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Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional

 Post subject: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 7:10 pm 
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This has been being discussed in another thread out in the general area, but it really belongs here.

The issue is that a rule from SM2/TL was intentionally dropped from NetEpic 10+ years ago and many of us playing now feel that it should not have been dropped. Some are fine with it being out however, so this should be discussed.

The rule in question is in the Titan Legions Core Rules book for SM2, page 32, paragraph 5:
"When models move into close combat they must take the shortest possible route to reach their intended victim. Hence it is possible to charge an opponent in the side or rear, but only if the charging model was behind or to one side of the target model at the start of their move." That book has further details, clarifications, and examples so that there should be no questions as to how the rule applies.

This having been removed allows for units to maneuver behind an enemy (when they began their movement being in front) so as to avoid being shot at as they enter close combat. This change alters the balance of the game in favor of Close Combat units with high move rates. While not necessarily a bad thing, it is a shift in the focus of the game.

Personally, I think that the rule should be reincorporated into NetEpic as the baseline. I also think that there should be an 'Optional Rule' box stating that if all players agree, that this rule can be discarded. [Yes, I know this is the inverse of what I said elsewhere, but this is what I'd really prefer.]

I had another idea for how to fix this issue. When a Detachment is given Charge orders with the intention to enter close combat, but is also ordered to go around the target first so as to attack from the rear (or any direction other than where they started), that Detachment must pass a Morale test or fail to heed the detailed plan and just charge in using the shortest (in cm) path possible.

Please post with your preference on how, or if, to deal with this issue. [By my count from the other thread, there are four in favor of Traditional and two in favor of Freeform with one abstaining.]

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 Post subject: Re: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:39 pm 
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Hi!

Whichever the group decides, I'll incorporate. With the other as an option.

I will leave wording up to the group as well. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:47 pm 
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MagnusIlluminus wrote:
The rule in question is in the Titan Legions Core Rules book for SM2, page 32, paragraph 5:
"When models move into close combat they must take the shortest possible route to reach their intended victim. Hence it is possible to charge an opponent in the side or rear, but only if the charging model was behind or to one side of the target model at the start of their move." That book has further details, clarifications, and examples so that there should be no questions as to how the rule applies.

I favor this as well. Being able to run around a formation to attack it from the rear seems a little gamey to me, especially against a unit with front fire only, like Titans.

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 Post subject: Re: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:41 am 
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I have mixed feelings about this. Straight in is simplest and for that reason probably still best.

I really liked Magnus' suggestion about the morale check roll until I realised that it will disproportionately favour Marines and Eldar over the likes of Orks and IG.

I take it no one likes my idea of pinning classes being used to allow/disallow flank attacks? I was thinking that smaller units would scatter around larger ones whereas the opposite would not be the case. This would be a rule that would affect all sides equally and therefore not have any possible unintended consequences for the balance of the game. For anyone who never spotted it on the other thread, this is the rule I suggested;

You must take the most direct route into close combat unless attacking a more heavily armoured opponent. If the unit you are attacking is one or more pinning classes above yours, you may take a longer route into combat to avoid incoming fire.

To address DS' concern about avoiding fire arcs; if the charging unit starts out within the fire arc of the enemy unit, the enemy can opt to snap fire before the charging unit moves past them.

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 Post subject: Re: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:54 pm 
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I took into consideration the fact that certain forces have better morale values than others do, and to me that makes perfect sense as those forces that are more disciplined and have a tighter command structure would be more likely to follow complicated orders correctly. It would also give more importance to Morale scores, and to units that improve Morale checks. Whether this change of balance would be a good thing or not is itself debatable.

Ah, now I see what you were trying to accomplish with that proposal. The phrase "...more heavily armoured opponent..." could cause confusion, and did. Instead of that, it would be better if you explicitly say "...unit of a higher pinning class..." as then there can be no confusion. That could also work.

Frankly, rather than either of these ideas, I'd prefer to just make Traditional the default and have Freeform as an option. Really we need to hear from more people, and especially the ones who prefer Freeform, as to whether either of the above ideas is acceptable or not.

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 Post subject: Re: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 7:56 pm 
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I have to agree with Magnus' points above. Eldar and Marines SHOULD be more tactically capable than Orks and Guard. They're elite and expensive and highly trained.

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 Post subject: Re: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:15 pm 
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Welcome to NetEpic Jimmy! I knew we would get you to jump ship eventually! ;)

I don't have a problem at all with the theory behind Magnus' suggestion (I did like it!) and yep, it completely makes sense that Marines and Eldar would be more tactically astute than IG and Orks. Getting another use out of morale is another bonus of the suggestion.

What I probably failed to explain properly is that if you introduce a rule which benefits some armies but not others, you risk unbalancing the game. The only way to correct that would then be to lower costs for IG & Ork units and that takes a lot of time and effort, not to mention guesswork!

The fix I suggested was one that I think that could be applied to everyone without any particular forces benefiting from the change. But yes, I think myself and Magnus are in agreement about taking the most direct route into combat being the best option available!

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 Post subject: Re: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:24 am 
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But were the impacts of changing the core rules from traditional to free form considered when NetEpic was conceived? Where points costs of units back then reviewed when this rule was changed? I suspect not.

I prefer the freeform charging but only if it isn't abused.

A simple addition to stop abuse would be, when you reveal your order, if you wish for that formation to engage in combat then its target must declared before you start moving.
This would satisfy the clause in the snap fire rules to avoid the penalty as they have been chosen as the target for the charge, allowing some one to choose to engage in combat part way through their move just seems silly.

On top of that you could state that you must attempt to engage the target in the facing that is facing you when you declare the charge. If the charge move would result in coming into contact with terrain or scenery that would reduce your move value, you may manoeuvre around said obstacle and may engage a different facing.

