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A few questions on Groups

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Post by Scipnona on Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:50 pm

Hey everyone

I recently started playing Impetus and after a few games something I haven't quite been able to wrap my head around are groups.

1.Is it possible to form groups during the game or do they have to be set up during deployment. If you can, do the seperate units need to be in the exact position outlined in the explanations of groups (column or line) or can you somehow reform the units when forming a group.

2.What is the use of the column formation?

3.Can you reform a group from column to a line?

In general, i dont quite see the advantage in using groups, other than to be able to charge with multiple units at once. They seem to break extremely easily (from disorder generated from marching, say).

I'd be glad if you could clear up these points for me, since right now i don't really see the point of using this mechanic.



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Post by stecal on Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:01 am

Charging as group is the big one.  

Other huge advantage is that an attached general in the group affects the Discipline check for the entire group when moving a 2nd or 3rd time.

a 2nd move in column on road does not  cause a discipline check.

you can form groups freely at the start of your turn as long as they are from the same command. Disordered units cannot be part of a group.

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Post by Zippee on Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:25 pm

Hi

1) You can form a group during the game. The units must be touching in a legal manner in order to form a group - you cannot 'reform' as you form a group. Also you cannot add and drop units whilst a group - you can't move a group into legal contact with another unit and then move a second move with that unit part of the group. Nor can you drop a unit off and continue with only some of the group.


2) Tt can get through gaps as a group - or through terrain. However you need space and time (lots of it) to shake out into a line.

3) No really. The group is in the formation it is in. To change the configuration of the units you need to move the units individually.

Groups are really useful for charging en-masse - particularly if impetuous or facing missiles. it gets you all in, supported instead of arriving in dribs and drabs. remember you complete all actions of a unit before moving on to the next. So if one unit of a line charges a line of 4 enemy units it will fight at a disadvantage because the enemy will count support. If it charges as a group of 4 then all get into contact and you fight the individual units on an equal footing.

It can also just be plain easier to move an entire block at a time.

be careful though because you cannot move as a group and shoot. At all, period. If you want to shoot, you need to move individually.
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Post by Scipnona on Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:30 pm

Thanks for your answers, i think i understand groups a bit better niw, though I'm still very sceptical about the use of column formation, since its so difficult to change it in to an effective line for actual combat.

@Zipee: You mentioned that you are at a disatvantage when charging a line with a single unit as the enemy units will be able to support each other. However in my games, charges usually happend at a slight angle since the Lines werent perfectly parallel. That way it was usually only a one on one fight. Did we play this wrong? (The way I read the counter/opportunity charge rule, only the unit being charged itself can declare a countercharge, so the inactive player woumdnt be able to send in multiple units to support)

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Post by Zippee on Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:01 pm

Scipnona wrote:Thanks for your answers, i think i understand groups a bit better niw, though I'm still very sceptical about the use of column formation, since its so difficult to change it in to an effective line for actual combat.

@Zipee: You mentioned that you are at a disatvantage when charging a line with a single unit as the enemy units will be able to support each other. However in my games, charges usually happend at a slight angle since the Lines werent perfectly parallel. That way it was usually only a one on one fight. Did we play this wrong? (The way I read the counter/opportunity charge rule, only the unit being charged itself can declare a countercharge, so the inactive player woumdnt be able to send in multiple units to support)

Support is still provided by adjoining units if there is a partial overlap - based on the projection of your corners forward. So draw a line from the front corner of your unit perpendicular to the enemy units front edge, if that intersects a second unit then it supports.

Also units now receive +1 flank support from having units unengaged to their flank - an angled attack doesn't prevent that.

With counter-charge - if the enemy charge as a group, then each target unit can test to counter-charge before the combats begin. This can really break up lines and groups.


Last edited by Zippee on Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:45 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Stecal pointing out the obvious error)
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Post by stecal on Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:22 am

actually you get +1 for each flank support whether they are engaged in melee or not

"A main Unit /Large Unit in melee gets a +1 modifier for each supported flank. A Unit/Large Unit has a supported flank when it is even partially in base contact with a friendly Unit/Large Unit of a kind with which it can form a Group. The Units must be in contact by side edge, not by angle and must have the same facing.
Units/Large Units still support each other’s flanks even if in disorder and in melee."

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Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:42 pm

We don't see a lot of columns in our games. The only time it happens is when a skirmishers are grouped with formed units and are out in front of the main body. But even then this is rare. From a historical approach most battles before the 18th century saw the armies already deployed for battle at the very beginning of action.
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Post by Zippee on Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:29 pm

Columns tend to be the rooky mistake made by players coming form DBx and FOG systems where fast movement in column and rapid deployment at the schwerpunkt of choice was essentially the SOP.

In impetus that's pretty much a guaranteed defeat.

Apart from navigating weird terrain tables I don't see columns on the table - I don't count skirmishers leading a formed unit anymore than I count a large unit of pikes as a column.
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