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View Full Version : A solid historical reason for rejecting 3.0.


michael guth
12-14-2011, 08:32 PM
Now that so many units pursue or follow up, I think it is important to understand that following up a retreating enemy is considered to be advantageous to the attacker/pursuer. This was reflected in 7 generations of WRG rules, where following up a recoil usually gave the '+1' factor.

This is exactly the opposite in DBA. The unit which follows up a recoil is often overlapped on one or both flanks, or can wind up fighting in or against troops now considered to be bad going. This was historically justifiable when it applied to knights or scythed chariots, who have a track record of overextending themselves and getting cut off from their support or simply being abandoned by their drivers. But it makes no sense at all when applied to close order foot. Think about it, did the Thebans who forced the Spartans to recoil at Leuctra get a BONUS for breaking up and tumbling back the Spartan front line, or did they get a penalty for being overlapped by the still steady Spartans to their side? Answer, BONUS.

Close formation foot throwing their opponents into disarray and pushing them back should create a bonus, not a penalty, which it definitely does in the DBX system. You cannot have followups work the same way in DBA as they did in WRG 1-7 because it gives the exact opposite of what I think Phil Barker would want to achieve.

If published as written, the new follow up rules will create a solid historical basis for rejecting 3.0.

Mike Guth

michael guth
12-14-2011, 08:44 PM
And yes, it is a hot topic whether 'push backs' actually occurred at all, or whether push back equaled rout. Not that it matters, but I think in pike vs. pilum combat that there were pushbacks. But I don't think pike could really 'recoil' without being overthrown, based mostly on my pike and shot period readings....

Kingo
12-14-2011, 08:46 PM
Now that so many units pursue or follow up, I think it is important to understand that following up a retreating enemy is considered to be advantageous to the attacker/pursuer. This was reflected in 7 generations of WRG rules, where following up a recoil usually gave the '+1' factor.

This is exactly the opposite in DBA. The unit which follows up a recoil is often overlapped on one or both flanks, or can wind up fighting in or against troops now considered to be bad going. This was historically justifiable when it applied to knights or scythed chariots, who have a track record of overextending themselves and getting cut off from their support or simply being abandoned by their drivers. But it makes no sense at all when applied to close order foot. Think about it, did the Thebans who forced the Spartans to recoil at Leuctra get a BONUS for breaking up and tumbling back the Spartan front line, or did they get a penalty for being overlapped by the still steady Spartans to their side? Answer, BONUS.

Close formation foot throwing their opponents into disarray and pushing them back should create a bonus, not a penalty, which it definitely does in the DBX system. You cannot have followups work the same way in DBA as they did in WRG 1-7 because it gives the exact opposite of what I think Phil Barker would want to achieve.

If published as written, the new follow up rules will create a solid historical basis for rejecting 3.0.

Mike Guth

So are you implying +1 to elements who pushed back their opponent last bound? Because I think that would be a good idea :D

Kingo

Kingo
12-14-2011, 08:49 PM
And yes, it is a hot topic whether 'push backs' actually occurred at all, or whether push back equaled rout. Not that it matters, but I think in pike vs. pilum combat that there were pushbacks. But I don't think pike could really 'recoil' without being overthrown, based mostly on my pike and shot period readings....

I did read of Macedonian pike being pushed down a hill and closeing up from 16 ranks to 8 and pushing their enemy back up the hill.

Victor
12-14-2011, 09:24 PM
And yes, it is a hot topic whether 'push backs' actually occurred at all, or whether push back equaled rout. Not that it matters, but I think in pike vs. pilum combat that there were pushbacks. But I don't think pike could really 'recoil' without being overthrown, based mostly on my pike and shot period readings....

My take is that recoils are a DBx game mechanism to speed things up. It gives opportunities for friction kills, or if turned on the end of a line, being pushed back into your friends and destroyed. In removing recoils, games will take much longer as you will be relying on doubling and quick kills.

