Battle Simulations (Sim 9 Posted)

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Battle Simulations (Sim 9 Posted)

Postby Tetrajak » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:18 pm

Battle Simulations


So I figured that while I'm waiting for the rules (and thus something solid to put under the nose of any potential converts), I'd run some battle simulations to test some company builds, with what limited knowledge of the rules was currently available to me. This is with the goal of producing a company style that suits my playing style, as well as being effective within the rules. I've likely made a lot of foolish tactical decisions, but I haven't put my hand to a real strategy game in some years. Therefore, please forgive any really stupid tactical decisions that are, perhaps, glaringly obvious to you, that I have missed.

I have judged movement and weapons range with a circular ruler, but have attempted to confine frame position to a hexagonal grid, in order to make things simple, and distance easy to judge at a glance without the aid of the ruler, and because the ruler is not included in the final images.

I thought I would share this test, as there are not many battle simulations with which to judge an effective company yet available to those of us who do not have any other MFZ enthusiasts nearby. Also, if I have made a mistake with the rules, please let me know. Some things were unclear, or have yet to be explained, so I took a guess.

NB: I forgot about the SSR's half the time. This was done at a time while I was ill, and very tired. Apologies for the slightly inconsistent notation.


Questions are welcome.

Company Specs
Orange Team
Anvil 1: d6Rd d6Rd d8Rd d6B d6Y d6W d6W
Anvil 2: d6Rd d6Rd d8Rd d6B d6Y d6W d6W
Goalie 1: d6Ra d6Ra d8Ra d6B d6B d6W d6W d8Rr
Goalie 2: d6Ra d6Ra d8Ra d6B d6B d6W d6W d8Rr

Purple Team
Captain: d6Rd d6Rd d8Rd d6B d6G d6W d6W
Guard Support: d6B d6B d6Y d6Y d6W d6W d8G d8Rr d8Rr
Protector: d6Ra d6Ra d6Rd d6Rd d6B d6B d6W d6W
Swarmer 1: d6Rh d6Rh d8Rh d6B d6Y d6W d6W d8G
Swarmer 2: d6Rh d6Rh d8Rh d6B d6Y d6W d6W d8G

Key
Black Polygons: Opaque cover
White/Light Blue Polygons: Translucent cover
Circles: frame position markers
Coloured polygons: team stations
Yellow numbers: Spots on a frame
Red Numbers: Total damage to a frame
Coloured Lines: frame movement

Battle Setup
Image

Round 1 End
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Round 2 End
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Round 3 End
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Round 4 End
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Round 5 End
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Round 6 End
Image

I will be running more of these simulations as I revise the company I am testing.
Last edited by Tetrajak on Thu May 31, 2012 11:23 pm, edited 12 times in total.
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Re: Skirmish Company Test - Battle Sim

Postby calculus » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:04 pm

Cool to look through, thanks for posting!

What did you learn?
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Re: Skirmish Company Test - Battle Sim

Postby schoon » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:09 pm

...and how big was your "table?"
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Re: Skirmish Company Test - Battle Sim

Postby Tetrajak » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:27 pm

calculus wrote:Cool to look through, thanks for posting!

What did you learn?

You're welcome!

I learned;
  • that the Guard Spotter ( d6B d6B d6Y d6Y ) is pretty damn useless in close range, when you've got so much cover to hide behind anyway (next sim will have less cover in some places),
  • A Protector frame build is intimidating,
  • d6B d6B isn't necessarily any more useful than d6B and d6W (again, when you have lots of cover to hide behind),
  • A lucky 6 on d6B is a ticket to immortality for a round, if no spotters get within range of you,
  • Spotting is an absolute must to deal any real damage,
  • A single d6Y on a frame that is on the front line is more useful for d6Ra frames than any d6Y d6Y frame is, so long as the single spot frames stay close to the enemy,
  • Direct Fire range should never be neglected when defending,
  • Artillery on defense is over-rated in a 1 on 1 battle (especially if they lack green),
  • The initiative points balancing is a wonderful thing,
  • It's fun to destroy terrain, even if you were aiming for the frame hiding behind it,
  • Having the highest initiative in a 1 on 1 game is very useful,
  • Losing the highest initiative in a 1 on 1 game is a ticket to disaster,
  • Hand to Hand damage is devastating, if you can get close enough to use it (green is definitely necessary for HtH frames),
  • I need to construct more lego terrain for my frames to hide behind; A map with a lot of cover is great fun!

schoon wrote:...and how big was your "table?"

