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Old 07-01-2015, 12:13 AM
Skeptical Gamer Skeptical Gamer is offline
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Default Why not use those lists?

There are a couple things I believe about DBA army lists:

1. In a game with only 12 elements, each element type should be (roughly) equal in usefulness. Note: I did not say equally powerful...

2. As a history teacher, I know exactly how much (educated) guesswork is involved in our understanding of history, especially ancient history. Because of this, all DBA army lists will be someone's interpretation of history (i.e., probably not perfectly accurate).

Given these two things, I cannot see any problem with allowing DBA players to choose armies from both the 2.2 and the 3.0 lists.

If #1 above is correct, then any combination of twelve elements would be balanced.
If #1 is incorrect, then the armies are already out of balance and it won't make any difference.

If a tournament organizer believes that one list is more historically accurate than another (especially in themed events), then that list could be specified for use in that event.

In an open tournament, should players be allowed to use any list from 2.2 or 3.0?
Why or why not?
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2015, 12:28 AM
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david kuijt david kuijt is offline
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Did you mean to post this in the 2.2+ section? If so, why? To be more specific, do you believe there is a groundswell of gamers who use the 3.0 army lists who want to play 2.2+? Or that there might be such in the future?

I'm not (entirely) being facetious -- I'm making the point that I don't really see "3.0 gamers wanting to use 3.0 army lists while playing 2.2+" as a large population right now. And if this is (as it is currently) an entirely theoretical exercise (i.e., no such people are showing up in droves), what does it matter?

Except, of course, people who might want to min-max their armies by choosing what is (in their opinion) a "more effective" version of a particular army list by cherry-picking from either army list. But why should we want to support that behavior?
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2015, 12:30 AM
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Richard Lee Richard Lee is offline
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This would interest me for BBDBA 2.2+. I have all 3 European variants of the I/14 Early Northern Barbarians list. I understand that DBA v3.0 has some very interesting options for allies for at least a couple of the European sub-lists.

Unfortunately, I was not privy to the academic research that led to to this breakthrough, so have to accept it unconditionally. People wishing to discuss the validity of the allies will have to do so without including me in their debates.

On a slightly more serious note, I have a couple of qualms. Firstly, at the moment, all players just need a copy of DBA 2.2, plus the '+' download. They would need a copy of DBA 3.0. Although some people will have already bought it to try, others may not have it.

Secondly, one of the things that I like about DBA is 'that is what you have so make the best of it'. I am not sure that increasing army options necessarily improves the game.
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david kuijt View Post
Did you mean to post this in the 2.2+ section? If so, why? To be more specific, do you believe there is a groundswell of gamers who use the 3.0 army lists who want to play 2.2+? Or that there might be such in the future?

I'm not (entirely) being facetious -- I'm making the point that I don't really see "3.0 gamers wanting to use 3.0 army lists while playing 2.2+" as a large population right now. And if this is (as it is currently) an entirely theoretical exercise (i.e., no such people are showing up in droves), what does it matter?

Except, of course, people who might want to min-max their armies by choosing what is (in their opinion) a "more effective" version of a particular army list by cherry-picking from either army list. But why should we want to support that behavior?
Yes, I did mean to post it in the 2.2+ section. I felt that the people who play 2.2+ are the most likely to consider such variations.

I don't believe that there is a groundswell of gamers who want it, but I do believe that there are a significant number of people who play 2.2+ who also own a copy of 3.0.

There are a lot of reasons that such a player might prefer the 3.0 list that have nothing to do with min-maxing. For example it could give players a chance to play an army that better fits their own view of the historical army. (Perhaps they feel that warband does not properly represent Arab Conquest infanty, etc.)

As for fearing min-maxers, the players who are likely to cherry-pick for "more effective" armies, already do that. That's why some armies in 2.2 are used regularly and some are seldom played. As I said in the original post, I don't see how this would in any way make such behavior worse.

Yes, it is a theoretical exorcise. But that doesn't invalidate the exercise. I posted this question in part to see if anyone was interested...
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Old 07-01-2015, 01:41 AM
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I am playing 2.2+ on a regular basis and am perfectly happy with it. However, I never liked the 2.2 army list for the later Swiss IV/79. People educated in medieval history tell me that this list does not reflect the slowly increasing proportion of pikes over the duration of the 15th century. Now this has been improved significantly in the 3.0 army lists. Nothing will stop me from using this particular 3.0 list in conjunction with 2.2+ rules.

Maerk

Last edited by maerk; 07-01-2015 at 02:33 AM. Reason: typo
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2015, 03:59 AM
Dangun Dangun is offline
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I would have thought that players would prefer the most convincingly historical list, where ever it can be found 3.0, 2.2 or elsewhere. (My personal bias is that the European lists are overly granular - with little basis in evidence - and the Asian lists disappointingly thin.)

