Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

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vakarr
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Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by vakarr » Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:51 am

Hi, I was wondering if somebody has a system to give handicaps to armies based on how suitable they are for tournaments. A while ago, some people classified armies as "A", "B", or "C" class according to their suitability for wargames competitions. It should be possible to classify armies this way and give some encouragement to anybody who doesn't want to play Romans, Carthaginians, or Seleucids in a tournament. Such a system could also offer a fairer way of choosing the terrain, e.g.

A vs A: pot luck for terrain.
A vs B class army: B gets to choose the terrain.
A vs C class army: C gets to choose the terrain and gets a few extra points.

So for example a Roman army fighting a Thracian army would probably be an A vs B or C class clash (Thracians used to be B class but now they are C class I think) so the Thracians get to choose the terrain and might have a few points extra or the type of battle might be changed from fair and open to something else like a flank march is allowed. If the Romans have veteran (elite) legionaries it won't make much difference but at least it would make for a fairer battle.

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by Okie » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:34 pm

The above seems like a good idea and should get more seldom used armies into the mix . :) 8)

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by Cunningcairn » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:32 pm

vakarr wrote:
Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:51 am
Hi, I was wondering if somebody has a system to give handicaps to armies based on how suitable they are for tournaments. A while ago, some people classified armies as "A", "B", or "C" class according to their suitability for wargames competitions. It should be possible to classify armies this way and give some encouragement to anybody who doesn't want to play Romans, Carthaginians, or Seleucids in a tournament. Such a system could also offer a fairer way of choosing the terrain, e.g.

A vs A: pot luck for terrain.
A vs B class army: B gets to choose the terrain.
A vs C class army: C gets to choose the terrain and gets a few extra points.
That is a very good idea. BTW your Mercenaries and Allies mod is fantastic. Is it possible to combine it with the TT mod into a single mod?

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by Geffalrus » Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:56 pm

Not disagreeing on the underlying concept, but determining army ranking for tournaments seems kind of.......subjective.

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by devoncop » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:54 pm

Geffalrus wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:56 pm
Not disagreeing on the underlying concept, but determining army ranking for tournaments seems kind of.......subjective.
I agree.

Look at the winning armies in seasons 1-4 in the FOG Digital League.

Very varied.

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by Geffalrus » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:27 pm

devoncop wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:54 pm
I agree.

Look at the winning armies in seasons 1-4 in the FOG Digital League.

Very varied.
I'd say terrain, far more than points, is the thing that will majorly swing a battle. A large stream, rough terrain coverage, and predominant elevation can nullify army advantages in power units, ranged options, and numbers quite easily. Obviously, the skill of the general has a big impact, and can mitigate terrain issues to some extent. My point is more that the random generation of maps, in particular the appearance of extreme features, is too big of a variable to give players some control over. The amount of advantage you could give to the chooser would range from minor to massive, with no way to make fine tune adjustments (far as I know).

That being said, if you wanted to - combine - those variables together so that one side got more points, but the other got to pick the map........that could maybe generate some interesting balance. In particular, I think it could be fun to see historically minor armies like Illyrians, Bretons, etc be matched against major powers like Rome, Macedon, the Byzantines in an asymmetric manner. For example, the Romans get more points, but the Illyrians pick the map. So the Romans have a larger/powerful army (as was often the case), while the less organized Illyrians (or Spanish or Germans) would have the advantage of home terrain, namely rough ground for their mass of mediums to hinder the heavy Roman infantry. Obviously not every battle in those historical cases worked that way, but it would be an interesting change of pace from the perfectly even point/size battles.

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by vakarr » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:27 am

Cunningcairn wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:32 pm

That is a very good idea. BTW your Mercenaries and Allies mod is fantastic. Is it possible to combine it with the TT mod into a single mod?
I don't think two mods can be active at the same time, if the TT mod creator would have to include it in the TT mod, or create a separate TT Mercenaries and Allies mod (either of which would be OK by me). Alternatively you could edit the TT mod yourself to include the extra troops. I hope I am not breaking the beta test rules if I say I am very excited about the next version (and associated DLC) and I think you will like it, too.

