would actually come into contact with those on the end of each row of the defending unit. The rest of the men would surely start moving around to the rear to find combats there. So to call it a "flank attack" is a bit problematic. But because I still think "rear attacks" should start from a row behind the target unit, these attacks from the side should be treated in the same way as attacks from the front diagonal (in situations where a melee is already under way) and be treated as a 2 v 1 combat instead.

I know this would be a big change and would needs lots of testing in a full range of situations and match-ups in the game, but I think it might help to mitigate "the snowball effect" that is causing so many one sided results in the game.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by General Shapur » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:24 pm

Perhaps another solution is that instead of double step loss the unit simply refuses to charge - like a morale check before charging.
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by SnuggleBunnies » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:43 pm

I'm posting mobile right now so more later, but imo flank attacks are vital to both gameplay and historicity, and should not be touched.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by devoncop » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:35 pm

SnuggleBunnies wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:43 pm
I'm posting mobile right now so more later, but imo flank attacks are vital to both gameplay and historicity, and should not be touched.

+1

Absolutely right.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by edb1815 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:07 pm

Another vote to leave flank attack modifiers alone here. It is not about how many men are fighting on a flank or to the rear but about the morale impact of suddenly having enemy in that vulnerable location. It is not always devastating even with the auto cohesion loss as it depends on the units involved. (Bowmen hitting Legionaries on the flank for example).

As for the double drops they should be rare but clearly there are instances where it makes sense. For example a unit in disordering terrain attacking an equal unit with a general uphill should be at greater risk, or Bowmen/Medium foot hit by cavalry in the open. A unit that has taken significant casualties is another good candidate.

Luck or RNG in general? Coming from a TT perspective the effect in PC FOG is rather tame by comparison. Try setting up a great attack that statistically should win but you get the dreaded 1 v 6 die roll. I haven't seen that effect in several years of playing FOGII. Just sayn' IMO this game has a good balance luck vs skill. And the impetuous charges were removed. :wink:

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by ahuyton » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:36 pm

I see no reason to want major changes to a game that works very well and which rewards careful and skilful play. I find the balance of luck and skill to be about right. I know that when I play someone competent, like Pantherboy, Youngr or Klayeckles, they will tend to run rings round me. Their play ensures that their good luck yields high dividends and that their bad luck is mitigated or not too serious for them. Occasionally, though sadly not often enough, I play well and with mental application and I observe the same in reverse.

When double drops or general deaths happen to you it is perhaps only human to seek fault in the game design. Personally I am reconciled to realising that the flaw is far more related to my playing style. I very much liked and identified with MikeC's description of accumulative minor (and sometimes major) errors. If I double drop, then it is because I lost a melee. So the question I should ask myself is "what did I do to lose the melee" and that normally comes down to my miscalculation. Sometimes it is in the roll of the dice of course, my double 1 against my opponent's double 6, but that is the nature of a wargame. I would not, personally, want it to be any different.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by SnuggleBunnies » Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:21 am

edb1815 echoes my thoughts with the mention of the moral factor. As for the idea that the flanks of a line 100 men across and 10 men deep could just turn to face the enemy, mitigating the effect of the flank attack - I would be interested in multiple historical examples of such an action. After all, we have many, many, MANY accounts of flank attacks, or the appearance of enemies on the flank, causing severe unease or a total moral collapse and flight. I would need to have more than a few outlier examples named to convince me that humans kept their cool in such a situation.

Pike and Shot modeled this quite well - the Early Tercio type unit (2000 men in a pike square with 'castles' and sleeves of shot) could defend itself in all directions, while the Later Tercio (a rather more linear formation, 1000 men) could shrug off flank attacks but suffered automatic cohesion drop from rear attacks. Finally, Pike and Shot battalions (480 men in game, approximately 6 ranks deep, and thus 80 across) suffered automatic cohesion drops from flank and rear attacks. Thus Pike and Shot put more musketry on the enemy, but at the cost of needing their flanks protected either by friendly units, or obstacles such has hedgerows or stone walls.

