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David Brown
06-13-2011, 10:50 PM
Hiya gang.

Here's an idea.

I've never been a fan of Ps rear support in DBA. I wonder if it could be modelled in a different way rather than the blunt +1 (which adds to both the killing power and resisting power of the supported).

Suggestion;

Where foot can claim rear (or diagonal) Ps Support instead of adding the factor, the Ps can fight a risk-free round of combat vs the troops they count as supporting against.

So Ps supporting Ax against, say, Wb, can fight a round of combat v the warband at 2-3, the Ps ignore any adverse outcome, normal outcomes count against the Wb.

If the WB win or draw they now fight the Ax at normal factors (no Ps support) and outcomes.

Ps 'supporting' directly behind a destroyed element are also destroyed.

enjoy

db

Kadzik
06-14-2011, 08:38 AM
I don't much sense is dividing power on "killing" and "resisting" in this situation. Taking example of celtic warbands attacking roman blades with psiloi support, what exactly this archers behind legionaires are doing? They are shooting at chargining warbands to kill some of them, to break formation, to lower morale, to soft them in some way. After shooting warbands are fighting with less potential and cannot kill so good (so more "resisting powore" for Romans) and are therefore easier to kill (so more "killing" power for Romans :D ).

pozanias
06-14-2011, 10:04 AM
Interesting idea. I always like when people at least think of ways to improve. But I have to say that I would not support this kind of rule change.

1. its based on the premise that the psiloi should only help the attacking power of the troops, not the resisting power. I'm not sure I agree with this premise.

2. its more complicated than the current rule. All else being equal, I will choose the simpler solution for DBA.

3. the psiloi getting 3 "support" attacks could actually be worse for the player. For example, the psiloi may push back an enemy that the supported element would have otherwise killed.

As I said, though, I'm all for interesting new house rules. They can add a lot of color to games, particularly theme events or scenario games. And if they are really good, sometimes they get adopted by the community as a whole. It can never hurt to try these things out at your local gaming group and see how it goes.

Bobgnar
06-14-2011, 11:38 AM
What has bothered me about Ps support is that the Ps gets to support the diagonal elements at no risk. Should the Ps be lost if any element it supports is destroyed?

David Schlanger
06-14-2011, 12:00 PM
What has bothered me about Ps support is that the Ps gets to support the diagonal elements at no risk. Should the Ps be lost if any element it supports is destroyed?

I didn't realize this was bothering you Bob...
No. Why mess with something that works very nicely in DBA 2.2? Is it currently unbalancing? I don't see anyone complaining about it after several years of inclusion in the ruleset.

DS

pozanias
06-14-2011, 12:05 PM
What has bothered me about Ps support is that the Ps gets to support the diagonal elements at no risk. Should the Ps be lost if any element it supports is destroyed?

I think from a logical perspective, you are right. The theory being that the Ps are spread out behind all the elements they are supporting.

From a gameplay perspective, it would certainly weaken Ps support. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I think Ps support "feels" just about right as is.

I don't really have a problem with the rule as is, so I would not advocate the change. But I certainly think you have a point.

Jeff
06-14-2011, 12:47 PM
If it helps your logical sensibilities bob, think of the PS stand as the headquarters and the commander pushing out supporting elements to the wings. The unit is not lost unless the HQ is lost. When the PS is not in a supporting role then all it elements are centrally located and can be destroyed in one stroke.

Otherwise if it an't broke don't fix it.

Jeff

ferrency
06-14-2011, 12:57 PM
Psiloi rear support is odd (when compared to the reality it attempts to model) in 2.2 in several other ways. If you intend to change one, then why not change them all? (I almost said "fix" but I don't consider them broken.)

Personally I think that none of these need fixing from a gaming standpoint even if they are slightly odd from a history/realism perspective. Please do not interpret anything in this message as advocating for change, I only mean to point out other inconsistencies in the handling of Ps.

- in 2.2, Ps are lost if they're supporting Ax/Sp against Wb, even though Wb can't normally kill Ps in a frontal attack.

- in 2.2, only losing the central element kills the rear support element; but recoiling the central element also removes rear support from the adjacent elements. To be consistent, choose one: recoiling a non-central element also causes the other two elements to lose Ps support; or, recoiling the central element does not cause the other two elements to lose Ps support.

