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Flank support - another q

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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Tarty on Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:26 am

I look forward to Lorenzo revisiting this one later. In the mean time we'll just have to play it by the book I suppose Wink
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Zippee on Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:08 pm

Cyrus The Adequate wrote:
The root cause here is Lorenzo is trying to create a rule that does not require any amendments to the main rules book other than a single para. This is totally understandable and I'm behind him 100% there.

He needed to place some restrictions as to what could legitimately provide flank support, and the rules for forming groups already exists. Therefore using the existing group definition makes perfect sense from the rules point of view.

Given that I don't have a problem - I can explain it away as distrust of units...  

Agree on the reason for short easy to reference rules in AI.

However the AI rule does not use the existing group definition. It uses "units of a kind that can form groups". That doesn't require being in the same command to be valid anymore than it requires the units to be in good order (as a group would).

As the rule is equally brief and easy to reference whichever way you wish to read it (and I believe the restrictive reading is rather "forced") this argument has no merit.

It's always possible to find fluff to explain any rule - doesn't make it a good (or bad) rule.

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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Gaius Cassius on Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:33 pm

Every rule requires some rationalization Zippee!! Even ones I agree with (in those cases my rationalizations seem obvious!)

With respect to the Group requirements for protected flanks I guess being in the same command is different from being disordered.
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by dadiepiombo on Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:19 am

zippee wrote:It seems odd that you benefit from support (half dice) by having a unit in contact with the same enemy. But that same unit doesn't also secure your flank (+1) because it reports to a different commander.

Ok, but what if the "helping" Unit is Cavalry while the rest of the line if foot? Cavalry still can help taking part in the melee, but there is no line here.

Intervening as a support is one thing, the supporting Unit add ITS OWN dice.
While the Line Bonus is given to the Main Unit as a psicological bonus. They know to be part of a bigger "family" (the line, or the Group even if it is no longer a "Group" due to geometrical reasons).
The cavalry or the Unit from another Command can come and go (following the orders of its leader), while the comrades of the same Command (and Grouop) are sharing the same destiny.
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Tarty on Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:15 am

The other side of this discussion ?  Smile ….. here’s a picture of the battle of Granicus .



The Macedonian phalanx is split between Alexander and Parmenion . Under the restrictions outlined at the moment where the two commands meet  Amyntas’s and Philip’s pike blocks cannot offer the other flank support.  Although technically under different commands I’m sure they were expected to operate as an homogeneous group and relied upon the other to hold their own when it came to melee  or manoeuvring .

The Saxon line at Hastings could possibly be another example of this … also more than likely made up of various commands but certainly saw themselves as one family.
Not a big deal in the end we're only talking about a +1 after all but you get the drift  Smile
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by dadiepiombo on Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:32 am

makes sense, but the original idea was a Group Bonus to lead people to use Groups, hence lines.

BTW once the melee is engaged the Group is soon splitted. The rule is to give to former Groups still some advantage from their original formation.
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Tarty on Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:25 am

Oh yes I agree ...still see a good case in keeping lines and groups as much as possible ...just don't know it needs to be so constrictive to encourage this Smile
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:13 pm

The experience that we've had is that by allowing the benefit of flank support to cross commands it encourages players to fight in even larger line formations than groups. One player, in deploying his Gauls has a frontage of 7 or 8 warbands. They are deployed as one long line. The super Group, if we call it that, moves in two chunks because it is divided between two commands but it looks like one giant wave coming forward at the beginning and end of the turn.
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:17 pm

dadiepiombo wrote:
zippee wrote:It seems odd that you benefit from support (half dice) by having a unit in contact with the same enemy. But that same unit doesn't also secure your flank (+1) because it reports to a different commander.

Ok, but what if the "helping" Unit is Cavalry while the rest of the line if foot? Cavalry still can help taking part in the melee, but there is no line here.

Intervening as a support is one thing, the supporting Unit add ITS OWN dice.
While the Line Bonus is given to the Main Unit as a psicological bonus. They know to be part of a bigger "family" (the line, or the Group even if it is no longer a "Group" due to geometrical reasons).
The cavalry or the Unit from another Command can come and go (following the orders of its leader), while the comrades of the same Command (and Grouop) are sharing the same destiny.

