Army balance in competitions

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:44 am

alasdair2204 wrote:I still think its a list issue rather than a rule issue
I'll post something on this in a short while - I jotted down some ideas last night after having an enforced 2 hour thinking period on the M25 :shock:
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:35 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:
alasdair2204 wrote:I still think its a list issue rather than a rule issue
I'll post something on this in a short while - I jotted down some ideas last night after having an enforced 2 hour thinking period on the M25 :shock:

OK, a productive lunch hour has produced some possible restrictions for the armies in Wars of Religion. Set up in a new topic to keep this one free for general debate on the issue - viewtopic.php?f=70&t=46538

I'd appreciate views on whether this is the sort of approach that people would be happy with - it isn't that onerous to do to be honest.
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by alasdair2204 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:06 pm

Thanks Nik for the time put in, but I don't think this can be applied so narrowly and so anti cavalry.

Can I point out that 2nd and 3rd at Britcon the last 2 years have been all infantry armies with as many muskets and regimental guns as possible and as few cavalry as possible, anglo-dutch, habsburg austriann, savoy, (I got blown of the table by Richard's Anglo-Dutch but didn't ask for all the lists to be changed but just worked out a way to beat it) and the TYW French all foot with (1 cavalry) with regimental guns, yet nobody is rushing to change these lists which are as unrealistic if not more so (I at least have to have two foot regiments, they only have to have 1 mounted), all we will be creating is a open competition being dominated by these armies because the list changes suggested will destroy any chances TYW armies have of beating these. As I have said before at the moment most armies are still infantry and yet we are trying to put in changes which makes us take even more infantry

what to do

Alasdair

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:21 pm

As I said in the other thread:

"I'd quite happily add in minimum mounted criteria as well - I was just thinking about mounted last night"

If people would please look at what I have posted in the other thread - viewtopic.php?f=70&t=46538 - have a look at how it impacts on army composition and consider the implications. I am not claiming it as either a finished or perfect solution and input and ideas from other people would be very useful, necessary even.

I did that post as I felt there was a bit of a consensus that lists was they way to approach the question/issue raised by Martin. People can now maybe assess that view.

Note also that I would not expect new list constraints to only be applied to Wars of Religion - all books will need looking at to ensure even handedness.

Finally, none of this is official so an given comp organiser could use lists as published even if others use some sort of amendments.
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by list_lurker » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:26 pm

Just for my 2p. I think we need to take a step back and maybe not overreact. Sure the min/maxed Cav /Art is a pain to play. But there are ways to counter it. Perhaps people need to be little more creative in their thinking. Consider blocking terrain, avoid deploying centrally… The last 2 games I’ve had with Alasdair have gone to the wire

This is just a phase, when people work out how to beat it then we’ll be on to next latest and greatest!

If in a year it’s still the same then maybe … but somehow I doubt it

thanks
Simon

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by list_lurker » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:30 pm

Going back to the OP, I feel for Martin. The problem is there are broadly 2 types of folks, those that want to win, and those who just want a jolly game. As the FoG:R field grows there will enviably get an increased proportion of the former. I don’t want to say spoil it, but they do have an adverse effect on the latter type.

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:38 pm

list_lurker wrote: This is just a phase, when people work out how to beat it then we’ll be on to next latest and greatest!
I'm wary. If, as Kevin suggested, this is the equivalent of the AM "grit and air" syndrome - as opposed to the AM "swarm" syndrome - the experience tells me that addressing it sooner rather than later is needed; AM suffered badly because "grit and air" was not checked in some way.

The difficult call here is whether this is "grit and air" or "swarm", but my gut feeling is tending to the former. YMMV
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by martinvantol » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:07 pm

alasdair2204 wrote:Thanks Nik for the time put in, but I don't think this can be applied so narrowly and so anti cavalry.

