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jacar
02-10-2012, 05:48 PM
Much of the discussion of late revolves around new game mechanics and such. Of these we have Kn, Wb, Support, DBEs as the title suggests. Much of the discussion is spurred on by the fact that several elements seem to be pretty powerful now.

Pikes, for instance, are now weaker against unsupported knights. This is supposed to bring on historical behavior. But, honestly, those few times when Kns won, I suspect it was very much the exception and not the rule. I also suspect they had some help.

DBEs: I don't particularly like them. However, they are probably going to be rare anyway. I'll just avoid using them.

Wb: Will only reign supreme in a very few cases.

Support: Spear and pike should have supporting elements +1 for spear and +3 for pike. Spear should also be pursuing just like blades and pike. If you want to go with historical behavior then don't cherry pick. Go with historical behavior!

The +1 for a supporting rank of spear would go a long way to making a fight against a warband army at least be somewhat competitive.

I'm just sayin'! :eek

Bobgnar
02-10-2012, 08:13 PM
I have come to conclusion that the scale of DBA is such that each element should be fighting on it own, maybe Pike excepted. No support for Wb or Sp or Ps or Bd or Ax. These are huge military units to start with, rear supporting elements would be too far to the rear to help. In the complex games -- DBM and DBMM such the entities are smaller and the support seems ok.

Moreover, I think there are too many situations were an element can destroy another by just beating it (DIB). This should only happen when the troop types that rely on impetus and a furious charge impact the enemy. Continued fighting is more of a melee scrum. A second round of combat, if the first is a draw, should not have a DIB outcome. If the first combat ends in continued contact because of pursuit, it, likewise, should not have DIB outcomes, just recoils or flees.

When a non-impetuous type makes first contact, the combat should result on only recoils and flees, or ties. A Blade hitting a Warband is very different from the reverse.

Ammianus
02-10-2012, 08:38 PM
I have to admit that I think you're right RE scale & rear support (darn it!).
I'll have to try this out...maybe there's hope for my Scots-Irish yet!
Thanks Bob.

snowcat
02-10-2012, 08:54 PM
Bob

Quite a few people have supported the idea about QK only applying on the charge to contact, not thereafter. I certainly argued strongly for it.

It would also result in longer games, something that has been raised as an issue with 3.0 (ie they're too short...Whether or not this is proven is another matter).

As I've pointed out on another thread, Wb can still be double-ranked even if a second rank adds no bonus in combat - because the second rank (by not being destroyed if the first is) can still plug holes.

Cheers
Paul

jacar
02-10-2012, 10:58 PM
I have come to conclusion that the scale of DBA is such that each element should be fighting on it own, maybe Pike excepted. No support for Wb or Sp or Ps or Bd or Ax. These are huge military units to start with, rear supporting elements would be too far to the rear to help. In the complex games -- DBM and DBMM such the entities are smaller and the support seems ok.

Moreover, I think there are too many situations were an element can destroy another by just beating it (DIB). This should only happen when the troop types that rely on impetus and a furious charge impact the enemy. Continued fighting is more of a melee scrum. A second round of combat, if the first is a draw, should not have a DIB outcome. If the first combat ends in continued contact because of pursuit, it, likewise, should not have DIB outcomes, just recoils or flees.

When a non-impetuous type makes first contact, the combat should result on only recoils and flees, or ties. A Blade hitting a Warband is very different from the reverse.

I had considered this. Using square bases for everything. Give larger bonuses to what needed to have larger bonuses. Infantry falls back 1/2 BW mounted fall back 1 BW. It would take some work to get the balance right but it would produce a very different game...and somewhat longer as snowcat pointed out. As a side effect, you could even have 2 ranks of infantry on a stand making a better looking game.

dicemanrick
02-11-2012, 02:42 AM
Blades or aux without psiloi support are speed bumps for knights.

This is not theoretical....we are playing a DBM campaign and in the last 4 battles Roman blades (who cannot use support) are ridden down by Sarmatian knights. The factors are the same as DBA.The force is 12 knights strong.

Some local successes result in 1-3 knights dead, but also 5-8 blades over 2 turns. Last week, I lost 8 elements in one bound, including a double-ranked blade which in DBM is not quick-killed! This is normally enough to break a Roman command in DBM.

If psiloi support is eliminated, then the factors must be adjusted or the quick kill toned down. If not, you will only see knights in future tournaments.

Two cents, as usual.

Dangun
02-11-2012, 07:25 AM
Using square bases for everything. Give larger bonuses to what needed to have larger bonuses. Infantry falls back 1/2 BW mounted fall back 1 BW. It would take some work to get the balance right but it would produce a very different game...

I think this is an excellent idea.

Having different base depths is not historical, its a hangover from previous WRG rules systems, and not wanting to force people to rebase elements.

