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Conquest of the Empire» Forums » Variants

Subject: Cavalry & Catapults Issue - CotE II rss

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Leif
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Relating to 'Conquest of the Empire II'...


Please bear in mind that I'm new to the game, and that I did thoroughly enjoy the game. But I also happen to have a fairly critical eye, and an analytical mind, so naturally... I have questions & issues with the game; at least as I experienced it. It's entire possible that I missed something in my introduction to the game, so please feel free to correct me. My copy hasn't arrived yet, so I've only had the rules taught to me, and haven't been through the rules book thoroughly on my own yet.


It seems to me that infantry are slightly overpowered in the game, and calvary & catapults are slightly underpowered. Also, there seems to be a very definate bias toward infantry in army building, and when casualties are taken.

What I sensed was that because infantry had a great chance to hit, catapults & cavalry were often used as 'cannon fodder' for infantry, as long as it wasn't the last cavalry or catapult unit. The extra cost paid for the catapults & cavalry alone, doesn't seem to be enough to cause a person to lose infatry instead. This doesn't seem right to me. It does ensure that armies are infantry heavy, as they should be... but still... historically speaking, catapults & cavalry were much less expendable units than infantry.

I'm thinking there needs to be some special rules for catapults & cavalry that make them less expendable in groups, so people are more prone to losing infantry as long as they still have what infantry they need for maxium hits.

Something like this:

Catapults: get a first volley before the battle starts, doing double hits, without the defender's normal forces responding. Defender catapults can respond.

Cavalry: if three or more calvary present, roll 1 extra die.



Does anyone have some house rules that they use to give catapults & cavalry a little more pizzaz?

EDIT: Found some other threads on the subject. My apologies for beating a dead cavalry.

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Ray
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Another way to approach this is not to think of them as "actual" pieces, but rather, a representation of a better equip army. So if you have cavalry and catapults in your army, and your opponent only has infantry, then your army is just better equip for battle (since you hit on more symbols) than your opponent's army. After all, what does one figure actually represent?
 
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Leif
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Yea, I've been thinking about that since I first read your reply. I agree that a piece may just represent an army enhancement. However, what does it mean to add additional duplicate pieces then? I think that's where the heart of the issue is. Having one catapult may just mean that you've enhanced your army to make additonal hits under new circumstances (rolling a catapult on the die). Adding a catepult (so 2 in total) means that if you happen to roll two catapult sysmbols, you get two hits. There's much less chance of that than rolling one catapult symbol. So in terms of mathimatical odds, there's a definate loss of incentive after building a single catapult. That's where I see the issue.

My brother and I decided that the real power of cavalry in a battle is speed; speed to outflank an opponent. So there is a real advantage is having this ability where your opponent doesn't have it. If both players have an equal number of cavalry, they have the potential to outflank each other, or block each others outflanking attempts. So I think the idea of rewarding only an advantage, would work better with cavalry than with catapults. Something like this: whoever has the most cavalry in a battle gets an extra die. If both players have the same number of cavalry, then there is no advantage, and no extra die for anyone. Now there is additional incentive to buy cavalry.

Catapults should really get a precursory attack, but my brother has convinced me that the idea of double hits is too much. They should also get some kind of bonus against cities, perhaps suppressing city advantages somewhat.



 
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Ray
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Leif_G wrote:
Yea, I've been thinking about that since I first read your reply. I agree that a piece may just represent an army enhancement. However, what does it mean to add additional duplicate pieces then?


Simply means it is bigger army. That is, the player with the most pieces brought the bigger army to the battle. Should that army have lots of infantry pieces and nothing else, then it might be a big army, but not well equipped. On the other hand, should that army only have cavalry and catapult pieces, then it came to the battle without proper infantry support.

In short, the size of the army is represented by the number of pieces in it. The type of pieces within the army represent what kind of army it is in an abstract way.
 
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Mark Delesdernier
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Personally, I like the battle rules from 'Classic' more than I like the CotE II rules. With that being said, I think the changes were probably made for simplicity's sake. It still follows that an even slightly mixed army will have better results than an army that is completely infantry because there will be more chances to hit. The fact that only 3 die (or more with modifiers) will be brought to bare on each round means that unless you have less than 3 infantry in a province, it doesn't make sense to eliminate cavalry or catapults in favor of multiple infantry units due to the cost.

Again, I don't like the fact that there are no extra abilities for cavalry and catapults; but the nature of combat still favors an infantry-centric, mixed-arms approach to warfare. And the simplified combat puts the emphasis on the diplomatic and bureaucratic aspects which are more central to CotE2.
 
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Dan Zachary
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Leif_G wrote:
Relating to 'Conquest of the Empire II'...




It seems to me that infantry are slightly overpowered in the game, and calvary & catapults are slightly underpowered. Also, there seems to be a very definate bias toward infantry in army building, and when casualties are taken.




Remember: This game takes place during late Republic era as Rome was moving towards the Caesars. During this period, the Roman Legion ("infantry") was king. The combat dice being weighted towards infantry is a simple and elegant way to reflect this.

Best.
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