In writing that, I agree that no recoils work perfectly fine in other rulesets, but in DBX perhaps not.

I agree that the attacker following up is penalised, but to reward this involves remembering what an element did in the previous bound, and currently, I can't think of an instance where DBA uses "memory", apart from totalling lost elements. THough one benefit to following up is that you remain in contact and potentially need to expend less PIPs in a following bound.

Paul Potter
12-14-2011, 09:34 PM
I don't view recoils as the troops actually backing up, rather- I think it is an ingenious way of representing temporary advantage to the element that caused the recoil with potentially dire consequences to the recoiling element and its immediate neighbors. -paul

El' Jocko
12-14-2011, 10:44 PM
I don't view recoils as the troops actually backing up, rather- I think it is an ingenious way of representing temporary advantage to the element that caused the recoil with potentially dire consequences to the recoiling element and its immediate neighbors. -paul

I think Paul and Victor have it right. It's just a game mechanism to convey advantage, a step short of destroying an element.

- Jack

john meunier
12-14-2011, 11:35 PM
I agree with Paul on the meaning of a recoil. A long time ago I was persuaded that we need to avoid looking too much at the moment-by-moment dynamics and look at the overall outcomes.

When a line of Bd hits a line of Wb, what does it look like at the end of the scrum? Does that make sense.

On a more technical note, in Mike's original note he mentions Thebans and Spartans, but Sp do not follow up. Bd and Pk do.

He also mentions getting drawn into bad going. Foot do get drawn into Rough or Marsh, but not other forms of bad going. A good reason to keep the legions out of the marshes.

michael guth
12-15-2011, 12:53 AM
If the recoil is supposed to be only a 'mechanism of showing advantage' rather than an actual physical movement, fine. But, the point is that the new rule of recoil with pursuit gives the advantage to the person who lost the battle, since his opponent will be overlapped on the next bound. This is still exactly the opposite of what is desired, that the person winning the combat get an advantage the next turn.

I also disagree that the recoil does not represent real movement, at least for knights. I think it is meant to capture the swirling melee of Saracen cavalry charged by Crusaders for example.

Yes, I had forgotten that Spears don't follow up, which is exactly the opposite of how Phil Sabin believes they worked in Lost Battles. In his rules/game hoplite combat is actually more decisive than pilum/scutum combat. Sabin argues convincingly that when hoplite lines collided, one would be recoiled back, then collapse under the push of their opponents.

The Maximillian rules, which use DBA bases/concepts for pike and shot play do give an advantage of +1 for following up an opponent. I guess the issue in DBA would be that we would have to mark who actually won the last combat. I forget if Maximillian has the same overlap rule, but I think not.

Paul Potter
12-15-2011, 12:58 AM
But, the point is that the new rule of recoil with pursuit gives the advantage to the person who lost the battle, since his opponent will be overlapped on the next bound. This is still exactly the opposite of what is desired



this is correct and a problem. -Paul

larryessick
12-15-2011, 01:10 AM
When I read the thread title I expected to see references to ancient and medieval battles and examples drawn from them that we could cross reference with our own resources and examine. Based on that examination, I supposed that the information was intended to lead us to conclude that some type of interaction was typical. And, I thought that the concluding point of the initial post would then be that this interaction did not occur with 3.0. I have dispaired of hoping that this concluding point might be further illustrated by reference to a litany of 3.0 games where the game results showed the ahistorical interaction.

What I saw instead was a reference to old rules and old games that some of us have never played and that most of the rest no longer play. And the objection seems to be that the mechanics are different with the conclusion being that this makes 3.0 untenable.

I have elsewhere asserted that some of the design philosophy from WRG is retained in DB games. But, the mechanics are significantly different and the reasons for the differences do not seem to be based on changed philosophy but on the characteristics of the specific game itself.

Thus it is immaterial if an earlier rules set gave a bonus to units that followed-up or pursued. They were different games with different mechanics.

