Beginners Frustration

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jdbleed
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Beginners Frustration

Post by jdbleed » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:31 pm

My brother got me on to FOG digital for christmas. He's in Australia and Im not so it makes for a nice way to get a game going and stay in touch. We've played a lot of table top rules so were really just looking for the digital version of all those little men.

We like the game, sort of. But from my ignorant beginners perspective....the rules dont seem to make a lick of sense. Heavy cav seems to be nowhere near worth the point costs. Artillery - especially the bombards and organ guns available in storm of arrows - seem darn near toothless. Archers and ranged weapons in general feel like a waste of time. I was thinking Storm of Arrows could be renamed Partly Cloudy, Chance of Casualties.

Be honest: Has anyone out there played the English side in the Agincourt scenario and won?

Right now, we're both fielding mob armies - piles of cheap troops that, near as I can tell, can dish it out as well as highly trained elite. Ive got an army of escaped Roman Slaves that's about to put a hurting on his Pergamene force (he may disagree....) which is kind of entertaining but seems a tad unlikely.... All this to say...Surely, we're missing something....right?

TheGrayMouser
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Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:58 pm

Um maybe....

Cant vouche for the Agincourt scen since I have never played vs a Human but long bow armies are quite powerful, especially if used defensively and with terrain,
Slave armies also arnt bad either. Not sure why you think they should be bad, didnt Sparticus harry the Romans for like 10 years? :)

I do agree about artillery, it is toothless as it likly should be for the time frame.

Knights can be very powerfull esp when used en masse, just dont charge em into sharp pointy weaponed troops(or longbows)

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Post by maximvs » Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:30 pm

Agincourt! No, never won with the English, although I've played it several times.

I think that all the 'clear' terrain should be 'marsh', that might re-create the actual conditions more accurately. Just an idea ...

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Re: Beginners Frustration

Post by frankpowerful » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:50 pm

jdbleed wrote:Archers and ranged weapons in general feel like a waste of time. I was thinking Storm of Arrows could be renamed Partly Cloudy, Chance of Casualties.
a friend of mine used to call it "Drizzle of Arrows" :D

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Post by batesmotel » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:54 pm

If you go to the scenario design sub forum, there are alternate versions of Agincourt which do use bad terrain to simulate the muddy ground in the actual battle and the English should do much better in those.

In general, archers/longbowmen in the game are not terribly effective with just shooting unless they can either maneuver to delay contact with enemy while getting additional shots or can use terrain to channel and delay an enemy attack. (Horse archers armies have similar problems.) The armies that will be most effective with shooting are those that also have good combat troops to work in conjunction with the archers.

Chris
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Post by Igorputski » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:28 pm

I was thinking Storm of Arrows could be renamed Partly Cloudy, Chance of Casualties.
LMAO that was sooooo goood.

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Post by TheGrayMouser » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:37 pm

he he, drizzle of arrows....

I find longbows armies are tough to fight against, no single unit firing is going to do much but when used en masse the cumulative effect is great.. There nothing worse than advancing heavies or cvalry and right before you are close enough to charge you realize most of your units are at 85% strength... If there in rough terraign, on hills or have stakes they can be impossible to rout

I dont believe there was anything special about the English Longbow in terms of power etc when compared to Eastern bows, what made them so effective in Western Europe was the English had alot of them and there foes had nothing to counter in terms of #'s and rate of fire...

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Post by Gersen » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:28 pm

... and range - I still think they are worth an extra hex, and the English yeoman had to practice regularly by law - which makes them Superior in my book.

I think the OP has a point to an extent. I soon learned painfully, that unless you have a very defensible position, medium archers etc (ie those who cannot evade), can be very easy meat. That is in part, IMHO, because in order to fire, you need them to be in the front line. Unfortunately you can't fire over heads in FOG, which would make them far more useful (obviously you should get a penalty on accuracy).

However, LF and LH with ranged weapons can be deadly in the right hands - especially with the new evade rules. I am having a fun game of Arsouf at the moment, playing as Saladin and drizzling the Crusaders to death...

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Post by PorkSol » Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:41 pm

It's does feel bit weird.

I'm pretty new to the game, but so far I've done quite well with archer based armies, Classical Indian, Egypt, Longbows, etc. (although I stopped playing them until they fix the support shooting bug)

But the damage from shooting seems to be secondary to the ability to buy tons and tons of medium foot, use shooting to force your opponent to come to you (hopefully in terrain) and then flank them with your masses of cheap, maneuverable units and get devastating rear charges that allow even naked archers to beat the most elite units in melee.

Probably a combination of the reduced shooting opportunities relative to tabletop, and the fact that everyone is in a BG of 4 are major factors in making things play out in a weird, albeit somewhat effective manner.

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Post by jdbleed » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:03 pm

Thank you for the posts. I have enjoyed this discussion and I hope my earlier post wasn't too negative :)

That said, I do think the game would be more fun if ranged weapons were more accurate, and combat more decisive. I don’t agree that Longbowmen need to be able to maneuver to be successful. They didn’t seem to move around too much at Crecy or Poitiers or Agincourt and besides, how are you supposed to maneuver when you’ve just pounded a line of stakes into the ground? Also, I guess I always thought of artillery as being highly effective, especially against blocks of closely packed troops. Bombards are available in just about every army list (why haul the things around if they dont work?) and cost as many points as a stand of heavy cavalry.

