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Toughening Up CP

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Toughening Up CP

Post by Gaius Cassius on Mon May 29, 2017 7:32 pm

We had a smaller group last night and spent a few minutes talking about Impetus. In our conversation we agreed that overall CP (and FP against other infantry) could do with some strengthening and are not tough enough VBU to VBU when compared to other troop types, especially CM. We agreed that we would take a CM over a CP unit when given the choice, considering that the CM can fall back, evade, bounce out of melee and are not required to pursue (in the Nikephorian list I never use the Kataphracts because the CM has all the above advantages.) We are wondering if others felt that way.

I am thinking that there might be several small ways to give CP and perhaps FP some advantages versus lighter troop types. Maybe lighter troops lose a dice in melee with heavier troop types after the first round of melee as the heavier's advantages begin to assert themselves. Maybe CP add an additional hit when meleeing against lighter troop types that are disordered. Seems to me that there might be small ways to provide for a certain melee advantage without tipping over the game.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Zippee on Mon May 29, 2017 11:03 pm

Nope,
disagree

CP and CM are different animals with different strengths and weaknesses. You use them differently it isn't a question of one being better than the other. Some CP are better than CM, some CM are better than CP. But then some CP are better than other CP and some CM are better than other CM. Not all CM are horse archers - shooty CM are very good as they should be, that's not a reason to upgrade CP.

And FP even more so, FP et a bunch of CT bonuses and any FP is better than any FL. FP with better VBU are exponentially better.

Now if you ask about neutering FL javelin move and shoot, then yes absolutely I'm in favour of eliminating that super trooper but overall no FP are better at holding ground thn FL and that is as it should be.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by stecal on Mon May 29, 2017 11:10 pm

have to agree.  I don't think I have ever successfully charged with impetus with an 7-4 or 8-5 CP.  Just too easy to cause disorder then chip off a hit to lose their impetus bonus, then you have a 40 to 50 point unit that fights as well as a poor CM with Impetus.

I think this will all be fixed if Impetus 2 follows the Baroque method of 1/2 VBU before losing Impetus.  Those high VBUs have a lot of staying power.

in the meantime a +1 melee die for CP vs other cavalry (CM, CL) would be welcome.

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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Tue May 30, 2017 5:46 am

CP are the only cavalry to have no beneficial traits.

CL can move anywhere in their froward arc and also have evade, CM have the advantages listed above, CP can be lured to their doom all too easily and if you shoot them once with a skirmisher and then engage they go from 7-4 or even 8-5 units to 6-0 or 7-0 for a loss of 5 or 6 combat dice and their entire shock nature has dissipated.

Halve their Impetus bonus after 1 permanent loss and lose it altogther when they are under 50% of base VBU would be my suggestion. That way their first charge is still their best but it's not an all or nothing proposition.

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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Gaius Cassius on Tue May 30, 2017 2:07 pm

My basic point is that pound for pound CM are superior to CP in Impetus. I like how the 3 different cavalry types are reflected in Impetus. But as GG notes, CP are the only mounted type that don't get some kind of beneficial trait. My suggestion is that CP should excel over other cavalry when the do what they are trained to do, melee. I like GG's suggestion. It might do the trick.

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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Tarty on Wed May 31, 2017 7:12 am

Played quiet a large Baroque game on the weekend and the heavy cavalry won the day on both flanks. Keeping their Impetus bonus for 50% of VBU makes a big difference for these guys.

When it comes to Impetus as it stands yes I'd take CM over CP 9 times out of 10, they seem to be more versatile. Does depend on your army though if they're only there to keep the bad guys off your flanks long enough for the centre to get in then CM all the way. If on the other hand your strike arm is hard hitting cavalry then you really can't go past CPs for doing the business  Twisted Evil
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Zippee on Wed May 31, 2017 7:45 am

I agree that the loss of impetus on 1 loss is (and always has been) harsh and the Baroque model has merit but it's a significant change.

I'd be against changing this for only CP, if we change how fresh and impetus work it needs to be general not for a single type. And I don't like the two stage option - too much memory involved.

That said I don't think it's necessary - happy if it comes in under 2ed along with a bunch of changes but as a stand alone tweak I'm against.

CM is more flexible - well yes if it's horse archer CM but not so much if its not. CP has its place and used correctly it can carve through the enemy.

