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Staggered line combat pursuits question

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Re: Staggered line combat pursuits question

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:56 am

Aurelius wrote:
The non existent words do not modify the rules for pursuit, there never has been any presumption of disciplined support troops following up.

Correction: There has never been any explicit change to the standard rules of pursuit.

We only have Lorenzo's own words: "if you can charge you can also pursue."

Aurelius wrote:
Some players have assumed the follow up, and not noticed that the rule does not say or imply that.

Nor does the rule say they cannot. It is silent except for certain specific cases which "follow" regardless. Without an explicit modification of the general case then why do you change that general case?


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Re: Staggered line combat pursuits question

Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:26 pm

Granicus Gaugamela wrote:
Gaius Cassius wrote:This is what I mean by reading into the rules more than is there (and I say this as one who has frequently read more into the rules than I should have.)

I would politely suggest that is what you are doing here.  You are using non existent words to modify rules for pursuit, the end result of which is that disciplined troops will simply not be able to follow up a beaten enemy no matter how sensible a decision that is.

No GG, I am reading the rules quite literally. The rule states clearly, " If the Main Unit pursues, Impetuous, Heavy Cavalry and Chariot Support Units follow, again with separate d6 rolls." If the rules said that Impetuous, Heavy Cavalry and Chariot support units must follow then I'd be more sympathetic to the implied sense that other troop types may follow. But it doesn't say that.

On top of this you have the two links that Aurelius found, both explicitly stating the literal meaning of the rule, one from Lorenzo and one from me. I agree that my opinion isn't decisive in this regard however Lorenzo was an active participant in this discussion and I doubt that he would have let this statement pass if it were incorrect.

I sense that you don't like this reading of the rules. Personally I like how it influences games. Your main unit of FP (already suffer VBU losses) wins the melee with a unit of CP knights in support. Does the FP pursue risking destruction but unleashing the CP or does it not pursue in hopes of living for another turn but holding the CP back? Tough choices.

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Re: Staggered line combat pursuits question

Post by dadiepiombo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:45 pm

sorry to enter the discussion so late but I have been out of home some days.

The correct rule is that ONLY impetuous troops, CP and chariots can pursue if they are supporting units.
We are talking about  multiple melee here, so rules on retreating and pursuing by supporting units are dealt in par. 7.7.3.

Pursuing is not something planned in advance. It is more related to instinct and to aggressivity and even to bad discipline. Pursuing is not always the best choice. And there are troops that have no choice than seeking for more blood.

Please mind that impetuous troops cease to be impetuous once they have got 50% of losses. So a warband with VBU 4 and 2 losses will not pursue as supporting unit, while CP always do.
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Re: Staggered line combat pursuits question

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:28 pm

OK, that's definitive.

Never seen the thing about Impetuous troops losing that status. I assume this refers to front unit levels?

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Re: Staggered line combat pursuits question

Post by Tarty on Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:11 pm

Granicus Gaugamela wrote:OK, that's definitive.

Never seen the thing about Impetuous troops losing that status.  I assume this refers to  front unit levels?

We've always played it as 50% of total GG. So if it's a large unit when the back unit is gone it's no longer " Impetuous ".

Happy to be corrected .... but I think that's right.
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Re: Staggered line combat pursuits question

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:15 am

Gaius Cassius wrote:
I sense that you don't like this reading of the rules. Personally I like how it influences games.

Depends on the context in which you are asking the question.

As a game system I don't mind either way, it is just another rule to be followed and used as a potential strategy/tactic.  Given Lorenzo's ruling it is already something I have formed a plan to take advantage of.  That might or might not work but only time will tell.

In reality I would expect ill disciplined troops (refer to Hastings as a key example) to rush forward regardless (i.e. MUST) whereas I would expect well disciplined troops to press an advantage if sensible to do so (i.e. CHOICE).