I am currently running a HYW Yorkist Army, complete with bombards, superior footknights and a long line of longbowmen. And I am half way to a decisive and apparently inevitable defeat at the hands of an Irish mob. You’d think well trained, heavily armored foot knights in close order would make short work of medium foot armed with light spears but not so in FOG. Turns out, Irish Kerns were the shock troops of Medieval Europe. Who knew? I had terrain on my side – doesn’t matter. My longbowmen are behind spikes – doesn’t matter. My troops are better, my bombard cooler – doesn’t matter. Slainte!

Im part kidding and partly just a sore loser. But I think FOG could be a good game and could be a lot of fun and am actually kind of surprised no one has thought of this before. But the rules just make it rather frustrating. I am quite serious when I say that more potent ranged weapons and greater disparities between good troops and bad troops will make the game more fun. It will at least add some much-needed decisiveness to the game.

One other thing – is there a way to expand the size of the game board on DAG games? It’d be pretty cool to do so. Right now, the Fog of War option isn’t really that big of a deal since the board is so small, you don’t really have to hunt around for the enemy. He is either on or behind one of the 0-4 terrain obstacles in front of you. Why limit ourselves in cyberspace to a board that is really just an electronic facsimile of the old ping pong table in the basement? Gimme a big field. With lots of terrain. And make me use tactics to beat the other guy.

jdbleed
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Post by jdbleed » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:06 pm

oh and I was just alerted to a post indicating that the latest update has some kind of bug in it making ranged weapons weaker? Anyone know anything about that and/or when it's going to be fixed?

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Post by Morbio » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:12 pm

2 posts and lots of good points... and some good humour to boot! Gotta love "Partly Cloudy, Chance of Casualties."

I don't have SoA, just RoR, but I find that any one type of unit is generally not a world-beater by itself, it's the combination of units working together that is the killer. All I can suggest is to try combinations of unit types and I'm sure it'll work quite well. Generally any missile groupings unit doesn't rout units (maybe the odd one now and again), but what it does doe is weaken them sufficiently so that when it comes to melee they are too weak to be effective for long.

Keep posting, I'm going to love reading them :D

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Post by batesmotel » Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:02 am

jdbleed wrote:Thank you for the posts. I have enjoyed this discussion and I hope my earlier post wasn't too negative :)

That said, I do think the game would be more fun if ranged weapons were more accurate, and combat more decisive. I don’t agree that Longbowmen need to be able to maneuver to be successful. They didn’t seem to move around too much at Crecy or Poitiers or Agincourt and besides, how are you supposed to maneuver when you’ve just pounded a line of stakes into the ground? Also, I guess I always thought of artillery as being highly effective, especially against blocks of closely packed troops. Bombards are available in just about every army list (why haul the things around if they dont work?) and cost as many points as a stand of heavy cavalry.

I am currently running a HYW Yorkist Army, complete with bombards, superior footknights and a long line of longbowmen. And I am half way to a decisive and apparently inevitable defeat at the hands of an Irish mob. You’d think well trained, heavily armored foot knights in close order would make short work of medium foot armed with light spears but not so in FOG. Turns out, Irish Kerns were the shock troops of Medieval Europe. Who knew? I had terrain on my side – doesn’t matter. My longbowmen are behind spikes – doesn’t matter. My troops are better, my bombard cooler – doesn’t matter. Slainte!

Im part kidding and partly just a sore loser. But I think FOG could be a good game and could be a lot of fun and am actually kind of surprised no one has thought of this before. But the rules just make it rather frustrating. I am quite serious when I say that more potent ranged weapons and greater disparities between good troops and bad troops will make the game more fun. It will at least add some much-needed decisiveness to the game.

One other thing – is there a way to expand the size of the game board on DAG games? It’d be pretty cool to do so. Right now, the Fog of War option isn’t really that big of a deal since the board is so small, you don’t really have to hunt around for the enemy. He is either on or behind one of the 0-4 terrain obstacles in front of you. Why limit ourselves in cyberspace to a board that is really just an electronic facsimile of the old ping pong table in the basement? Gimme a big field. With lots of terrain. And make me use tactics to beat the other guy.
Stakes only help against mounted opponents and do not have any effect on opposing foot. Historically in the ancient and medieval period, artillery wasn't very effective in field battles but was for sieges or other assaults on fixed positions. If you want artillery to really effective in field battles you need to get into the Renaissance (and they are substantially more effective in the TT FoG-R rules). Irish Kerns shouldn't do well against your dismounted knights since they're down two factors in melee and shouldn't even do well against average longbowmen with swords since the Kerns have no POA in melee. the only thing the Kerns are good at is swarming since they are relatively cheap. Right now they do a little better against the longbowmen in impact since the longbowmen don't get their two extra impact dice for support shooting. Hopefully that will be fixed in the next update.

Chris
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Post by stockwellpete » Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:03 am

Just a point about late medieval artillery - the bigger guns ("heavy artillery") were basically siege weapons with a very slow rate of fire, actually not much good on a battlefield, whereas the smaller guns ("light artillery") were often very effective as field guns and caused a lot of damage. If it wasn't raining, of course. Flodden 1513 would be a good battle to look up to show the contrasting fortunes of these weapons.

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