"Table" was about 48 units across. I think a more intense skirmish game could probably be achieved with a smaller table than that. Perhaps 40 units or less.
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Re: Skirmish Company Test - Battle Sim

Postby Mantisking » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:47 pm

Tetrajak wrote:
  • A Protector frame build is intimidating,

Considering where you placed him, the 2Rd was wasted. You'd have been better off with the second Artillery attachment for d8Ra .
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Re: Skirmish Company Test - Battle Sim

Postby Tetrajak » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:50 pm

Mantisking wrote:
Tetrajak wrote:
  • A Protector frame build is intimidating,

Considering where you placed him, the 2Rd was wasted. You'd have been better off with the second Artillery attachment for d8Ra .

Very true, it was a foolish placement considering the 2Rd. However, it did prevent me from placing a defending Artillery anywhere near the purple stations for fear that the Protector would make quick work of them.

Both companies in the next simulation will be different to these ones, or alterations there of.

Edit: If anyone is curious about the results of the second test, let me know and I'll post them.
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Re: Skirmish Company Test - Battle Sim

Postby calculus » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:48 am

Yes, I would like to see round two.
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Re: Skirmish Company Test - Battle Sim

Postby Tetrajak » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:09 am

OK, round 2 involved a slightly altered attacking squad, and a completely different set of defenders. Again, I completely forgot about the SSR's. I really need to stop doing that.

Orange team
Close Defense: d6Rh d6Rh d8Rh d6B d6B d8G d6W d6W
Spot Tank 1: d6Rd d6Rd d8Rd d6B d6Y d6W d6W
Spot Tank 2: d6Rd d6Rd d8Rd d6B d6Y d6W d6W
Quick Arty: d6Ra d6Ra d8Ra d6B d6G d6W d6W

Purple team
Swarmer 1: d6Rh d6Rh d8Rh d6B d6Y d6W d6W d8G
Swarmer 2: d6Rh d6Rh d8Rh d6B d6Y d6W d6W d8G
Assault 1: d6Rd d6Rd d8Rd d6B d6G d6W d6W
Assault 2: d6Rd d6Rd d8Rd d6B d6G d6W d6W
Artillery Support: d6Ra d6Ra d6Y d6Y d6B d6W d6W

Key
Black Polygons: Opaque cover
White/Light Blue Polygons: Translucent cover
Circles: frame position markers
Coloured polygons: team stations
Yellow numbers: Spots on a frame
Red Numbers: Total damage to a frame
Coloured Lines: frame movement

Battle Setup
Image

Round 1 End
Image

Round 2 End
Image

Round 3 End
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Round 4 End
Image

Round 5 End
Image

After this point, the remaining purple frames spend the next 6 turns chasing the remaining orange artillery as it pelts them from afar, slowly whittling them down, until the DDC reaches it's end and purple wins by initiative points.

If you're interested in the remaining images, you can find them in the album for this battle.
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Re: Skirmish Company Test - Battle Sim

Postby Ced23Ric » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:14 am

That is great input and confirms some thought that I had myself. Please keep doing these, they are great!

PS: I saw the pictures and thought: "Okay, so purple goes into orange's face ... ah this is where orange is zerged ... and here ... oh, now they got run out of town ... ah. Wiped out. Brutal."
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Re: Skirmish Company Test - Battle Sim

Postby Tetrajak » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:20 am

Ced23Ric wrote:That is great input and confirms some thought that I had myself. Please keep doing these, they are great!

PS: I saw the pictures and thought: "Okay, so purple goes into orange's face ... ah this is where orange is zerged ... and here ... oh, now they got run out of town ... ah. Wiped out. Brutal."


Thanks! I'll certainly keep using this method to test different strategies, as it requires little effort to put together and orchestrate. I may do another one or two over the weekend, and I'll be sure to post them for those who are interested!
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Re: Skirmish Company Test - Battle Simulations

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:35 pm

Ideal tables are about 4x Direct range; ie 32 units across.
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Re: Skirmish Company Test - Battle Simulations

Postby Tetrajak » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:05 am

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:Ideal tables are about 4x Direct range; ie 32 units across.

