Warrior Warrior Ancient and Medieval Rules
A Four Horsemen Enterprises Rules Set
 
  FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups AlbumAlbum   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Tournament Level Armies?!?!?!
Goto page Previous  1, 2
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Warrior Ancient and Medieval Rules Forum Index -> Tactics
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Frank Gilson
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 12 Apr 2006
Posts: 1114
Location: Orange County California

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:29 pm    Post subject: Thoughts, and...

It's not as if 'A' list armies, even if we could all agree on what they are, are enough better than B lists such that B lists are hopeless.

Also, clearly there are hopeless armies with which no one could win any event.

I think of it as more of a smooth spectrum. Yes we have some top lists, but there are lists that are close, particularly when you take Mark's points into consideration (some combination of troops, some gimmick(s)).

There are also 'spoiler' armies that are not A lists, but which give certain A lists a lot of trouble.

As for an alternative format that is not Dogs of War:

Law of Averages
No troops that are not C morale can be taken.

Required troops of higher morale are lowered to C (and players can take more than minimums of these, as C).

Required troops of lower morale are raised to C (and players can take more than minimums of these, as C).

Generals element morale is C.

Adjust point cost appropriately.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message  
Mark Stone
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 12 Apr 2006
Posts: 1980
Location: Buckley, WA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:44 pm    Post subject:

Back to reviewing possible "A" list armies: 10 Independent States.

This is certainly one of my favorite, and Derek has played it in the NICT also. I think Derek and I both had one mediocre year in the NICT with it, and I believe each of us had a year where we finished 2nd.

Things that I like:
* It has massive shooting. On 1600 points I field about 275 shooting figures, which is more than double armies like 100YWE that are considered shooting intensive. This is a powerful way of dealing with skirmishing armies, especially cav-based skirmishing armies, as you can pretty much just blow the enemy light troops off the line with shooting.
* It has an abundance of the troop type that can defeat both elephants and knights: close order foot with LTS,B,Sh. And these guys are dirt cheap, being "D" class and really not needing to be more than that.
* With 4 elephants it has just enough to go more aggressively after knight / cavalry armies, particularly since the massive shooting helps pull enemy fire away from your elephants.
* Against sturdy enemy foot it has the potent combo of elephants charging in tandem with HI LTS armed with fire lance. That combo will actually cause enemy pike-armed foot to recoil disordered.

The army has a couple of spoiler problems. First, those armies that are impervious to shooting are difficult to deal with. Japanese is probably the nemesis for this army, though Meso-Americans and Romans could be tricky as well. Second, it has almost no rough terrain troops, meaning that it would be vulnerable to a rough terrain army on a map with lots of terrain.

Still, an incredibly potent army overall, and arguably the most potent of the armies that focus on shooting as their main threat.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message   MSN Messenger
lilroblis
Legionary
Legionary


Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 386
Location: Cleveland Ohio

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:10 pm    Post subject: A list armies

Firstly to be A list it has to fit your personality
I love Han - but when they lost their Pike I found it very hard to play the army well - too little punch they dont lose to anything - but they seldom outright beat anything.
Mark's chinese list - I have never given a point to in 3 battles 5-0 each time - Pike/elephanty just chew them up - but maybe I was lucky - Derek twice I believe and noty sure who the third was
To me an A list should have some answer against everyone - and for seluicid I struggle against skirmishers (mainly because of how I run it I think.
Interesting lists - where is Kmer? They are an A in my mind - and one of the easier A's to play
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message  
Todd Kaeser
Centurion
Centurion


Joined: 12 Apr 2006
Posts: 989
Location: Foxborough, Massachusetts

PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:50 pm    Post subject:

Don't worry Robert - Khmer is certainly on the "A" list.

I certainly agree that the list has to fit one's personality - the player is most of the skill.

