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Tim in Saskatoon
04-17-2012, 02:37 AM
Something came up in this evenings game... what am I missing here...?

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QbjK13grW2I/T40KIYQQJwI/AAAAAAAAQTo/FLI2NnHa-z0/s1600/DBA3TestAprilWelsh30.jpg
Welsh Cavalry General is in Norse Irish Auxilia's Threat Zone.

Can the Cavalry continue on in the direction it is pointing or must it turn and attack the Auxilia?

Under "Threat Zone" on page 9... "An Element (yadda-yadda) in an enemy TZ (blah-blah-blah), can only move: (a) to contact the front edge (etc), (b) to move straight towards or to become more lined up (something-something), or (c) only directly to it's own rear."

In this case it would seem it's "own rear" is facing the enemy as (a) and (b) require moving towards the enemy and (c) is towards it's own rear (which is towards the enemy) can it only move towards the enemy and not just gallop off...? Or am I a clueless twit and missing something painfully obvious here...? (personally I'd bet on the latter... but since I can't find it and some of the... er... gentlemen... I play with would probably find someway to use this to the advantage... somehow...? please clue me in!)

Bobgnar
04-17-2012, 10:48 AM
This is an excellent example of the case where an an element moves to put an enemy in its TZ. Most discussion is about an element moving into the enemy Threat Zone. An earlier version of this rule allowed the Zoned element to move forward out of the zone. Now that is gone.

If the element in the TZ is not to turn to face the enemy, then it must back up. In the example this seems possible, but weird. What if the Zoning element were more behind the enemy, so a back move would hit it? The zoned element in the picture shown could do as is done in 2.2. Turn to face and then back out of the Zone.

THREAT ZONE
The area 100 paces (1 BW) deep in front of an element (in which an enemy risks being suddenly charged or shot from close
range) or within 100 paces (1 BW) of any point of a camp or BUA is its Threat Zone (TZ). An element at the far edge of, in
or entering an enemy TZ with no part of another element in its path, can move only: (a) to contact the front edge or overlap
such a TZ-ing element (or contact that camp or BUA), (b) to move straight forward towards or to become more lined up and
parallel to it without contacting it, or (c) only directly to its own rear.

Pillager
04-17-2012, 02:31 PM
I see 3 choices:

(a) contact the front edge
(b) move ... to become more lined up
(c) only directly to it's own rear

broadsword
04-18-2012, 10:39 AM
A great way to infiltrate enemy ZoCs with LH: turn 180 degrees, and pass unscathed through the ZoC heading entirely backwards. It's a great maneuver.

Rong
04-19-2012, 10:28 AM
I see another alternative. Turn to face, then go Back and away from ZOC.:up

snowcat
04-19-2012, 11:05 AM
The Cv really should be allowed to continue on IMO.
Might be worth showing this one to Phil?

Redwilde
04-19-2012, 12:18 PM
The Cv really should be allowed to continue on IMO.
Might be worth showing this one to Phil?

I had a similar situation come up recently in a recent game of 2.2+. Sp unit moved up to zoc a Cav from behind. Technically legal, but feels very unclean. My preference for any version would be that any element zocked on rear corner(s) only by a slower element may continue moving forward on their original facing until clear of the ZOC.

The trick is how to preventatively smack cheesy payers upside the head with a croquet mallet to prevent them from doing wierd stuff by facing units backwards to avoid zocs .

Rich Gause
04-19-2012, 01:25 PM
I suspect that anything that could be written to ameliorate anything intuitively strange about a faster element being ZOC'd from the rear in circumstances that might make us think it should be allowed to continue straight forward would either be hidiously complex or else would open itself up to even greater cheesy abuses than anything in the current situation. I tend to think it works well enough as is with the Cv being required to turn to face then back up if he wants to continue on in the same direction. I feel a strange urge to make a pizza when I contemplate all the cheesiness possible if it were possible under certain circumstances for an element to ignore a ZOC on its rear.

broadsword
04-19-2012, 03:02 PM
...which is why I use the reverse LH charge to move through enemy foot ZoC... it makes him cover is lines properly. Of course the riding backwards across an enemy element's front feels pretty wrong, but I just think of it as forward riding while looking back over their shoulders!

snowcat
04-19-2012, 07:19 PM
I suspect that anything that could be written to ameliorate anything intuitively strange about a faster element being ZOC'd from the rear in circumstances that might make us think it should be allowed to continue straight forward would either be hidiously complex or else would open itself up to even greater cheesy abuses than anything in the current situation.

As Redwilde suggested, what about: "any element zocked on rear corner(s) only by a slower element may continue moving forward on their original facing until clear of the ZOC." How would that be susceptible to abuse?

I tend to think it works well enough as is with the Cv being required to turn to face then back up if he wants to continue on in the same direction.

Sounds ludicrous to me.

I feel a strange urge to make a pizza when I contemplate all the cheesiness possible if it were possible under certain circumstances for an element to ignore a ZOC on its rear.

Again, how is Redwilde's suggestion above open to abuse?

Cheers

Rich Gause
04-20-2012, 09:37 AM
Players who want to move faster opponents past slower ones will position elements so that they will only be ZOC'd on the rear and they will zip right past them. Cv and LH will be able to move from outside of ZOC to a position past a foot element where they will only be ZOC'd from the rear in one turn because of the fact that it is a turn based game where if it was a simultaneous move game they would many times not be able to. I also just don't like the unneeded complication of the mechanic. I think it assumes the element sees and knows everything the General sees and I think it fits in with the abstract nature of the game and the turn sequence better to have an element have to react to being ZOC'ed no matter where it is ZOC'd from. I heard DBA 3.0 origionally allowed straight ahead movement in a threat zone but they dropped it after some playtesting. I don't think they would have if there hadn't been problems with the idea that they discovered during playtesting. I haven't playtested it so I don't know for sure but at the very least it encourages elements to turn their rear towards the enemy which is kind of cheesy IMO.

Redwilde
04-20-2012, 09:59 AM
at the very least it encourages elements to turn their rear towards the enemy which is kind of cheesy IMO.

Sadly, many players will do what's technically legal, even if blatantly cheesy. Sad that sensible play can only be enforced with application of the yellow croquet mallet smiting upon the heads of offenders.

Pillager
04-20-2012, 01:04 PM
I see another alternative. Turn to face, then go Back and away from ZOC.:up

You realize that requires 2 PIPs? One move to face & become more lined up. A different move to back straight away.

Dunno why the "move straight ahead without contacting enemy" option is not part of this DBA revision.

broadsword
04-20-2012, 08:12 PM
Definition of cheesy move: a move an opponent uses to beat me, that I failed to anticipate, because it required a keen, attentive and observant eye, and I just want to bash lead: tactics be damned!:o

Ammianus
11-24-2013, 01:08 PM
Ok, I'll admit up front, I'm not so smart. I've read & reread the THREAT ZONE paragraph and this thread. I had a similar occasion this morning, LH sailed by enemy line, turned and place an enemy element in its TZ. That element is facing its opponent's main battle line. As I read all this it can either turn & engage the LH unit, or sit still. Since it's part of a large group advancing toward the main body of its enemy I would expect it to advance with them despite TZ.

IN this case, "Straight back" (away from the TZ) would mean head in your original facing.

Help. (I don't mind you hurting my feelings)

Dangun
11-24-2013, 08:49 PM
(c) only directly to its own rear.

The application of (c) "directly to its own rear" is a bit odd if it means that the ZOC'ed unit, in this case the cavalry could reverse into the auxilia.

But its also quite odd that a ZOC'ed element is allowed to remain facing away from the enemy. There would be a compelling survival instinct whispering "behind you!" to the element, causing it to turn and face its enemy.

Pillager
11-25-2013, 05:07 AM
Must be a new rev by now; what exactly do the TZ rules say?

Dangun
11-25-2013, 05:47 AM
The trick is how to preventatively smack cheesy payers upside the head with a croquet mallet to prevent them from doing wierd stuff by facing units backwards to avoid zocs .

You could add a rule that says at the end of the movement phase any elements which have been hit in the rear with a ZOC (and not already in another ZOC) have to turn and face the approaching enemy.

You might make exceptions for groups, and you might make exceptions for elements which are faster than their ZoC-er.

Doug
11-25-2013, 08:31 AM
early v3 playtests of 'moving straight forward' as a permissible move in a TZ identified a few problems. One was that then placing someone in a TZ from the side or rear was pretty useless. Secondly, it meant by judicious alignment you could march through a TZ at an angle, contact a different enemy, and then pivot to conform.

So while it looked good on paper, and had some benefits, too many downsides, so was scrapped.

Ammianus
11-25-2013, 10:10 AM
So would the enemy unit have to turn & face the LH in this example? (general consensus?) Or just keep going along with the main body towards the enemy army?

Bobgnar
11-25-2013, 12:44 PM
That is a good recollection of the discussions. However, that does beg the question. What is your view of the situation, how do you suggest to handle the example of an enemy being put into a TZ from behind or side?

The last rule I have seen is:
"The area 1 BW deep in front of any edge of a War Wagon or the front edge of any other element, or the area within 1 BW of any point of a camp, city or fort containing enemy is its Threat Zone (TZ). An element or group in, entering or touching the far edge of an enemy TZ can move only: (a) to advance to line up in contact with or towards such contact, or parallel opposite the front edge of 1 such element (or contact that camp, city or fort); or if a single element (b) straight back for the entire move, or (c) after combat; as an outcome move or to conform if still in contact. "

Notice the use of the term "to advance" in (a). This precludes any turning around thus the only option if any move at all is taken, to move straight back.



early v3 playtests of 'moving straight forward' as a permissible move in a TZ identified a few problems. One was that then placing someone in a TZ from the side or rear was pretty useless. Secondly, it meant by judicious alignment you could march through a TZ at an angle, contact a different enemy, and then pivot to conform.

So while it looked good on paper, and had some benefits, too many downsides, so was scrapped.

Ammianus
11-25-2013, 02:03 PM
Yes, eager to hear that answer.

Bobgnar
11-25-2013, 04:35 PM
I posted this question to the Helpers and the consensus so far is that that an element can advance in any direction, including turing to face the TZing element, and then advance. Advance front edge to the rear is legal.

Is that satisfactory?

Ammianus
11-25-2013, 04:42 PM
Thanks Bob, that's how I played it ...two KN s reversed direction to pursue their LH tormentors.

Doug
11-25-2013, 05:17 PM
the element either halts, turns to face, moves to contact or moves entirely backwards.

Ammianus
11-25-2013, 09:11 PM
Thanks Doug!

Dangun
11-26-2013, 09:09 AM
the element either halts, turns to face, moves to contact or moves entirely backwards.