Can I point out that 2nd and 3rd at Britcon the last 2 years have been all infantry armies with as many muskets and regimental guns as possible and as few cavalry as possible, anglo-dutch, habsburg austriann, savoy, (I got blown of the table by Richard's Anglo-Dutch but didn't ask for all the lists to be changed but just worked out a way to beat it) and the TYW French all foot with (1 cavalry) with regimental guns, yet nobody is rushing to change these lists which are as unrealistic if not more so (I at least have to have two foot regiments, they only have to have 1 mounted), all we will be creating is a open competition being dominated by these armies because the list changes suggested will destroy any chances TYW armies have of beating these. As I have said before at the moment most armies are still infantry and yet we are trying to put in changes which makes us take even more infantry

what to do

Alasdair
Hi Alasdair,
Just wanted to come back on a couple of these points, if I may ...
(1) People have made the point that there are ways to beat the cav-max army. However, as far as I can see they all involve configuring an equally unhistorical army.
(2) I have an equal problem with other unhistorical armies, like the terrain-sitting D&G armies with minimum horse. It's sad, in my view, that we've still never had a D&G themed competition with historically configured armies (i.e. infantry centre, cavalry wings and relatively open field).
(3) Maybe a significant problem is open competitions. I expect my games to be historically plausible and I've never been a fan of open competitions. It's why I stopped FOGAM. In the last couple of years if I've suspected the period definition will lead to too much unhistorical stuff I've been putting myself down for FOGN (... and losing even more heavily!).
(4) Regarding another post you made on recent threads ... I hope you do stay in FOGR. You've been an honest, decent and likeable opponent. I respect that you've found a very clever way to consistently beat the rest of us. If we change the lists or competition formats I expect you'll still beat me ... but at least we'll have a better game.

All the best
Martin

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by Delbruck » Sat Nov 23, 2013 4:21 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:
Simpleton wrote:When you say Cav Max armies can you give an example? I just ran the FOGR Tourney at Fall-In here in the states. We had a 700pt 15mm Open and a 700pt 25mm Trade and Treachery Theme. All the T&T armies were foot heavy. In the Open there were 6 players. 5 played 30 Years War armies which generally require three 6 man foot regiments at a minimum, and the winning player ran a 1505 Trastamara Spanish.

At 800AP you could end up with an army like this Later TYW German:

4 TC
4 BG of 4 Kurassiere, Horse, Heavily Armoured, Superior, -/Pi/Pi
1 BG of 4 Kurassiere, Horse, Armoured, Superior, -/Pi/Pi
2 BG of 4 Bandallier Reiter, Horse, Unarmoured, Average, Carbin/-/Pi
2 BG of 4 Dragoons, Dragoons, Unarmoured, Average, Musket/-/-
2 BG of 2 Artllery, Medium Artillery, Average, Medium Artillery/-/-
3 BG of 2 Commanded Shot, Medium Foot, Unarmoured, Average, Musket/-/-
2 BG of 6 Infantry: 4 Medium Foot, Unarmoured, Average, Musket/-/- ; 2 Heavy Foot, Armoured, Average, -/Pike/Pike
Assuming a moderate size battle where a 6 base infantry BG is 2000 men, 4 base BG's are 1000, and 2 bases are 500 - this results in an army of:

5500 infantry
7000 cavalry
2000 dragoons

Actually, I think this is a reasonably historical TYW army.

I do not, on the other hand, think Duty and Glory armies containing only one BG of cavalry are at all historical.

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by martinvantol » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:36 pm

Delbruck wrote:
Assuming a moderate size battle where a 6 base infantry BG is 2000 men, 4 base BG's are 1000, and 2 bases are 500 - this results in an army of:

5500 infantry
7000 cavalry
2000 dragoons

Actually, I think this is a reasonably historical TYW army.

I do not, on the other hand, think Duty and Glory armies containing only one BG of cavalry are at all historical.
Hi there,
The rules are actually a little vague on figure scales (p162 - a base represents 100-250 men), so I don't think you can necessarily be that mathematical about it. You've also counted your 3 BGs of commanded shot in your foot total, and they don't really fight as core foot BGs. The main point is that an army of that composition would not give a game that has much resemblance to the period.

What does look historical to me is roughly 5-7 foot BGs in the centre plus 2-4 mounted BGs on the wings. That's the sort of thing I always turn up to competitions with and, in my view, the combination of rules, lists and competition-specific rules should compel players to do that. (That should be true of D&G, as well as TYW)

On your second point, I completely agree with you.

