Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
9 Posts

Wizard Kings» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Retreat tactics rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ted Kostek
United States
Camano Island
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I'm not a fan of the pursuit fire on the 4th combat round, but it occured to me that it does open up some tactical possibilities.

Case 1
On the 3rd round by the time you come around to your C units, you can tell you have little chance of winning. You can retreat your Cs rather than fire, then on round 4 pull out your A and maybe B w/ reduced fire. Thus the fast units cover for the slow units, which is what I would expect.


Case 2
You might have a chance of winning, so you stick around and finish the 3rd round, but you don't quite make it. Your expensive fast units withdraw first, while your slower cheaper units have to stick around and take a little extra punishment. I guess this is collapse of the position vs staged withdrawl.


In summary I'd prefer to reward fast units by using no pursuit fire and first round retreats, but the pursuit round does reward the fast units with extra choices.

Comments?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
Connecticut
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Seems to work about right to me.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Niko Ruf
Germany
Schönaich
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You summarized exactly why I like the pursuit round. And while first round retreats work in some games (HotS or CR), I think they would be highly annoying in WK. If you don't want to fight, don't get near me!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Farrell
United States
Cupertino
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Niko Ruf wrote:
And while first round retreats work in some games (HotS or CR)


I don't think any game that uses the combat system introduced in WK (Gettysburg, Liberty, Hammer, CR) nor any prior game with a similar system (Napoeleon, 1812, 1759, the ACW games) has any kind of a prohibition on first-round retreats. So such a prohibtion does stand out in WK. I'm not sure why the new rev of WK feels like it's necessary to allow slow units to force faster unis to engage them for a round. Wouldn't the faster units just refuse to engage in an obviously losing battle? If the horse-mounted Saracens can evade heavily-armored Knights, why the heck can't a speedy flying Dragon evade a couple heavily armored Dwarves? It's very anti-intuitive.

Regardless of whether you think this scenario is dumb or not, it does mean that many low-firepower A units are now quite overpriced. The several A1s (the Feudals and Barbarians have a common one) are worthless at 3GP if they have to stick around for one round. In the old game, they could be used for scouting or flank protection since they could retreat if things looked bad, now they serve no purpose that I can see at that cost. The Elven Rangers are similar. In the old game, they could operate on their own since they were tough to bring to battle (which kinda made sense, you know), now they always have to be accompanies by Gladers or else they risk catastrophicly expensive losses anytime they fight.

Of all the changes in WK2, the one that I am by far the least enamored of is the prohibition against 1st-round retreats. It's unintuitive, it doesn't simulating anything, and it devalues expensive troops that already felt a little expenisve before this change, and it makes for a more static game because screening flanks is now complicated and usually impractical, so everyone just piles into the strongpoint and dukes it out.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Niko Ruf
Germany
Schönaich
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cfarrell wrote:
I don't think any game that uses the combat system introduced in WK (Gettysburg, Liberty, Hammer, CR) nor any prior game with a similar system (Napoeleon, 1812, 1759, the ACW games) has any kind of a prohibition on first-round retreats.


In Bobby Lee, retreating units may be subject to pursuit fire. IIRC from browsing the rules, this holds also for Napoleon, and other older titles. CR and Hammer have no restriction on when you retreat, but there are major differences in where you are allowed to retreat to. E.g., in HotS it is possible to attack with a fast unit to move through an enemy occupied area unscathed. It fits, because you expect William Wallace to be a sneaky bastard. And the areas in Hammer are large with lots of difficult terrain, so it should be possible to slip past your enemies if you are clever.

Another example: I am currently cobbling together a block game on the English Civil war using the A-B-C combat system. I gave artillery an A3 combat rating and cavalry a B3. Clearly, artillery should attack first because of range. But they should not be able to run away from cavalry! Solution: only cavalry can retreat during the first round of combat. So it really depends on the "period feel" you want to achieve, as well as the effect on gameplay.

Quote:
So such a prohibtion does stand out in WK.


Without it, you need to garrison all your cities for fear of losing them to a 1-step A1 flyer. And you can "bounce" fast fliers off of enemy units to move them twice as far with no risk. So at least attacking units should be forced to fight during the first turn, IMO.

Quote:
Wouldn't the faster units just refuse to engage in an obviously losing battle?


Moving into an area occupied by the enemy is not "refusing to engage" in my book

Quote:
Regardless of whether you think this scenario is dumb or not, it does mean that many low-firepower A units are now quite overpriced. The several A1s (the Feudals and Barbarians have a common one) are worthless at 3GP if they have to stick around for one round.


They are not worthless if you stack them with cannon fodder and manage to roll a '1' or two. With the 3 round combat limit, every die your opponent does not get to roll is crucial. IIRC somebody posted an analysis on the CG board to the effect that an A1 block is on average as powerful as a B2 block which costs the same.

