Why skirmish? (Full Version)

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Paul Roberts -> Why skirmish? (3/27/2007 7:14:19 AM)

Would someone explain the pros and cons of using skirmishers? Their various effects are scattered all over the manual, but it would be good to see them all listed in one place.

I can't see any downside to them other than a movement penalty. Is that all there is?

Also, I seem to fail to deploy them a *lot*. I'll have several units with skirmish percentages (on the button) of 70% or more, but they will all fail for turn after turn. Are some modifiers not reflected in that percentage number?

Thanks!




Ironclad -> RE: Why skirmish? (3/27/2007 3:25:42 PM)

A bug is affecting skirmish deployment in the beta patch and this is going to be addressed.

I like using them so appreciate their advantages: 20% rough terrain firing bonus (not penalty), reduce fire morale loss to 66%, halve flanking effect when attacked, 50% chance to avoid charge, halve fire damage in forts (manual unclear - could mean cause less damage) . Apart from movement/formation restrictions downside issues are - failed skirmish deployment loses fresh status and charging skirmishers don't cause panic in charged units.





ericbabe -> RE: Why skirmish? (3/27/2007 3:59:58 PM)

Being in skirmish order:

Increases the cost of changing face by 4.

Increases the cost of moving by 1 point per hex moved, and gives the unit 2 fewer movement points to start with.

Defensive bonus: decreases fire-casualties sustained by the skirmishers by 50% for units that are not in forts (decrease by 75% against artillery units).

Units in skirmish order cause +20% damage when firing out of villages/urban/forest hexes (instead of the -25% penalty that units normally have when firing out of these terrain types).

Units in skirmish order not in a fort lose 33% less morale and are less likely to become disordered as a result of fire combat.

Having skirmishers deployed makes it harder by 20% to change formation from column/line.

50% chance to avoid charges when not in village/urban/forested terrain.

Cannot cause panic in defending unit when charging.

Do only half damage during a charge.

Increases the sighting distance of the unit by 1.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Beta patch discussion: Since we made the change that failing a skirmish check no longer makes a unit disordered, I've begun to wonder whether being in skirmish order is a little too powerful in terms of game balance. Their defensive abilities are formidable, and I'm considering perhaps reducing their damage by 50% for fire attacks since right now I think the choice of whether or not to enter skirmish order is not as interesting a decision with this new rule.





biopcd -> RE: Why skirmish? (3/27/2007 4:44:02 PM)

So does this mean that when you are the defender you are better off deploying your units as skirmishers behind entrenchments then in line? Somehow that doesn't make sense to me. I always thought of skirmishers as being part of an advance on enemy lines not defensive deployment.




sadja -> RE: Why skirmish? (3/27/2007 5:30:09 PM)



You might want to change the fire attacks with skirmishers from the start but then give it back with the training upgrade not just reduction in the losses.

Skirmish attacking was tough on the defender because it was almost like sniping. Individuals used local ground conditions to get good shots and units in line had trouble seeing them even with smoke. But if you don't have mass it does no good to charge which is what you show in thier charge reduction. The best way a unit defended its self was to put out its own skirmishers. This happened a lot in the ACW in rough terrain.

Skirmishers were tough on Artillery units because they shot at the gunners and the artillery was loath to use canister against 2 or 3 guys wanting to save it for mass attacks. I think skirmishers should be afraid of Cav attacks because of the horse speed unless in swamp or heavy wooded terrain.




Joram -> RE: Why skirmish? (3/28/2007 5:33:50 PM)

Thanks for the summary on skirmishers!




ericbabe -> RE: Why skirmish? (3/28/2007 6:01:16 PM)

Skirmishing is independent of whether a unit is in line or column.




Miserere -> RE: Why skirmish? (3/29/2007 12:15:33 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: ericbabe
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Beta patch discussion: Since we made the change that failing a skirmish check no longer makes a unit disordered, I've begun to wonder whether being in skirmish order is a little too powerful in terms of game balance. Their defensive abilities are formidable, and I'm considering perhaps reducing their damage by 50% for fire attacks since right now I think the choice of whether or not to enter skirmish order is not as interesting a decision with this new rule.


