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Timurilank
02-27-2005, 08:23 AM
I had posted this topic earlier in an incorrect area of the Forum. My query actually deals with how others handle all cavalry armies in campaign play. The general consensus is to enlarge the playing surface to accommodate on table flanking. I am not totally in favour of having extra boards for different armies, but would still like to explore other possibilities to reflect the advantages of an all cavalry force. As we have been sharing a number of ideas concerning DBA campaigns, I am wondering how others have worked with this.

One option is giving an all cavalry force an extra movement stage. This might work, but on the other hand a victorious force laden down with plunder and slaves would move equally as fast as any foot army.

Historically, many cavalry armies were smaller than those of combined forces; Parthians versus Crassus, Seljuks at Manzikert, are a few examples. Supply may have be a reason why cavalry armies were smaller, so dispersing a cavalry army over a larger area would necessitate a timely assembly prior to battle. We do something similar that is offer a smaller force as an allied contingent, while the field force is reduced to 9 elements. This could increase the possibilities of besieging two locations instead on one in a given season. To balance this, the reassembly on a battlefield could use the flank or on table march similar to the allied contingent rule for moving onto a battlefield.

The Collision Convention brought about another idea; the advantage that a cavalry force would have over the enemy’s deployment, such as, hampering their deployment, denying or seizing advantageous ground. This could be treated during the terrain selection phase were an attacking cavalry army could reduce the terrain features laid out by the defender.

How have you treated all cavalry armies?

Cheers,

El' Jocko
02-27-2005, 06:15 PM
I'm a strong advocate of the larger board size for all play, not just for cavalry armies. So I wouldn't suggest that the larger board only be used when you want to provide a boost to the cav, but all the time. And you only need the one board size then. smile.gif

My experience has been that cavalry and light horse armies are good, viable armies on the larger board. Especially against historical enemies. The biggest drawback of an all cavalry army is the same one for any monotype army. You only have one tool to work with, not a whole selection. But the same is true of an all blade army or an all auxilia army.

You've made some interesting suggestions, but I would pursue them for their own sake, not as a correction for a perceived weakness of cavalry and light horse armies.

- Jack

Timurilank
02-28-2005, 10:26 AM
Jocko wrote:
My experience has been that cavalry and light horse armies are good, viable armies on the larger board. Especially against historical enemies. The biggest drawback of an all cavalry army is the same one for any monotype army. You only have one tool to work with, not a whole selection. But the same is true of an all blade army or an all auxilia army.
Thanks for your comments. Sometimes working with only one tool can help you develop a high degree of proficiency and timing given the variety of armies and climate considerations. You can learn also how to create manoeuvring room and understand the value of supporting lines. Your plans must also calculate the casting average dice and develop of your attacks one flank at a time.

Most cavalry armies have a high aggression factor. Matched with a defender using terrain advantage an all cavalry army would be hard pressed to win. I had thought about testing the following addition to the terrain set up. Imagine the following; our campaign map, two armies facing off, defender to the north, cavalry army supported by an allied contingent approaching from the south. Defender sets terrain, with his most favoured position labelled north. I like the defender’s choice and designate that as my preferred choice with a dice roll of 4, 5, 6. West, south and east are now 1, 2 and 3 respectively. Dice roll in my favour, my cavalry army (9 elements) deploy on the north side, but is supported, remember by an allied contingent (3 elements of mounted). The allied contingent approaches the battlefield “best representing their map route”, from the south. The defender is aware of the threat to his rear and will maintain a reserve of elements to deal with the eventual arrival of the allied contingent or risk a quicker encirclement.

Has anyone else tested this before?

Cheers,

David Kuijt
02-28-2005, 12:30 PM
I'm not sure why you are fixating on army aggression. In a campaign game, army aggression is irrelevant -- if the Ancient Spanish army attacks a zone held by the Marian Roman army, the Marian are defenders and the Spanish attackers -- army aggression means nothing.

Army aggression is for tournaments and other "one-off" matchups. In campaigns, the strategic attacker is the tactical attacker.

Macbeth
02-28-2005, 07:20 PM
As DK says, in a campaign, the tactical attacker is the strategic attacker.

I have made one modification to this, the relief of an ongoing seige. In this case the invader is already in situ, and the current holder of the territory in dispute is moving from elsewhere (even if that elsewhere is just from inside the city under siege) to pick a fight.

My interpretation on this instance is:

The Beseiger is the Strategic Attacker - in as much as determinining who can send allied contingents to aid each side, but is the Tactical Defender in as much as determining who sets terrain, dices for sides etc.

This means that they can only be supported by other countries that are not at war with them but are at war with the Relieving Army, but get to set terrain.

