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View Full Version : Ideas on fatigue, elan, and attrition


John Meunier
05-14-2003, 01:23 PM
I've tried from time to time to come up with a simple mechanic to reflect aspects of warfare such as fatigue and attrition. This seems particularly important in regard to troops such as Wb and Kn that relied for a great deal of their effectiveness on an initial furious charge.

The challenge for me has been coming up with a system that relies on mechanics already in the game -- competitive die rolls -- rather than pulling in new ones -- such as record keeping or using markers.

I was thinking of something like an army elan factor or die roll. Each army starts the battle, for instance, with a +5 Elan factor. In order to get the QK from Knights and Wb against heavy foot, an army must maintain its elan.

After each pair of bounds, both players roll their Elan die. If either side doubles the other, the loser no longer gets elan.

At +5 each, there is no risk of this -- a 1-6 would still be 6-11 modified. But, as each side loses elements, it's elan factor drops by 1 per element.

In addition, you could determine that every three bounds (or any other number you like) both sides lose one elan factor. So even if no elements are lost, both would roll at +4. This would make it possible to double up each other. Three bounds later both would drop to +3.

So elan doesn't just hurt Wb and Kn, you could say that subsequent loss have meaning.

First loss: Wb and Kn QK goes away.
Second loss: -1 pip per roll (1 minimum)
Third loss: -1 in all combat

Other systems could be created. And this would strictly be for scenarios or home games. I'm not suggesting anything for tournaments.

Do people have other ideas? My proposal is nearly off the top of my head, so I welcome constructive criticism.

JFM

Badger
05-14-2003, 05:40 PM
Another option is Chris Cluckey's "morale clock" idea (buried somewhere in the Fanaticus resource pages, I think). I don't remember the details, but IIRC both sides start with a d12 set at "12", and each time an element (other than skirmishers?) is forced to recoil, the die is set one notch lower, each time an element is destroyed the die is set one (two?) notch(-es) lower, loss of the general has another price, etc., and PIPs can be spent to buy morale points back (rallying, I suppose).

I'm tempted to use a cribbage board-and-pegs for record keeping just so as to not have to worry about knocking the d12 off kilter, but I've liked the basic idea since Chris first proposed it. For one thing, this allows some simulation of archery causing attrition (very historical), unlike DBA-as-written.

John Meunier
05-14-2003, 06:51 PM
Originally posted by Badger:

I'm tempted to use a cribbage board-and-pegs for record keeping just so as to not have to worry about knocking the d12 off kilter, but I've liked the basic idea since Chris first proposed it. For one thing, this allows some simulation of archery causing attrition (very historical), unlike DBA-as-written. Doing that is exactly part of what I am after. I am, however, also trying very hard to keep this within the mechanics of the game as already created. There isn't a good reason for this, just a goal.

Thanks for the thought. It seems like one lost step per recoil could cause a severe and quick fall off.

JFM

Badger
05-14-2003, 07:48 PM
Here's the URL for the page in the Resource Pages that includes Chris's ideas for the morale clock.

http://www.fanaticus.org/DBA/variants/chaoticus.html

It works completely within the mechanics of the game, with minimal record keeping, and by adjusting the number of morale points each side starts with you can make each army more or less susceptible to demoralization. Give it a look, and if you give it a try, I'm sure Chris would appreciate the feedback.

Darren Buxbaum
05-14-2003, 10:02 PM
I like both ideas, but I have one question though. Should this only apply to elements that are in command radius or have a LOS with the general? Troops separated by terrain features or are out of command control are acting alone and are already penalized for this with 2 PIP requirement for movement. Many times and army and it's command can't see the entire army or relies on subunits to do their jobs. Many times the soldiers are not going to know the outcome of their comrades. Just a thought.

Cheers,
Darren

John Meunier
05-15-2003, 03:14 AM
Darren,

I could see arguing it either way. Simplicity says don't worry about command range. It either applies or it doesn't.

But I could see an argument for isolated troops not being aware their elan should be blown.

I'm more inclined toward the simple solution, though.

Playtesting is needed, I think.

JFM

Badger
05-16-2003, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by Darren Buxbaum:
I like both ideas, but I have one question though. Should this only apply to elements that are in command radius or have a LOS with the general?I'm against LOS provisions, as the potential for abuse just seems too high to me. Keep it simple, I say.

[ May 23, 2003, 17:51: Message edited by: Badger ]