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C. Popilius Snoopi
11-22-2011, 01:46 AM
I was looking through the sample lists for book 2, and don't see any elephants for the Romans.

IIRC, Flaminius had about 20 of them when he beat the Macedonians at Cynocephalae, so I was hoping to see an option for that.

Barring such, has anyone worked out a house alternative for that battle which would incude the Polybian Pachyderms?

larryessick
11-22-2011, 02:58 AM
Indeed, it does appear that at Cynoscephalae the Romans employed elephants during the battle. The number seems high enough and the effect on the Macedonian army sufficiently large that 1 element should be permitted.

Note, however, that this battle should not be used to discuss legion v phalanx except in terms of efficiency in terrain. The Roman legion was more adapt in the terrain and the phalanx much less so.

If anything, it is reasonable evidence that Roman Bd, at least, should not be hindered by rough going. Not coincidentally, this mirrors my own observations of troops we class Bd in the DBx system -- that they are either not or only minimally impacted by rough terrain. Indeed, in medieval examples such as Vikings or Swiss the Bd are quite at home in rough (and even difficult) terrain.

Nonetheless, pertaining to your question, there is no question that 1 El should probably be allowed to the Republican Romans.

That it is not in the list is probably a Democratic ploy symbolic of US political bickering.... :silly

Although, I do find it amusing that the symbol of the Republican party is an elephant.... :D

The question is, are you fielding Lincoln or Reagan as your general? :)

Xavi
11-22-2011, 03:54 AM
....Or that roman legions should be considered Ax. Or that they are OK as they are since they are a 3 in BGo and the Pk is a 1. The more I think about it, the more I come to believe that Ax would be a good classification for the legions and that we can get rid of the Pk element altogether and substitute them for dudes with large sticks (aka spears).

Cheers,
Xavi

David Constable
11-22-2011, 04:55 AM
The Romans did field allies with their armies on occasions.
It might be nice to have a basic seven (7) Romans plus a list of five (5) extras, this would give an all Roman army or Romans with elephant allies (or others).

This army is one of the few when you really need thirteen elements for preference. You could then deploy mirror image, infantry centre, one cavalry on each wing, with a cavalry general behind the centre or Roman Legion on the left.

David Constable

Richard Lee
11-22-2011, 05:29 AM
Don't think that pike (in v2.2 - don't know about v3.0 yet) get rear support in bad going. That means that although legionaries (blade) fight at 3 versus foot the pike fight at 1. That seems to be quite reasonable to me.

Redwilde
11-22-2011, 10:14 AM
I've long used a house rule that any 1 element from the DBM lists that isn't included in DBA can be swapped in. We usually use this for tar-daubed flaming pigs, flaming ox carts, hmmm -- an elephant would be a good choice, even if it's not flaming :p

Rich Gause
11-22-2011, 10:26 AM
....Or that roman legions should be considered Ax. Or that they are OK as they are since they are a 3 in BGo and the Pk is a 1. The more I think about it, the more I come to believe that Ax would be a good classification for the legions and that we can get rid of the Pk element altogether and substitute them for dudes with large sticks (aka spears).

Cheers,
Xavi

I was thinking the same thing after reading the last slingshot articles on how the manipular legions fought the phalanx. Maybe they should be Bd(f) if not Ax?

C. Popilius Snoopi
11-22-2011, 10:34 AM
Nonetheless, pertaining to your question, there is no question that 1 El should probably be allowed to the Republican Romans.

That it is not in the list is probably a Democratic ploy symbolic of US political bickering.... :silly

LOL!

You know, I may have to prepare an Athenian army (Democratic) to put up against the Polybians (Republicans) for next November as an event at the local game shop. :D

Alternately, two Marian forces. There are lots of things in America now that remind me of the 1st c. BC. What would Augustus do?

C. Popilius Snoopi
11-22-2011, 10:41 AM
Great comments all around, folks!

In this situation, I think the Romans probably make the best of the BGo...their move is identical in bad and good, and they wind up significantly better than the phalagites.

IIRC, Hannibal made it into Italy w/ 20 Elephants...the same number Flaminius is reported to have had at Cynocephalae. I don't know that I'd want to have elephants as a standard feature in Roman armies as an every day thing, but for a matched pair of opponenets, I'd definitely build the option.