So to be perfectly clear, in the situation below, the LH element can move out of a TZ (ZOC) in the direction of B, but NOT in the direction of A?

http://www.fanaticus.org/discussion/picture.php?albumid=135&pictureid=1286

Doug
11-26-2013, 09:43 AM
So to be perfectly clear, in the situation below, the LH element can move out of a TZ (ZOC) in the direction of B, but NOT in the direction of A?

http://www.fanaticus.org/discussion/picture.php?albumid=135&pictureid=1286

yes.

the move is entirely back. if you want a post facto explanation, then if it make you feel better, the LH isn't comfortable advancing with a unit positioned to hit it from the rear, so falls back. There are some very good examples historically (ECW & ACW spring to mind) of units being like skittish virgins, any close approach to their flanks or rear would cause a precipitate retirement.

david kuijt
11-26-2013, 10:02 AM
So to be perfectly clear, in the situation below, the LH element can move out of a TZ (ZOC) in the direction of B, but NOT in the direction of A?

http://www.fanaticus.org/discussion/picture.php?albumid=135&pictureid=1286

Note that Doug's answer isn't a new thing in 3.0 -- in 2.2 the LH was under exactly the same constraint (it could move in direction B, but not in direction A).

Ammianus
11-26-2013, 11:11 AM
Many thanks to all. Useful maneuver.

thethreefates
11-26-2013, 11:17 AM
Sadly, many players will do what's technically legal, even if blatantly cheesy. Sad that sensible play can only be enforced with application of the yellow croquet mallet smiting upon the heads of offenders.

I am with RedWilde on this one. I know it follows the rules of the game, but on an actual battlefield, what self respecting horseman would ride backwards towards an enemy foot spear unit (option B) as opposed to just continuing in his path forward to outpace the poky foot soldiers? (option A)

If there was one thing I would change about DBA, it would probably be how units move out of ZOC. I'm suprised that that has not been changed in 3.0 given all the other more mundane issues they felt the need to take on.

Ammianus
11-26-2013, 11:52 AM
In my example, on both flanks, I had an LH move & "exert" a TZ on a KN.
I debated between a continued advance or turning and engaging. Thinking that Gothic "knights" were pretty hot headed, I had them charge the two LIRW LH's. Bad choice, for the first time ever my ROman LH's actually stepped up & scored 2 QQKs. I doubt I'll ever see that again!

Rich Gause
11-26-2013, 12:29 PM
I am with RedWilde on this one. I know it follows the rules of the game, but on an actual battlefield, what self respecting horseman would ride backwards towards an enemy foot spear unit (option B) as opposed to just continuing in his path forward to outpace the poky foot soldiers? (option A)

If there was one thing I would change about DBA, it would probably be how units move out of ZOC. I'm suprised that that has not been changed in 3.0 given all the other more mundane issues they felt the need to take on.

Having a game where players take turns is what produces situations like this. The ZOC rules and the restrictions they produce that seem unrealistic are needed because the game is broken down into bounds where only one player is moving his elements. This makes for a better game IMO than having written orders and simultaneous movement. Allowing units to move straight ahead regardless of ZOC was playtested and doesn't work. If the LH player didn't want to be inconvenienced by the Sp players ZOC he should have moved somewhere in his turn where it was impossible for the Sp player to ZOC him.

Thomas J. Thomas
11-26-2013, 12:35 PM
I am with RedWilde on this one. I know it follows the rules of the game, but on an actual battlefield, what self respecting horseman would ride backwards towards an enemy foot spear unit (option B) as opposed to just continuing in his path forward to outpace the poky foot soldiers? (option A)

If there was one thing I would change about DBA, it would probably be how units move out of ZOC. I'm suprised that that has not been changed in 3.0 given all the other more mundane issues they felt the need to take on.

Threat Zones have worked this way since the dawn of DBX and to have changed it would have been a radical departure from prior editions. We have already gotten a lot of flak for fixing other stuff not because the fix is bad but just due simply to inertia.

I believe DBMM allows some form of movement through a TZ and we experiemented with this concept as Doug has reported. We could not find a simple rule to allow such a move that could not then be abused. Given that DBA is supposed to be a simple as possible we went with the 90% solution. One finds that 90% of a complex rule tends to deal with the last 10% of the problem (to say nothing of the untended consequences of ever more elaborate rules - it becomes a game of wack a mole as new problems crop up and more complex rules are drafted to combat them only to spawn new moles).

The rules panel got stuck with me a playability guy who likes robust player proof rules. I had just come out of the DBMM development process which I had dubbed the mad scientist version of DBX. Every problem no matter how slight got a paragraph of rules and then another paragraph to fix the problems generated by the prior extra paragraph. Consequently I was obsessed with the simpliest solution to every problem.

So in this case we are just stuck with troops automatically reacting to enemy in their rear by either falling back or turning to fact the threat. Perhaps we should have limited TZ's effect to front corners only.

Now that we are no longer playtesting the World According to Phil, we can get back to experimental rules and this might be a good one...(Currently neck deep in trying to bring HOTT up to 3.0 standards...)

TomT

timurilank
11-26-2013, 01:18 PM
Now that we are no longer playtesting the World According to Phil, we can get back to experimental rules and this might be a good one...(Currently neck deep in trying to bring HOTT up to 3.0 standards...) TomT

Hey, I like the sound of that. :up

thethreefates
11-26-2013, 01:21 PM
I've never playtested it, but it seems like having a unit that is in ZOC turn to face the unit that has it in ZOC and then move straight back would be a more sensible approach. I'm sure there would be bugs that would need to be worked out, but it would eliminate walking backwards after having made it 90% across the front of someone. It would definitely change the dynamic of the game though.

Bobgnar
11-26-2013, 02:39 PM
snip
...(Currently neck deep in trying to bring HOTT up to 3.0 standards...)

TomT

I hope that is clear, clean water that you are neck deep in because according to Phil, you will not be getting out of it any time soon :)

Dangun
11-26-2013, 08:16 PM
Note that Doug's answer isn't a new thing in 3.0 -- in 2.2 the LH was under exactly the same constraint (it could move in direction B, but not in direction A).

Sure. I thought a diagram might help get everyone on to the same page as to what the rule meant, so that any dicussion as to whether the rule was any good, could proceed from a common starting point.

If the LH player didn't want to be inconvenienced by the Sp players ZOC he should have moved somewhere in his turn where it was impossible for the Sp player to ZOC him.

Its not the fact that the LH is inconvenienced that looks odd, it is the type of inconvenience (reversing towards the enemy) that seems very odd.
Why not make the LH turn to face at the end of the Sp's movement phase? It would seem more natural.

Doug
11-26-2013, 10:51 PM
As this thread is specifically for DBA3, can we please use the appropriate terminology of Threat Zone or TZ?

ZOC has never existed officially in DBA, and was simply adopted by some groups of players. Others referred to being 'Barkered' or 'Zotted'.

Bobgnar
11-26-2013, 11:28 PM
Good point by Doug, as usual :), there are too many jargon terms being used by experienced folks that are, might be, confusing to new comers. ZOC for sure, especially now it is explicitly not useful. But I cringe at Soft Flank, and Hard Rear. And Slow Kill, or is it Hard Kill (HK) when it is really, Destroyed if Beaten (DIB). By the way, we now have Destroyed if Tied (DIT). Do we need, Recoiled if Tied (RIT)?

Sure, do not let my small plea influence the die hard olders, If you liked what you used in the past, you can keep it, period.

As this thread is specifically for DBA3, can we please use the appropriate terminology of Threat Zone or TZ?

ZOC has never existed officially in DBA, and was simply adopted by some groups of players. Others referred to being 'Barkered' or 'Zotted'.

David Schlanger
11-27-2013, 12:41 AM
...wait for it....
ZOC

...and again...
ZOC

...one more time...
ZOC


DS

Doug
11-27-2013, 01:14 AM
...wait for it....
ZOC

...and again...
ZOC

...one more time...
ZOC


DS

Pretty low I would say. As I pointed out, it's a term used by those who played boardgames. Certainly not in use in my group where we used to refer to it as ZOD. And it certainly has never been in any version of DBA. Is this one of those kick sand in your face sort of things, so next I wander over to the 2.2+ board and post 300 posts saying TZ? You guys really need to grow up.

David Schlanger
11-27-2013, 01:26 AM
You need to learn to joke a bit Doug... just relax a little.

DS

Africanus
11-27-2013, 08:28 AM
Pretty low I would say. As I pointed out, it's a term used by those who played boardgames. Certainly not in use in my group where we used to refer to it as ZOD. And it certainly has never been in any version of DBA. Is this one of those kick sand in your face sort of things, so next I wander over to the 2.2+ board and post 300 posts saying TZ? You guys really need to grow up.

Pathetic!
...And the divide widens.
Disheartening for those who just want to play with toy soldiers!

thethreefates
11-27-2013, 09:28 AM
Is TZ the same as ZOC or is there a difference?

David Schlanger
11-27-2013, 10:23 AM
Is TZ the same as ZOC or is there a difference?

ZOC is used by many players to describe the base width distance in front of an enemy element in 2.2 and previous versions of DBA.

TZ is in the 3.0 rules and explicitly called out that way. The rule mechanism for 3.0 is different from the rule mechanism in 2.2. But the guiding intellectual philosophy behind the rule are the same or at least similar.


So, for the last decade Bob has been campaigning for the elimination of terms like "ZOC" and "Quick Kill" from public use, since they are not explicitly presented in the DBA rules. Kind of like trying to hold back the tide... the terms are harmless.

DS

lkmjbc
11-27-2013, 10:55 AM
Pathetic!
...And the divide widens.
Disheartening for those who just want to play with toy soldiers!

Feelings are raw on this.

Imagine that.

Joe Collins

Doug
11-27-2013, 11:03 AM
It says it on the top of the page.. the name for the thread is DBA3. So why not just use the term used in the DBA3 rules?

Seriously, why even bother commenting on a DBA3 thread.. DS has made it clear he doesn't like the rules, hasn't seen the rules, doesn't play it, is doing everything possible to ensure it doesn't replace 2.2(-) - so why comment here other than to be destructive and critical?

Dangun asked a question about DBA3.. why should anyone other than the people who are playing DBA3 bother to answer?

I know, I can go over to the 2.2+ thread and tell them how to play the game they made up. How useful would that be?

Ammianus
11-27-2013, 11:04 AM
AS long as we don't fall into the "buttocks of death" discussion!

