Combat to front and rear

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Quackstheking
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Re: Combat to front and rear

Post by Quackstheking »

I assume the Group hit in the rear was in an ongoing combat to the front.

If so, when it is hit in the rear, in reignites the combat and the target group fights both to the Front and Rear calculating its dice and then halving the total. So if the groups to the front and rear were normal warrior groups this would generate 2 x 8 dice whilst the defender would get 8 dice plus any other adjustments and halve the total.

The outcome won’t be pleasant! If 4 times dice, they are wiped out (7.6.1); if pushed back they are wiped out (7.63).

The process which re-ignites the combat is 7.6.2 at the end of the first paragraph on page 61.

“If a Group, Mob or Formation joins the combat then the close combat will initiate immediately, with ALL groups fighting”.


Hope that helps.

Don

Waterhorse
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Re: Combat to front and rear

Post by Waterhorse »

One thing thing that has occurred to me. Is that if the Elite Warriors, who are the ham in this sandwich, manage to hang around and they might, as speaking from memory, they will have 3 or maybe 4 Fervour when the fight starts. Not a universal panacea but a lot better than going directly into Shock points!

There might be a situation where the cavalry who hit them in the rear have to break off having spent there two allowable rounds in combat. Seems a bit odd to me if it happens.

Any thoughts?

Hamilton
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Re: Combat to front and rear

Post by Hamilton »

I think it is possible for a group to stick around -- depending on the dice rolls of course.

As I understand it, as long as they don't loose by two or more kills in a round warriors will stick around until shock exceeds number of figures in a group.

Depending upon cavalry type yes they'll only stay in contact for 1 or 2 rounds. What's odd about that?
"7.6.6 Obligatory Withdrawal
Skirmish Cavalry and Warriors mounted in Chariots will withdraw 2” for ANY point of Shock on the Group, irrespective of the result, after any one round of combat.
Mounted Warriors will withdraw 2” for ANY point of Shock after two consecutive rounds of combat, unless the enemy has been defeated by +2 or more when they may choose to withdraw or to follow up their defeated opponent, moving 6” towards them, making contact if possible. Where contact is made they will fight one more round of combat immediately after which they will retire 2” for any Shock."

Waterhorse
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Re: Combat to front and rear

Post by Waterhorse »

"Depending upon cavalry type yes they'll only stay in contact for 1 or 2 rounds. What's odd about that?"

In the general run of the game probably nothing, although by the nature of things its a purely arbitrarily number - real combat doesn't have "rounds".

It the circumstances I'm referring to that make it "odd".

A unit engaged to its front is hit in the rear by said cavalry. Yes there is a big effect on that units ability to fight but if they are not forced back in two rounds the cavalry simply decide they can't be bothered and wander off leaving their comrades to the front to fight on, regardless of how the overall combat is going. This requires them to have incurred at least one point of shock of course.

Its the idea that their departure is predetermined I find "odd".

Actually it occurs to me that I may not understand Don's explanation from Sunday, in that I get no sense of how any kills or shock caused by the sandwiched unit are distributed.

Are we saying this type of combat is worked out as two separate fights and the damage inflicted on the two attackers is separately calculated and apportioned, which I could understand, were it not for the Elite Warriors can only face one direction at a time. If not the case how is the damaged allocated on the two attackers?

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Quackstheking
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Re: Combat to front and rear

Post by Quackstheking »

Hi Waterhouse,

It is shock that causes cavalry to retire after one or two rounds depending if they're Mounted Warriors or Skirmish Cavalry - assuming they didn't lose then no shock equals no retire (7.6.6). You're describing a situation when the enemy Group hit in the Front and Rear has effectively blunted the charge as it has fought them to a standstill. If the defenders had excess shock or were beaten by two then they would evaporate. The cavalry retire to charge again rather than mill around.

The combat is worked out as one combat and shock and kills are distributed evenly between the fighting Groups and as the cavalry are the primary attacking Group in this combat then they should take first hit of kills and shock.

This mechanism is not much different to how many rule sets adjudicate flank/rear attacks.

Don

Waterhorse
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Re: Combat to front and rear

Post by Waterhorse »

Hi Don, BTW: That's Waterhorse - as in Kelpie - not that its vital! 😄

Yes, had spotted the shock bit, regarding cavalry being required to fall back. I don't think its unreasonable to make cavalry less resilient but one point of shock invoking the withdrawal, makes them positively fragile, given the power of their infantry opponents.

