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Relative Size of Formations  

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niggle
(@niggle)
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Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 6
13/09/2020 8:11 am  

I have just started playing ESR and I am enjoying exploring the rules.  In one game two formations were skirmishing.  One had twelve units and the other had only six.  Both formations had four Fatigue.  Due to the disparity in strengths the smaller formation looks to be in a worse state but in the Assessment both formations have an equal chance of an adverse result (all other things being equal), such as having to retire their artillery, purely because they have the same number of Fatigue.  As far as I can see the Assessment modifiers make no allowance for the relative size of formations.  Is that correct and, if so, what is the logic behind that?


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David
(@david)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 282
13/09/2020 8:16 am  
Posted by: @niggle

As far as I can see the Assessment modifiers make no allowance for the relative size of formations.  Is that correct and, if so, what is the logic behind that?

You're not wrong. Methodology employed was not that a larger Formation would take Fatigue slower, but rather that it would have a higher threshold for Fatigue before it will exit engagement. The downside is that a all Formations degrade in the micro (skirmishing prowess, combat prowess) at nominally equal rates, however, the larger Formation, having a higher tolerance, can exit an engagement and return more times and at a higher strength than a smaller one.

-David


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niggle
(@niggle)
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Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 6
19/11/2020 9:11 pm  

Thank you for clarifying that.  I can see that the increase in fatigue resulting from assessments works well at reflecting the relative size of formations; i.e. a larger formation with the same level of fatigue as a smaller formation has the same chance of increasing fatigue but that the bigger formation can more easily absorb the extra fatigue.  I was more concerned about some of the other adverse effects, such as artillery batteries retiring. I have been experimenting with a house rule that these other adverse effects only come into force if a formation has reached 50% fatigue. I have not yet played enough games with this to decide if it works.

The other interesting situation I have encountered is where two smaller formations are skirmishing with a larger formation.  All other things being equal the smaller formations tend to be more effective as they will add a total of 4d6 between them whereas the larger formation will only add 2d6 (which can only be applied to one of the enemy formations). This apparent advantage might be offset by the fact that side with the smaller formations might be obliged to take two assessments, compared to one assessment being taken by the larger formation.  My experience of playing the game so far has been that in the confusion of the fighting on the gaming table this tends to be lost in the noise and fatigue seems to rapidly reduce the effectiveness of skirmishing. 

I would be interested to know your thoughts on the above and whether I am missing something.


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David
(@david)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 282
19/11/2020 9:51 pm  
Posted by: @niggle

I was more concerned about some of the other adverse effects, such as artillery batteries retiring. I have been experimenting with a house rule that these other adverse effects only come into force if a formation has reached 50% fatigue.

The biggest consideration I would put forward here is that it will always be difficult to decide when artillery batteries should retire. Sometimes it happened early in an engagement, other times, they seemed to hang on until the last shot they could fire. Ultimately, we avoided setting a base threshold as you're considering for two reasons: 1) added tracking for players, and 2) it would prevent the possibility of the artillery pulling out early.

Posted by: @niggle

All other things being equal the smaller formations tend to be more effective as they will add a total of 4d6 between them whereas the larger formation will only add 2d6 (which can only be applied to one of the enemy formations). This apparent advantage might be offset by the fact that side with the smaller formations might be obliged to take two assessments, compared to one assessment being taken by the larger formation.

My first reaction is that you are thinking about this the right way. Yes, smaller Formations can get more dice against a given target, odds are that each pair of dice won't individually provide another point on the target's Assessment, they may be enough to bump their respective Formation's score against the target, and cumulatively should be expected to bump it one. Comparatively, the larger Formation is likely causing one Assessment on each of the smaller enemies, potentially two on the one it puts its dice towards. The smaller Formations will have lower thresholds for Fatigue… in the end, it can often break either direction.

Obviously the particulars do way the results different directions.

Hope that helps?

-David


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