Redwilde, I like your idea. I may have to go find my DBM army list. Flaming pigs sound amusing! How are they classified?

Redwilde
11-22-2011, 10:47 AM
Redwilde, I like your idea. I may have to go find my DBM army list. Flaming pigs sound amusing! How are they classified?

In the final DBM the pigs were classed as artillery. I'm not sure how many volleys of pigs were typical field allocation, so I tend to treat them and the Spanish flaming ox-wagons as Expendables = SCh.

dervel
11-22-2011, 11:45 AM
Well, now I know what to do with my extra elephants... :)

Hail Ceasar, errr, I mean long live the Republic!

larryessick
11-22-2011, 12:20 PM
Regarding blade and pike interaction, the DB system gets this wrong.

The Roman legion was inferior to the Macedonian phalanx. This is illustrated in all battles where the two met on level ground. The combat factors should be reversed or, if we presume legions were superior in combat to other auxiia (which in history are not automatically loose ordered light troops as they are in DBx), the factors should be 5 for pike v 4 for legions.

The reason legions won in any engagement had to do with depth of formations. The legions were able to out flank the pike and collapse the flanks. In direct frontal combat they were demonstrably inferior.

To better model legions, and in fact, probably most DBx blade, their combat factor should be 4 and they should be unaffected by terrain. Pike should be 4 with rear rank support in open but affected by terrain.

This results in the right interaction for Roman v Macedonian combats. It makes the blade vulnerable in the open but the combats are high enough that doubling is unlikely -- resulting in a scrum. Using army points the number of legions will result in a wider frontage that the pike cannot match. This leads to overlaps and the collapse on the flanks. If the Roman player can inject terrain then the legion move thru the terrain with an advantage over the Macedonian peltasts capturing and then exploiting the terrain. If the pike attempt to engage in the terrain then they are hindered by the terrain.

All of this was pointed out to Phil when DBMM was in development -- and ignored.

Larry

Viking
11-22-2011, 02:18 PM
Regarding blade and pike interaction, the DB system gets this wrong.

The Roman legion was inferior to the Macedonian phalanx. This is illustrated in all battles where the two met on level ground. The combat factors should be reversed or, if we presume legions were superior in combat to other auxiia (which in history are not automatically loose ordered light troops as they are in DBx), the factors should be 5 for pike v 4 for legions.

The reason legions won in any engagement had to do with depth of formations. The legions were able to out flank the pike and collapse the flanks. In direct frontal combat they were demonstrably inferior.

To better model legions, and in fact, probably most DBx blade, their combat factor should be 4 and they should be unaffected by terrain. Pike should be 4 with rear rank support in open but affected by terrain.

This results in the right interaction for Roman v Macedonian combats. It makes the blade vulnerable in the open but the combats are high enough that doubling is unlikely -- resulting in a scrum. Using army points the number of legions will result in a wider frontage that the pike cannot match. This leads to overlaps and the collapse on the flanks. If the Roman player can inject terrain then the legion move thru the terrain with an advantage over the Macedonian peltasts capturing and then exploiting the terrain. If the pike attempt to engage in the terrain then they are hindered by the terrain.

All of this was pointed out to Phil when DBMM was in development -- and ignored.

Larry
It seems to me that the current DBA rules achieve exactly the kind of interaction which you say is historical. One on one, Bd versus Pk with rear support is 5 to 6, so the Bd are inferior and risk being doubled, which the Pk do not. However, to achieve rear support, the Pk must have a much shorter line. Looking at two Bd versus two Pk where one provides rear support to the other, the second Bd will be able to give flank support to its brethren (evening out the combat odds, and eventually overlapping the Pk). Line versus line, this will happen on the flanks and these will eventually collapse for the Pk, just like you describe.

In terrain, Bd is much superior to Pk as has already been pointed out by several posters, so this is just as you say it should be too.

teenage visigoth
11-22-2011, 02:27 PM
LOL!

You know, I may have to prepare an Athenian army (Democratic) to put up against the Polybians (Republicans) for next November as an event at the local game shop. :D
(snip)


My Republican Indians are the only Indian army without elephants!
Has the GOP been informed?

"you can't explain that" :???

