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Maintaining Contact

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Maintaining Contact

Post by Gaius Cassius on Mon May 11, 2015 6:20 pm

We had an unusual event happen in one of our games last night. A CP came in on the flank of large unit of FP and contacted the back unit. The melee continued for several turns as the FP made various CTs. The back rank of the FP was eventually removed through disorder losses. The net result was that the CP was no longer in contact with the FP when the back stand was removed. What should happen in that case. Does the front stand of the FP move backwards to maintain contact with the CP? Is the CP adjusted accordingly? Do the stands remain where they are without contact with no continuing melee?
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Tarty on Tue May 12, 2015 2:09 am

That's an interesting one Gaius I've got no idea.

Move the CP unit forward so it keeps contact would be my guess maybe a pivot ( like a pursuit ) might be required even to maintain the continuing melee ?
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by starkadder on Tue May 12, 2015 9:07 am

Commonsense says move the CP to maintain contact. The FP may be a large unit but it is still one unit.
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Tue May 12, 2015 9:17 am

I had (almost) exactly the same thing happen a few weeks ago - we played the unit did temporarily break contact. I'd be interested to see what Lorenzo thinks about it. In our case however the flank\rear contact wasn't CP. It did make a difference in that next round the FP was pushed back and would have been destroyed if still in contact. I can see arguments in both ways - what if (for example) the CP couldn't follow up because that would result in contact with another unit? The follow up rules would only apply if there was a casualty etc??
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Dax on Tue May 12, 2015 1:57 pm

Has there been an amendment to the flank contact of large units rule? Thought they were smashed when they lost a flank melee.
Temporary break of contact with the rear unit (when not a full flank charge) is always a risk - but pivoting and pursuit etc always seemed a fair way of sorting things out - especially as the chances are that, even if there is a bit of disengagement - the next move is going to start things all over again.
All part of the fun - and there is the additional joy of having plenty of support about when nasty things happen!
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by dadiepiombo on Tue May 12, 2015 2:01 pm

well, a very rare case as usually large units taken on the flank are totally destroyed when this occours.

Well there are 2 ways to solve it
1) Geometrical
2) Logical

I prefer logic to geometry but geometry can provide a simple solution. You have no longer a contact. This could be seen as a temporary disengagement.

The logical solution would be to allow somewhat a contact between the flanking unit and what remains of the Large Unit. I would prefer this approach but can open other possibilities and problems.
In this case I would prefer a recoil of the frontal unit. This unit would occupy the position previously occupied by the rear unit.

Opinions welcome.
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Dax on Tue May 12, 2015 2:10 pm

Personally don't think this part of the rules needs fixing - it works fine for me, just comes up with some varied and interesting results. pirat
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Gaius Cassius on Tue May 12, 2015 7:37 pm

Nice to see you on the Forum Dax! I have missed your humour and wisdom.

In the example above Dax the FP did not lose a melee but instead was slowly ground down through multiple rounds of disorder losses.

After some discussion we chose option 2 Lorenzo and recoiled the FP backwards into contact with the CP. That does seem to us to be the most logical way to handle the situation. We would have been satisfied to have contact broken between the FP and CP. Just wanted to know what the official Impetus rule is. Because of the angle of attack it would have taken the CP two moves to resume the melee with the FP, one to wheel and the other to charge.

As an aside the FP in question was a large unit with Men at Arms as the front stand with an attached leader. When facing mounted units that gives the FP a CT of 7 to start with (6+1(FP in melee against mounted) +1 (attached leader) -1 disorder.) So even on the flank this is a tough unit to cause a loss on.
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Tarty on Tue May 12, 2015 10:36 pm

Gaius Cassius wrote:
After some discussion we chose option 2 Lorenzo and recoiled the FP backwards into contact with the CP. That does seem to us to be the most logical way to handle the situation.
Seems fair enough.....unless there's contact to the front as well then your back to the initial problem again. Starkers also makes the point that it is one unit. Seems a little inconsistent that under these circumstance ( rare as they are ) the LU gets to break contact if nothing is done either ...and things are left to the next activation.

Yes good to see you back on here Dax Wink
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Wed May 13, 2015 7:49 am

I think there is maybe a need for a little more thought - the problem is the new mods to the combat and cohesion test make this event rather more likely, and the consequences are now more complicated.

Automatically recoiling the FP backwards also implies pushing the unit (or units???) already in contact forward. The new changes to the combat factors promote linear formations and therefore there are a number of possible unforeseen consequences - such as the frontal unit losing flank support, or handling contact with multiple units - ie if the target FP is recoiled and the main opponent follows up into contact is this a new melee and if so does Impetus etc apply??

I would far rather accept this is one of those rare situations where the rules create a temporary anomaly and the CP lose contact for a short time, than start creating rulings that may have more profound and unforeseen implications
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Tarty on Wed May 13, 2015 10:05 am

Another possibility.

If the CP did lose contact for a short time then it would also get the opportunity next turn to charge in with Impetus...quiet a different thing to what would have been a continuing melee normally.

or

If the FP managed to win initiative in the following turn and was able to about face ? also very different to what would have been a continuing melee.

I think the fix has to lay with the attacking flanker i.e. the one that moves to keep in contact.
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed May 13, 2015 1:53 pm

Part of the problem is that depth is exaggerated in gaming. The depth of a unit with 10 ranks would still be a fraction of the frontage of the same unit.