Thanks for the info; I will modify my simulation 'table'.

Battle Simulation 3

In this battle, I experimented with ditching a weapon system, and replacing it with a d6Y to increase the potential total damage dice more than a d8 would have. I found that frames were destroyed very quickly, although later in the game few hits landed, as no frame had d6Y d6Y and thus couldn't spot across the map. That, and the last frame standing can't spot for itself, so could do little damage without a bad defense roll on the part of the other team.

The defending team became more generalised, so that they could do more with their limited frames. This helped them all get spots in for each other's attacks, and do damage quickly, but ultimately didn't save them. I really need to figure out a good defense company build, as none of mine have survived yet.

The attacking team changed little, except for the addition of some more d6Y 's, and experimenting with faster swarmers (turns out they die faster without that extra d6B ). I think I'll stick to regular swarmers with their d6B d6B , and much greater survival rate.

During this battle, I altered my attack strategy to take on one or two frames at a time, and attack from one angle instead of many. This didn't necessarily turn out for the better, and it would probably have been better for the attacking team to come at the defenders from all sides, considering how the defenders were caged in by the covering terrain.

I attempted to defend with multiple frames together, aiding each other, which certainly put a lot more hits on the attackers, but I still need to create some better defending frames, and a better combined company. Any suggestions?

P.S. I remembered the SSR's this time (which all got used).

Orange Team
Heavy Soldier 1: d6Rd d6Rd d6B d6B d6Y
Heavy Soldier 2: d6Rd d6Rd d6B d6B d6Y
Heavy Soldier 3: d6Rd d6Rd d6B d6B d6Y
Artillery Soldier: d6Ra d6Ra d6B d6Y d6G d8Rr d8Rr

Purple Team
Fast Swarmer 1: d6Rh d6Rh d6B d6Y d6G d8G d8Rr
Fast Swarmer 2: d6Rh d6Rh d6B d6Y d6G d8G d8Rr
Spot Assault 1: d6Rd d6Rd d8Rd d6B d6Y
Spot Assault 2: d6Rd d6Rd d8Rd d6B d6Y
Quick Artillery: d6Ra d6Ra d8Ra d6B d6G

Key
Black Polygons: Opaque cover
White/Light Blue Polygons: Translucent cover
Circles: frame position markers
Coloured polygons: team stations
Yellow numbers: Spots on a frame
Red Numbers: Total damage to a frame
Coloured Lines: frame movement

Battle Setup
Image

Round 1 End
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Round 2 End
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Round 3 End
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Round 4 End
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Round 5 End
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After this point, the lone orange artillery picks off one more purple frame, and is then chased around the map until the DDC runs out. You can find the other round end pictures here; in the album.
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Re: Battle Simulations (Sim 3 Posted)

Postby calculus » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:21 pm

Again, really enjoyed reading this, reading your thinking, and thinking through it myself.

At least against that match up, I'd try changing the defense heavy soldiers to be the standard soldier with a green die. The attacking team is half fast moving melee units and half slow walkers. If you gave up your initial stations and just ran for it, you'd only be facing two melee units, which your soliders would outnumber. You could take them down, possibly even before they got in melee range, then either turn back around if healthy and you'd also outnumber the slow frames, or just keep running. As long as you have that one enemy station, he'd have to kill all but one of your units to win - and that wouldn't happen with your speed advantages.
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Re: Battle Simulations (Sim 3 Posted)

Postby Tetrajak » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:41 pm

calculus wrote:Again, really enjoyed reading this, reading your thinking, and thinking through it myself.

At least against that match up, I'd try changing the defense heavy soldiers to be the standard soldier with a green die. The attacking team is half fast moving melee units and half slow walkers. If you gave up your initial stations and just ran for it, you'd only be facing two melee units, which your soliders would outnumber. You could take them down, possibly even before they got in melee range, then either turn back around if healthy and you'd also outnumber the slow frames, or just keep running. As long as you have that one enemy station, he'd have to kill all but one of your units to win - and that wouldn't happen with your speed advantages.

Thanks, I'm glad you're enjoying looking over these battle sims.

I'm getting the impression that a fast company is best fought against with another fast company. Perhaps the best unit to fight a Swarmer is a fast moving DF weapon frame.

