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kfenstermaker
03-12-2011, 02:57 PM
If you could make one rule change in DBA 3.0, what would it be?

I vote for making all single elements conform to groups as per the rule for lights in DBA 2.2. I would also make single element moves more restricted in barker range. I have always been irritated by single elements interposing themselves into contact between opposing elements at less than 40mm. Wait, does that count as two changes? :silly

Richard Lee
03-12-2011, 03:03 PM
Lose the light horse quick-kill of spears and pikes.

Rich Gause
03-12-2011, 08:36 PM
Make the DK terrain adjustment rule on 30" boards the standard terrain set up.

Bobgnar
03-12-2011, 08:46 PM
Please explain this? Movement within a base width distance is quite restrictive.

If you could make one rule change in DBA 3.0, what would it be?

I would also make single element moves more restricted in barker range. I have always been irritated by single elements interposing themselves into contact between opposing elements at less than 40mm. Wait, does that count as two changes? :silly

kfenstermaker
03-13-2011, 01:22 AM
Please explain this? Movement within a base width distance is quite restrictive.

The way it has been applied against me, and this may be completely wrong, is as long as you are not currently barkered and you are moving into contact or closer to the opposing element, you can insert a single element between two opposing elements who are currently mutually barkered and not in contact, assuming the gap is large enough to accomodate the moving elements base depth.
To me it seems strange that some heavy foot could flank march their way into a 15mm gap between opposing elements without any problem. If a ZOC is supposed to represent the ability of a unit to influence what is happening right in front of it, then I find this inconsistent.
I would be pleased if this is currently not allowed and then I would not have to worry about a change in the rules. :)

Keith

broadsword
03-14-2011, 02:56 PM
The trouble with forcing all (non-grouped) single elements to conform is that it could be very difficult to defend a river bank in that case. Or would that rule only apply to elements not defending a river bank? Alternatively would we change the river bank rule to mean an element is defending a river bank as long as some portion of the enemy's element is IN the river itself? I dunno, the fact that groups just whisk away the defender of a river may be a good thing, I guess, given how troublesome crossing rivers appears to be.

I can see the arguments for and against the "slide into position" maneuver being described by the OP, but given how restrictive ZoCs already are, I am reluctant to rob elements of even more of their already paltry maneuver options in an enemy ZoC. Hey, at least there ARE ZoCs.

The LH QK vs spear and pike is silly, and has to go, but as I think many have discovered, without a 30" board, this has LH armies at a severe disadvantage sometimes.

Change one rule? They are like Frito Lays. Bet you can't just have one!

ferrency
03-14-2011, 04:07 PM
The trouble with forcing all (non-grouped) single elements to conform is that it could be very difficult to defend a river bank in that case.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the problem, but I don't believe this is the case. A group is a group, even if the group isn't allowed to move in bad going or across a river.

If this were a problem for "all troops crossing a river" it would already be a problem for Psiloi in the woods in DBA 2.2. If you contact a group of Psiloi in the woods, does one of them conform? I don't think so, because they're a group even though that group isn't allowed to move for a single pip in the woods.

I've never seen a river used in a DBA game before anyway, so I'd be more concerned about any effects in other bad going, than defending a river.

I have a feeling I'm misunderstanding your concern, however. Are you talking about a single element behind a river, being drawn away from its position by enemy group movement? Where is the enemy group moving?

Alan

broadsword
03-14-2011, 04:44 PM
Hi Alan, I think you are misunderstanding quite a few things here, and maybe I wasn't being entirely clear either. Firstly, whether a river is bad going (it's not) is irrelevant - a group moving in bad going moves in a one-element wide column, but appears still to be considered a group for the purposes of forcing conforming by LH or Psiloi not in a group (and the Psiloi in good going).

If Psiloi are defending the bank of a river and are in good going (or LH defending the bank), they would have to conform to a moving group (unless they themselves are in a group). Groups crossing the river (in column) either line up to CC the enemy defender, or they preserve their original trajectory (angle) and move straight ahead. Presumably if such a move made contact, the element would conform.

As the rules stand now, defending elements can't hold a river bank (collectively as a group) and get the defender bonus if the river is anything other than a dead straight "Suez" canal. Thus if you were to force all non-moving single elements to also conform to moving groups, you could "break up " river defenses by contacting one element with a column, and immediately he loses his "river bank defense bonus".