Martyn
11-27-2013, 11:37 AM
AS long as we don't fall into the "buttocks of death" discussion!

or 'elbows of death'

thethreefates
11-27-2013, 01:55 PM
I'm not here to pick a fight or anything, but we were having a good convo and discussing legitimate questions, even if the term ZOC was used instead of TZ. I'm pretty sure everyone knows what ZOC is, so I don't see a benefit to disrupting the thread flow to voice displeasure at the term ZOC. It is an argument over semantics that did not need to rear its ugly head, even if the 3.0 rules do say TZ.

peleset
11-27-2013, 06:31 PM
Pedants. I've always wanted to use that word in a conversation.

Dangun
11-27-2013, 08:24 PM
Dangun asked a question about DBA3.

I did, and I confess that I used ZOC in one post and then TZ in the next.

But putting matters of Newspeak aside, I was more curious as to why letting an element reverse towards a TZ-er (ZOC-er) was preferable/less cheesy to either allowing the element to run away from the TZ-er (ZOC-er) or forcing him to turn and face the element TZ-ing (ZOC-ing) him from behind.

Martyn
11-28-2013, 02:16 PM
As has been pointed out earlier the problem exists in v2.2 and v3.

The way I look at this is that it is a drawback of the basic philosophy of DBA. The rules are written to be a simple gaming system, as such you cannot cover all alternatives. Look at breaking off, in v2.2 everyone could do it, in v3 nobody can. It is simpler to have a blanket yes, you can or no, you can’t than to have rules to cover all possible combinations of element types and circumstance.

The same is true for ZoC/TZ, it might feel better to allow the Lh element in the examples to ride off into the sunset but how do you write a rule to convey that without losing the simplicity due to all the conditions that will have to be added to avoid the ZoC/TZ becoming a complete irrelevance. I don’t think anyone is particularly happy with this position but it is better than the alternatives and in all the years of the rule I don’t know of anyone who has successfully rewritten it.

Bobgnar
11-28-2013, 03:24 PM
All good points by Martyn. Moreover in all the years that I've been playing this game, 15 or 16, I've actually never seen anybody back through the threat zone as it's now called, the area in front of the enemy is it used to be called. We can talk about how that's possible and how cheesy is but for the most part it isn't done.

As has been pointed out earlier the problem exists in v2.2 and v3.

The way I look at this is that it is a drawback of the basic philosophy of DBA. The rules are written to be a simple gaming system, as such you cannot cover all alternatives. Look at breaking off, in v2.2 everyone could do it, in v3 nobody can. It is simpler to have a blanket yes, you can or no, you can’t than to have rules to cover all possible combinations of element types and circumstance.

The same is true for ZoC/TZ, it might feel better to allow the Lh element in the examples to ride off into the sunset but how do you write a rule to convey that without losing the simplicity due to all the conditions that will have to be added to avoid the ZoC/TZ becoming a complete irrelevance. I don’t think anyone is particularly happy with this position but it is better than the alternatives and in all the years of the rule I don’t know of anyone who has successfully rewritten it.

Pillager
11-28-2013, 05:56 PM
You can only "back out" of a TZ if doing so would not cause you to contact the enemy TZing you.

So the enemy who desires to pin you needs to position himself appropriately behind you.

OTOH if the enemy TZs you from ~90 degrees to your flank, THEN you can back out. Which seems reasonable to me.

But you cannot race through the TZ going forwards. If you want to do this, make it cost an extra PIP. But that complicates the game.

Dangun
11-28-2013, 11:16 PM
It is simpler to have a blanket yes, you can or no, you can’t than to have rules to cover all possible combinations of element types and circumstance.

I like simple, and for DBA 'simple is best' is an appropriate maxim.

But its always a matter of taste and balance.
We could obviously make this rule even simpler.
The rule could be that there is no exiting a ZOC at all, and the ZOC-ed elements only option is to line up or contact its ZOC-er.

I am not sure whether that's a better rule - you could argue that its more historical for heavy foot at least (not Ps, LH or Cv), but rules choices have been made whether actively or passively.

Martyn
11-29-2013, 05:16 AM
I like simple, and for DBA 'simple is best' is an appropriate maxim.

But its always a matter of taste and balance.
We could obviously make it this rule even simpler.
The rule could be that there is no exiting a ZOC at all, and the ZOC-ed elements only option is to line up or contact its ZOC-er.

I am not sure whether that's a better rule - you could argue that its more historical for heavy foot at least (not Ps, LH or Cv), but rules choices have been made whether actively or passively.

Interestingly this is what v1 had, there was no option to move backwards.

Presumably the addition of the rearward movement was added in a later iteration and seen as an improvement at that time.

Polybius
11-29-2013, 11:15 AM
I have been following this thread with some interest.

Surely the solution is blindingly obvious.



I don’t think anyone is particularly happy with this position but it is better than the alternatives and in all the years of the rule I don’t know of anyone who has successfully rewritten it.

Try this:-

The Threat Zone rule on page 9 says “or if a single element (b) straight back for the entire move”, and this rule works fine if you are facing the TZing element, but becomes ridiculous when the TZ hits the flank or rear of an element.

So change it to read “or if a single element (b) first turn to face the TZing element then directly straight back for the entire move”.

This costs just 1 PIP, because when making a tactical move you can go in any direction with any facing – although in this case, the facing and direction is restricted.

Simple, ain’t it.

And if anyone is worried that this change may have any unforeseen consequences, it is still a damn sight better than having elements doing Michael Jackson “moonwalks” backwards across the front of enemy elements!

I am really appalled that after several years of discussion, with over thirty experienced people on the development team, and masses of play-testing, that the totally idiotic method of moving backwards across or even towards the TZing element is deemed to be the ‘best solution’.
You should all be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves.

DBA3.0 has the potential to be a great set of rules. But sloppy rule writing like this is unforgiveable.

Ammianus
11-29-2013, 11:48 AM
Well, well, Polybius, this should prove interesting.

Menacus Secundus
11-29-2013, 01:17 PM
That is quite a first post, Polybius. I like your suggestion and would like to see it adopted.

Menacus S

Bobgnar
11-29-2013, 04:05 PM
Good ideas Polybius, but hardly new. Notice the first few responses to the original posting. These all said there should be a turn around and back out of the zone. This was shown to Phil back in April 2012 but he preferred to keep it as it is, don't blame the 30.

Polybius
11-29-2013, 04:56 PM
Good ideas Polybius, but hardly new. Notice the first few responses to the original posting. These all said there should be a turn around and back out of the zone. This was shown to Phil back in April 2012 but he preferred to keep it as it is, don't blame the 30.

Are you saying that everybody who has ever play-tested DBA3.0 can see that the backing out of a threat zone by crossing the front of an enemy element (and sometimes even moving backwards towards the threat zoning element) is illogical, unrealistic, and is just plain wrong?

And that the team of 30 also knows that it is illogical, unrealistic, and is just plain wrong, but didn’t have the guts to stand up to Phil Barker, who seems to think that everything is perfect just as it is?

Well, all I can say is be prepared for yet another split in the DBA community for when someone (not me) eventually posts a version called DBA3.0+, which corrects all the current mistakes and errors.

This is a shame. DBA3.0 has far too much good stuff in it to let a simple flaw like this ruin it – especially a flaw that is so easy to fix. I think that turning before backing out of a threat zone will become the number one house rule most players will adopt, in spite of what the author thinks.

Bobgnar
11-29-2013, 06:58 PM
I am saying that Phil makes the final decisions.

Are you saying that everybody who has ever play-tested DBA3.0 can see that the backing out of a threat zone by crossing the front of an enemy element (and sometimes even moving backwards towards the threat zoning element) is illogical, unrealistic, and is just plain wrong?

And that the team of 30 also knows that it is illogical, unrealistic, and is just plain wrong, but didn’t have the guts to stand up to Phil Barker, who seems to think that everything is perfect just as it is?

Well, all I can say is be prepared for yet another split in the DBA community for when someone (not me) eventually posts a version called DBA3.0+, which corrects all the current mistakes and errors.

This is a shame. DBA3.0 has far too much good stuff in it to let a simple flaw like this ruin it – especially a flaw that is so easy to fix. I think that turning before backing out of a threat zone will become the number one house rule most players will adopt, in spite of what the author thinks.

lkmjbc
11-29-2013, 08:17 PM
Are you saying that everybody who has ever play-tested DBA3.0 can see that the backing out of a threat zone by crossing the front of an enemy element (and

This is a shame. DBA3.0 has far too much good stuff in it to let a simple flaw like this ruin it – especially a flaw that is so easy to fix. I think that turning before backing out of a threat zone will become the number one house rule most players will adopt, in spite of what the author thinks.

Perhaps this isn't the issue you think it is...

This move was legal in 2.2. I've never seen it. I've played a game or two.

The move limited in 3. It must be the element's entire move. This means my opponent must move and turn his rear at an angle that would cross my TZ to his advantage in a following turn.

I've never seen it in all my play tests of 3... ever. I've played a game or two.

So, we have an almost mythical problem causing great consternation.

I rate this along with those who claimed they found the killer cheese that exposed 3 as fatally flawed.

I await illumination.

The funny thing is that there is real cheese move in 3. None of the critics have found it. None.

My group found it.

But then again...

I've played a game or two.

Joe Collins

Ammianus
11-29-2013, 09:10 PM
I'll try to be more careful about posting questions in future.

broadsword
11-29-2013, 10:07 PM
Funny, but didn't Parthian Light Horse actually fight looking back over their shoulders? I mean looking at a Parthian horseman delivering a Parthian Shot, it really seems like there are two front edges to the element!

Reversing through ZoC is not a big deal for Light Horse - and frankly, the downside risk is that you aren't using your own ZoC to full affect against the enemy.

That said, it's a cool if rare move. Kind of like a Parthian Shot at full gallop?

Doug
11-29-2013, 10:24 PM
I have been following this thread with some interest.

Surely the solution is blindingly obvious.
Try this:-

The Threat Zone rule on page 9 says “or if a single element (b) straight back for the entire move”, and this rule works fine if you are facing the TZing element, but becomes ridiculous when the TZ hits the flank or rear of an element.

So change it to read “or if a single element (b) first turn to face the TZing element then directly straight back for the entire move”.

This costs just 1 PIP, because when making a tactical move you can go in any direction with any facing – although in this case, the facing and direction is restricted.

Simple, ain’t it.

And if anyone is worried that this change may have any unforeseen consequences, it is still a damn sight better than having elements doing Michael Jackson “moonwalks” backwards across the front of enemy elements!

I am really appalled that after several years of discussion, with over thirty experienced people on the development team, and masses of play-testing, that the totally idiotic method of moving backwards across or even towards the TZing element is deemed to be the ‘best solution’.
You should all be thoroughly ashamed of yourselves.

DBA3.0 has the potential to be a great set of rules. But sloppy rule writing like this is unforgiveable.

allowing your opponent to force an element to change direction wasn't thought to be a great solution.

