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Subject: 4-3-2 Red, Blue Green formula for creating your own scenario rss

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Stephen Michael Hickey
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For those interested in making their own scenarios, which probably includes most of us, it appears that a certain amount of game balance in the scenarios comes from applying the following rule:

Apply a unit cost of 4 to each Red Unit, 3 to each Blue unit, and 2 to each Green unit irrespective of unit type (foot soldier, ranged unit or cavalry) or race.

Most of the scenarios are closely balanced (probably coincidentally) using this formula. Those scenarios that don't quite balance in number, have other types of advantages awarded to the army with fewer points: such as a higher hand count, ownership of creature or higher level war council members etc

In the absence of anything official, it seems a good idea to pre-determine an army total value of 40 points (most scenarios are between 35 and 41 points) and allow each of the players to choose their own Red, Blue and Green units of any army type up to that value based on the 4-3-2 Red, Blue Green formula. For the advanced game, also allow each player to place their 6 tokens on the War Council and you should have a fairly balanced game of your making.

Other things you might consider are insisting that there are more regular Blue army units than either Red or Green units.

With regard to your unit placement on the board you would certianly want limit placement so that no unit could be placed further forward than the 4th row from each players side as per the character tile restrictions.

A good rule of thumb may be to allow a maximum of say 20 positional points, where any unit can be placed on the back line (nearest the player) for free. Any unit could start forward of this back row but it would use up one positional point for each hex that it was placed forward of the back row. For example, a unit starting on the fourth row from the edge would use up 3 of the 20 positional points. Most of the pre-printed scenarios use 12-21 positional points so 20 positional points would be a good maximum to apply.

And there you have it: a balanced game of your making; well possibly!

Edit 17th Dec 2006 based on much more playtesting and contributions from others:

This is my current preference:

Cavalry
Red - 13
Blue - 10
Green - 7

Infantry
Red - 6
Blue - 5
Green - 4

Archers and Crossbows 5

Dwarves bold bonus +1
Goblinoinds Frightful penalty -1

Still not sure at this stage about the suitability of the Red and Blue cavalry values which I feel should be in the following ranges:

Cavalry
Red - 11 - 13
Blue - 9 - 10
Green - 7 - 7
 
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Mark Simpson
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Re: 4-3-2 Red, Blue Green formula for creating your own scen
Intersting post Steve.

I'd been thinking about this too and had come up with the 2,3,4 formula for infantry (light/medium/heavy). I disagree that the same values can apply to cavalry.

Comparing a cavalry unit to an infantry unit, the only downside for the Cav is one less figure (dies to 3 hits instead of four), whereas on the upside:

1. You move faster (move 2/3/4 hexes with Cavalry (heavy/medium/light) and battle, vs 1/1.5/2 hexes for infantry(the 1.5 represents the fact that medium infantry move 1 and battle, or move 2 and dont battle));
2. You always hit on a shield (infantry must ignore the first sheild they roll when attacking Cavalry);
3. You have the possibility of pursuit and a bonus attack.

For these reasons I add 1 to cav costs making them 3,4,5. I'd also adjust for race. Dwarves are just plain better than humans in the rules in that the share identical stats but Dwarves get to be "bold" morale by default (can ignore one flag and always battle back if not shifted). Therefore id' argue that dwarves should also be "+1" over their human counterparts making them 3,4,5 for infantry. Goblins i'd go the other way and make them all cost "-1" point (compared to the baseline human units) as their fragile morale can be a significant disadvantage. Retreating 2 hexes per flag and having to risk an additional 1 in 6 chance of a casualty per hex really does hurt them.

So that gives you (for the human units):

Light Infantry - 2 points;
Medium Infantry - 3 points
Heavy Infantry - 4 points

Light Calvalry - 3 points
Medium Cavalry - 4 points
Heavy Cavalry - 5 points

+1 point for dwarves, -1 point for Goblins.