-tv

larryessick
11-22-2011, 04:35 PM
It seems to me that the current DBA rules achieve exactly the kind of interaction which you say is historical.

In DBA there is the issue of 12 v 12 which skews things a bit. But, in general it works as you've noted.

In DBM and DBMM this gets much uglier. Most of my comments are actually more geared to those DBx games.

I forget sometimes that when I discuss DBx rules most of the audience is only looking at replacing the x with A. Thanks for pulling me back on track. :)

Larry

Martin Smith
11-22-2011, 06:39 PM
If we DID have an El allowed , would that really be representative of the Roman army of the time? (i.e One occasion out of the many years that the list covers). I tend to think that tacking on an option like this, as 1/12 of the army list, would not be in the interest of maintaining the 'feel' of the list.
Martin

Viking
11-22-2011, 06:59 PM
In DBA there is the issue of 12 v 12 which skews things a bit. But, in general it works as you've noted.

In DBM and DBMM this gets much uglier. Most of my comments are actually more geared to those DBx games.

I forget sometimes that when I discuss DBx rules most of the audience is only looking at replacing the x with A. Thanks for pulling me back on track. :)

Larry
Well, it is a DBA forum after all, so I guess that's kind of natural ;-) But I did guess that it would work similarly in points-based battles, where as you say a wider line of Bd would allow flanking attacks on the line of Pk, so I am a bit surprised to hear it's not so. But I've never played any DBx except for DBA, so I haven't really got a clue in that case.

larryessick
11-22-2011, 07:00 PM
If we DID have an El allowed , would that really be representative of the Roman army of the time? (i.e One occasion out of the many years that the list covers). I tend to think that tacking on an option like this, as 1/12 of the army list, would not be in the interest of maintaining the 'feel' of the list.
Martin

IMO the responsible thing is to provide it as 1 EL or 1 Bd for one element of the army reflecting potential choice. Without that, and explanatory note that El were present at this specific battle and played a key role in the Roman victory, uninformed people who otherwise get their history from sources like wargaming books will be left unaware.

It is more irresponsible to leave it out than to include it.

larryessick
11-22-2011, 07:07 PM
But I did guess that it would work similarly in points-based battles

Here is the most offending statement vis-a-vis blade/pike interaction taken from DBMM*: Spears, Pikes....Destroyed by Blades....

Ignoring the his turn/my turn dynamics of DBMM, it is wrong that blade should destroy pike frontally on more in any situation.

But, as you observe, it is a DBA forum and not DBMM. :up

Larry

*my copy is March 2007. DBMM is such a bad game that I have no idea if there has been an update or what changes might have been made. Phil no longer deserves the benefit of the doubt regarding this rule set, IMO.

teenage visigoth
11-22-2011, 07:30 PM
If we DID have an El allowed , would that really be representative of the Roman army of the time? (i.e One occasion out of the many years that the list covers). I tend to think that tacking on an option like this, as 1/12 of the army list, would not be in the interest of maintaining the 'feel' of the list.
Martin

True. Obviously it would be an option as larryessick pointed out.

The DBA lists are rife with 'it happened once' sort of substitutions that sneak their way into a list's entire timeline.*

I urinate from a great height on DBM and DBMM and suggest discussing these on this forum should be considered somewhat deviant. ;)

-tv

*any disruption in the timeline I tend to blame the Daleks.

larryessick
11-22-2011, 08:03 PM
I urinate from a great height on DBM and DBMM and suggest discussing these on this forum should be considered somewhat deviant.

Those from Deva are deveels not deviants. We'd prefer you not make such mistakes. You wouldn't call a pervect a pervert would you? Daleks indeed....

Redwilde
11-22-2011, 10:39 PM
Once off items should be reserved for scenarios or house rules.
Otherwise, they tend to become the norm in game play.

larryessick
11-23-2011, 01:46 AM
Once off items should be reserved for scenarios or house rules.
Otherwise, they tend to become the norm in game play.

This is an understandable but false argument. People who have genuine historical interest will play the historical army anyway. Those in it just for the game will simply move on to an army that has what they want in troop types. So making the elephant available hurts nothing.

Simple reality of competition wargaming is that people will go for the winning combination in preference to anything else anyway. And, there is a large presumption that adding an option for 1 El or 1 Bd will cause most to opt for the El.