Polybius
11-29-2013, 11:59 PM
Reversing through ZoC is not a big deal for Light Horse - and frankly, the downside risk is that you aren't using your own ZoC to full affect against the enemy.

That said, it's a cool if rare move. Kind of like a Parthian Shot at full gallop?

Yes, but it does look ‘odd’ when outflanked Roman Legionaries, Greek Hoplites, and Macedonian Pike Phalanxes do it.

Polybius
11-30-2013, 12:07 AM
allowing your opponent to force an element to change direction wasn't thought to be a great solution.


And this is?


http://www.fanaticus.org/discussion/picture.php?albumid=149&pictureid=1288


Did ancient troops have a command “Turn 180 degrees” but not “Left Turn”?
Even the simple word “Run” would convey the right meaning when the enemy is threatening to charge your unshielded flank!

Polybius
11-30-2013, 12:10 AM
Perhaps this isn't the issue you think it is...

I've never seen it in all my play tests of 3... ever. I've played a game or two.

But then again...

I've played a game or two.

Joe Collins


Never?
Have you never outflanked an enemy, or been outflanked yourself?
Have you never had a fleeing element pinned from behind by an enemy TZ?
Perhaps you should play against better opponents. ;)

The fact is this; the current backing-out of a TZ rule is stupid, and we all know this (and attempts to ignore it, or saying that it never happens, cuts no ice with us players who can see it with our own eyes on the table).

Can it be fixed? Easily, as I and others have shown (although I cannot understand why this has not already been done. Stubbornness? A reluctance to accept new ideas that the author did not think of himself? Seems a mystery to me).

Is the game fatally flawed because of it? Of course not! DBA3.0 is still a great game, far better than any of its rivals. If you do find yourself “moonwalking” backwards across an enemy front line, you have two choices: play by the rules as they are, or use your own common sense and introduce a house rule making it compulsory to turn to face before backing out of a TZ (the truth is, if the author won’t fix a broken rule, then we players will do it for ourselves).

broadsword
11-30-2013, 01:19 AM
Did it occur to you that possibly the reason it hasn't been "fixed' is that it isn't actually broken? If you think it is, go out and win a boatload of tournaments doing it, as Arnopov proposes to do with his 5 El armies. If you don't end up winning a bunch of games with it, it's probably not worth the additional complexities, because it sin't breaking the game.

Phil has the right to say "this far and no further". It's his game. He has done this a great many times. None of us have everything we want in the game. If you look hard enough though, you may find you have what you need.

House rule away what you need to. Don't expect everyone to jump on board with them.

Unless both (a) and (b) hold:
(a) what you're proposing to fix is indeed broken in the game, or for that matter a clear self-contradiction, as opposed to just weird to look at. (By the way, the invisible gridlines that magically appear when everyone wants to melee look just as idiotic at some level...)
(b) your proposed fix doesn't end up breaking something else, that then needs fixing, etc, etc...

I also found it jarring, but it has never been an issue in any of the 2.2+ tournaments I've been in. I've thought about doing it, but if I have a single LH, I have the movement to charge around his flank and hit his camp, so why would I care? If I have more than one, a group move with an extended line gives me far more bang for my buck.

I've never seen a game where someone needs to do that with their HI. If you ever play someone really good, you're going to need all your PIPs just to keep your line in one piece!

Doug
11-30-2013, 01:26 AM
And this is?


http://www.fanaticus.org/discussion/picture.php?albumid=149&pictureid=1288


Did ancient troops have a command “Turn 180 degrees” but not “Left Turn”?
Even the simple word “Run” would convey the right meaning when the enemy is threatening to charge your unshielded flank!

Being in a TZ is supposed to be a bad thing, Phil's view was that the close proximity of the enemy limited movement options. The playtesters tried out a couple of solutions, and in case the 'cure' was worse than the disease.

And to take your last comment... 'Run' and they would likely keep running. It is very much easier to about turn than to left turn, as file closers, leaders etc would be out of position.

Polybius
11-30-2013, 09:53 AM
Did it occur to you that possibly the reason it hasn't been "fixed' is that it isn't actually broken? If you think it is, go out and win a boatload of tournaments doing it, as Arnopov proposes to do with his 5 El armies. If you don't end up winning a bunch of games with it, it's probably not worth the additional complexities, because it sin't breaking the game.

I think we are taking cross purposes here. No-one is claiming that backing out of a TZ can somehow give a tournament player some sort of game winning super tactic. Not all players are tournament players you know. Some of us just play ancient wargames to get the feel of commanding an ancient battle. In a way, tournament players have an advantage. Providing both sides play by the same rules, no matter how daft they are, they will still have their victories and defeats. Historical players are a bit more finicky – they want the rules to simulate what happened in reality.
It is in this context that the backing out of TZ’s is ‘broken’.

Although it has been mentioned before, let’s see if I can illustrate why with the following diagram.
Three red elements (be they mounted, heavy infantry, skirmishers, whatever) are in enemy threat zones.

http://www.fanaticus.org/discussion/picture.php?albumid=149&pictureid=1289

Element A is facing the TZing enemy, and the rule on page 9 says it can only leave the TZ by moving straight back. This works fine, and is just what real units have done throughout history; backing away while facing the threat.

Element B however has a threat zone to its rear, and the rule says it can only leave the TZ by moving straight back. This results in the ridiculous situation where instead of putting distance between itself and the enemy, it actually ends up closer – and with its back to the enemy!
Now be honest: do you really think that is how real military units would behave in reality? Would someone like to give me an example of this idiotic manoeuvre being used in some historical battle? Isn’t it obvious that the simple “straight back” rule does not cover this situation, and what should happen is they turn to face the threat (the clue is in the name – they’re in a Threat Zone) and then move straight back? Or do they lack the intelligence to face the enemy and marching backwards towards them with their unprotected backs is a safer option?

Element C is similar to B but this time the TZ is hitting them on the flank. “Right” says the Centurion, “we’re too exposed here. We need to move to a safer position. About turn everybody”. “But sir” says a lowly legionary, “wouldn’t moving to our left and away from the threat be more sensible?”
“Don’t be daft son” the Centurion replies, “I was born facing east, I’ve moved all through my life facing east, and I ain’t gonna change direction now just because my life depends upon it. March!”

Surely you can see that elements B & C should in reality first turn to face the threat, and then move straight back out of the threat zone if they want to put some distance between themselves and the potential threat.
Or has common sense been lost over the centuries?

Doug
11-30-2013, 11:05 AM
You can turn to face in cases B & C. But you can't both turn to face and retire. If you get enemy to flank or rear it is supposed to be bad. This works to do that, as you can't simply zip away when you have the enemy catching you at a disadvantage. You've been outmanoeuvred and you have to take the consequences.

david kuijt
11-30-2013, 12:00 PM
If an element is completely behind you (behind the line extended from your rear edge, as with the "can't attack the rear" rule in HotT), you can't back up into (or when in) its ZOC. Easy peasy.

broadsword
11-30-2013, 02:33 PM
Diagram B presents a stupid option indeed, so why do it? All you need to do is about face, and you force him to spend a PIP to come and hit you front on. If he doesn't, you back away in your next bound? This is a case where you seem to be demanding that Phil write in a rule to prevent you doing something daft. In B he has ambushed you, and if those are HI, you've managed to pull off something pretty damned daft!

Diagram C is really the only interesting one here. Since the entire game is a colossal abstraction of reality, you might interpret the back-up move as the cancellation of the order to advance - simple, elegant, no need for more rules.

You simply cannot take positions of elements completely literally in the game. Funny, bow range is 20% of the depth of the battlefield, and that doesn't seem wrong to you?

Polybius
11-30-2013, 03:33 PM
You can turn to face in cases B & C. But you can't both turn to face and retire. If you get enemy to flank or rear it is supposed to be bad.

Yes, what you say does begin at last to make some sort of sense. Being threatened on the flank or rear should have severe consequences (although some would wonder why fast moving Cv or LH threatened in the rear by slow moving Bd/Pk/Sp can’t simply keep going straight forwards and outdistance their more pedestrian opponents, but this could be accounted for by confusion and hesitation in battlefield conditions).

This works to do that, as you can't simply zip away when you have the enemy catching you at a disadvantage. You've been outmanoeuvred and you have to take the consequences.

Here you are mistaken. Yes you can. But the final decision by the learned committee of 31 was to have a totally unrealistic reverse gear (like an articulated lorry backing up “Warning, element reversing!”) right across the front of an enemy battle line (“Don’t worry lads, they can’t charge our flank, because it’s our turn to move”) instead of a more realistic and natural turn to face the threat before backing out of the TZ.
Either way, the element can zip away, potentially avoiding being caught at a disadvantage.

In fact, turning to face before backing up is not only more realistic, it is also a harsher punishment.
You may be able to force the enemy towards more unfavourable positions and locations, or away from certain areas, or cramp them into a disorderly formation, just as was sometimes done in real battles. Of course, they always have the option to move to contact instead of backing off.

All those years of debate, discussion and play testing, and the best the committee could come up with is an unrealistic, ugly, and sloppily written rule just as broken as in earlier versions of DBA.

Anyway, all this is pretty academic because it is never going to be changed (not officially anyway).
We will just have to do it for ourselves.

Polybius
11-30-2013, 03:47 PM
If an element is completely behind you (behind the line extended from your rear edge, as with the "can't attack the rear" rule in HotT), you can't back up into (or when in) its ZOC. Easy peasy.

Sorry but I am unfamiliar with HOTT.
Would this prevent elements reversing out of a TZ by moving right across the front of an enemy battle line?

Pillager
11-30-2013, 04:27 PM
The following is NOT LEGAL:
1. spend your PIP
2. turn 180 degrees
3. enter enemy TZ moving backwards
4. Continue to move inside or through the TZ.

The rule says that moving backwards in a TZ must be for YOUR ENTIRE MOVE.

THIS IS LEGAL:
1.spend a PIP
2. turn 180 degrees and move to just outside enemy TZ
3. wait until it is your turn again
4. spend a PIP
5. move thru the TZ

Polybius
11-30-2013, 05:25 PM
Diagram B presents a stupid option indeed, so why do it? All you need to do is about face, and you force him to spend a PIP to come and hit you front on. If he doesn't, you back away in your next bound? This is a case where you seem to be demanding that Phil write in a rule to prevent you doing something daft. In B he has ambushed you, and if those are HI, you've managed to pull off something pretty damned daft!

You are right. Element B is unlikely to bother backing up towards the TZing enemy, unless there is a dire need for a bit more space. But imagine if you will that it is at a slight angle.

