18/07/2018 at 21:42 #95316
I’m currently working on writing my own Dark Age “Big Battle” set of rules.
I should start by saying I use individually mounted figures on large, movement bases.
This means there is a difference in base size as units have different numbers of figures eg a Hearthguard unit has 5 whereas a levy javelin unit has 12 figures. Working out the proportion of ‘combat dice’ to give different troop types is easy enough but what, if anything, do I do about 2 units fighting one on the front? Flank or rear attacks are another matter & I have that in hand.
In FoG, for example, a unit only fights one unit to its front. This is made easy by the fact every unit has the same frontage & you slide attacking units across to line them up if necessary. I can’t quite do this unless I ignore the disparity in base sizes in my game.
If I allow 2 units to fight one, combats will be a predictable disaster for the ‘one’. Should I rule that only one unit might fight another at a time….& I could allow a nearby unit to slip behind & provide support (ie an extra dice or two?) What other solutions are there?
donald19/07/2018 at 00:20 #95324
As in most things wargamey, it depends.
Time and distance scales are important here. In a pub brawl, it is surprisingly easy to deal with two opponents because they don’t usually coordinate well.
However, the reason for close order was to get as many warm bodies as possible onto as few of the enemy as possible.
Perhaps it should depend to some degree on whether the two (or three) bases have been fighting as a formed body. So perhaps if bases form up, side by side, spend time forming up, take a movement penalty to dress ranks, can only change facing by wheeling the entire body etc, then they can time their hit so more than one element fights another. The size of some of these penalties might be dependent on how well trained the troops are.
If your scale is abstracting the preliminary shouting match, perhaps it would be prudent to dice to see if each element charges home. It may be difficult to get any number of sword fodder to charge home on a single unit of well armed and armoured highborns.19/07/2018 at 04:42 #95329
If your scale is abstracting the preliminary shouting match, perhaps it would be prudent to dice to see if each element charges home. It may be difficult to get any number of sword fodder to charge home on a single unit of well armed and armoured highborns.
Obviously, if I’m writing the rules, I haven’t gamed them yet but as I’m going to put a lot of positives into forming Shield Walls, I think there will be an emphasis on coherent lines attacking one another.
Having said this, I do intend to put in a ‘to charge’ test for the Late Romans but also a ‘don’t charge ‘ test for the rambunctious Saxons. Either way, it should mean not all charges will be unblemished multi-unit affairs but often somewhat ragged.
I know I’ve got some months of moving figures and throwing dice around to test my rules before they’re fit for human consumption (a few years ago I wrote SYW rules) so anything too crazy will be apparent. At this stage, I’m leaning towards only allowing one unit to charge and fight one unit and ignore the convenient, unused frontage thus exposed.
Donald21/07/2018 at 10:41 #95430
You could follow the Hail Caesar mechanism – but any other rulesets do this as well such as DBX – by only allowing one unit fighting another, but having nearby units ‘in support’ providing a bonus. When one unit has to withdraw or routs, supporting units take some of the effects as well.21/07/2018 at 16:41 #95438
I would stick to just one resolution for simpler game mechanics–assuming your scope represents a front-to-front, short time period melee that that excludes wrapping around flanks and churning men from rear ranks into the melee. In this case, the exposure of the hand-to-hand combat is going to be limited by the size of the smaller unit (e.g., the one in a one-vs-two combat). For example, if 100 warriors are in a shield wall 4-men deep, their ‘casualty exposure’ is going to be 25 men–those in the front rank. (I know, I know, a gross simplification of reality.) That exposure may be in contact with two enemy units, say 10 men fighting enemy unit ‘A’ and 15 men fighting enemy unit ‘B’. Personally, I would say that for the single combat resolution, it should be the less numerous unit vs. the enemy unit with which it shares the greater contact. For example, our unit of 100 men in 4 ranks is going to resolve against enemy unit ‘B’ because it is in contact with 15 of them rather than the 10 of enemy unit ‘A’. Furthermore, I’d probably only give enemy unit ‘B’ an advantage if enemy unit ‘A’ (the ‘support’ unit) is of greater combat value than ‘B’. You could, of course, give enemy unit ‘B’ a slight negative modifier if its supporting unit is of lessor combat value–after all, not all of the superior warriors of unit ‘B’ are involved–but this seems to me a slippery slope of twiddling, ad nauseum.
Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
More verbosity: http://petiteguerre.blogspot.com/22/07/2018 at 00:42 #95458
I am several months off having a rule set fit for use. So I take on board the suggestions & I’ll see what they “look” like after testing.
I tend to agree that to streamline the combat, it must be 1:1. This is what I’ve come up with so far:
Note: only one unit can fight a unit at a time. The units in combat will be moved to create maximum contact of the relevant base edges.
Supporting the Charge.
Any friendly, non-skirmisher unit of the same general type (infantry or cavalry) within 6” can move behind the charging unit to provide support. This will add a Combat Dice to the total.
NB the supporting unit will be involved in any of the Combat outcomes until & if it can break away in the Movement phase of the next turn.
It does seem to me that in a Dark Age melee, like in any Rugby scrum, there is an advantage in numbers, hence the “supporting bonus”
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