I'm thinking I need to build a more offense-oriented defending company that is out to take the stations of their enemies in order to keep the initiative point advantage. This, as an idea, seems a little silly when it's called the 'defending' side, but perhaps that refusal of an attacking side being the 'defenders' is the reason I've had such trouble fielding an effective 'defending' team.
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Re: Battle Simulations (Sim 3 Posted)

Postby calculus » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:53 pm

That's the hypothesis I'm been coming to today as well. Because the "attackers" can't win unless they control all, or almost all of the stations, and kill a few defenders, the "defense" side should be fast moving both to grab stations and stay out of fights. Oddly enough, the "defense" seems to need to move faster than the "attackers".
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Re: Battle Simulations (Sim 3 Posted)

Postby Tetrajak » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:09 am

Yes, that's what I was thinking. The next "defense" company I field is going to be fast moving and focused on guerrilla warfare.

On a related subject, here is the 32 unit 'table' as recommended by Josh (I have also added a key to the battle templates, both this small one, and the larger 48 unit one);
Image

It appears that the only place to hide artillery on such a map is right at the edge of the play area, and even then, it wouldn't take long to get to them, even from the other side of the map.
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Re: Battle Simulations (Sim 3 Posted)

Postby Tetrajak » Fri May 11, 2012 4:55 am

Battle Simulation 4

This simulation was done with the new draft rules and a smaller table, as per Josh's recommendation. Suffice it to say, the defending team did a hell of a lot better with the new rules.

My attacking force this time was only a few modifications different from Battle Sim 3. The defending force, however, looks a great deal like the attacking force, but with a greater emphasis on movement (in order to run away and fire behind them, a.k.a. kiting). This new defense strategy worked incredibly well, combined with pouring attacks and spots on no more than 2 frames per round, until said frames were disabled or destroyed.

I have learned;
  • Don't chase frames that have DF weapons with frames that have only melee weapons,
  • Surround the defense units guarding the defense's stations so that they can't get away,
  • Melee weapons aren't very useful for the attackers if the enemy is fast, unless they can corner the defense's units,
  • That 1 extra frame for the defense makes a world of difference,
  • d6Y really is better than any of d8Rh d8Ra or d8Rd
  • Being able to place the last 2 frames (as the defensive team) is great for ambushing enemy artillery and taking them out early,
  • If you have melee frames; you can protect them by taking out the longer range weapons of your enemy early on in the game.

NB: I forgot the SSR's again.

Defending (Orange) Team
Soldier 1: d6Rd d6Rd d6B d6Y d6G
Soldier 2: d6Rd d6Rd d6B d6Y d6G
Spot Swarmer 1: d6Rh d6Rh d6B d6Y d6Y d8G
Spot Swarmer 2: d6Rh d6Rh d6B d6Y d6Y d8G
Heavy Sniper: d6Rd d6Ra d6B d6B d6G

Attacking (Purple) Team
Swarmer 1: d6Rh d6Rh d6B d6B d6Y d8G
Swarmer 2: d6Rh d6Rh d6B d6B d6Y d8G
Swarmer 3: d6Rh d6Rh d6B d6B d6Y d8G
Spot Assault 1: d6Rd d6Rd d8Rd d6B d6Y
Spot Assault 2: d6Rd d6Rd d8Rd d6B d6Y
Assault Sniper: d6Ra d6Ra d6Rd d6Rd d6B d6G

Setup
Image

Round 1 End
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Round 2 End
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Round 3 End
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Round 4 End
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Round 5 End
Image

Round 6 End
Image

After this point, it is clear that the attackers (purple) have been defeated. I was surprised to field a defending force that won, mostly because of my lack of such occurrences so far. I suspect the defense won because of high mobility, and the versatility of the frames in the team. I imagine that a defending team should be versatile in order to adapt to whatever strategy the attacker is using, and allow the defender to escape from situations that are to their detriment. The green on every frame really helped me regroup the defense and continue taking out the attackers one by one while avoiding being outnumbered by them.
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Re: Battle Simulations (Sim 4 Posted)

Postby Ced23Ric » Fri May 11, 2012 6:37 am

Great stuff. It clearly shows the problem I have with melee - the short range (durr) is easily used for kiting or delaying, and every turn a melee 'Frame don't punch is a turn you get for free. Good. Also, nicely done on using two soldiers as backbone for the Defenders. Shows that the combination of versatility and DF fire sure combines into a way better package than you'd think at first. Furthermore, it's clear that Defenders only need to strike even to win - here, you even mopped the floor. Hell's yeah! But keep in mind, SSRs help attackers immensely.