Take a look at the picture originally post by Tim_in_Saskatoon (nice painting and basing by the way):-

http://www.fanaticus.org/discussion/picture.php?albumid=149&pictureid=1290

Which is more realistic and natural: having the mounted element moving straight back to end up on the far left behind (but not quite facing) the foot element’s flank, or having them turn to face first before deciding whether to close in or back out of the threat zone?

If as Doug posted the idea is to prevent simply zipping away when you have the enemy catching you at a disadvantage, then the latter is both harsher as well as being more realistic.


Diagram C is really the only interesting one here. Since the entire game is a colossal abstraction of reality, you might interpret the back-up move as the cancellation of the order to advance - simple, elegant, no need for more rules.?

Or you might interpret the back-up move for what it really is; a badly written artificial rule that bares no relation to how actual formations would react in real battlefield conditions. And who is talking about new rules? All that is needed is to add a few words to an existing rule to make it more realistic and fix something that is obviously broken.

You simply cannot take positions of elements completely literally in the game. Funny, bow range is 20% of the depth of the battlefield, and that doesn't seem wrong to you?

You have just answered your own question. If you cannot take the positions of elements completely literally in the game, then the bow distance of 3 BW is probably a combination of a bow range of say 2 BW with another BW added on to represent their scattered dispersed formation. ;)
Anyway, it all depends on the scale.
Is 12 elements an army of 4 legions or does it represent a single legion?

Polybius
11-30-2013, 06:11 PM
The following is NOT LEGAL:
1. spend your PIP
2. turn 180 degrees
3. enter enemy TZ moving backwards
4. Continue to move inside or through the TZ.

The rule says that moving backwards in a TZ must be for YOUR ENTIRE MOVE.

THIS IS LEGAL:
1.spend a PIP
2. turn 180 degrees and move to just outside enemy TZ
3. wait until it is your turn again
4. spend a PIP
5. move thru the TZ

I only have the 1st of October draft of DBA3.0.

Now I grant you that a turn of 90 or 180 degrees may be necessary if the element is not already facing the Threat Zoning enemy and wants to line up or advance to contact, but I don’t understand the following:-

Where does it say you have to stop just outside the enemy TZ?
All it says is “or if a single element (b) straight back for the entire move”.
If your element can move 4 BW, what is to stop you backing-up a full 4 BW or even less if you want?

And why can you not enter and pass through several enemy TZ’s when moving backwards? The rule says “An element or group in, entering or touching the far edge of an enemy TZ can move only:....”
So you move straight backwards in one TZ, enter another and move straight backwards through that into another, and another, and so on until you reach your movement limit.

Or am I misunderstanding something?

Doug
11-30-2013, 07:37 PM
Polybius I think you misunderstand the dynamic of the development process.

The playtesters read, play, discuss and suggest. At the end of the day, Phil would release another version for testing, and sometimes the changes would be incorporated, sometimes not, sometimes it would be later drafts that incorporated changes that were suggested months before, sometimes it would be thing he had come up with independently, or had been discussing with someone else entirely.

The most important point is that it was not a democratic process. It was more like a bunch of advisers to an absolute monarch.

Do I agree with everything in it? No, but I am not unhappy with it, and I can understand why it is what it is. In any case, it would not be unusual for Phil to have stored up some suggestions from a year ago that find their way into the published version.

broadsword
11-30-2013, 09:34 PM
The backing up example in Tim's picture is a radically different case than your diagram B indeed. Tim's picture shows the TZing element is not fully behind, and is flanking at some distance. If it appraoched in such a way as to "cut off" the enemy indeed it would be trapped. I think allowing it to back up forces you to fully commit to getting behind it. Sorry, I see it is a cancelled order, or an elegant abstraction of a reaction move. Nothing more.

Of all the things to consider houseruling, this one is pretty thin... But for historical playthroughs in your own house, house rule away! Heck while you're at it, sort out the Auxilia Solid and the Longbow. And maybe bow range, and the jet-propelled, easy-to-trap-with-HI Psiloi...

Because if these don't bother you, why would this quirk?

Don't forget, if you're seaching for the perfect ancients game with about 10 pages of rules, you can stop looking. You ain't gonna find it.

Polybius
12-01-2013, 06:13 AM
Polybius I think you misunderstand the dynamic of the development process.

The playtesters read, play, discuss and suggest. At the end of the day, Phil would release another version for testing, and sometimes the changes would be incorporated, sometimes not, sometimes it would be later drafts that incorporated changes that were suggested months before, sometimes it would be thing he had come up with independently, or had been discussing with someone else entirely.

The most important point is that it was not a democratic process. It was more like a bunch of advisers to an absolute monarch.

Do I agree with everything in it? No, but I am not unhappy with it, and I can understand why it is what it is. In any case, it would not be unusual for Phil to have stored up some suggestions from a year ago that find their way into the published version.

So it’s all Phil’s fault. You tried to persuade him, but sometimes he just won’t listen.
I sure you all tried your best, and that you are more than just a bunch of yes men. And not being part of the process, I can have no conception of the frustrations and disappointments involved.

Fair enough.

Polybius
12-01-2013, 06:15 AM
Of all the things to consider houseruling, this one is pretty thin... But for historical playthroughs in your own house, house rule away! Heck while you're at it, sort out the Auxilia Solid and the Longbow. And maybe bow range, and the jet-propelled, easy-to-trap-with-HI Psiloi...

Because if these don't bother you, why would this quirk?


You sound like a potential supporter of some sort of future version of DBA3.0+, that would (in theory) fix all the current errors and mistakes. ;)
But then again, you could say exactly the same about me. :)

Believe it or not, I am an ardent supporter of DBA3.0. But when I try to get my wargaming friends and colleagues to give it a try, every time they see elements moving backwards across the front of an enemy battle line (element C in my diagram) they burst out laughing. “These rules are utter rubbish!” they cry. “No ‘unit’ [sic] in a real battle would move like that! Let’s go back to Field of Glory or Impetus. Their rules are far more realistic”.

So I persuade them that yes, backing out of a Threat Zone is badly conceived, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. By making a house rule saying that elements must first turn to face the threat before backing up I can then demonstrate to them that the rest of the rules are mostly pretty good, and that DBA3.0 is worth playing.

What else would you have me tell them?

Bobgnar
12-01-2013, 03:45 PM
Does this TZ backing happen often in your games? "Every time they see elements moving backwards across the front of an enemy..."

I have played hundreds of games of 2 - 2.2 and 20 some 3, but I have never seen this happen. Strange that it happens so often in your games. As this has been discussed recently among the helpers who have collectively played many 100's of DBA 3 test games, not one has seen it. One did mention it happened in one 2.2 game.


You sound like a potential supporter of some sort of future version of DBA3.0+, that would (in theory) fix all the current errors and mistakes. ;)
But then again, you could say exactly the same about me. :)

Believe it or not, I am an ardent supporter of DBA3.0. But when I try to get my wargaming friends and colleagues to give it a try, every time they see elements moving backwards across the front of an enemy battle line (element C in my diagram) they burst out laughing. “These rules are utter rubbish!” they cry. “No ‘unit’ [sic] in a real battle would move like that! Let’s go back to Field of Glory or Impetus. Their rules are far more realistic”.

So I persuade them that yes, backing out of a Threat Zone is badly conceived, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. By making a house rule saying that elements must first turn to face the threat before backing up I can then demonstrate to them that the rest of the rules are mostly pretty good, and that DBA3.0 is worth playing.

What else would you have me tell them?

broadsword
12-01-2013, 04:30 PM
I'd tell them "go play Impetus or FoG". It really isn't worth trying to win converts to DBA until they're darned good and ready, and once they are, they'll come to you.

Trust me on this. As one who head to learn this the hard way, against the sage advice on this forum.

Another thing: not a single one of your friends has seen an ancient battle. Not one. When people discuss "realism" I am reminded of a review I once read of Jurassic Park - that it was "realistic". Of course the reviewer had never actually seen a dinosaur in action on a hunt. But that didn't deter him at all.

Actually I have lots of beefs with DBA, but that's primarily due to the blanket "one rule to rule them all" approach that means in many cases, the battles are overly simplified and don't give the right overall results.

But this is due to the fact that unlike FoG and Impetus, DBA is a top-down view. As such, the battles represent the aggregate of moves and tactics against the aggregate of the armies, in the aggregate of terrain against the aggregate of the opponents. You can't for instance do Marathon, and have it look anything like Marathon did. But that's because you aren't signing up to repeat history, but to explore it, at a highly abstract level.

About all you get from Marathon against EAPs in DBA is "I must close quickly to minimise exposure to bow fire, and I must set up terrain that minimises his cavalry usefulness". You'd need houserules in 3.0 to reflect the weak Greek centre, and the powerful Greek wings.

I don't know what "gotcha" moment you think is being represented by the problem you describe wit the TZ though, but the fact is that a great many DBA players with a hell of a lot more game time than you or I, are not finding it a problem. I respectfully and humbly suggest that you attend just one tournament. Just once. You'll get a fresh perspective on tactics, and your favourite tricks suddenly don't work too well.

Like: you tried backing through a TZ, and got your @## handed to you. Which sounds about right, no?

Pillager
12-01-2013, 08:56 PM
I only have the 1st of October draft of DBA3.0.

Now I grant you that a turn of 90 or 180 degrees may be necessary if the element is not already facing the Threat Zoning enemy and wants to line up or advance to contact, but I don’t understand the following:-

Where does it say you have to stop just outside the enemy TZ?
All it says is “or if a single element (b) straight back for the entire move”.
If your element can move 4 BW, what is to stop you backing-up a full 4 BW or even less if you want?

And why can you not enter and pass through several enemy TZ’s when moving backwards? The rule says “An element or group in, entering or touching the far edge of an enemy TZ can move only:....”

So you move straight backwards in one TZ, enter another and move straight backwards through that into another, and another, and so on until you reach your movement limit.

Or am I misunderstanding something?

You can do all those things, if the enemy does not stop you first.

The only circumstance in which you can move backwards while in a TZ is if you move in no other direction for the entire bound. Nothing else. You cannot turn 180 degrees first, you cannot wheel a little first, you cannot slide sideways a little first.

So to do this "cheesy trick" of moving through a TZ by going backwards, you need to spend the previous bound setting yourself up to be ass first. So the enemy has a bound in which to attack you in the ass. How is this "broken?"

Pillager
12-01-2013, 08:58 PM
Let's test this cheesy trick. Start the game by deploying ALL your elements ass-first to the enemy. Tell me how it works out after 20 playtests.

Polybius
12-02-2013, 01:08 PM
Does this TZ backing happen often in your games? "Every time they see elements moving backwards across the front of an enemy..."

I have played hundreds of games of 2 - 2.2 and 20 some 3, but I have never seen this happen.


