2.2+ Design Notes: Combat Changes
This section includes information on why changes were made to the general rules for combat, including both shooting and close combat. It does include tactical factors that are in effect only when certain combinations of troops are fighting, but doesn't describe changes made to a single element type.
Shooting into/out of overlap
This change was made primarily because the restriction against shooting into and out of overlap made very little sense in DBA 2.2. It seemed arbitrary, and was difficult to describe to new players. Distant shooting lost effectiveness in several other areas, but regained some potency with shooting into and out of overlaps.
One interesting tactical effect of shooting into and out of overlaps is that players no longer need to decide between moving an element into an overlap position versus shooting with it; they can do both.
Penalties vs. shooting
Several troop types now have penalties vs. shooting: Elephants, Blades, and Raiders all lose -1 when being shot at. This change was made to balance the strength of these kinds of elements against each other.
Shooting Line Of Sight
No change was made to the line of sight rules for shooting: there were no specific rules to cover this situation in DBA 2.2, and there still is no specific description on how to determine line of sight for shooting. The designers' intent is to maintain the current status quo interpretation of line of sight as described in the Unofficial Guide to DBA 2.2: draw lines from the corners of the shooting edge to the corners of the target edge, and make sure they do not pass through any enemy elements.
The decision to omit this specific interpretation from the 2.2+ revisions was made entirely in order to limit the size and scope of the changes in the Line Edits document.
The rear support factors have been normalized across all element types that receive rear support from the same troop type. Spears, Light Spear, Pike, and Warband all get support against the same kinds of elements. This is not only easier to remember, but it also makes more sense. All troops gain rear support against troops that engage in hand-to-hand combat, and do not get rear support against troops that only engage the enemy at range.
This makes Spears more effective against other heavy foot, and allows them to face Blade at even odds, if they are willing to sacrifice the length of their line. In general, it requires players to make more difficult decisions with regards to depth vs. line length, and it encourages the use of reserve troops.
Death of Supporting Elements
In 2.2, only supporting Pike elements were allowed to live if the element they supported died. In 2.2+, all supporting elements live if the element they're supporting dies. This change slows down games somewhat when they would have ended extremely quickly, reducing the effects of a single combat roll on the outcome of the game. It also makes it somewhat more beneficial to use reserve troops or deploy in depth.
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