Author Topic: Triarii support thru terrain objects  (Read 6450 times)

Hamilcar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 172
Triarii support thru terrain objects
« on: December 08, 2010, 02:26:15 AM »
I know the Triarii support issue was discussed just recently, but I don't believe I ever saw an instance where terrain was considered.
In a game tonight, my Roman opponent had a unit on one side of a small wood terrain piece engaged with my Numidian Cav.  His Triarii just happened to line up facing the opposite side of the terrain piece but was 5" away from the engaged unit (as per the Triarii requirement).  In other words, there was 5" of forest between the Triarii and the unit they were supporting.

Whassup wid dat!?
Does the unit gain support thru 5" of forest?
Do we consider the movement restriction and allow support only thru 3.5" (-1 MC for forest)?
Does the unit only support thru 2.5" which is the distance thru which they can see?
Or should the support require clear LOS (like all BGHW units do so far)?

What if the Triarii were behind a wall... at the top/bottom of a cliff edge... on the other side of a river!?!?! 
Errata request (if not previously made)...
Triarii must be at same elevation, with clear LOS and clear path in order to support a unit.

Yes, I know this kills supporting up and down hills and I think that makes sense.  An elevation change accounts for a distance of 10' and for archers a distance of 2.5" and for movement a -1MC.  This should be considered and affect the Triarii support distance.  Clear and easy, with no exceptions, is the simplest way to rule (IMHO).

Please advise.

ajax98

  • Guest
Re: Triarii support thru terrain objects
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2010, 04:58:19 AM »
In my list of comments on the Triarii "issue", I made reference to terrain problems.

IMO, the simple answer is that terrain has an effect on the back up range, to the same detriment as movement and FR.
Terrain does affect FR range.

So I would readily resolve the issue as you have pointed out, "consider the movement restriction and allow support only thru 3.5" (-1 MC for forest)". So the comments about worse terrain problems would resolve easily enough by applying the appropriate movement modifiers due to terrain.

You have a very good point about LOS. But that is not needed for movement and this is a form of movement, not FR, even though it may end in an engagement due to Back Up rules.


Chad_YMG

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2348
    • Your Move Games
Re: Triarii support thru terrain objects
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2010, 05:01:15 AM »
I'm not sure I agree with going all the way to no elevation difference, but I agree that this is an issue.

The flavor of the Triarii's support is in part that because they are so experienced in playing this role they anticipate issues on the Battlefield and are thus able to move some or all of their number before a problem starts.  With this in mind, I'd suggest the following change:
  - Line of sight must not be blocked by terrain or enemy units.  (This also prevents a Triarii from scooting around an enemy that was between it and the friendly it was backing up.)
  - Range is reduced by terrain by the same number of MC as it would a final rush of an enemy in the friendly unit's location.  Thus, if the units are on rough ground the Triarii can only back up friendlies within 3.5".

How does this sound?

Hrm...ajax beat me to it.
David Humphrey está todavía en la Colina 217.
      - From Spanish translation of Hill 218 rules

Hamilcar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 172
Re: Triarii support thru terrain objects
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2010, 10:07:44 AM »
@Ajax and Chad,
Yes, both proposals are good, but the issue of the Backup is not solely getting to and anticipating problems on battlefield.
The Triarii give units they are supporting a (+1)+0+0

How can they do this if they can neither see nor move to the unit they are supporting?!?
It shouldn't be possible.

You have a very good point about LOS. But that is not needed for movement and this is a form of movement, not FR, even though it may end in an engagement due to Back Up rules.

@Ajax,
Actually, the issue is directly related to FR, IMO.
If they offer direct support IN AN ENGAGEMENT by giving dice, they should have to SEE the unit they are supporting to do so.
That's my angle.  Also, if they are doing a backup, or Replacement for that matter, it actually IS a form of FR.  Replacement says the unit moved forward "... counts as charging."  In other words, FR.
And, offering to add dice to a unit which is in an engagement... which required an FR (previously, of course).

@Chad
I feel both your fixes are excellent and should solve all issues just fine.
Thanks for the quick reply.  I look forward to play-testing with them and will let you know if anything else arises.

@Ajax
Same to you.  I always appreciate your feedback.

ajax98

  • Guest
Re: Triarii support thru terrain objects
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2010, 11:59:28 PM »
@Ajax and Chad,
Yes, both proposals are good, but the issue of the Backup is not solely getting to and anticipating problems on battlefield.
The Triarii give units they are supporting a (+1)+0+0

How can they do this if they can neither see nor move to the unit they are supporting?!?
It shouldn't be possible.

You have a very good point about LOS. But that is not needed for movement and this is a form of movement, not FR, even though it may end in an engagement due to Back Up rules.