Never?
You have never seen a Threat Zone touching a flank of an element?
Ever?

Well, here is a nice treat for you:-

http://www.fanaticus.org/discussion/picture.php?albumid=149&pictureid=1290

There you go. You’ve seen it now. :)

Polybius
12-02-2013, 01:10 PM
Some people still seem to not understand or are in self denial.
So I will try for one last time to put the point across.
It’s not about some “cheesy trick” that will be a winning super battle tactic.
It’s about common sense, natural behaviour, and how real military units would respond in that situation.

Look at the picture above and try to imagine that the mounted element is really an old male Serengeti lion walking in a north-easterly direction to join his pride of females. Suddenly a younger male lion advances towards him from the south, represented by the foot element. What would the old lion do? He could face the threat and charge, or face the threat and cautiously move backwards to the north snarling as he does so. This is natural behaviour. What he wouldn’t do is try to move backwards across the front of his adversary, because the younger lion could pounce and catch him from the side, where he would be vulnerable.
Yet that is exactly what DBA says he must do, and is totally unnatural.
Even wild animals know that this would be daft. But not so some DBA players.

Look at the picture above again and this time imagine the mounted element is really a group of blue football supporters walking in a north-easterly direction towards the stadium. Suddenly a rival group of red supporters advances from the south, represented by the foot element. What would the blue supporters do? They could face the threat and start a punch-up, or face the threat and cautiously move backwards to the north shouting insults as they go. This is common sense. What they wouldn’t do is try to move backwards across the front of their rivals, because the red supporters could suddenly attack and catch them at a disadvantage.
Yet that is exactly what DBA says they must do, and is the total opposite of common sense.
Even football thugs know that this would be daft. But not so some DBA players.

Now imagine two military formations in the same situation, be they a troop of tanks, a company of paratroopers, a Napoleonic battalion, ancient warriors, whatever. If the plan is to put some distance between the formation and the threat while still presenting your best armour/rifles/bayonet’s/shields towards it, then this is not achieved by moving backwards across the front of the threat with your vulnerable flank exposed!
Be honest – do you really think that wild animals, football thugs, and military formations would do such a thing in reality?
Yet that is exactly what DBA says you must do.

This is why the backing out of a Threat Zone rule is broken, poorly written, badly conceived, and only half finished. It only gives natural, common sense, realistic results when facing the threat. When the threat is on a flank or rear you get idiotic moves that bear no resemblance to how an actual formation would really act when in that situation.

No wonder my lot sneer and say “DBA? Huh, if they can’t even get the movement right, what else have they got wrong!”

But there is a very simple solution – have the element face the threat before moving straight back.
Now they will back up in a natural, realistic , common sense way, and in the right direction; away from the threat, not along its front. And if Phil Barker is too stubborn to admit this and fix it, and his trusted team of 30 testers cannot see it or persuade him, then we players will just have to fix it for ourselves.

So if you think that the current rule is ok as it is, then fine, stick with it and you’ll be happy.
If you think it is wrong and could be done better, then change it yourselves and you’ll be happy.
This way everybody will be happy. :)

Rich Gause
12-02-2013, 02:43 PM
I don't like the idea of allowing the element to face the threat and move in the same bound. The ZOC'd element can face the threat in 1 bound and then move straight back the next bound. That works well. ZOCing an enemy element on its flank or rear should inconvenience the element more than ZOCing it from the front IMO and the current rule does a better job of that your proposed rule. So we need to allow units to move straight back to get out of ZOC and we need to allow units to turn to face the unit ZOCing them. This is also a highly abstract IGOUGO game system that has a lot of importance on precise geometry with possible disatrous results for having a slightly different position so we IMO also need to allow what you see as cheesy to prevent even worse cheese. The reason it really isn't a problem is because it will very rarely make sense to spend a pip to move a unit in ZOC straight back so it gets closer to the enemey and in the situations where it does is because of how the other game mechanics all work together.

broadsword
12-02-2013, 02:57 PM
@ Polybius

And I'm telling you (as has been everyone else at this forum) that DBA is far too top-down even to take element position too literally. It is an incredibly abstract game.

House rule away. Do whatever you like. We're just not buying your argument that this rule needs "fixing". Simple. You've tried to convince us. You've failed.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: you are taking the movement system far too literally. I've suggested that elements don't typically move in the fashion they do in DBA - no one actually moves x or y mm, and then stops just short of a TZ or bow range. Doesn't happen. Know why? Because while you're doing that, the enemy is doing something else. Good generals anticipate their opponents' moves, and often make moves BEFORE the enemy has a chance to fully realise his threats. I don't expect you to understand this, because you don't have battlefield experience, and I suspect none of your friends do either.

As a result, what of the element in the picture above sensing that something MAY come at it from the flank, and conducting an orderly withdrawal BEFORE they get cut off? Assuming of course that the PIPs get rolled appropriately.

By the way, why aren't you bothered by LH that flee till they hit the board edge, then magically turn and follow the board edge like cockroaches to their home edge? That seems equally bizarre. As do any of a dozen things in DBA taken in isolation. Taken as a whole, the system kind-of works as is.

But till you have serious experience (and we mean hundreds of games against a variety of opponents) we aren't going to take your claims that seriously.

By the way, what you propose exacerbates an already serious issue in DBA (indeed in many wargames) - the fact that the game often boils down to flank-hunting. The fact is that successful flank attacks were just as risky to the side attempting to execute them. When generals worried about open flanks, they were worried about army-level maneuvering, not element-level maneuvering. This is an aspect best represented by Flank Marches.

Element-level flanking benefits are already far too strong in most wargames, and you want to make them even stronger in DBA. Sorry, the DBA battlefield represents a chaotic, disorderly space. Just because you can see a flank attack does not mean the element commanders can see it, or take advantage of it.

The actual distance to the element in your example in the picture is way different than in the Diagram B. That in my view is the difference, and it's enough. The dynamics of the TZ are flexible and interesting enough as is. Move the flanking element to its left and closer to the enemy, and the enemy is cut off. In the picture, the flanking element clearly lacked the reach to trap the enemy, and they escaped before the trap could be closed. Happens a lot in warfare...

Polybius
12-02-2013, 03:27 PM
@ Rich Gause

As I said in a previous post:

In fact, turning to face before backing up is not only more realistic, it is also a harsher punishment.
You may be able to force the enemy towards more unfavourable positions and locations, or away from certain areas, or cramp them into a disorderly formation, just as was sometimes done in real battles. Of course, they always have the option to move to contact instead of backing off.





@ Broadsword

As I said in a previous post:

So if you think that the current rule is ok as it is, then fine, stick with it and you’ll be happy.
If you think it is wrong and could be done better, then change it yourselves and you’ll be happy.
This way everybody will be happy. :)

Bobgnar
12-02-2013, 03:30 PM
You misread my comment. I said that in many hundreds of games I have never seen an element move backwards through a Threat Zone "Happen." That is occur, take place, show up, come about"

I certainly have seen a picture of what might happen. In the picture shown, the element is not moving backwards through the TZ, so I have yet to see a picture of that. In the picture shown, the mounted element can advance toward the TZing element, no problem.

Never?
You have never seen a Threat Zone touching a flank of an element?
Ever?

Well, here is a nice treat for you:-

http://www.fanaticus.org/discussion/picture.php?albumid=149&pictureid=1290

There you go. You’ve seen it now. :)

Doug
12-02-2013, 04:39 PM
I don't like the idea of allowing the element to face the threat and move in the same bound. The ZOC'd element can face the threat in 1 bound and then move straight back the next bound. That works well. ZOCing an enemy element on its flank or rear should inconvenience the element more than ZOCing it from the front IMO and the current rule does a better job of that your proposed rule.

This is one of the reasons why various proposed 'solutions' were worse than the problem they were supposed to fix. Completely agree with Rich except it's a TZ.

It should be bad to be approached closely by an enemy element in flank or rear. You shouldn't just be able to whizz away..

thethreefates
12-02-2013, 07:48 PM
I think some good points have been brought up on both sides. I do think it was insightful by whoever stated that the retreat could be looked at as simulating the element deciding not to move there in the IGOUGO format that we have.

I don't know if it would necessarily be a problem moving the same turn that you turn to face because most foot elements move rather slowly and the turn would eat up much of their movement anyways, so the amount they could move backward would be limited. LH, on the other hand, would be able to still have a good amount of movement, but that would seem to be logical because LH would be better at evading such advances, particularly in the photo illustrating this issue posted above. I'm not sure how I would make sense of the inability of LH to evade the common foot soldiers plodding along in their direction. In the photo, the foot soldiers would be able to catch the LH, in an actual battle, I don't see that being realistic. Maybe with jetpacks perhaps. ;)

Doug
12-02-2013, 07:54 PM
You would be surprised the number of times foot apparently caught mounted. It was a lengthy discussion primarily for DBMM some years back.

thethreefates
12-02-2013, 08:03 PM
You would be surprised the number of times foot apparently caught mounted. It was a lengthy discussion primarily for DBMM some years back.

Do you have any links or info on that? I would be interested in reading about that. Not saying your wrong, I just don't know of any situations where it happened.

Doug
12-02-2013, 08:14 PM
Not with me, I would have to go back to very early discussions from about 8 years back, and I am not sure I can find them with the new Yahoo interface. Couple of examples off the top of my head included Sulla's Legions catching cataphracts, supposedly Roman Legions catching stationary Sasanian mounted archers (Julian's campaign).

thethreefates
12-02-2013, 08:22 PM
Not with me, I would have to go back to very early discussions from about 8 years back, and I am not sure I can find them with the new Yahoo interface. Couple of examples off the top of my head included Sulla's Legions catching cataphracts, supposedly Roman Legions catching stationary Sasanian mounted archers (Julian's campaign).

Hmmm, interesting. I'll have to read up on those. It is always fun to learn about things that happened historically that aren't "supposed" to happen from a gamers perspective. :D

broadsword
12-02-2013, 09:18 PM
Or flanking maneuvers that simply failed to trap and destroy the enemy, and left the flanking troops badly out of position, and effectively neutralised.

Viking
12-03-2013, 10:00 AM
This is one of the reasons why various proposed 'solutions' were worse than the problem they were supposed to fix. Completely agree with Rich except it's a TZ.

It should be bad to be approached closely by an enemy element in flank or rear. You shouldn't just be able to whizz away..
But isn't this exactly what the DBA rules allow, by letting the element move directly backwards (even when this takes it closer to the flanking element)? So is your point that this backwards movement should not be allowed?

Polybius
12-03-2013, 01:56 PM
I think some good points have been brought up on both sides. I do think it was insightful by whoever stated that the retreat could be looked at as simulating the element deciding not to move there in the IGOUGO format that we have.

