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Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

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Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by AncientWarrior on Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:41 pm

Hello,

Just finished a turn wherein a large group of Berber lancers (CM) charged a few smaller groups of Normans in Sicily Impetuous CP. (The expert Norman general rolled a double 1 in his activation Sad , so the enemy had the advantage.)

I read section 5.9 of the rules and looked for extra information in the 1.7 version. Does the discipline test for a group apply to the whole group? Perhaps a silly question, but it was not specifically stated in 5.9.

Or, is the counter-charge discipline test (none of the Normans were on opportunity Embarassed ) done unit by unit in the group?

The Normans were on the losing end during the first melees. Several units were forced back into a supporting line. These supports or reserves (they were not supports in the melees) were disordered as this was involuntary interpenetration.

Let us say that the displaced reserves (still disordered) are "hit" once again by impetuous CP who have lost yet another melee. Does this second involuntary interpenetration result in a second disorder on the friendly unit, which would cause a single VBU to be lost?

Just wondering.

The Berber CM had very good dice. The Normans did not start rolling better until their activation but by then, things were pretty bad.

Thanks in advance.

Chris

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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Gaius Cassius on Sun Apr 10, 2016 3:19 am

A couple of quick points.

I almost never counter charge in Impetus unless I need the ground. The impetus dice are not worth the risk for going in disordered (very likely with Norman cavalry.)

If their is a group response the roll is done as a group and not unit by unit. I know that the rules are a bit vague about this but my understanding is that this is the case.

There is no involuntary interpenetration when the CP back into the reserves. The reserves are pushed back by the retreating CP and become disordered. If this happens again the reserves are simply pushed back again disordered but suffer no further penalty. No VBU is lost.

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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Zippee on Sun Apr 10, 2016 7:43 am

Given that Advanced Impetus contains clarification on Shooting by Groups and Opportunity Charges, both of which to my mind are much more clear than this basic situation, I really don't understand why Group Discipline Tests haven't been cleared up.

The rules are essentially silent on whether a group that needs to test does so as a group or individually unit by unit. Surely a very simple one line addition to AI?
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by AncientWarrior on Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:31 am

Gents -
Thanks for the replies and for relaying your understanding and or suggestion for another line in the forthcoming AI.

With regard to Norman cavalry, given their impetuous quality (not universal - some rules don't require them to obligatory charge), a counter-charge against "inferior" and non-Christian enemy horse seemed in character.

With regard to the push backs and further disorder, perhaps this clarification might be added to a future edition as well? I can see that it not being specifically stated might well suggest that the additional impact does not result in a 2nd disorder and therefore a loss of VBU (as in other cases like routing into friends within 5u distance), but the addition of a statement or statements "additional disorder is not caused and so a VBU is not lost by impacted unit" - might help those new to the rules.

Update: game canceled - the Norman right was rather broken up, though a unit of two did fight back and inflict some damage . . . looking at it from a wargamer's perspective (2-3 feet above the table top), there was something of a "fireworks display" to this cavalry flank. It became progressively harder to keep track of which unit could activate and which unit could pursue after winning a melee.

Perhaps I need to restrict myself to 300-point games of Impetvs?

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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Zippee on Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:23 pm

Normans want to be moving forward - charging in their own turn if possible but counter-charging in this instance is probably sensible, especially if the alternative is to be shoot up by shooty CM and CL

Additional disorder does not cause a loss of VBU unless it is as a result of combat or shooting - ie a successful CT made by an already disordered unit.

Other causes of disorder to an already disordered unit have no consequences. This sounds like it would have significantly changed your game outcome Smile

I don't fully understand why you would lose track of which unit could activate - mark the units as activated if it is a problem I guess. To be fair we lose track of which command has activated this turn so always marked activated commanders Smile

Similarly the Normans have to pursue so not a lot to remember here. Even if they lose their impetuosity CP must pursue. . .
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Tarty on Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:40 am

Think you can only counter-charge 'as a group' if the whole group has been placed on opportunity otherwise it's a DT for each individual stand.
If testing individually only those units in the group being contacted can attempt a counter-charge.
Happy to be wrong (often am Smile )....but yes could do to be made a little clearer either way Smile
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Jim Webster on Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:18 am

Remember that the rules specifically say that only if the second disorder caused by combat or shooting. See 6.2.1 for firing, 7.6.1 for melee and 2.6.3 for the general case

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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:58 am

Tarty wrote:Think you can only counter-charge 'as a group' if the whole group has been placed on opportunity otherwise it's a DT for each individual stand.
If testing individually only those units in the group being contacted can attempt a counter-charge.
Happy to be wrong (often am Smile )....but yes could do to be made a little clearer either way Smile

I'm with Tarty here - and even then I would say the distance move bonus would be diced for separately in the same way as a charge - of course the counter charge meets half way so this shouldnt be a problem
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Gaius Cassius on Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:54 pm

We see so little counter-charging in our game apart from units on opportunity that I've never given it any consideration.

