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Forming Shieldwall

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Forming Shieldwall

Post by Tarty on Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:18 am

Does the line - 'Forming Shieldwall as a reaction to charging or shooting is automatic' -(Advanced Impetus) mean exactly that ? it's automatic like it or not !
Some in our group say yes and some of us say no thought I might get this cleared up once and for all Smile
The next line - 'i.e. like evasion, and works in a similar way'- seems to imply it's a choice ? Neutral



Last edited by Tarty on Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Forming Shieldwall

Post by Zippee on Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:32 am

Let's look at the full entry:
AI wrote:Some Heavy Infantry can create a Shieldwall as a reaction to a charge or to shooting or as a voluntary action. In the latter, voluntary action case, forming Shieldwall is the only action which is allowed during activation (with the exception of recovery from Disorder).
Forming Shieldwall as a reaction to charging or shooting is automatic, i.e. like evasion, and works in a similar way. It can be performed only if the threat is frontal, so if a charging Unit enters the ZOC before contact OR if the shooting Unit is within the projection of the front (the projected Zone of Control). Disordered Units can also form a Shieldwall. Once the Shieldwall is formed, a marker should be placed close to the Unit.

I see lots of use of "can" which implies choice rather than "must" which implies mandatory.

Now let's look at Evasion (as that's where we're directed for comparison):
AI wrote: Evading by CM, CL, CGL and S is optional and occurs after enemy fire or after the enemy declares a Charge. Obviously this cannot be Opportunity Fire or an Opportunity charge or a Counter-charge, since an Evading can only be performed by the inactive player. Evading is only allowed if the threat is frontal, i.e. if it comes, even partially, from the corridor created by the forward continuation of the two short-sides of the base (called “frontal projection”). Evading is not allowed as a reaction to a Pursuit move of the winner of a melee.

So here it's clearly mandated as optional and occurring after an enemy declares shooting or a charge [presumably the reacting unit must be the target]. And is not allowed against a pursuit. I'd think all this applied to shieldwall as it works "like evasion"

However also under evasions we have:
AI wrote:Evading of a Unit not on opportunity is subject to a Discipline Test. If the test is successful it consists of a full movement phase directly to the rear. Failure of the Discipline test does not cause Disorder

Nowhere under shieldwall is there a suggestion of having to make test, instead the reaction is "automatic".

It also appears (although it's not explicit) that it's irrelevant whether the FP is on opportunity or not; the implication is that shieldwall is allowed as a specified form of additional ZOC reaction under the given circumstances.

So to answer the question:
No it is not compulsory, it is automatic in that it doesn't require a Discipline Test. But is restricted as a reaction to enemy activity to its front not its flanks.
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Re: Forming Shieldwall

Post by Tarty on Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:32 pm

Yes nicely summarised Zippee bang on the money in my opinion.

I think some have decided to take 'automatic' quiet literally and not considered the other references.
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Re: Forming Shieldwall

Post by Zippee on Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:45 am

Hah - "automatic" is not synonymous with "compulsory", so they can take it as literally as they like.

Accepted synonyms would be:
reflex; instinctive; spontaneous; natural; routine; mechanical; usual; programmed; inevitable; consequential.

Only the use in the form of "inevitable, certain and sure" could imply compulsory.

All that said I'd have no problem with it being made compulsory - if that's the tactic of the trooptype, then it should be utilised. I'm not sure that a unit should have the flexibility of not following doctrine just because the player doesn't like the movement consequences.

As it stands though it appears to be non-mandatory.

If I thought there was any way we were going to see an updated AI before 2ed I'd suggest that this was added one way or the other. As it is we'll just have to hope that 2ed makes it clear.
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Re: Forming Shieldwall

Post by Tarty on Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:18 am

yep - 'involuntary' is how 'automatic' has been interpreted by a few here....which is incorrect.

Not a big deal but good to get that cleared up Smile

Also ....how useless would this make shieldwall armies ? they wouldn't get off their base line. Pinned by fire in their first couple of turns half the time....ridiculous !
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Re: Forming Shieldwall

Post by Zippee on Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:36 am

Tarty wrote:Also ....how useless would this make shieldwall armies ? they wouldn't get off their base line. Pinned by fire in their first couple of turns half the time....ridiculous !

Yes but that's because the whole shieldwall rule concept is deeply flawed!

Nearly all FP will close up and fight in a dense formation at the point of contact I really don't think we need a separate rule for it. I mean where's the synaspismos rule for phalangites?

I think the FP bonus on the CT is all that's needed to reflect this added solidity.

My preference would be to ditch the rule, however if it is to exist it should probably be compulsory as reflective of doctrine, it also needs to be rewritten with a cold dose of common sense! I mean if it's a reflexive doctrine reaction to entering combat, it should be just an automatic reflex to come out of it. Which means it would only exist in the instant of shooting or melee - yes just the FP bonus, that's all that's needed!
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Re: Forming Shieldwall

Post by Tarty on Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:21 pm

Zippee wrote:

Yes but that's because the whole shieldwall rule concept is deeply flawed!

Oh ok haha .......well that deserves a whole new thread probably.
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Re: Forming Shieldwall

Post by dadiepiombo on Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:57 pm

shieldwall will be surpassed in Impetus 2. The idea for the new set (more based on reactions a la Baroque) is that heavy foot can decide to close ranks in some situations instead of countercharge (eg against mounted).
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Re: Forming Shieldwall

Post by Zippee on Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:13 pm

That sounds much better to me
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Re: Forming Shieldwall

Post by Tarty on Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:35 pm

dadiepiombo wrote:shieldwall will be surpassed in Impetus 2. The idea for the new set (more based on reactions a la Baroque) is that heavy foot can decide to close ranks in some situations instead of countercharge (eg against mounted).

I suppose the next question that will be asked is "will going into shieldwall effect movement for them in the next turn?"
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Re: Forming Shieldwall

Post by Zippee on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:30 pm

I deliberately avoided asking the nitty-gritty Smile

If it's a reactive formation change I would expect it not to have on-going consequences - the act of ordering a movement action should be sufficient to shake the unit back out of 'close order' but we'll need to wait and see.
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Re: Forming Shieldwall

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:52 pm

I agree with Zippee that the shieldwall rule should simply be ditched. I think the +1 for FP against mounted is sufficient for modeling heavy infantry closing up.
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Re: Forming Shieldwall

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:13 pm

Gaius Cassius wrote:I agree with Zippee that the shieldwall rule should simply be ditched. I think the +1 for FP against mounted is sufficient for modeling heavy infantry closing up.

I'll add my vote to that - Shieldwall, in any of its iterations, never really delivered. It was supposed to represent how Dark Age troops allegedly fought, but as everyone points out, that's the same as just about all heavy infantry - minus the poets.
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Re: Forming Shieldwall

Post by dadiepiombo on Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:40 am

I think consequences could be only for pursuing or as an alternative to countercharge (whose fail will be with no consequences apart from not countercharging). Foot against Mounted have no choice as countercharge would not be allowed.
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