(I guess that's not strictly inconsistent: recoiling the central element loses the Ps support from the other two, but killing those two no longer kills the Ps either since it's not providing support.)

Anyway. I like it fine how it is, even though I admit that may be slightly weird.

Alan

David Schlanger
06-14-2011, 12:58 PM
Jeff's point is good. And don't forget that the skirmishers are probably also out in front of the troops it is supporting, as well as behind them. Essentially all around them.

Bob - are you trying to prepare the masses for Phil's changes in DBA 3.0?

DS

Bobgnar
06-14-2011, 12:59 PM
I didn't realize this was bothering you Bob...
No. Why mess with something that works very nicely in DBA 2.2? Is it currently unbalancing? I don't see anyone complaining about it after several years of inclusion in the ruleset.

DS

Yes, it has always bothered me. I just never brought it up as the rule was clear. I typically do not worry about how the rule plays out, as long as I understand it. It works but is cheesy. So if we are talking about house rules, I would consider it.

One element spread out across three to support them equally. Yet if the two diagonal front elements are lost, the Ps for the center is still as strong. Cannot divide support into fractions but need to penalize the Ps. Maybe if supported side elements are destroyed, the Ps recoils. So not lost but out of the fight. Only if front element is lost, with Ps support, the Ps is lost too.

jcpotn
06-14-2011, 01:25 PM
Yes, it has always bothered me. I just never brought it up as the rule was clear. I typically do not worry about how the rule plays out, as long as I understand it. It works but is cheesy. So if we are talking about house rules, I would consider it..

Where did you see "house rules"? I missed it. I don't see it as cheesy in any event. I equally accept losing the Ps is any of the three elements it supports are destroyed. Keepin' it simple.:)


One element spread out across three to support them equally. Yet if the two diagonal front elements are lost, the Ps for the center is still as strong. Cannot divide support into fractions but need to penalize the Ps. Maybe if supported side elements are destroyed, the Ps recoils. So not lost but out of the fight. Only if front element is lost, with Ps support, the Ps is lost too.

This, as stated, seems convoluted and not particularlly helpful. :??? Maybe its just the reasoning behind it.

Jeff

pozanias
06-14-2011, 01:42 PM
Yes, it has always bothered me. I just never brought it up as the rule was clear. I typically do not worry about how the rule plays out, as long as I understand it. It works but is cheesy. So if we are talking about house rules, I would consider it.

One element spread out across three to support them equally. Yet if the two diagonal front elements are lost, the Ps for the center is still as strong. Cannot divide support into fractions but need to penalize the Ps. Maybe if supported side elements are destroyed, the Ps recoils. So not lost but out of the fight. Only if front element is lost, with Ps support, the Ps is lost too.

I think we start to get into trouble when we apply too much logic to the rules (I feel stupid writing that sentence, but I think its true). When we do, we start to lose the abstraction that makes the game work so well. I'm much more concerned with the RESULTS rules produce than the logic that goes into making them. I don't have a problem with the results the Ps support rules produce, so the inconsistent logic behind them doesn't bother me.

David Schlanger
06-14-2011, 01:58 PM
I think we start to get into trouble when we apply too much logic to the rules (I feel stupid writing that sentence, but I think its true). When we do, we start to lose the abstraction that makes the game work so well. I'm much more concerned with the RESULTS rules produce than the logic that goes into making them. I don't have a problem with the results the Ps support rules produce, so the inconsistent logic behind them doesn't bother me.

Agreed.

DS

kontos
06-14-2011, 03:07 PM
I think we start to get into trouble when we apply too much logic to the rules (I feel stupid writing that sentence, but I think its true). When we do, we start to lose the abstraction that makes the game work so well. I'm much more concerned with the RESULTS rules produce than the logic that goes into making them. I don't have a problem with the results the Ps support rules produce, so the inconsistent logic behind them doesn't bother me.

Agreed. We have enough to digest in a few weeks/months/years with 3.0. If it ain't broke, let's not attempt to fix it. I can deal with the HQ theory for the Ps element. It's what I had in mind as the "logic" behind the abstraction.

Andreas Johansson
06-14-2011, 04:43 PM
1. its based on the premise that the psiloi should only help the attacking power of the troops, not the resisting power. I'm not sure I agree with this premise.
The historical examples of that come to mind involve rear-rank shooters added with the explicit or apparently intent of helping close-combat foot resist mounted attack.