I agree with the original poster that if people do not like 3.0 because of its mechanics they should play a game they do like instead. As I noted elsewhere, this occurs in many places and there are still strong bastions of WRG6, as an example, to be found.

But, it is not a "strong historical reason" to reject 3.0. It is, rather, a personal preference reason that has nothing to do with ancient/medieval history and that only peripherally relies on very recent (30 years or less) of gaming history.

Alan Lauder
12-15-2011, 01:17 AM
this is correct and a problem. -Paul

I was going to suggest that the pursuing unit does not receive overlaps against it in the following round (providing new units don't enter the fray), but then we run into the 'DBA has no memory' argument/philosophy (as we do with any -/+ 1). Is the 'has no memory' concept challenged by any of the changes written into 3.0? (maybe that's a discussion for another thread?).

larryessick
12-15-2011, 01:35 AM
Regarding recoil and pursuit giving the opponent an advantage, I am seeing a lot of this asserted but people seem to deduce effects without actually playing games.

This is a bad thing IMO.

I should have some play tests Thursday and I'll intentionally set up the game to be warband v blade.

Doug
12-15-2011, 02:33 AM
Regarding recoil and pursuit giving the opponent an advantage, I am seeing a lot of this asserted but people seem to deduce effects without actually playing games.

This is a bad thing IMO.

I should have some play tests Thursday and I'll intentionally set up the game to be warband v blade.

I think in many cases, following up can be an advantage. For example, you have an element at an angle more than a base depth behind you, I beat you, you recoil, I don't follow up - in your bound you can choose to advance back into combat, or move the other element. If I follow up I am limiting your choices.

Where it is dangerous is where you have powerful troops supported by weaker ones, and the powerful ones can potentially drive forward into trouble. A lesson in army design and deployment.

kontos
12-15-2011, 09:11 AM
I can see merit in the arguments from both sides here. I also lean towards advocating that a successful attack with pursuit should not automatically place the victor in dire straits. I feel an examination of the overlap rules may lead to a plausible solution. Currently, in order to provide overlap from a front corner to front corner position, there can be no enemy engaged to your front. Why so then does that restriction not apply to mutual side edge contact? Here is where the potential problem arises. A pursuing element places itself in mutual side edge contact oftimes on both flanks. However; these same players must account for the fact that the reverse is also true, the pursuing unit places the enemy in the same position. Bringing the two overlap rules more in line with each other may help solve this. Overlap should not be provided in a mutual side edge contact unless there is no enemy in mutual front edge contact with the overlapping element. An advantage would be gained by elements following up destroyed enemies. Pushing the enemy in front of you back still leaves you "engaged" so your attentions are not in providing support to another attack. Of course there is the morale effect, but let's not go there. ;)

Just a thought. No need to get your knickers in a twist. :D

larryessick
12-15-2011, 09:57 AM
Currently, in order to provide overlap from a front corner to front corner position, there can be no enemy engaged to your front. Why so then does that restriction not apply to mutual side edge contact?

I believe this is a good observation and a good question. I suspect that the answer lies in trying to speed the game up by reducing combat factors in order to produce more opportunities to eliminate elements.

But, preliminary reports are that games now run only 3 or 4 turns. Maybe this is a bit too fast for people's effort with too little reward in terms of gaming enjoyment.

It could be good justification for adopting the suggestion that -1 for side on side contact be eliminated if elements are engaged with an enemy.

If games then played slower the whole could be sped up by simply dropping basic combat factors by 1 for all element types against all enemy.

Spencer
12-15-2011, 10:39 AM
Perhaps making pursuit optional after all combat resolved would fix this.

nikgaukroger
12-15-2011, 04:11 PM
I did read of Macedonian pike being pushed down a hill and closeing up from 16 ranks to 8 and pushing their enemy back up the hill.

Sellasia IIRC - pushed back over hundreds of metres :eek

Redwilde
12-15-2011, 04:17 PM
Bannockburn. English pushed back into paltry river and destroyed.