Now given the nature of river crossings in DBA, this may be a good thing. It's just going to be SOME thing, that's all.

FWIW, I am opposed to the whole "you find out what the river is when you try to get an element across it" schtick. Presumably, both sides actually scouted the river somewhat, and so usually have some idea of where likely crossing points are/were. You might be wrong in places, but it seems a stretch to me that the only way to know if a river is fordable ANYWHERE along its length, is to try cross at one point with an entire element!

ferrency
03-14-2011, 05:09 PM
I see.

I guess I don't know enough about how rivers work (or don't work, as the case may be) in DBA.

In HotT, the only place I've used a river, you defend when you're within a base depth of the river and when the enemy is touching the river. That seems like a reasonable way to allow defending as a part of a group. HotT also does away with the "roll to find out what kind of river it is" stuff.

Alan

Lobotomy
03-14-2011, 09:11 PM
If Psiloi are defending the bank of a river and are in good going (or LH defending the bank), they would have to conform to a moving group (unless they themselves are in a group). Groups crossing the river (in column) either line up to CC the enemy defender, or they preserve their original trajectory (angle) and move straight ahead. Presumably if such a move made contact, the element would conform.

I think the problem is that there are two, apparently conflicting rules here (which I have never noticed before). Ps or LH are supposed to conform to a group in certain situations. Interestingly, elements crossing a river "must continue crossing at the same angle or line up in close combat with an enemy element that is defending the opposite bank." Pg. 9, 1st para.

I would suggest that the river rule overcomes the conforming rule because, otherwise, as your suggest, Ps and LH can never defend a river bank. That would not make sense (but using sense can be counter-intuitive with DBA) but by giving the River Crossing rule over Moving Into Contact rule then it resolves the problem, IMHO.

broadsword
03-14-2011, 10:12 PM
Ah yes, I missed the point about Ps and LH actually never being able to defend a river from a column as the rules are currently written.

Thanks for pointing that out to me, as I was interpreting a blanket "non-moving single element must conform to a moving group" proposed new rule, would actually prevent ANY element from defending a river bank against a column.

I could see the argument that the Ps or LH are too light to actually seriously hold up a crossing, but quite frankly I cannot imagine trying to ford a river under a hail of missiles, let alone facing a staunch, heavier enemy on the far bank!

I like your proposal there that rivers should somehow be different for the conforming rule. They are in most other respects already.

Kingo
03-15-2011, 01:04 AM
I could see the argument that the Ps or LH are too light to actually seriously hold up a crossing, but quite frankly I cannot imagine trying to ford a river under a hail of missiles, let alone facing a staunch, heavier enemy on the far bank!

Your not Alexander are you :D

Kingo

spectacles
03-16-2011, 09:26 PM
Add a time limit and objectives. As it is, neither side has the burden of attack. Both armies could sit and stair at each other indefinitely.

broadsword
03-17-2011, 12:31 AM
Hi Kingo

No, I've forded rivers while heavily-laden with equipment - and it's not fun unless the river is "paltry". Even then, with treacherous footing in many places, I think that in all likelihood, Alexander's scouts found a very flat (sandy), shallow crossing. If the river is shallow, but the bottom very rocky (think soccer ball sized rocks), good luck getting your horse across without it breaking a leg. Deeper rivers allow partial flotation, reducing the risk of leg injury, but increasing the difficulty maneuvering.

Fording a river in 30-60 lbs of heavy gear is not fun. Add defenders, and it's murder, unless they are very uncommitted or unskilled, or you are very, very motivated!:up

Spectacles, you bring up a very good point. I have often wondered if my opponent has a bad going army in bad going, and I have a good going army, I am not going in there after him, and he sure isn't coming out of his hidey-holes! That seems to me to be a MAJOR logical flaw in the game design. In chess at least, you HAVE to make a move. CC:A doesn't have a time limit either, but the cards HAVE to be played, so the game is constantly evolving, and suddenly you have Line Command, Double Time, and two Mounted Charge, and you are gonna bring it on!

kontos
03-17-2011, 07:08 AM
If I could change only one rule it would be "toe in the BG". There may be some concept behind it but it irks me that 1999 warriors are out in the open and 1 cowers in the bad going allowing the entire element to be considered occupying bad going. Its too quirky. I would suggest you need to have more than half your element in the terrain to be considered occupying that terrain. :up

ferrency
03-17-2011, 10:55 AM
If I could change only one rule it would be "toe in the BG". There may be some concept behind it but it irks me that 1999 warriors are out in the open and 1 cowers in the bad going allowing the entire element to be considered occupying bad going. Its too quirky. I would suggest you need to have more than half your element in the terrain to be considered occupying that terrain. :up

I agree that "one toe in" is a bit wonky unless you use a generous interpretation such as "Actually, all 2000 guys are crowding into the corner" or "they can be in the woods even if they aren't, and that makes all the difference."