I think there is agreement that mounted units cannot provide flank support to infantry and visa versa. Even within the same command this is true. It just seems a bit strange to some of us, for instance, that a legion unit cannot protect the flank of the another legion unit in a different command, even when all the other conditions are met.
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by dadiepiombo on Wed Oct 14, 2015 4:47 pm

They can protect. Being a support Unit in a melee you provide many more dice than the line support. The line support are not dice brought by the supporting Unit, it is just a psicological bonus of the Main Unit to be part of a Group (wider formation, something they foot cannot form with Cavalry even if cavalry is de facto covering their flank)

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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Zippee on Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:12 pm

Foot can't obtain a flank bonus from cavalry regardless of which command they belong to. I don't see why that keeps being brought up - as far as I can see that's precisely why you said that a flanking unit must be "of a kind that can form a group" cavalry can't form groups with infantry, ergo they can't grant a flank bonus.

I don't believe anyone is suggesting that this should change.

The discussion is purely about the restriction on being in the same command. Yes it can be rationalised as Cyrus did but as Tarty points out it produces some very odd situations where adjoining infantry (or cavalry) lines cannot cover each other's flanks.

I have yet to see any comment as to why this should be the case - the closest is Cyrus' "distrust", I disagree with that in terms of C-in-C and sub-commands but would accept it for allied commands.

If you want it to conform to the group rules then have it apply only to legal groups - "the unit receives a +1 flank bonus whilst part of a legal group" (yes it would need more words than that but you get the gist). However you clearly think that disorder should not prevent the flank bonus, I'm intrigued as to why you think being in a different command should.
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:24 pm

Long time ago I suggested that we use the term "covered flanks" to distinguish supported/protected flanks from support units in melee. I think the confusion is that we are talking about different things. Cavalry can definitely be a support unit to a main infantry unit in melee but it cannot protect the flank of the same infantry unit.

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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Tarty on Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:12 pm

Gaius Cassius wrote:Cavalry can definitely be a support unit to a main infantry unit in melee but it cannot protect the flank of the same infantry unit.
Yes think we're all in agreement there nothing to change here it is as it should be I think . Cavalry could never be relied upon to hold ground in any period really so it's understandable that a foot unit would hold their more mobile friends with a certain amount of distrust Smile
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by dadiepiombo on Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:11 am

I used the example of cavalry not because you are suggesting to change the relationship between cavalry and foot on the subject, but just as an example on how is commonly accepted that they don't give line support even if they may "share" the same melee.
Thing that can happen with 2 foot Units belonging to different commands: they can "help" each other anyway.

In general I think that coordination and comunication between Generals in the ancients and medieval time was very poor. So I don't feel to rigid to keep this kind of collaboration limited.

Anyway this is a thing that I will take in consideration in Impetus 2. Also in the right wording.
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:40 pm

The thing I don't quite get Lorenzo is the rule for supported flanks is about the state of the main unit. A main unit fights better having one or both flanks protected by other friendly units. Sounds good to me.

It makes sense to me that infantry wouldn't have confidence in cavalry for a number reasons to hold a flank position (easy for the cavalry to ride away, the disdain between mounted and non mounted units that exists in many armies etc.) With that being the case it seems to me that any main unit benefits from having a friendly unit (regardless of command) between its flank and the opposing side. That to me is what the rule is about.

Real cooperation between two friendly units is represented in Impetus when both units are in melee with a common enemy unit or group.


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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:13 pm

I think the rule is fine and I'm happy its not cross command. I also think we are getting into one of those internet storm over nothing situations

Lorenzo has a point about communication between generals and the lack of trust that can generate. Its a reasonable rule, particularly if the "friendly" troops on your flank are called "Stanley" or are from a different Polis, or a different Satrap, or a different village, or even a different Legion
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Zippee on Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:49 pm

Cyrus The Adequate wrote:I think the rule is fine and I'm happy its not cross command.

I don't and I'm not. . . is this a poll?

Distrust at that level between allied contingents is fine, between homogeneous elements of a national army isn't.
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:09 pm

We've decided to play the rule in the less restrictive form until Impetus 2 comes out. At that point we'll go with the rule as written.

I was happy with leaving it on page 2 Very Happy  but since the conversation has continued I'm willing to keep throwing my thoughts into the ring.

