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Topics - Plantagenet

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Rules Queries and Clarifications / Item for Errata?
« on: October 23, 2021, 02:50:24 AM »
Unless I'm mistaken there seems to be a typo in the bottom diagram p.140 (Dice to Roll).  The top left text box within that diagram, pertaining to the Roman TUG, under Melee lists the Foot Melee Expert claim as +2, not +1.  Very confusing trying to fathom why the dice rolled are different colours when the claims (as written) are exactly the same.

Player Discussion / Basic Combats - Dice to Roll (Diagram p.140)?
« on: October 21, 2021, 06:37:01 AM »
Spent a while trying to fathom this diagram and just want to clarify whether my understanding is wrong or if the wording in the diagram at the bottom of page 140 is wrong / confusing.  In the top left box within the diagram concerning the Roman TUG's factors it says:

Charge Combat
General: +1 for better quality / Preferred: +2 for Impact Weapon. 

General: +1 for better quality / Preferred: +2 for Foot Melee Expert.

As it's written the claims seem to be EXACTLY the same in both phases so I couldn't fathom why for the Charge phase the Romans are YELLOW vs Hoplites WHITE and yet for Melee it's GREEN vs WHITE?

Checking against the QRS though, and IF I've got it right, the Foot Melee Expert claim in the Melee phase should actually be +1 and the +2 as listed would in this instance be a cumulative figure for both the General and Preferred claims taken together.  It thus seems that the examples have switched between listing single factors in the Charge phase with a +1 AND a +2 for a cumulative (the information that's missing?) +3 giving them a net +2 advantage after taking into account the Hoplites +1, giving the Romans a YELLOW vs WHITE.

In the Melee phase however, from the QRS is seems that the Roman claims should be +1 for better quality AND +1 for Melee Expert for a cumulative of +2.  So in this case the +2 is the cumulative of the two +1s whereas in the Charge phase they are two separate factors with the cumulative missing, despite being written exactly the same way?  Thus in the Melee Phase it's actually Romans a total +2 vs Hoplites +1 for a net +1 to the Romans and therefore GREEN vs WHITE.

Is this right (and the top left box is wrong / confusing) or have I got it totally wrong?  If I'm right I presume the +2 Foot Melee Expert is merely a typo and should be +1.

Very brief discussion over a game at the weekend.  If a player is using an army that doe not have a Legendary commander identified within the list, such as Alexander, can the player still choose to take one subject to paying the correct points?  For some reason I got it into my head that the ONLY time a Legendary commander can be taken is where mentioned in specific lists.  We came to the conclusion that it is indeed a player option to take a legendary commander and that the specified named commanders are instances where if that commander is taken he must be Legendary.

Player Discussion / Using Mixed Formations?
« on: October 16, 2021, 03:47:48 AM »
I might have missed something here but is there anywhere in the rule book that describes HOW mixed formations work as opposed to merely describing what units might be in them (e.g. what they LOOK like) and how great MeG is at representing such formations?  Can't find anything in the book using either the book index or the excellent index RJC did. 

If using a mixed formation of spears and crossbows, I'm looking for answers to queries like:

The spear are in the front rank.  If shooting, do they shoot at full effect?

When fighting, do they fight as spear at full effect?

Is there ever a need to be switching the ranks to put the Xbow in the front or is it the case there's no need to because they are just a unit that is always represented with spear in the front and xbow in the rear.  Been tempted to try them out a few times but never been able to find how they are used which leaves it to guess work. Maybe it's there and I just can't see for looking but some examples might have been helpful, or even a brief entry to indicate HOW they function.

Been pondering how this might be done using MEG such as to represent (as close as possible) the deployment of knights behind a friendly spear or spear/xbow mixed screen as opposed to the more classical ancients deployments with cavalry wings on the flanks.  Given that interpenetration is not possible, other than where SUGs are involved etc., the main difficulty I could see would be the cavalry getting stuck behind the infantry lines if it's not played very carefully.

One option I suppose would be a solid line with foot alternating with cavalry or in whatever combination one wanted so:

F  C  F  C  F  C  F

Has the advantage of there being no exposed flanks within the line and the cavalry being able to get out from the infantry lines but command and control could be an issue with care needing to be taken that all the cavalry are in command range so that they move when you need.  It would also likely be a very long battle line.

As far as I can see, that's about the only option, other than say a variant of it with the cavalry stepped back from the infantry such that they form a ZOC protecting the otherwise exposed flanks of the infantry but are still able to get out and won't be contacted if the infantry are.  It's still a very long line though.

