The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Thu May 30, 2019 11:49 am

Geffalrus wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 11:17 am
Hey Pete - just noticed in the patch notes that a few armies in the DL this season have been slightly adjusted. I think some of the Hellenistic and Jewish army lists off the top of my head. Maybe we should check if anyone with a list (like the Ptolemaic for example) would like to update which new army list within the old date range they'd like to use?

For my own part, I just saw that Palmyra now has two army lists instead of one, so I might want to pick one over the other for Late Antiquity.
Yes, that is my last job to do before the tournament starts. Where a list has been adjusted, or split in two, players will be able to choose which of the new lists relating to their original army allocation they now wish to use. It shouldn't cause any problems really.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by uneducated » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:46 pm

Retreat/Surrender?

Is this permitted? What is the penalty and how is it calculated? What is the procedure for clicking the retreat/surrender button?

When you can clearly see that it is time to leave the battle, should you just keep fighting till the last man? Are these last ditch efforts?

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:32 pm

uneducated wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:46 pm
Retreat/Surrender?

Is this permitted? What is the penalty and how is it calculated? What is the procedure for clicking the retreat/surrender button?

When you can clearly see that it is time to leave the battle, should you just keep fighting till the last man? Are these last ditch efforts?
Yes, you are allowed to surrender. There is no penalty for doing this. A player losing a match, but scoring 50% or more can get a losing bonus point, so surrendering early is not always a good idea.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by ianiow » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:54 am

Half way through another season and it seems to me that the 'quantity armies' still have the edge over 'quality armies'.

Perhaps there is something we can do to redress the balance? My idea is to simply introduce a base unit cost, say 5pts, to every unit whether a raw mob or elite praetorian. Horde armies will end up paying more in base units costs than small elite armies thus reducing the size of the horde slightly and thereby redressing the balance.

Would this be doable without too much disruption to the game? Is there really a balance issue?

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:09 am

ianiow wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:54 am
Half way through another season and it seems to me that the 'quantity armies' still have the edge over 'quality armies'.

Perhaps there is something we can do to redress the balance? My idea is to simply introduce a base unit cost, say 5pts, to every unit whether a raw mob or elite praetorian. Horde armies will end up paying more in base units costs than small elite armies thus reducing the size of the horde slightly and thereby redressing the balance.

Would this be doable without too much disruption to the game? Is there really a balance issue?

I am not understanding. Do you mean that there should be a maximum army size in terms of the number of units it can field? I agree that it is very odd that armies like the Romano-British and the Kingdom of Soissons (who only ever fought one battle and got completely slaughtered by the Franks) should be among the most successful armies.

P.S. Of course, the "real" solution to this problem is not to have automatic cohesion drops for flank attacks! :P

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:35 am

stockwellpete wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:09 am
ianiow wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:54 am
Half way through another season and it seems to me that the 'quantity armies' still have the edge over 'quality armies'.

Perhaps there is something we can do to redress the balance? My idea is to simply introduce a base unit cost, say 5pts, to every unit whether a raw mob or elite praetorian. Horde armies will end up paying more in base units costs than small elite armies thus reducing the size of the horde slightly and thereby redressing the balance.

Would this be doable without too much disruption to the game? Is there really a balance issue?

I am not understanding. Do you mean that there should be a maximum army size in terms of the number of units it can field? I agree that it is very odd that armies like the Romano-British and the Kingdom of Soissons (who only ever fought one battle and got completely slaughtered by the Franks) should be among the most successful armies.

P.S. Of course, the "real" solution to this problem is not to have automatic cohesion drops for flank attacks! :P
Although this might make "horde" armies less effective, it would reduce the effectiveness of cavalry, which would not be a good thing.

I think Ian's solution of a change to the points system, adding a base unit cost to each unit, is better. This would need testing, of course. It would be extremely easy to take things too far in the opposite direction. We would not want tournaments to be dominated by elite armies either.

