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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » Rules

Subject: Full Dice for depleted units? rss

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Don Joseph
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I love the game but am really troubled by giving a full compliment of dice to unit groups that have suffered causalties. For example, when a group of four is reduced to a group of one, how can we justify still giving them four dice? Wouldn't it make more sense to reduce one die as each "soldier" is killed? Am I the only one bothered by this?
 
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Mick Mickelsen
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I think of it as morale breaking. The unit fights hard, until snap, it can't take it any more and dissipates on the battlefield. (OK I'm little hard pressed to explain what a 3 hex flag induce retreat is if that is my theory.) In any event it's a good game that roughly approximates the battles.

Mick
 
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Tim Stellmach
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We justify it for playability.

I'm sure you're not the only one bothered by it.
 
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Wulf Corbett
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So long as there are enough men to create an ordered, disciplined front line, the unit remains at full capability. If there are ONLY enough men to create that front line, the unit will disintegrate with any casualties.

That's the reality of melee-range combat, only one line of men actually fight at one time (maybe 2-3 lines with spears or pikes).
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Miguel (working on TENNISmind...)
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brian
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GraftonHill wrote:

I love the game but am really troubled by giving a full compliment of dice to unit groups that have suffered causalties. For example, when a group of four is reduced to a group of one, how can we justify still giving them four dice? Wouldn't it make more sense to reduce one die as each "soldier" is killed? Am I the only one bothered by this?

What do you do with Green units that only roll 2 dice to begin with? Do they roll -1 die when they are down to one block?

The thing to remember is that a block does not represent a specific soldier or unit of soldiers. So it is not a reflection of strength but of breaking point (of morale; of effectiveness).

It is more like the little "health bar" shown on units in the Civilization computer games. Instead of some die or other means of using counters, the count is represented by soldiers to give the impression of a large force fighting.
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Kent Reuber
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A number of games do this. The miniatures rules Volley and Bayonet comes to mind.

Ancient units are deployed in very deep formations, and only the first couple of ranks can attack. As losses occur, more men from the rear ranks are able to move into the front, but eventually the unit reaches a point where it can no longer fight effectively. So, a constant number of dice (representing the fighting combatants), in my opinion, isn't unreasonable.
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John O'Haver
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franchi wrote:



This is a great illustration that a single block is not directly equivalent to 25% of the manpower or the fighting power of the unit.

Many of us who play and enjoy the game view the loss of a block in a specific unit more as an erosion of the units morale until it completely breaks and disperses as a fighting force and resulting the loss of a Banner as the erosion of the Army morale.

Most of the killing, in a historical sense, isn't even represented in the game. That occured after the army morale of one side was broken and fleeing units were run down and slaughtered by the victorius side.
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Wes Nott
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kentreuber wrote:
A number of games do this. The miniatures rules Volley and Bayonet comes to mind.

Ancient units are deployed in very deep formations, and only the first couple of ranks can attack. As losses occur, more men from the rear ranks are able to move into the front, but eventually the unit reaches a point where it can no longer fight effectively. So, a constant number of dice (representing the fighting combatants), in my opinion, isn't unreasonable.


Agreed.

Removing the last block from a unit does not necassarily represent it's destruction. It more likely represents its loss of cohesion and order, morale, and thus its fighting effectiveness. The men know they're beat so they simply disperse (run away).
 
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Jesse
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I had problems with this at first, but when you think about it really does make sense this way and as an added bonus it makes play simpler.

What would have been really cool is if the game came with wide thin blocks (like Bonaparte at Marengo perhaps) that you lined up behind each other in ranks.

As an aside, due to the formations used in ancient battles this system actually makes a lot more sense here than in Memoir '44. I'm not sure that I really buy tanks and artillery keeping their fire power even after many of them start getting destroyed.
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Canada
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As has been discussed numerous times here and in other similar threads, the "loss of a block" represents a reduction in morale not a loss of combat effectiveness. Miguel Marques (franchi) image shows it quite well.

kopje koffie wrote:
I'm not sure that I really buy tanks and artillery keeping their fire power even after many of them start getting destroyed.
The same thing applies to M'44, in that it is not a loss of combat effectiveness (i.e. not all tanks fire at the same time, so even if you lose a few, the rest can still shoot).

Once a unit's morale breaks, even if it only sustained 20% casualties, the entire unit would run off the field/retreat in a disorderly fashion. So tracking only morale makes for a cleaner/easier game system.
 
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Bonaparte
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It is a mistake to view the block losses as a percentage of the overall troops being killed. Block loss is a representation of decaying ability to stay in the fight. A unit of infantry is not just the ones swinging the swords but the ones that can fill in when a man goes down. When this ability is compromised, the unit breaks. Otherwise, if the block loss represented man loss, the casualty level would be much higher than took place in these battles. A unit breaking or bei8ng eliminated does not mean that all the men are dead, it means that their ability to fight has been eliminated.
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