Front contact priority

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Delphin
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Front contact priority

Post by Delphin » Wed May 27, 2020 6:12 pm

Hello! Could you explain, why a stand, that is attacked from both front and flank, must fight with front stand? I find it illogical.

For example, the Bow Levy attack Elite Foot from the front and Knights from flank. In my opinion, Bow Levy just irritate Elite Foot, while Knights strike the main blow. So, Elite Foot will be forced to fight with Knights, with some penalties from Bow Levy.

But in the game, if I understand correctly, Elite Foot will have combat with Bow Levy, +4 vs +2. Most likely (72%) they win, Bow Levy and Knights falls back. So, in next turn Elite Foot can attack Bow Levy wih +5/+2 and double with a good chance (33%).

This does not seem to represent a devastating effect, that should be produced by coordinated attack of Knights and Bows.

Why not allow the active player to choose, which stand is primary?
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David Kuijt
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Re: Front contact priority

Post by David Kuijt » Wed May 27, 2020 11:29 pm

Delphin wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 6:12 pm
Hello! Could you explain, why a stand, that is attacked from both front and flank, must fight with front stand? I find it illogical.

For example, the Bow Levy attack Elite Foot from the front and Knights from flank. In my opinion, Bow Levy just irritate Elite Foot, while Knights strike the main blow. So, Elite Foot will be forced to fight with Knights, with some penalties from Bow Levy.

But in the game, if I understand correctly, Elite Foot will have combat with Bow Levy, +4 vs +2. Most likely (72%) they win, Bow Levy and Knights falls back. So, in next turn Elite Foot can attack Bow Levy wih +5/+2 and double with a good chance (33%).

This does not seem to represent a devastating effect, that should be produced by coordinated attack of Knights and Bows.

Why not allow the active player to choose, which stand is primary?
Reverse the question -- why allow the active player to choose, which stand is primary?

Allowing it would create a situation ripe for abuse. History is full of examples where an attack from the flank would be devastating to troops engaged in the front. Even if the troops attacking from the flank are very light, crap troops. Skirmishers or Rabble. There are many, many examples where this was a disaster for the troops fighting on their front.

But if we allowed the option you suggest, suddenly it would become a great relief for troops to be attacked on the flank by skirmishers or rabble -- because if they survived the first attack (tied) then they would be nearly totally safe on their own turn, because instead of having to fight the Elite Foot to their front, they could fight the Rabble on the flank. That is a badly contra-historical result, that troops attacked front-and-flank would be safer than those attacked just frontally.

The front of the troop stand is where the combat power of the unit is focused. If anyone engages that, that's where the main fighting occurs.
DK
coopman
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Re: Front contact priority

Post by coopman » Thu May 28, 2020 2:35 am

In the game, a flank or rear attack is a -1 to the defender, which is the same penalty as an overlap. It would seem to me that being attacked in the flank or rear would be a bit more severe than a frontal overlap situation. Did the design team ever consider a -2 modifier for being attacked in the flank or rear while also fighting frontally? If so, why did you decide to keep it at a -1? Thanks.
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David Kuijt
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Re: Front contact priority

Post by David Kuijt » Thu May 28, 2020 2:45 am

coopman wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 2:35 am
In the game, a flank or rear attack is a -1 to the defender, which is the same penalty as an overlap. It would seem to me that being attacked in the flank or rear would be a bit more severe than a frontal overlap situation. Did the design team ever consider a -2 modifier for being attacked in the flank or rear while also fighting frontally? If so, why did you decide to keep it at a -1? Thanks.
You can't look at the numbers in isolation -- you have to look at the whole picture. Being attacked in the flank or rear IS more severe than a frontal overlap situation. Frontal overlap means -1. With two Elite Foot pushing, an overlap means very little -- suddenly the chance of complete collapse of the overlapped stand becomes 5.5% rather than 0%. No big deal. But if the overlap is a flank or rear attack instead? Same -1. But now the chance of the flanked Elite Foot dying is 58%! That's a huge, huge change.

