Army scaling

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Rodriguez
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Joined: 2012-04-05 04:40
Army scaling

I recently used the Starter Set to determine the outcome of a small brigand assault on a keep. I tried to scale the unit sizes down to a point where I could compare the two forces reasonably well.

The brigand band had 15 Heavy Infantry and 15 Light Cavalry, both Veterans.
The Lord of the Keep had 30 Bowmen camping near the Keep.
I scaled down from 120 men per unit to 1/8: So 15 men for an Infantry Unit and 7 for the Cavalry. So the Lineup was:

Brigands:
Heavy Infantry (BR2.5)
Light Cavalary (BR3.5)
Light Cavalary (BR3.5)

Lord:
Bowmen (BR2)
Bowmen (BR2)

The brigands (with the help of the players) surprised the Bowmen and Scored 6 hits while the troops of the Lord only scored 1.

The result wasnt a surprise but I wonder: A single hit means that at least one unit gets destroyed right?
Wouldnt that lead to weird results in small engagements with rather unbalanced sides? (One unit of Heavy Cavalry versus one unit of Light Infantry)

Was the above example correct (except that brigands are probably light infantry + medium cavalry...)?
Is the way hits are calculated a good reason to always have some cheap skirmisher with you?

Ludanto
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Joined: 2012-04-30 11:52

Not an Autarch, but what you've got seems about right to me. Your logic holds, at least.

As for unbalanced fights, consider that BR is strictly offensive. So, with 15 dudes on 15 dudes it doesn't seem unreasonable that both sides would be mostly destroyed.

Shouldn't the Heavy Infantry have better armor? Sure, and part of that allows them to last long enough to possibly kill another unit's worth of the enemy before going down themselves.

As for ablative, javelin-catching skirmishers, if it makes sense and it works, then do it. That's one of those "emergent game-play" things.

Otherwise, I guess we're waiting for the full rules.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

I recently used the Starter Set to determine the outcome of a small brigand assault on a keep. I tried to scale the unit sizes down to a point where I could compare the two forces reasonably well.

APM: It seems to me that you did this correctly, yes. I'm very glad that the Free Starter Rules were clear enough that you were able to work this all out.

The brigands (with the help of the players) surprised the Bowmen and Scored 6 hits while the troops of the Lord only scored 1.

A single hit means that at least one unit gets destroyed right?
Wouldn't that lead to weird results in small engagements with rather unbalanced sides? (One unit of Heavy Cavalry versus one unit of Light Infantry)

APM: It can lead to weird results if you use it for very small engagements, yes. It works best if you scale the units down to the point where each side has at least 4-6 units.

Was the above example correct (except that brigands are probably light infantry + medium cavalry...)?
Is the way hits are calculated a good reason to always have some cheap skirmisher with you?

APM: It's a very good reason to have cheap skirmishers with you, yes! The idea is to ensure that elite units (with a high BR relative to their number of troops) risk being "overwhelmed and outflanked" if they aren't fielded with a sufficient number of troops in support.

For example, consider the following somewhat ridiculous battle:
Side A: 1 unit of 60 Cataphract Cavalry (BR 7)
Side B: 14 units of 120 Militia (BR 0.5 x 14 = 7).

The cataphracts are outnumbered 28 to 1 (1,680 to 60)! In DAW Free Starter Edition, I would probably resolve this by using units of 15 men per cavalry unit and 30 men per infantry, to create a battle with 4 units (BR 28) versus 56 units (BR 28).

The battle would proceed as follows.
ROUND 1
Side A rolls 28d20. Rolls are 6, 1, 13, 16 HIT, 18 HIT, 18 HIT, 7, 18 HIT, 18 HIT, 13, 10, 14, 3, 12, 1, 4, 5, 12, 1, 4, 11, 11, 16 HIT, 10, 19 HIT, 5, 7, 7. 7 Hits wipes out 14 BR 0.5 units.
Side B rolls 28d20. Rolls are 3, 20 HIT, 4, 14, 7, 12, 7, 7, 19 HIT, 20 HIT, 15, 15, 18 HIT, 7, 5, 7, 9, 7, 6, 18 HIT, 19 HIT, 2, 10, 11, 4, 19 HIT, 15, 1. 8 hits. 7 hits wipes out 1 BR 7 unit.
Neither army has hit its break-point.

Note that if Side B had dealt 8 hits, it would have killed 2 cataphracts rather than one. This was its best opportunity to do so, and failing to do so might cost them the battle, because their now depleted forces are unlikely to ever get more than 7 hits again during a battle round.