Conversly the Releiving force is the Strategic Defender and the Tactical Attacker. This means that they can be supported by any country not at war with them, and dice for sides after terrain is set.

As far as Timurilank's modification to dicing for sides goes, I haven't tried that, but with the modified maps I use (I've sent examples to several Fanatici), when choose the entry point of the army based on the map route, there is scope for allied contingents to arrive on the flank or rear.

Cheers

Timurilank
02-28-2005, 09:57 PM
DK wrote:

I'm not sure why you are fixating on army aggression. In a campaign game, army aggression is irrelevant -- if the Ancient Spanish army attacks a zone held by the Marian Roman army, the Marian are defenders and the Spanish attackers -- army aggression means nothing.

Army aggression is for tournaments and other "one-off" matchups. In campaigns, the strategic attacker is the tactical attacker. Sorry, but the fixation is not mine, but merely a restatement of what others have written before me. Secondly, in a campaign if players and umpire wish to use the aggression factor for what ever reason to create an extra dimension to the game, I say let them try it. I just may use it to determine the chances of a non-player country launching a raid or invasion on an active player’s provinces. The purpose of these topics is to generate interest and share some interesting ideas of what others have done with a rather deviously simple set of rules.

regards,

Stephen Webb
03-01-2005, 06:21 AM
I also use a larger board when playing, but with the same terrain as the smaller size.

That seems to aid the cavalry armies.

Timurilank
03-01-2005, 08:03 AM
Macbeth wrote : My interpretation on this instance is:

The Beseiger is the Strategic Attacker - in as much as determinining who can send allied contingents to aid each side, but is the Tactical Defender in as much as determining who sets terrain, dices for sides etc.

This means that they can only be supported by other countries that are not at war with them but are at war with the Relieving Army, but get to set terrain.

Conversly the Releiving force is the Strategic Defender and the Tactical Attacker. This means that they can be supported by any country not at war with them, and dice for sides after terrain is set. I am curious if in this example do you place the besieged city on the table or do you have the besieger and the relieving force battle elsewhere on another game board? There seems also to be an opportunity for the besieged to sally out of the city to support a relief attempt or sacking the besieging force’s camp.

regards,

Sarduri II
03-01-2005, 07:03 PM
I've been kicking around some house rule ideas on this topic for some time, but sadly been unable to get the time to get them into a workable format.

I've always felt that the terrain rules make it too easy to hamper a high aggresion all mounted army, and in consequence they are not much used.
Historically they seem to have often been highly effective.

Broadly I see the "faster" army having the opportunity to dictate certain aspects of the terrain, but I have this tied in with some ideas about invaders, objectives and routes, and some more heretical thinking on deployment, allies, camps, marching and other aspects that seem to come up frequently in historical battles.

Some of this would be redundant in a campaign setting (if only I had the time...) but my objective is a set of deployment/terrain house rules which would allow both players in a one off battle, some choices about the battlefield without giving them certainties. Hopefully this would allow some terrain sensitive armies alittle more (historical?)scope to be aggresors.

Macbeth
03-01-2005, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by Timurilank:
I am curious if in this example do you place the besieged city on the table or do you have the besieger and the relieving force battle elsewhere on another game board? There seems also to be an opportunity for the besieged to sally out of the city to support a relief attempt or sacking the besieging force’s camp.
These mods were kicked around before the advent of DBAv2.x and the invention of the BUA. At that time there was no option to put a BUA down and say that it represented the city under siege.

With DBAv2 came the BUA, and the suggestion in the campaign rules that the BUA represented the city. We discarded this idea as soon as it was read - two reasons.
1) If an army is inside the city under siege, why is it that on the battlefield only one element is represented.
2) What about the incidence of the invaders losing the battle, but taking the BUA in the process. Can they claim to hold the city even though they lost the battle?

So we never put the city on the battlefield, but sometimes the Tactical Defender may choose to have a BUA - this would represent a small fortification set up by the beseigers (eg the forts around Orleans during the 100 Years War).

But either way, the campaign rules do state that a besieged defender can participate in a relieving battle as an allied contingent, and so could come out behind as an allied contingent. This works for us as it adds an uncertainty to the arrival of a sallying party.

Ten or more years ago when writing rules for a WRG7th campaign I had to include special deployment rules for siege/relief/sally battles, otherwise you fell into the trap of "If he is going to do that then my army will do this..."

Cheers

Macbeth
03-01-2005, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by Sarduri II:
I've always felt that the terrain rules make it too easy to hamper a high aggresion all mounted army, and in consequence they are not much used.
Historically they seem to have often been highly effective.