Consequently, the different recoil depths are not an "intentional" effect of a well thought out rule, but just an unintended side effect of a legacy laziness issue.

Square bases, or AT LEAST consistent recoil depths would make for better rules.

Dangun
02-11-2012, 07:28 AM
I have come to conclusion that the scale of DBA is such that each element should be fighting on it own, maybe Pike excepted. No support for Wb or Sp or Ps or Bd or Ax.

Yep, agreed. The scale makes the idea of rear support silly.

And there's not much supporting evidence from history either.

trailape
02-11-2012, 07:34 AM
"Some local successes result in 1-3 knights dead, but also 5-8 blades over 2 turns. Last week, I lost 8 elements in one bound, including a double-ranked blade which in DBM is not quick-killed! This is normally enough to break a Roman command in DBM".

So there was no terrain to use against the Kn?

jacar
02-11-2012, 08:33 AM
I think this is an excellent idea.

Having different base depths is not historical, its a hangover from previous WRG rules systems, and not wanting to force people to rebase elements.

Consequently, the different recoil depths are not an "intentional" effect of a well thought out rule, but just an unintended side effect of a legacy laziness issue.

Square bases, or AT LEAST consistent recoil depths would make for better rules.

Thanks! While I like support rules I could get on board with a game without supporting ranks. I suspect that most armies could not pack and unpack a deep formation once set on the battlefield.

So, an interesting side effect is that Pike armies (specifically) would get a greater battle line length. All armies are supposed to be 12 elements. Without having a supporting rank, the pike would make a longer line.

Next up is deciding what the combat factors are for each of the possible supported elements. I think at a minimum we have combat factors for everything except pike...and possibly spear.

So what is the combat factor for pike? +5 or +6? What if they go into bad going. -2 will make them still a viable unit. I would think -4 would be ideal. Essentially pike take a double penalty in bad going. How many pike units does a pike army get? Normally 4 or 6 is what they are now and Scots Common get 8 (I think). For the former, I would think an extra pike and the rest either Ax or Ps would do the trick. Not sure about the Scots and other Medieval Pike.

Spear would probably work out as is but you might argue for +4/+5 (Inf/Cav). Standard penalty for Bgo (-2).

Everything else should fight the same. Also, since the lines will probably be full length all the time, maybe a 30" board should be standard to allow for greater moving.

dicemanrick
02-11-2012, 11:22 AM
"Some local successes result in 1-3 knights dead, but also 5-8 blades over 2 turns. Last week, I lost 8 elements in one bound, including a double-ranked blade which in DBM is not quick-killed! This is normally enough to break a Roman command in DBM".

So there was no terrain to use against the Kn?

No, the terrain was on the flanks. DBM on large tables doesn't give much terrain to hide in. DBA I think covers more on the board size we use.

If you hide the Romans in the bad going, the warbands eat you alive...it's six of one, half dozen of another!:D

Dangun
02-11-2012, 01:54 PM
DBM on large tables doesn't give much terrain to hide in. DBA I think covers more on the board size we use.

DBA has more terrain than DBM because it MUST.

DBA does not have a points system to equalize the strength of the two armies like DBM. Moreover DBA has a fixed element (12) design. So for these two reasons DBA MUST have more terrain or there really are pathetically useless armies, even historically matched ones...

Kingo
02-11-2012, 03:24 PM
This is logical:up

I have come to conclusion that the scale of DBA is such that each element should be fighting on it own, maybe Pike excepted. No support for Wb or Sp or Ps or Bd or Ax. These are huge military units to start with, rear supporting elements would be too far to the rear to help. In the complex games -- DBM and DBMM such the entities are smaller and the support seems ok.

Moreover, I think there are too many situations were an element can destroy another by just beating it (DIB). This should only happen when the troop types that rely on impetus and a furious charge impact the enemy. Continued fighting is more of a melee scrum. A second round of combat, if the first is a draw, should not have a DIB outcome. If the first combat ends in continued contact because of pursuit, it, likewise, should not have DIB outcomes, just recoils or flees.

When a non-impetuous type makes first contact, the combat should result on only recoils and flees, or ties. A Blade hitting a Warband is very different from the reverse.

Kingo
02-11-2012, 03:27 PM
"Some local successes result in 1-3 knights dead, but also 5-8 blades over 2 turns. Last week, I lost 8 elements in one bound, including a double-ranked blade which in DBM is not quick-killed! This is normally enough to break a Roman command in DBM".

So there was no terrain to use against the Kn?

Nice to see you are safe!

regards Kingo

Ammianus
02-11-2012, 07:09 PM
I have come to conclusion that the scale of DBA is such that each element should be fighting on it own, maybe Pike excepted. No support for Wb or Sp or Ps or Bd or Ax. These are huge military units to start with, rear supporting elements would be too far to the rear to help. In the complex games -- DBM and DBMM such the entities are smaller and the support seems ok.