F      F     F     F
    C     C    C

Still reading through the rules as it's been maybe 2 years since we played last so it's almost like starting afresh.  Meanwhile I'm trying to think if I've missed any other ways of doing it, such as a long line of infantry with maybe two centre UGs contracting or otherwise getting out of the way to let cavalry pass.  Each time I ponder tactics like that though I just think of how quickly troops, especially cavalry, can actually get into contact, maybe two turns max, such that I think any manoeuvres like that would be way to time (and card!) consuming to pull off before the enemy was on you.

Seen this mentioned a couple of times, the last being in the Crusader podcast. There was some discussion when the first list was discussed where Richard (IIRC) mentioned re-deploying one or more units (maybe a whole wing?) after they had already been placed during the deployment phase.  Where does the ability to do this come from?  Is it tied to specific army lists or generals, is it in other ways related to the quality of the army commander and / or generals or is it some special rule I've missed?  Starting to read through the book again today, cover to cover as it's been so long since we played, any pointers as to where I might find this 'ability' would be useful.

List Queries / Ayyubid / Fatimid Magna List Minimums?
« on: June 21, 2021, 11:33:31 AM »
I might be missing something here but there are numerous instances in the above lists (I haven't checked any others in the Crusades lists) where the UG size is 4 and yet the minimum number of bases that can be taken is 2?  How does that work?  Surely if the UG size is 4 and the troop type is mandatory, the minimum that can be taken is 4, or zero if a discretionary troop type?

Should it theoretically be possible to copy the bulk of the data from an existing army list from an old spreadsheet version to the new one?  I spent hours inputting all this (a real PITFA) and hoped that copying a selection of cells from the old sheet to the new one would save me the ball-aching task of inputting it ALL again.  Basically looking at the columns with the troop types, qualities and number of bases etc.  Using the latest ODS version in Libre Office.

The data seems to copy across OK but it seems to bugger up the sheet with the drop downs for troop types getting replaced with a white blank box.  Surprise surprise most of the calculations seem to not work.  Really just trying to find a way to avoid having to input all of this again.  Having the points etc on the lists is great but I think it's not possible to break from this spreadsheet entirely as you seem to need it for the PBS numbers.

Update:  While the answer might be useful to others using Libre I decided to bin one more unreliable link in the chain and subscribe to Office 365, could never stand Libre.

Rules Queries and Clarifications / Pursuit after rout question
« on: December 07, 2020, 01:49:44 AM »
Another one from a game yesterday, again it might be in the rules somewhere but we didn't have enough time to look in depth yesterday and my rules are still on ship that I think decided to drop anchor and catch some sun for month before finishing the journey!  I will try to sort out an Imgur account today to add an image later but I'll try to explain the question first.

Two friendly TUGs fighting two opposing TUGs, all in line and all lined up base to base etc, no gaps.  So its


One combat has been resolved (AA v CC) and both side's TUGs remain in combat.  Adjacent to them DD breaks / destroys BB.  We had a discussion then about whether DD should, or even could, 'Pursue' its given distance or whether it has now, by virtue of BB vanishing, become a 'Support' and thus can't pursue even if it wanted too. 

The problem we had was deciding at which point DD becomes a support?  In this turn it wasn't a support, it was fighting it's own combat so on the one hand we thought it might not 'become' a support until the next turn and thus could pursue then on the other hand we thought that there is no 'start of / end of' status as such that is differentiated by turn (at least in this regard) and that DD becomes a support to CC immediately BB vaporises, despite the fact that DD won't actively act in that capacity until the next turn.  We ended up going with the latter.

Using the Forum / Unable to add images to posts?
« on: December 06, 2020, 01:51:48 AM »
Not sure if I'm doing something wrong here but for the life of me I can't get the image link thing to work at all.  I've tried from both Dropbox and Google Drive, posting the link to a photo that I've selected as 'anyone with link can view' but once I click 'Post' or 'Save' (if I'm trying Edit for the umpteenth time trying to get it to work) nothing happens.  No image embeds and at least from my end I can't even see a link that anyone can click, it's just blank below the last paragraph.  I hardly ever use the image facility on any forums so I'm not that bothered about it, frustrating that it won't work for me though.  Guess I must be doing something wrong, either that or Dropbox / Google Drive are just crap and don't support the function, or at least not how I'm trying to do it.