I'm not certain that is true in any case.

I was looking hard at Carthaginian for its 2 El until I realized that I needed an extra PIP each time I move them. While they are indeed powerful, they do have other limitations. Having a reliable Bd element will likely be more attractive to a large number of players.

Finally, if playing anachronistic games with out of period armies, who wouldn't want the combination that provides the best opportunity to win? I know no player who plays to lose.

I do know several who play and lose. But, that isn't their goal. :D

Xavi
11-23-2011, 03:50 AM
The Bd element is only attractive if you do not have SIX BLOODY OTHER elements of Bd already ;) I would go for the El. In the same way that I would go for the (totally ahistorical) Cm element that is planned to be around in EIR armies in 3.0. A "once in a time" element becomes the norm throughout the Imperium.

Yesterday I was planning on losing in our thessalian vs gaul battle. Introduction games have this ;) My bloody gauls decided it was high time to kill supported spears, though

Cheers,
Xavi

Rich Gause
11-23-2011, 10:43 AM
Once off items should be reserved for scenarios or house rules.
Otherwise, they tend to become the norm in game play.

If the DBMM/DBM lists which the DBA lists are based on have them then the DBA lists should have the same option IMO.

C. Popilius Snoopi
11-23-2011, 09:54 PM
The Roman legion was inferior to the Macedonian phalanx. This is illustrated in all battles where the two met on level ground.

What battles are you thinking of?

The ones I can come up with, offhand, give the advantage to the flexibility of the legion vs. the static and inflexible phalanx, but my list is probably far from exhaustive.

Heraclea was a win for the Phalanx, but a (pardon the pun) Pyrrhic victory for them.

Beneventum, Pydna, Cynocephalae, and Magnesia all go to the legion.

Admittedly, this is about flexibility, not head-to-head combat, but for a system like DBA, I suspect the flexibility of the manipular system is abstracted into the combat factor.

larryessick
11-23-2011, 10:48 PM
What battles are you thinking of?

Take a look here (http://warandgame.com/2008/09/18/gladius-versus-sarissa-roman-legions-against-greek-pike-phalanx/).

Note some of the statements:

According to Plutarch, the Roman consul Aemilius Paulus was terrified by the sight of the phalanx charging and sweeping everything before it at Pydna.

Regarding the causes of the Roman victories, Polybius wrote in his classical comment on Macedonian and Roman tactics that nothing could withstand the frontal charge of the phalanx as long as it preserved its characteristic formation.

But, there is one telling statement that follows the second that I've quoted,

However, ‘ … it is acknowledged that the phalanx requires level and clear ground with no obstacles such as ditches, clefts, clumps of trees, ridges and water courses, all of which are sufficient to impede and break up such a formation …. the Romans do not make their line equal in force to the enemy and expose all the legions to a frontal attack by the phalanx, but part of their forces remain in reserve and the rest engage the enemy. Afterwards whether the phalanx drives back by its charge the force opposed to it or is repulsed by this force, its own peculiar formation is broken up. For either in following a retreating foe or in flying before an attacking foe, they leave behind the other parts of their own army, upon which the enemy’s reserve have room enough in the space formerly held by the phalanx to attack no longer in front but appearing by a lateral movement on the flank and rear of the phalanx ….

Thus, I contend that blade should never be a threat to pike frontally but only be able to gain advantage by longer lines and outflanks.

Larry

C. Popilius Snoopi
11-24-2011, 12:33 PM
...Thus, I contend that blade should never be a threat to pike frontally but only be able to gain advantage by longer lines and outflanks.

Larry

I think we're in agreement on how Phalanx works.

Polybius is pretty reliable, having had personal experience of both formations. The bit you quoted is telling. At the beginning of an engagement, on open ground (and I think Polybius actually under-states the effectiveness of Phalanx on bad ground ...think about Phillip II and Alexander's battles...) Polybius, in the passage you quoted, tells us the Phalanx ins impenetrable, but, he goes on to tell us this falls apart over time. Losing its formation destroys the effectiveness of Phalanx.

Am I playing wrongly (real possibility as a relative newcomer to the current version of DBA) or is this not precisely mirrored in DBA?

