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Aug 26 15 2:53 AM

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I have been enjoying these rules but am starting to find the desultory nature of melee very frustrating and discouraging. Combats can go on for many turns without much happening and then suddenly someone gets very unlucky (not necessarily me but also my opponents) who has not done anything unsound tactically but wild things happen. Do others find this? I wonder if the (in effect) d10 like card system is not responsible for this? Would a d8 or even d6 like competitive roll not work better for melee? I might see if I can persuade someone to experiment along these lines. It would be a pity to have give up on these rules in frustration as they have so much that is clever about them. Maybe I am treating these rules more seriously than they are not meant to be.  Rather than as a perhaps they are meant to be, such as as a yippy dip/bear and pretzel type system? I certainly hope not. Also they do not seem that fast even though a player may go through many actions with their troops, there is often not much real result combat wise.
Thoughts any one? I am also a terrible card shuffler thus a preferance for dice. They are much quicker.
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#1 [url]

Aug 26 15 4:20 AM

Hi GW,

I do find that with the very fast combat system and most units dying on a second disorder melee can be brutal, but as you say that doesn't mean things can't drag a bit in places but I think that can happen with any rule set, and makes the final breakthrough even more satisfying!  Also generally speaking rallying is difficult especially with enemy able to charge the rallyers. I play a lot of games with pike blocks that can take 3 hits and they can still die very quickly unfortunately, my mate has a knack of charging   them from the flank and rear with light units which is very annoying but works a treat (for him). 

As to cards I use d10s instead for my 28mm armies in 6" squares as I'm a butterfingers handling a deck and they take up less space on the table. I have 20 green and 20 red dice with a couple of black ones for combat and rallying to avoid confusion. 20 is more than enough, in fact you only need as many as the number of units in your largest command. When activating a box I place the dice in the centre, when activating a unit because of the shape you can 'point' the dice at  the unit. And when you want to reactivate something just reroll the dice, but make sure your opponent knows what the new score you need is :)  I find it much easier to use and just as exciting. Its easy to get them in large numbers of the same colour from web retailers too.

For my 15mm on 4" squares I use chits that Simon stocks in his shop, I draw them at random from a bag and again they are beter than cards as they are much smaller and can stack easily for reactivations. I still use d10s for combat and melee. 



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#2 [url]

Aug 26 15 4:36 AM

I'm not sure I can give a persuasive answer, if you find melees troubling. I haven't found it a problem that charges do not always have decisive outcomes. For me, melees seem to resulve in a few turns, often when a new unit can join in, and that is Ok for me, rather than frustrating.  Maybe it depends on the troops you are using. If I think of a clash between pikes and legionaries, I expect it to be somewhat of a grind. I imagine troops backing off from combat several times before one or other begins to give way (becomes disordered). Then it becomes a question of whether the disordered unit can rally (low probability) before giving way completely (breaking). I don't find the results 'wild'; good troops tend to come out on top.

I can se that you could make things more decisive by changing the probabilities of disorder in the way you suggest. It would increase the benefit of being the charging unit. Some units could become significantly more powerful - it would become much more likely that a unit attacking the flank or with the 'lance' option would break its target. Maybe that is what you are looking for. Personally, I prefer the possibility that a charging unit may get a poor card and find itself worse off than the unit it charged. I suppose it depends how much chance you want in your games. I don't think having a reasonably high chance level must make the game 'beer and pretzel'.

As to the cards, you could use D10 or the chits Simon sells. I like the idea that, once I turn a card, I know only too well what I should have done, which maybe not what I've chosen to do. Dice and the chits don't give that. Again, that particular experience may not be something that you want.



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#3 [url]

Aug 26 15 5:08 AM

I'm sorry it's not moving quickly for you; which armies have you been using?

The very first version of the rules back in 2012 had an adversarial system using a pair of D6 on each side; I'm afraid it was pretty dull, there was a lot of toting up factors and the bell-curve result didn't work well. I scrapped it and rewrote from scratch using the playing cards instead, which I find give the game a lot of dynamism, especially with the multiple activations. As far as cards go I find them at least as fast as dice (which often get cocked or fall on the floor). The chits that Roger mentions are slightly quicker still.

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#4 [url]

Aug 26 15 5:57 AM

Varies by style

I have found that combat varies according to the style of the opposing generals.

cautious generals rally off hits at every chance. Because you can usually get 2 goes at rallying a unit, most combat units can rally in that most of the time. Combat is attack followed by rally. It grinds on.

aggressive generals target attacks where the enemy are disordered, regardless of the state of their troops, and seek quick resolution. They attack on nearly every activation. Combat lasts 2 to 3 rounds before one side or other is dead.

depending on which you do, the same rules will play very differently for you. If it is a fair battle with both generals making the best decisions the result is random anyway.

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#5 [url]

Aug 26 15 6:07 AM

Combats can take a long time. If you are attacking a save 7 unit, you have a 30% chance of disordering them (assuming you are un-disordered yourself). On their turn, they will likely have a 30% chance of rallying. If you wanted to speed up the combat, then you could disallow units from rallying in an enemy ZOC.

I think you're always going to have unlucky results in any set of rules, and the impact of those results will diminish the more units you use. It depends on what period you're playing, and your own view on how battles in that period played out. I'm more of a 'lulls and pauses with sporadic action' supporter, so I usually don't mind protracted combats, particularly in our Seljuk v Fatimid games, or with samurai. There may be other periods that require a bit more 'action,' but I think the rules are flexible enough for you to tailor them to your own needs.

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#6 [url]

Aug 26 15 8:33 AM

I'd hate to think that you'd give up a great set of rules because of an odd thing you don't like. I haven't found the melees a problem so far and I find using the chits rather than the cards much better-less "clutter", smaller, etc.
At the end of the day, I think you have to decide if, overall, the rules give you a good game. No set is perfect, so rather than give up the rules, I'm sure Simon wouldn't mind you adapting them to your own ideas and style of play. The old "House Rules" idea which would allow you to play the rules but add those items that you think improve the play.
Have you had your friends play testing your new ideas? I think you have to try out your ideas for a few games and then reach a conclusion - you might find they don't work as well as you think over a trial period.
Good luck with the trials and I hope you find a satisfactory conclusion to the problem, and carry on with the rules perhaps with your own modifications. They're a good set to use for a club night - fast and fun.

Best Wishes DaveL

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#7 [url]

Aug 27 15 5:16 AM

From my limited experience the melee works well. The battle lines lock with an occasional unit breaking, if you have no reserve your line gets chomped up from the flank, or one side breaks through on a flank and again hits you in the side or rear. I can think of several battles where this happened Cannae being the most spectacular.

That said we all have expectations of what a rule set should be like, I like these and they are the best I've come across since DBM ruined ancient wargaming, I still have a hankering for WRG 3rd edition.

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