The ranged units are a little more difficult. The scenarios only allow for green ranged units and thats all ive tried using, so its hard to judge how effective a red or blue ranged unit would be. That being said, I dont think you are too far out with you suggestion that the infantry values apply, at least for buying green ranged units.

Mark

 
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Stephen Michael Hickey
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Hi Mark,

I agree with your comments about the advantages of the Cavalry over the infantry and it all makes perfect sense.

I also started out by thinking that there had to be a significant difference in the Cavalry, Infantry and Archer costs but when I analysed the stats for every one of the scenarios and found that the constants of 4-3-2, irrespective of Unit Type (Cavalry, foot soldier etc.) seemed to balance well when applied to all the scenarios.

I think the advantages of the Cavalry are more marginal than they may first appear and your rating system reflects this and looks good from my perspective.

The problem at the moment, is that Agincourt is only scenario where there is a significant difference in the numbers of Cavalry to Foot Soldiers.

This would have provided the answer about how powerful the Cavalry are, compared to the Foot Soldiers, if it wasn't for the fact that the English (with no Cavalry) get to hold 2 extra cards more than the French (with 3 Cavalry). So what value do you place on holding 2 more cards???

Applying my generic 4-3-2 formula, the unit cost would be:

English (R1, B3, G5) Units * (4,3,2) points = 23 + 2 card advantage
French (R2, B7, G1) Units * (4,3,2) points = 33 + 3 Cavalry units

This indicates that having a 2 card advantage through the game equates to having 10 points of armies, for instance: 2 Reds or 3 Blues and 1 Green which seems reasonable enough.

I'm not sure how much more, if anything, you should value the French's 2 Red and 1 blue Cavalry over the English Archers.

I guess it's a moot point that will only be finally answered when the advanced setup rules are finally published.

In the meantime, I think that both of us would have a reasonably balanced game by using either formula.

Let's get together and playtest it some time.

Steve




 
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Philip Thomas
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I like the modified formula too. I wonder if we could get somewhere by doubilng the base values and keeping the same modifiers. I.e 8,6,4 RBG Infantry, 9,7,5 RBG Cavalry, 9,7,5 RBG Dwarf Infantry, 7,5,3 RBG Goblin Infantry.
Serves to downplay the modifiers a little I think. If one got into weapons one would need to multiply base values again so as to get enough fine detail.


Agincourt seems to be designed for play without follow-up moves, battle backs, or (crucially) pursuit. Pursuit is of course an important cavalry advantage, so this is another problem with using it Agincourt to work out a points value for Cavalry...
 
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Stephen Michael Hickey
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Agincourt seems to be designed for play without follow-up moves, battle backs, or (crucially) pursuit. Pursuit is of course an important cavalry advantage, so this is another problem with using it Agincourt to work out a points value for Cavalry...

Good point.
 
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Stephen Michael Hickey
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Hi Mark,

I've been quite productive today

Alex and myself have been play testing BattleLore units against eachother without any terrain, to get a better understanding of the relative worth of each unit.

We are beginning to settle in favour of this evaluation, after todays experiences:

Cavalry
Red - 10
Blue - 8
Green - 6

Infantry
Red - 5
Blue - 4
Green - 3

Archers and Crossbows 4

Dwarves bold bonus +1
Goblinoinds Frightful penalty -1

Most of this fits in with what you said earlier but a couple of issues arose that made me want to upgrade the cost of the Infantry and the Cavalry in particular.

Previously, I had rated the Infantry Red 4 / Blue 3 and Green 2. However we found that while this acknowledges that Red has double the firepower and dice to battle with, it does not give due weight to Greens mobility. Getting two green units behind a victim to cut off a retreat allowed the flags to also become a hit and double their firepower in certain circumstances. Also, the mobility of the green infantry helped greatly with support which allowed for more fight back bonuses. We therefore consider Green infantry to have properties worth more than half the Red Infantry unit so we upgraded the Infantry from 4-3-2 to 5-4-3 instead which we felt was a better balance.

