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Subject: Limit on Leader Stacking? rss

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Harvey Dearden
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I understand all available leaders may be stacked with a single unit to maximise combat potential. A legitimate game manoeuvre perhaps, but in solo exploration of the simulation-scenario it can seem perverse? Is there any sense in a house rule to limit this? Possibly no more than one + leader and one x leader in a stack? Or possibly even disallow stacking - but this may make some historical play through unworkable?

Just wondering whether this has been explored by anyone with some useful experiences to share?
 
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Russ Williams
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If you're soloing both sides, then of course you can apply whatever such policies you want simply as player decision without needing it to be a "house rule" as such.

In my soloing, I sometimes stacked leaders. I found that (unsurprisingly) it has pros and cons, since of course you get a stronger/better unit in that stack with multiple leaders, but then that army is weaker elsewhere. Tradeoffs, tradeoffs...

Whether it's "perverse" or historically valid, I do not know.
 
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Harvey Dearden
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Hmmm. Just strikes me as weird to have maybe all of say three leaders stacked on one part of the field (although that does not necessarily mean the rest of their army is leaderless - a contiguous formation would allow leader activation of even remote units).

I realise it's asking a lot of this scale but I do look for some historical basis for the rules.

Possibly leaders would indeed aggregate at some critical point? Or would they typically be assigned to distinct formations;'left wing cav', central infantry etc.?

Part of the fascination for me is considering the simulation mechanics.
 
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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The original Bill Banks Ancients design did not mean "leaders" to represent individual men, but rather leadership capacity; i.e. Alex the Great gets three counters not (just) because he had excellent subordinates, but because his collective leadership power was very great. You were expected to stack all three together when making his typical decisive cavalry attack.

By breaking out "leaders" into different types. ABD gets away from the original design intent a bit (IMO).
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Harvey Dearden
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Scott,

You make a nice point about 'leadership capacity'; I see this as consistent with the level of abstraction employed in ABD.

The term 'leader' is somewhat misleading. I still wonder about focusing all the leadership capability at a given point for combat odds though, but can accept that within the design parameters of the game that is how it is.
 
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Mike Nagel
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Scott's got it right. There are no rules stipulating limits on leader stacking. Instead, the loss of flexibility elsewhere on the battlefield as well as the massive missile target put on a hex with multiple leaders should be sufficient to dissuade that kind of tactic. YMMV.
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Harvey Dearden
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Mike,

I understand the possible loss of flexibility, particularly when formations have become fragmented, but the 'missile target' aspect does not seem that alarming? This touches on my recent posting under the rules forum - the ability to rally immediately (expending 1 CP) after suffering a 'hit' under range combat seems to make elimination from range combat unlikely. Do I have this right? Or should a unit suffering a hit under range combat be marked (yellow/red?) so that they remain vulnerable at least until the next turn?

I hope I don't try your patience here...

Harvey.
 
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Mike Nagel
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A leader in a hex with a unit that takes a hit must make a survival check. Having all of your leaders in one hex just begs for a missile storm to kill one or more of them.
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Harvey Dearden
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Thank you for the prompt response. I understand that the risk lies with unit elimination rather than with a hit. Given the ability to rally immediately after a hit (1 CP), the chance of unit elimination from range combat, followed by a leader 'escape' roll of 1, seems relatively remote. Certainly if it was with each hit that would give one pause! You would hesitate to place any leader within range of a missile attack.


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Russ Williams
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mpnagel wrote:
A leader in a hex with a unit that takes a hit must make a survival check. Having all of your leaders in one hex just begs for a missile storm to kill one or more of them.


CaissiaC wrote:
Thank you for the prompt response. I understand that the risk lies with unit elimination rather than with a hit.


Hmm, good point; the only rule I can find now about leader survival checks is:

rule 11.5.1 Shot Out from Under Me wrote:
A Leader stacked with a combat unit that is Eliminated must make an ‘Escape’ die roll.


Where is the rule about a leader having to make a survival check if the unit in its hex merely takes a hit (as opposed to the unit being eliminated)?
 
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Mike Nagel
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Russ,

My bad. I misremembered that rule. A unit does have to be eliminated for the leader(s) to make a check. However, when a formation of missile units is activated, each unit makes an individual attack (plus support from any other designated units), so two hits would kill a unit before it gets to make a rally check. Pretty much the same thing.
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Harvey Dearden
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Thank you Mike.

I see now that the key is activation of a formation of missile units, allowing multiple strikes before the other side has an opportunity to spend a CP to rally.

I have been looking for clarification here to support a guide to solo play that I have been working on. In solo play I look for simulation-narrative rather than game-competition. In that respect, do you see a case for some limits on leader stacking? (Where the above disincentive does not apply say.)

Historically, would/could leadership capability aggregate at one point of the field and thereby enhance local combat strength? Or would leadership capability remain distributed amongst nominated formations?

The latter seemed more likely to me, but that could simply be my ignorance. I can imagine some shifting of leadership capability would take place. It was when I found myself considering stacking ALL the leaders with one unit that I became troubled. But it may be that limiting stacking in some way might cause other difficulties in scenario play through that I have not yet understood.
 
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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Quote:
Historically, would/could leadership capability aggregate at one point of the field and thereby enhance local combat strength?


The first example that comes to mind is what I mentioned before - Alexander and his Companion cavalry striking the critical blow.
 
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Mike Nagel
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I don't think leader stacking needs to be limited. Let the situation on the battlefield dictate how best to use the assets at hand relative to the risks involved.
 
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Harvey Dearden
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mpnagel wrote:
I don't think leader stacking needs to be limited. Let the situation on the battlefield dictate how best to use the assets at hand relative to the risks involved.


Understood. Thanks for the input.

H.
 
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