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Subject: Sell me on the combat system rss

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David McKenna
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I'm tempted to add this to my collection of VPGs burgeoning Napoleonic_20_series, but every time I look at it, I come up across the same old bug-bear: namely, what looks like a very convoluted melee resolution system.

Whilst I realise that the game is fully backwards-compatible and that I could just use the CRT from the original Ancients game, I would prefer to play the game as it is designed to be played, and I'm not sure if you could use that CRT for the newer expansions.

With that in mind: can anybody sell me on the new system?
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I will sell you on it if you pay me $10,000. Deal?
 
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David McKenna
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Quote:
I will sell you on it if you pay me $10,000. Deal?


laugh

I suppose I walked right into that one, didn't I?
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p55carroll
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What's "story" got to do with it?
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I'm still a little annoyed with the system, so I shouldn't be selling anyone on it, but I'll just say this: It gets to feel easy and natural enough with practice. Really it's simple: you and your opponent each roll a die, and you compare the results. The tricky part, of course, is modifying the die rolls before you compare. Luckily, there are often few modifiers. When there are several, it can get convoluted. But with practice, it gets to be second nature.

I still need more practice.
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Mike Nagel
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David,

In a nutshell:

1) Both guys roll a die.
2) Determine Strength Multipliers and modify Strength Accordingly.
3) Divide the Strength of the Strong Guy by the Strength of the Weak Guy and drop fractions. The remainder gets added to the Strong Guy's die roll.
4) Both guys check for Vector modifiers and add them to their die roll.
5) Both guys check for Terrain modifiers and add them to their die roll.
6) Compare modified die rolls to see what happens.

There are a couple of If-Thens thrown in, but that's pretty much it. Not exactly rocket science. People seem to get hung up on Step 2, but that's pretty easy, too:

Got a unit? That's one.
Got a x1 Leader? That's one.
Got a x2 Leader? That's two.
Got a unit type advantage (like Cavalry)? That's one.
Add 'em up, there's your multiplier (x5 if all the above are available).

-- M
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Tanks Alot
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dmcke013 wrote:
I'm tempted to add this to my collection of VPGs burgeoning Napoleonic_20_series, but every time I look at it, I come up across the same old bug-bear: namely, what looks like a very convoluted melee resolution system.

Whilst I realise that the game is fully backwards-compatible and that I could just use the CRT from the original Ancients game, I would prefer to play the game as it is designed to be played, and I'm not sure if you could use that CRT for the newer expansions.

With that in mind: can anybody sell me on the new system?


It is convaluted, but it makes sense and its not the same ole same old. The precalculation basically looks at your leader support, the position of your troops and the angle of attack. Not so typical in a board game for sure. Why is this good? Well for me It takes the combat to the next level. My only problem with the system is I play this by email a lot and it takes me a few minutes to get my bearings in the system. It is not your typical leader support type role where you get extra dice jusce because you have a leader in range. Overall the game is different enough to have some nice surprises you dont usually see in a game.. but you will most likely say "Now that makes sense!"
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Kim Meints
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I had a devil of a time(accually I hated the new system) when I started playtesting the game since I was so used to the original Ancients but after a few try's it started getting easier with each game played.
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It's not too convoluted, but it is different so it took me a bit to get my head around it. Basically, you and your opponent make opposed die rolls: you both roll 1d6, and the result is determined by comparing your rolls.

The odds ratio of combat strength is added to your die roll: a 3:1 attack will net you +3 on your die roll.

If you attack a unit in the flank or rear you get +2 or +4 to the die roll.

Terrain can give you a mod to your die roll.

You compare the results and there you go! You have to have a die roll more than twice as high as your opponent to disorder the defender. (if he rolls a 4, you need at least a 9; a 13 (over 3 times 4) eliminates outright). Attacking units don't combine strength, so you really need to attack each defending unit more than once--which is possible in this game.

