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Saturday, 30 March 2013

LoM Part 4 - Combat and 'Turning the battle'

Howdy all. In this update I want to give you a look at how combat works in LoM, the importance of Command Points, and how losing a combat could change the very flow of the battle.
We will start with two Infantry units facing off against each other. The Red player holds the Initiative, and both players have issued Order Tokens for this turn.

Red reveals his Order first, and its Double Triangle. Blue has the option to 'react' by paying 1CP's, but as this example only uses two units, 1 for each side, Blue decides to save his CP's.

Instead, he reveals his own order token after Red has taken his first move.
Blue is also on Double Triangle and moves his unit forward.

The phase now passes back to Red, who takes his Double Triangle Second Move, and closes the gap. Red also removes his token to show the unit has taken all movement available to it.

 Blue also removes his token. All though it was Red who connected with Blue's unit, both units were under Double Triangle orders, and both had moved.
Therefore both are counted as having 'charged' into combat.

This is where combat gets really interesting. Each unit has a base amount of damage that it will inflict on its opponent. No dice rolls are required. The amount of damage is based on the units 'Combat Value', its 'type', and what type of enemy it is fighting. For instance Heavy Infantry will fair better in combat against Light Infantry, than the Light will do against the Heavy. Even if both units have the same 'Combat Value'
This stands true for all combat in LoM, except where players decide to spend 'Command Points'.
CP's represent Commanders taking charge personally. Rather than saying 'go fight that unit', the General or Officer shouts commanders to 'Hold... hold.. hold... CHARGE!' at the moment he sees a weakness in the enemy.
There are several effects available to use from Command Points, but all CP's are limited, and once they are spent they are gone for that battle.
Lets continue the example and see how Morale works and what options the combatants have. Here we can see Blue wins the combat by inflicting 5pts of damage on Red, while Red responds by inflicting 3pts on Blue.

Unless a player uses Command Points to steady his unit, the loser is automatically moved back a distance equal to the difference in the scores. Here the difference is 2, so Red withdraws by 2cms.
Blue, being the winner, now has two options - to hold position or to pursue.
Morale is only ever tested by a unit which loses combat, and is not in combat. If Blue pursues, combat will continue next round (with Blue picking up a winners bonus), but Red will not need to test for Morale, his men are too busy fighting for their lives.
A player who wins combat always has a tough choice, do they press and inflict more damage, but continue to take damage themselves, or do they hold and hope the enemy has had enough and runs off.
In this example Red holds the initiative, and the gap is very close. If Blue leaves Red, and Red doesn't route, the Red player would activate a charge move before Blue could react, and Blue could be in trouble!

In this example we are going to assume Blue holds, and Red fails his Morale test and begins to route!
A routing unit is always issued Double Triangle orders, face up, and is moved before the normal move period begins. Here we can see Red is running away, pursued by Blue under Double Triangle Orders.

 Blue's Infantry move at the same speed so wont catch the routing Red, so lets throw in a Cavalry Unit for Blue, fast enough to catch Red.

In most historical battles, the majority of casualties are caused when an army runs away, and of these, Cavalry where renown for causing the most on fleeing infantry. LoM is no exception - attacked while routing hurts! But it also carries with it another danger... the change of Initiative!

When a routing unit is attacked and takes damage, the player causing the damage can start a challenge for the Initiative. This is a battle of wills between the Commanders and costs, yes you guessed it - Command Points!

LoM asks, is this the moment history will record as the time the battle changed?
As usual - thanks a lot for reading. I hope you enjoyed this intro into how combat works in LoM.
The whole idea of LoM is to transfer the concept of winning/losing onto the player, and the actions he or she takes. Your men will fight, but can you Command?

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