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by vakarr » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:39 am

Classifying armies is subjective but it is relatively easy to set objective criteria and perhaps even create an algorithm to decide what grading to give them


So you could say an army gets so many points for being in the top ten bracket of competition winners
An army with elite legionaries adds so many points
An army with average or better impact foot adds so many points
An army without heavy foot subtracts so many points
An army with elephants adds so many points
An army with compulsory rubbish subtracts so many points
An army without any cavalry or dismountable infantry subtracts so many points
etc. etc.

Or else you can look at the results of as many tournaments as possible and place the army according to the way it is ranked across those competitions and how often it is used.

Being able to select the terrain type is not necessarily a great advantage, as there can such huge variation possible between maps - an agricultural battlefield can have a lot more terrain on it, or the wrong type of terrain, than you might want. A hilly battlefield might have mostly clear terrain low hills. You never know what to expect with a mountainous battlefield - although it has improved, it usually contains a lot of clear terrain.

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by Cunningcairn » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:54 am

devoncop wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:54 pm
Geffalrus wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:56 pm
Not disagreeing on the underlying concept, but determining army ranking for tournaments seems kind of.......subjective.
I agree.

Look at the winning armies in seasons 1-4 in the FOG Digital League.

Very varied.
Correct but that is because the rules haven't stabilised yet. For example shooting was downgraded after the first season. Once the rules do stabilise the grading of armies will become obvious as it did in FOG1. Vakarr's idea of then letting low graded opponents pick the terrain against higher graded opponents will increase the number of armies chosen by players for competitions. Army points should remain the same for both sides though.

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by MikeC_81 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:04 pm

vakarr wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:39 am
Classifying armies is subjective but it is relatively easy to set objective criteria and perhaps even create an algorithm to decide what grading to give them


So you could say an army gets so many points for being in the top ten bracket of competition winners
An army with elite legionaries adds so many points
An army with average or better impact foot adds so many points
An army without heavy foot subtracts so many points
An army with elephants adds so many points
An army with compulsory rubbish subtracts so many points
An army without any cavalry or dismountable infantry subtracts so many points
etc. etc.

Or else you can look at the results of as many tournaments as possible and place the army according to the way it is ranked across those competitions and how often it is used.
What if an army is doing poorly because the majority of players don't know how to use it well? What if an army is doing well only because the playerbase hasn't learned how to deal with them yet?

How do you accurately gauge that? Most tournaments also have restricted army lists to choose from or prevent cloning of armies so it is rarely a best on best competition.
FoG 2 Post Game Analysis Series on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKmEROEwX2fgjoQLlQULhPg/

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by Geffalrus » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:46 pm

Cunningcairn wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:54 am
Correct but that is because the rules haven't stabilised yet. For example shooting was downgraded after the first season. Once the rules do stabilise the grading of armies will become obvious as it did in FOG1. Vakarr's idea of then letting low graded opponents pick the terrain against higher graded opponents will increase the number of armies chosen by players for competitions. Army points should remain the same for both sides though.
Kind of seems to me like there'd be people picking low graded medium foot armies specifically to hard counter higher graded heavy infantry or cavalry armies through a higher likelihood of landing a rough/bad terrain map. At which point there'd be more games where the two armies just sat in their preferred terrain and refused to advance because of how difficult it is dig medium foot with ranged support out of rough terrain (unless you're lucky enough to have a ranged unit advantage).

