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Universal fight in two ranks.....
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Obscader



Joined: 04 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:23 pm
Post subject: Universal fight in two ranks.....
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I was wondering how a rule that let ALL troops fight in two ranks would effect the metagame.

Obviously it would lessen the power of omnipresent Long Weapons.

It would make line infantry twice as effective against lone monsters.

It would mean more units would be falling back from all the extra casualties ( I use *extra* loosely... 1 / 2 don't cause any casualties to begin with!)

It wouldn't need a points boost as everyone would get it. The rationale is that regiments don't clash in two perfectly neat lines, but switch warriors and jab a longsword in where they can and its all one huge swirling melee.

Thoughts?

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Tanker



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:29 pm
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I am against it. Two words tree spirits. Two more chain demons

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bluntfang



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:25 pm
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I confess, tanker has the right of it. Two attack infantry, especially skill three ones, would simply shred one unit a turn.

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Obscader



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:23 pm
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bluntfang wrote:
I confess, tanker has the right of it. Two attack infantry, especially skill three ones, would simply shred one unit a turn.


I thought they'd come up, the buggers.

I think one infantrymen getting twice as many attacks as another infantrymen with the same skill is a deeper issue.

At least in my cone of experience, they are vastly more destructive. Minus one skill to the [CENSORED] s (Repeater crossbows get minus one skill for two attacks after all) and then they might work.

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Khazadson



Joined: 04 Jul 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:19 pm
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I agree with tanker. It isn't just the quicker combats that is the problem but the morale issue also.

Say for example you had two units attacking each other under the current system. One unit averages 4 wounds per turn and the other 8 thanks to extra skill, attacks or strength or whatever.

Current system one unit causes 4 more wounds than the other.
Proposed system, one unit causes 8 more wounds than the other.

Both units might still be alive and fighting under the current system. Proposed system, the morale test might make a big difference.


As far as I can see, it accentuates the problem of stronger units being better bang for their buck than weaker ones. Considering you plan on implementing this without a change in points...
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pisagerr



Joined: 12 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:13 am
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Well, it's true that a soldier could jab a sword around his buddy, or even throw a rock, but it would certainly not be as effective as the guy in the front. Maybe if the back rank only got one attack per trooper it would work. It would still make a good chunk of rules needing to be reconfigured slightly, so I say no, at least not for now.
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Shelfunit



Joined: 03 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 6:30 am
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Maybe the easiest way to solve this would be to adjust the long weapon cost in the ccf by multiples of 0.5 and sling it into the excel sheet or play out thousands of combat real time. It's the way Thane did it originally.

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Khazadson



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:15 am
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I think Zink did the math for longweapons a while back and found them to be appropriately costed.
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Obscader



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:25 am
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Fair enough. Fight in two ranks would lead to more morale checks and units that wouldn't normally have broken breaking.

BUT then how will we get more swords onto the field? At the moment a good use of swordsmen is objective taking and holding up enemy units to then fire into/outflank,etc.

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Elvenblade
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:00 am
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points wise long weapon units are more or less costed correctly this however doesn't stop swords being the poorer cousin when it come to unit selection due to the atacks per frontage. Apart from a higher cost spears/longs have no disadvantages when compared to swords. Yes, they lose the 2 ranks etc when attacked to the flank but that just makes them the 'same' as swords.

To make them a more tactical choice it would be good to give them other attributes that need to be considered. e.g.
less maneouverable - lower movement, higher penalty to change facing
only give 2 ranks when they are charged, not when they are doing the attacking i.e. make them more defensive units
Lose 2 ranks ability after first round of combat or if failing a leadership test
Give them 2 ranks or shield but not both.

these are all possible options. the rules don't differentiate between 8 foot spears and 20 foot pikes (or whatever the ancients had). The 20 foot jobbies would keep the enemy at bay well but were useless once the enemy got past them. they also made shield use difficult and changing face a major challenge unless very discplined/trained. A 8 foot spear is eaiser to handle but is not so good at keeping the enemy at bay. I know there is discussion about them dropping the spears and using their swords but the whole point of spear men was they didn't have swords. Spears were cheap to produce and could be given to grunts. swords were more expensive and harder to use effectively.

Therefore I would suggest adding some restrictions on what long weapon units can do along the lines of above and/or make spears the same as sword/hand weapons with AoA spears/long weapons really being the pike type weapons with all the cumbersome issues that brings with it.

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Zinkala



Joined: 13 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:45 am
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Interesting thoughts, EB. Would you drop the cost of long weapons if you added some restrictions/negatives to their use?

