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Formations: What are they, why have them?

 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:34 pm 
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Yep ... I think you got it !


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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:04 pm 
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MagnusIlluminus wrote:
The Bissler wrote:
Sorry to sound obsessed but could I confirm how activations work in this system? Would it be that nearly everything from vehicles upwards would activate as units of one with possibly infantry and cavalry operating in units of two?


Very good question. While primarch has already somewhat addressed it in his way, I'm going to comment as well.

At the moment, how activations would work has not been settled. My thought is that each formation would get one activation, much like how each formation (or detachment of a Company) gets one in Gold. Primarch seems to have suggested that activations could be handled at a different level, but I'm not entirely sure he intended to or even specifically what he meant. Obviously, this is an issue that would have to be discussed.

Also, while the listed increment would be one model (or two stands), the expected - or default, size of a formation would of several such instances. In other words, the majority of formations would be three models (or six stands). While I am tempted to make this a required minimum, I feel that having such a minimum would be a bad idea overall, as it would squelch creativity and flexibility.

A couple more thoughts on default formation size.
_ It could vary by faction. For example, Marines and Eldar could allow minimum formation sizes of 1 instance (1 model or 2 stands) as their troops tend to be higher quality and lower quantity. On the flip side, Guard and Orks could have minimums of 3 (or more in some cases) instances per formation, as they tend to be lower quality and higher quantity.
_ We could have minimums for standard troops, but then say that Elite troops ignore the restrictions. Or just have less restrictive rules.

So to put that another way, as a generality Vehicles would not be activating as single models, but rather as formations of several models. Probably. Same with pairs of Infantry stands. Again, probably. Depending on what gets decided on via discussion.


Hi!

The way I thought of controlling this issue Magnus was that certain armies would have required command formation acquisitions the more formation "blocks" in had. For those armies it is better to make fewer organizational blocks with larger formations in them than numerous such blocks with small formations because that would require more expenditure for command formations to "lead them".

To make this point clearer lets use they hypothetical example for IG.

All armies would start by buying its "commanding general" formation which tops the organizational chart.

The "basic" organizational building block would be a "battalion" which can be composed of lets say a maximum of 5 formations. Each of those formations of course could be of any size in accordance to the projected building block scheme (2 stands of infantry or 1 vehicle model).

The IG player could make a battalion of 1 to 2 models in each of those formations to maximize activations.

HOWEVER

Since IG, by the fluff tends to be a more regimented command structure we can include in its organizational chart that each battalion MUST be headed by a command formation.

Therefore the IG player could make a bunch of battalions with small formations, but the each needs command formations attached which makes it onerous (high cost low efficiency).

Thus the organization done in this manner encourages the IG to "fill" his battalions with larger sized formations in order to not have to make more battalions and buy costly command formations.

In this way the organizational chart encourages the IG player to build in a manner consistent with how the guard should be built, without the need for blanket restrictions.

The formation numbers and ratios for command formation requirements are all hypothetical (open to debate on the exact numbers), but it shows that force building can be tailored to favor certain manners of building a force to be consistent with common tropes of the 40k universe, but still keep flexibility and options open (you could still building a lot of battalions with small formations in them, but they will costlier due to command formation requirements and much less efficient).

That was just using IG as an example the other side of the coin would be a force like Eldar where command requirements are much more liberal, permitting numerous small formations (activation advantage), but far more brittle than say IG.

Its a good way to simulate a ponderous attrition army versus a smaller elite force.

I hope that came across as intended. :)

Primarch

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:08 pm 
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MagnusIlluminus wrote:
primarch wrote:
The Bissler wrote:
Sorry to sound obsessed but could I confirm how activations work in this system? Would it be that nearly everything from vehicles upwards would activate as units of one with possibly infantry and cavalry operating in units of two?


Hi!

Formations are built in 2 stand increments for infantry and similar units and 1 model increments for vehicles and similar.

In other words the smallest an infantry formation could be is two stands and for vehicles 1 model. All subjective to the overarching army organization.

Also, there will be command requirements built into the organizational chart. So there is such as thing as how many formations you could make given that the more smaller ones you may make, the more command formations you may be required to field. This method encourages to fill out eligible large sized formations before acquiring more due to command formation costs.