Unfortunately, I don't think "half the element is in bad going" would really change very much in actual play, but it would slightly increase the need for judgements calls in edge cases.

Alan

david kuijt
03-17-2011, 11:17 AM
Unfortunately, I don't think "half the element is in bad going" would really change very much in actual play, but it would slightly increase the need for judgements calls in edge cases.


Alan has the right of it.

In the real world, there is no "edge" to the woods. In fact, there is no woods -- there are just trees, bushes, undergrowth. Except in highly industrialized societies (i.e., Modern, or high-population areas in Medieval Japan) what we call "terrain" has no cut edge -- a man on the ground has no way to say "here, at this point on the ground, the Bad Going begins."

But we have no way to write rules for that, so we must translate the continuous world into a discrete set of values -- in this case, we have two translations:
1) Map: In this point the going is entirely Good; one millimeter to the right, the going is entirely Bad
2) Element: At this position the Element is in Good Going; one millimeter to the right, it is in Bad Going.

Neither of those is true in the real world, where Good-Going/Bad-Going is a continuous spectrum of values, and where "In/Out" is also a continuous spectrum of values.

"Fixing" #2 by modifying the threshold for evaluating "In" isn't really a fix -- if it feels stupid for an element to be "Out" when it is touching, and "In" 1mm to the right, it will still feel stupid for it to be "Out" at 49% and "In" at 50%. And that will be true for any threshold. Further, the threshold chosen (any part) is the easiest to measure and agree on in play, which is a major virtue.

If anyone has problems with the "toe in" idea, just remind yourself of #1 above -- those woods are not a hard barrier; they are a spectrum of badness with a band around them where undergrowth starts, footing becomes more and more treacherous, and horses become more and more incapable of charging effectively.

Further, note that playing a game with 50%-in as the threshold is mathematically almost identical to playing a game with 1%-in as the threshold and slightly smaller bad going patches. (There are some minor differences because elements aren't circles -- if elements were circles, the two games would be absolutely identical for all possible positions).

So Frank -- if you hate the idea of 1%-in being the threshold because it looks stupid, just make a two-layer patch of woods -- the inner dark layer is the woods for the game purposes, but it has an outer 20mm band of a lighter color which represents the real-world area where things are getting worse, but not yet truly "Bad Going." When you play with that type of bad going, it will suddenly look less stupid when your knights charge against foot with a toe in bad going -- because most of the element will be in the transition area. It won't change the rules at all -- but your perception of "how bad the going is" will suddenly make sense.

El' Jocko
03-17-2011, 11:31 AM
If I could change only one rule it would be "toe in the BG". There may be some concept behind it but it irks me that 1999 warriors are out in the open and 1 cowers in the bad going allowing the entire element to be considered occupying bad going. Its too quirky. I would suggest you need to have more than half your element in the terrain to be considered occupying that terrain. :up

I don't mind this rule so much--I'm ok with the abstraction. But I don't like it that an element of Psiloi with one toe in the woods can prevent an element of Knights from moving past them (less than an element basewidth away). Sure, the Psiloi could--in theory--attack the Knights. But you're not going to see that very often. So why should the Knights be ZOC'd by the Psiloi?

(And to answer my own question: Because coming up with a rule that fixes this is very difficult--especially without adding so much complexity as to make the cure worse than the disease. Some kind of opportunity charge would be nice. But hard to do in a simple way.)

- Jack

Pavane
03-17-2011, 11:41 AM
I don't mind this rule so much--I'm ok with the abstraction. But I don't like it that an element of Psiloi with one toe in the woods can prevent an element of Knights from moving past them (less than an element basewidth away). Sure, the Psiloi could--in theory--attack the Knights. But you're not going to see that very often. So why should the Knights be ZOC'd by the Psiloi?