At the beginning of the battle, on open ground, it strikes me that formed pike has the advantage over blade. Blade cannot hurt the pike, while the pike can get lucky and kill the blade, although usually it will be a standoff while the rest of the armies are brought to bear.

Pike (w/ support comes out to +6), and blade to +5. As such, isn't it mathematically impossible for blade to double the formed phalanx, whereas a phalanx can double the blades? (5+6=11, 6+1=7 for the best blade possibility, vs. 6+6=12, 1+6=6 for the best pike roll).

Unless I'm missing something, there will be back and forth pushing until either side brings its other elements to bear decisively, or one disrupts the other side sufficiently to get overlaps which will shift the odds.

If I haven't misread, this seems an elegant way for a system like DBA which uses few elements to abstractly represent what happened historically.

Xavi
11-24-2011, 01:14 PM
yup. Spot on. Unsupported blade cannot kill supported Pk, but have a slight possibility of being killed themselves.

Xavi

C. Popilius Snoopi
11-24-2011, 01:38 PM
If we DID have an El allowed , would that really be representative of the Roman army of the time? (i.e One occasion out of the many years that the list covers). I tend to think that tacking on an option like this, as 1/12 of the army list, would not be in the interest of maintaining the 'feel' of the list.
Martin

Sorry, was only using Cynocephalae as an example.

According to Konstantin Nossov, they were used pretty regularly from the 2nd punic war through the end of the 2nd century BC. In fact, he says that the only major battle at which they were not used in this period was Magnesia, where they were left in reserve in light of Antiochus III's own elephants. Presumably this may have caused some higgledy-piggledy. :)

Clicky Link (http://books.google.com/books?id=7j1nZ-9Rdl4C&pg=PA31&lpg=PA31&dq=thapsus+elephants&source=bl&ots=T42wOk_sCz&sig=hkAM8OCyJc5P6_jRokCQF9XS4go&hl=en&ei=J37OTonPO4_vggfZsKHmDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=War%20elephants%20in%20the%20Roman%20Army&f=false) (See p. 30)

larryessick
11-24-2011, 02:01 PM
Am I playing wrongly (real possibility as a relative newcomer to the current version of DBA) or is this not precisely mirrored in DBA?

Again, my apologies. It does work out (mostly) this way in DBA. I tend to extend discussions into the whole family of DB rules because I look at them as interconnected. There is a design philosophy that I don't entirely agree with.

Part of that is the need to double rank pike to get the effect you note.

DB rules are supposed to operate from the assumption that each element represents a full body of troops. It isn't suppose to represent some fixed number but rather a full compliment of soldiers that habitually fought and maneuvered together.

Thus, a single pike element should represent a complete phalanx in both depth and frontage. It is not historically accurate to align 2 or more of these behind one another in order to increase frontal combat capability.

This is even more grossly out of balance when moving to DBM or DBMM when players need 4 ranks to contend with a single rank of blade. It is condensed in DBA and the second supporting rank gives a +3 in concession to the limited number of elements.

But, the right factors should be single rank of pike 5 v single rank of blade 4 with no need for a second rank. This same point applies to spear which also should never need to double rank -- although 4 is the right factor for spear.

At these factors there is almost no chance for blade to win v pike if 1-on-1 but an increasing chance if they have overlap or manage to outflank.

Simultaneously, blade should take no negative for fighting in rough or difficult whereas both spear and pike should.

This has multiple effects, not the least of which is encouraging blade armies to use more accurate tactics and terrain against pike and spear armies.

Xavi
11-24-2011, 02:39 PM
Consider Pike to operate under the rules for spears and roman legionaries as Ax and you get the exact result you are talking about.

Cheers,
Xavi

larryessick
11-24-2011, 03:23 PM
Consider Pike to operate under the rules for spears and roman legionaries as Ax and you get the exact result you are talking about.

Cheers,
Xavi

No question about that -- with the caveat that spear then get no rear support. We could then do away with two troop types as well. ;)

But it leaves us with other issues. For example, legion should out fight auxilia. If we make the two equivalent then that interaction is lost.

There is historical basis for this difference between legion and auxilia as well. Rome did not want its non-citizen troops capable of defeating the citizen based legions. And, both were used in the same manner by Roman commanders -- the distinction we give them in DBA did not exist for Rome.