I'm also not convinced that CP should excel over other cavalry - I see no great evidence of that in history. At the right time and used in the right manner then yes they are a powerful tool but overall CM are the dominate type in history, CP are a reflection of a stale society (certainly in the western European model)

And when all said and done, AI hasn't been updated in years. Tweaking Impetus 1ed at this stage is a worthless exercise.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Tarty on Wed May 31, 2017 8:32 am

Yes if you fiddle with the Impetus rule it would have to be applied to everything definitely, not just CPs. No point now I agree it would be quiet a game changer I think.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed May 31, 2017 5:49 pm

I am just thinking out loud and we may do some tweaks for our own group as we await Impetus 2. It could be 6 months to a year before Impetus 2 arrives in published form and that's a lot of gaming time in between now and then (especially as I get older!)

In my experience of playing Impetus (and I am not alone in this) CP is a under advantaged troop type  (I'd also include Elephants.) Considering all the added benefits that CM get it seems to me the one advantage CP should have on an equivalent CM is fighting ability. So GG's suggestion of allowing them to keep some impetus after losing their fresh state seems reasonable to me as an interim step as we continue to game Impetus. Remember not all benefits apply to all troop types.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Zippee on Wed May 31, 2017 7:52 pm

Gaius Cassius wrote: Considering all the added benefits that CM get it seems to me the one advantage CP should have on an equivalent CM is fighting ability. .

Based on what evidence?
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed May 31, 2017 9:06 pm

Zippee wrote:
Gaius Cassius wrote: Considering all the added benefits that CM get it seems to me the one advantage CP should have on an equivalent CM is fighting ability. .

Based on what evidence?

Considering that CP, CM and CL are all game constructs I think I could as easily ask why CP can't evade, decide whether to pursue, fall back etc.. But I think the simplest answer is found in the section 2.0 of the rules.

Heavy Cavalry (CP). This type of cavalry relies on impact to break through enemy lines.

The very designation CP suggests that they are the top performing melee cavalry type. If they are categorized as CP it is because melee is there prime attribute (as compared to other cavalry types.) Otherwise they would designated CM.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:13 am

Not sure I agree with the OP here at all. I'm a regular CM user and in many cases given the choice of 5-2 CM or 6-3 CP, particularly impetuous ones, I would take CP. OK the very few VBU 6 CM are an exception, but the impact cavalry usually win in straight clashes because it is harder to kill a VBU6 unit than a VBU5. The debate on loss of Impetus is always going to rage but as always that masks the real point, high VBU is better than high Impetus EVERY time

I suspect with v2 there will be a few suitable tweaks such as splitting CP up into Cataphracts and Knights or their equivalent, and maybe a CT test bonus.

In general however I have to say, particularly at competitions, high value CP scare the living daylights out of me. I don't think we need to change them too much.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Tarty on Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:41 am

I'd sacrifice the the extra 2x dice for the chance to evade a sticky situation and for 7 less points, think that's the discussion here.
But....! depends on the make up of the army!! This is the problem when you just look at the points alone and don't consider the rest of the picture. Seriously for some jobs I wouldn't consider taking anything but CP's.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Thu Jun 01, 2017 9:21 am

I'm not really talking about sacrificing dice on impact I'm talking about the CT test you take on getting hit. A single hit on a VBU 6 unit has only 1 in 6 chance of causing a real casualty, the same hit on a VBU 5 unit will be 1 in 3.

Even after that the real high VBUs maintain significant fighting power without their Impetus.

And C class Impetuous 6-3 CP (21pts) are actually a lot cheaper than bow armed B class CM (32pts)

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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Zippee on Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:02 am

Gaius Cassius wrote:
Considering that CP, CM and CL are all game constructs I think I could as easily ask why CP can't evade, decide whether to pursue, fall back etc.. But I think the simplest answer is found in the section 2.0 of the rules.

Heavy Cavalry (CP). This type of cavalry relies on impact to break through enemy lines.

Because I can think of no historical evidence for mounted units as described by the game construct "CP" evading enemy, on the contrary there is evidence for them continuing to pursue even when that choice is sub-optimal. These are as much a part of their stereotypical 'doctrine' as the rule 2.0 'impact' you quote.

Gaius Cassius wrote:
The very designation CP suggests that they are the top performing melee cavalry type. If they are categorized as CP it is because melee is there prime attribute (as compared to other cavalry types.) Otherwise they would designated CM.

See this statement doesn't add up. CP are hard charging cavalry and they have high VBU and high IMP to represent that. There is no reason to believe they are better or worse in a general melee than CM.

The primary distinctive feature of CP is that they 'must pursue' after combat and can't evade. Beyond that (and the fact they are much more likely to be impetuous and far less likely to have bows) there is very little distinction between CP and CM. The rest are down to the other statistics common to all unit types.