Next we looked at the relative worth of Cavalry versus Infantry. We started with 4 Red Cavalry against 6 Red Infantry and it immediately became obvious that the Red Cavalry were capable of far more damage than the infantry due to their hits on a shield and banner colour. We thought this might be counterbalanced by the Red Infanty Support formation which allowed for fight backs which could double the number of infantry attacks and restore parity of firepower. This never seemed to happen in practice. What we saw was the Red Cavalry consistently breach the Red Infantry formation and the limited mobility of the Red Infantry (one move compared to the Cavalry's two moves) made it easy for the Red Cavalry to pick off the unsupported units. In every combat we had, half the number of Red Cavalry units consistently beat twice the number of Red Infantry Units. In practice having a more balanced setup of Green or Blue Infantry or your own Cavalry would have shorn up the breaches better. Nevertheless, I now think that the Red Cavalry deserves to be valued at least 10 which is twice the Red Infantry cost of 5.

On the opposite end of the scale, we also tested Green cavalry (without the Gobliniods frightful attribute) against double the number of green infantry.

We then got another suprise; the green infantry totally dominated these battles. I think this was due to the mobility of the green infantry to move 2 spaces and surround the Green Cavalry unit cutting off any retreat and thereby including flags as hits.

We concluded that mobility plays a more important part that we first though and needed to be properly weighted in the figures. The green Cavalry unit was therefore worth something less than double the value of a green infantry unit.

However the above figures above do not reflect this because of another conundrum.

I ought to have a Green Cavalry unit at less than 6 or a green infantry unit at more than 3 but a Green Cavalry has got to be worth more than a Red Infantry at cost 5 because Green Cavalry has more mobility (4 spaces instead of 1) and both have the same firepower against eachother (Red Infantry hits cavalry only on a colour banner (4d*1/6th) and Green Cavalry hits at (2d*2/6) ). Hence why the Green Cavalry has got to be worth more than Red Infantry.

But how can you reconcile this with a value that would also make Green Cavalry worth less than double the Green Infantry value, should this assessment be correct.

Maybe what is needed is to up the values as follows:

Cavalry
Red - 13
Blue - 10
Green - 7

Infantry
Red - 6
Blue - 5
Green - 4

Archers and Crossbows 5

Dwarves bold bonus +1
Goblinoinds Frightful penalty -1

Have you had any further thought on the matter?


Steve
 
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Philip Thomas
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1)Your analysis of Red Infantry vs Green Cavalry is a little out. Only the first bonus strike rollled is ignored in Infantry attacks on Cavalry. The second, third, and fourth are counted. So odds are a little better for the Red Infantry. edit: Also, a one-on-one comparison may be misleading: Red Infantry do a lot more damage to fellow Infantry than Green Cavalry do! end of edit:

2) Have you tried Red Cavalry vs Red Dwarven Infantry?

edit:
3) Where you test with small bodies of troops rather than each side having an army, mobility will seem more valuable, because it will be easier to get round the enemy flanks.



 
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Stephen Michael Hickey
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Philip Thomas wrote:
1) Only the first bonus strike rollled is ignored in Infantry attacks on Cavalry. The second, third, and fourth are counted. So odds are a little better for the Red Infantry.
Aah yes, a misapplied rule. This explains the conundrum we were facing above. Including a second bonus strike would have affected the position marginally. It makes me more inclined to reduce the raltive worth of the Cavalry to the lower end of the range I aws considering. May be 10-8-6 is a simpler, cleaner and more accurate formula for the Red Blue and Green Cavalry from my perspective.

Philip Thomas wrote:
2) Have you tried Red Cavalry vs Red Dwarven Infantry?

Not yet

Philip Thomas wrote:

3) Where you test with small bodies of troops rather than each side having an army, mobility will seem more valuable, because it will be easier to get round the enemy flanks.

Valid point. At this stage we were trying to evaluate the relative worth of each unit without regard to terrain etc.

I suppose our tests relate to later on in the game, when there would be fewer units and the more mobile units are at an advantage. We may may need to tone down this mobility advantage to get a more accurate average throughout the game.

All good points Phillip.



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