C. Popilius Snoopi
11-24-2011, 03:47 PM
Again, my apologies. It does work out (mostly) this way in DBA. I tend to extend discussions into the whole family of DB rules because I look at them as interconnected. There is a design philosophy that I don't entirely agree with.

Ah.... Yes, the only other DBx I've actually played was HOTT, and that 20 years ago or so (God's Holy Trousers, has it really been that long? :eek)

Part of that is the need to double rank pike to get the effect you note.

That one doesn't bother me too much. One of the classic weaknesses of the phalanx, IIRC, was the requirement to dedicate rather a lot of troops to it. 16 ranks as a norm, and sometimes up to 32 (Magnesia?) Anyway, a general who wanted to lengthen his lines could suffer if he couldn't get those magic 10 spear points per 1 legionary Polybius mentions.

Thus, a single pike element should represent a complete phalanx in both depth and frontage. It is not historically accurate to align 2 or more of these behind one another in order to increase frontal combat capability.

I think some of that is semantic. Phalanx depths did vary. To get the full effect of the Sarissa you certainly need a minimum number of ranks, to be sure, ...but the number of pike points extending beyond your line tops out at 5 or 6. Phalanx depth was typically at least 16, though, and sometimes considerably deeper. Depth was increased specifically to add to the impact of the formation, and to increase your depth, you must foreshorten your line....and vice versa. I think I like the flexibility of being able to opt for a long weak line or a full depth foreshortened line.

Simultaneously, blade should take no negative for fighting in rough or difficult whereas both spear and pike should.

I think I like the rough ground penalty. It makes fighting in rough ground dicier for both sides even in those cases where both sides suffer the same penalty, owing to the "doubling" mechanic.

Consider the blade v. warband matchup in rough ground. Could the Teutoburg Forest be played rightly if blades ignored the rough ground penalty?


This has multiple effects, not the least of which is encouraging blade armies to use more accurate tactics and terrain against pike and spear armies.

Which ahistorical tactics do you see being rewarded by the current match-ups? It seems to me the historical ones will work fine, but I haven't examined it from the other point of view. The games I play tend to be friendly ones with other folks who have an interest in history, so perhaps my experience is skewed by that.

Rich Gause
11-24-2011, 05:04 PM
I think the DBA relationship of Pk/Bd/Sp could use some tweaking. If you look a classical Pk vs Legion and Hoplite vs Pk combat Pk should beat Bd frontally and should not be as dominant as it currently is vs Sp, in particulaar Chaeronea is evidence for this. I would make Pk +4/4 with a +2 for rear support and give Sp a +1 for rear support vs everything that Pk gets support against. I would also make Pk and Sp impetuous against foot that they received a rear support modifier against. Single ranked Pk would equal Sp and both would be slightly disadvantaged vs Bd and double ranked would either be slightly advantaged or equal to Bd. The impetuous factor would then allow the Bd to get their flank advantage against Pk/Spear that advanced past their line through double overlaps. When looking at how Manipular legions fought Pk frontally it looks suspiciously like Ax fighting, throwing Pila and backing off. I would also take away the Pk support bonus vs Ax; Ax should be better aginst Pk than Bw IMO.

Rich Gause
11-24-2011, 05:18 PM
In fact I would revisit the entirety of combat factors of all foot units. I would do :
Pk +4/4, +2 rear support. -2 BGo
Fast Pk +3/+4, +2Rear support, -1 in BGo
Bd +5/3, -2 BGo
Fast Bd +4/3, -1 in BGo
Sp+4/4, +1 rear support, -2 BGo
Ax +3/3
Wb +3/3
Fast Wb +3/2
Bw+2/4
Hd +3/2, not impetuous, not quick killed by shooting, -1 for BGo.
Ps+2/2

I would give Pk, fast Pk, and Sp rear support for anything Pk gets rear support in 2.2 except Ax.

I would give Bd, Ax, Sp, and fast Pk +1 for Ps support as current in 2.2.

I would not kill a supporting Ps unless the unit they are directly behind was killed.

I would not have any of Pk/Fast Pk, Sp, or Wb providing support killed if the unit they are supporting was killed.