(And to answer my own question: Because coming up with a rule that fixes this is very difficult--especially without adding so much complexity as to make the cure worse than the disease. Some kind of opportunity charge would be nice. But hard to do in a simple way.)

- Jack
I don't mind that so much as the majority of Ps have missile weapons, they just do not fight in formation or shoot in volleys.

ferrency
03-17-2011, 12:12 PM
Sure, the Psiloi could--in theory--attack the Knights. But you're not going to see that very often. So why should the Knights be ZOC'd by the Psiloi?

Yeah, tell it to my dead general :)

I admit it's not frequent. And since the game finished before everyone else was done deploying, we had plenty of time for a rematch anyway.

Si2
03-17-2011, 03:32 PM
I don't mind this rule so much--I'm ok with the abstraction. But I don't like it that an element of Psiloi with one toe in the woods can prevent an element of Knights from moving past them (less than an element basewidth away). Sure, the Psiloi could--in theory--attack the Knights. But you're not going to see that very often. So why should the Knights be ZOC'd by the Psiloi?

(And to answer my own question: Because coming up with a rule that fixes this is very difficult--especially without adding so much complexity as to make the cure worse than the disease. Some kind of opportunity charge would be nice. But hard to do in a simple way.)

- Jack

Think of it as the knights being so interested in the psiloi as a target that they need some sort of formal control to pull them away.
Knights are not just going to ignore pesky peasants lurking in a wood.



Si

winterbadger
03-17-2011, 06:08 PM
Think of it as the knights being so interested in the psiloi as a target that they need some sort of formal control to pull them away.
Knights are not just going to ignore pesky peasants lurking in a wood.

Knights would *totally* ignore pesky peasants (or pheasants) in a wood that have no real way of affecting them (which they don't--Ps "fire" only reaches out to close combat distance). But JS is more or less right IMO--it's this way because it would be harder to make it work any other way. The ZOC rule needs to be a universal mechanism or the game becomes much more complicated. Do Sp or Pk really pose a threat to Cav or Kn that are over 100 paces away? No, of course not, but otherwise you have to have rules about which elements ZOC which other ones and which don't. Having one ZOC rule for all element types makes the game less mechanically complex.

But I agree with Frank's original gripe, and while I don't find DK's rather surrealistic description of terrain to be very compelling, I do agree with Alan's more basic objection: it's easy to see if something *is* or *isn't* in terrain. It is harder to tell if it is half in or half out.

It's not impossible to discern half of not-half; we do that with element front edges when determining which way an element or group can slide when moving towards contact. If all element bases had a mark on the center of their front edge, it would be easy to see if both the center and one corner were in BG. But considering the entire element's area makes it much more difficult than examining one edge; you have to try to make judgments about area or about multiple edges.

For simplicity's sake, if one wanted to reform and greatly restrict the BG effect, I would suggest that elements not count as in bad going in combat unless the *front* edge is at least partially in the BG. No more "toe"; no need to imagine the "auras" of BG. :silly

Would it make clever ZOC ploys by BG foot less effective? Yes. Would it make them so much less effective that it breaks BG foot? I doubt it, but I'm sure many will disagree.

It's not as if the elements would lose their ZOC and thus their ability to ensnare; it would just be cut back a bit. We'd just not be counting as in BG elements that are fighting battles that are mostly *not* in BG.

I await all the learned treatises as to why this idea is totally flawed and would never work. :rolleyes

broadsword
03-17-2011, 07:25 PM
Of course restricting the definition to having more of an element be "in" BG to be considered in BG, so to speak, is mathematically equivalent to cutting down the maximum size of existing bad going features, as DK's example illustrates. So if you want the same effect, change the size, and space between, bad going features. Now if we put it like that, it is a whole different kettle of fish, IMHO.

In addition, not only are you limiting BG foot types, you are also radically altering the way Mounted will interact with foot in BG. The 30" board already makes LH pretty damned flexible. If you want to restrict the definition of "in" BG, I'd suggest foot would find it impossible to keep up with LH on a 30" board.

david kuijt
03-17-2011, 07:50 PM
I await all the learned treatises as to why this idea is totally flawed and would never work. :rolleyes

My previous treatise answers it well enough. It would work fine -- because it is the same idea. It's not a rules change (in the sense of altering the game) at all. Changing the threshold (1%, 50%, 99%) doesn't change the game at all. Not a bit. It just changes the effective size of the terrain and the look-and-feel. Plus making it harder to assess "In". That's all.