Moreover, I think there are too many situations were an element can destroy another by just beating it (DIB). This should only happen when the troop types that rely on impetus and a furious charge impact the enemy. Continued fighting is more of a melee scrum. A second round of combat, if the first is a draw, should not have a DIB outcome. If the first combat ends in continued contact because of pursuit, it, likewise, should not have DIB outcomes, just recoils or flees.

When a non-impetuous type makes first contact, the combat should result on only recoils and flees, or ties. A Blade hitting a Warband is very different from the reverse.

I agree with your impetuous charge change. I just saw some pretty worn out Welsh slowly dissect a Sub Roman British army, 1 SPEAR at a time, winning 6-4. (Arthur didn't make it)

michael guth
02-11-2012, 09:48 PM
If you play Lost Battles, you will realize that if anything was important to ancient battls it was the decision by the general about where to 'stack the line' with troops, fighting in greater depth than the enemy. Marathon comes to mind as the first battle I know of where this is documented.

Removing this option from DBA would make it a poorer game, less realistic, less historical.

If anything, spears should get a +1 against anything for a second rank of spears, even pike.

Mike Guth

Dangun
02-11-2012, 10:50 PM
If you play Lost Battles, you will realize that if anything was important to ancient battls it was the decision by the general about where to 'stack the line' with troops, fighting in greater depth than the enemy. Marathon comes to mind as the first battle I know of where this is documented.

Removing this option from DBA would make it a poorer game, less realistic, less historical.

Mike Guth

I don't think a board game (lost battles) is historical evidence of anything.

The idea of rear support resonates with us because we have a vague image of people 'pushing from behind' or a 'second rank of pike' helping the first rank. But unfortunately its silly on two counts.

As Bob has suggested, DBA is too large scale. Each game element represents 1000-2000 people and. A game element of pike is about 90 meters deep! The idea of someone 'helping' from behind is just silly.

Secondly, there is very little evidence for it in the historical sources. There is evidence for different formation depths. There is evidence for 'lines' of troops. But there is nothing really that shows 'rear support' at anywhere near the scale of DBA.

An interesting discussion of this can be found in Goldsworthy, A., "The Othismos, Myths and Heresies: The nature of Hoplite Battle", War in History, Vol. 4.1, (1997), pp 1-26

Sea Weathered Aketons
02-12-2012, 12:27 AM
If you play Lost Battles, you will realize that if anything was important to ancient battls it was the decision by the general about where to 'stack the line' with troops, fighting in greater depth than the enemy. Marathon comes to mind as the first battle I know of where this is documented.

Removing this option from DBA would make it a poorer game, less realistic, less historical.

If anything, spears should get a +1 against anything for a second rank of spears, even pike.

Mike Guth

I could not agree more.

SWA

Sea Weathered Aketons
02-12-2012, 12:33 AM
Most of the armies I play represent forces of 250-500 (dark age) and where elements are 40-50 men!

"The number of men represented by an element varies according the size of army simulated...."

SWA

Sea Weathered Aketons
02-12-2012, 12:44 AM
That should read:

"The number of men represented by an element varies according TO the size of army simulated...."

SWA

Lydia
02-12-2012, 02:15 AM
Each game element represents 1000-2000 people and. A game element of pike is about 90 meters deep!

If you trouble yourself to read the first page of the latest draft, an element of pikes is up to 1,200 people, which puts it at the bottom end of your hyperbole.

Your maths is wrong, and the DBA ground scale is now pretty close to the DBMM one. If you get the maths right, a game element of pike is about 28.6m deep. In DBMM a pike element is 22.9m deep.

I've read of people using figures to play out Lost Battles, so you'll have to troll about that game on some other grounds.

Dangun
02-12-2012, 02:41 AM
Most of the armies I play represent forces of 250-500 (dark age) and where elements are 40-50 men!

Its good that DBA works for that scale too. But I don't think that's how most DBA players concieve of the games they are playing. Least of all the author.

Dangun
02-12-2012, 02:43 AM
I've read of people using figures to play out Lost Battles, so you'll have to troll about that game on some other grounds.

I don't know what troll about means? And I don't know what Lost Battles is, except that its a wargame.

Dangun
02-12-2012, 02:53 AM
If you trouble yourself to read the first page of the latest draft, an element of pikes is up to 1,200 people, which puts it at the bottom end of your hyperbole.

Your maths is wrong, and the DBA ground scale is now pretty close to the DBMM one. If you get the maths right, a game element of pike is about 28.6m deep. In DBMM a pike element is 22.9m deep.

I've read of people using figures to play out Lost Battles, so you'll have to troll about that game on some other grounds.

What are you using for the length of a "pace"? It might be specified in the latest v3.0. I haven't checked.