The other possibility would be to target the troop types that make the horde armies so successful by increasing the size of their units to reduce their number of manoeuvre units, like we did with Raw Shieldwalls.
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:10 am

rbodleyscott wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:35 am

Although this might make "horde" armies less effective, it would reduce the effectiveness of cavalry, which would not be a good thing.
Yes, I agree about the cavalry. So allow automatic cohesion drops for flank attacks by cavalry, but not by infantry. That must be worth a mod! :lol:
I think Ian's solution of a change to the points system, adding a base unit cost to each unit, is better. This would need testing, of course. It would be extremely easy to take things too far in the opposite direction. We would not want tournaments to be dominated by elite armies either.
OK, I see what Ian means now. Yes, that is a possibility but, as you say, the testing would be very important and we would probably not see that until Season 7 in February 2020. In the FOG1DL we had something called the 50/10 rule, whereby armies could not be more than 50 units big and it could have a maximum of only 10 skirmisher units. That was our anti-horde army measure back then. :wink:
The other possibility would be to target the troop types that make the horde armies so successful by increasing the size of their units to reduce their number of manoeuvre units, like we did with Raw Shieldwalls.
Yes, I like this idea very much and it already has a precedent in the game.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by MikeMarchant » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:30 pm

Dare I suggest that part of the problem might lie in the fact the game doesn't model professional armies terribly well.

For the most part, the game deals with a collection of individual units, which might be apporpriate to an army of Gallic warband, but less apporpriate to an army like a late Republican or early Imperieal Roman one. I'm sure this must be true of many other professional armies too, but those are the ones I am most familiar with.

Ignoring all the many off-field advanatges, not least of which is superior logistics, there are on-field advantages, especially superior command and control, superior discipline and superior training. A Roman army can perform all sorts of maoeuvres at century, cohort and legion level, for example, even while under pressure, thanks to hours and hours of drill, that many other armies couldn't even dream of. I am sure there are other advantages too. If these advanatges are not represented in the game then clearly the smaller, higher quality armies, are not going to be as effective as they would have been on an historical battlefied.

This isn't intended as a criticsm, a game can only attempt to model so much, and if you were to ask me how these things could be modelled in the game I wouldn't have an answer for you.


Best Wishes

Mike

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by General Shapur » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:59 pm

I found this less of an issue with the larger battles we had in biblical. Perhaps trial large battles in a another division an see if that changes perception. I'n my own battles I felt the edge (if there was one) Carthage had was diluted when it went from medium to large scale.
Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future, too. M.A.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by devoncop » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:22 pm

General Shapur wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:59 pm
I found this less of an issue with the larger battles we had in biblical. Perhaps trial large battles in a another division an see if that changes perception. I'n my own battles I felt the edge (if there was one) Carthage had was diluted when it went from medium to large scale.
Agreed.

Though that may be a result of very similar hoplite based armies most of us used in that Division (which created a pretty level playing field)

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by ianiow » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:35 pm

I think part of the problem is that inexperienced players just choose too many superior troops! I have learned to take the bare minimum superiors, placing them at the point of my wedge and using them as a battering ram. The majority of my points are spent on lots of cheap average (or raw) troops to soak up the damage and protect/attack flanks. When I see that my opponent has wall to wall superiors I know I am in for an easy ride.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by SnuggleBunnies » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:50 pm

Looking through all the sections of DIv A, Late Antiquity appears to be the only one in which more than one 'Horde' type army is in the Division. In Late Antiquity Div A, we have:

Ruskicanuk (Romano-British) 5-0-0
nyczar (Scots-Irish) 3-0-1
SnuggleBunnies (Soissons) 5-0-3

and possibly

harveylh (Arab City) 1-0-3
Though I would argue that the large number of Lancers might disqualify Arab City from the 'horde' designation

The following is my own experience with Soissons - keep in mind, though, that I have never really played the faction before, so this is a 'newb to the faction' perspective. I consider myself a middling player for Division A, and a better player could do real damage - the fact that even I got 5 wins with these guys may be an argument that cheap troops are still too good.

I have lost three of my matches:

vs Ruskicanuk (Romano-British): my Limatanei were lower quality than his basic horde unit, so I felt compelled to invest heavily in Warbands and late Legionaries. Mistake. Ruski maneuvered so that we would meet on a diagonal line of impact. Having done so, he simply blocked Fall Backs with his extra units so he could engage my 'better' units frontally, and then either slip past them or hit them for automatic cohesion drops the next turn. He also skillfully used the maneuverable status of his units to gain an advantage during our initial cavalry clash, which later snowballed. His Brythonic Foot could get into position faster than my Unmaneuverable Limatanei, and then have the advantage against them during head on fights thanks to higher quality. Lesson: I should have not bothered with Warbands and Auxilia Palatina etc, but just maxed on Limatanei and Cavalry to make sure I couldn't get outflanked. My lower unit quality would still have been a problem, but less of a problem than getting flanked and destroyed.