Of course, FoG2 has already considerably toned down the occurrence of automatic cohesion drops via flank attack by adding a prerequisite of the charged unit already being engaged in a melee, in addition to all the exceptions between cavalry, infantry, and elephants. This was an understandable change, as the old system was quite punishing (especially when combined with PnS higher amount of automatic pursuit by infantry), but I think toning down flanking any further would not only damage gameplay options, but be severely ahistorical. That being said, I think there is no chance of such a change being implemented.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:11 am

SnuggleBunnies wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:43 pm
I'm posting mobile right now so more later, but imo flank attacks are vital to both gameplay and historicity, and should not be touched.
Flank attacks should primarily happen on a flank, not in the middle of a battle line. That is why they are called flank attacks. The current 1 v 2 or 1 v 3 penalties are otherwise sufficient in my view to reward superior game play (although these could be increased ever so slightly). Units that are outnumbered for any length of time are usually defeated. Without the current automatic cohesion loss for flank attacks, battle lines would remain locked together for longer giving greater time for genuine flank attacks (often with cavalry) to develop. And what is being called "the snowball effect", whereby a player who gets a small advantage can often find it easy to develop it into a decisive one, will be mitigated to a certain extent, leading to more balanced and exciting matches.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by hidde » Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:58 am

When might you still want them in the game? For rear charges? They should always be devastating, I guess. For situations where skirmishers get caught evading, particularly by cavalry? Anything else?
Absolutely for those cases. I'm thinking of straight up impact or melee between heavy foot of similar quality(and medium vs medium).
This:
As for the double drops they should be rare but clearly there are instances where it makes sense. For example a unit in disordering terrain attacking an equal unit with a general uphill should be at greater risk, or Bowmen/Medium foot hit by cavalry in the open. A unit that has taken significant casualties is another good candidate.
Basically I would like some kind of prerequisite for any double-drop to be possible to happen. Being out of command could be another. Having been tested for adjacent unit routing, even if the unit pass one might see it as more vulnerable and could suffer double-drop after that. Maybe even copy the flank-attack rule of having the unit engaged before a second attack can inflict double-drop. Something more than just the dice.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by melm » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:22 am

stockwellpete wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:11 am
SnuggleBunnies wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:43 pm
I'm posting mobile right now so more later, but imo flank attacks are vital to both gameplay and historicity, and should not be touched.
Flank attacks should primarily happen on a flank, not in the middle of a battle line. That is why they are called flank attacks.
To be honest, this is not true in history, especially for the story of legionaries vs phalangites.

The reason that legionaries are superior to phalangites is the organization difference of the two armies. Phalanx's smallest tactical unit is 16 by 16 unit(256 men) while Roman's tactical unit is century, thus about 80+ soldiers. So Roman unit is more flexible if two army's number is about the same. When battle starts, and phalangites are hindered by the rough terrain or something else, the 256-man tactical group may expose their flank to the Romans. Thus Roman's more maneuverable unit can filtrate the gap between tactical phalanx units and hit this 256-man unit from flank. You can see, flank attack doesn't always happen on the flank of "the whole army" but can happen on the flank of a "tactical unit". Although, the smallest tactical unit in FOGII is 480-man cohort and 926-man phalanx, not 80-man century and 256-man phalanx, I still like to see Roman unit can exploit the chance to attack a single phalanx in the battle line from its own unit flank. It is nowhere unauthentic.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:40 am

melm wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:22 am
To be honest, this is not true in history, especially for the story of legionaries vs phalangites.

The reason that legionaries are superior to phalangites is the organization difference of the two armies. Phalanx's smallest tactical unit is 16 by 16 unit(256 men) while Roman's tactical unit is century, thus about 80+ soldiers. So Roman unit is more flexible if two army's number is about the same. When battle starts, and phalangites are hindered by the rough terrain or something else, the 256-man tactical group may expose their flank to the Romans. Thus Roman's more maneuverable unit can filtrate the gap between tactical phalanx units and hit this 256-man unit from flank. You can see, flank attack doesn't always happen on the flank of "the whole army" but can happen on the flank of a "tactical unit". Although, the smallest tactical unit in FOGII is 480-man cohort and 926-man phalanx, not 80-man century and 256-man phalanx, I still like to see Roman unit can exploit the chance to attack a single phalanx in the battle line from its own unit flank. It is nowhere unauthentic.
Well, I did say "primarily". The situation you describe with the phalangites can be adequately represented by 2 v 1 or 3 v 1 combats, in my view. One thing to consider if the automatic cohesion drops for flank attacks was removed is whether the -20% penalty for fighting an extra unit (up to a maximum of -50% for fighting 3 or more units) should be increased slightly by way of compensation. Perhaps the penalty should be -25% up to a maximum of -60%?