Victor
12-15-2011, 04:37 PM
Overlap should not be provided in a mutual side edge contact unless there is no enemy in mutual front edge contact with the overlapping element.

Good idea.

Doug
12-15-2011, 04:55 PM
Good idea.

IMHO this is a complete non starter. How do two lines of Bd every reach a conclusion? Neither can ever be doubled unless overlapped.

Victor
12-15-2011, 05:30 PM
IMHO this is a complete non starter. How do two lines of Bd every reach a conclusion? Neither can ever be doubled unless overlapped.

I have a weakness for suggestions involving exemptions from side support factors, as I like how DBMM gives wedges this ability.

egstonvonbrick
12-15-2011, 05:46 PM
>>preliminary reports are that games now run only 3 or 4 turns.

SI2 and i played three games the other night, we spent more time faffing over deployment than we bloomin' did fighting!

Both games were over in about three turns (i think), from my view point not very enjoyable and i'm sure SI will post up a more detailed resume.

I enjoy the tactical swirling around, but think this is not wanted and you're expected to deploy crash and fight.

Also did not like the bd winning and following up to a disadvantage, should be a chioce in my worthless opinion.

May last a tad longer if we deploy from where we used to! :)

Cheers
Ev

snowcat
12-15-2011, 05:54 PM
Aha. I responded to Si's original post about the games being 3-4 turns, asking whether they felt too quick or still right/OK. Sounds like the experience didn't feel all that good, either as 'games' or 'historical simulations'.

Cheers

Kingo
12-15-2011, 06:25 PM
>>preliminary reports are that games now run only 3 or 4 turns.

SI2 and i played three games the other night, we spent more time faffing over deployment than we bloomin' did fighting!

Both games were over in about three turns (i think), from my view point not very enjoyable and i'm sure SI will post up a more detailed resume.

I enjoy the tactical swirling around, but think this is not wanted and you're expected to deploy crash and fight.

Also did not like the bd winning and following up to a disadvantage, should be a chioce in my worthless opinion.

May last a tad longer if we deploy from where we used to! :)

Cheers
Ev

Our Blade V Wb games lasted fine.

snowcat
12-15-2011, 06:37 PM
Our Blade V Wb games lasted fine.

Yes but what were you drinking?

;)

egstonvonbrick
12-15-2011, 06:46 PM
>>Our Blade V Wb games lasted fine.

We played Rome v Brits and although we deployed close to the centre, once the fighting started it was all over very quickly.

Now, three games is not a sample for me to disparage the rules... and we'll keep playing until we settle down. But previously the fighting (once commenced in earnest) has 'bounced' for a while with the added tension of trying to defend flanks, exploit any gaps and actually feel like you had some control over the destiny of your troops.

These games didn't give any of that, didn't feel in 'control' and the victories felt hollow - just felt like a crunch with some added dice rolling and a shake of the hand to finish. Not much fun and if it still plays like this after a 100 games i'll ge going back to 2.2.. but we'll see! :)

Cheers
Ev

larryessick
12-15-2011, 07:32 PM
IMHO this is a complete non starter. How do two lines of Bd every reach a conclusion? Neither can ever be doubled unless overlapped.

Is it a non-starter if combat factors are reduced by 1 across the board?

Doug
12-16-2011, 02:28 AM
Is it a non-starter if combat factors are reduced by 1 across the board?

I think so. at the moment, the dice constitute a variable part of the overall factor, but usually no more than 75% (min factor without other tactical factors being 2, and dice 1-6 so a range of 3-80, if this was changed, then potentially dice could make up 1 + 1-6 = 86% probably the commonest factors are 3 & 4 with the dice being approx 2/3 of the total, this would go from 2/3 - 3/4 making it a much more dice driven game.

larryessick
12-16-2011, 09:18 AM
I'm not sure the dice driven game bit is much of a compelling argument if the starting point is that there is a need to drive down combat factors via overlaps to bring troops into range where the dice can produce a result.