And if you found my previous note surrealistic, I suspect you need to change your meds -- geometry isn't normally psychotropic.

broadsword
03-17-2011, 08:16 PM
I don't know, David, I find geometry pretty damned psychotropic after a couple of hours of DBA gaming.

If one isn't thoroughly blind after a day of DBA measuring, one ought to try a hyperbolic geometry.

Redwilde
03-18-2011, 11:05 AM
Alan has the right of it.
if you hate the idea of 1%-in being the threshold because it looks stupid, just make a two-layer patch of woods -- the inner dark layer is the woods for the game purposes, but it has an outer 20mm band of a lighter color which represents the real-world area where things are getting worse, but not yet truly "Bad Going." When you play with that type of bad going, it will suddenly look less stupid when your knights charge against foot with a toe in bad going -- because most of the element will be in the transition area. It won't change the rules at all -- but your perception of "how bad the going is" will suddenly make sense.

I have no problem with the current rule, but I also like how this idea gives a much better visual representation of what's going on.

Any change to the current rule itself would just have to be matched be a corresponding increase in the size of terrain pieces.

winterbadger
03-18-2011, 11:29 AM
Any change to the current rule itself would just have to be matched be a corresponding increase in the size of terrain pieces.

If one thinks that the current ability of BG troops to suck GG troops into fights in BG is reasonable, yes. :)

Martyn
03-18-2011, 11:52 AM
The way it has been applied against me, and this may be completely wrong, is as long as you are not currently barkered and you are moving into contact or closer to the opposing element, you can insert a single element between two opposing elements who are currently mutually barkered and not in contact, assuming the gap is large enough to accomodate the moving elements base depth.
To me it seems strange that some heavy foot could flank march their way into a 15mm gap between opposing elements without any problem. If a ZOC is supposed to represent the ability of a unit to influence what is happening right in front of it, then I find this inconsistent.
I would be pleased if this is currently not allowed and then I would not have to worry about a change in the rules. :)

Keith

Keith, I see what you mean, irritating and a bit cheesy but I can't see a way of legislating against it with out some unwanted repercussions.

Kingo
03-18-2011, 02:32 PM
Found an odd rule last night V Lydia, I tried to support one Bd and one Sp, with a Ps behind....not allowed !!!!, must be 2 Bd or 2 Sp elements...this is daft.


Kingo

Bobgnar
03-18-2011, 06:11 PM
It is a rule, like all rules. They are all just the representation of author's view of ancient warfare. He thinks that troops of similar training/practice can be supported. At least the rule is clear.

Hey, some people think the whole game is daft :)

Found an odd rule last night V Lydia, I tried to support one Bd and one Sp, with a Ps behind....not allowed !!!!, must be 2 Bd or 2 Sp elements...this is daft.


Kingo

BigMadAl
03-19-2011, 11:53 AM
FWIW, I am opposed to the whole "you find out what the river is when you try to get an element across it" schtick.

If I have to stick to just one rule, this would be it.

However, the one rule I hate more than any other -- although I'm sure it will not change -- is the +4 combat factor for Bw vs Mounted. I'm totally OK with it on the first turn of combat, but after that I think it should revert to +2.

The river rule doesn't make me nerd-rage as much, because nobody with whom I ever play ever uses rivers. Of course, the reason we never use rivers is due to the silly river rule.

kontos
03-19-2011, 12:18 PM
If I have to stick to just one rule, this would be it.

However, the one rule I hate more than any other -- although I'm sure it will not change -- is the +4 combat factor for Bw vs Mounted. I'm totally OK with it on the first turn of combat, but after that I think it should revert to +2.

The river rule doesn't make me nerd-rage as much, because nobody with whom I ever play ever uses rivers. Of course, the reason we never use rivers is due to the silly river rule.

If you've never been to the region do you know for certain the river is passable? Why did armies send their scouts out looking for fords? In DBA, this is a function, one of the few historical uses, for your LH or Ps (scouts). My issue with rivers is the rules to cross or fight through them. Too much geometry.

