So, About Battles

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So, About Battles
« on: September 20, 2014, 12:49:04 PM »
Play our third session last night. I'm still writing up the report for the first two, but there seemed to be enough meaty topics in the Warfare rules at our table that I thought I'd do a post. I've only read about half of the other playtest reports so some of these questions and thoughts may have been brought up before. Apologies if there are repetitive ideas.

1) When attacking there is no way to protect an individual. This seems to give a significant advantage to defenders that seems unnecessary. At the very least I think should be a right to lead from the back, allowing some to protect themselves from harm.

2) Does Come Under Attack count as a Coordinated action? So if my company, the Sons of Ulfgar come under attack from the Companions of St George and choose “Throw Enemy Into Disorder” and “Rally and Lead a Counterattack” will they be able to take use the Come Under Attack move? If so is it reasonable to say that some options are off the table due to the fiction of them being disorganized?

3) If I do not pick lead a counter attack, but for some reason my enemy does not Lead an Attack against me, can I lead an Attack against him?

4) Is there a way to perform either the Parthian shot or the mongol tactic of retreating for hours stringing your enemy out before turning around to murder them?

5) When selecting the Archer or Calvary option to increase harm, can you also select the normal inflict 1 harm?

6) How would parleying in the middle of a battle work? An Individual rides out and attempts to Win Someone Over?

7) Does the War-Leader have to roll “Fighting In Company?” It seems like he shouldn't based on the options as well as the fact he gets to roll for the company but the text reads when you fight in company, which the War leader is doing.

8) When you Fight in Company and you have spilled enemy blood, do you get to inflict individual harm on the company or a specific enemy in the company or is it simply a narrative thing?

9) When you are not explicitly formed up in a unit but still want to try and effect the battle individually is that Fighting in Company or would trigger the normal “Leap into Action,” “Single Combat” and “Undertake Great Labor” moves?

10) What happens if you roll Fighting in Company, choose “You are Unhurt” but the enemy company has pick deal harm to an individual and specified you? What happens when they specify you and you do not pick it?
Does the War company only deal harm to the individual when selecting that option or the individual and the opposing company?

11) How would a battle like Thermopylae where a larger force could not bring their fully army to bear be handled? Would it just be a defensive bonus to the Greeks, or would the Persians not be able to get their +3 Harm and Armor?

12) It seems that you can get to a point where a smaller force would be unable to deal damage to a larger force. I see this as a problem as it basically means battles like Agincourt, (I know not technically dark ages) are impossible. The French would have at minimum 7 harm 6 armor. The English at maximum can only deal 6 harm and that’s assuming archery harm stacks with the normal selection of harm. There don’t seem to be enough narrative options to do things like render armor useless or turn an enemy’s attack against them, for example setting for a charge, or a false retreat followed be an envelopment.

13) I also have a problem with not adjusting harm and armor considerations mid battle. It basically means that if a group of Calvary charge across a field, with my smaller force peppering them with arrows drastically reducing their size so when we finally clash, I actually have the upper hand in terms of numbers(not to mention my men will be fresh and not dispirited) I will still be at a sever disadvantage in terms of actual mechanics.

14) I would love to see some form of Morale system. When an NPC takes 2 harm in this system they flee. I would love to see something like that ported to the battle system, where after a certain harm level the war leader or an attached PC would have to rally the troops through some means.



Pretty sure there were more but I can't remember them all
There is some things after life. It's called death.
-Ringo

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lumpley

  • 1291
Re: So, About Battles
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2014, 11:45:39 AM »
1. It's true that there's no way.

2. Good question. I'll have to think about it.

3. Yes.

4. I don't think there currently is.

5. Definitely.

6. You could do it that way, sure.

7. The war-leader doesn't.

8. You don't necessarily get to choose whose blood you spilled, but maybe you do. Ask your MC.

9. The game doesn't really consider the action of individual warriors in battle. Battles, in this game, aren't turned by one warrior's great deeds.

10. If your enemy has chosen to attack you in particular, then you have two opportunities to suffer harm: once for fighting in company, once for their particular attack. To avoid the former, choose to be unhurt. To avoid the latter, your war-leader must choose to protect you.

11. I believe that the math works out identically either way. Whichever way you prefer to handle it.

12. Agincourt's longbows would do more than 4 harm.

13. This is true (but see the rules for harrying your enemy).

14. Not a bad idea.

Thanks!

