So how do you design an army

Any questions relating to Beneath the Lily Banners rule system.
Post Reply
Zedeyejoe
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:16 am

So how do you design an army

Post by Zedeyejoe » Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:04 pm

I bought my BLB rules online as a pdf. I have looked a the pages here and there seems to be no army lists. So how does one fight armies under these rules?
arthur1905
Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel
Posts: 203
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:29 am
Location: Castle Donington

Re: So how do you design an army

Post by arthur1905 » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:34 pm

it is just the case of either getting what looks like a couple of balanced forces or using lists from any of the other publications out there that have historical orbats, the rules do have a few examples of complete forces in the back and I am sure that Barry's new Ireland Campaign books will have lots of lists.

If there is any particular period or campaign you are interested in as I am sure someone on the forum can help you out if needed

Mark
User avatar
quindia
General
General
Posts: 1255
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:51 am
Location: Chesapeake, VA USA
Contact:

Re: So how do you design an army

Post by quindia » Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:46 am

Hi, Zed!

Welcome to the forum. This is probably a good topic for a blog series and I'll look into after Historicon in a few weeks.

Do you mean fight 'balanced' games or collect an army?

Balance through point systems has always been a bit of a mirage to me. My brother is into list building in Warhammer 40k and he is good at it. I build armies from the models I wanted to paint. Our armies have the same point cost, but he beats me nearly every time. They are so many factors from terrain to deployment to who wins the first turn that shift the advantage quickly and one of your 'balanced' armies is suddenly on their heels.

I don't mind loosing, but it's not much fun if you feel like you didn't have a chance. So, yes, an attempt at balance is necessary.

Are you just beginning to collect your army(s) or do already have a collection? Are you thinking of refighting a specific battle or part of one or more interested in creating your own narrative? Are you looking at games with 6-10 units per side (good for a 4x6 table) or multiple brigades?

Fill us in on your goals and I will endeavor to be more help! There is a method to the madness. Mark is correct, the Ireland book has 52 scenarios that we feel are well balanced, but as it is not yet available, I will be happy to give you some advice for your own games or to start collecting a force.
Zedeyejoe
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:16 am

Re: So how do you design an army

Post by Zedeyejoe » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:20 am

I think fighting a refight of an historical battle is easy enough. Just find out what fought there and scale down to the figures available.

So my question relates to the normal club game. Two players getting together to fight with their armies. In most rules that would be done using army lists with point values.

Oh yes I have a number of armies already and have been gaming for 45 years. So really its a question of how you do it under the BLB rules. I agree that points are not realistic but they can give a guide. Of course they can be abused. I know a chap who when he fights as USA in WW2, he uses M26 tanks and naval gunfire support (its in the list, so I can have them!).
Captain of Dragoons
Major General
Major General
Posts: 617
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:18 am
Location: Trenton, Ontario, Canada

Re: So how do you design an army

Post by Captain of Dragoons » Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:50 pm

It's the scale of the thing :wink:

It is a very interesting discussion.

For BLB2 Barry and Co recommend for a balanced force it should have a figure ratio of one cavalry figure for every two infantry figures or two cavalry sqns for one infantry battalion. However in Ireland there would be less horse so say one/two battalions to one sqn. Then a side bar discussion would be ratio of Horse to Dragoons.

In terms of historical refights I like how Charles Grant Jr in his 'Wargamming in History' scales historical armies and battles down. For example a historical refight of Fontenoy done with ten to twelve battalions, five to seven cavalry regiments and a few artillery guns aside. Even with this small representation on the table top it still captures the feel or flavour of the battle.

Cheers
Edward
Captain of Dragoons
Zedeyejoe
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:16 am

Re: So how do you design an army

Post by Zedeyejoe » Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:57 pm

Thanks for that. I suppose that after a while you get a feel for what will give a balanced game. I just asked in case I had missed anything.
User avatar
quindia
General
General
Posts: 1255
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:51 am
Location: Chesapeake, VA USA
Contact:

Re: So how do you design an army

Post by quindia » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:09 pm

Ha! You have me beat - You should be giving me advice!

First of all if you refight historical battles, then you already accept that armies are rarely even and you are ahead of many who mainly think in terms of points. I often simply throw units on the table until it looks like I'm running out of space! However, it seems like every club or FLGS has a couple of 'those guys' so I will offer a couple of things.

First, I encourage you to include a narrative for the game and a scenario, even if it is a 'pick up'. It need not be elaborate - 'the king has ordered me or clear the high road of enemies, but your lot wants to hold the manor of Lord Starchpants until his mistress has packed all her clothes for the retreat'. Right away, you have goals beyond lining up and mashing each other. BLB requires you to make a plan of battle BEFORE the game and your brigades are supposed to act in accordance. Plans being what they are, you may find a brigade mincing about on a flank empty of enemies and left out of action for half of the game while you try reorder your line. You rarely get to issue orders to all of your units as may find yourself using resources to manage the troops in harms way, further delaying the shifting of wayward units. Balance has quickly gone out of the window and you may even find that the small army is more agile and able to concentrate forces to defeat an enemy piecemeal.

Now, that won't satisfy folks who like their points. The most basic form of balance I might impose would be number of Drilled units (battalions and squadrons)... Let's use 12 for this example. But all Drilled troops are boring! Lets call them points rather than units and...

1 point = 2 Raw units
1 point = 1 Drilled unit
2 points = 1 Elite unit

Artillery should be field as a proportion of your army - say one field gun per 6-10 units (BLB recommends a max of 2 guns for up to 15 units) and one battalion gun per brigade of foot.

Each side has one C-in-C and enough subordinates for each brigade.

That gets you started. I find it's rarely worth worrying about the minutia of the number of units with or without pikes, etc. as far as balance goes.

If one side was going to be in static defense, I might give the attackers an advantage of 25-30%. A rear guard might face numbers of 50% more with the understanding they only need to hold for x number of turns. I'm also a big fan of escalating engagements, with reinforcements arriving on random turns and balanced forces rarely seem to matter in such games.

Anyway, that's off the top of my head. As I said, I generally just pile units on the table. I think having a simple scenario is the main thing. A goal for victory that doesn't involve solely thrashing th enemy allows for some disparity in overall forces. Hope that helps!
Post Reply