Army balance in competitions

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donm2
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by donm2 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 8:42 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.
Have to agree and probably the easiest to try out.

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by martinvantol » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:36 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:
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.
Agree with Nik ... the only reason I've grumbled about "max mounted" more than "D&G terrain sitter" is because a balanced army can take on the latter to some extent. But both extremes are unhistorical and make the game poorer.

The fixes don't need to be big, many or elaborate, but they do need to fix all of the following ...

(1) A minimum amount or proportion of foot battle troops (don't forget to not count commanded shot in this).
(2) A minimum amount or proportion of mounted battle troops.
(3) Something stopping over-representation of artillery in an army where the proportion of mounted is higher (this might fix itself anyway if you fix the above two points).

So I think slightly more is needed than Tim's suggestion.
The resulting restrictions would still leave us lots of choice (and more real choice).

All the best
Martin

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by madaxeman » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:25 am

Duty and Glory I think is another issue - that's about Average Horse (in 4's) being a total liability, and very few D&G armies being allowed anything other than Average Horse in 4's.

Allowing them to be used in 6's is an easy partial fix, but if you want to make horse attractive in this part of the period mandating a minimum number is going to be difficult as it will risk making the French into the no-brainer choice, as their horse are so much better than anyone else's.

Maybe it might also therefore take a D&G themed tourney-specific entry criteria ("all armies must have 3 units of average horse...") or even a D&G theme "clarification" that artillery hit Horse on 5's for themed events covering this period to fully address it.
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:26 am

madaxeman wrote:Duty and Glory I think is another issue - that's about Average Horse (in 4's) being a total liability, and very few D&G armies being allowed anything other than Average Horse in 4's.

Allowing them to be used in 6's is an easy partial fix, but if you want to make horse attractive in this part of the period mandating a minimum number is going to be difficult as it will risk making the French into the no-brainer choice, as their horse are so much better than anyone else's.
I very much doubt that allowing Average mounted to be in 6 base BGs would make a blind bit of difference to players choices. The current incentive in, unless you are French, to take the minimum horse necessary, so why would you waste points on 2 more bases to make your most vulnerable BG last a shade longer?

In respect of the Frenchies, Richard's idea of limiting the proportion of Superior (and Elite no doubt) mounted would help there, especially if the overall proportion of mounted were also restricted to a more historical number. This is one reason why I feel that Richard's idea of a global set of restrictions may not work as there are different periods within FoG:R where different proportions are historically valid.
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by madaxeman » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:16 pm

Match report 3 from Oxford, just posted on my site, has a detailed report on the Mounted + Dragoons + Gunnes Louis XIV French list and tactics against an all foote army

Hopefully it sheds some light on the Massed Horse tactic, and how (IMO) it relies quite heavily on the use of Heavy artillery, and to a lesser extent, low dice volume additional sniping from Dragoons and/or LF who can shoot at full effect from within the flank zones.

In this particular game most of the enemy horse deployed, and stayed, outside of the range of our 2 medium gunnes, and without the 4 heavy artillery shooting at us and effectively forcing us to come forwards we might have been inclined to stay back as well - but that was not a option.

Even If that had happened I think the Horse army still would have had a pretty good chance just on the basis of doing a Frontal charge at the Pirates - which would have been very entertaining!

On balance I'm more comfortable with the idea that a massed mounted army will and should have trouble digging a foot-heavy enemy out of a defensive position, should be forced to have a go at doing so by enemy artillery and should need to consider thinks like flank marching to do so, rather than what happened here, which was that the mounted army could adopt the tactical defensive position, redeploy easily away from enemy On balance I'm more comfortable with the idea that a massed mounted army will and should have trouble digging a foot-heavy enemy out of a defensive position than

I've copied this from the other thread
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by list_lurker » Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:17 pm

I think Tims comment about liability of AVG Horse in 4s covers more that its competancy against other horse. Its just poor against everything. Its just bait for artillery and better foot will chase it into the flank zones and shoot it to death. Its best role is against other horse where it might have a chance (through dice), against fire its just dogmeat

By increasing the amount of AVG horse in D&G armies then you end up with expensive rear support. The problem is they are not strong enough to stand in the line. Which I'm pretty sure is not the case historically.