The running of tournaments requires more standardization for reasons of fairness and clarity. Of course this could mean allowing armies from either list, and for what its worth (very little as there are no DBA tournaments for me in HK or Malta), I think that the min-maxing of 3.0 lists vs 2.2 lists would be a minor issue compared to the min-maxing of army choice, i.e. not taking the psiloi-only Libyans etc. etc.

There is actually an interesting corollary... The World Scrabble Championship uses the SOWPODS dictionary, which is an amalgam of a dictionary commonly used in the UK Scrabble tournaments and a word-list used in North American scrabble tournaments.

Sound familiar?
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Last edited by Dangun; 07-01-2015 at 04:04 AM.
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  #7  
Old 07-01-2015, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maerk View Post
I am playing 2.2+ on a regular basis and am perfectly happy with it. However, I never liked the 2.2 army list for the later Swiss IV/79. People educated in medieval history tell me that this list does not reflect the slowly increasing proportion of pikes over the duration of the 15th century. Now this has been improved significantly in the 3.0 army lists. Nothing will stop me from using this particular 3.0 list in conjunction with 2.2+ rules.

Maerk
That's a good point, Maerk. Some lists in 2.2 need improvement.
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2015, 08:07 AM
dervel dervel is offline
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David,
I have used a 3.0 list in a 2.2+ Hotlead event. The Hotlead events allowed any list from 2.2 or 3.0.

It was a themed event with "Mounted Mayhem"... I took one of the Russian 3.0 options because it had 10 Cav and 2 Wwg

I took it because it was fun, not sure if it was any more or less accurate.

Having more options on the table is fun and interesting. Organizers can always specify for a given event.

I think the only really strange combinations are the 5 elephant options... not sure 5 elephants would be a killer army because they use the ally rules?
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2015, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dervel View Post
David,
Having more options on the table is fun and interesting.
Sure, I play HotT all the time. I love "build your own army" games in HotT. But when I play historical games, I want the army lists to be ... historical.

Running tournaments over the last 15 years I've heard a lot of minmaxer rationalizations from people about historical army lists. "Why do I have to take this element, can't I sub a Knight for it instead? Nobody is really sure what the proportions were, 2500 years ago...." Those aren't arguments from research or evidence, they are attempts to have HotT "build your own army" army lists in the historical game. And yes, I also sometimes hear arguments based upon history (or, like Maerk's, based upon problems with existing lists), but I'd guesstimate the proportions (based purely upon what I hear at conventions or email) at about 4:1 in favor of the min-maxers.

So when someone asks me "can we use this alternative list" or "can I take X instead" or "I didn't bring the Horde by mistake, how about I take Spear?" or whatever, most of the time they aren't asking because of their concern for history (like Maerk) they are asking for some other reason. Convenience, or wanting a lower aggression, or (often) wanting to make their own army list so the list would be more effective or powerful. I'm really not motivated to pander to that sort of motivations. And if I do, I'm doing a disservice to anyone who came to the convention/tournament with a legal list. Suppose Big Al is aggression 2 in the 3.0 lists and the list is otherwise unchanged (I'm sure that's not the case -- this is purely as an example). If I let one player come in with an agg2 3.0 Big Al list, and another player is playing with an agg4 2.2 Big Al list, not only will the second player feel (rightly) mistreated, he will probably want to play with the agg2 Big Al list next time. NOT because he thinks it is historical, either.

There's nothing wrong with allowing alternative lists. Almost every Campaign Theme the Two Davids runs has alternative lists for one or more armies. Published well in advance, so everyone signing up knows. And based upon history. If I was doing a Campaign Theme set in Europe in 1430, I'd certainly revisit the proportions of Pike and Halberd in the Later Swiss army, because (as Maerk says) the proportions in the 2.2 list are wrong for 1430 (they're mostly right for only the last quarter of the 15th century).

But I'm not motivated to allow alternative army lists (whether 3.0, FOG, or based upon an individual's personal research or preference) to pander to min-maxers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dervel View Post
I think the only really strange combinations are the 5 elephant options... not sure 5 elephants would be a killer army because they use the ally rules?
Even if I was to be convinced to allow 3.0 lists in a tournament I was running, I'd never allow a 3.0 list with 3.0 ally component. That's a min-maxer's dream, and a total kludge in terms of historical armies. Seriously, allowing an army that is 5/12 elephants? I snort in derision.
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Last edited by david kuijt; 07-01-2015 at 08:41 AM.
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  #10  
Old 07-01-2015, 08:58 AM
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Oh dear, it doesn't sound as if I will be able to use Western Chou Chinese as allies of my North European Barbarians 2000 BC to 1401 BC after all. I had already sourced a model of a Police telephone box to use as Tardis.
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