Like Bob, I've long thought ti's tad strange that, since the supporting shooters must be presumed to be spread along the entire supported line, that killing or recoiling the central element has a special effect. But it's not like it's a major issue. Stranger is the way the supports magically reassemble behind the central element before detaching, and we certainly don't want that fixed, for reasons of migraine.

Lobotomy
06-14-2011, 08:03 PM
I guess the real question is if Ps get to be spread amongst 3 elements, why do Pk, Sp and Wb require a one for one support? That has always puzzled me.

kontos
06-14-2011, 08:52 PM
I guess the real question is if Ps get to be spread amongst 3 elements, why do Pk, Sp and Wb require a one for one support? That has always puzzled me.

Because in a 12 element army you'd need 6 Ps to support your front line. As it stands now, talk about cheese only attacking elements that didn't have direct Ps support. Guys, its an abstraction that works in my opinion. Be careful of the "cure" as it may lead to terminal illness. :up

pozanias
06-14-2011, 09:14 PM
I guess the real question is if Ps get to be spread amongst 3 elements, why do Pk, Sp and Wb require a one for one support? That has always puzzled me.

Because they don't. That's the answer. Don't look for reason, you'll drive yourself crazy. Just ask yourself if you think the rule(s) produces a desireable effect.

I think the Ps support rule works well (A-).

I think the Wb support rule works fine (B).

I think the Pk support rule works okay (B-).

I think the Sp support rule pretty much doesn't work (C-). Do you ever see players (other than relative novices) using Sp support? I would have given it a lower grade, but because its not a mandatory rule its easy enough to simply not use Sp support. I use it every once-in-a-while when I need a decisive combat result, but I definitely do not use it as intended (i.e. broadly in Sp pushing Sp in Hoplite battles, or Medieval Foot standing up to Knights).

Taken as a whole, I think the support rules are good. The problems with Sp support aren't worth risking changes to the other support.

ferrency
06-14-2011, 09:40 PM
One reason to explain why psiloi gets a three to one support advantage is that one element of psiloi in DBA is required to be fairly equal to one element of any other type. The other two spears are being supported by the two other invisible psiloi elements you could have bought for the same cost as one spear element in one of those other games where they use points (ignoring whether they allow psiloi to support spear or not).

Alan

Andreas Johansson
06-15-2011, 12:56 AM
I use it every once-in-a-while when I need a decisive combat result, but I definitely do not use it as intended (i.e. broadly in Sp pushing Sp in Hoplite battles, or Medieval Foot standing up to Knights).

I dunno if it was ever intended to be broadly used. Phil described the Sp v. Sp support a while ago as only ever used by the Thebans in their ultra-deep 4th century BC phalanges.

Andreas Johansson
06-15-2011, 01:03 AM
I guess the real question is if Ps get to be spread amongst 3 elements, why do Pk, Sp and Wb require a one for one support? That has always puzzled me.

I dunno if this is the reason, but as a rationalization it suffices for me: double-deep Pk/Sp/Wb represents a formation twice as deep as normal (a 16 rank Macedonian pike phalanx as opposed to a 8 rank (one element) typical hoplite phalanx, frex), while Ps support represents just 1-2 ranks of shooters behind the heavies. A single Ps element (about 4 ranks if they were formed) suffices to provide that to several elements.

pozanias
06-15-2011, 07:21 AM
I dunno if it was ever intended to be broadly used. Phil described the Sp v. Sp support a while ago as only ever used by the Thebans in their ultra-deep 4th century BC phalanges.

Do you really think he included that rule for one sub-list. Plus, wasn't that formation 4-5 times deep? Granted, I'm the one talking about abstraction -- but that doesn't make sense.

If you are right, then I suppose the rule works perfectly. -- as it is seen in gameplay about as often as it was seen historically. :D

winterbadger
06-15-2011, 09:54 AM
I dunno if this is the reason, but as a rationalization it suffices for me: double-deep Pk/Sp/Wb represents a formation twice as deep as normal (a 16 rank Macedonian pike phalanx as opposed to a 8 rank (one element) typical hoplite phalanx, frex), while Ps support represents just 1-2 ranks of shooters behind the heavies. A single Ps element (about 4 ranks if they were formed) suffices to provide that to several elements.