Now its easy to say this wasn't a cavalry age and I would agree but one point of shock is pretty easy to come by.

However, equally important is the chance to re-engage.

Taking my "sandwich" example, if the two infantry remain engaged with each other and the Turn has not yet ended, when could the cavalry charge back in? I assume that as they charged this turn it would be when their Leader Card next came up and so they would spectate until the following turn, either pitching in through their LC or an End of Turn Signa Card at that point?

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Quackstheking
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Re: Combat to front and rear

Post by Quackstheking »

As per the rules as written, they would retire with their shock but could re-engage next turn either on their Leaders activation or on the Signa card after TF. Remember Warrior Cavalry get two rounds of combat - skirmish cavalry, whose primary role is after all to skirmish by throwing sticks, only get one round.

A couple of points though:-

1) Most Warrior cavalry get a benefit from pulling back and charging in again either by benefiting from shock removal (Rallying Points) or cheap Aggressive Attacks.

2) This was a pre-stirrups era when horse control wasn't great. This isn't two formed lines of battle but a skirmish game that represents 10 blokes on foot having halted 6 blokes on horses and the horse pulling back to attack again. Yes the Foot Leaders card could come up first but that is the friction and uncertainty that the rules try to represent

3) Maybe most importantly Rich Clarke, as the rules writer, devotes unbelievable amounts of time to reading contemporary accounts and historical debate/analysis to ensure that troops in his rules operate as close as they can to their historical counter-parts. His reading has lead him to conclude that warrior cavalry charged in and if not initially successful fell back to regroup before attacking again. That's what the rules reflect.

If you have compelling evidence to prove Richard wrong, I'm sure he would be open to reading it.

Don

Waterhorse
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Re: Combat to front and rear

Post by Waterhorse »

Compelling evidence?

No I don’t and I don’t want to get into that level of debate either, other than to say if Rich has sufficient number of examples of ten men v six men, isolated combats, properly recorded by people who were actually around in 54AD, I for one would be more than impressed!

What the rules give is an impression, that’s all rules ever do. Rich’s impressions based on his reading seem fine to me it’s how they translate into the game I’m wondering about.

The ideas and play testing of any rules are a container. It’s not possible to encompass every possibility that arises or is likely to arise when you release them into the hands of 3000+ gamers who might have some different takes on what makes the wheels go round.

What I’m trying to do at the moment is establish what the rules actually say and if I have that correct. What follows may well be House Rules, or more House Rules, we have started already where deployment is concerned. Rich has always said change what you don’t like for any of his rules. I love CoC but some of what we do is not what he wrote.

I’m not interested in arguing over the length of a spear, I leave that to people on TMP! 😀

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Quackstheking
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Re: Combat to front and rear

Post by Quackstheking »

Got banned from TMP when I posted a link to an Infamy, Infamy! battle report!

I can only tell you what the rules say and the intent - I leave the historical reading to Rich and others. Macro and Cato is as close as I've got to ancient scripts!

How you choose to play the rules is done to you and Rich is more than supportive of people house ruling - these are supposed to be friendly games between like minded people. No historical arguments from me!

Don

Waterhorse
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Re: Combat to front and rear

Post by Waterhorse »

Hi Don,

I was a Friend of Kenneth too but didn't managed to get banned, so you clearly deserve a Phalera!

If you will pardon a historical diversion, modern hands on (or should that be buttocks on) research has shown that not having stirrups isn't really the problem it was held to be, if you were born into a culture where it was the norm, or in the Romans case, had the saddle sussed out. The Parthian and Sassanian cavalry also used saddles very similar to the Romans and they were not adverse to clattering into people either.

In fact one of the research groups found that it was possible to make the four horned saddle so effective at gripping the upper thighs (Ooo! Matron!) that when you took your seat and your weight pulled them in, it made it really hard to actually get off again!

At the moment I need to play many more games to see how the dice work over time. Last night I managed to hit one of the Elite Warriors I've been speaking of in the Flank, killing two and inducing seven shock (they had no Fervour at the time) thereby sending then spinning off but I was less than impressed to find I had the choice of following up 2 inches or not at all, if I preferred. The niggle being I then had to wait and see if my card came up before their's in the next turn. We packed up before that was decided, so I will never know! 😀

Anyway, as usual, your help is greatly appreciated and "I can only tell you what the rules say and the intent" is a really useful direction to have.

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