Pavane
03-19-2011, 12:56 PM
If you've never been to the region do you know for certain the river is passable? Why did armies send their scouts out looking for fords? In DBA, this is a function, one of the few historical uses, for your LH or Ps (scouts). My issue with rivers is the rules to cross or fight through them. Too much geometry.
I agree with Frank. The river movement rules are too complex. That is the one thing that I would change. What if you could move normally within a river at the river movement rate, but if any of an element is in a non-paltry river (like the BGo tippy-toe rule) then there is a -1 Tactical Factor in close combat? There is no need to look at defending river banks or worrying about geometry more than normal.

Redwilde
03-19-2011, 12:59 PM
If you've never been to the region do you know for certain the river is passable? Why did armies send their scouts out looking for fords? In DBA, this is a function, one of the few historical uses, for your LH or Ps (scouts). My issue with rivers is the rules to cross or fight through them. Too much geometry.

Typically, armies spend some number of days maneuvering to find a mutually accepted battlefield. And if separated by a river, will continue maneuvering until a better crossing place is found. So by and large that scouting process should have taken place long before the deployment phase of the game!

BigMadAl
03-21-2011, 12:38 PM
So by and large that scouting process should have taken place long before the deployment phase of the game!

Precisely. While I agree with Frank about the scouting thing, the "river rule" IMO effectively says that no scouting of the area was ever done. I would dice for the river type when it's placed, not when the first element attempts to cross it.

winterbadger
03-21-2011, 01:17 PM
Precisely. While I agree with Frank about the scouting thing, the "river rule" IMO effectively says that no scouting of the area was ever done. I would dice for the river type when it's placed, not when the first element attempts to cross it.

Weeel, not that *no* scouting was done, just that the result was not an Ordnance Survey/GPS map of the area.

Look at it this way--you know when you place a river that it *will* be fordable over its entire length. You just don't know how easy that fording will be. As a couple of people have pointed out, fording at all can be very tricky, so having a big stretch where you know you *can* get across is more information than you would have if you never scouted at all.

Can I envision other methods that I think would be better? Yes, but almost all of them would either be less interesting or much more complicated. Between the emphasis on keeping the game simple and keeping it fast, it's hard to make changes to the rules (other than simply stripping stuff out).

*Optional*/house rules I can envision for rivers would include having sections be different fordability (including some totally impassable), and/or having fords (besides those at road crossings) as a separate terrain type to be placed during set up. But I can't imagine any chance of rules like those getting into the regular game.

Pavane
03-21-2011, 01:28 PM
Typically, armies spend some number of days maneuvering to find a mutually accepted battlefield. And if separated by a river, will continue maneuvering until a better crossing place is found. So by and large that scouting process should have taken place long before the deployment phase of the game!
Just becase there is a river on the board, doesn't mean that it will fall between the two armies. There are lots of battles where the river was on one flank. With the rules as they are now, I never deploy rivers.

broadsword
03-21-2011, 03:12 PM
And, Pavane, that is exactly why I think rivers need fixing.

The number of people not deploying rivers is just too damned much IMHO. They were a significant presence in ancient warfare due to the relative ease of marching down their valleys and flat flood plains, and their endless supply of fresh water for horses and men.

Armies needed food. Food was grown in organised agricultural communities. These tended, on average, to be close to rivers (they still are today!). So it seems weird to me that they never seem to show up in a game of ancient warfare.

What if rivers were simply bad going? Wouldn't that make it pedagogically easier? I mean marshes and rivers could differ simply in that one was linear, the other not.

You already have an elegant mechanism for randomising how long it takes to get through a terrain challenge, namely the PIP count. Why randomise twice where rivers are concerned? If it were bad going, LH, Ps, Ax, would probe for crossings, as they did historically. The "fords" would be "found" by virtue of their crossing where they did. Heavier elements would need to cross at a secured crossing (the lights went ahead and secured the far bank), or at a place far from enemy interference (again, this seems historical to me).

Again, if it is a BGo feature, it could be adjustable up to one element BW as per David Kuijt's terrain adjustment rules as well, and this could be perpendicular to the river's parallel board edge.

Seems we could then get rid of rivers as having any kind of special rule other than how they were adjusted according the terrain adjustment rules?

ferrency
03-21-2011, 03:19 PM
I think the historical point that is missing here is: if the river is between the armies and is not easily fordable, the battle wouldn't take place at all.

A rule that allows attempting to cross an essentially unfordable river forces a battle to happen when it would not have happened historically. The armies would just wait until the water level reduced, or would find a better place to cross.