All the best
Martin

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by Delbruck » Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:35 pm

I am assuming cavalry, dragoon, and commanded shot bases to be about equal strength, and close order infantry bases to be about double that. I think that 800 point armies are not large enough to simulate battles like Nördlingen, Rocroi, or Breitenfeld. For that I think you need armies of 1500-2000 points, perhaps on a 8 x 6 table.

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by martinvantol » Sat Nov 23, 2013 9:35 pm

Delbruck wrote:I am assuming cavalry, dragoon, and commanded shot bases to be about equal strength, and close order infantry bases to be about double that. I think that 800 point armies are not large enough to simulate battles like Nördlingen, Rocroi, or Breitenfeld. For that I think you need armies of 1500-2000 points, perhaps on a 8 x 6 table.
Sure, you would have to have an infantry centre of (I imagine) 15 or more BGs and cavalry wings of 4-5 BGs each.
But the aspiration should be to have a game that "feels like" it. And with balanced armies at 800 points or so, FOGR does that, doesn't it? Even if the scaling tells you something different.

Martin

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by urbanbunny1 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:07 am

I'd be happy to play 900+ points in a comp, more troops the better.

Back in Aus when FoGAM first came out, we played 650 points on a 6x4 table, which led to mounted armies dominating. We moved soon to 800 points on the same table and foot/balanced armies started to make a come back.

As a player who has previously large six pack armies like Savoy and 30 years War Germans (the foot version), I've changed over to more mounted versions recently for a different pace. I'm an aggressive player who likes to pick a fight on the table, so, mounted armies have worked as I can get stuck in quickly. I have however done the same thing with foot armies, so, maybe it's just me.

Yes, I've copied some of Alasdiar's lists and play larger mounted armies, but even my first FoGR lists back in the day were mass mounted. The difference for me is I've learnt how to play better, being thrashed by many players is good motivation to play better(the list is long and distinguished).

Mounted armies do allow you to run away, but, I've had some of my mounted armies wiped off the table by balanced armies. Some days the dice gods love you, other days they don't.

What has kept me interested in FoGR is the themed periods. I have appreciated the effort the refs go to to choose a tight period which makes your army choice more important.

Now that I have learnt how to make a mounted army to work, time to try something different and work out how to beat a mounted army.

Simon

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by madaxeman » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:00 am

Si

As someone who has recently "learnt" this style, what for you is the secret sauce ingredient?

As of now I'm thinking that these armies become a lot less über potent if the Artillery is removed or toned down. And that's an easy fix, the other stuff just gets swept up in the "learn how to deal with it punk"

Your thoughts?
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by martinvantol » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:53 pm

urbanbunny1 wrote: Mounted armies do allow you to run away, but, I've had some of my mounted armies wiped off the table by balanced armies. Some days the dice gods love you, other days they don't.
Hi Simon,
Well, I prepared to listen, but at the moment I don't see how this is the case ...
(1) As the balanced army, if you play a defensive strategy, you're facing an enemy that will first shoot you at long range. It's difficult, if not impossible, to get out of the way. And if you try you're often creating a weak point for the enemy.
(2) If you play aggressively, you're advancing on an enemy that can always stay out of your shooting range and you can't chase down an enemy that moves 2.5 times faster than you. It'll normally pour round your flanks.
(3) In these games I can't even see that being lucky would've helped. I'd have needed dice that were statistically improbable, and even then the cavalry opponent would have the option of withdrawing.
(4) The best I've ever done in a balanced vs mounted match-up was 3-17, i.e. I pushed the mounted player all the way across the table, but he picked me off round the edges and just failed to break me.
(5) The reactions of those opponents themselves tell you a thing or two. I do try to learn from my games, and usually ask my opponent after a defeat what I might have done differently. The opponent's reply is these games is usually "I don't think you could've done anything".
I suspect that your close shaves with the mounted army were in your early days and that as you've learned to handle the max mounted army better you've found it's unbeatable vs a balanced army.
So how did you manage to get wiped off the table?

Martin

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by urbanbunny1 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:46 pm

Hi Martin, Tim,

I completely agree with you that as a foot player, chasing a mounted army is almost impossible. This is both the case in FoGAM and FoGR and was one of the key reasons why I chucked in FoGAM competitively for FoGR.