@Ajax,
Actually, the issue is directly related to FR, IMO.
If they offer direct support IN AN ENGAGEMENT by giving dice, they should have to SEE the unit they are supporting to do so.
That's my angle.  Also, if they are doing a backup, or Replacement for that matter, it actually IS a form of FR.  Replacement says the unit moved forward "... counts as charging."  In other words, FR.
And, offering to add dice to a unit which is in an engagement... which required an FR (previously, of course).
...

It is true that the Triarii (+1)+0+0 benefit affects other Roman units.
However, I would not attribute that benefit to the Triarii's collective powerful Gaze.
I would attribute the effect on the psychology of the unit that receives the effect. I do not believe that the Triarii provide any actual physical support by being in the Third Line.

Just the fact that the Triarii are there is the Effect. (Historically noted, IIRC).
Since the front two line of troops are eyes forward and wearing helmets I have have some doubts that they find it necessary to watch the Triarii most of the time to gain such morale support.

They all march to battle, deploy and fight. They 'know' where the Triarii are.
At any moment, after moving through a woods, I doubt that any Centurion would be turning around and shouting, "By Jove, where did the Triarii go?!"

Chad_YMG

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2348
    • Your Move Games
Re: Triarii support thru terrain objects
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2010, 04:34:03 AM »
Ajax, what's your thought on my proposal?  It does mean that the mere presence of Triarii won't be enough if they're separated from line-of-sight blocking terrain, but that doesn't seem awful.  (Roman heavy infantry weren't big on fighting in the woods anyway.)
David Humphrey está todavía en la Colina 217.
      - From Spanish translation of Hill 218 rules

ajax98

  • Guest
Re: Triarii support thru terrain objects
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2010, 01:23:12 PM »
Ajax, what's your thought on my proposal?  It does mean that the mere presence of Triarii won't be enough if they're separated from line-of-sight blocking terrain, but that doesn't seem awful.  (Roman heavy infantry weren't big on fighting in the woods anyway.)

Not awful, mostly accurate and complete; I have experienced that I didn't have to "see" my supporting unit to know it was there (I saw were they were and could hear them) and personally extended the perception to the historical context. I somehow feel that this was true with the forests of Italy, Gaul, Balkins & Germany. (If you are trained for it, there is usually not a problem - you've trained for it.)

The identification of 'blocking' terrain (not in particular LOS blocking)/ enemy units explicitly expresses an unexpressed assumption on my part covering blocking terrain and by extension, enemy units.

Good to have it out there in b&w.

This clarifies an much earlier post of mine that was a general attempt to cover all such 'ambiguities', that was connected to the Triarii issue.

(Herald's Call-
6. Special Abilities
   Unless clearly addressed specifically in a Special Ability rule, all details of the normal rules remain in effect.
If a detail is not clearly addressed specifically in a Special Ability rule, the non addressed details of the normal rules remain in effect.)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 02:26:56 PM by ajax98 »

Hamilcar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 172
Re: Triarii support thru terrain objects
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2010, 01:43:55 PM »
So, can we conclude that Chads comment below are official errata now?

The flavor of the Triarii's support is in part that because they are so experienced in playing this role they anticipate issues on the Battlefield and are thus able to move some or all of their number before a problem starts.  With this in mind, I'd suggest the following change:
  - Line of sight must not be blocked by terrain or enemy units.  (This also prevents a Triarii from scooting around an enemy that was between it and the friendly it was backing up.)
  - Range is reduced by terrain by the same number of MC as it would a final rush of an enemy in the friendly unit's location.  Thus, if the units are on rough ground the Triarii can only back up friendlies within 3.5".

ajax98

  • Guest
Re: Triarii support thru terrain objects
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2010, 11:36:26 PM »
Ajax, what's your thought on my proposal?  It does mean that the mere presence of Triarii won't be enough if they're separated from line-of-sight blocking terrain, but that doesn't seem awful.  (Roman heavy infantry weren't big on fighting in the woods anyway.)

After thinking it over some more, I am more in line with the LOS restriction.

On the unit basis, LOS wouldn't make much difference.

However, on the operational level, it is a very good abstraction to reflect the increased problems that the Roman command structure would have when fighting in detrimental terrain.

The Romans became very aware of organizational benefits. The command (represented by the player)would want to be able to observe as much as possible in order to coordinate the organizational structure benefits, represented by all the Roman Special Abilities.

Closed or LOS blocking terrain would severely limit the command structures response and would necessarily devolve to the lower level Centurions and that would be in line with LOS, blocking and regular terrain restrictions, thus shortening up the 'range' of the Triarii's SAs, a fundamental Roman organizational benefit.

I'll be posting Chad's comments in my Herald's Call.