Quote:
Of all the changes in WK2, the one that I am by far the least enamored of is the prohibition against 1st-round retreats.


The change was actually already present in 1.6. Actually, that's why I am probably biased in its favor because I never played any other way.

Quote:
... it makes for a more static game because screening flanks is now complicated and usually impractical, so everyone just piles into the strongpoint and dukes it out.


I screen flanks with C1 blocks and rebuild them at the end of the turn. And when my opponent holes up in a city, I go for his weakly defended villages. The point is, you need scenarios with a lower unit density with the 1.5 or earlier rules, but 1.6 or later is not intrinsically worse.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Farrell
United States
Cupertino
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Niko Ruf wrote:
cfarrell wrote:
I don't think any game that uses the combat system introduced in WK (Gettysburg, Liberty, Hammer, CR) nor any prior game with a similar system (Napoeleon, 1812, 1759, the ACW games) has any kind of a prohibition on first-round retreats.


In Bobby Lee, retreating units may be subject to pursuit fire...


That's true, but fast units are generally not subject to pursuit fire from slower units in those games.

I wouldn't be against some sort of a rule whereby units that are retreating would be subject to pursuit fire from equally-fast units in the opposing force. But as it is now, where speedy/stealthy/ranged units are forced to engage slow/heavy units for a round, many situations are glaringly irrational - the flying Gargoyle attacked and trapped by walking ground-pounders, the aquatic Viking detained by Spearmen, or the stealthy Rangers ambushed by plodding Dwarves.

Quote:
Another example: I am currently cobbling together a block game on the English Civil war using the A-B-C combat system. I gave artillery an A3 combat rating and cavalry a B3. Clearly, artillery should attack first because of range. But they should not be able to run away from cavalry!


Well, that's the ECW, and your game, and not this one.

The one similar example from WK is the Catapult though, which is an A unit now. This is a change; it used to be a high-firepower C, which made more sense in this context. I agree it's an odd case that seems to demand a special rule, but why mess up the rest of the system for the one unit? In WK, the A units are overwhelmingly flyers, archers, cavalry, or other stealthy/fast/long-ranged units that presumably would have discretion over whether to engage a less-mobile opponent or not. To remove cavalry's (for example) discretion in engaging a purely infantry force seems to me to be unreasonable.

Quote:
Without it, you need to garrison all your cities for fear of losing them to a 1-step A1 flyer. And you can "bounce" fast fliers off of enemy units to move them twice as far with no risk. So at least attacking units should be forced to fight during the first turn, IMO.


I'm not sure what your point about fliers is here. You still need to garrison your cities against A1 fliers. And fliers can only "retreat" to friendly hexes now, so the the double-move issue isn't as bad as it was in 1.5 and earlier (which was a little out of hand).

Again, why should an A1 Gargoyle be forced to attack? Or Defend? If a Ranger is defending in the woods, and sees four legions of Dwarves coming their way, why should they be forced to stick around and get killed in the first round? It makes no sense.

I think there is a decent compromise pursuit fire option here for speedy units. But right now, with one forced round of combat, the ability of slow units to attack, corner, and and kill agile units is not reasonable.

Quote:
Moving into an area occupied by the enemy is not "refusing to engage" in my book


But moving into an enemy hex is not necessarily rationalized as a full-blooded assault; it could be scouting, etc. Numidian cavalry could "attack" and get awfully close to a Roman Legion - close enough to do damage, even - without risk of the Legion being able to come to grips with them at all.

Anyway, the attacker thing is debatable, although I think any flying unit (which usually get speedy ratings) should reasonably be able to disengage from ground-bound units with minimal risk. But the most egregiously illogical result of the no-retreat rule is for defenders, where detachments of A-rated defenders cannot withdraw from plodding attackers until after they are likely destroyed in the first round.

This is bad not just because it makes no sense, but because it means that As are now strictly shock troops, to be used on the pointy end of an assault force, and can't operate independently of screening units and can't risk being attacked without adequate backup. I liked it better when I had more options, especially given how expensive A units are.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Niko Ruf
Germany
Schönaich
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
cfarrell wrote:
That's true, but fast units are generally not subject to pursuit fire from slower units in those games.


Yes, but in BL, if I want to hit a screening cavalry unit, I can send in cavalry and artillery and I get a chance to inflict some damage. With first round retreats in WK, the defender always gets away.

Quote:
the flying Gargoyle attacked and trapped by walking ground-pounders, the aquatic Viking detained by Spearmen, or the stealthy Rangers ambushed by plodding Dwarves.