It does say in 5.9 that Unit or Group on opportunity can counter-charge and only a unit not on opportunity can counter-charge. Is that the distinction?
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Zippee on Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:09 pm

Gaius Cassius wrote:It does say in 5.9 that Unit or Group on opportunity can counter-charge and only a unit not on opportunity can counter-charge. Is that the distinction?

Doubt it, nearly all the entries in 5.9 discuss the Unit, and its common throughout the rules to stop saying "a Unit or Group can. . ." and just say a "Unit can..." meaning both, but then defining what is different for Groups - apart from the opening statement, the only mention of a group is
If a Group is counter-charging then it suffices that at least one enemy Unit begins the charge from within the corridor described. . .

Remind me again, groups are formed at the start of an activation and cannot be broken apart voluntarily until the start of the next activation. You can't split a group between actions, and groups can react so must exist after you cease your activation, correct?

So it would follow that if the group exists at the time of the enemy charge then it must react as a group or not at all. . .

Really, the whole concept of what is and isn't a group; how long it's a group for; how temporary the state is and how it may react or not needs clarification. There should be a section on Groups in the rules but there isn't.
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Gaius Cassius on Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:03 pm

I agree Zippee that the terminology isn't always decisive in Impetus. So the mention of group and unit in one section and unit only in the other isn't decisive. I'm just curious about why Tarty and Cyrus think the way they do.

I’ve always thought that a Group is a temporary construct, primarily for created for movement of several units at once, that exists only for the duration of an activation. Once the activation is completed the question of what these units are (units or a group) is irrelevant. Should there be an opportunity in an enemy’s activation for some kind of movement response the player could decide at that time whether the units in question will function independently or as a group.

So in simple terms, without thinking about it, I would have thought that player could decide to counter-charge as a group even in the absence of opportunity.
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Zippee on Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:34 pm

Agree that that is the principle purpose of the group concept. However we know (despite what the rulebook's silence on the matter) from forum clarification that groups aren't temporary. They can only be formed at the start of an activation and cannot be split voluntarily.

As such it isn't irrelevant as you can perform an opportunity action (charge or counter-charge) as a group.

I know of no clarification that tells us we can form new, different or ad hoc groups in the middle of the enemy's turn.

So to the best of my knowledge these must be the self -same groups I formed on my own activations.

Which generates all kinds of problems, so I'm hoping it isn't rue Smile

I believe that groups can counter-charge irrespective of opportunity; 5.9 just neglects to say "unit and group" for the statement just it neglects to do so nearly everywhere else.

The question is when's a group not a group?
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Tue Apr 12, 2016 10:09 pm

Pg 14 in the rules is pretty clear that a group on opportunity allows "single units that are part of a group to perform Charges & Opportunity fire" so I assume you test individually
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Tarty on Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:19 am

I've used a group counter-charge in the past to maintain a stable battle line. Very rare to sacrifice your opportunity status just to keep a straight line but sometimes a sensible option. Even when part of the group might not make contact themselves they do often  provide +1 flank support as well.

Fact we have a group of experienced Impetus players discussing this shows it's a grey area that should be made clearer somehow in the next AI.
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:55 am

It's the bloody internet. Pre internet all this stuff was worked out by a simple process of RTFM and agreement with your opponent. Now we get these long and often rambling discussions which in essence are about what something says or we assume (or want it to) say - and we get very defensive if our interpretation is "wrong". The language \ interpretation thing makes it so much less certain anyway, so the question should be, "what does the author mean".

So - can a group on Opportunity move to straighten a line - as per Tarty above - Of course they can, however they can equally do that as individual units with no other consequence as moving only once they cant disorder and the distance they are moving would logically be the same so that's inconclusive

Can a group countercharge? YES per 5.9 If on opportunity they can counter charge, and assuming the charge meets the criteria to allow a counter charge they can do so if not on opportunity. That implies that they test as a group and either all or nothing. If the counter charge requires the bonus charge distance then they test individually to see how far extra they get so could in theory break up the group.

Thats how I think it works after a bit of reading and some thought - but that's why umpires need an unbiased approach, humility, and a winning smile, and why they should never begin to answer a query with "we play it like this"
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by dadiepiombo on Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:04 pm

A Group can countercharge as a Group, as well as single Units (of a Group or not) can countercharge alone. You can always "split" a Group. Was this the question?
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:07 pm

I believe so but just to be certain Lorenzo, units not on opportunity can counter-charge as a group (assuming they meet all the criteria for being a group).
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Zippee on Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:39 pm

dadiepiombo wrote:You can always "split" a Group. Was this the question?