Also, in ABD, there is no "player attack phase"...both players are declaring attacks at the same time--the player with initiative gets to choose first, and does ONE attack...then the non-phasing player gets to choose a combat to resolve. Therefore there is a great deal of subtlety and some tough decisions to make when deciding when and where to attack. And, since movement is simultaneous, during the activation phase, you may have been planning to orchestrate a grand attack only to have one of your units flanked!
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Matt Jolly
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mpnagel wrote:
David,

In a nutshell:

1) Both guys roll a die.
2) Determine Strength Multipliers and modify Strength Accordingly.
3) Divide the Strength of the Strong Guy by the Strength of the Weak Guy and drop fractions. The remainder gets added to the Strong Guy's die roll.
4) Both guys check for Vector modifiers and add them to their die roll.
5) Both guys check for Terrain modifiers and add them to their die roll.
6) Compare modified die rolls to see what happens.


Thank you Mike,

that does make the process simpler, but where I was confused in the rules and in your explanation is the die roll.

Please correct me if I am wrong - please - but if my understanding of the process is that stage 1 is not required at that moment. I find it far easier to work out the die roll modifiers for both sides (and that is all of 2 - 5) then roll the dice and add as appropriate. Rolling first meant that the first time I played I added the die roll to the unit combat strength before mutiplying, else why roll it then? Rolling the dice last adds tension too!

And where in your list do the +1 leaders fit? I'm guessing also in 2, but before or after the multiplier? I'm guessing before?

Finally, use of strong guy/side confuses me. In the example above, it is the person with the highest combat factor after leader and multiplication effects? On the CRT, the first column is labelled "Strong Side" but everything beneath is in terms of attacker/defender. Does this imply that the strong side is always the attacker? This could make sense, but the CRT results make more sense if the attacker is the unit that initiated the combat.

Sorry, I didn't start off to be so negative, but I am sure there is a good and simple combat system here, but it seems a bit confusing as written. And IIRC (I don't have my rules in front of me) although there are good examples for the various bits of combat in the combat section in the rules, there isn't one comprehensive example; maybe that would help?

In the meantime, thank you for producing a great game which fits for me right there between Lost Battles and Commands & Colors: Ancients with some of De Bellis Antiquitatis thrown in, and is more portable than any of them!


Cheers,

Matt



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Joshua Gottesman
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Matt,

I generally figure out the modifiers first and then roll the die. Not because of the tension (although its there), more because its a bit distracting.

A +1 leader would fit in step 2 above. A 2 unit with a +1 leader on it would have a strength of 3, while with a x1 it would have a strength of 4, and a x2 a strength of 6.

As for the strong guy/weak guy, its for computing the ratio die roll modifier. The "strong guy" gets a positive die roll modifier, no matter which side he's on.

For instance, 8 attacking 3 is 2+:1, or a +2 modifier. 8 defending against 3 is not a standard wargame situation where "It rounds in favor of the defender" (i.e., 1:3, granting the defender +3). It rounds the exact same way. Its 8:3, or a +2 to the defender.

And, as I've found out, attacking with less than a +2 on the die is quite the, um, adventure.
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Tanks Alot
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Totally agree! (From memory) It seems the rule book does this sort of backwards and by the time you get to the final calculation you have forgotten what you rolled lol
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Kim Meints
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I've been a playtester on all the Deluxe games and after being so use to the old original Ancients combat procedure it took e a long time to finally get this nailed down to secound nature.It does seem to be more involved at first but gets easier the more you play.I used the same way Joshua did it.
 
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David McKenna
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As the OP, I should probably point out that I did pick the game up a while after posting this, but that I still can't get used to the combat system! cry
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dmcke013 wrote:
As the OP, I should probably point out that I did pick the game up a while after posting this, but that I still can't get used to the combat system! :cry:


Here are the things that made it click for me..
1) The only time the combat strength is used is to calculate the Strangth Modifer, which is basically a ratio
2) Roll the die last as Johuaa said.. it makes it much more fun when you roll and know you have a +2 modifier, than to roll a 1 and then try and calculate it
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