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| | |-+  Mounted missile troops in wargaming rule sets
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Author Topic: Mounted missile troops in wargaming rule sets  (Read 447 times)
Cavillarius
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« on: 13 March 2019, 01:10:51 PM »

What are your opinions/suggestions on the following observation by a relative noob to wargaming:

The general stop-move-stop-fire trend in rule sets takes the dynamics out of the use of mounted missile troops (horse archers, cavalry with javelins, pistoleers, chariots) because it forces them to stand still while firing, making them vulnerable to an enemy charging into contact before the rules allow them to dart off in the next move.

In history, such troops would never have allowed this to happen.

Do you know of a way to fix this/a rule set that allows for it?

Discuss!  Tongue
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petercooman
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« Reply #1 on: 13 March 2019, 01:35:33 PM »

allow them to voluntarily fall back when charged? That's how most 'interferance' units work in the rules i have played.

or let them fire at any point during their movement off course!
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Shedman
Playtester
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Posts: 705



« Reply #2 on: 13 March 2019, 01:58:27 PM »

quite a few rulesets have an evade mechanism
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Leman
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Posts: 10647



« Reply #3 on: 13 March 2019, 02:24:06 PM »

In 50+ years I have never come across a ruleset that makes them stop to fire. Whatever happened to the Parthian shot? Which rules are you playing that make mounted troops stop to fire?
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The artist formerly known as Dour Puritan!
Raider4
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« Reply #4 on: 13 March 2019, 03:58:57 PM »

I think he means units move, then shoot, generally in different phases?

IGO-->move light cavalry-->shoot-->UGO-->Charge my light cavalry-->I CAN DO NOTHING!

Seen this in lots of rulesets. Also seen plenty with evade mechanics.

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sultanbev
Playtester
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Posts: 403



« Reply #5 on: 13 March 2019, 04:12:33 PM »

We just have an automatic evade rule, if the unit being charged is in loose or skirmish order and can move faster than the chargers in the terrain. The evading unit stays within 2" (40yds) of the charger, and can return fire the if the charger then shoots at them. it doesn't have to be a charge as such by the opponent, just a move forwards, which can push skirmishers away, but can't catch them to kill them in melee.

Thus light horse or cossacky types in the open will always evade everything other than other light cavalry in skirmish order.
In rough terrain skirmish infantry can choose to evade charging cavalry or close order foot, or can choose to stand and fight.

I remember the old DBR rules where skirmish light horse had to die or rout when being charged by close order cavalry, ie, skirmish cavalry couldn't skirmish!

I see a lot of ancients rules which have complex evade rules, usually involving variables moves from both sides with the chance of the heavier cavalry catching the skirmishers. I think this does light horse a dis-service and prefer an auto evade rule. Remember it only applies in the opponents phase, and doesn't stop you charging an enemy with skirmish forces in their phase, if so desired.

Mark
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fred.
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« Reply #6 on: 13 March 2019, 07:43:19 PM »

One of the fundamental problems of table top wargames, is that stuff moves forward a distance, and in relation to the players this is very rapid, the unit is then fixed in place until the next game turn. Whereas in reality it would have been moving gradual to cover that distance, and in the next turn keep moving gradual forward. This is pretty much insurmountable, and I suspect most of us are so used to it, we don't even think about.

All wargame actions are taken from the position of two fixed units, even if both have moved in their respective turns.

Its only computer games like Total Battle that give you a view of units moving forward as a continuous process.
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FierceKitty
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« Reply #7 on: 13 March 2019, 11:23:36 PM »

Like the rest, we use rules that allow horse archers in good going an excellent chance of evading foot, and a good chance vs heavy horse. In rough going or with a blocked retreat, not so much fun.

Similar rules for skirmishing javelinmen, esp. in rough ground, to evade heavy infantry.
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Cavillarius
Second Lieutenant
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Posts: 86



« Reply #8 on: 14 March 2019, 12:42:39 AM »

I did indeed mean what Raider4 said, but Iím happy to hear that there are solutions!
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Leman
Field Marshal
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Posts: 10647



« Reply #9 on: 14 March 2019, 08:02:28 AM »

Wonít be back to this thread either. Cannot spend precious time on these kinds of waffly discussions which make me want to bin the lot and take up philately instead.
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The artist formerly known as Dour Puritan!
steve_holmes_11
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Posts: 490


« Reply #10 on: 14 March 2019, 08:46:39 AM »

One of the fundamental problems of table top wargames, is that stuff moves forward a distance, and in relation to the players this is very rapid, the unit is then fixed in place until the next game turn. Whereas in reality it would have been moving gradual to cover that distance, and in the next turn keep moving gradual forward. This is pretty much insurmountable, and I suspect most of us are so used to it, we don't even think about.

All wargame actions are taken from the position of two fixed units, even if both have moved in their respective turns.

Its only computer games like Total Battle that give you a view of units moving forward as a continuous process.

This is what's known as a digitisation error.
Where a designer isn't aware of its effects it can lead to all manner of in-game anomalies; an example being the "stop just out of range then dash to contact".
Attempts to fix use things like reaction moves or final fire, which do the job, but can be a massive obstacle to a flowing game, especially if reactions can provoke counter-reactions...

As for the horse archer problem, I've seen three approaches.

I believe it was Donald Featherstone's work which proposed a move split into thirds, one of which might be a shoot.
This allows advance / shoot / retreat or advance / advance / shoot (or other combinations).

Most common today is the evade, sometimes requiring a reaction test, occasionally resulting in a detailed dance sequence with charger and evader both applying rendom factors.

Another (See the DBA family) is to factor the evade into the combat resolution.
The horse archers fight at a disadvantage, but can win big.
When defeated they seldom die if they have a clear line of retreat, but are pushed back (presumably Parthian shooting as they go).
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FierceKitty
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« Reply #11 on: 14 March 2019, 09:03:07 AM »

Wonít be back to this thread either. Cannot spend precious time on these kinds of waffly discussions which make me want to bin the lot and take up philately instead.

I have always thought the rules covering the Mauritius Blue formation were unduly complicated....
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