Home Forums General Game Design Games with "Lingering" Combats Reply To: Games with "Lingering" Combats


I’m clearly no expert, but I’ll share a few of my unplaytested, shoot-from-the-hip thoughts on a couple of the points you made above:

2. It doesn’t work well for flank attacks.

You mention rules for turning and facing the enemy. I would think that if a unit is attacked in the flank or rear, it would pretty much be an automatic about face. I wouldn’t think the men would need to be ordered to do so unless they were already facing an enemy to the front, but I think it would result in the unit becoming disordered. To summarize, I think a unit attacked on the flank or rear should be instantly disordered, should be able to respond with a reduced melee value while facing away, and it should be the owning player’s option to turn about face. Doing so would allow it to begin the next round of combat facing the enemy, but disordered. 

3. It complicates shooting.  Do you allow people to fire into melees?  If so, under what conditions, and with what line of fire?  (Must the shooter not have any portion of a friend in his line of fire or sight… etc.   More Rules.

I think they should be allowed to fire into a melee, but casualties should be taken by both sides. Friendly fire incidents happen, and I think that possibility is appropriate in a game. Resolving it depends on how much detail you want add. The simplest approach is to just split the casualties down the middle between friend and foe. Or you could make something more elaborate based on the angle of the shot, or ratio of attackers to defenders, etc. Personally, I think that’s just needless complication that slows down the game. Id rather just spread the losses equally and move on.

4. It complicates movement rules.  Once your unit is stuck in with the enemy, is it frozen?  Or can it fall back in its own movement phase? If frozen, some weird things can result, such as being stopped half an inch short of an enemy, because of being in contact with a different enemy. (Or whether the enemy can waltz past your unit if you’re stuck in combat? And if not, then how far away does he have to be?)  If your unit can still move in some way, such as disengaging, then you need rules to cover the circumstances for how/when and against what sort of opponents.  More Rules.

Hail Caesar allows certain troops to attempt to exit melee. Their approach is pretty simple, but I think, in general, highly mobile troops should have the option to attempt it when facing less mobile troops (Light cavalry vs heavy cavalry, skirmishers vs line troops, etc) as long as they are not disordered. But withdrawing from a melee is a very tricky thing, and if it’s not done well, then your unit can fall apart. So, in game terms, If you allow a unit to try to pull itself out of a melee, you handle it with a die roll. If it succeeds, they fall back. If it doesn’t, it routs. No middle ground. 


Have you ever seen a game that used “lingering combats” well?  Smoothly?  Without major glitches?

I actually can’t recall any that handle it particularly well, but I’ve played several in which the lingering combat was (I felt) handled badly, and it just ruined the game for me. It’s a tricky thing to do well. 

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by Altius.

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