One of the key requirements for a mounted army (Western European ) is artillery. Without it, a foot army can sit and take it, you, the mounted player have to have a pair and charge in somewhere. Otherwise, its going to be a draw and I get to make jokes about you being soft! :P

the artillery allow you to pick a target and chip at it until it's disrupted at least before you charge in.

In games where I have been wiped off the floor, playing with my mounted army, has been due my artillery not working and not threatening the foot player enough. Or, I was just being stupid and went and charging in to steady foot, queue obvious results.......

In my practice game with Tim before Warfare, his Swedes came charging out and was prepared to sacrifice a couple of units to delay one of my flanks. On the other flank, his swedish mounted was well supported with commanded shot and I wasn't prepared to give it a go. The swedish foot arrived intact and we all know what happens to foot when the swedes arrive.

I can't comment on eastern european/asian mounted armies as they in next years CAPEX budget, but I would imagine they would be similar, but they have the advantage of having bow, so, they can shoot and so are not as dependant on artillery.

The Don (tm) and I had our game on Sunday morning on top table. As both of us where playing for keeps, so we were both being very careful, trying to create an advantage anywhere. Both of our armies were mass mounted, so, the mounted spent a lot of time manoeuvring to avoid artillery and try to be in the right place if something went disrupted. The end result was Don finally captured one of my artillery units and we called it time. I had lost up to that point, two bases and he one.
the mounted and the 3rd move did allow us to redeploy our armies on a few occasions when we thought we had the advantage.

Maybe one simple mechanic could be, artillery can't break a unit, the best it can do is fragment it. I don't know if this is historical or not, but from a game play perspective would limit the ability of artillery, a couple of dragoons and a poor, unarmoured mounted unit (for threatened flank) to break a foot unit and creating the hole the mounted player needs. To make the foot unit rout, you would have to charge it, or, just break it thru base loss.

Simon

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by donm2 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:49 pm

Simon,
I can't comment on eastern european/asian mounted armies as they in next years CAPEX budget, but I would imagine they would be similar, but they have the advantage of having bow, so, they can shoot and so are not as dependant on artillery.
The problem with all of these is that they cannot match the pistol armed cavalry of the European armies. I have tried as hard as most over the last couple of years to get them to work. Even trying the 12 elephants at Britcon hoping to meet mounted armies and not meeting one.

I am not sure the problem lies with the artillery alone. On the Saturday I scored 48 points out of a possible 50 and my artillery couldn't hit a barn door. Both games where decided in cavalry melees, where my weight of numbers and better armour counted.

When I played you on the Sunday morning, I don't think my artillery did much better.

In the final game against Alasdair, his artillery did do better than mine, but I lost three units in melee when I was a POA up. I did however take 13 of the 15 I need to break his army, which is the best I have ever done against him in singles.

This was my first outing with a EUROPEAN mounted force in over three year of competition gaming in FoGR.

Don

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by martinvantol » Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:01 pm

donm2 wrote: I am not sure the problem lies with the artillery alone. On the Saturday I scored 48 points out of a possible 50 and my artillery couldn't hit a barn door. Both games where decided in cavalry melees, where my weight of numbers and better armour counted.

...

This was my first outing with a EUROPEAN mounted force in over three year of competition gaming in FoGR.
Hi Don,

In your game against me the value of your artillery was that they forced me to move my position, and therefore make my position weaker.

I wouldn't blame you for bringing this army to a comp. It's a rational thing to do - you're responding to incentives. It's the lists and comp format that send out the wrong incentives.

Martin

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by madaxeman » Sun Nov 24, 2013 7:54 pm

Hmmm... Reading this, I'm still thinking that a small "clarification" to mandate a couple or more foot units per artillery unit might be enough to rebalance things.
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by nikgaukroger » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:19 pm

madaxeman wrote:Hmmm... Reading this, I'm still thinking that a small "clarification" to mandate a couple or more foot units per artillery unit might be enough to rebalance things.
Does nothing about the Duty & Glory army issue - if that is an issue for you.
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