This was suggested several times by Broadsword as a possible justification for the illogic of moving backwards out of a Threat Zone by crossing the front of a threat.
I think it is worth examining this justification in some detail.

If in the picture shown the mounted element’s straight back move represents an order being cancelled, then why would the foot element have moved in the way it did to threaten a non-existent flank?

The cavalry moves, the infantry counter moves, ah but the cavalry cancelled the order and didn’t really move, then the infantry didn’t need to move either, and if the infantry didn’t move then the cavalry had no need to cancel the order so did move. But if the cavalry moved, then the infantry counter moved, ah but the cavalry really didn’t move......

We are stuck in some sort of Doctor Who time paradox here!

The fact is the cavalry did move. The moment the player removed their fingers it began to influence the environment around itself, and this allowed the opponent to seize the opportunity to threaten its flank with infantry. If next bound the cavalry wants to leave the Threat Zone, it is not cancelling an order; it is responding to a brand new order saying get the hell out of there. And the direction DBA says it must move is backwards across the front of the threat.

Cancellation of orders in DBA is done inside people’s heads, when players have a move planned but then change their minds and do something else instead. Or, if you want some sort of visual indication of a cancelled order, have a rule stating that once a PIP has been declared, the element must move in some way, and the PIP cannot be taken back.
“I'm going to spend a PIP and move my cavalry here. Wait a minute, if I do that I might get flanked. Damn, I wish I hadn’t spent that PIP (i.e. issued that order). Oh well, I’ll only move a little bit instead (i.e. the original order has been cancelled)”

broadsword
12-03-2013, 02:58 PM
I suggest two things for you Polybius:

1. Get some more real life experience with event sequencing.
2. Get a LOT more experience with DBA.

Then, and only then, come and reraise this issue.

Thomas J. Thomas
12-03-2013, 04:20 PM
Let's test this cheesy trick. Start the game by deploying ALL your elements ass-first to the enemy. Tell me how it works out after 20 playtests.

Probably 18-2 in favor of the player who deployed facing forward as that player could make group moves and the other player cannot. Nor would the backward facing elements count as overlaps.

TomT

Polybius
12-03-2013, 04:25 PM
I suggest two things for you Polybius:

1. Get some more real life experience with event sequencing.
2. Get a LOT more experience with DBA.

Then, and only then, come and reraise this issue.

I can fully understand your hostility Broadsword.
Independent free thought has always been a dire threat to an established dogma.

And for your information, I am 58 years old, starting playing WRG 5th edition when I was 15, then moved on to 6th edition, 7th edition, Shock of Impact, SAGA’s Ancient Warfare, Impetus, Field of Glory, and all the different DBA versions including DBM & DBMM.
Does this make me clever? No. I am wise enough to know that experience may make a person extremely good at using existing procedures, but is no guarantee of being able to accept new ideas or ‘thinking-outside-of-the-box’. After all, who likes to be told that something they have been doing for years may not be right? And not being a tournament player, I suppose in your eyes I am not allowed to have any opinion at all.

As for your list of suggestions, I think you left something out.
What you should have said was:
1. Get some more real life experience with event sequencing.
2. Get a LOT more experience with DBA.
3. Have a lobotomy and have all notions of common sense removed from your brain.

:)

broadsword
12-03-2013, 06:55 PM
I stand by my suggestions. You're free to ignore them of course. As we are free to state that your case has no merit.

If you want to gain traction for your message though, you need better packaging, more convincing arguments, better examples, and evidence that the game is, as you state, broken.

The vast majority of us believe it works fine as is. In your picture above, I'll say it again: if you wanted to trap the mounted element, move the "flanking" element closer and further left. Done. In the position it is currently in, I don't think there is anything broken. YMMV, and IMOTTIND.

thethreefates
12-03-2013, 08:22 PM
I can sympathize with some of what you say, Polybius, but it doesn't bother me enough for me to stop playing DBA. It does seem somewhat striking that you so forcefully put forth an opinion on a game that no one is really expecting you to play and it seems that the only reason you joined the forum is to bash the aspects you don't like. If you don't like it and none of your gaming partners like it, then what is the big deal? Go play a rule system you do like. If your having fun with what you doing, that is what the hobby is really about.

Viking
12-04-2013, 06:18 AM
I can sympathize with some of what you say, Polybius, but it doesn't bother me enough for me to stop playing DBA. It does seem somewhat striking that you so forcefully put forth an opinion on a game that no one is really expecting you to play and it seems that the only reason you joined the forum is to bash the aspects you don't like. If you don't like it and none of your gaming partners like it, then what is the big deal? Go play a rule system you do like. If your having fun with what you doing, that is what the hobby is really about.
Isn't that kind of unfair? I'm pretty sure this issue in itself wouldn't stop anyone from playing DBA. But surely one must be allowed to put forth criticism of some parts of a system without being expected to abandon it entirely?

It seems to me that Polybius points out a relevant issue in the game which can cause very counterlogical moves on the gaming table (however probably not broken in a game balance meaning), although I can see why his way of putting this forth has upset some people.

Personally I'd probably prefer a solution which simply says that moving backwards out of a TZ is only allowed if no part of the TZ:ing element is behind a line extended from the rear of the TZ:ed element. Allowing the TZ:ed element to rotate to face and then move backwards in the same move is perhaps a bit too generous, as others have pointed out. But I don't see how this could be regarded as a non-issue.

Doug
12-04-2013, 08:29 AM
One suggestion made (during testing) was to allow a free turn to face the TZ'ing element - but this means that if you advance, TZ and element, it automatically turns, and then can get away easily in it's own move.

So then, is it involuntary.. this raised more problems.

As pointed out, in an IGOUGO system it has to capture the effects of both sides movement, and sometimes this can seem artificial.

Essentially, if threatened by an enemy, from rear or flank, you should have limited options, and be handicapped. The current rules do this, and many of the suggested 'solutions' don't.

So while I can understand why it might seem odd, it does produce the right 'in game' effects.

Polybius
12-04-2013, 09:08 AM
The vast majority of us believe it works fine as is. In your picture above, I'll say it again: if you wanted to trap the mounted element, move the "flanking" element closer and further left. Done. In the position it is currently in, I don't think there is anything broken. YMMV, and IMOTTIND.

You still seem to be missing the point.
I don’t want to ‘trap’ the mounted element. If it wishes to back out of the Threat Zone, then it should do so in a realistic direction. Compulsory turning to face the threat before backing up achieves this.

Also, how on earth can a single group of slow plodding foot ‘trap’ a fast moving mounted force in an open field with no other troops nearby and no terrain features to hinder movement? Even if approached directly from the rear, the mounted force is faster, is already facing away from the threat, and is some distance away (up to 1 BW). Why would they suddenly become frozen to the spot, able to turn but unable to move? This is especially true for skirmishing troops like LH or Ps. They are used to running away from threats. Why would they suddenly become frozen just because an enemy is directly threatening their rear? If anything, their natural instincts would kick in and they would move away from the threat pretty sharply.
Again, compulsory turning to face the threat before backing up achieves this.

Yes, being threatened on the flank or rear should have consequences. And it still would. The direction any element can move backwards would still be fixed, straight back, just as it is at the moment. But now it would be in a sensible direction.


[oops, sorry Doug: you posted at the same time as I did, and this reply was not ment to be a direct response to what you just posted]

thethreefates
12-04-2013, 09:35 AM
Isn't that kind of unfair? I'm pretty sure this issue in itself wouldn't stop anyone from playing DBA. But surely one must be allowed to put forth criticism of some parts of a system without being expected to abandon it entirely?

It seems to me that Polybius points out a relevant issue in the game which can cause very counterlogical moves on the gaming table (however probably not broken in a game balance meaning), although I can see why his way of putting this forth has upset some people.

Personally I'd probably prefer a solution which simply says that moving backwards out of a TZ is only allowed if no part of the TZ:ing element is behind a line extended from the rear of the TZ:ed element. Allowing the TZ:ed element to rotate to face and then move backwards in the same move is perhaps a bit too generous, as others have pointed out. But I don't see how this could be regarded as a non-issue.

I did not intend to come across as attempting to silence his criticisms. I believe that he brings up good issues and the problems he mentions likely have fixes that could be implemented to improve the realism element of the game. I more objected to the manner in which disagreeing parties were addressed. The comments regarding him playing are based off of his own earlier comments in which he stated that none of his gaming partners play because of their dislike for the mechanics.

Martyn
12-04-2013, 09:49 AM
One suggestion made (during testing) was to allow a free turn to face the TZ'ing element - but this means that if you advance, TZ and element, it automatically turns, and then can get away easily in it's own move.

So then, is it involuntary.. this raised more problems.

As pointed out, in an IGOUGO system it has to capture the effects of both sides movement, and sometimes this can seem artificial.

Essentially, if threatened by an enemy, from rear or flank, you should have limited options, and be handicapped. The current rules do this, and many of the suggested 'solutions' don't.

So while I can understand why it might seem odd, it does produce the right 'in game' effects.

Doug, I like the explanation. Having followed but not really engaged in this thread I must admit I am one of those that can’t see what all the fuss is about

If Polybius thinks that DBA is broken or stupid then fine no one is forcing him to play. The fact that this rule has existed in DBA for more than 10 years (assuming it was added in v2.2) but probably more, and has never been seriously questioned does suggest that nobody else thinks it’s a major problem.

This rule is in v2.2, v3 and v2.2+ nobody has felt the need to change it. It is in DBA-Hx, DBN and a host of other variants. It is even in DBM and its various versions (not sure about DBMM) and it has not been seen as a problem.

This does suggest that it is a non-issue.

Polybius
12-04-2013, 02:48 PM
I am sorry if I have upset anyone, but I was only telling the truth. Perhaps I should not have been so honest. My little group became disillusioned and gave up playing DBA2.2 a few years ago. Now with a small house rule they are back playing DBA3.0 and thoroughly enjoying it. Oh, we may not be playing it exactly in the same way as everybody else, but surely that is the nature of house rules; a small change to the main rules that local players prefer because it enhances their enjoyment of the game. The main thing is that they are back playing DBA once more.

So I shall finally get out of everybody’s hair and make this my last ever post.

Merry Christmas everybody and have a happy new year.

Pillager
12-04-2013, 03:26 PM
Every set of rules has something that somebody thinks is a cheesy hole.

Easy to just ask your opponent if he thinks what you want to do is realistic in the situation at hand. Sometimes an allowable action is only cheesy in certain circumstances.

Ammianus
12-04-2013, 08:13 PM
Well that was certainly odd.

broadsword
12-05-2013, 11:52 AM
You still seem to be missing the point.
I don’t want to ‘trap’ the mounted element. If it wishes to back out of the Threat Zone, then it should do so in a realistic direction. Compulsory turning to face the threat before backing up achieves this.