As an aside I think you are over obsessing/worrying with activations a little to much since a whole army of one model formations, regardless of number would be ineffective and easy to beat against a force of less activations but more models per formations since the one or two models offensive ability would be trivial in this context.

Its one thing to have many more activations than your opponents when the formations are roughly of the same amount of models, since the offensive capability is what makes the activation worthwhile. Activations by themselves are worthless without enough models to make those activations worthwhile. The only reason you came across this is because you used gold organization with the new formula they are not optimized for each other. The new system will be optimized for the formula.

This system would not permit an opponent to have significantly more activations of similar strength between players, but if one player wanted to make large amount of 1/2 stand formations he could do that, but would be quickly and soundly beaten.

This is one of the points where 1st edition experience goes a long way. It may be difficult for me to relate how it works if you have not used it a fair amount. Under that system you could make a bunch of small formations and get more "activations". However, it was infrequent to do that because such formations were feeble and their offensive output too insignificant to worry about. There was no such thing as "death by a thousand cuts" under such a system.

Also keep in mind that your using EVO, none of what is going to be made is optimized for that. The activation issue you describe is mainly an offshoot that your using some mechanics not covered by stock Gold nor NE6. Therefore extrapolating an issue there to a rule set designed to be optimized with the formula is at best difficult (i.e. not comparing apples to apples).

I'm confident that implementing Magnus ideas in the content of a tightly made organizational framework optimized to work with the formula cures most if not ills. ;)

Primarch


As much as I appreciate your enthusiasm, let's not go saying we've cured cancer when we've only just discovered radium.

I think The Bissler may have a valid concern, but you have good points as well. I'm less certain than you are that an army of all single-model formations would be easily and soundly beaten. However, I'm also not certain that it would be an instant-win situation. Sure, having a lot of activations would give a big first-turn advantage, but every model killed would yield VP to the foe. Admittedly, such a force would never have to worry about BP. Hmm, this could be worth looking into (IE, play-testing).

Aside from activations, and a lack of BP, the only other significant difference would be cost. Overall, an army built of only single-model formations will cost more than an army with the exact same composition, but in multiple-model formations. How much more? Well, that's hard to say, as it would depend on the exact size of the formations. The larger the formation, the greater the savings.

I'm also not understanding what you mean by saying that Gold formations are "not optimized" for the formula, but that somehow these new ones will be. As I'm seeing them, there will be very little difference between Gold formations and these new ones. It's the same formula, thus any formations built from it are just as optimized as any others.

Also, I don't see any significant reason that this new formations system, whatever it turns out to be, cannot be created with Evolution in mind. In fact it should be, as that is just as viable of a system as any. For that matter, I strongly doubt that Evolution will have any significant impact on it. Or vice-verse. If Gold formations can be used in Evolution, then these should be usable as well.


Hi!

Check out my response on your previous comment on how I propose to implement an organizational chart and how it address things like what Bissler brought up.

Also an organizational chart can also add things like "transport pools" which eliminate the issues of calculating things for mixed formations, since that would be an add-on of 12 type of model (vehicles) to another type of formation (infantry), which if I didn't understand you mentioned previously was desirable (less work to calculate).

Primarch

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:20 pm 
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The Bissler wrote:
MagnusIlluminus wrote:
The Bissler wrote:
Sorry to sound obsessed but could I confirm how activations work in this system? Would it be that nearly everything from vehicles upwards would activate as units of one with possibly infantry and cavalry operating in units of two?


Very good question. While primarch has already somewhat addressed it in his way, I'm going to comment as well.

At the moment, how activations would work has not been settled. My thought is that each formation would get one activation, much like how each formation (or detachment of a Company) gets one in Gold. Primarch seems to have suggested that activations could be handled at a different level, but I'm not entirely sure he intended to or even specifically what he meant. Obviously, this is an issue that would have to be discussed.

Also, while the listed increment would be one model (or two stands), the expected - or default, size of a formation would of several such instances. In other words, the majority of formations would be three models (or six stands). While I am tempted to make this a required minimum, I feel that having such a minimum would be a bad idea overall, as it would squelch creativity and flexibility.