Hmm, previous forum correspondence has been pretty clear that you can't split a group voluntarily mid activation. Nor form one from units 'collected' mid activation. You can only declare group status at the start of your activation - that's been a mantra drummed into us for a while now even though it's nowhere mentioned in the original rules or AI.

Can we split a group voluntarily as a reaction even though we couldn't during our previous activation?

Can we declare a new group as part of conducting a reaction or are we limited to groups declared in our turn?

Do counter/opportunity charges really give us greater flexibility than when declaring charges on our own terms?

This seems like a lot of flexibility in group dynamics whilst reacting in our opponent's turn whilst we are very restricted in our own.
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:49 pm

Zippee, all the correspondence on Groups that I can remember have been related to Groups during their command's activation. Your assertion that Groups carry on after their activation is something that I can't remember reading about.
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Zippee on Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:36 pm

I'm not asserting anything GC - it is precisely because all mention has been about groups under activation that the questions need asking.

As far as I know the only time we can describe/create/define a group is at the start of an activation, if that's not the case I'd just like to know what the new parameters are.

Why should there be greater flexibility in reaction than in action?

Whatever the decision groups need a section in AI and need serious re-evaluation for Impetus II
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Tarty on Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:31 pm

Gaius Cassius wrote:I believe so but just to be certain Lorenzo, units not on opportunity can counter-charge as a group (assuming they meet all the criteria for being a group).
Besides Zippee's point (which is something that hadn't occurred to me before re groups) GC's quote above is the one I'd like a little more clarity on as well Smile
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:59 am

Yup - now I'm confused but I think we are confusing each other and while I can probably (just) make a stab at it maybe we can get Lorenzo back?

In the meantime how about this - in your own turn groups are pretty much understood. The only issue seems to be in the opponents turn, ie actions on opportunity or reactions.

If we remember groups are temporary then I think it becomes a bit clearer - if units are on opportunity when they activate they can choose to do so as a group - no problem there. Units that are theoretically capable of forming groups not on opportunity CANNOT countercharge as a group because they are not actually a group at that point, and because only those units who have a reaction trigger event can act. It is possible I suppose that units that would be allowed to react individually would also have the option to react as a group. For instance if two units were the target of a charge they would be allowed to react individually or choose to react as a group to countercharge. An adjacent third unit that was not the target of the charge would NOT be allowed to react with them as their reaction trigger event has not occurred, but that may be a step too far .

Basically if you are on opportunity you can react as a group but if not you react as units - simple :-)
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Gaius Cassius on Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:33 pm

This whole conversation is funny to me because I almost never counter-charge (a few extra impetus dice are almost never worth the risk of disorder.) There are times when table space matter so it does happen but very infrequently. So I have no real axe to grind here.

Yet the discussion becomes interesting because it moves to more philosophical elements of the game. When is a group a group? Unless Lorenzo misunderstood the discussion (which is possible) the answer is that units can counter-charge as a group. I am interpreting Lorenzo's comments to mean that Group is determined at the time of movement, whether that be through activation or as a "reaction" move (the only difference between opportunity and non opportunity units being around the DT.) That seems pretty straightforward to me and easy to implement.

There are still some interesting twists even if the above turns out to be accurate. Can one counter-charge a group even if it contains units incapable of contacting the charging enemy? In the past one wouldn't have likely seen this even if it were permitted but with protected flanks mattering it might happen. A player may be willing to suffer disorder to get the extra die in melee.

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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Zippee on Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:52 pm

Gaius Cassius wrote:
There are still some interesting twists even if the above turns out to be accurate. Can one counter-charge a group even if it contains units incapable of contacting the charging enemy? In the past one wouldn't have likely seen this even if it were permitted but with protected flanks mattering it might happen. A player may be willing to suffer disorder to get the extra die in melee.

I think this is covered by 5.9

If a Group is Counter-charging then it suffices that at least one enemy Unit begins the charge from within the corridor described. . .

As long as something within that corridor is charging a member Unit of the Group the Group can charge.

Likewise as long as some part of a charging Group is within that corridor of the Unit the Unit can Counter-charge.

Although I have always presumed that for a Group to charge all of it must be able to contact something, this all begs the question - can you drag a group along just because one Unit has a valid target in order to get the flank bonuses even though technically the flank units are moving not charging? Can the flank units add charge bonus dice if they can't contact? Or do you move them and then charge with the (grouped) units that can contact.

If this is possible then I think you can counter-charge a part of a group that otherwise couldn't actually contact you. Its all getting a bit messy Very Happy
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Re: Group Counter-Charge; Oh No - Not another Disorder!

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:51 pm

Only if countercharging from Opportunity NOT as a reaction - the critical sentence is the first in 5.9 which allows a group to counter charge on opportunity. Units not on opportunity can react as per 4.2 but this is specific only to units NOT groups
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