The principle is that the combat factors have to be lowered. The question is how does one accomplish that.

One way is to work overlaps. That is 2.2's mechanism.

The pursuit rules in 3.0 bring this into play more often and there is some resistance to that. A reasonable alternative is to take the suggestion that overlap only applies if there is no frontal enemy. From a historical perspective this makes sense as the main focus is the enemy ahead and not the enemy that is to the side. OTOH, when overlap is provided by mutual side edge contact it often affects both elements so maybe is fine in representing the divided attention given to preventing flank collapse while still dealing with enemy to the front.

But, as a mechanic in 3.0 it could be producing results too fast now. Removing overlap support shifts the combat factors upward so a replacement mechanism is needed to bring the numbers down again. After all, that is the original complaint, that without flank support the numbers can't be brought low enough for the dice to be a factor.

One way to achieve this is to reduce all initial combat factors. This has the effect of making overlaps where there is no frontal opponent even more dangerous. It makes interior overlaps produced by flank contacts less dangerous. And, it still reduces combat factors down so that there is at least a chance that widely separated numbers will end in one element being eliminated.

Xavi
12-16-2011, 09:30 AM
That benefits spear in front of blade. Since Sp do not pursue, they will "not have enemy in front contact" MUCH more often than Bd, simply by making their frontal enemy recoil.

I still do not see why Bd and Pk should pursue more than Sp, but hey. UIt is really easy to stop a hole opened by impetuous infantry by skillful use of Ps or LH*. In 2.2 the infantry could still retreat 200 paces, but not in 3.0 anymore

Cheers,
Xavi

* put an element of Ps or LH behind your line, but slightly displaced to one side, so that they do not provide support. Pursuing enemy will contact the fromt of the Ps/LH. However, the contact is a non-combat situation, and the LH/Ps will not move to align if you do not want to. In 3.0 the Bd/Wb cannot retreat 200 paces as they used to when faced with this situation, so you have effectivelly cancelled the hole caused in your battle line.

john meunier
12-16-2011, 10:25 AM
A few comments here and there about games ending too fast.

Isn't the time scale difference in 3.0 than 2.2?

There is a green "each" inserted in to the sentence on time scale now, which suggests to me that the game is meant to go more quickly. A pair of bounds now represents 30 minutes rather than 15.

Martyn
12-16-2011, 01:09 PM
A few comments here and there about games ending too fast.

Isn't the time scale difference in 3.0 than 2.2?

There is a green "each" inserted in to the sentence on time scale now, which suggests to me that the game is meant to go more quickly. A pair of bounds now represents 30 minutes rather than 15.

This would suggest that a pair of bounds is 30mins in v3 rather than 15mins in v2.2. However the movement distance per bound have not generally changed to suit a doubling of the time, in fact what changes that have been made have reduced the movement allowed. Heavy foot still move 200 paces but Ps and Ax are reduced to 250 and all mounted are reduced except Cv, Cm and SCh.

From the play testing done there does seem to be a concern on the reduced length of time a battle takes, but this is hardly surprising. The draft rules make deployment closer, elements move quicker and more pursuits increase kill rates. All of these will reduce playing time individually, is it too much with all three? Need more tests.

There is a balance needed in any game, is the time and effort to set up and put away justified by the enjoyment of the game. If the game is over too quick there is a risk that this will not be the case.

larryessick
12-16-2011, 01:42 PM
* put an element of Ps or LH behind your line, but slightly displaced to one side, so that they do not provide support. Pursuing enemy will contact the fromt of the Ps/LH. However, the contact is a non-combat situation, and the LH/Ps will not move to align if you do not want to. In 3.0 the Bd/Wb cannot retreat 200 paces as they used to when faced with this situation, so you have effectivelly cancelled the hole caused in your battle line.

Some good points.

One effect of the narrowed deployment area for foot is that there are now, usually, reserves to be had.