A couple more thoughts on default formation size.
_ It could vary by faction. For example, Marines and Eldar could allow minimum formation sizes of 1 instance (1 model or 2 stands) as their troops tend to be higher quality and lower quantity. On the flip side, Guard and Orks could have minimums of 3 (or more in some cases) instances per formation, as they tend to be lower quality and higher quantity.
_ We could have minimums for standard troops, but then say that Elite troops ignore the restrictions. Or just have less restrictive rules.

So to put that another way, as a generality Vehicles would not be activating as single models, but rather as formations of several models. Probably. Same with pairs of Infantry stands. Again, probably. Depending on what gets decided on via discussion.


I find the idea of formations acting as a single activation very interesting. Even taking the number of activations out of the equation, I'm not sure I think that people moving one vehicle at a time would be good for the flow of the game, making things very bitty indeed.

Would I be right in saying that we have now answered the topic title, that formations are there to provide game movement in manageable but not too small bites?

What we therefore are looking at is not whether to keep formations but how to make them fully customised?


Hi!

I think we're throwing a lot of concepts out there and while I understand what I mean and how I intend to do it to cover all these points, it may be lost in the translation.

A formation would be "x" amount of models. The way you build those formations is in increments of 2 stands for infantry or 1 model for vehicles and similar.

This doesn't mean you activate one model or 2 stands because that was the way you constructed the formation. No matter how many blocks you use to make that formation in the end its one formation, thus 1 activation.

The building blocks determine flexibility, but it is the organizational chart is what dictates the "formation".

The concept at play here is that that traditional what constitutes a formation is the same for everyone (as far as number and basic structure), under this paradigm the organizational charts TELLS YOU what constitutes a formation (how many slots of groups of models you can fill it with). Thus we can dictate how many activation an army can get by defining what constitutes an organizational block and its contents.

I am aware of one thing though, explaining this is more complicated than just showing it. I think I will spend some time constructing one and showing how it works.

Suffice to say I now have a VERY good grasp on how to pull this off. Perhaps an example is now overdue.

Primarch

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:56 pm 
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Excellent! Can't wait to see how this will work!

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:22 pm 
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The Bissler wrote:
Excellent! Can't wait to see how this will work!


Hi!

I'm trying to figure out what graphical program to use to make this.

I may just old SM1 templates and modify them for purposes of an example.

Primarch

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:15 am 
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Been trying to catch up with this discussion and I think I am liking what is being discussed (mainly because it echoes the flexible army building approach I have been preaching about for a while now ;) ).

This also has elements of EA which just goes with the style building with support formations and nothing larger, but that isn't a bad thing.

I like the idea of armies having different structures to differentiate themselves from each other.
Marines could have between 3-5 formations per HQ, so could field more detachments for each HQ, but guard or orcs would be something like 2-3, so would need more HQs or field bigger formations. Armies like Squats or Eldar could sit in the middle with 3-4.
Maybe each group of HQ plus detachments could be called something like a battle group, so an army would consist of several battle groups and it is up to the player to decide what is in each battle group. He could deploy a combined arms battle group with a mix of vehicles and infantry or build something following the fluff such as a marine company and deploy it as the battle group.

One way a trying to fix the activation issue would be to say that formations that consist of two or less models of vehicle, walker and/or infantry size (I.e anything smaller than a super heavy) do not cost an activation when used. This would also have the added benefit of stopping command stands burning activations which we have talked about before being a problem.

Matt


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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 3:25 pm 
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Mattman wrote:
Been trying to catch up with this discussion and I think I am liking what is being discussed (mainly because it echoes the flexible army building approach I have been preaching about for a while now ;) ).

This also has elements of EA which just goes with the style building with support formations and nothing larger, but that isn't a bad thing.

I like the idea of armies having different structures to differentiate themselves from each other.
Marines could have between 3-5 formations per HQ, so could field more detachments for each HQ, but guard or orcs would be something like 2-3, so would need more HQs or field bigger formations. Armies like Squats or Eldar could sit in the middle with 3-4.
Maybe each group of HQ plus detachments could be called something like a battle group, so an army would consist of several battle groups and it is up to the player to decide what is in each battle group. He could deploy a combined arms battle group with a mix of vehicles and infantry or build something following the fluff such as a marine company and deploy it as the battle group.