Also, how on earth can a single group of slow plodding foot ‘trap’ a fast moving mounted force in an open field with no other troops nearby and no terrain features to hinder movement? Even if approached directly from the rear, the mounted force is faster, is already facing away from the threat, and is some distance away (up to 1 BW). Why would they suddenly become frozen to the spot, able to turn but unable to move? This is especially true for skirmishing troops like LH or Ps. They are used to running away from threats. Why would they suddenly become frozen just because an enemy is directly threatening their rear? If anything, their natural instincts would kick in and they would move away from the threat pretty sharply.
Again, compulsory turning to face the threat before backing up achieves this.

Yes, being threatened on the flank or rear should have consequences. And it still would. The direction any element can move backwards would still be fixed, straight back, just as it is at the moment. But now it would be in a sensible direction.


[oops, sorry Doug: you posted at the same time as I did, and this reply was not ment to be a direct response to what you just posted]

I'm afraid this is the money shot. The picture he keeps reposting to back up his claim is of a foot element just barely ZoC-ing a mounted element from a tenuous position, and then he uses that to claim that the mounted element should turn to face before leaving the TZ. In this latest post, he now switches the argument to imply that mounted shouldn't be "trapped" at all by foot. I am just as confused about what he is claiming the problem is.

If this last post is accurate, and is indeed his position on the mounted vs foot interaction, then why indeed should mounted have to do anything at all in a TZ if ZoCed by foot, let alone turn to face before exiting the ZoC?

The only place this might seem an issue is with fast foot. Solid foot are too slow to fully escape this position. However, fast foot were apparently quite difficult to trap by slower moving foot. And Psiloi have already been significantly nerfed by 3.0.

Requiring the enemy to turn to face you before leaving the TZ is:

(a) tantamount to being able to "herd" a lot of enemy troops in the direction you wish them to go, in all manner of cheesy ways (this effect is already elegantly achieved by the contact and recoil mechanics),
(b) unnecessarily complicating for very little reward.

I'd suggest all those interested play around with a single element of Spear, and a single element of LH, with the LH scuttling down the board edge. Two cases arise: the LH is able in one move to clear the left flank (say) of the Spear. In the second case, it doesn't quite make it. In each case, turn the Spear to ZoC the LH.

In an elegant way, Phil has generated ZoC rules that play slightly differently, and allow an "in-between" state. In case I, requiring the LH to turn to face, gives the Spear a decent shot at trapping the LH up against the board edge (it's flee route is now blocked!)

I see the current rule as allowing the LH to escape back toward its own lines before the trap is closed, due, for example, possibly to the confusion caused by the LH ability to get past the enemy line... which is I would think agrees with his latest position above. It also incentivises the keeping of a reserve element against such an eventuality. DBA is after all a colossal abstraction.

I am also confused as to whether he and his friends are or are not playing 3.0. I find it hard to believe that his friends made a big deal about this rule, and not for example the trapping of Psiloi by HI after a recoil, or the strange flee rule down the board edge, or the weird overlap rule within 1 BW of the board edge (which is pretty much nuked by playing on a 30" board, say).

pozanias
12-05-2013, 05:49 PM
I'm afraid this is the money shot. The picture he keeps reposting to back up his claim is of a foot element just barely ZoC-ing a mounted element from a tenuous position, and then he uses that to claim that the mounted element should turn to face before leaving the TZ. In this latest post, he now switches the argument to imply that mounted shouldn't be "trapped" at all by foot. I am just as confused about what he is claiming the problem is.


I haven't gone back to re-read all of Polybius' posts, but I believe he is simply saying this:

When an element is trapped in ZOC/TZ, it doesn't make sense that it can back its way closer to the threatening element. Or back its way across the face of multiple elements. Turing to face and then backing away makes sense. Running away (if a faster element?) makes sense. But backing towards the threat doesn't.

I agree with him.

Having said that, in my experience this is not a big deal. For whatever reason, the people I play (2.2+) with just don't do this (even though it is clearly allowed). Or if this maneuver is used, it is done in a way that seems reasonable. So, it would be nice if it were fixed in 3.0, but I don't see it as a deal breaker. There are other things I am worried about, but not this.

El' Jocko
12-05-2013, 07:05 PM
I haven't gone back to re-read all of Polybius' posts, but I believe he is simply saying this:

When an element is trapped in ZOC/TZ, it doesn't make sense that it can back its way closer to the threatening element. Or back its way across the face of multiple elements. Turing to face and then backing away makes sense. Running away (if a faster element?) makes sense. But backing towards the threat doesn't.

I agree with him.

You're a little late to the party, Mark. :)

You'd really have to go back and read Polybius' posts. He has a valid point that the rule, as currently written, results in a few odd situations. The problem with his posts has been the tone and the demand that SOMETHING BE DONE!

Having said that, in my experience this is not a big deal. For whatever reason, the people I play (2.2+) with just don't do this (even though it is clearly allowed). Or if this maneuver is used, it is done in a way that seems reasonable. So, it would be nice if it were fixed in 3.0, but I don't see it as a deal breaker. There are other things I am worried about, but not this.

Exactly. And I'd add that any fix would have to be carefully tested to make sure that it didn't introduce any new problems. And it's all moot anyway--Phil isn't likely to add it to 3.0. We need an emoticon for "Tempest in a Teapot."

- Jack

broadsword
12-05-2013, 07:52 PM
Mark, the only way it can be an issue is in the case of the picture he shows. In other cases, go ahead and spend a precious PIP backing up towards the enemy while in a TZ. Seriously.

Similarly, there is no rule stopping a player from, one by one, spending PIPs to about face each o his elements to face ass-first toward the enemy. There is no rule stopping you from deploying all of your Psiloi in GGo in front of all his Knights. Yup, there isn't a rule stopping you from being stupid.

So the only apparent issue is the case represented by the given picture. And in this case, setting up the situation at the board edge I described in my earlier post shows Doug's point nicely: the cure is worse than the disease, or at the very best, no better.

thethreefates
12-05-2013, 08:22 PM
You can say that it is stupid and therefore no one will do it, but there are situations where performing such a retreat could be advantageous. There are lots of strange configurations that arise in games that can cause unusual movements. I think an addition like this would be helpful.

"If the path of retreat does not take you in a direction further away from the enemy than where you began, the only option when in the enemy's TZ is to turn to face the enemy element"

It would eliminate the whole tempest-in-a-teapot going on, reduce cheese, and would not materially effect gameplay in any negative way that I can think of. :2up

Pillager
12-06-2013, 03:52 AM
"If the path of retreat does not take you in a direction further away from the enemy than where you began, the only option when in the enemy's TZ is to turn to face the enemy element"

Um... WHICH enemy element? ALL of them ???

Dangun
12-06-2013, 04:34 AM
"If the path of retreat does not take you in a direction further away from the enemy than where you began, the only option when in the enemy's TZ is to turn to face the enemy element"

It is simpler (as far as this discussion goes) to add to the existing text, and use the existing language and punctuation, or else you will risk adding further problems as Pillager has pointed out:

"An element at the far edge of, in or entering an enemy TZ with no part of another element in its path, can move only: (a) to contact the front edge or overlap such a TZ-ing element, (b) to move straight forward towards or to become more lined up and parallel to it without contacting it, or (c) only directly to its own rear providing that at no time during the movement phase is the moving element closer to the TZ-ing element than it started."

(I took the quote from Bob on the first page of this thread.)

Doug
12-06-2013, 06:05 AM
One thing to consider, a historical example is Lucullus' legions 'trapping' cataphracts from the flank...

thethreefates
12-06-2013, 10:00 AM
It is simpler (as far as this discussion goes) to add to the existing text, and use the existing language and punctuation, or else you will risk adding further problems as Pillager has pointed out:

"An element at the far edge of, in or entering an enemy TZ with no part of another element in its path, can move only: (a) to contact the front edge or overlap such a TZ-ing element, (b) to move straight forward towards or to become more lined up and parallel to it without contacting it, or (c) only directly to its own rear providing that at no time during the movement phase is the moving element closer to the TZ-ing element than it started."

(I took the quote from Bob on the first page of this thread.)

I like your wording better. That is what I clumsily tried to say. :up

Doug
12-06-2013, 10:49 AM
"TZ with no part of another element in its path, "

wrong. The TZ extends through elements. Never mind all the issues this formulation raises,

broadsword
12-06-2013, 12:36 PM
Clearly it is NOT leading to "all kinds of strange effects" since it has remianed in the current form since at least 2.2, is not an issue in 2.2+, nor in 3.0. With TZs now being X rays, I see even LESS of an issue than might even be in 2.2+, assuming it's even an issue there, which it apparently isn't.

There is plenty of stuff worth fixing in all versions of DBA. This is not one of them.

Dangun
12-06-2013, 08:53 PM
"TZ with no part of another element in its path, "

wrong. The TZ extends through elements. Never mind all the issues this formulation raises,

I thought Bob had quoted the draft.
The point remains the same, it would be possible to add half a sentence for option c).

broadsword
12-06-2013, 11:15 PM
Unless the element is being symmetrically TZed from both flanks, at which point the rationale and supporting arguments for item (c) break apart completely.

Dangun, have you set this situation up at the board edge yet?

The TZ and contact rules are working quite well as mechanisms. Let us NOT inject the possibility of more confusion. The reason that there isn't a rule like this are:

1. It never seems to be a problem in tournament play
2. It creates a nightmare of additional entanglements.

Dangun
12-06-2013, 11:52 PM
1. It never seems to be a problem in tournament play

I agree. I don't see this as a big issue.

2. It creates a nightmare of additional entanglements.

No it doesn't. Nothing is added. The suggestion simply denies option (c) to elements trying to end up closer to the TZ-ing element.

It would be easy to write a clearer rule, in general.
But it would only require half a sentence to deny option (c) to an element trying to use it to end up closer to a TZ-ing element.

I agree it doesn't matter very much, but its just not true to throw our hands in the air and say its difficult to fix.

Bobgnar
12-07-2013, 02:04 AM
It is fun to discuss this, and other situations, but nothing will be written. These issues should have been brought up a year ago. The book has gone to press.

broadsword
12-07-2013, 04:08 PM
It wasn't brought up since it wasn't an issue. Surely.

So Dangun, did you set up the board edge situation I suggested?

Bobgnar
12-07-2013, 04:16 PM
I think the rule has not changed for many months, even a year, The issue has been there since the beginning. I wonder why only now is it manifest.

It wasn't brought up since it wasn't an issue. Surely.

So Dangun, did you set up the board edge situation I suggested?