Scenario rule for feinting armies Apr 8, 2019 14:06:44 GMT
Post by Vic on Apr 8, 2019 14:06:44 GMT
An aspect of ancient warfare that comes up in a variety of periods and regions that DBA doesn't simulate is a number of similar tactics adopted by light troops, typically classed as Ps, LH or 3Ax in DBA, of repeatedly testing a more solid, cohesion-reliant army into a disorganised charge by continuously probing their patience and discipline with feinted charges and retreats, closing in and launching short-distance volleys only to run away right hoping to draw the enemy into a charge, and reorganising as soon as the pursuit stops, committing to combat only when the enemy shows signs of weakness or disorder. Whether Iberian or Lusitanian caetrati engaging in their famous concursare, Parthian cavalry repeatedly testing Roman legionaries until they broke, Magyar horse archers picking Frankish heavy cavalry out of the battle line, Seljuk cavalrymen drawing Crusader knights into premature charges, Mongol horse archers using well planned and coordinated feints to confuse enemy generals, or Native American tribes from the North-Eastern woodlands engaging in constant short range fire only to dissolve back into the woods when approached, what these tactics all have in common is a combination of sustained, low-intensity attrition with the psychological effect of an enemy seemingly in full control of the situation, always on the brink of engaging but keeping out of harm's way, suddenly appearing to fall into a rout, only to reorganise and fight back on more favourable terms once the impetus of the charge has disorganised its pursuers (two things, attrition and psychology, that, for perfectly reasonable reasons, DBA does not contemplate in its general, highly abstract, 12-elements approach).
Generalising these tactics to the troop types used to represent these troops in their respective armies is a stretch, as they require a degree of coordination, training or skill that is simply not present in most Ps, LH, 3Ax or 3Bw troops, but it can be a useful aspect to introduce in historical scenarios in which these tactics were relevant. Here I propose a simple "feinting" rule to be tested, criticised and improved by those of you who want to recreate historical battles.
An element capable of Feinting that has moved into front edge to front edge contact with an enemy element of an impetuous type (Kn other than 4Kn, SCh, El, Hd, Bd, Pk, Wb) as part of a tactical move this bound, and which has no enemy element in front edge contact with its flank or rear, can, just before resolving that particular combat, declare it is performing a feinted retreat. If they do so, the feinting element immediately recoils its normal distance, and both players throw dice applying all combat factors as if resolving combat. If the impetuous enemy element wins, or if there is a tie, nothing happens (the feinting element does not receive a combat outcome); if the feinting element wins, the impetuous element is drawn into a charge, and pursues normally (and does not receive a combat outcome, either). Whether a particular element is performing a feint is not declared until right before their combat is resolved, so that a player can wait and see what the result of other combats is before declaring a particular feinted retreat.
This would mean that a failed feint ends with the feinting element a recoil distance away from its enemy with both typically in each other's TZ, whereas a successful feint would draw the impetuous element away from its line. The fact that this rule can be used to shield a light element from combat outcomes against a typically more powerful enemy element is balanced by the fact that it can be used only in one's own turn - so that the opponent has a chance to react to the feint, whether it's been successful or not, before the feinting element can move again.
Thoughts? Observations? Corrections?