Friday, October 26, 2012

Possible Close Combat Sequence?

Kung Foo Panda (an example of "Push")

Sandy here. Eriochrome sent me a detailed description of a possible sequence for close-combat. So I thought that I'd post it up and respond to his ideas inline.

Eriochrome said:
"Here is how I am thinking:

Launch Assault: Assaults can be attempted with any action that allows the unit to move.  They must end their move with 1 model within Mv/2 of an enemy model.  If they require a ATD to get in range then they can be snap fired at as normal (this is your defensive fire/reaction phase rolled into existing mechanics).  All snapfire shots are considered 1 attack volley regardless of how many units are in snap fire range (ie max 1 marker for dead model plus the total hits/7 markers)  If you let an opponent get to close you do not get to defend yourself in any special way.  Pay more attention next time."
Sandwyrm's thoughts:

I really like the idea of the assault being triggered by simply getting into a certain range of the enemy instead of actually contacting them with movement. It fits with the 'Close Combat' idea. In that you'll be in CC (but not necessarily hand-to-hand combat) if you get close enough to the enemy. You can also choose to get out of CC by simply consolidating your models such that they're all more than 6" away from an enemy model. Hmnnn... that could lead to interesting chases. :)

For simplicity's sake, I think we should standardize the 'Close-Combat' range at 6". Though each model's consolidation distance could still be Mv/2.

As for defensive fire, we started at 2xAwareness for the range. Which got reduced to 1xAw in our tests (but there was only one assault in all 3 games). CaulynDarr and I discussed always allowing the assaulted unit to fire, but to only allow other units to join in if the assaulting unit moved ATD. However, that might be bad if a tank assaults a unit, but the autocannons behind them (in a different unit) can't fire too.

Example of the Suppression tracking that we're talking about. The glass beads are suppression markers. The dice
are tracking hits+pens. Every 7 hits/pens generates another marker.
"Assault Phase:

1.) Attack unit Makes Leadership Test if you have any markers using standard rules passed die remove 1 marker each. Also Clear units hits die on pass.  If you fail you fallback (how far is fallback Move or 2*Move) which makes it different from standard activation tests.  Failure allows opposing units involved make Mv/2 or full moves (depending on fallback distance) to try to catch and destroy models that they can get into b2b with provided they have an attack which can kill the model without the heroic results roll (6+6 or 1+1).  If the heroic results roll is required the fallback model just falls back again without additional movement for other unit."
Clearing the hits-tracking die on a pass is an interesting idea. I had been removing these at the start of the turn. I'll keep it in mind if we need to tweak suppression up a bit more.

As a general rule, I don't want different suppression mechanics between ranged-combat and close-combat. So if we're removing one marker per passed Ld die in RC, then I'd like to do the same in CC. But my fear is that it will make CC far too random. Particularly if we carry over the -1 to-hit penalty for each marker. Though that idea does really appeal to me. :)

There's 3 ways that I could see us going with failed Ld tests and falling back. Some of this might even carry over to ranged combat.
  1. Failing your Ld test means that the combat is over and you must fall back X inches (likely 1/2 Mv), and all models left within 6" of an enemy are auto-killed or captured. This is the decisive and bloody option.
  2. Failing your Ld check simply means that you must consolidate away (1/2 Mv) from all enemy models. But if you're still within 6" of an enemy model, the combat continues and you might rally back into the fight on your next Ld check (allowing you to move wherever you wish, even out of close-combat). If you get suppressed down to Ld0, then you have to run a full Mv. Units under X% (half?) would be destroyed. This is the more dynamic (but longer and more drawn out) option.
  3. We say that units below half that fail a check have #1 happen to them. Units that are still above half would simply consolidate away as in #2. So we get some dynamism without drawing it out too long?
I really don't want any special rules about who can run down whom. It's going to be complicated enough as it is, and I do want Knights to think twice before diving into large units of Grunts that could auto-kill them if they get bogged down and surrounded. It was a very real risk in the middle ages, because if they could get you pinned down, even dirty peasants could find a place to stick their knives through a Knight's full-body plate.
"If we do not clear markers or hits die during the combat then it will just pretty much be a running total as opposed to who is actually getting stuff done in combat at the moment.  Makes first turns way to important since if you get in a hole early in terms of markers you will never dig out.  This is especially true of units which might be starting with 1 or 2 markers from other fire before the assault starts. Essentially even if the assaulter is doing nothing you can only make so many Ld test with 2-3 markers before breaking. Does put Laansguard in a bit of a bind as they might have trouble generating 6 hits in a turn but making bonus marker at the penetrate armor instead of dead might work better in the whole game(might already be that way)."
As above, I am concerned about combats being too random if we remove markers on passed tests. But I'm keen to try it out. :)