So no, -1 is more than enough for flank and rear. We have no need or desire to make it more severe -- it is already a massive increase in fatalities for the flanked/reared stand.
DK
Delphin
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Re: Front contact priority

Post by Delphin » Thu May 28, 2020 2:45 pm

But if we allowed the option you suggest, suddenly it would become a great relief for troops to be attacked on the flank by skirmishers or rabble -- because if they survived the first attack (tied) then they would be nearly totally safe on their own turn, because instead of having to fight the Elite Foot to their front, they could fight the Rabble on the flank. That is a badly contra-historical result, that troops attacked front-and-flank would be safer than those attacked just frontally.
I agree. But what about my example? Isn't that a badly contra-historical result, that troops attacking front-and-flank have worse result, than attacking flank only? :)

I think, both of those situations can be correctly resolved with a rule likes this:

If player has two or more of his stands in contact with one enemy stand, he may choose, which stand is primary.

Or:

When two or more stands move into contact with one stand in the same turn, active player may choose a main attacking stand. Attacked stand must turn into front contact with it.

Or:

When two or more stands move into contact with one stand in the same turn, active player may choose, which stand is primary during this turn only.
coopman
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Re: Front contact priority

Post by coopman » Thu May 28, 2020 5:24 pm

I did not take into account the fact that the presence of the flanking/rear enemy stand = elimination of the defender if he loses since he cannot fall back. THAT is how the rules take care of it.
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David Kuijt
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Re: Front contact priority

Post by David Kuijt » Thu May 28, 2020 10:05 pm

Delphin wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 2:45 pm

I agree. But what about my example? Isn't that a badly contra-historical result, that troops attacking front-and-flank have worse result, than attacking flank only? :)
Not as much as you think. In your mind you want the Knights to be the main combatant. So why are you throwing Bow Levy into the front of the Elite Foot? That's just asking for disaster. Bow Levy get crushed by Elite Foot -- and in the real world there are no "game turns" and no precise timing was possible. If the Bow Levy got stuck in before the Knights finished their flanking move, they could well get crushed -- and the Knights might well decide not to attack at all.

If you want to have the Knights attack and the Bow Levy assist, then hit the flank of the Elite Foot with the Knights, then move the Bow Levy up to overlap -- NOT TO FIGHT THE FRONT. Then you get exactly what you want. And it's already in the rules.
Delphin wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 2:45 pm
I think, both of those situations can be correctly resolved with a rule likes this:

If player has two or more of his stands in contact with one enemy stand, he may choose, which stand is primary.

Or:

When two or more stands move into contact with one stand in the same turn, active player may choose a main attacking stand. Attacked stand must turn into front contact with it.

Or:

When two or more stands move into contact with one stand in the same turn, active player may choose, which stand is primary during this turn only.
None of those is necessary (because of the method I've already described). And all of those are micro-managing tactical decisions that are awkward game mechanics, not real tactics. And several of those cause other problems. Number 2 is guaranteed to make for weirdness and unexpected add-on impacts. Number three is an "exception" -- bad rules writing. Can't always be avoided, but anywhere exceptions can be avoided, they should. Number one is a game mechanic which has nothing to do with battles -- again, simple games have sometimes awkward game mechanics, but why should we seek one out when we can avoid it?

If you want to hit a stand with a Knight and a Skirm, do it as I said above and you'll get the result you want. No new rules, no new interpretations, no exceptions, and no need to remember which stand hit first.
DK
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Rod
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Re: Front contact priority

Post by Rod » Thu May 28, 2020 10:23 pm

I would suggest a few more play tests, the front contact priority and the flank rules were carefully thought through and play tested to avoid some fairly weird game situations.

For example touch and turn makes it too easy for light troops to take apart formations like pike blocks or heavy foot lines.

Turning for free means individual stands effectively have no flank.

Remembering they were hit in the flank adds unnecessary complications.
Delphin
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Re: Front contact priority

Post by Delphin » Thu May 28, 2020 11:30 pm

David Kuijt wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 10:05 pm
If you want to have the Knights attack and the Bow Levy assist, then hit the flank of the Elite Foot with the Knights, then move the Bow Levy up to overlap -- NOT TO FIGHT THE FRONT.
Wow, it looks good. Did I understand you correctly?

When I move Knights in flank contact, the enemy stand loses ZOC and I can move Bow Levy in overlap position - by corner-to-corner contact. It's seems few tricky, but solves my problem.
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Rod
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Re: Front contact priority

Post by Rod » Fri May 29, 2020 12:03 am

Combat breaks ZOC, so yes you can attack with the knight occupying the elite foot, support with the bow levy.

Plus bow levy only move 2MU, so ZOC only stops them entering combat with another unit.
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