The defender already has the advantage in combat. The attacker should at least be able to decide when and where to fight. A classical ploy is the "dawn raid", where you attack the opponent while he is unprepared. If a bunch of gladers decide to attack some harpies, they will certainly try to get them while they are asleep.

Quote:
Well, that's the ECW, and your game, and not this one.


My point was that based on the scale (time, distance, unit size), type of conflict (ancient, WWII, fantasy), as well as the game experience you want, how you handle retreats can differ a lot. I gave CR and HotS as examples that show that *where* you may retreat is not a given in Columbia's A-B-C system. I couldn't think of an "official" example (except of course WK itself ) that changed the *when*. But I don't feel that it sticks out as unusual if you look at how varied the different block games are.

Quote:
I'm not sure what your point about fliers is here. You still need to garrison your cities against A1 fliers.


With the scenario I usually play, you can only afford to garrison major cities (2 or 3 GP), because the time limit and asymmetric setup forces one player to go on the offensive. If a flier moves into a 1 GP village, I hope to win initiative next turn and attack him with a garrison (usually a C2 block) from the next big city. With 1st round retreats, he invariably gets away unharmed and able to harrass me again and again.

Quote:
And fliers can only "retreat" to friendly hexes now, so the the double-move issue isn't as bad as it was in 1.5 and earlier (which was a little out of hand).


It's still odd. If I want to relocate a flyer from one friendly city to another, I can do it at twice the range if he taunts some enemy forces on the way?!

Quote:
Again, why should an A1 Gargoyle be forced to attack? Or Defend? If a Ranger is defending in the woods, and sees four legions of Dwarves coming their way, why should they be forced to stick around and get killed in the first round?


This is decided before battle: he wins initiative and moves away from the dwarves before they can catch him. If the dwarves win initiative, he didn't react in time and they cut of his retreat. He might still survive, but it's not guaranteed.

(I'm just making up some narrative to show that you can explain this kind of situation easily. I think that the real issue is the impact on game play. And I prefer no 1st round retreats when it comes to that.)

Quote:
But moving into an enemy hex is not necessarily rationalized as a full-blooded assault; it could be scouting, etc. Numidian cavalry could "attack" and get awfully close to a Roman Legion - close enough to do damage, even - without risk of the Legion being able to come to grips with them at all.


If this strategy worked 100% of the time with no chance of backfire, why didn't the Numidians rule most of Europe for several centuries?

Quote:
This is bad not just because it makes no sense, but because it means that As are now strictly shock troops, to be used on the pointy end of an assault force, and can't operate independently of screening units and can't risk being attacked without adequate backup.


They can, if you play with a time limit. At least, your opponent needs to divert troops from his major campaign to hunt them down. And if he doesn't, you reinforce with sea moves during the next turn and secure your position.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ted Kostek
United States
Camano Island
Washington
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
I'm w/ Chris on this point. I'm just saying that their are some tactical choices that are opened up by this retreat structure.

IMO it all traces back to the fact that there's no real basis for the game. I realize it's a fantasy based game, but work w/ me here. If we don't have a firm idea in our mind about what we're trying to simulate things turn into a mess, and it's not clear how fix the problem. Change the rules? Change the scenario? Release a tactics manual?

HotS and Liberty only have a scant handful of A units, whereas the v1.x undead army was like 1/2 A units, meaning they could always just leave a battle. A well designed scenario should theoretically handle this, but those are thin on the ground IMO. In v2.0 CG is obviously going for the idea that you can swap out armies in different scenarios, but that's obviously going to break some in strange ways.

What is the scale of the maps? What is the scale of the units? How much time does a turn represent? How tough is a dwarf relative to an elf relative to a human? W/o firm answers to these questions it's impossible to figure out what kind rules make sense.

Personally I'm pretty close to giving up and buying Rommel and Shenandoah (when it comes out in 2012).

On the point of unit costs, an A1 always shoots before a B1 who always shoots before a C1. Speed counts for something, even if it's not a whole gp.



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Niko Ruf
Germany
Schönaich
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
kostek wrote:
What is the scale of the maps? What is the scale of the units? How much time does a turn represent? How tough is a dwarf relative to an elf relative to a human? W/o firm answers to these questions it's impossible to figure out what kind rules make sense.


You can still evaluate rules based on what they add to the game. For a fantasy gane that does not pretend to be a strategical study (not even of a fictional war), that seems to be the only reasonable approach.

I admit that early retreats add something to the game, but I don't like them at no cost. Screening with A units is a great defensive tactic that can make it impossible to attack a city effectively as long as the defender wins initiative (works wonders in CR). Since the usual complaint is that WK is too easy on the defender, I think some sort of pursuit fire rule is necessary. My suggestion would be a 50% chance to take 1 point of damage during first round retreats. I'll try that out and let you know how it works.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.