By the way: 3 vs. 4 blow for Defenders. 5 vs. 6 is a whoooole 'nother ball game.

Also, the last picture looks like a WoW Raid - so many numbers above the mob! :D
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Re: Battle Simulations (Sim 4 Posted)

Postby Tetrajak » Fri May 11, 2012 7:12 pm

Ced23Ric wrote:Great stuff. It clearly shows the problem I have with melee - the short range (durr) is easily used for kiting or delaying, and every turn a melee 'Frame don't punch is a turn you get for free. Good. Also, nicely done on using two soldiers as backbone for the Defenders. Shows that the combination of versatility and DF fire sure combines into a way better package than you'd think at first. Furthermore, it's clear that Defenders only need to strike even to win - here, you even mopped the floor. Hell's yeah! But keep in mind, SSRs help attackers immensely.

By the way: 3 vs. 4 blow for Defenders. 5 vs. 6 is a whoooole 'nother ball game.

Also, the last picture looks like a WoW Raid - so many numbers above the mob! :D

Yea, I think melee is greatly overrated. If your frames don't have a green dice, it's highly likely that you wont be able to adapt to whatever strategy your enemy is using. If your enemy has green dice on all their frames, fielding melee units is almost pointless. Melee units always need one more green die than the enemy that they're chasing, or they'll only ever catch them when the enemy has a really terrible movement role (made less likely by them having a green die in the first place). Awkwardly, this makes melee much easier to use when playing defense, rather than offense, as the ability to place your last few frames after all the other players means that you can plant your melee right next to the target you want to take down with them, and attack said target first thing in the first round (as I did above in Sim 4).

Thanks, although I'm not sure any credit is due considering I was only fighting against myself. It's interesting; I keep coming back to Soldier frames for defense because of their versatility. They really are a great frame to use when you're defending and don't have many frames on the field.

SSR's aren't as powerful as people seem to think. They're only as good as any other red d8, and worse; they're one use. They only add a potential 2 damage dice more than a single weapon, which is nothing compared to the potential 6 damage dice from a spotting attachment. They certainly give an extra ability to frames that lack DF range weapons, but then they're more of a temporary crutch (because of their single use) than a reliable tactical asset. If you're putting SSR's on a frame to make up for it's lack of DF range (which appears to be a common use for them), then you might want to think about replacing the weapon system(s) on said frame with DF weapons instead, or if it doesn't have any weapons; sacrificing one of it's systems for a DF weapon instead. By putting SSR's on a frame, you're intending to use it at DF range, or perhaps are worried that it wont get to use the weapon it has at the range of said weapon. If that's the case; you need to rethink the stats of your company.

Thus a well thought out and equipped company doesn't gain much from SSR's, and I relegate them back to the less-useful-than-a-spotting-attachment group of potential frame attachments.

I think in the next battle I'm going to try a lower-numbers frame battle, to test low numbers company builds, and see how that changes things. Perhaps it should be called "being out-bid for defense by the lowest bidder", which seems to happen in a number of real-world battle examples. Perhaps the cause of this phenomenon is that having a value-per-asset advantage is a huge boon towards winning a game of MFZ.
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Re: Battle Simulations (Sim 4 Posted)

Postby randolph » Fri May 11, 2012 7:43 pm

Tetrajak wrote:Yea, I think melee is greatly overrated. If your frames don't have a green dice, it's highly likely that you wont be able to adapt to whatever strategy your enemy is using. If your enemy has green dice on all their frames, fielding melee units is almost pointless. Melee units always need one more green die than the enemy that they're chasing, or they'll only ever catch them when the enemy has a really terrible movement role (made less likely by them having a green die in the first place).

This is, I think, an artifact of low sample size. As you can see here, d6W d6W d8G (a HtH frame with no movement attachments) has a greater EV than d6W d6W d6G d6G (ranged frame with two movement attachments), nevermind a ranged frame with just one movement attachment. Statistically, a melee frame with zero movement attachments will catch any ranged frame on average.
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