Let's say some Romans facing a wall of German warband move forward to melee and win, those that are support units simply cannot follow up which means the Roman line either chooses not to press forward and stand in front of pushed back warband or they move forward and their cohesion is lost, again in front of warband.  The VBU 5 Romans with limited Impetus as a non large unit (i.e. no "ablative" rear unit protecting it) are very very heavily reliant on their fellows to either side to build parity with the single large warband unit in terms of dice.  It is their discipline that should keep them reasonably well coordinated because that is exactly what they trained to do.  Unit 1 fights off his Main opponent and then adds support to Unit 2 fighting his, but only Unit 2 can advance when the way is clear.

From the other side the very cheap and thus relatively plentiful warband are facing Romans.  Every single unit can keep pressing forward to maximise the advantage as soon as the path in front of them is clear.  The large units with their VBU=5, Impetus =4 (protected by VBU 4 rear unit)  and +2 vs the Romans now has a massive advantage, they not only have 11 dice as they push forward, they also have a chance for their adjacent unit to follow with them and provide another 6 dice (11 halved).

As I always point out in relevant discussions, *this* turn thinking is important but *next* turn thinking is critical.  If disciplined troops are effectively forced to remain stationary to maintain command cohesion rather than risking putting themselves one out against hordes of barbarians then something is, in my opinion, very wrong.  That scenario comparison makes little sense to me.  The disciplined troops are penalised tremendously in a manner that means taking advantage of success results in them acting in an extremely ill disciplined manner.  It is illogical.

Equally it is now the official ruling so it is what it is.  It calls for me to change my tactics and that is what I shall do.  In the same way I sometimes use my skirmishers to break up a line of Impetuous types I now have a mechanism for breaking up disciplined troops relatively easily.

Gaius Cassius wrote:
Your main unit of FP (already suffer VBU losses) wins the melee with a unit of CP knights in support. Does the FP pursue risking destruction but unleashing the CP or does it not pursue in hopes of living for another turn but holding the CP back? Tough choices.

In the context of reality I would argue that the CP wouldn't give a toss about what the FP do and would sense an opportunity to press home an advantage and go for it.  

In the context of the game the rules specifically oppose this as for whatever reason the cavalry absolutely refuse to press on if the FP decide not to do so.  The classic use of heavy cavalry to keep the enemy reeling backward is thus relatively easily overcome by having the FP targeted as the main unit during movement and engagement.  The cavalry are now beholden to the infantry for some reason.  That is one of those tactics that needs consideration.  

It is clearly the rule, no arguments there, and that is all there is to it.

But consider the implications.  Your infantry are fighting for their lives, they are holding, holding, waiting for relief.  Men are dying, they're up to their knees in bodies, but the remainder resist bravely, or perhaps desperately, knowing that to flee means they will be cut down and fighting until rescued is their only option.  

At long last help appears, the absolutely fresh cavalry heavies arrive in support and the enemy is forced to pull back.  Exactly why would your heavily smashed infantry pursue and exactly why would the heavies not (on the basis they can't because your infantry unit is down to VBU 1 or 2 or something so you choose not to risk them going forward)?

So you don't pursue.

Which means that for some reason your infantry not only didn't pursue, and your cavalry decide "hey, let's have a chat with these poor bloody infantry fellows and ignore those enemy running away from us" but because they engaged in melee during their activation (the cavalry moved in so it MUST be your activation) the infantry end up just sitting in front of a unit of infantry who can charge straight back into them on their next activation?  

And what that means is when the enemy moves forward to contact you again then the potential is they contact your weakened infantry alone (depending on how they retreated) or they move forward and contact both your units and the infantry is the Main unit which reduces your super fresh cavalry to half dice as they mill about waiting for the enemy to plough into them (they cannot be on Opportunity because they moved and the enemy is on a vector that would contact them so no ZoC reaction applies although a countercharge might).  Crazy.  The cavalry came to relieve the Infantry, but that relief is very very limited.

But that's a discussion for another thread methinks.

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Re: Staggered line combat pursuits question

Post by Gaius Cassius on Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:18 pm

I think Tarty in a large unit the loss of impetuous is when the front unit goes to 50%.
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Re: Staggered line combat pursuits question

Post by Tarty on Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:06 pm

Gaius Cassius wrote:I think Tarty in a large unit the loss of impetuous is when the front unit goes to 50%.
Yep looks like your right Gaius we'll have to start playing it like that from now on.
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