Broadly I see the "faster" army having the opportunity to dictate certain aspects of the terrain,You've given me some inspiration Saudir. At this stage its not formalised, but I have the germ of an idea.

Some mathematical function using Agression and Relative Mounted strength (I hesitate to use the outdated term "scouting points") that involves LH, Cv, and Cm(only in Dry Areas) and perhaps Ps and LCh, (I don't think that Kn/HCh/El/SCh help in the forward scouting and strategic movement).

The result of this function allows the invader to lay out a number of areas of "clear ground" before the defender lays terrain. Maybe the clear ground pieces could follow the size restrictions of area terrain pieces.

Cheers

hammurabi70
03-01-2005, 09:33 PM
Originally posted by Macbeth:
As DK says, in a campaign, the tactical attacker is the strategic attacker.
Cheers Is this not the hub of the problem. Light cavalry armies in particular are really strategic rather than tactical troops. By definitin if you are coming to blows you want to be able to fight rather than run away.

imported_JamesLDIII
03-02-2005, 12:37 AM
Here's the beginning of my deployment rules which use scouting values. They can be used for campaigns and one off games.

In the rest of my variant rules I allow for encounter battles, set piece battles (standard DBA game), and ambushes depending on the difference between the players' die rolls. I also allow for narrow, broad, and long board choice by the players.


Write down the order of march. List the elements of the army in order. Include baggage train element within the order of march. (In case of a tie players fight an encounter battle)

Determine who the invader is
Roll and add aggression. Higher score is invader.

Determine the attacker and the type of battle

Roll and add modifiers
Modifiers
+1 Remained in area
+1 2x More scouts
+2 4x More scouts
-1 if army is out of supply
+1 If “friendly” area (i.e. the invadee)
+1 if better genera/general with more prestige
Scouting Values
3 Light Horse (1 if Forest/Tropical terrain)
2 Cavalry (1 if Forest/Tropical terrain)
2 Psiloi
1 Auxilia
1 per 6 elements (Optional)


Scores are equal then encounter battle. Play on long board and place each sides elements in column from opposite ends of board. Invadee places terrain.

One side scores higher then set piece battle. Standard rules but high roller chooses whether to be attacker or defender (but use terrain from player that is "invaded."

One side scores 2x higher than can use ambush or flank march. Standard rules but high roller chooses whether to be attacker or defender (use terrain for invadee). High roller also can employ ambush (1/3 elements placed hidden) if defender, or flank march (1/3 elements enter from flank on PIP die 6) if attacker.

One side scores 3x higher then ambush. Ambusher places terrain. Ambushee places elements in column. Ambusher places elements more than 6" away from ambushee. Invader takes first bound. (Think Lake Trasimene.)

[ March 01, 2005, 21:41: Message edited by: jldiii ]

imported_JamesLDIII
03-02-2005, 12:59 AM
Oh yeah, the variant rules compendium is in the yahoo groups files section at:

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DBA/files/DBA%20Variant%20Rules%20and%20Lists/

Cheers!

imported_JamesLDIII
03-02-2005, 01:45 AM
Here's an example of how the deployment rules work.

Take a II/80a Hunnic vs II/83a Patrician Roman army. Just for grins we'll say in the aggression die roll the Huns end up as the invaders. Now each side rolls again to determine the attacker-defender and type of battle.
In a one-off game, neither side has higher prestige, is out of supply, etc. So I only use the +1 for friendly area for the Romans. THen count up the scout value. The Huns, with 1xCv, 7xLh, and 1x2Ps in arable terrain get 25 points. The Romans, maxed out with scout type troops, get 1xCv, 1xLh, 6xAx, 1xPs 13 points. The Huns have 2x scout points as the Romans, so they get +1. If the Romans had taken Kn, Cv, and Wb options, they would only have 6 points and so would be outnumbered 4x, giving the Huns a +2.
Each side rolls a die. In the first instance, each side has a +1 modifier. So the chance of an encounter battle is 1:6, of an ambush for either side 1:36, and remainder are set pieces with either side having an equal chance at being able to choose to be the attacker or defender. In the second instance, the Romans cannot ambush the Huns, and the Huns still have a 1:36 chance of ambushing the Romans, plus an increased chance of winning the roll and getting to choose to be the attacker or the defender.