CP are not better in melee - they are hard charging units, less likely to manoeuvre, more likely to be single-minded and blinkered. They have limited options due to their nature. If you want flexible combat troops you want CM - not as tough on a charge but still very capable units, often far superior to CP.

How good a unit is in combat is really based on their VBU not their type - this is of course one of the great strengths and worst weaknesses of Impetus. We have one number to play with and that number reflects offence, defence and morale; melee and missile.

I do agree that the 1 loss and you lose your impetus is a harsh mechanic - and yes it has greater impact on CP and certain foot than it does on others but it is part of the game construct. I'm open to that changing but because that rule is over simplistic, not because CP are poorly represented because of it.

If I was to suggest a simple rule to assist CP in conducting that hard charge it would be to give them a +1 to pass their multi-move DT if that move segment was a charge (ended in contact - the wording might be awkward due to dummy charges). This would allow them to be more aggressive and charge from further away thus eliminating a lot of the casual 1 loss disorder depletion of impetus. Prevent that disorder and the initial combat advantage swings heavily into the CPs favour with success following success as long as they make their CTs - it's that auto loss from manoeuvre disorder that is the killer IMO.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Zippee on Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:05 am

Cyrus The Adequate wrote:
I suspect with v2 there will be a few suitable tweaks such as splitting CP up into Cataphracts and Knights or their equivalent, and maybe a CT test bonus.

That distinction is down to movement rates (10 or 8 ) - probably to be changed to a Baroque like "slow" factor for kataphracts in 2ed.

Whether that's a sufficient distinction is a different matter Smile


Last edited by Zippee on Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Zippee on Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:14 am

Tarty wrote:I'd sacrifice the the extra 2x dice for the chance to evade a sticky situation and for 7 less points, think that's the discussion here.
But....! depends on the make up of the army!! This is the problem when you just look at the points alone and don't consider the rest of the picture. Seriously for some jobs I wouldn't consider taking anything but CP's.

I'd go one further and say it's the double whammy of having your hard charging CP (often C class impetuous) having to charge, unable to pass a DT, getting stranded by clever CM who evade and then shoot - and that single auto-loss due to the disorder having huge impact.

But the way to deal with that is not to change how Fresh and Impetus work but to allow CP (and I'd argue all impetuous units) to have a bonus on passing a DT if they're attempting to come to grips with the enemy. Punishing them for charging just seems plain wrong.

Otherwise I agree with Cyrus (one of my least typed sentences that Smile) CTs are the main decider and CP have high VBU - loss of IMP is more of a player morale issue. And that high CT should save them from the loss but the auto-disorder screws them over royally.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Gaius Cassius on Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:27 pm

If we are comparing 5/2 CM with 6/4 CP Impetuous then I would agree with much of the commentary from Cyrus and Zippee. But that is not the only comparison. In the Nikephorian List we have two types very closely related in points.

CM (upgrade) 10 6 2 B 3 Composite Bow C 32
CP (Kataphracts) 8 6 3 B 3 Composite Bow C 31

When chosing which type to go with the CM is obviously the better choice. There is no advantage that would make choosing the CP an option in my experience. So my nicely painted Kataphracts sit in the box unused. One of the real advantages of the CM is the ability to bounce out melee with infantry setting up the next round for missile fire should the CM win the initiative, something the CP has no option to do.

I would always take the above CM over a 7/4 C Impetuous CP even though they are almost evenly pointed (32 to 29). The flexibility and the ability to fire far out weights the higher VBU. The 6/2 CM will generally slaughter the 6/3 CP. And remember that both units are VD 3. Once the CP starts the slope downwards the VD consequences become important.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Gaius Cassius on Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:37 pm

Zippee wrote: CP are not better in melee - they are hard charging units, less likely to manoeuvre, more likely to be single-minded and blinkered. They have limited options due to their nature. If you want flexible combat troops you want CM - not as tough on a charge but still very capable units, often far superior to CP.

You too simplistic in your analysis Zippee. What you describe above is the impetuous C Class CP. There are lots of CP types in the lists that don't meet the above criteria. For instance I think the Hetaroii in the Macedonian lists, the Kataphracts in the Byzantine lists, Roman and Sassanid heavy cavalry, Sung Heavy Cavalry and many more would have more subtle uses in battle. And I sometimes think the Norman cavalry is underrated in their discipline. They trained in company size units and were very disciplined. It is really hard to refight Hastings in Impetus because the impetuous nature of the Norman Milites makes the charging and breaking off that occurred in the battle difficult to pull off.