To me the only issue in supported/covered flanks is whether there is a unit of some repute between the main unit's flank and the enemy. If there is then the main unit gets the +1, if not then it doesn't. I agree with Zippee that allied contingents don't trust each other. I agree that mounted and infantry don't trust each other (other than S). I agree that impetuous and non impetuous troops don't trust each other. I do think that units from one homogeneous command do trust units from another.

With all the above Cyrus I agree that this isn't a major issue but it is an interesting conversation to my ears.
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:12 pm

Cyrus The Adequate wrote: Lorenzo has a point about communication between generals and the lack of trust that can generate. Its a reasonable rule, particularly if the "friendly" troops on your flank are called "Stanley" or are from a different Polis, or a different Satrap, or a different village, or even a different Legion

Cyrus, do you really think that having a friendly unit on your flank from a different polis is no different than having an open flank?
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:30 pm

If they're called Stanley and you are Richard III, YES

or how about the Greeks at Platea where they distrusted each other so much it lead to a total command breakdown?

Play what you want among yourselves - you bought the rules so in that sense they're yours - but it seems a bit off to have the author clarify and than ignore him because you don't like the clarification. Of course you can push for a change through a reasoned argument - I'd be 100% behind you, but in this case I don't see a problem and I don't see a change of one dice in many being grounds for a schism. Is it really that important?
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Tarty on Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:27 am

Cyrus The Adequate wrote: Is it really that important?
No not really ....it's an interesting discussion though Smile
 
My personal feeling is that we're in danger of applying a more 'modern' interpretation of command structure here (unnecessarily) for no real benefit to the game.

Sure you can find cases in history where things weren't as they seemed but generally speaking having a few hundred men to the left or right of you occupying that flank was what made the real difference. Exactly who's horn blast, drum beat or flag signal these 'few hundred men' answer to has much relevance other than "it's ok... they're on our side"


Last edited by Tarty on Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Empire in the sun on Sat Oct 17, 2015 4:45 am

Cyrus The Adequate wrote:You don't get the +1 flank support - still get the additional half combat dice where appropriate.

Taking into account the above, the wording and Lorenzos explanation it does make sense, personally I see no need to play it otherwise.
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Zippee on Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:32 am

Cyrus The Adequate wrote:If they're called Stanley and you are Richard III, YES

or how about the Greeks at Platea where they distrusted each other so much it lead to a total command breakdown?

In both cases the commands should really be considered allies not homogenous - they are such in various 'other' rules. But the Impetus system has no real requirement to separate potentially unreliable 'internal allies' from same nation.

However I would note that in Stanley's case at least it wasn't a case of the troops distrusting each other, it was the King and Traitor feeling unsure as to which side they would join. Stanley's force once committed and in the battle line fight the 'enemy' alongside whoever is the 'friend'.

Again with Numidians or Arabs deserting their employers or sponsors, they either left and that was that or joined the other side where they were committed (perhaps more than most).

So I don't really see this factor as being something that affects a battle line that is engaged, even if it's only a matter of the "enemy of my enemy is my friend"

You enter an engagement with a secured flank or one in the air - true, you might have placed too much trust in that flanking unit and maybe they failed to protect it. You find that out when you roll a 6 on your CT.
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Zippee on Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:37 am

Empire in the sun wrote:
Cyrus The Adequate wrote:You don't get the +1 flank support - still get the additional half combat dice where appropriate.

Taking into account the above, the wording and Lorenzos explanation it does make sense, personally I see no need to play it otherwise.

That's an argument for dispensing with flank support entirely.

It's utterly irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

Of course you get the support dice - but to argue that the unit fighting hard alongside you against the same enemy doesn't also protect your flank because you distrust it on some notion that it belongs to another command whilst a unit in the same command would support your flank even if not in combat with same enemy is arrant nonsense.
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Re: Flank support - another q

Post by Gaius Cassius on Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:44 pm

Cyrus The Adequate wrote: Play what you want among yourselves - you bought the rules so in that sense they're yours - but it seems a bit off to have the author clarify and than ignore him because you don't like the clarification. Of course you can push for a change through a reasoned argument - I'd be 100% behind you, but in this case I don't see a problem and I don't see a change of one dice in many being grounds for a schism. Is it really that important?

Agreed. However the rule is still in the experimental phase and Lorenzo has signaled that he may be open to the less restrictive interpretation in Impetus 2. Should Impetus 2 have the more restrictive interpretation we will fall in line with it.
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