I'm not sure that spear shouldn't be beefed up a bit for various reasons. We know that Romans have been one of the principle models for the development of the blade troop type. Yet, Romans initially retained spear for their most senior units, the Triarii. Assuming that the Romans knew what they were doing, this suggests that the Triarii were thought to be better equipped than the others and a more fearsome force. Similarly, during the wars with Hannibal it was the veteran spear that provided the greatest problem.

So, it the change would benefit spear to some degree I am not sure that this is necessarily an ahistorical result.

larryessick
12-16-2011, 01:43 PM
There is a balance needed in any game, is the time and effort to set up and put away justified by the enjoyment of the game. If the game is over too quick there is a risk that this will not be the case.

That is my concern. My initial readings indicated that games were running only 2 or 3 turns.

The two I played here at the house went 6 and 5 turns. Maybe some of it is the style of play?

winterbadger
12-16-2011, 01:58 PM
I think recoils are meant to represent actual movement.

For one thing, these occurred in history all the time. One reason that I gave up on Might of Arms is the total absence of movement when forces engage until one of them totally disappears.

For another thing, it would make no sense at all to have a movement-based outcome mechanic is such a geometrical game if it were not intended to represent actual displacement. Too many tactical opportunities are based on the actual placement of elements in relation to each other.

I would also debate the proposition that pursuits are automatically bad--many times they place tremendous stress on the opponent. They're also not something that should be voluntary--the whole point of them is that they are attached to shock-combat based troops who achieve success by rushing in on their enemies impetuously. It's a risk-benefit tradeoff. For that reason, I think extending the pursuit move to Elephants is a good idea and adding it to Pike and Blades is preposterous. If Pk and Bd are awarded pursuits, then really almost no troops other than possibly LH and Ps should *not* pursue. One can go that way if one wishes, but it's a total repurposing of the pursuit mechanic, and not an improvement to the game IMO.

ETA: And games running much faster? I think (from what I've read/heard) that's deliberate author's intent. My understanding is that his vision of anc/med battle is "everyone lines up just beyond stone's throw and rushes straight forward, hacking and slashing until it's all over". No finesse, no maneuver to speak of, very quick close to action then fight it out. One may not agree with that model, but it sounds as if he's succeeded in replicating that model in the game.

Rich Gause
12-16-2011, 02:29 PM
Some good points.

One effect of the narrowed deployment area for foot is that there are now, usually, reserves to be had.

I'm not sure that spear shouldn't be beefed up a bit for various reasons. We know that Romans have been one of the principle models for the development of the blade troop type. Yet, Romans initially retained spear for their most senior units, the Triarii. Assuming that the Romans knew what they were doing, this suggests that the Triarii were thought to be better equipped than the others and a more fearsome force. Similarly, during the wars with Hannibal it was the veteran spear that provided the greatest problem.

So, it the change would benefit spear to some degree I am not sure that this is necessarily an ahistorical result.

I have no doubt that realism wise Triarii should have at least the same if not higher combat factor vs foot than the Bd elements in the same army. I can also see plenty of game play reasons why that might not be a good idea. I think a lot of the DBA element classifications are arbitrary and artificial but it does work to make a good game, which is the important thing IMO.

larryessick
12-16-2011, 02:49 PM
This is a good point but I'm not certain that the concern being expressed really changes anything in the overall play of the game. And, while I can see the perception being that there is now some small advantage shift to spear as a result this might be more perception than fact.

In a historical sense, it might explain why armies kept coming back to spear as the default infantry weapon even though we know from the entire DB family of games that blade is obviously superior. :D

Rich Gause
12-16-2011, 03:41 PM
If the game rated troops primarily by their quality modified by equipment then we would have certain infantry units that would be better against foot and mounted than all other infantry and others that would be worse. I wonder which armies everyone would play then and we could also spend hours arguing about which troops deserved which rating. I guess I can live with Triarii at a +4 vs foot.

larryessick
12-16-2011, 04:27 PM
I agree that +4 for Triarii in the context of the game is fine. Never meant to suggest otherwise. I thought the conversation was in context of discussion about effect of overlap on elements that pursue.