Attacker and Defender in this case doesn't mean that one side must attack or defend during the game, but rather which side dictates the field of battle. The defender dictates the field of battle, i.e. chooses terrain. The attacker (the army that showed up last) gets to exercise the initiative in deploying last and moving first. So in the above example the Huns may actually prefer to be the "defender" if they roll higher than the Romans in order to place terrain. This represents that army being able to maneuver in Roman territory to force a battle on terrain of their own choosing, perhaps by threatening a strategic area, maneuvering to attack the Romans at an unexpected location, etc.

imported_JamesLDIII
03-02-2005, 01:52 AM
One criticism of the scouting values I have provided comes from comments DK made a while back in another similar thread. The values distort the abiities of the actual armies to scout. The Roman armies, for example, employed exploratores and speculatores in addition to regular cavalry and infantry forces to scout for the enemy. The Romans were generally really good at reconnaissance (at least in the late Republic and empire), but this isn't necessarily shown by the scouting rules. A Marian Roman army, for example, maxes out at a scout value of 9, while the Numidians have a value of at least 19, yet in the Jugurthine war Metellus and Marius held their own in scouting and determining the location of a battle.

My answer is the numbers I have given are just gross representations of scouting ability, and the bonus conferred is not excesive, while the greater Roman scouting ability might be accounted for in game terms by a Roman general Caesar who gets a +1 for ability or the highest prestige.

Anyway, this is just one way to skin the cat.

Timurilank
03-02-2005, 08:35 AM
jldiii wrote:
Here's the beginning of my deployment rules which use scouting values. They can be used for campaigns and one off games.

In the rest of my variant rules I allow for encounter battles, set piece battles (standard DBA game), and ambushes depending on the difference between the players' die rolls. I also allow for narrow, broad, and long board choice by the players.

Write down the order of march. List the elements of the army in order. Include baggage train element within the order of march. (In case of a tie players fight an encounter battle)
I would agree with Macbeth on limiting the scouting values to light troops; this would simplify calculation and increase the odds factor. I like the order of march for those eventualities and the Collision Convention will carry this idea further. I am looking forward to reading a report of the convention outcome. Certain climate areas would nullify a light horse advantage, but increase in favour of psiloi. How are you handling the tropical or forest areas?

cheers,

Timurilank
03-02-2005, 08:37 AM
Macbeth wrote:
You've given me some inspiration Saudir. At this stage its not formalised, but I have the germ of an idea.

Some mathematical function using Agression and Relative Mounted strength (I hesitate to use the outdated term "scouting points") that involves LH, Cv, and Cm(only in Dry Areas) and perhaps Ps and LCh, (I don't think that Kn/HCh/El/SCh help in the forward scouting and strategic movement).

The result of this function allows the invader to lay out a number of areas of "clear ground" before the defender lays terrain. Maybe the clear ground pieces could follow the size restrictions of area terrain pieces.
Perhaps the odds factor in favour of the cavalry army could equate to the number of terrain features withdrawn? A 2-1 advantage would mean 1 terrain feature taken off the board, 3-1, 2 features; and so on, thus clearing ground. As the defenders determine the terrain setup, however, the reconnaissance advantage could mean the defender got caught flat footed.

regards,

imported_JamesLDIII
03-02-2005, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by Timurilank:

Certain climate areas would nullify a light horse advantage, but increase in favour of psiloi. How are you handling the tropical or forest areas?

[/QB]As you can see in my list of modifiers, tropical or forest areas reduce the scouting value of Cv and Lh to 1 point, so the Psiloi are higher rated in forest and tropical terrain than the cavalry are. Perhaps an argument could be made that cavalry should no longer get a scouting value, but I think mounted troops are still valuable for scouting in such terrain, just less so. In the Jugurthine war, for example, (from Sallust) the Numidian Lh move through the forest easily to avoid attacks by the Roman/AUxiliary cavalry who aren't used to operating there. But the manner of Sallust's description shows that horsemen could maneuver through the tries and perform scouting functions, but they needed to be trained for it.

I go back and forth on weather to allow Ax to have a scouting value. Right now I am keeping them in.

Timurilank
03-02-2005, 02:07 PM
jldiii wrote: As you can see in my list of modifiers, tropical or forest areas reduce the scouting value of Cv and Lh to 1 point, so the Psiloi are higher rated in forest and tropical terrain than the cavalry are. Perhaps an argument could be made that cavalry should no longer get a scouting value, but I think mounted troops are still valuable for scouting in such terrain, just less so. I did miss that. In forest or tropical, I don't see why the defender's LH would be affected as they would have knowledge of home ground. Still, I would for the sake of simplification; LH in Dry or Steppe would have an advantage over the rest and perhaps even factored with Ps under the same conditions.

regards,

Macbeth
03-02-2005, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by Timurilank:
Perhaps the odds factor in favour of the cavalry army could equate to the number of terrain features withdrawn? A 2-1 advantage would mean 1 terrain feature taken off the board, 3-1, 2 features; and so on, thus clearing ground. As the defenders determine the terrain setup, however, the reconnaissance advantage could mean the defender got caught flat footed.
This is turning into an excellent discussion. I am still working on the model, but I will incorporate JD's scouting values, aggression, relative position (who owns the area, who is already in situ) for campaign games and maybe prestige in campaign games.