Just back from a game and two things we were not certain on, one more than the other.  Easy one first.  If a TUG charges another TUG and there is a TUG of 4 archers next to the target TUG, one file of the chargers will enter the 1 BW 'closing fire' range of one file of archers.  Is the closing fire mandatory or can the archers choose to hold fire so they can shoot at a more high risk (to them) target that is opposite them in the shooting phase?  We worked on the basis that the shoot reaction is compulsory, triggered by the proximity of the changing unit.

Next one when a unit charges and contacts another TUG at an angle there's part of the charge rule where (no book with me now so the wording will be off) a file that hasn't contacted an enemy must continue to move forward up to 1 base width / UD. Absent any wording to the contrary we read it that the uncontacted file has to move forward whether there was anything it could contact or not. This did seem to be pulling TUGs out of shape often though so we started to wonder if an element has to move the extra base width only if it can contact another or the same enemy unit but not if that extra BW won't bring it into contact? We also wondered if they are not obliged to do this move if, by staying where they were, they provide an overlap. We ended up playing this way, a file is only forced to move forward by up to a BW if it will contact an enemy.

In the pic below, the yellow knights are all in the same TUG.  They charge and contact a single element knight TUG.  When reading the rule it merely says that any file not in contact MUST move ahead up to 1 BW.  In this case the file did so but contacted nothing.  So we weren't sure if this was intended to pull TUGs out of shape where all the files of a charging unit don't end in contact or whether they are supposed to only do the compulsory move if the CAN contact an enemy.

I'll add a pic tomorrow as it's, I'm dead tired, and can't for the life of me see where / how to upload an image and the link I'm trying to post using add image doesn't seem to be doing anything, I'll faff around with it more tomorrow.

List Queries / Later Crusader (Magna) - Knights and TUG min/max problem.
« on: November 12, 2020, 09:56:19 AM »
Finding it not particularly easy to put together a decent Later Crusader list for Magna.  It's one of those lists where, for me, the simple Magna calculations of two thirds doesn't work that well.  In a Maxima sized list you could field up to 24 bases of knights (including the Sergeants and Military Orders), a few more if you count the Separate Sergeants option.  One might therefore expect that in Magna you'd be able to field up to 16, 4 units of 4 for preference and survivability. 

Unless I'm missing something, two things make that a bit difficult.  The base count per unit type and the TUG sizes of 4,6.  I guess it's doable but only if you take 2 x 2 base TUGs of knights.  I'm not sure how effective they'd be in Magna though, quite vulnerable I'd guess, seems to be more of Pacto sized TUG.  In this case it seems that the list can scale quite well down to Pacto but not so much for Magna, pushing the infantry proportion too high if you are not keen on risking 2 element knight TUGs. 

Ideally I'd prefer to take 2 x Crusader Knight / Sergeant TUGs of 4 each and maybe 2 x Military Order TUGs of Knights / Sergeants of 4 which overall would give you the 16 bases of 'knights' you'd expect to be able to take while at the same time not forcing you to take smaller and more vulnerable 2 base units.  The list math, the way the list is organised with element and TUG count, seems to be getting in the way of designing an effective force in this case.  It's instances like this where Magna specific lists might be useful, an option may be to increase the min / max for the Crusader Knights / Sergeants in Magna allowing you to take the 16 knight elements you would be 'entitled' to but in 4 units of 4, not 3 of 4 and 2 of 2.

Modelling and Eye Candy / Ayyubid / Fatimid horse armour query
« on: October 12, 2020, 03:14:03 AM »
Does anyone have any good sources for the look of Muslim army armour for both riders and horses of the period.  Colour of armour was not something I studied when doing my studies into the history of Roman (Republican) and Medieval (Crusader) warfare.  I've seen lots of images over the years of some stunningly painted armies often with horse armour, in particular, painted in all manner of colours, all of which look very pleasing, I'm just not sure how accurate it is? Coloured lamellar type armours in blues, reds and greens is always something that I've associated (probably wrongly LOL) with more Oriental armies and figured the armour for both horse and riders in Muslim armies, along with Hellenistic, would be more plain metal, best depicted by a range of iron/bronze colours, albeit very likely with colourful and ornate saddles, cloths and even bridlery.

Not sure if Osprey do anything worth picking up, while some are very good I've grown somewhat wary of Osprey's having bought a few in the bast only to find limited info, lots of 'padding' and only one or two useful plates, information which is freely and readily available from elsewhere.