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Khazadson



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:52 am
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Elvenblade wrote:
Yes, they lose the 2 ranks etc when attacked to the flank but that just makes them the 'same' as swords.

It could be argued that the disadvantage is that they cost more points for the same effectiveness. If you miraculously managed to engage every spear unit to the flank, you would be in a very advantageous position due to all the extra points you have available.

I think if you simply force spears into RnF in order to get their rank bonus you come a long way to separating swordsmen from spearmen. Also you might consider having an unwritten rule that veteran type units don't have spears (certain exceptions of course). So you don't have skill 3 str 2 attack 2 spearmen.

Other than that I like your ideas of reducing their manoeuvrability (though I'm not sure how) and/or not allowing them to attack in ranks if they perform a charge. I also like the idea of making them "slow" and or "strikes last" against attacks to their rear and flank, which allows them to continue performing their main function but gives them a weakness to be taken advantage of.

The goal in my opinion is to reduce the favour or dominance of spears in the minds of players without reducing their primary usage. If you nerf their ability to perform in their forward arc then you will run the risk of ruining the unit.


EDIT: You could impose morale checks on certain manoeuvres. This would represent training involved in maintaining order and formation whilst completing complex tasks (including potentially fighting in ranks). Of course this would slow down the game and you would ideally link the cost of long weapons to morale. It could be a difficult thing to balance.
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Elvenblade
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:26 pm
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Their costs would need amending but the idea is to make them different to other infantry, more useful for certain functions and less suited to others. At the moment their only real disadvantage is if you can flank them and that is only because they are 'wasting points spent'. however flanking is easier said than done and if they are not engaged to the front they can turn after first turn anyway minimising the points waste. If they are engaged to front then they are using the advantage on another victim anyway.

I quite like the slow or last strike idea when attacked on the flank. It abstracts the ideas into the AoA mechanics. It is an abstraction though so if taken literally I'm sure there will be arguments against them.

I would like to see them have a role in much the same way fliers, cav and wizards do. That is, take too much of one thing and you end up with an army that is good in one area but fatally flawed in another. At the moment spears have no real functional disadvantage (apart from cost) to swords.

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Khazadson



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:33 pm
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P.S. have you thought about adding 5 points of offence to your swordsmen? If you don't do that, how do you normally spend those extra points?

Given the assessment that spearmen are costed correctly, I can't help but feel it is simply perception that leads to them being more popular.

I have to confess that I like spearmen and often have one to two units in my army. I have never felt they over performed, nor have I ever felt that my opponents spearmen were particularly difficult to deal with. On top of that I always find room and uses for my other troop types.

Perhaps I am missing something and I would be more effective if I fielded more spearmen, but I don't really see that as being the case. Nor do I see them as so popular that is it an issue for the aesthetics of the game.

I am really surprised at the seemingly unanimous idea that something needs to be done about them.

I mean I look at the cost of longweapons compared to adding an attack to my basic troops. It is 3 points cheaper to add an extra attack. Sure they aren't first strike on the first round, and if facing an enemy that is always first strike, they aren't as robust; but on the other hand they get their 2 attacks to every direction, spears only to the front (assuming RnF, which could be enforced for rank fighting) and they're 3 points cheaper!

In fact just based on that alone I feel like swords are better bang for their buck. I can have large units of skirmish swordsmen without fear of the +1 to hit, they manoeuvre better and will lap around the spearmen gaining more attacks (or could simply charge the flank to begin with, especially great if in RnF). Or I could forget about size, keep them in RnF and give them more strength (still cheaper than LW). Swords seem cheaper and more versatile depending on the situation you're facing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is... What's the problem again?
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Tanker



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:53 pm
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I echo the above about not needing a change for the same reasons plus... Spear units are generally less maneuverable in practice. In
My experience spear unts are deployed wide and shallow to maximize the number of attacks and to shorten the flank. Non long weapon units are typically deployed 5 or 6 wide.

The spears have been center mass uits or flank holders, while "sword" units tend to be maneuver units due to their narrower frontage granting them greater movement when wheeling and such. Also note a 5x5 unit loses no effectiveness if it simply turns, as it is a square, whereas
A wide spear unit with 3 ranks becomes a 6 attack skirmisher and loses RAF status. They would get the extra movement to maximize contact, but you get my drift.

IMHO restrictions in-fact instead of by rule are the best kind. Reason being is that situation may come up where a player can do something unorthodox that may be fun or necessary in a given circumstance, but in most cases is simply not practical so it won't be used. If a rule is in place the game becomes more linear and predictable.

How many people typically deploy spears in squares instead of a line formation? Very few I suspect due to wasting somewhat the advantage that the points investment in long weapons.

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