-Vincent

Re: So, About Battles
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2014, 01:15:37 PM »
Thanks for the answers. The not being able to protect anyone while attacking is definitely going to change my tactics and probably those of my players as well.


So obviously(or perhaps not) the Agincourt bows don't exist in this world. But I take your meaning to be that an MC could decide that certain weapons dealt more damage than the standard options. Is this correct or are you saying that because they are not of the same time they get to have more harm than anything that would exist in this game. I had considered the fact that no enchanted weapon dealt more than 4 harm to mean no single weapon in this game could.

I assume harry == Harrass or have I managed to miss read something? If so, does your comment mean that after a harass action it might be appropriate to count fallen since it's before true combat is joined? If not I still have my concern.

Regardless, I do want to mention that I love the overall feel of the battle rules and have explicitly heard very positive comments from both players who ran as war leaders, and the other players seemed to enjoy them as well.
There is some things after life. It's called death.
-Ringo

Re: So, About Battles
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2014, 02:13:26 PM »
Just thought of another question while pondering your answers. When does the inflicting harm on an individual happen? At the exchange harm stage or after with the other selected options? I'm wondering if a War Leader could protect individuals by butchering the opposing company.
There is some things after life. It's called death.
-Ringo

*

lumpley

  • 1291
Re: So, About Battles
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2014, 03:46:19 PM »
Cool!

No weapon in the game deals more than 4 harm. I'm saying: yes, there is a point at which a smaller force is unable to inflict meaningful harm on a larger force, at least in pitched battle. You're right. This makes Agincourt-style shocking upsets impossible, and (I hope) emphasizes the value of a ditch and a wall. Do adjust your tactics accordingly.

Harrass, yes, my mistake. And that's exactly right, harrassing your enemy takes place outside of battle, so it depends on the circumstances, but it might very well be appropriate for your enemy to count their fallen before launching their attack. If the circumstances are really in your favor, you might even be able to keep shooting arrows at them until they give up and go away, never attacking at all.

And inflicting harm on an individual happens at the exchange of harm, yes. As the rules stand, there's no way to both lead an attack and keep yourself safe from harm, and I'm good with that. And if you want to keep someone else safe from harm, don't bring them with you into battle.

-Vincent

Re: So, About Battles
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2014, 04:00:23 PM »
Cool!

No weapon in the game deals more than 4 harm. I'm saying: yes, there is a point at which a smaller force is unable to inflict meaningful harm on a larger force, at least in pitched battle. You're right. This makes Agincourt-style shocking upsets impossible, and (I hope) emphasizes the value of a ditch and a wall. Do adjust your tactics accordingly.

Harrass, yes, my mistake. And that's exactly right, harrassing your enemy takes place outside of battle, so it depends on the circumstances, but it might very well be appropriate for your enemy to count their fallen before launching their attack. If the circumstances are really in your favor, you might even be able to keep shooting arrows at them until they give up and go away, never attacking at all.

And inflicting harm on an individual happens at the exchange of harm, yes. As the rules stand, there's no way to both lead an attack and keep yourself safe from harm, and I'm good with that. And if you want to keep someone else safe from harm, don't bring them with you into battle.

-Vincent

Ok cool, thanks for the clarifications. I think I have a much firmer grasp on this now. Sadly I don't think they'll be another battle in my game for at least another week, maybe two, unless the PC's decide to get really aggressive.

There is some things after life. It's called death.
-Ringo

Re: So, About Battles
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014, 12:56:22 PM »
Yet More questions, based on the Twin Cities Playtest report.

How would one go about adjudicating an ambush? Defensive position bonus that only applies for the first round? A Harass the Enemy move, followed immediately by a Lead an Attack move?

How would you go about setting an ambush up? Simply let the player do it or call for some sort of Move(Under Take Great Labor) based on the Companies War?

How would you handle a PC company approaching an Ambush? Would it trigger a Take Stock role or would the player have to narrate something to cause it?

What about traps, like a bridge rigged to fall when a war company walks over it? How do you set it up? How do you spot it?


Should the war Leader get a Take Stock roll every time they Press the Attack? I now assume that's why you used that wording but I missed it the first two times around.

There is some things after life. It's called death.
-Ringo