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by kevinj » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:06 pm

Perhaps something to reconsider here (that was suggested in an earlier thread) is increasing the autobreak levels for 4 base mounted BGs. It should probably be just for Battle Troops.

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by list_lurker » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:15 pm

increasing the autobreak levels for 4 base mounted BGs
My suggestion (on the other thread) , was allow BG of 4 a +1 on the death roll on shooting. But also change the autobreak for superiors to = 50% (rather than >50%). It would give AVG a boost , and knock down SUP a bit. IMHO on a wider theme SUP is just too good.

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:30 pm

list_lurker wrote:
increasing the autobreak levels for 4 base mounted BGs
My suggestion (on the other thread) , was allow BG of 4 a +1 on the death roll on shooting. But also change the autobreak for superiors to = 50% (rather than >50%). It would give AVG a boost , and knock down SUP a bit. IMHO on a wider theme SUP is just too good.
Personally I'm not keen on changing the Superior autobreak to =50%, I'd rather just make Average be >50% (and Poor =50% ?). I think if a 4 base BG breaks on bases lost it just encourages people to run them away if they lose a base. OK, a +1 on the Death Roll against shooting would certainly mitigate against that to some degree, however, the incentive to avoid combat would still be there.

For simplicity's sake I'd want such a change to be a universal one, however, as this may make 4 base Dragoon BGs too good only Battle Troops might be sensible.

Despite Richard's reluctance to do anything with the rules to rebalance things I can't help feeling it may be the only way forward.
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by list_lurker » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:37 pm

+1 on the death roll was to mitigate the long range art sniping (it was on a slightly different thread after all). Who hasn't lost a 23 pt DH to a single artillery shot in the first bound!

Definatley battle troops only. Dragoons are too good as it is!

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by nigelemsen » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:38 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:
list_lurker wrote:
increasing the autobreak levels for 4 base mounted BGs
My suggestion (on the other thread) , was allow BG of 4 a +1 on the death roll on shooting. But also change the autobreak for superiors to = 50% (rather than >50%). It would give AVG a boost , and knock down SUP a bit. IMHO on a wider theme SUP is just too good.
Personally I'm not keen on changing the Superior autobreak to =50%, I'd rather just make Average be >50% (and Poor =50% ?). I think if a 4 base BG breaks on bases lost it just encourages people to run them away if they lose a base. OK, a +1 on the Death Roll against shooting would certainly mitigate against that to some degree, however, the incentive to avoid combat would still be there.

For simplicity's sake I'd want such a change to be a universal one, however, as this may make 4 base Dragoon BGs too good only Battle Troops might be sensible.

Despite Richard's reluctance to do anything with the rules to rebalance things I can't help feeling it may be the only way forward.
(and Poor =50% ?).
I like this... I could run out my 22BGs of Poor Scots Conventeurs again... With a change they will never appear in the Poor format again :)
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:49 pm

list_lurker wrote:Who hasn't lost a 23 pt DH to a single artillery shot in the first bound!
Me.

Mainly because I've never fielded 23 point DH :lol:

21 point DH on the other hand ... 8)
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:50 pm

nigelemsen wrote:
(and Poor =50% ?).
I like this... I could run out my 22BGs of Poor Scots Conventeurs again...

8)
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by list_lurker » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:53 pm

21 point DH on the other hand ...


no one likes a smartarse! :wink: :D

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by Maniakes » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:55 pm

If you are contemplating rules changes don't forget to playtest them first! (...sorry to repeat myself)

Isn't the quickest way foward to try out some of the simpler proposed changes at least once at a competition to see what happens? Then we'll have some data!