Todd

_________________
Nolite te Bastardes Carborundorum
"Don't let the Bastards Grind You Down"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message [ Hidden ]
Historian
Recruit
Recruit


Joined: 27 Feb 2011
Posts: 238
Location: Pennsylvannia

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:43 pm    Post subject: I would add

I would add Islamic Persian to the 'A' list. That was my tournament army for a number of years, and I have taken a couple of them with it. For about 280 points, you can hold or deny 3 feet of the board with the bowmen behind stakes and a bombard between them. Just enough Afghans to cover any terrain, while for the rest of the board has free range between 36 LC and 72 EHC.

On the other hand, it does run hot and cold with the dice, but with A's, all things are possible.

_________________
Phil
Japanese telephones work pretty much like ours, except the person on the other end can't understand you.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message [ Hidden ] Visit poster's website
lilroblis
Legionary
Legionary


Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 386
Location: Cleveland Ohio

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:10 pm    Post subject: A lists

There are a number of lists that give folks fits - Inca would be an example - it or the mixtex/zapotec has come vary close or won a lot of nationals and tournaments and give just about evryone fits
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message  
lilroblis
Legionary
Legionary


Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 386
Location: Cleveland Ohio

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:40 pm    Post subject: A armies

I know that I have twice come in the top 4 with Berber in Nationals (once playing for the title) and did very well with Han for years - I think that what typically differentiates an A list is the fact it deals well with all comers (at least you have options) and really does not have the situation where you have no answers - There are a bunch of macedonian lists that meet this criteria, Knights have half a dozen, there are 2-3 in Imperial warrior, I cannot think of any in Holy warrior that are not knights (Ghaznavid is Holy), or dark age (The Byzantines are decent but not great)
African warrior and Meso-american could have some - but I know I am waiting on list finalyzation before I start to paint any new lead.
I think we have a wealth of possibilities - so many lists are made unplayable by the minimums - a revision on those and suddenly a list becomes viable - Take Lysamachid - nice list except that the minimums make it very hard to build a good mix
No complaints - but that is an area that we continue to get better at - classical warrior is the one book that has not seen much change - would love to see the attention that has been given to some of teh otehr books for playability as well as historical flavor - because there is room for many flavors other than Seluicid, Alex Imperial and Later Carthos
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message  
Mark Stone
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 12 Apr 2006
Posts: 1980
Location: Buckley, WA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:12 pm    Post subject: Re: A armies

lilroblis wrote:
I think that what typically differentiates an A list is the fact it deals well with all comers (at least you have options) and really does not have the situation where you have no answers


I actually disagree with this. I think the A lists do a few things devistatingly well, and have options for most of the common matchups. But in my experience armies that do many things reasonably well don't do anything with enough potency to really be top tier.

For example:
* Alexandrian Imperial, Seleucid: lack of shooting, and a lack of good "attack" light troops (basically LC who fight a rank and a half).
* Wallachian: Lack of good anti-pike troops, and lack of abundant anti-elephant troops.
* Sicilian Hohenstafen: lack of a top notch shock troop (no SHK, no P or HTW, no elephants).

Yet each of these armies does one or two things with incredible potency:
* Alexandrian Imperial, Seleucid: Pike - elephant combined arms, arguably the most potent attack in the game, particularly when the elephants are pike-armed.
* Wallachian: Maybe the most aggressive cavalry army in the game, with light cav that fights rank and a half, both reg and irreg, solid LI to bolster it, and a menacing mix of SHK and lesser armored but Irr A knights.
* Potent blend of combined arms skirmishers with the interplay between LMI, LI, and LC all of which are regular. Backed by "good enough" EHK to support the skirmishers. If you aren't very careful, you can literally lose the game to Sicilians in the initial light troops fray before your shock troops ever get a chance to come to bear.

By comparison, "balanced" armies like Berbers or Ayyubid Egyptian just don't measure up. While they do many things reasonably well, they aren't capable of delivering the "lightning strike" that quickly leads to a 5-something victory. Too many games will be 1-1, 2-2, or 3-2. That just won't get you through to the championship.