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 Post subject: Re: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:08 am 
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Your first suggestion could work, and frankly should be a requirement of the Freeform no matter what form the rule eventually takes.

Your second suggestion is basically the Traditional rules, just rephrased somewhat and slightly more permissive. Only slightly though.

Allowing the Freeform as the baseline means that, by default, it will be 'abused' by those who would use it at all. In my opinion anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:26 pm 
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Another approach that might obviate the whole issue is to simply allow units defending against a charge to fire on the unit that engages them regardless of fire arc, perhaps with a -1 dm for firing out-of-arc.

Cases (with proposed rule)
1. Charged unit on FF, indirect charge: defender can Snap Fire (at -1) at the attacker OR other units as/if they pass through defender's fire arc, or wait to be engaged and fire normally within their arc of fire or at -1 outside it, but only at units that are in CC with them.
2. Charged unit on FF, direct charge: defender can Snap Fire (at -1) as above, or wait to be engaged and fire with no penalty at aggressor in arc, or at -1 against aggressor out of arc.
3. Charged unit not on FF, any charge: defender must wait to be engaged and may not fire.

Cases (with current rule)
1. Charged unit on FF, indirect charge: defender can Snap Fire as above if the attacker comes into arc, otherwise must wait to be engaged at which point they may fire normally IF the attacker is within arc. Otherwise, they're defenseless.
2. Charged unit on FF, direct charge: defender may Snap Fire as above or wait to be engaged and fire normally at aggressor if it is in arc. Units charged directly from out of arc are still out of luck, though.
3. Charged unit not on FF, any charge: defender must wait to be engaged and may not fire.


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 Post subject: Re: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:44 pm 
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Keep it simple, but regulated. Reinstate the SM2 and Titan Legions rule. There was nothing wrong with it back then. It avoided arguments, dubious charge manoeuvres, and everyone knew where they stood. The other proposals being put forward are unnecessarily complicated in my opinion, and the Net Epic free form charge is too easily abused.

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 Post subject: Re: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:33 am 
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Irisado wrote:
Keep it simple, but regulated. Reinstate the SM2 and Titan Legions rule. There was nothing wrong with it back then. It avoided arguments, dubious charge manoeuvres, and everyone knew where they stood. The other proposals being put forward are unnecessarily complicated in my opinion, and the Net Epic free form charge is too easily abused.


Hi!

Problem is, it wasn't "simple" and it didn't avoid arguments. It was changed for a reason. Reason being that not all players are "reasonable". ;)

Granted if all players were like the few of us that post here, such changes would not be necessary, but that is not the case unfortunately.

Ultimately, I leave it to you all on this particular point. If you reach a consensus, whatever that is, I'll use it. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:14 am 
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If we dropped every rule that the "unreasonable" players don't like, soon we'd have no rules at all. Rules are there to give players a baseline from which to deviate. If a group of players all decide to not use a particular rule, that's fine for them, but it doesn't / shouldn't mean that it's removed from the game. Adjusted or made optional, perhaps, but just flat removed is too harsh a step, especially when there are players that do like it.

Yes, I know I wasn't there for the earlier discussions. Do any of those objectors from back then even still play? If not, then why are we still allowing them to dictate the form of the game? If they are still here, why haven't they posted?

Since I began this thread, nobody who prefers the rule entirely out has posted here, despite being asked specifically to do so. Admittedly, it's only been four days, so that's really not long enough to be conclusive yet. Mattman does somewhat support it being out, but not entirely, so I'm not counting him in that category. Perhaps in a few days I'll start a Poll thread.

That said, it seems to me that the majority of people active in this forum (presumably the main players of NetEpic, but that's circumstantial) support the Traditional form being the baseline rules.

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 Post subject: Re: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:20 am 
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MagnusIlluminus wrote:
If we dropped every rule that the "unreasonable" players don't like, soon we'd have no rules at all. Rules are there to give players a baseline from which to deviate. If a group of players all decide to not use a particular rule, that's fine for them, but it doesn't / shouldn't mean that it's removed from the game. Adjusted or made optional, perhaps, but just flat removed is too harsh a step, especially when there are players that do like it.

Yes, I know I wasn't there for the earlier discussions. Do any of those objectors from back then even still play? If not, then why are we still allowing them to dictate the form of the game? If they are still here, why haven't they posted?

Since I began this thread, nobody who prefers the rule entirely out has posted here, despite being asked specifically to do so. Admittedly, it's only been four days, so that's really not long enough to be conclusive yet. Mattman does somewhat support it being out, but not entirely, so I'm not counting him in that category. Perhaps in a few days I'll start a Poll thread.

That said, it seems to me that the majority of people active in this forum (presumably the main players of NetEpic, but that's circumstantial) support the Traditional form being the baseline rules.


Hi!

Well, at least back when revision 5 was done (granted this is 10 years old already), the group was overwhelmingly in favor of free form movement

Things change of course. Now this group (whatever number it is) gets to decide.

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 Post subject: Re: Charging into CC: Freeform vs Traditional
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:49 am 
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MagnusIlluminus wrote:
Since I began this thread, nobody who prefers the rule entirely out has posted here, despite being asked specifically to do so.


If the choice is going back to the overly restrictive and artificial "you must move in a straight line to your target if you want to enter CC" rule, then count me as firmly against. I am not one of the "regulars" but the talk of extensive revisions has brought me out of lurkerdom.

I prefer a more "kriegspeil" approach to wargames in general, so I'm not really swayed by the argument of potential abuse. I want to be able to use tactics that make sense, and if I have the opportunity to charge an opponent where he can't effectively defend, I'll take it.


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