vs youngr (Ptolemaic): youngr deployed in a defensive box, with one flank anchored on a forest full of lights and mediums. As I attempted to move out to envelop him, he exploded outward. His infantry had lots of Raw Pikes and Thureophoroi - underwhelming troops in Classical, but none of my infantry could face them in a melee, and my line basically imploded. I probably should have maneuvered into the open and then refused to advance further - a battle without anchored flanks would have at least allowed me a chance to attempt envelopment, or at least not get stonewalled staring at the woods while getting massacred.

vs pantherboy (Indian): I foolishly maxed out on my subpar cavalry, which pantherboy skillfully countered with an elephant screen and missiles. In the center, it was a massacre - the Soissons list can only muster 8 or 9 missile units total, including cavalry skirmishers. I got shot to pieces, and had no ability to disrupt the elephants. To stand my ground was to get mowed down. To charge the elephants was suicide. Even when I did engage the elephants, all of my infantry were Swordsmen... so that went well. Notably, in Early Middle Ages I won vs pantherboy's Indians using the Abbasid army, which has both plentiful Spears and missile units. The horde did not serve me well in this matchup, along with my poor choice of lots of cavalry.

My match vs NikiforosFokas (Jewish Revolt) is bloodily in progress and could go either way.

As for the matches I won:

Two were versus 'horde' capable armies - harvey's Arab City, and nyczar's Scots-Irish. Both matches were bloody messes.

Two were vs cavalry armies. I played defensively against Nosy_Rat (Huns), due to the aforementioned lack of missiles. He charged, and after an enormous mess, the Limatanei won the day. Against klayeckles (Hephthalites), things were more challenging due to an open field surrounding a marsh and his access to Massed Archers and Elephants. The Limatanei were arrow sponges and speedbumps, but the cavalry and Auxilia Palatina won the day.

One match was vs CheAhn (Romans). Here, the horde factor was strong. I did hold a ridgeline, but the key was my extra number of units allowing me to get in flank attacks as the battle lines broke down. That being said, had the combat taken place on flat terrain, I think I could have lost.

I will say, I do not like the Kingdom of Soissons army. I mean, I've done alright with it, but there's lots not to like about it. It only has 4 units of Medium Foot, so terrain capable armies can just lock down large chunks of the battle line with a few units. It's missile component is pitiful - 2 light javelins, 2 slingers, 1 Auxiliary Archers, 2 light javelin horse, and 2 light horse archers. Any army with a decent missile component can brush this aside. The cavalry is sad too - 2 Armored Noble Lancers, and some Roman Cavalry, mostly the Average sort. I also just hate the later legion types. +200 Impact on defense only - well, what good does that do? It's really a one dimensional army whose sole strength is the ability muster enormous numbers of Limatanei to soak up missiles, get in flank attacks and pile onto already engaged units. Since they only cost 24 each, you can shrug off the loss of a few units here and there so long as it doesn't lead to total collapse. It's not a playstyle I particularly enjoy, and I won't be adding Soissons to my list of potential factions next season - I'd rather do worse with another army.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by melm » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:16 pm

I am afraid nerf "horde" army may hurt some lists major with medium foot. In my experience playing Slav list, even the number can't help to match a army with certain amount of lancers.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:24 pm

melm wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:16 pm
I am afraid nerf "horde" army may hurt some lists major with medium foot. In my experience playing Slav list, even the number can't help to match a army with certain amount of lancers.
Richard was suggesting that one possibility of a nerf was to increase the size of the cheaper units in the horde armies to reduce their manoeuvrability so it would be harder for them to "swarm" and achieve flank attacks against better enemy infantry units. I don't think this wouldn't weaken their fighting ability against cavalry though.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by stockwellpete » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:01 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:35 am
The other possibility would be to target the troop types that make the horde armies so successful by increasing the size of their units to reduce their number of manoeuvre units, like we did with Raw Shieldwalls.
I have just been looking at some of these horde armies with regard to this idea. With the Romano-British or the Scots-irish, it would make a difference to their armies if their MF infantry was made larger and unmanoeuvrable. But the Kingdom of Soissons army have heavy foot Limitanei at 24 pts each (already unmanoeuvrable) as their "horde" troop type and they would not be affected by this change. I am not sure what the answer could be with this army. Maybe the Limitanei could be rated "below average" instead of "raw" and increased in size from 480 to 720 soldiers? At the moment they cost the same as skirmishers and perhaps they shouldn't? Making them "below average" would take them to 30 points each and then making them 50% larger would add some more points, I guess?