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by devoncop » Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:07 pm

Geffalrus wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:46 pm
Cunningcairn wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:54 am
Correct but that is because the rules haven't stabilised yet. For example shooting was downgraded after the first season. Once the rules do stabilise the grading of armies will become obvious as it did in FOG1. Vakarr's idea of then letting low graded opponents pick the terrain against higher graded opponents will increase the number of armies chosen by players for competitions. Army points should remain the same for both sides though.
Kind of seems to me like there'd be people picking low graded medium foot armies specifically to hard counter higher graded heavy infantry or cavalry armies through a higher likelihood of landing a rough/bad terrain map. At which point there'd be more games where the two armies just sat in their preferred terrain and refused to advance because of how difficult it is dig medium foot with ranged support out of rough terrain (unless you're lucky enough to have a ranged unit advantage).
Exactly.👍👍

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by Cunningcairn » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:15 pm

Geffalrus wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:46 pm
Cunningcairn wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:54 am
Correct but that is because the rules haven't stabilised yet. For example shooting was downgraded after the first season. Once the rules do stabilise the grading of armies will become obvious as it did in FOG1. Vakarr's idea of then letting low graded opponents pick the terrain against higher graded opponents will increase the number of armies chosen by players for competitions. Army points should remain the same for both sides though.
Kind of seems to me like there'd be people picking low graded medium foot armies specifically to hard counter higher graded heavy infantry or cavalry armies through a higher likelihood of landing a rough/bad terrain map. At which point there'd be more games where the two armies just sat in their preferred terrain and refused to advance because of how difficult it is dig medium foot with ranged support out of rough terrain (unless you're lucky enough to have a ranged unit advantage).
Yes, possibly but that is already happening. You might be confusing quality with grading. At the moment it is not clear if the high quality infantry and cavalry armies perform better than the mass, low quality medium/heavy foot armies. So which are the currently higher graded armies, those with good quality heavy infantry and cavalry or the mass, low quality medium/heavy foot armies? The last analysis shows that the top graded armies do not consist of quality heavy foot and cavalry. See https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing . Galatians are the first quality heavy infantry army at #22 the first Roman army comes in at #23. I think this was done before the last season when the heavy foot armies performed better in the Classical and Later Antiquity sections. However in the Early Middle Ages section the top 4 in Div A and the winners of all the other sections consisted of no quality heavy infantry and cavalry armies. This would mean that quality heavy foot and cavalry armies would be low graded. Therefore in Vakarr's system they would be able able to pick open terrain against the higher graded low quality, mass medium/heavy foot armies. The Greeks might even become popular using this system :D

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by Geffalrus » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:06 am

Cunningcairn wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:15 pm
Yes, possibly but that is already happening. You might be confusing quality with grading. At the moment it is not clear if the high quality infantry and cavalry armies perform better than the mass, low quality medium/heavy foot armies. So which are the currently higher graded armies, those with good quality heavy infantry and cavalry or the mass, low quality medium/heavy foot armies? The last analysis shows that the top graded armies do not consist of quality heavy foot and cavalry. See https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing . Galatians are the first quality heavy infantry army at #22 the first Roman army comes in at #23. I think this was done before the last season when the heavy foot armies performed better in the Classical and Later Antiquity sections. However in the Early Middle Ages section the top 4 in Div A and the winners of all the other sections consisted of no quality heavy infantry and cavalry armies. This would mean that quality heavy foot and cavalry armies would be low graded. Therefore in Vakarr's system they would be able able to pick open terrain against the higher graded low quality, mass medium/heavy foot armies. The Greeks might even become popular using this system :D
Well, based on the criteria Vakarr described above, armies with heavy infantry, heavy cav, and elephants would get a lot of points, while an army with a bunch of cheap medium foot would not. So the cheap medium foot army would be the one to pick the terrain. Perhaps what you're speaking about is Rating, not Grading?

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by vakarr » Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:54 am