One way a trying to fix the activation issue would be to say that formations that consist of two or less models of vehicle, walker and/or infantry size (I.e anything smaller than a super heavy) do not cost an activation when used. This would also have the added benefit of stopping command stands burning activations which we have talked about before being a problem.

Matt


Hi!

The ideas is to have army specific "templates" for army building where the formation "slots" will be filled by the playing either by:

1. selecting pre-made formations (which will enable players to make all the traditional formations)

2. build their own formation from scratch

Thus both old and new formation building schemes can be done.

Overall my idea is that certain armies should have fewer "large" formations (IG orks) with more command formations requirements, while more "nimble" armies have more "smaller" formations (Eldar, SM, etc).

Formation activation will be army dependent as well, since could assign what an activation means in each organizational template.

This means one IG activation could be an entire company formation, while an SM company could be divided into several.

On one end we could have armies with fewer activation that represent very large formations (IG company Ork clan) and on the other armies with more numerous activations of relatively small formations (Eldar SM).

This simulates large ponderous forces like IG versus smaller quicker formations like SM far better than what existing rules can do. :)

Primarch

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:44 am 
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I am really excited about these proposed new army composition rules. Has there been any progress on them?

In case you haven't seen them, there are some similarities with the ones in Flames of War (see http://www.dakkadakka.com/wiki/en/Start ... _War_Force) where you pick a type of battle group, include some core units and then add a number of optional fluffy support units.

@Primarch: I have some programming and visual design skills (being a software engineer and all ha ha), a lot of interest in rules development and a bit of free time on weekends, so would be happy to help if there is anything I can do.

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:09 am 
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I just found this thread too, and I absolutely love what you guys were discussing!
Unfortunately I'm not a software engineer, but can offer things like positive reinforcement and moral support! :D
Go you good things go!

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:09 pm 
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Any progress? Not really. It is still stewing around in my mind, but I've had other things to focus on recently.

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:21 pm 
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Hi!

I'm desperately struggling to find the time to get back into this, but my directorial duties are consuming most of my time of late.

I'm hoping after spring break to get to time to get back to all this good stuff.

Primarch

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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:24 pm 
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I like them flames of war system it has a lot going for it. We could be creating very thematic armies with equipment and support that would be following along with specific type formations. Armoured companies could include infantry but would have it in limited numbers, we could have lists specific to clans or imperial worlds, chapters and craftworlds. See example below for a heresy era space marine list. I think it has great potential not only because it looks cool but the forces would reflect what the companies, clans, chapters would have available.


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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:41 pm 
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Plagiarised and adjusted quote from Dakka Dakka. It would ensure player careful to research the units available to the army and style you want to play. The wide variety of force structures available to each army mean that, unlike Epic, not every unit is available to be used by your chosen force, even if it is available at the same time.

Death Corps of Kreig would not have as many Leman Russ's available and would maybe have Malcadors as the MBT instead, Snakebites would have access to Junker trukks and Boarboyz instead of Trukks and bikes, I Like this idea and will definately throw some ideas on paper. it is similar to the card system but I feel it will make people think more about who to play and what style suits them best. I also like the SM1 system but it lacks a certain grounding in force selection in terms of what a certain commander would have availabe it is more of an all you can eat buffet :)


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 Post subject: Re: Formations: What are they, why have them?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:53 pm 
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Hi!

SquiggleAmp has the correct view of this and that is how I wish to fashion the army construction templates.

The only thing I will add that such template can also modify how many and how large are the formation activation and attempt to resolve the "activation issue".

Armies like IG and Orks would have rather sizable "blocks" for activation, while Eldar and SM could have more numerous, but smaller blocks.

This means armies with smaller, but more numerous blocks can act/react more effectively, but the punch in each activation is much reduced. On the other hand armies like IG and Orks have less flexibility as in less activations, but the "punch" in one such activation could be staggering.

At least that is the theory.

Primarch

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