CM Ghulam cavalry trained in a variety of styles of combat. The CP Normans trained principally in close order contact. When comparing VBU to VBU I think when the two met in melee the CP should get an advantage. It is the only advantage they will likely qualify for in Impetus.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Zippee on Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:12 pm

Gaius Cassius wrote:
CM (upgrade)        10 6 2 B 3 Composite Bow C 32
CP (Kataphracts)     8 6 3 B 3 Composite Bow C 31

A very particular comparison - hardly useful in a general conversation.

I'd argue that this is more a misapplication of the CP status than an indication there is a problem with CP as a troop type.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Zippee on Thu Jun 01, 2017 3:15 pm

Gaius Cassius wrote:You too simplistic in your analysis Zippee. What you describe above is the impetuous C Class CP.

No it isn't, I described the troop type which has a proclivity to descend to the impetuous.

Gaius Cassius wrote:There are lots of CP types in the lists that don't meet the above criteria. For instance I think the Hetaroii in the Macedonian lists, the Kataphracts in the Byzantine lists, Roman and Sassanid heavy cavalry, Sung Heavy Cavalry and many more would have more subtle uses in battle.

When did Macedonian or Successor hetairoi ever evade anything? They are the very epitome of non-impetuous CP. And they have one purpose - even when led by a charismatic super-general all they can do is charge in a desperate attempt to cut there way through the enemy. [/quote]

Gaius Cassius wrote:And I sometimes think the Norman cavalry is underrated in their discipline. They trained in company size units and were very disciplined. It is really hard to refight Hastings in Impetus because the impetuous nature of the Norman Milites makes the charging and breaking off that occurred in the battle difficult to pull off.

The alleged 'breaking off' of Normans at Hastings is not a good example. One there is a very good chance it was infantry and two the Normans at Hastings are clearly represented on the tapestry as in a developmental stage from javelin CM to lance CP or nothing of the sort happened. But in any case discipline or lack thereof isn't the issue, CP don't have to be impetuous but they remain hard charging first contact cavalry. [/quote]

Gaius Cassius wrote:CM Ghulam cavalry trained in a variety of styles of combat. The CP Normans trained principally in close order contact. When comparing VBU to VBU I think when the two met in melee the CP should get an advantage. It is the only advantage they will likely qualify for in Impetus.

Norman milites trained in a variety of tactics, they excelled (when mounted) at one but they are a martial society but I don't see any evidence that would give them CM style fighting tactics. And when CP meet CM the CP do get an advantage - unless they have been worm away first. If the CP fail to push back (keep momentum) then they lose that advantage, that seems to fit the stereotype.

I see no evidence to justify them being somehow inherently better in ongoing melee just because. if they have higher VBU then fine, if they maintain forward momentum then fine, but not just because they are CP.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Gaius Cassius on Thu Jun 01, 2017 4:33 pm

1. The above comparison of Elite Thematic Cavalry with Kataphracts is illustrative of the basic problem with CP. They have none of the benefits of other mounted troops but several liabilities.

2. There is no evidence that the most of the non impetuous CP units in Impetus terms descended "to the impetuous." But in a sense your comments above are making my point. CP should excel in contact melee. I don't think the difference between good CM and CP on contact in Impetus is big enough. The difference between 6/2 B CM and 6/3 C CP is at most 1d6 difference. I have fought a lot of higher VBU Knights (7/4 C) with Seljuk and Mameluks CM and the Knights generally don't hold up.

3. I am not seriously suggesting that CP be allowed to evade although I do think they should always be allowed to ride away from infantry if they like (subject to a compulsory charge if they are impetuous.) My point is the relative benefits and liabilities of the different troop types.

4. The whole debate about Norman cavalry is I suppose fruitless. But in Impetus terms Norman cavalry is a generally poor performer in our experience.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Tarty on Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:49 am

I'm not sure there's enough of a problem to warrant changing anything. From what I can tell we're talking about a few dice here or there not a major thing. The lists takes care of the bulk of the problem (if there is one) in my opinion. Take the Normans for example... "Norman cavalry is a generally poor performer " ....yes I've experienced that also but you can take a shedload of them Laughing I've also seen Normans carve up an army in just a couple of turns if the dice gods are smiling upon them. Sarmatians are another one. This is as it should be for these sorts of armies.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:17 am

The Norman knights Tarty might be cheap in points but not in VD.
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Re: Toughening Up CP

Post by Tarty on Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:34 am

Gaius Cassius wrote:The Norman knights Tarty might be cheap in points but not in VD.
Yes very true, it reflects their importance as the 'core' of the army (or to use an Armati term 'key' ) ....just as well you plenty to throw in Laughing
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Re: Toughening Up CP

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