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:40 am

hidde wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:58 am
Absolutely for those cases. I'm thinking of straight up impact or melee between heavy foot of similar quality(and medium vs medium).
This:
As for the double drops they should be rare but clearly there are instances where it makes sense. For example a unit in disordering terrain attacking an equal unit with a general uphill should be at greater risk, or Bowmen/Medium foot hit by cavalry in the open. A unit that has taken significant casualties is another good candidate.
Basically I would like some kind of prerequisite for any double-drop to be possible to happen. Being out of command could be another. Having been tested for adjacent unit routing, even if the unit pass one might see it as more vulnerable and could suffer double-drop after that. Maybe even copy the flank-attack rule of having the unit engaged before a second attack can inflict double-drop. Something more than just the dice.
Yes, I agree with your method here. :wink:

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by Geffalrus » Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:08 pm

melm wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:22 am
To be honest, this is not true in history, especially for the story of legionaries vs phalangites.

The reason that legionaries are superior to phalangites is the organization difference of the two armies. Phalanx's smallest tactical unit is 16 by 16 unit(256 men) while Roman's tactical unit is century, thus about 80+ soldiers. So Roman unit is more flexible if two army's number is about the same. When battle starts, and phalangites are hindered by the rough terrain or something else, the 256-man tactical group may expose their flank to the Romans. Thus Roman's more maneuverable unit can filtrate the gap between tactical phalanx units and hit this 256-man unit from flank. You can see, flank attack doesn't always happen on the flank of "the whole army" but can happen on the flank of a "tactical unit". Although, the smallest tactical unit in FOGII is 480-man cohort and 926-man phalanx, not 80-man century and 256-man phalanx, I still like to see Roman unit can exploit the chance to attack a single phalanx in the battle line from its own unit flank. It is nowhere unauthentic.
The internal flanking I feel is already well represented by what happens with the push mechanic. One pike gets a push while the others don't, and suddenly there's an opening for another Roman unit, which there is likely to be since pikes are twice the size and cost more than the average Roman unit.

There is also the ability for impact foot to disrupt pikes on impact, which I don't believe is justified by the sources. Javelins and frontal charges are described as being futile against formed pikes - it is only through terrain and maneuver (FOG2 flank mechanic) that Roman infantry overcame pikes on the field.

Legions and the phalanx operated differently and had different strengths and weaknesses. One was not inherently superior to the other. The ultimate victory of Rome was due to FAR more than battlefield performance.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by SpeedyCM » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:17 am

Geffalrus wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:08 pm

The internal flanking I feel is already well represented by what happens with the push mechanic. One pike gets a push while the others don't, and suddenly there's an opening for another Roman unit, which there is likely to be since pikes are twice the size and cost more than the average Roman unit.
Except that was largely eliminated in the last patch as the vast majority of units are routed before they are pushed back twice now.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by XLegione » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:30 am

ahuyton wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:36 pm
I see no reason to want major changes to a game that works very well and which rewards careful and skilful play. I find the balance of luck and skill to be about right. I know that when I play someone competent, like Pantherboy, Youngr or Klayeckles, they will tend to run rings round me. Their play ensures that their good luck yields high dividends and that their bad luck is mitigated or not too serious for them. Occasionally, though sadly not often enough, I play well and with mental application and I observe the same in reverse.

When double drops or general deaths happen to you it is perhaps only human to seek fault in the game design. Personally I am reconciled to realising that the flaw is far more related to my playing style. I very much liked and identified with MikeC's description of accumulative minor (and sometimes major) errors. If I double drop, then it is because I lost a melee. So the question I should ask myself is "what did I do to lose the melee" and that normally comes down to my miscalculation. Sometimes it is in the roll of the dice of course, my double 1 against my opponent's double 6, but that is the nature of a wargame. I would not, personally, want it to be any different.
I totally agree with you, the game works well in this way, major changes are not necessary.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:12 am

SpeedyCM wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:17 am
Except that was largely eliminated in the last patch as the vast majority of units are routed before they are pushed back twice now.
I think Geffalrus was referring to pikes that push back once. If a pike unit does this then the Roman player can bring up to 2 units from the reserve to attack this successful pike unit so that it is fighting with either a 20% or 40% penalty in the next turn. And if it is fighting 3 units at the same time then it is probably doomed because the 2 new attacking units will also prevent the two diagonally adjacent Roman units from being pushed back. There is only a small chance that other pike units could rescue that unit by routing other Roman units in time.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:22 am

ahuyton wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:36 pm
When double drops or general deaths happen to you it is perhaps only human to seek fault in the game design.
Not this argument again please. Double drops and general deaths happen to everyone and each players' luck evens out over time. The large trial I did clearly shows that the RNG can favour one player over the other, either quite dramatically over very short sequences, or more incrementally over a much longer sequence. So the question is - is this inevitable or can it be modified? The answer is - it can be modified.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by paulmcneil » Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:35 pm

double drop mechanism is broken
Paul McNeil

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