I suggest just starting with an artillery-based foot minimum as already suggested. Something like:-

"For every two medium artillery bases you must bring 12 bases of MF and/or HF and/or DF (not including commanded shot) and for every two heavy artillery bases bring 18 bases of the same"

It strikes me as historical that mostly mounted forces probably didn't drag big artillery trains around (particularly Heavy Art) and it allows users of Light Art (like my Ming ....ahem!) to carry on ploughing their slightly lonely furrow.

Wouldn't that go a long way to sort the problem - without over-penalising the mounted types (and after all we do still want to see a range of strategies on the table)

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:05 pm

Maniakes wrote: "For every two medium artillery bases you must bring 12 bases of MF and/or HF and/or DF (not including commanded shot) and for every two heavy artillery bases bring 18 bases of the same"

It strikes me as historical that mostly mounted forces probably didn't drag big artillery trains around (particularly Heavy Art) and it allows users of Light Art (like my Ming ....ahem!) to carry on ploughing their slightly lonely furrow.

Wouldn't that go a long way to sort the problem - without over-penalising the mounted types (and after all we do still want to see a range of strategies on the table)

Could you pop that on Richard's "Typical Army Restrictions" sticky topic please - viewtopic.php?f=70&t=46575

Remarkably few people have commented on it compared to those pitching in with thoughts here :?
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by madaxeman » Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:25 pm

list_lurker wrote:I think Tims comment about liability of AVG Horse in 4s covers more that its competancy against other horse. Its just poor against everything. Its just bait for artillery and better foot will chase it into the flank zones and shoot it to death. Its best role is against other horse where it might have a chance (through dice), against fire its just dogmeat

By increasing the amount of AVG horse in D&G armies then you end up with expensive rear support. The problem is they are not strong enough to stand in the line. Which I'm pretty sure is not the case historically.
Increasing the amount of average horse does make more expensive rear support.... But at some point they become so expensive that you start to need to actually do something constructive with them too. Which may mean using them aggressively....especially if everyone starts having to have 1 in 3 mounted units as average, as then they start their own average on average ecosystem..

Also, anyway, Have a go at using them in 6-packs, I've found them surprisingly resilient, and if you then add a general to them too... The downside is that they can end up in 3 ranks, at which point they just become even worse artillery targets. Removing that + for shooting at 3 deep horse might be necessary then...
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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by timmy1 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:52 pm

I find myself agreeing with Tim. Allow Average and Poor Horse and DH in 4-s6 where currently they are 4s only and remove the +1 shooting 3 deep mounted is the simplest solution. (It also has the historical benefit of making Reiters Caracole a more viable tactic than it is today.) Playtest it along with the simple artillery restriction for a year and see how it goes.

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by donm2 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:09 pm

list_lurker wrote:+1 on the death roll was to mitigate the long range art sniping (it was on a slightly different thread after all). Who hasn't lost a 23 pt DH to a single artillery shot in the first bound!

Definatley battle troops only. Dragoons are too good as it is!
How about a different death roll for artillery hitting at more than 1/2 range. Would certainly make long range sniping harder and make guns in a defending infantry army better.

Don

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Re: Army balance in competitions

Post by TamsinP » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:47 pm

Just adding my 2p on the suggestion of raising the AP for comps from 800 to 900. Whilst I can understand the desire of established players to get lots of toys out on the table, it could have an adverse effect on encouraging new players to take part, particularly when combined with fairly tight themes. This has been a major factor for me not switching to FoGR for tournaments as I haven't had armies for the themes in play so far and couldn't have painted a 800 or 900 point army up in time.

On the other hand, dropping the AP to 650 on slightly smaller tables (I'd say 5' x 4' rather than 5' x 3' to still allow some depth for redeployment) would be more achievable for a new player and would also help adjust the balance of some of the armies that appear to be causing problems, without overly limiting the options for those who want to go mainly-mounted.

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