Personally I am open to either the FP moving backwards into contact with the CP (and there should be space since the other stand is now gone) or simply leaving the situation as it stands with no contact. In this sense the CP in question simply sheared off the back part of the large unit but the cadre of the front unit has maintained itself.
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by starkadder on Wed May 13, 2015 11:16 pm

With respect, most of the suggested fixes are rationalising a phantom problem.

By acknowledging the depth exaggeration, you accept the premise that it is a single unit. It follows that there is no loss of contact. Simply keep the flanking unit in base contact - it is just a convenience and not to be read as a manoeuvre.

I would be more interested in LUs rear ranks having a shallower (S) depth to recognise at least that the geometry of such units is a distortion.
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Wed May 13, 2015 11:28 pm

I'm with Starkers, I would simply suggest moving the flanking unit into a position it just contacts the rear corner of the front unit.

Or if you prefer a dice mechanic roll d6 and shift sideways by half of that. Repeat until contact is made.


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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Thu May 14, 2015 6:30 am

Or not bothering.

If this is a non issue why get so concerned? Making a ruling on this will actually open up more problems than just leaving the current mechanics in place - yes the unit in rear contact temporarily loses contact with the melee, but in the grand scheme of things the target is still (insert our expletive here). If we do include a "fix" we also need to create fixes for any unintended consequences - other contacts, relation with supports etc. There is also the point that the flanking \ rear contacting unit does not exist in a vacuum and moving that unit may well have other implications - how often does a player attempt to break that flank stranglehold by throwing something at the flanking unit?

The more I think of this the more I am convinced we should leave it alone well alone.
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Greymouse on Thu May 14, 2015 7:15 am

What about making it dependend on which is the active unit in the melee?
If the active unit is in the front then the remnants of the large unit gets pushed back till it regains contact with the flanking unit with the front unit following along.
If the active unit is the one in the flank/ rear then just move it forward to hold contact.

I think it's important as many have already mentioned that it's just an ajustment of the bases in an ongoing melee so no loss of contact allowing a new charge or creation of room for an otherwise fatal pushback or something like that.

Another idea would be to leave the rear element in place for the reminder of the melee for "geometrical purposes, give it a "dead marker" or something, and continue with the stats of remaining base only.

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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Thu May 14, 2015 7:56 am

Greymouse wrote:
Another idea would be to leave the rear element in place for the reminder of the melee for "geometrical purposes, give it a "dead marker" or something, and continue with the stats of remaining base only.

Although that goes against my gut instinct I think it is the best \ most workable solution IF we need any change at all
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Dax on Thu May 14, 2015 11:34 am

Hey GG - sounds like you had a right old slog with that large unit!
Sounds like both of the units had earned a break by the time the back rank went!
I can see the helpfull suggestions, but this really is a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" to me.
There are plenty of historical instances where there was a lull in the combat - especially if it was a grinding match. Does it throw up the occasional quandry - sure - I would imagine that it is also frustrating if there is some advantage gained. Just seems like a rare quirk to me. Does it need a specific rule? Don't think so - even greymouses excellent suggestion could be faffy.
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Tarty on Thu May 14, 2015 11:41 am

Cyrus The Adequate wrote:
Greymouse wrote:
Another idea would be to leave the rear element in place for the reminder of the melee for "geometrical purposes, give it a "dead marker" or something, and continue with the stats of remaining base only.

Although that goes against my gut instinct I think it is the best \ most workable solution IF we need any change at all

Yep not a bad solution.
Agreed this would very rarely ever come up anyway...a few planets would have to be in alignment before it became an issue again.

So rear of a LU would stay if removal resulted in a break in contact from a flank/rear melee.

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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by dadiepiombo on Thu May 14, 2015 12:52 pm

after some thinking I think that the more elegant solution could be that in that case the Large Unit (or what remains) must retreat and so roll a die.
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Greymouse on Thu May 14, 2015 3:04 pm

An elegant solution would be also that in such a case the whole large unit (including the front element) is destroyed making large units considerable more vulnerable to flank attacks because of their depth. Twisted Evil

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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Gaius Cassius on Thu May 14, 2015 3:16 pm

Why would the whole large unit be destroyed Greymouse? The unit continued to pass its CT and only lost the back unit to disorder losses.

I agree with others that this doesn't happen (first time we'd seen it.) We talked about it again last night we agreed that both basic solutions seemed reasonable (ie adjusting one of the units to keep contact or keeping the stands where they are and allowing the melee to be ended.) Any decision will have some unintended consequences but then the event is rather rare.
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Greymouse on Thu May 14, 2015 5:07 pm

Gaius - that wasn't meant to be a really serious one - hence the smiley.
It just came to my mind how often people complain about Large units of FL beeing a tough nut to crack - well a solution too and the devilsmiley to indicate that I was making fun of them
Smile

And Dax - I am the master of faffiness pig

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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Gaius Cassius on Thu May 14, 2015 6:18 pm

Hey Greymouse, I just posted a new topic on the fall of the warband. With all the changes warbands are no longer masters of the Impetus battlefield (at least from our experience.)
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Re: Maintaining Contact

Post by Tarty on Thu May 14, 2015 10:46 pm

dadiepiombo wrote:after some thinking I think that the more elegant solution could be that in that case the Large Unit (or what remains) must retreat and so roll a die.

And so if the LU has contact to the front as well as the flank does that front unit pursue to keep contact also ?
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