Alan

winterbadger
03-21-2011, 03:31 PM
The number of people not deploying rivers is just too damned much IMHO. They were a significant presence in ancient warfare due to the relative ease of marching down their valleys and flat flood plains, and their endless supply of fresh water for horses and men.

Armies needed food. Food was grown in organised agricultural communities. These tended, on average, to be close to rivers (they still are today!). So it seems weird to me that they never seem to show up in a game of ancient warfare.

Of course, none of these things require that the river show up on the battlefield itself, any more than they require that towns or cities show up.

And very large rivers can show up, represented by waterways. In fact, I think I've seen many more waterways in games then rivers.

What if rivers were simply bad going? Wouldn't that make it pedagogically easier? I mean marshes and rivers could differ simply in that one was linear, the other not.

Just as a small quibble, marshes can be linear now, 1 BW wide by 8 BW long.

But as a simple change, it's not bad. Would you keep the rules on crossing (which are, IMO, the thing that deter a lot of people from using rivers, in addition to the unknown of what difficulty they will be)? Or would you treat them entirely as all other BG, so I can march into the river and then splash down the length of it?

You already have an elegant mechanism for randomising how long it takes to get through a terrain challenge, namely the PIP count. Why randomise twice where rivers are concerned? If it were bad going, LH, Ps, Ax, would probe for crossings, as they did historically. The "fords" would be "found" by virtue of their crossing where they did. Heavier elements would need to cross at a secured crossing (the lights went ahead and secured the far bank), or at a place far from enemy interference (again, this seems historical to me).

Of course, that doesn't actually represent scouts finding fords at all. The river is just the same somewhere the scouts don't cross as where they do. The specific location the scouts cross doesn't have any characteristic that persists after they cross.

Not that the current rules portray this any better, just pointing out that this doesn't actually represent scouting distinct crossing spots.

Again, if it is a BGo feature, it could be adjustable up to one element BW as per David Kuijt's terrain adjustment rules as well, and this could be perpendicular to the river's parallel board edge.

Seems we could then get rid of rivers as having any kind of special rule other than how they were adjusted according the terrain adjustment rules?

And rivers could even be different flavours, GG/BG/impassable, by section, along their length? Now *that* would represent fords...

broadsword
03-21-2011, 04:04 PM
Hi Winterbadger

Good points all. What I was aiming at in my description was simply, that unless one were playing BBDBA, it seems to me that actual river crossings during a game would not be very many, so it wouldn't perhaps be necessary for a ford to have "persisted", if the river only gets crossed once or twice in a game. In other words,(and it is admittedly unrealistic) but the general "fixes" the ford by where he chose to cross, and let's just pretend he did that BECAUSE there was a ford there - ie the "Comes out in the Wash" meme. That doesn't stop other troops from "finding" additional fords I guess. Dunno, does that make it too much?

Perhaps more experienced DBAers can chime in about whether making rivers BGo is too much (overly-simplified). Can severe rivers be BGo?

BigMadAl
03-24-2011, 01:11 PM
What if rivers were simply bad going?

I could get behind this, since it addresses my primary concern of not knowing until you attempt to cross.

david kuijt
03-24-2011, 01:28 PM
Perhaps more experienced DBAers can chime in about whether making rivers BGo is too much (overly-simplified). Can severe rivers be BGo?

Won't work. If you hand-wave the details, the idea seems reasonable, but once you look closely at it, it won't work. Light foot (Psiloi, Aux) fight better in BGo than heavy foot do. But there is no real justification for Psiloi fighting better in a ford than heavy foot. Light foot are MUCH better in BGo than mounted are -- again, that makes no sense, as it will often be easier for mounted to cross a river 3-4 feet deep than for foot. Suddenly Kn are QK in rivers by psiloi -- when I personally try to stop the charge of a cataphract horseman with my sling and my penis sheath, I don't prefer to do it when up to the waist in water.

BigMadAl
03-24-2011, 01:37 PM
OK, Mr Kujit makes some good points I obviously had not considered.

What of simply dicing for the river when it's placed? What sort of issues would that create, if any?

My only concern is the lack of knowledge, which AFAIK only applies to rivers, not any other terrain type.

broadsword
03-24-2011, 01:44 PM
If you just get rid of the hard-to-cross rivers, and just treat them the way HotT does?