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Acharis

"front width" how it works?

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I have seen many times a term "front width" in tactical wargames. It seems it is affecting how many units fight at the same time?

 

Can anyone explain how exactly it works?

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I assume it refers to unit size (an attack or front can be the width of a squad, a platoon, a company, a battalion, a regiment, a brigade...)

Edited by Tom Sloper

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If you can concentrate many units into a small front, they are going to attack very hard into a small area (a very good thing, since killing the enemy fast reduces your losses) and to be evaded or even surrounded elsewhere (not a great problem with good planning).

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Related notions are an arc, e.g. surrounding the enemy, so that more of your units can attack compared to the opponent. This is mostly done in halfcircles not in complete surrounds, like this:

__|

A X O _

A X X |

   A A |

 

Here the attackers A form an arc around the defenders X. Note that 4 attacks fight vs 3 defenders. If there is an additional defender at O he can't participate at the fight. (_ and | form impassable terrain features.

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No, no, I meant something like this:

http://strategywiki.org/wiki/People%27s_Tactics/Combat#Front-size_limitation

It's not about position of units on the map (it's about stacks).

 

It's used in tactical hex wargames that have stacks of units (not single units), also I have noticed it in some/all Paradox games.

 

 

I wonder how exactly it works (it seems it's best to have as small "front width usage" for a unit, also I mildly recall seeing "increase front width for your army" bonuses).

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But this is only an abstraction of what would happen in practice. You have stack A and stack B and you don't want to look into the details too much. Now the terrain should favor A therefore you give him a larger front size and assume it happened because they positioned as described above.

 

"There is a maximum number of men and equipment that may participate in combat with an enemy unit. Just because a formation has x amount of infantry, doesn’t mean that all of x will fight in a given battle. This rule reflects the impossibility of attacking with everybody in one go.... You can see a prediction of which % of your forces can attack in 1 round in the topright bottom of your unittype picutres."

 

The % number in the given example is 100% for the attacker and 75% for the defender.

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How it functions really depends on the combat system mechanics you are working with, but it basically boils down to how effectively one side or the other can engage in combat.

 

I have used systems where "Front width" was actually how long the border between two forces was on the map, which then played into aspects like how much resistance a breakthrough attempt would meet in a given region. (ie, if one side deployed their forces in a mass attack formation, it would greatly deplete their total manpower across the majority of the line, making any attack against them fairly easy at any but a few points. They on the other hand would then have the ability to attack with that mass against any point on the front with relative ease. And then there is the case where both sides deploy their forces in a mass attack formation along a front, but if they don't attack at the same point then neither side meets resistance, and they can both charge head long into each other's territory to do whatever... As often happened in ancient and medieval warfare.)

 

Then there are other systems where it is used as an anti-stacking mechanic. Rather than just balling all my forces into a single unit for a surprise fist to shove through the enemy in the hopes of crushing their forces in small amounts before they have time to react and reform, there is then a limit placed on how many units can attack at a given time. So the system would allow a front of say "10" points, when most units costing 3 points. If I deploy 4 normal units against an enemies 3, then they both fight as if there were three units, till one of mine is forced to withdraw and be replaced by the 4th. (And in that time the other side may have brought reinforcements.) This mechanic can also be used to encourage mixed units. Rather than bring 3 units of 3 points each, I might bring 2 units of 3 points, and another 2 'support' units that only cost me 2 points. Now I can deploy 10 points worth of frontage instead of nine. Or maybe I'll use something (research/leadership/etc) to bump my frontage limit up, or lower my unit point cost, and be able to bring more units into the fight at one time.

 

 

There are lots of options, and it really depends on what you want to achieve with your system.

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There are lots of options, and it really depends on what you want to achieve with your system.
Well, I'm not trying to find a "better" ways of making fronwidth variable/mechanic. I was just trying to find how frontwidth works in existing games, since I'm not familiar with ths topic... I was assuming it's in some way standarized mechanic since it's present in most/all/some wargames? Or maybe not?

 

Primarily I want to understand how exactly it works in existing games. Like how it works in People's Tactics for example and how in March of the Eagels (or in any other, I'm not too familiar with these).

 

Generally, if someone is/was playing these kind of games and could explain, it would be great.

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http://hoi3wiki.com/Combat_width

 

That is a fairly concise overview of Hearts of Iron's take on it. 

 

The player can make choices that will reduce the amount of frontage some of their units take up, and different kind of units use less area, which means they can fit more combat troops into a fight at one time. The primary reason for this is to limit excessive stacking and generating unrealistic combat where a major portion of an army is shoved down an exceptionally narrow front.

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In the movie 300, the narrow pass forces the Persians to have a small front width, which prevented them from overwhelming the Spartans.

 

;)

 

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