Rules Queries and Clarifications / Points variance - Skirmish units
« on: October 11, 2020, 07:56:04 AM »
I've only noticed this with regard to one list (Seleucid) and am trying to understand the reasoning (merely out of curiosity) behind the pointing of certain skirmish units within that list.  Note I'm not saying I disagree with them, just trying to get my head around the basis upon which the points are decided and what factors might be influencing them which may not be readily identifiable (e.g the relationship of certain units to other similar units in different lists where the points may be different).

In this example, looking at skirmish troops (all of the same quality /protection of Experienced, Poor, Unprotected, Combat Shy), the cost per base is:

Javelin: 22 (range 2)
Sling: 32 (range 3)
Bow: 37 (range 4)

Given that the only thing that seems to differentiate the units on face value is the range, and given that one sits in the middle (exactly) of the other two, what is it that makes the sling worth a 10 point increase over the bow?  Not having the book yet (still on the ship) there may also be some weapon effect I've missed that increases the proportionate lethality between sling and javelin more than it does between sling and bow.

Likewise, for a similar increase in range of another one BW, the bow costs only 5 to increase.  Is it that the increase of one from the 2 to 3 range is worth (for other reasons beyond the simple math) more than the increase of 1 from the 3 to 4 range.  If there is nothing deeper than that the cost of getting the extra 1 base width from javelin to bow is disproportionate to the cost of increase going from range 3 to 4 e.g.

Javelin: 22
Sling: 29 or 30
Bow: 37

on face value seems more reasonable.  As it stands now there seems to be better 'value' (if merely looking at points) in paying 15 points more to go to range 4 from Javelins than 10 points to go from javelin to sling at range 3.  Of course, in the grand scheme of things the points 'saving' overall is probably negligible.

List Queries / Nothing but problems with the List Builder in Libre Office
« on: September 23, 2020, 01:16:55 PM »
Much as I like the rules I must admit, the number one thing I dislike about MeG is the need to use an Army Builder which is basically a spreadsheet designed in and for Excel.  For people not running Windows that straight away causes potential problems with folks forced to use something like the garbage that is Libre Office.  I'm not sure if a Numbers version of the spreadsheet for Macs is possible or whether that programme is too limited to run the required formulas.  I'll take a look at some stage as it would be a definite improvement over Libre!

1) Compared to other rules with simpler army lists I do find the entry process really a bit of a drag in all honesty.  Multiple units with multiple drop down box selection across a wide screen isn't a very positive experience, for me at least.

2) The first problem with not using Excel, at least currently, is constantly being asked for a password even if you just leave the sheet open without typing anything in Libre.  This is with a fresh version of the current sheet.  The password is included on the Instructions page but no matter what I do it keeps telling me to re-type the password and the bloody box will not go away.  Typing the password doesn't release it and clicking Cancel doesn't either. I type the password in, type it again, the OK box changes to blue and back to the bloody 're-type the password, box.  The only way I find I can stop this infuriating behaviour is to unprotect the sheet and save it before getting stuck in the 'sorry you wasted half an hour filling this crap in, now start again' loop. Honestly this could not be designed to be more user unfriendly!  The amount of times I nearly slung the laptop up the wall because of this I've lost count.

3) Folks are told to Save early and often but when saving with the current version of Libre ( another issue arises.   It will warn you to save in ODS format and that you may get problems if you try to save as XLSX.  No mention anywhere of what to do about that in the 'Read these instructions' page?  We are left to guess which option to select.

4) Getting that 'Display' box to actually work on the Print page by unticking 0 never works! I uncheck '0' from the dropdown and promptly, nothing happens.  It doesn't stay unchecked and it doesn't affect the sheet at all!  In fact the 'instructions' on what to do bear absolutely no resemblance WHATSOEVER to the options you currently get in Libre Office which are

Sort Ascending
Sort Descending
Top 10
Not Empty
a search box
and then the checkboxes with 1 and 0

What actually DOES work, and which I only found by multiple trial and error attempts, is selecting 'Top 10'.  So the CORRECT instructions to get only the cells with detail in to display for the current version of Libre are:

'Top 10' - to get it to display just the rows with data entered


'Not Empty' - to get it to revert to displaying all the rows.

Ignore the check boxes with numbers in which seem to do nothing.

Not a positive experience overall TBH.  Were I playing a lot of armies I'd find having to complete this spreadsheet multiple times a real drag, it might work fine in Excel but not everyone has Excel and these gash programmes like Libre are often second rate at best.  Few people will change their machine and OS just so they can play MeG I suspect.   For me, I find the problems of using this spread sheet a real time consuming drag.

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