Elements that pursue are likely to end in double overlap. That may remain the situation or change with other combats, but at least initially there is a high chance that pursuing elements will be double overlapped.

Being double overlapped gives a -2 to combats.

A suggestion has been made that this be removed and that overlaps only give a -1 to combat if the overlapping element has no frontal enemy.

The objection raised is that blade, in particular, rely on the overlaps in order to get a kill.

The suggested remedy is to reduce combat factors by 1 for all elements.

The rejoinder is that this makes spear more powerful because they are the only heavy infantry that does not pursue in 3.0 (blade, pike and warband all pursue).

My counter point is that this is a small advantage and might not be entirely ahistorical.

Keep in mind that under the scenario being presented spear would have a factor of 3 against foot, blade 4, warband 2, etc. The fundamental relationship won't be vastly changed but the speed of combats would be as there are more chances for widely different rolls to produce doubling.

The question is whether this is a faster game than what we are seeing now -- most reports saying games are 2 to 3 turns long. As many of the reports are blade v warband matchups it isn't clear if the reason for the short games is the impact of pursuit into double overlaps. But, this has been suggested and in some cases presumed to be the cause.

While more testing is needed to see if that is the case one effect of removing overlap negatives if the overlapping element is in contact with enemy is that it prolongs the battle by raising the overlapped blade's combat factors. (It would do the same to overlapped warband and pike as well.)

If this results in too long of a game, the potential presented by a blade v blade contest, then does lowering combat factors actually shift it back to a more reasonable speed?

As most of the observations are based on limited data (very few actual game reports) and as the remedies and objections are all theory and haven't been played on table, it is pretty much speculative at this point.

The reason for speculating is to see if applying another solution set might be the best next step rather than eliminating some of the mechanisms we are now (supposedly) testing.

Rich Gause
12-16-2011, 05:06 PM
I think lowering the combat factors would make the game play faster and would also make it more luck dependent as the influence of the die roll to the combat result became proportionately greater. I think I would rather keep the overlap rules the same and look at the issue of who pursues after some playtests. I kind of like pike pursuing vs foot that they got a rear rank bonus against, not sure about the rest. It may turn out to be a good mechanism for Bd and Sp too but I would want it adequately playtested before that became part of the rules.

Doug
12-16-2011, 06:41 PM
I'm not sure the dice driven game bit is much of a compelling argument if the starting point is that there is a need to drive down combat factors via overlaps to bring troops into range where the dice can produce a result.

The principle is that the combat factors have to be lowered. The question is how does one accomplish that.

One way is to work overlaps. That is 2.2's mechanism.
<snip>

My starting point is that there is no need to bring down combat factors. Two relatively evenly matched elements should not easily have a decisive result, the best way is when other elements exert an influence via overlaps.

Doug
12-16-2011, 06:44 PM
That is my concern. My initial readings indicated that games were running only 2 or 3 turns.

The two I played here at the house went 6 and 5 turns. Maybe some of it is the style of play?

I suspect, as I mentioned on another thread, that people will realise it isnt always a good idea to deploy as far forward as possible...

Hannibal Ad Portas
12-17-2011, 03:02 AM
Just played my first game of 3.0. We used Hawaiians versus Tupi. The fast movement and the chances to be deployed so that main battle line combat starts on turn 2 or 3 will take some getting used to. I played the Hawaiians and the Tupi army were the defenders. They ended up with 3 woods and a rough terrain piece, one in each quarter. A marsh was thrown out since the woods and marsh couldn't coexist in the same quarter and obey the rules for terrain placement. We both deployed as far up as possible. I did that hoping to clear the bad going to open ground in the middle.

The Tupi line moved up smartly with good PIP's. He had bow on his left flank and I stacked extra blade to that side. He had some of his center warbands double stacked. I killed one flank bow and recoiled the second.