My opinion is to keep the skirmishers pretty much as is, perhaps reducing their effective firepower a bit (but not by 50% - that makes it an extremely unattractive option, since why would you sacrifice both mobility and firepower unless the defensive bonus was also a good deal greater than 50%?). In the beta patch the skirmishers are not deploying as often as their percentages would indicate (you acknowledged this a known bug in the current beta) but I think that's actually good and would just prefer that the percentage chance shown would reflect that reduced chance to succeed. Ideally, skirmishers should represent a choice to take up a less mobile defensive position or to advance more slowly and cautiously with added protection. If the chance of successfully deploying and recalling skirmishers is questionable (around 40% or so by default) then the decision is whether it's worth the effort and loss of mobility to make the attempt. The fact that charging with skirmishers is highly penalized also makes a lot of sense and adds another factor to the decision.




Malagant -> RE: Why skirmish? (3/29/2007 11:19:00 PM)

Unless I misunderstand, skirmishers that are charged and 'avoid the charge' are displaced one hex...this makes actually holding a position with them a little harder if the opponent charges. Since he'll take 1/2 damage in doing so, this would encourage someone to charge a brigade that has skirmishers deployed, right?

I agree that skirmishers in their current implementation are a bit overpowering. I very rarely do not deploy skirmishers because their disadvantages are far less than their advantages.

I think instead of reducing their advantages (i.e. their fire effectiveness), the disadvantages should be increased.

I don't think their maneuverability should be any more reduced (in fact, I don't understand why folks marching shoulder to shoulder in compact line formation are more maneuverable than folks in open-order skirmishing).

Therefore I think focus on making any possibility of melee when in skirmish order very unattractive.

Brainstorming:
-Reduce melee damage done by units in skirmish from 1/2 to 1/4 (or less?). My thoughts are a unit in skirmish order that charges or is charged should do much less damage than when the unit is not skirmishing.
-Increase morale loss taken from melee (as a dispersed unit would be more likely to be disordered when charged by a compact non-dispersed unit in good order).
-Maybe also force a unit that is charged while skirmishers are deployed to automatically undeploy the skirmishers (such as having their pickets driven in by charging enemy).

Just some thoughts!





christof139 -> RE: Why skirmish? (4/10/2007 12:16:59 PM)

quote:

Unless I misunderstand, skirmishers that are charged and 'avoid the charge' are displaced one hex...this makes actually holding a position with them a little harder if the opponent charges. Since he'll take 1/2 damage in doing so, this would encourage someone to charge a brigade that has skirmishers deployed, right?

I agree that skirmishers in their current implementation are a bit overpowering. I very rarely do not deploy skirmishers because their disadvantages are far less than their advantages.

I think instead of reducing their advantages (i.e. their fire effectiveness), the disadvantages should be increased.

I don't think their maneuverability should be any more reduced (in fact, I don't understand why folks marching shoulder to shoulder in compact line formation are more maneuverable than folks in open-order skirmishing).

Therefore I think focus on making any possibility of melee when in skirmish order very unattractive.

Brainstorming:
-Reduce melee damage done by units in skirmish from 1/2 to 1/4 (or less?). My thoughts are a unit in skirmish order that charges or is charged should do much less damage than when the unit is not skirmishing.
-Increase morale loss taken from melee (as a dispersed unit would be more likely to be disordered when charged by a compact non-dispersed unit in good order).
-Maybe also force a unit that is charged while skirmishers are deployed to automatically undeploy the skirmishers (such as having their pickets driven in by charging enemy).

Just some thoughts!


Good, excellent thoughts you have there!!!

Main problem in the game is that the units are Brigade sized, and during the ACW I don't know of one instance an entire brigade was deployed as skirmishers. So, a unit in FoF with skirmishers deployed should be just that, a unit with skirmishers and not a whole Brigade in skirmish order. Generally about 20% of a unit, battalion, regiment, or brigade would be deployed as skirmishes, although at times and later in the war the percentage was higher. Entire battalions and regiments could also be deployed as skirmishers, but not entire brigades.

late in the war, during the fighting to flank the Petersburg defenses, it seems both sides main battle lines were deployed in a more open fashion than in previous times, and I have read such descriptions similar to 'the main battle line was in rality a heavy skirmish line or a series of heavy skirmish lines', which I construe as meaning that the troops were simply formed with another foot or two between each individual soldier. This of course would not apply to battalions and regiments formed in assault columns in column of divisions (a division was two companies and in this case abreast of each other).

Chris




cmurphy625 -> RE: Why skirmish? (8/31/2009 2:58:33 AM)

So is Skirmish the best stance to have in a village? Fort too?, or leave in a column in a fort?




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