But using your depth of 28.6m, would imply each pikeman gets about about 1.3m x 1.3m of real space. That would be far more densely crowded elements than previous DBA editions have implied, so something smells fishy.

But even at that density there would be still approximately 21 ranks of pike per element.

Lydia
02-12-2012, 07:42 AM
What are you using for the length of a "pace"? It might be specified in the latest v3.0. I haven't checked.

But using your depth of 28.6m, would imply each pikeman gets about about 1.3m x 1.3m of real space. That would be far more densely crowded elements than previous DBA editions have implied, so something smells fishy.

But even at that density there would be still approximately 21 ranks of pike per element.

A Phil Barker pace is 2.5 feet - I think that's written in Horse Foot Guns.

The fishy smell is due to the discrepancies between the ground scale, troop scale, and movement distances in paces that have crept in between 2.2 and the various drafts of 3.0.

There is considerable abstraction in DBA, eg an LH unit fighting a unit in front could be in a Cantabrian circle, shooting. So a base is not necessarily full of troops: "Although each element is depicted as a rigid rectangular block, this does not imply that the troops it represents are necessarily in such a block or do not vary their position"

Ammianus
02-12-2012, 08:23 AM
Caveat: personal observations follow, NOT scientific evidence.

As ideas and pronouncements appear this weekend I've been tinkering with what I hear. Using the random terrain generation, the 3.0 move rates, no rear support for anyone, converting Pict SP to AX, making AX a three against mtd, and finally, allowing only the initial impetuous rush to pursue. Others results will vary as a I was playing against a less than stellar opponent (me).

ScotsIrish (finally) win over Picts, 6-2.
LIRW take Bavarians, 4-1, lack of rear support really handicapped the WBs
Marians survive fighting through a wooded choke point vs Gauls, 5-1.
Welsh & Sub Roman Brits go thru a grueling length slugfest, ending several turns with matching losses, until Welsh take it, 7 (incl GEN) -5.

Things were complicated by rolling the most Ones I ever remember (note to self: replace dice)

Personal observations: As a solo gamer I can live with the 3. terrain placement. Pict SP as AX? I can see the historical rationalization. The cat & I agree with Bob & dog over the rear support issue, I'm still a little concerned over the equality of WB & AX but waiting to be convinced. I like the curtailing of subsequent WB quick kills (vs BL, SP) once combat has moved from the charge into the slog. AX three vs horse? I'm willing in wither direction, awaiting further documentation.

Finally, any word on progress of 3.0 army lists? (I hate to ask)

Anyway, just some thoughts. I'm glad you more experienced folks are out there doing the heavy lifting for us; lots of food for thought in your postings.

michael guth
02-12-2012, 11:06 AM
Dear Dagun,

Lost Battles is the work of Phil Sabin, a professional military historian who designs and lectures on the use of conflict simulation for military training. Lost Battles is a boardgame, but it is also a book on battles of the Greek and Roman period, extensively documented and researched.
Professor Sabin is a member of the SOA and has also published extenisvely in the fan journal Slingshot.

So, Lost Battles can in fact be taken as evidence. The author is well respected in the field.

Mike Guth

Dangun
02-13-2012, 02:47 AM
A Phil Barker pace is 2.5 feet - I think that's written in Horse Foot Guns.

A Roman pace is about 1.5 meters - near 5 feet.
This question must have been asked before - but I can't find it in old threads.

Martyn
02-13-2012, 07:46 AM
A few thoughts on base depths.

AFAIK Phil always uses a pace to equal 2 feet (he does in DBM/M) when referring to ground scales.

This makes a base for a Heavy infantry element 250 x 93 ft (15mm scale)

It has always been understood that a base is not the foot print of the group of soldiers it represents. In other words, the area of the base is not completely covered by troops.
The figure scale in v3 is identified as 500-1200 men in 6-10 ranks for heavy inf. Even at 10 ranks that gives over 9 ft per rank

My understanding of supporting elements is not that they add to the push and shove of the combat, but they aid in the ability of the formation to keep organised and give a pool of reserves that can be fed into the front line to replace casualties/fatigued troops.
A formation of 6 ranks can easily benefit from additional supporting troops.

The difference in v3 from v2.2 is that the ground scale has altered. In v 2.2 a heavy inf base is 400 x 150 ft and represents 1000-1200 men in 6-8 ranks.

This would suggest that in v3 the element size is smaller both in the physical area it covers and also in the number of men it represents so support factors would be more likely to be valid rather than less.

Dangun
02-13-2012, 12:16 PM
The difference in v3 from v2.2 is that the ground scale has altered. In v 2.2 a heavy inf base is 400 x 150 ft and represents 1000-1200 men in 6-8 ranks.

I wonder why PB changed the scale, especially when it doesn't change the game much?