I am not sure what the new points values would be for these larger units, but if they reduced the overall size of these armies by 2-3 units and slowed them down a bit too, then that might achieve a better balance.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by edb1815 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:28 pm

MikeMarchant wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:30 pm
Dare I suggest that part of the problem might lie in the fact the game doesn't model professional armies terribly well.

For the most part, the game deals with a collection of individual units, which might be apporpriate to an army of Gallic warband, but less apporpriate to an army like a late Republican or early Imperieal Roman one. I'm sure this must be true of many other professional armies too, but those are the ones I am most familiar with.

Ignoring all the many off-field advanatges, not least of which is superior logistics, there are on-field advantages, especially superior command and control, superior discipline and superior training. A Roman army can perform all sorts of maoeuvres at century, cohort and legion level, for example, even while under pressure, thanks to hours and hours of drill, that many other armies couldn't even dream of. I am sure there are other advantages too. If these advanatges are not represented in the game then clearly the smaller, higher quality armies, are not going to be as effective as they would have been on an historical battlefied.

This isn't intended as a criticsm, a game can only attempt to model so much, and if you were to ask me how these things could be modelled in the game I wouldn't have an answer for you.


Best Wishes

Mike
The game mechanic for this is giving the professional armies infantry Drilled status. They are then more manuverable. I suppose giving professional armies more superior generals might help with the command and control element. Although historically that wasn't always the case.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by Cunningcairn » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:05 pm

stockwellpete wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:01 pm
rbodleyscott wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:35 am
The other possibility would be to target the troop types that make the horde armies so successful by increasing the size of their units to reduce their number of manoeuvre units, like we did with Raw Shieldwalls.
I have just been looking at some of these horde armies with regard to this idea. With the Romano-British or the Scots-irish, it would make a difference to their armies if their MF infantry was made larger and unmanoeuvrable. But the Kingdom of Soissons army have heavy foot Limitanei at 24 pts each (already unmanoeuvrable) as their "horde" troop type and they would not be affected by this change. I am not sure what the answer could be with this army. Maybe the Limitanei could be rated "below average" instead of "raw" and increased in size from 480 to 720 soldiers? At the moment they cost the same as skirmishers and perhaps they shouldn't? Making them "below average" would take them to 30 points each and then making them 50% larger would add some more points, I guess?

I am not sure what the new points values would be for these larger units, but if they reduced the overall size of these armies by 2-3 units and slowed them down a bit too, then that might achieve a better balance.
I realise this was discussed last season but raw and below average heavy foot are continually getting combat results that are far above their status. There are too many Rorke's Drift performances from Limitanei, Sub-Roman foot etc. Maybe heavy foot with raw or below average status should not get the heavy foot bonus when testing?

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:17 pm

Cunningcairn wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:05 pm
I realise this was discussed last season but raw and below average heavy foot are continually getting combat results that are far above their status. There are too many Rorke's Drift performances from Limitanei, Sub-Roman foot etc. Maybe heavy foot with raw or below average status should not get the heavy foot bonus when testing?
That is an interesting idea.
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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by Morbio » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:11 pm

I agree with Ian and find myself selecting raw troops over average or average over superior. The deciding factor in many battles are the flank charges and more troops generally means more opportunities and the weaker troops generally will hold a couple of rounds which is enough to move to get to the flank. It really isn't how it should be, but I don't see how to change this.

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Re: The Rally Point (discussion and questions)

Post by SnuggleBunnies » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:19 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:17 pm
Cunningcairn wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:05 pm
I realise this was discussed last season but raw and below average heavy foot are continually getting combat results that are far above their status. There are too many Rorke's Drift performances from Limitanei, Sub-Roman foot etc. Maybe heavy foot with raw or below average status should not get the heavy foot bonus when testing?
That is an interesting idea.
The problem with this is that some of the horde armies use masses of Average Medium Foot with Light Spear, Sword which are maneuverable and still quite cheap. It would weaken one subset of hordes without touching another. I do like the idea in isolation though.

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