But don't take my word for it. Look at the results. Cold Wars and NICT champions are chock full of armies like Alexandrian and Sicilian. I can't think of when an army like Berber ever won a tournament at that level.

The challenge is that you're leaving something to the chance of the matchups when you take an army with known weaknesses. The year I finished second with 10 Independent States I faced: Knights of Saint John, Alexandrian Imperial, Italian Condotta, Medieval Spanish, and Later Welsh. Those are all armies I'm very comfortable matching up against. That same year we had a record number of Japanese armies entered in the NICT (4 I think?) any of which would have been a supreme challenge for me to face. I dodged them all. Luck of the draw.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message   MSN Messenger
lilroblis
Legionary
Legionary


Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 386
Location: Cleveland Ohio

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:14 am    Post subject: A lists

Hard to argue Mark - because the first time I came close with Berbers my opponent would not close and I could not force him - the second time I went up last round was never really in contention
And Han were never really in contention - for much the same reason- I could not force a win against someone who did not want to fight, or in minis playing on an 8x5 table - which is just no fun
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message  
Ewan McNay
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 12 Apr 2006
Posts: 2714
Location: Albany, NY, US

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:35 pm    Post subject:

Pretty much everything said in the thread is reasonable Smile. A few comments.

* I think that Romans are an example of what Mark just brought up w/ Sicilians: winning the battle with light troops (including auxilia) before ever getting into heavy-troop combat. Legions, like any close foot that's too expensive to have very large numbers of, are a distraction: too slow and too easily avoided. The way that pikes work is by having so many that they're everywhere; ditto massed close shooting.

* Everyone should note the 'do one [or two] things well' comment Mark made. This is really a tournament philosophy: Would you rather come 1st, 7th, and 10th or 2nd, 3rd, and 4th? The latter averages third versus sixth, but never wins. The second prong to this line of thought is that the scoring system is massively biased in favour of action, rather than force preservation. So just being able to never lose a unit is going to lose you the tournament.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message  
Mark Stone
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 12 Apr 2006
Posts: 1980
Location: Buckley, WA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:31 pm    Post subject:

Ewan McNay wrote:
The second prong to this line of thought is that the scoring system is massively biased in favour of action, rather than force preservation. So just being able to never lose a unit is going to lose you the tournament.


Sean Patrick Scott, Bill Chamis and I had an interesting discussion on the car ride back from Lancaster to the Philadelphia Airport about this very point.

I know that we have toyed around in the past, and Sean thinks we once actually ran a tournament, where losses were partially cumulative from round to round. It would be interesting to see if we could revive that approach. What the three of us remembered was that it was roughly something like:
* Units that are routed either don't return next round, or you have to die roll to see if they come back (pass a morale test maybe?)
* Returning units that finished the previous round exhausted start the next round tired.
* Other units remove up to N fatigue and shooting fatigue (5 maybe?)

I'd also probably throw in something like:
* Units that finish a round off table show up late to the next round. Dice for their arrival as if a flank march, but upon arrival they show up at your rear table edge instead of on a flank.

This sort of format could be combined with one of our existing formats, either the mini or the theme tournament. It probably is not appropriate for the team tourney, the open, or the NICT. It might be particularly suitable to the theme tourney.

In any case, it would definitely bring out a different mix of armies, and indeed might finally be the format in which the Romans shine (or at least glow dimly). What they lack in mobility and quick strike capability they make up for in durability, and even the supporting troops can use their regular status to maneuver to stay alive. Indeed this even seem historically accurate: Roman field armies and their "grand tactical" operations were designed to keep armies in the field and durable for long stretches, rather than the "fight for a season, go home for the harvest" approach of most of their opponents.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message   MSN Messenger
Ewan McNay
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 12 Apr 2006
Posts: 2714
Location: Albany, NY, US

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:41 pm    Post subject:

I very much like the idea. The one time I ran a similar concept, I made the mistake of changing the scoring system also; we ended up with a LOT of 1-0 and 1-1 games. Leaving the current scoring system intact might allow an interesting choice between being able to kill rapidly (but likely also have losses) versus preserving force. Tough to balance; and to be fair several of the current top armies are designed not just to kill stuff but *also* not to lose units; it is still a lot easier to win 400-0 than 1600-750 for the 5-point win (even if the latter scores you more points, whine whine, see previous whines on this point..)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message  
scott holder
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 30 Mar 2006
Posts: 5785
Location: Bonnots Mill, MO

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:57 pm    Post subject:

What Sean is remembering is the "Campaign Themes" where we played Mini games with 1600 pts lists. Some units never came back (poke around in here for details if you're that interested). It's a nice concept to do in certain periods but by no means is it something I'll do more frequently than once in a looooooong while.

We used the same scoring system we currently use.

There is also a real long-term problem (defined as playing a 3 round tourney) with this, namely if you have one or even two catastrophic games, why play the 3rd game? By that I mean if you only have 800 pts of stuff left (regardless of where you started from) going into your 3rd round, it's quite possible your nearest opponent might still have 1200 pts left. Many people don't want to do that. Part of the "fun" for those of us who want to do well but don't POWER GAME EVERYTHING is that 3rd round 5-x win to salvage our self-esteem for the day. Furthermore, while I prefer 1200pt games, I know most of you still prefer 1600 pt games. For that to possibly continue over the course of a 3 round tourney, you'd want to do something like I did with the two Campaign Themes in that you put together an army larger than the maximum size allowed to be fieleded and pull troops from that pool over the course of 3 rounds. In many cases, some lists don't have much more to pull at over 1600 points, yet others would.

Also too, one of the reasons many of us play is that we want to maximize our gaming time since we have so precious little of it any more. That means I want to run a list I put together over the course of 3 rounds, not putting together a campaign list and hope I don't get creamed in round 1 thus making the rest of the day an effort in playing from a big hole I've dug myself. The counter argument is that there will most likely be another player in similar circumstances. Not always the case. In the first Campaign Theme, that did happen but not in the second one.

I know, I'll just pair all the power gamers against each other in the 1st round and see how that goes. Rolling Eyes Twisted Evil

Again, it's a nice thing to do from time to time but that's it. We have enough to mentally think about in this game without also having a big focus on longevity. Tourney play is an artificial construct. I'm happy with that. Plus, I remain unconvinced that this approach would "help the Romans". If they get slaughtered in Round 1, dead Romans in Round 2 that aren't on the table won't help. If anything, I still incline toward weighting and even then, that has serious limitations in an open format.

Force preservation tends to make people play timidly. Sorry, we're not going back to that.

scott

_________________
These Rules Suck, Let's Paint!


Last edited by scott holder on Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message   Visit poster's website
Ewan McNay
Moderator
Moderator


Joined: 12 Apr 2006
Posts: 2714
Location: Albany, NY, US

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:03 pm    Post subject:

Yeah, was neither expecting or requesting; there are costs to the current system but avoiding games where national championships are decided by someone taking >40 mins to make an irrelevant LC unit move in an attempt to preserve a 1-0 victory in the last game... is a good idea Smile.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message  
lilroblis
Legionary
Legionary


Joined: 24 Apr 2006
Posts: 386
Location: Cleveland Ohio

PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:11 pm    Post subject: Novel tournaments

I remember playing in an attrition tournament - but it went very well for me - won first two games 5-0 showed up in the last game with 1600 points of first choice troops against ny opponent who had 1100 odd if I remember and no light cav - for some reason he did not enjoy it much.

Now something we used to do in South Africa is have a handicap championship - based on the years play you got to play up to 25% more troops than your opponent. For us I would use the last 3 years results - and if you were new just get 20% extra - downside was that poor players could not handle 1600 points never mind 1920 - but the goal is a fairly level playing feild
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message  
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Warrior Ancient and Medieval Rules Forum Index -> Tactics All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2
Page 2 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You cannot download files in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group