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Commands & Colors: Ancients» Forums » Rules

Subject: Have I misinterpreted this? rss

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Owen Duffy
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I recently bought CC:A to play with my wife (future classical history PhD).

No reason to point that out, just bragging.

We played out first game, and it was a lot of fun. But one thing that seems strange to me is that depleted units seem to roll as many dice in battle as full-strength units. Have I missed something here? It seems as though the only units that benefit from being at full strength are warriors. Surely a unit that's taken heavy casualties should have its combat strength reduced?
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Wolfram Troeder
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You have played it right.
Please bear in mind that throughout history most of the time only a fraction of a unit's personnel was in contact with the enemy. So there was an inherent reserve capacity in a unit. If you loose the first row of your unit, the second row comes up and is able to do as much damage as the first row. Only when the internal reserves are depleted the unit looses its combat abilities, but now all of it.
Also morale plays a very high roll here.

The exception for this rule is the napoleonics as then units where deployed in a way to bring all soldiers into combat at once. So when you have casualties in CCN you loose offensive capability.

Edit: Spelling error
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David Bohnenberger
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Standard for the C&C system, except for the Napoleonics version, as Wolfram has pointed out.

While there are definitely ways to rationalize this, I think it is as much for simplicity and playability than anything else. Consider the game otherwise. It could devolve into lines of ineffective units facing each other. It would increase the incentive to "hide" damaged units.

BTW, the Nappy version is my least favorite of the series.
 
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Shawn Garbett
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Wolfram wrote:
You have played it right.
Please bear in mind that throughout history most of the time only a fraction of a unit's personnel was in contact with the enemy. So there was an inherent reserve capacity in a unit. If you loose the first row of your unit, the second row comes up and is able to do as much damage as the first row. Only when the internal reserves are depleted the unit looses its combat abilities, but now all of it.
Also morale plays a very high roll here.


My understanding was that historically once a unit lost about 1/4 of it's soldiers the morale was pretty much broken. I interpret this in C&C as the depletion represents the loss in morale, not lives. A unit would fight at full capacity until its resolve breaks. Then it runs for the hills.

The Hoplites had to purchase their own soldiering gear, and the poorer guys were usually put in the back to provide a slight pressure forward (no shoving). Estimates of Hoplite casualties before breaking morale was 5%! That's right, once 5% got stabbed, the battle was over. The rest would drop their banner and flee. If captured they were ransomed back to the other side.
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Wolfram Troeder
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CyberGarp wrote:

My understanding was that historically once a unit lost about 1/4 of it's soldiers the morale was pretty much broken.


That is not only in history. A modern military unit looses its combat effectivenes at pretty the same level. At roughly a third losses chains of command and communication are broken, unit cohesion will be lost and the unit needs to regroup and reorganize as well as get reinforcements and repair broken equipment.
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Kevin Duke
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While it may seem daunting, anyone new to the system might get a lot out of cruising back down into the pages from the early days. There was a time when everyone playing C&CA was " new to the system" and there is almost a list of standard questions that get asked and discussed as people learn the game. You may find it saves time and opens new insights to see what has come before.

As one example, we got to read the designer explaing that the blocks represent morale levels and willingness to stay engaged in battle. Two examples help make that solid.

1. Richard explained his demo set up as he played C&CA for years before gmt released it. Visualize a block of miniatures together, which have three individual pieces and then one clump. Their first three hits, the remove one figure. For the 4th hit, the unit has collapsed and ir removed from the field.

2. When you expand and buy the Spartans, you will find Spartan hoplites are medium infantry--they roll 4 dice-- but the have 5 boxes. Their staying power is better.

Hope that helps. Check out the solo and multi player link.
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BrentS
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As everyone has pointed out, the simplest way to view it is that blocks represent unit cohesion, not troop numbers. This does seem to be a major conceptual hurdle that some players are never able to cross to their satisfaction.

There was tremendous slaughter of the losing side in many ancient battles (e.g. Cannae), but that invariably occured after the battle was decided (well after the last victory banner is taken in a game of C&C:A). Before then, individual unit loss represents units and sections breaking when attrition, fatigue and morale (all represented by block loss) reach a critical point. When enough of these units break, the army routs.....at which point the battle is decided, the C&C:A game ends and the slaughter of the vanquished commences (which we thankfully don't need to play out).

It is also convenient that it's more a more dynamic and playable game this way....or at least I find it to be so.

Brent.
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