My plan is to use this value to generate a number of "Clear Ground" areas that the invader can lay out before terrain begins - these areas cannot have Bad Going placed within them. (Old WRG7th players never die - they just roll -4 more often)

Cheers

Timurilank
03-03-2005, 09:04 AM
jldiii wrote

Roll and add modifiers
Modifiers
+1 Remained in area
+1 2x More scouts
+2 4x More scouts
-1 if army is out of supply
+1 If “friendly” area (i.e. the invadee)
+1 if better genera/general with more prestige
Scouting Values
3 Light Horse (1 if Forest/Tropical terrain)
2 Cavalry (1 if Forest/Tropical terrain)
2 Psiloi
1 Auxilia
1 per 6 elements (Optional)
I liked the thought behind the factors, but took a more simplified approach. LH, Cv and Ps had scouting roles; LH = 2, Cv = 1 and Ps = 0.5. This doubled for Ps in favourable terrain; Forest, Hilly, and Tropical and halved for LH in the same terrain. An example taken from my current campaign experiment would have Central Asian Turks (3xCv, 6xLH and 1xPs = 15.5) vs an invading Samanid army (3xCv, 1 LH and 1Ps = 5.5). Not quite 3-1 but certainly a 2-1 advantage to the Turks. As defender, the Turks would be allowed to place up to two elements in cover in their half of the board. Having Dry as home topography the choices are limited, but still 2 elements neatly placed can work. A 3-1 or better would have allowed the Turks to place 2 elements under cover in any feature located anywhere on the board.

If the roles were reversed; Turks, the invader and Samanids the defender, then the Turks could make use of a flank march option with up to 2 elements from his field army. With a 2-1 advantage, the Turks could chose to bring a flank march from the base line up to half the board edge. 3-1 would allow the attacker to bring a flank march along the full length of the board. A six would be needed to enter, but this would be reduced by one each turn thereafter. If the attacker is in the company of an allied contingent, then the entire contingent could flank march. Their dice roll, however, would still remain a six. This is offset by the fact that once on the battlefield they have their own general and own die roll.

I do like the general’s prestige level having some influence on the options; such as, attacking a marching column, flank marches, ambushes, etc. At what level of prestige is a general promoted from cautious to bold? A bold general might optimize a smaller scouting factor to offset the enemy’s greater number of LH, Cv, etc. A cautious general could also waste an advantage of numbers. This would certainly deserve another topic.

regards,

Macbeth
03-03-2005, 07:40 PM
Originally posted by Timurilank:
[QUOTE]
I do like the general’s prestige level having some influence on the options; such as, attacking a marching column, flank marches, ambushes, etc. At what level of prestige is a general promoted from cautious to bold? A bold general might optimize a smaller scouting factor to offset the enemy’s greater number of LH, Cv, etc. A cautious general could also waste an advantage of numbers. Slightly off the topic, but when I ran a WRG7th campaign years ago I tried to give Rash, Cautious and Unreliable generals all some sets of advantage and disadvantages.

Cautious Generals were slightly better off when approaching a town. They were less likely to be ambushed, but less likely to gain a surprise assualt

Rash and Unreliable Generals were better at inspiring their own troops - Rash because they were fighters, Unreliable because they kept their own troops safe.

Cheers

Timurilank
03-04-2005, 07:40 AM
[QUOTE] Macbeth wrote:
Slightly off the topic, but when I ran a WRG7th campaign years ago I tried to give Rash, Cautious and Unreliable generals all some sets of advantage and disadvantages.

Cautious Generals were slightly better off when approaching a town. They were less likely to be ambushed, but less likely to gain a surprise assualt

Rash and Unreliable Generals were better at inspiring their own troops - Rash because they were fighters, Unreliable because they kept their own troops safe.

Cheers QUOTE]

That is a thought. Cautious Generals would not be able to use an ambush option and a Rash General would disregard the flank march. A Bold General would be capable of using both. A bit simplistic, but I have been considering a grading system for Generals since we use a number of non-player countries in our campaigns. These are a source of attention for the players as a frontier could always erupt from the occasional raids to a full blown invasion. The category of Generals is also useful for creating scenarios for the occasional player looking for a game but not having the time or the commitment of a campaign.

regards,