CONCEPTUALIZING MY COMBAT SYSTEM
Here are some notes on my combat-concept. They are usefull for me as an overview, but everyone interested can reat them too, of course. If this is all gibberish to you, then you may consult the ageod wiki (“combat explained”) and Narwhals tutortials on fire and close combat in the AJE section of the forum.
A “day” has 3 rounds of battle (vanilla RoP: 6 rounds)
A round of battle represents 10 minutes of action (vanilla RoP: ca. 120 minutes)
vanilla RoP: 7 days = 1 turn = 7 pulses/days = 42 combat rounds à 120 minutes
mod: 1 day à 12h/720min = 4 turns à 180min = 28 “pulses” à 25min = 84 combat rounds à 10 min
Frontage will be very small (very few elements per battle compared to vanilla RoP). No concrete numbers yet.
An element represents a company – usually 20 hits à 7 men = 140 men.
DECLARATION/INTERPRETATION OF ELEMENT-STATS
Chance to engage and hit an opponent to some effect (see fire damage) with low intensity (dispersed formation, formation in movement, etc.).
Units good at skirmishing and – to a lesser degree - well drilled units have high offensive fire values, close-order troops (especially if they’re badly drilled) have a low offensive fire value.
Chance to engage and hit an opponent to some effect (see fire damage) with high intensity (closed order, formation stationary). Especially when defending a position.
Units that act in close order have a high defensive fire value, units that act in open order have a low defensive fire value (unless in favourable terrain).
Describes the effect of successful offensive and defensive fire. This one stat needs to cover both, offensive and defensive fire damage. Therefore, even though it’s not an optimal solution, we need to differentiate damage-types per unit, not per situation (defensive fire/offensive=skirmish fire).
Units that are more likely to act as skirmishers will deal skirmish fire damage (1 hit + low cohesion damage). Units that are more likely to act in closed formation will deal defensive fire damage (1 hit + medium cohesion damage). Thus, a skirmishing element will be less likely to disrupt and halt an advance than a close-order element. (Lower cohesion for an offensive element means a lower chance to charge and assault).
To determine whether an element tries to assault (seek shock action, force a position), it needs to run through several tests. First, it needs to pass a TQ-test (vs. d10). If it does not pass, it will not try to assault in this round. If it passes, it next needs to see whether it carries out a mere “assault” or a “charge” (most elements will have the charge-attribute). In my terms, only a charge resembles a real shock action, whereas an assault is but some high intensity engagement (see assault damage). The charge-test (TQ*current absolute cohesion vs. D30; I want to lay weight on cohesion rather than TQ). Thus, if an element has suffered from effective defenders’ fire, and is low on cohesion, it may be unfit to press the attack at range 0 (which is bad for now the defender with his higher defensive fire has the advantage). If the charge-test is passed, then the defender gets a chance (TQ*current absolute cohesion vs. D20) to “counter-charge” (deter the attack). If successful, the attacker is switched back from “charge” to ordinary “assault”. In my terms, this means that the attack is not pushed, rather there is a face-off at close range. Moreover, a counter-charging defender has a slight bonus in damage. Once the assault-mode (assault, charge, counter-charge) for both elements is clear, they (attacker first, defender second, if not routed?) see if they actually hit (Assault*TQ*etc.etc. vs. D100). The damage they inflict with a successful attempt depends on the assault-mode.
Luckily, the game let’s us differentiate three situations/modes here: 1. ordinary assault damage; 2. charge-assault-damage; 3. counter-charge-assault-damage.
1. (Ordinary) assault damage:
This represents the damage that the unit inflicts in a situation of high intensity (close formation, close distance, stationary). This will be indentical with most elements' fire damage.
Equals the ordinary assault damage multiplied by x. This represents the effects of a successful shock action and the defender being pushed out of his position. The multiplicator will be set very high, so that the target looses a lot of cohesion (and also hits, can’t be prevented).
Equals the ordinary assault damage multiplied by x. Most likely, the multiplier will be 1-1.5. I imagine these actions (an infantry formation not giving way when facing an advance, a square keeping steady when threatened by cav) as a stand-off rather than a massacre. The primary effect of a successful counter-charge should be to prevent the charge-assault-damage of the attacker, not to massacre him.
The chance to engage and hit opponent to some effect (see assault damage) with high intensity once the element has decided to assault and has been given an assault-mode (assault/charge/counter-charge).
This will be set very high for all units, as the effects and decisions of shock-combat are handled primarily via assault-modes (assault, charge, counter-charge).
This is a difficult one as it has a lot of uses. It’s effect on fire combat can be ignored. But it’s the only shock-combat-related stat that can be modified by terrain and stance (off/def) and unit type. As I generally don’t want defenders to seek shock-action, troop qualities will be set comparatively low across the board for all units (except perhaps cavalry) and only be raised to reasonable level by terrain effects for the attacker. This should make units in defensive stance unlikely to seek shock action. However, as the counter-charge test is taken against a d20 (unlike the charge-test which is taken against a d30) and cohesion will weigh heavily in the counter-charge-test, elements on the defence will still be able to defend well in shock combat (if their cohesion is okay).
Another effect of troop quality is the shaken-test. If units have suffered casualties in a battle, they need to pass a shaken test (TQ vs d10). If they fail, they suffer from slight negative effects (-1 rate of fire, -1TQ) for the upcoming round.
In other words: troop quality resembles the temporary “spirit” of an element. Naturally, the attacking force has chosen the moment of attack and has the moral advantage of the attack. Thus, a elements on the offensive are meant to (and mentally prepared to) advance and force an opponents’ position. Cohesion, on the other hand, resembles overall long-term morale and tactical cohesion/order on the battle field.
As I’m making use of the charge-/counter-charge mechanic to represent all kind of shock action (I don’t like to use the assault-value for it asit leads to both sides damaging each other), cohesion is the primary stat for shock combat. Each x absolute points of cohesion left gives an element a bonus on its test whether it charges (take a position by shock) or counter-charges (fend off a shock-attempt).
Therefore, cohesion stands for (among other things) the chance to risk a shock-action and to withstand a shock action (i.e. not give way).
Rate of fire
Can be largely ignored for my purposes. All units will get the same RoF. The qualities of units are represented by offensive and defensive fire values and by initiative. Rate of fire could be used to reduce randomness (more attempts but lower hit-chances). I don’t think I need it.
This can also be ignored for my purposes. The only purpose is to give artillery a slight range-advantage.
If certain parameters are set accordingly, initiative represents the overall surprise-potential of a force. The surprise-potential (very one sided and strong result) is higher if 1) hit chance is high, 2) fire damage is high, 3) a considerable amount of elements of the force has a higher initiative than a considerable amount of the opposing forces’ elements.
Since these conditions are not really met (I have comparatively low hit-chances and low fire-damage), initiative can be largely ignored. Skirmishers will have a higher initiative, but there is no big effect.
SETUP OF UNIT-STATS PER UNIT-TYPE
SETUP OF FRONTAGE AND TERRAIN EFFECTS
COMBINATIONS OF UNITS, COMMAND, TARGET-SELECTION
HYPOTHETICAL SITUATIONS, THE SYSTEM IN PRAXIS