It's interesting that you said that Phil thought of this as being a special case. I think most of us who have been with the game since 1.0 but have not been inside Phil's head the whole time :eek have assumed that something so basic and available to hundreds of armies would represent something very common. It would certainly explain why he cut the Sp support bonus back so drastically in 2.x, a move that I've never liked.

Likewise, I'm astonished at the implication in your followup, quoted above, that Pk in a one-element rank are assumed to be "normal" eight-deep pike. I rarely see people play pike in one rank and would think that Pk in one rank are almost unsustainably weak, especially in the classic(al) matchup of Macedonian pike vs. Greek spear. Pike in eight ranks should beat spear, but in a straight-up one Pk v. one Sp contest, Pike are weaker, in fact are doubled and QK 11% of the time with no chance to QK Sp. Pike did fight in 16 ranks, but very, very rarely did so during the classical period.

jcpotn
06-15-2011, 10:06 AM
It's interesting that you said that Phil thought of this as being a special case. I think most of us who have been with the game since 1.0 but have not been inside Phil's head the whole time :eek have assumed that something so basic and available to hundreds of armies would represent something very common. It would certainly explain why he cut the Sp support bonus back so drastically in 2.x, a move that I've never liked.

And all these years I thought I must be the only one who felt this way.:up

Jeff

Andreas Johansson
06-15-2011, 12:14 PM
Do you really think he included that rule for one sub-list.
He's certainly happy enough to justify other rules with what one army reportedly did once in one battle ...
Plus, wasn't that formation 4-5 times deep? Granted, I'm the one talking about abstraction -- but that doesn't make sense.
They were supposedly 50+ deep at Leuctra, so yeah, far more than twice a typical depth of 8.


Likewise, I'm astonished at the implication in your followup, quoted above, that Pk in a one-element rank are assumed to be "normal" eight-deep pike. I rarely see people play pike in one rank and would think that Pk in one rank are almost unsustainably weak, especially in the classic(al) matchup of Macedonian pike vs. Greek spear. Pike in eight ranks should beat spear, but in a straight-up one Pk v. one Sp contest, Pike are weaker, in fact are doubled and QK 11% of the time with no chance to QK Sp. Pike did fight in 16 ranks, but very, very rarely did so during the classical period.

That one element of Pk represents about eight ranks follows from the nominal scales stated on p2, given reasonable assumptions about frontage per file.

Anyway, I'm not sure I believe classical Pk only very very rarely fought 16 deep, or that they should beat Sp when 8 deep. Pritchett has a table (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v192/tlc49/pritchett.gif) of attested classical depths - most of the (rather few) examples with pike-armed troops are 16 or deeper. And there aren't many examples of classical pikes of any depth straightforwardly beating hoplites are there? Big Al usually won on the flanks (phlanx? :silly ). At Crannon, the Greek infantry, despite being badly inferior numerically, were merely driven back, not routed.

Lobotomy
06-15-2011, 05:16 PM
Just ask yourself if you think the rule(s) produces a desireable effect.

That is the solipsist's answer. "I like the rule because I like the rule." :silly We can argue this over a number of beers at Historicon, which I am glad to see you will be attending. :up

ferrency
06-15-2011, 05:47 PM
That is the solipsist's answer. "I like the rule because I like the rule." :silly We can argue this over a number of beers at Historicon, which I am glad to see you will be attending. :up

I think it's a bit more like "the end justifies the means." If rules seem odd when you think about them literally, but they "work" in practice- that is, the results are what you're looking for- then that might be good enough to make a good rule.

It's only my interpretation, of course.

Alan

pozanias
06-15-2011, 07:32 PM
That is the solipsist's answer. "I like the rule because I like the rule." :silly

I think I prefer Alan's take on it better.

The PIP rules are a perfect example of what I mean. I'm sure there are many more "accurate" and "logical"" ways to represent command and control that don't produce half as good gameplay results as PIPs do.

I'm not suggesting that rules should not have any logical basis, only that the results are more important than the intent.

But if you offer me a beer at Historicon, I'm sure my mind could be changed. : )

kontos
06-15-2011, 10:10 PM
I think I prefer Alan's take on it better.

The PIP rules are a perfect example of what I mean. I'm sure there are many more "accurate" and "logical"" ways to represent command and control that don't produce half as good gameplay results as PIPs do.

I'm not suggesting that rules should not have any logical basis, only that the results are more important than the intent.

