New Shooting Rules

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El' Jocko
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New Shooting Rules

Postby El' Jocko » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:21 pm

The rules update that was released this morning includes a significant change to the rules for distant shooting. The email announcing the update included an overview of the change and the rules include the full text, of course. This thread is to provide a little more background on what the changes entail and what you can expect from them.

Here's the overview of the change:

  • All distant shooting is now by individual stand (no combined shooting).
  • Shooting is in a single direction; the target stand does not shoot back as part of the combat. Two stands of Archers exchanging shots with one another will be resolved as two separate combats, one in each direction.
  • Combat factors for distant shooting are separate from combat factors for close combat.
And here's how the rules play now, focusing on the most common shooting troops: Archers now shoot at a +3 vs everything. Most foot troops defend against shooting at a +3. Chariots, Elite Cavalry, Cataphracts, and Elephants also defend against shooting at a +3. So you'll see this +3 vs. +3 a lot. And it results in the target falling back a lot of the time. With only occasional kills. (It takes a 6-1 or a 5-1 to get a kill, so about 6% of the time.)

In playtesting, we've found that several stands of Archers working together have a really disruptive effect on the enemy line. Not many kills, but they're very effective at breaking up the enemy attack and forcing the opposing player to use a lot of command points to sustain the attack.

In terms of the flow of the game, because you can't combine attacks and because all shooting is one-way, there is a bit more dice rolling than before. But since the number of combat factors is drastically reduced for shooting and there's only one possible modifier (general being shot at is +1), we've found that the shooting moves really quickly. Not having to figure out the optimal way to combine shooting saves a lot of pausing to think*.

That's the basic stuff. There's a lot of nuance built into the new shooting rules, but this post is getting kind of long so I'll cut it off here. Let us know if you have any questions, and we're always glad to get feedback. (Bonus points for actual playtesting feedback! :) )

- Jack


*Of course, thinking isn't inherently bad. Making the player think is generally a good think in game design. But our feeling was that figuring out the optimal way to combine shooting attacks was more on the game-artifact side of things, less on the what-would-Hannibal-do side.

Scott Kastler
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Re: New Shooting Rules

Postby Scott Kastler » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:13 pm

Glad to see the new shooting rules, they sound good Jack.

Scott K

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David Kuijt
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Re: New Shooting Rules

Postby David Kuijt » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:24 pm

Scott Kastler wrote:Glad to see the new shooting rules, they sound good Jack.


They solve a huge number of problems that we had been nagging at us. Using the close combat values for shooting caused a bunch of weirdnesses, like Elite Foot being immune to damage from missile fire, and the shooting support rules were very non-intuitive and created some very complex situations. The new rules add a new set of values for shooting (shooting out and receiving shooting) but they are simple and should be very easy to remember, and the new rules are overall much simpler than the old ones. Simplifying the shooting support rules also helps in multiple ways.

Our playtests of the new shooting have been very positive. The new shooting rules actually seem to speed up the game a bit -- there are more shots (because no support) but combat factors are so easy to internalize and there is no complex decision set (on whether to support or not, and who to shoot upon in what order to influence shoot-back, and stuff) so games rock right along, even with armies like HYW English versus Medieval German with like 14 shooting stands in the two armies.

The new "shoot from behind" rule also simplifies that quite a bit, and reduces the "fall back to the forward" oddity.
DK

Rod
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Re: New Shooting Rules

Postby Rod » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:52 pm

When we play tested them we liked the fact that the Archers could be deployed in a much more "realistic" fashion and spread out across your battle line instead of trying to move all the archers around like a concentrated mobile machine gun nest :)'

Also makes the Archer infantry interaction much more realistic, Peasants now fear bows a little bit more than they used too (no money for shields).

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David Kuijt
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Re: New Shooting Rules

Postby David Kuijt » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:11 pm

Rod wrote:When we play tested them we liked the fact that the Archers could be deployed in a much more "realistic" fashion and spread out across your battle line instead of trying to move all the archers around like a concentrated mobile machine gun nest :)'


Right. The best old-system deployment was Archers in Triads (groups of 3) to maximize slaughter. Which is interesting, but purely based upon game mechanics, not history.

Rod wrote:Also makes the Archer infantry interaction much more realistic, Peasants now fear bows a little bit more than they used too (no money for shields).


Yes, now Horde are really scared of Archers -- their move forward is the same as their fall back, and at +3:+2 they fall back a lot. And Rabble don't much like Archers either. But Skirmishers are less terrified (although they still don't like them). And most cool of all, Bow Levy are fairly resistant to Archer-bombardment. Although they will likely die eventually, they can stand for quite some time.
DK

Rod
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Re: New Shooting Rules

Postby Rod » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:25 pm


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Fab
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Re: New Shooting Rules

Postby Fab » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:25 am

I like the new shooting system.

After reading the new shooting rules I wonder why the previous rules were so complicated.

BUT...
... now archers are too powerful IMHO against Knights and I will keep on deploying "Archers in Triads" because it's much better to shoot three times at 3 vs 2 (new system) than once at 4 vs 2 (a combined shot of three archers against a single Kn as per the previous system).

Your thoughts ?


Cheers
Fab

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David Kuijt
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Re: New Shooting Rules

Postby David Kuijt » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:44 am

Fab wrote:I like the new shooting system.

After reading the new shooting rules I wonder why the previous rules were so complicated.


Thank you. We had the same feeling.

Fab wrote:BUT...
... now archers are too powerful IMHO against Knights and I will keep on deploying "Archers in Triads" because it's much better to shoot three times at 3 vs 2 (new system) than once at 4 vs 2 (a combined shot of three archers against a single Kn as per the previous system).

Your thoughts ?


Hmm. There's an error in your math. Old system is 4:1 when you have a combined shot of three archers against a single Kn. (+4:+3 base; two overlaps gives 4 vs. 1).

4:1 gives 15/36 chance of a kill (old system). New system gives a 1/6 chance of a kill each shot, so the chance of a kill with three shots is 1 - (5/6)^3 == 1 - 125/216 == 91/216. Old system kill chance is 90/216; new system kill chance is 91/216. Identical to within one half of one percent, unless I messed up the math. There are lots of places where the chances of kills change (Horde, Skirmishers, Javelin Cavalry, Horsebow, Archers, Elite Foot, Heavy Foot, many others) but three archers shooting against a single Knight isn't one of them.

And the logic of still-deploying archers in triads doesn't follow -- the critical thing in the new system is to ensure that individual archers get shots at individual target stands they can dominate (those with +2 combat factor against shooting -- most mounted, some few foot types). Not the old-system attempt to shoot in triples and get double overlaps at things you shoot at. So (in your example) you'll try to get your archers up individually against ANY of the enemy Knights, not in triples against PARTICULAR enemy Knights (which was the best way to optimize success with the Archers-in-Triads mechanism in the old system).
DK

Rod
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Re: New Shooting Rules

Postby Rod » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:20 pm

We play tested 100 years war three archers firing on one knight does not work as well as spreading out your archers to make sure all three get shots.

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Fab
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Re: New Shooting Rules

Postby Fab » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:58 pm

Ahi, ahi, my mistake !

The Kn combat factor vs. foot is 3 and not 4 as I mistakenly assumed, sorry.

So my math was wrong and now I'm 100% sold on the new system.

Thank you
Fab


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