I played a Romans vs Thracians game against an experienced player who beat me when he was playing the Romans - when he was playing the Thracians he put them in hills and woods etc but it was all to no avail, the elite legionaries are so good that sort of terrain doesn't trouble them much and my Romans beat him anyway. I haven't seen any terrain yet that a player can't be winkled out of. Perhaps the best example was a campaign game of Armenians vs Seleucids in Forested terrain. It was possible to pick the army and terrain by choosing which province would attack him. I had picked the forested terrain as I thought it most likely to be able to confound the Seleucid circus. However the Seleucids got a very nice hill flanked by forest, with only a small gap between them. So they sat on their hill, in exactly the way you suggest they should - since I was the invader, I had to attack them as a draw meant he kept his province. In previous battles I had not been able to defeat this guy using Pontic and Galatian armies due to his skill and the superior troop quality and troop mix in the Seleucid list. In this last battle I had a mass of woods with a large open space on my side of the map. So I hid nearly all my troops in the woods except for some horse archers. My cataphracts then spent nearly all the game getting through the woods until they were on my opponent's flank. Meanwhile my massed archers also moved through the woods but my opponent didn't budge much (some elephants and horse archers were sent out but I beat them up with my horse archers). Some Seleucid medium infantry went into the woods and got beaten by my archers, who moved to the Seleucid flank and shot up whatever got close enough to them. I think it took to the last possible turn, but in the end I beat him despite his very strong position.

The point is, that many armies are quite one-dimensional and only useful in specific terrain type, so they are not going to be as popular as armies with a balanced choice of troop types unless they have a better chance of being in their preferred terrain.

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by Geffalrus » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:51 am

But........those elite cohorts cost almost twice as much as the 42 point Thracian infantry units. How was he not going after your flanks while your powerful units were tangling with his cheap units in good terrain?

As for your second scenario........I'm not sure it proves your point in the way you think it does. You picked the forest terrain to confound the powerful cavalry and infantry of the Seleucids.....and that's exactly what happened? Instead of rolling forward and crushing your normally weak infantry, they sat still and gave you the initiative to do as you wished. I'm not sure how your second example proves your point, since your opponent completely failed to evict you from your defensive position.

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by Cunningcairn » Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:51 pm

Geffalrus wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:06 am
Cunningcairn wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:15 pm
Yes, possibly but that is already happening. You might be confusing quality with grading. At the moment it is not clear if the high quality infantry and cavalry armies perform better than the mass, low quality medium/heavy foot armies. So which are the currently higher graded armies, those with good quality heavy infantry and cavalry or the mass, low quality medium/heavy foot armies? The last analysis shows that the top graded armies do not consist of quality heavy foot and cavalry. See https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing . Galatians are the first quality heavy infantry army at #22 the first Roman army comes in at #23. I think this was done before the last season when the heavy foot armies performed better in the Classical and Later Antiquity sections. However in the Early Middle Ages section the top 4 in Div A and the winners of all the other sections consisted of no quality heavy infantry and cavalry armies. This would mean that quality heavy foot and cavalry armies would be low graded. Therefore in Vakarr's system they would be able able to pick open terrain against the higher graded low quality, mass medium/heavy foot armies. The Greeks might even become popular using this system :D
Well, based on the criteria Vakarr described above, armies with heavy infantry, heavy cav, and elephants would get a lot of points, while an army with a bunch of cheap medium foot would not. So the cheap medium foot army would be the one to pick the terrain. Perhaps what you're speaking about is Rating, not Grading?
He is putting forward a suggestion that does not need to be accepted in its entirety or at all for that matter. After playing for a few seasons you will realise why he put forward that suggestion. And now you are now quibbling on the difference between grading and rating? Really!

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by Geffalrus » Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:51 pm

Cunningcairn wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:51 pm
He is putting forward a suggestion that does not need to be accepted in its entirety or at all for that matter. After playing for a few seasons you will realise why he put forward that suggestion. And now you are now quibbling on the difference between grading and rating? Really!
*rubs temples

His suggestion is the only criteria I'm seeing so far. So your suggestion as to how this would prevent terrain exploitation because it would assign a high value to cheap mass foot armies doesn't hold up based on his criteria, the only one in this discussion thread.

As far as rating vs grading. It's not a quibble. His criteria results in a grading system based on a quantitative series of factors. Rating, on the other hand, is based on league performance, which is very imprecise, because that performance has as much to do with - WHO - is using the army, as it does with any particular aspect of the army itself. That's why I made the initial point that this is all very subjective. We first have to agree on what the most determinant factors are for victory in the game. Skill and Terrain are huge factors. Perhaps the most decisive ones. After that you can get into army composition of unit types, working from the extremes (obviously good and obviously trash) to the middles.

