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  1. #1
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    One of the big factors in large scale combat is the use of formations by
    troops. Various formations are used to maximize the efficiency of the
    troops` position and maneuverability on the battlefield, and troops in a
    particular formation are more able to deal damage to their opponents than
    others.

    Right now I`m thinking that if I want to incorporate formations into a
    system of large scale combat for BR it could be done by assigning different
    values to the various stats for the troop type. Troops in "line abreast"
    formation, for instance, could get a +1 to offensive, but a -1 to defensive
    values. Troops in a "hedgehog" formation could get the opposite. Things
    like that.

    Anyone have thoughts on using formations in BR? Are there any wargames
    that used them in a way you liked?

    Gary

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  2. #2
    Senior Member marcum uth mather's Avatar
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    I like the idea. there needs to be a way to realy use stradagy in BR.

  3. #3
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 07:23 PM 9/16/2002 +0200, marcum uth mather wrote:

    > I like the idea. there needs to be a way to realy use stradagy in BR.

    Yeah, more strategy in the battle rules is part of the goal. The problem,
    of course, would be that assigning a formation to every company of soldiers
    on a battlefield would slow things down quite a bit. Such a system would
    probably need to be tailored for a particular system of battle rules too,
    but assuming we were using a system like the warcards of BR what kinds of
    formations might be employed and what might be the effects of those formations?

    Gary

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  4. #4
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Since formations are part of the scissors, rock, paper nature of combat,
    formations are going to have specific bonus against certain kinds of troops,
    and penalties against other troops.

    Basically you create a grid with all the troop types on both axis. You
    generally leave most spaces as no modifiers, and give bonuses and penalties
    to a few troop types for each troop.

    Further, some troops have special features, like high rates of speed,
    attacking from range, and so forth, that may not be worked into the attack
    and defense numbers.

    Of course these are abstracting features that are handled quite differently
    in regular man to man combat. The advantage of "line abreast" is that
    because no one is standing behind anyone else, everyone gets to attack. On
    the other hand, the formation is very vulnerable to being disrupted. Deep
    formations "waste" alot of manpower on people unable to attack, but they are
    also very hard to disrupt.

    Units fighting in formation need the Close-Order Fighting feat (from
    Soveriegn Stone) or the weaker Phalanx feat from AEG`s War or Mercenaries.
    When two characters have Close-Order fighting, the one on the left gains the
    benifits of one quarter cover (+2 AC, +1 Reflex save). Breaking a formation
    not only reduces the benefits of Close-Order Fighting by creating a much
    larger number of characters with no one to his right giving him protection,
    but it increases the opportunities for flank attacks.

    Because proper formations require that everyone (at least in the first rank
    or two) have a special feat to take advantage of the formation, proper
    formations and close order fighting is kind of an elite or otherwise special
    phenomena.

    IMC, the Anuirean elite infantry and Brecht pikemen generally try to train
    these feats (when experience makes aquiring a feat allowable). I have been
    working on a list of feats commonly held by certain formations.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  5. #5
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    We`re actually talking about tactics. Strategy is the skill of using
    battles to achieve a political or military objective.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Marcum:
    > I like the idea. there needs to be a way to realy use stradagy in BR.

    That`d be tactics, not really strategy.

    --
    John Machin
    (trithemius@paradise.net.nz)
    -----------------------------------
    "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."
    Athanasius Kircher, Ars Magna Sciendi.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    DBM assumes that good (or bad) use of formation is calculated into an
    elements quality.

    There is some additional advantages about deploying pikes, spears, and
    warbands in depth but this is largely covered by Kenneth when he talks
    about the trade off between length of lines and coherency of lines.

    --
    John Machin
    (trithemius@paradise.net.nz)
    -----------------------------------
    "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."
    Athanasius Kircher, Ars Magna Sciendi.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Kenneth:
    > We`re actually talking about tactics. Strategy is the skill
    > of using battles to achieve a political or military objective.

    Oops. Sorry for the clone-post, Kenneth was obviously telepathically
    reading my mind from the future again.

    --
    John Machin
    (trithemius@paradise.net.nz)
    -----------------------------------
    "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."
    Athanasius Kircher, Ars Magna Sciendi.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Kenneth:
    > Since formations are part of the scissors, rock, paper nature
    > of combat, formations are going to have specific bonus
    > against certain kinds of troops, and penalties against other troops.

    I think that fundamental changes in formation probably represent
    "Advances" (as per BoR). Developments in military science are hard to
    bring about and I have some problems with medieval forces using
    sophisticated `modern` formations. That is the province of those crazy
    genius commanders with Battlewise in my opinion. Most commanders would
    be limited to the regular old formations.

    > Units fighting in formation need the Close-Order Fighting
    > feat (from Soveriegn Stone) or the weaker Phalanx feat from
    > AEG`s War or Mercenaries. When two characters have
    > Close-Order fighting, the one on the left gains the benifits
    > of one quarter cover (+2 AC, +1 Reflex save). Breaking a
    > formation not only reduces the benefits of Close-Order
    > Fighting by creating a much larger number of characters with
    > no one to his right giving him protection, but it increases
    > the opportunities for flank attacks.

    Or the version in the Forgotten Realms `Lords of Darkness` book.
    (Included for completeness only).

    > Because proper formations require that everyone (at least in
    > the first rank or two) have a special feat to take advantage
    > of the formation, proper formations and close order fighting
    > is kind of an elite or otherwise special phenomena.

    As is, in my opinion, having a repertoire of formations.

    --
    John Machin
    (trithemius@paradise.net.nz)
    -----------------------------------
    "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."
    Athanasius Kircher, Ars Magna Sciendi.

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  10. #10
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    Formation changes is a modern concept. Each type of unit has a standard
    formation, and only elite units are able to take on more than one formation.
    In fact, the very idea of formations (which is suggested by the troop types
    of the war cards) is one of the things that makes me think Cerilia is not
    high medeival, but more at the late hundred-years-war stage of military
    history (15th century).

    I see no need for special formation rules. Whetever formation (or lack of
    formation) the unit uses is included in it`s attributes, regardless if you
    use war cards or some other system.

    Formation in European battles was more a matter of holding the line than of
    arranging the soldiers in geometric patterns. If you really want formations,
    ordered lines and troop types to matter, I suggest you use the DBA/DBM
    system - which has been promoted before on this list by others.

    /Carl


    Gary <geeman@SOFTHOME.NET> wrote at 02-09-16 23.31:

    > The problem, of course, would be that assigning a formation to every company
    > of soldiers on a battlefield would slow things down quite a bit. Such a
    > system would probably need to be tailored for a particular system of battle
    > rules too, but assuming we were using a system like the warcards of BR what
    > kinds of formations might be employed and what might be the effects of those
    > formations?
    >

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