Right now we are pretty much just counting down to who breaks first. Which favors the Knights. I've run some on-table tests of the sequence and a unit of 10 men can just about handle one Knight. But 2 or 3 is impossible. If we remove markers though, then it might go the other way and the Knights won't want to assault at all unless they've got a large unit of grunts going in with them to help out.

Which might not be a bad thing, truth be told.
2.) Attacking unit's Models in Base to Base get to make close combat attacks.  Hits and casualties generate markers just like shooting. 
So far so good. But I do want models to be able to shoot in this sequence either before, or instead of, consolidating. Weapons would not be able to fire within their minimum range (cutting out most rifles). Assault weapons would pretty much just be guns with a minimum range of 0.

One shot each from allowed weapons. If you're not carrying a pistol, you don't get to consolidate into hand-to-hand after shooting. If you're carrying a pistol (or something counted as one), then you can move up after shooting one shot. Pistols would not boost your normal melee attacks.
Hits on 6+6 are assigned by attacker to any models in b2b to be saved seperately.  Remaining hits are saved and toughness/str test (which still needs to be determined).
6+6 hits would be saved and applied after the defender applies the normal hits. All dice for like models would be rolled together and removed by the defender. Unless a 6+6 hit has been assigned. All dice for a 6+6 model (both 6+6 hits and normal assigned hits) would be rolled separately.

For Strength vs. Toughness, I'm leaning towards just treating Strength the same as Firepower. Roll equal to or under on a number of dice equal to the target's toughness.
  Total number of hits that do not kill a model are totaled and multiplied by 2^(Ta-Td).  This yields essential for a step of 2 hits for each T.  T0 needs 2 for T1, 4 for T2, 8 for T3 while T1 needs 1/2 for T0 and 2 for T2. 
That's just not going to be workable on-table. You've even lost me in all that. :)
Once the number of push backs in know then attacker decides if he is going to apply them.  If so the defend moves so many models in b2b directly away from the model they are touching 2 inches (this represents a model giving ground in a defensive way).  The attacked can do a push back on any model which was assigned a 6+6 hits but survived for 2 inches of movement however he desires.  If their are more knock backs that models left in b2b then the attacker gets to apply them in to any model that was knocked back at 1 inch per additional knock back however he desires.
This isn't speaking to me, but I don't have any better ideas yet. Need to think more about it...

"3.) Attacking units Models which did not make CC attacks may fire any assault weapons they have if there are enemy models not in B2B within the assault weapons range.  These attacks are considered in the same group as those from 2 so only 1 marker can be directly generated for penetrating armor but multiple markers can be generate with enough hits between steps 2 and 3."
The problem with shooting after swings is that you can't shoot a big monster AND block it's movement without a bunch of exceptions being written into the rules to allow it. It's much cleaner to simply say that you can't shoot things engaged in HtH, and that you shoot before you consolidate.

Agreed on one marker per round though. There may be multiple units involved in the CC, but that shouldn't offer a tactical advantage.

"4.) Attacking units models which are not in b2b are free to move mv/2 in any way the desire.  If no enemy models are within mv/2 of any attacking unit's models that attacking unit is out of the combat.

5.) Go to step 1 switching attacking and defending models."
I'd say that they're free to move if they're not firing. The only exceptions maybe being Heroes. Who might get more options for moving and shooting.

And again, they're out of the combat if they go more than 6" away. But we'd check this every round, such that surrounding models could be pulled in by the movement of an enemy.
"Multiple assaults go as any units with models with Mv/2 of the attacking models are drawn into the assault checked after the leadership test is based in step 1.  Each defending unit has its own pool for hits and suppression markers and take the leadership tests in step 1 individually.  So if 1 unit attacks three and kills one opponent in each unit they can put a marker on each unit but the units also can each clear the marker in the next turn.  A unit can only attempt to chase down another if it has no active enemies within Mv/2."
Agreed, but with the 6" combat distance I mentioned earlier.

Anybody else have any thoughts?

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