My opponent then used the fast speed of his troops to slide a rear rank warband from the center to lock one of my blades with ZOC and to get another to overlap my blade in combat with his bow. This fast foot is going to take a lot of getting used to.

Now my blade followed his recoiling bow into the rough. This just doesn't feel right to me. I know, we are going to hear history supports this....but didn't history supposedly support the rules as written in previous editions? Has anyone actually been a witness to ancient combat since the last edition of DBA was published? I also recognize DBA to be a game and if the game becomes unbalanced or loses some of what makes the game fun to play, then it has an uncertain future at best when we are discussing its popularity.

The other right flank blade ended up in combat with warband in the rough after a pursuit, and was killed. I brought up reserves from the middle and locked up his victorious warband. Eventually, my blade in the rough fighting bow died when I recoiled one of his warbands into its rear, killing the warband as well. My main line moved up in the meantime and killed a bow easily and my general with psiloi support was lucky to survive a battle with his warband general with an overlap in his favor. I ended up winning a very narrow 4-3 victory after the main battle line clash. My blade and pike hacking their way to eventual victory in the pursuit.

Once our battle lines joined, the game simply ran itself. No breaking off allowed, pursuits mandatory...just roll the dice and move on. On my final bound, I had 4 PIP's and couldn't maneuver at all. All my blades and pike block were impetuously chasing warbands and bow and I had no desire to move my free psiloi into combat with warband on the left flank and they were in the warband's danger zones. This just didn't feel right at all. My opponent also found himself frustrated with the inability to disengage his bow and warbands.

The game seems to have been settled at deployment. The most interesting battle was on the flank with the rough terrain that sucked my blade in to their doom. Lesson learned there, but you certainly need to stay well clear of this kind of terrain with blade since mandatory pursuits and the inability to break off can pull you back rather rapidly.

I think our game lasted about 6 or 7 turns. We didn't find it to be as entertaining as DBA 2.2. The heavy foot impetuous pursuit and inability of foot to break off combat at all ends up being beyond the player's control. Historical? Perhaps... Fun as a game? Decidedly less so.

Dangun
12-17-2011, 04:16 AM
There seems to be a developing frustration with the shortness of 3.0 games and the lack of control once lines have engaged.

But aren't we insisting on more control than was ever available to historical generals? What is lost in gaming is probably an increase in historicity.

Many ancient accounts, give the impression that generals set deployment, ordered an advance to contact, and little more. In some cases they got to commit reserves or pull one tactical trick. So isn't this a good development?

Cheers
Dangun

kontos
12-17-2011, 09:26 AM
Realism vs Playability has always been a game designer's conundrum and there will always be at least three camps: the realists; the game players; and the compromisers. You can't please all three. For my DBA preference, I am in the compromise camp. Ideally, I want a fun game that felt realistic at the level I was tasked to command. I am also willing to accept individual components being a stretch from realism to benefit the historical "feel" of the game as a whole. From what you are describing I would prefer PC games so I could at least watch the fighting while I had a piece of pie with my coffee. :up

john meunier
12-17-2011, 10:24 AM
With all the concerns about the game "running itself" I sense a Renaissance for spear armies in 3.0.

Hannibal Ad Portas
12-17-2011, 05:50 PM
Yep John, if I were entering an open event tomorrow using 3.0, then I would likely choose a spear heavy army. Is the new version more realistic in taking control away from the general once contact is made? Maybe so....but I thought the previous versions of the game were based on history as well. Amazing how much that history changes from 2.2 to 3.0.

I believe the new version of the game is what Phil has always wanted in an ancients simulation. I base this on his observations in face to face games with me over the years. I don't think it is what the majority of fans, at least in North America, want. I find this all to be rather sad. DBA has been my favorite game for well over a decade now. That said, I need to give 3.0 more playtests. At this point though, I see the blade/pike and warband interaction to be broken big time. The new deployment limitations for heavier foot should be interesting when facing a primarily mounted enemy who can deploy much close to the board side edges.....