But if you offer me a beer at Historicon, I'm sure my mind could be changed. : )

Only one beer? Cheap date. :D

broadsword
06-16-2011, 10:52 AM
Don't know if this is relevant, but since Ax also benefit form the Ps support rule as written, wouldn't this proposed change hamper an army with a high proportion of Ax? i just recall people mentioning that armies with a lot of Ax are hard-pressed to survive against mounted armies...

kontos
06-16-2011, 11:03 AM
Don't know if this is relevant, but since Ax also benefit form the Ps support rule as written, wouldn't this proposed change hamper an army with a high proportion of Ax? i just recall people mentioning that armies with a lot of Ax are hard-pressed to survive against mounted armies...

Its relevant. It goes to show how an attempt to change a rule affects so many different aspects of the game. I'm in the camp of the overall feel of the game. If it all works in the end, the individual rule's "logic" doesn't bother me.

Andreas Johansson
06-16-2011, 02:43 PM
Don't know if this is relevant, but since Ax also benefit form the Ps support rule as written, wouldn't this proposed change hamper an army with a high proportion of Ax? i just recall people mentioning that armies with a lot of Ax are hard-pressed to survive against mounted armies...

High-Ax armies struggling against mtd (in the open) is a feature in the sense it reflects what Phil feels should be the relationship between those troop types. Game balance has never been a high priority for DBA.

But yeah, it'd weaken Ax armies a bit.

david kuijt
06-16-2011, 02:45 PM
But yeah, it'd weaken Ax armies a bit.

Well, at least they don't have to worry about getting speedboated by Blade and Spear after they recoil, in 3.0.... oh, wait, yes they do.

Andreas Johansson
06-16-2011, 03:09 PM
Well, at least they don't have to worry about getting speedboated by Blade and Spear after they recoil, in 3.0.... oh, wait, yes they do.

Movement and support being independent, I'm a bit confused as to your point.

david kuijt
06-16-2011, 03:15 PM
Movement and support being independent, I'm a bit confused as to your point.

Auxilia being weakened in 3.0. Another source thereof.

Andreas Johansson
06-16-2011, 03:35 PM
FWIW, I was specifically speaking of the effect of the proposed changes to Ps support on Ax. I was not saying anything about the overall impact of 3.0 on their effectiveness.

broadsword
06-16-2011, 04:33 PM
Apart from the movement rates (ahem..) DBA has three primary ways it seems of distinguishing troop interactions, three biggies: +'s (which make troops harder to kill, but don't necessarily mean they kill things far more easily), -'s which make troops far easier to dispatch, and quick kills. It is an interesting point in and of itself whether there is some incredible combination of CF's and modifiers that renders two of the three redundant, but that's probably a really good number theory problem.

But back to the Psiloi support. The +1 I think has the effect of making whatever is being given a +1 harder to kill, without necessarily making the recipient that much more deadly. A +1 to a blade is worth relatively less than a +1 to Psiloi or Auxilia, IMHO. Spears already can't kill blades much without many overlaps, and/or friction kills, and a +1 to a spear doesn't improve its performance against blades by much more than making it not die as fast.

If one were designing a scenario in which one wished to tame the Psiloi behind the blade, I'd suggest allowing no +1 for the support, but allowing the blades to "lose" the Psiloi in lieu of dying or recoiling if they wish. This would reflect the Psiloi running out of ammunition, or becoming exhausted, and leaving the battle, the Psiloi effectively buying you some time, but not having the same effect on you as defending a river bank, or being uphill.

What I wouldn't do is try to eliminate across the board, what is obviously essential to the survivability of Ax.

Lobotomy
06-16-2011, 09:06 PM
I think I prefer Alan's take on it better.

Alan is a sycophant to anyone but me. :rolleyes

david kuijt
06-16-2011, 10:23 PM
Alan is a sycophant to anyone but me. :rolleyes

It says something about you, Larry, that even habitual sycophants cannot bear to suck up to you, or to be seen with you, or stuff like that.

ferrency
06-17-2011, 10:00 AM
Alan is a sycophant to anyone but me. :rolleyes

No, you're wrong.
I just like telling people that they're wrong.

winterbadger
06-17-2011, 10:21 AM
No, you're wrong.
I just like telling people that they're wrong.

Oh no you don't! :silly

(Wondering whether panto or Python will predominate in responses...)