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by Cunningcairn » Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:11 pm

Geffalrus wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:51 pm
Cunningcairn wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:51 pm
He is putting forward a suggestion that does not need to be accepted in its entirety or at all for that matter. After playing for a few seasons you will realise why he put forward that suggestion. And now you are now quibbling on the difference between grading and rating? Really!
*rubs temples

His suggestion is the only criteria I'm seeing so far. So your suggestion as to how this would prevent terrain exploitation because it would assign a high value to cheap mass foot armies doesn't hold up based on his criteria, the only one in this discussion thread.

As far as rating vs grading. It's not a quibble. His criteria results in a grading system based on a quantitative series of factors. Rating, on the other hand, is based on league performance, which is very imprecise, because that performance has as much to do with - WHO - is using the army, as it does with any particular aspect of the army itself. That's why I made the initial point that this is all very subjective. We first have to agree on what the most determinant factors are for victory in the game. Skill and Terrain are huge factors. Perhaps the most decisive ones. After that you can get into army composition of unit types, working from the extremes (obviously good and obviously trash) to the middles.
Read the opening statement. I think that it is a good idea. I did not comment on his point system for troop types.

It might be very subjective at the moment but that will change with time. After a few seasons of FOG digital league matches the tables sort themselves out wrt quality of players. What also happens the more competitive armies are played more often then the non-competitive ones and many are no longer used at all in the FDL. The latter would form the C grade or C rated category.

No-one has to agree on any factors for victory in the game as it will self regulate. I agree that skill and terrain are the most important factors but you will find that terrain and skill can be overshadowed by a bad match up of armies. If you disagree try taking some of the currently under performing armies in the next FDL season and see how you go.

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Re: Tournament handicaps for armies/terrain

Post by vakarr » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:46 pm

Geffalrus wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:51 am
But........those elite cohorts cost almost twice as much as the 42 point Thracian infantry units. How was he not going after your flanks while your powerful units were tangling with his cheap units in good terrain?
As I mentioned I first tried a game with me playing the Thracians and he was playing the Romans - I lost as there are no good quality troops in a Thracian army except for the heavy cavalry, and precious few of them. The Romans had to be beaten, then beaten again or chased off the field. If the Thracians routed it was, generally speaking, permanent. The biggest problem is that it was often impossible to charge a unit frontally and make it stick long enough for a flank charge to be made - usually a frontal charge would bounce off, sometimes making the Thracian unit fragmented or disrupted. The multiple threats in a Roman army (e.g. elephants vs cavalry) also made it difficult to outflank them, as did the terrain - although the terrain was agricultural, there was sufficient terrain to enable the Romans to box themselves in. then again the Thracians didn't have a huge advantage in numbers. The elite Roman legionaries again played their part, confounding frontal charges and walking through the forest like it wasn't there. In the second game, with my opponent playing the Thracians, he kept to the woods and hills while my superior numbers of cavalry beat up his cavalry and light horse. I then marched along a ridge to meet his troops that were on a hill and in a wood - somewhat like corner sitting. He was unable to use his numbers to beat me as my troops were so much better than his and a frontal contact, especially while mine were on a hill, was suicide. The Thracian troops on a clear terrain hill were eventually actually flanked (by accident) by the elite legionaries and it was all over.
Geffalrus wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:51 am
As for your second scenario........I'm not sure it proves your point in the way you think it does. You picked the forest terrain to confound the powerful cavalry and infantry of the Seleucids.....and that's exactly what happened? Instead of rolling forward and crushing your normally weak infantry, they sat still and gave you the initiative to do as you wished. I'm not sure how your second example proves your point, since your opponent completely failed to evict you from your defensive position.
Well that's my point, if you sit in a corner you are giving the initiative to your opponent, you don't win by sitting around. I had no defensive position (though I had planned one), there was a large area of open space in front of my opponent's hill. My only advantage was that he couldn't see most of my army and didn't know it was marching onto his flank. Having the right terrain is only any good if you know how to use it and are still able to attack from it.

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