ROUND 2
Side A rolls 21d20. Rolls are 2, 4, 6, 8, 3, 18 HIT, 12, 19 HIT, 14, 4, 5, 4, 4, 10, 13, 16 HIT, 11, 12, 15, 18 HIT, 5. 4 hits wipes out 8 BR 0.5 units. (Total losses 22 of 56).
Side B rolls 21d20. Rolls are 4, 11, 9, 11, 8, 18 HIT, 19 HIT, 14, 7, 2, 1, 13, 5, 6, 19 HIT, 20, 4, 8, 4, 5, 6. 3 hits wipes out 1 BR 7 unit. (Total losses 2 of 4).

Both A and B now must make morale rolls. Army A has lost 1/2 its troops (-2) and it has lost more BR of units than Army B (-2) but this is partly compensated by the cataphract's high morale (+2) and probably excellent general.

Army A rolls a modified 7 and 8. The cataphracts are wavering. Army A will only attack with BR 7 next round instead of 14.

Army B's commander has to make 33 few morale rolls. He's got a poor general (morale modifier 0) and low morale peasants (-2) but at least they have slain more of the enemy than they've lost (+2). As a result of the rolls, 1 unit routes, 9 flee, 15 waver, and 8 stand firm. He is left with 32 units; 9 fleeing, 15 wavering, and 8 firm.

ROUND 3
Side A rolls 7d20. Rolls are 3, 6, 6, 19 HIT, 9, 18 HIT, 8. 2 hits destroy 4 more BR 0.5 units. The commander of Side B removes 4 fleeing militia.
Side B rolls (8x0.5)+(15x0.5x0.5)+(9x0)=(4+3.75)=7.75, rounded to 8d20. Rolls are 19 Hit, 18 Hit, 9, 18 HIT, 16 HIT, 3, 7, 10. 4 hits destroy one 7 BR unit.

Both A and B must now make morale rolls. Army A has lost more than 2/3 of its troops (-5) and has lost more BR than the opposing army (-2). The unit is well-led (+3) and high morale (+2) but wavering (-2). Its morale roll modifier is (-9+5=)-4. The modified roll is a 6, and the unit wavers.

Army B has now lost 37 of 56 units, or just under 2/3 (-2). It has destroyed more BR (+2). Its general is poor (0) and unit morale is low (-2). Total modifier is -2. Fleeing suffer a -5 penalty, wavering -2.

The 5 fleeing militia roll 2d6-7. 1 continues to flee, and the other 5 rout.
The 15 wavering militia roll 2d6-4. 9 rout, 5 flee, and 1 wavers.
The 8 firm militia roll 2d6-2. 1 rout, 1 flees, 4 waver, and 2 stand firm.

The battle is now 1 wavering cataphract versus 7 fleeing, 5 wavering, and 2 firm militia.

ROUND 4
Side A rolls 3d20. Rolls are 16 HIT, 14, and 8. 2 more militia are destroyed. Side B takes these from the fleeing units.
Side B rolls (2x0.5) + (5x0.5=2.5) = 3.5 = 3d20. Rolls are 4, 2, and 10. Side B scores no hits.

Side B must now make a morale roll. It now has 5 fleeing, 5 wavering, and 2 firm militia left. Its morale modifier is -5 (lost more than 2/3), -2 (militia morale), -2 (destroyed less BR) = -11.
The 5 fleeing militia roll 2d6-16 and all rout.
The 5 wavering militia roll 2d6-13 and all rout.
The 2 firm militia roll 2d6-11 and all rout.

The battle ends!

Of the 60 cataphracts (4 units of 15) that began the battle:
15 are unharmed (1 unit of 15)
22 are lightly wounded (50% light wounds on 3 units of 15)
23 are dead (50% dead on 3 units of 15)

Of the 1,680 militia (56 units of 30) that began the battle:
585 flee (75% fled of 26 routed units of 30 men each)
195 are captured (25% captured of 26 routed units of 30 men each)
450 more are captured (50% captured of 30 units of 30)
450 are dead (50% dead of 30 units of 30)

Note that this is a very very extreme scenario as you will almost never see an all-cataphract force fighting an all-peasant force. But you can see that at several points the battle could have gone either way, and that at the end of the "battle to the death", there are only 23 dead cataphracts and 450 dead peasants. 655 of the peasants are captured and another 585 deserted. Most of the cataphracts will return to the fray.