I would have Pk/Sp supported and providing support be impetuous vs foot they received the rear support modifier against.

Fast Bd, Wb, and Pk would move at Ax speed.

Break off rule would be you can break off if faster than the unit in contact in the current terrain.

That IMO would give the best historical and game balance results overall.

larryessick
11-24-2011, 05:25 PM
Could the Teutoburg Forest be played rightly if blades ignored the rough ground penalty?

Do you really see Teutoburg as a stand up fight?

OTOH, in stand up fights blade 4 v warband 3 is the same quick kill chances as 5 v 4 is now -- only, again, without the need for a second rank to gain that +1.

And, psiloi support doesn't change things either. In that situation it goes from 6 v 4 as it is now to 5 v 3 -- requiring the Wb to roll up 2 to tie and 3 to kill in frontal attacks.

As to ahistorical, I think that's a bit too much. I do feel that blade tends to look for boards that are mostly clear of terrain. There's no particular reason not to. By being equally capable in and out of terrain they should perform well in the open.

But, when facing pike we know the Romans understood the preferred battlefield was one with ample rough going. You are highly unlikely to see that in a DBA game. Both players will almost certainly prefer a mostly open board.

larryessick
11-24-2011, 05:35 PM
In fact I would revisit the entirety of combat factors of all foot units.

An interesting concept.

I should point out that the entire notion of fast troops is pure fantasy. I've never seen a single piece of evidence to suggest that there were substantive differences in the distances covered in the rush to contact from one troop type to another. Whenever such occurs it is always, AFAIK, because the rate of advance is intentionally slowed.

OTOH, if there are those who have substantive evidence from ancient and/or medieval sources I would be interested to learn of it.

Rich Gause
11-24-2011, 05:42 PM
I would do mounted as current except:

Cv would flee if doubled by Bd as per Sp/Pk, maybe from Wb/Ax also
Kn would either be
Cataphracts,(Ct) move as Ax, not quick killed by bw on turn they move into contact.
Kn move as Cv.

El +5/4 impetuous.

C. Popilius Snoopi
11-24-2011, 08:33 PM
Do you really see Teutoburg as a stand up fight?

Certainly not, but still worthy of "what if" scenarios, don't you think?



OTOH, in stand up fights blade 4 v warband 3 is the same quick kill chances as 5 v 4 is now -- only, again, without the need for a second rank to gain that +1.

But not the same chance for blades to get in a kill by doubling the warband as blade 5-2 vs. Warband 3-2. :) ...and I don't have a problem with the second rank providing impetus at the expense of a shortened line. Difference in philosophy, I suppose.


As to ahistorical, I think that's a bit too much. I do feel that blade tends to look for boards that are mostly clear of terrain. There's no particular reason not to. By being equally capable in and out of terrain they should perform well in the open.

But, when facing pike we know the Romans understood the preferred battlefield was one with ample rough going. You are highly unlikely to see that in a DBA game. Both players will almost certainly prefer a mostly open board.

Again, perhaps my inexperience talking, but why? If I'm playing the blaade army, it seems like in exchange for my -2, my opponent gets the same -2 and the inability to get his support bonus? It goes from a +5 vs. +6 against me to a +3 vs. +1 in my favor, doesn't it?

larryessick
11-24-2011, 11:56 PM
Again, perhaps my inexperience talking, but why? If I'm playing the blaade army, it seems like in exchange for my -2, my opponent gets the same -2 and the inability to get his support bonus? It goes from a +5 vs. +6 against me to a +3 vs. +1 in my favor, doesn't it?

Because the pike player will never position their elements to follow the blades in. It results in a boring draw.

Look at the Polybian and Pyrrhic lists. The Polybian player effectively has 8 rough going troops with their 12 element army and the Pyrrhic player has 2. So the Pyrrhic player is not going anywhere near the rough going because they are totally disadvantaged.

So, you will almost never see the blade v pike battle fought on anything but an almost completely clear table. Yet, if the terrain is almost entirely clear, open, good going then the pike should be victorious. That is what the sources we've been discussing tell us.

But, because the pike player must double up to get the combat advantages they effectively surrender any chance to win in the open. In a Pyrrhic v Polybian fight the Romans will have 6 blade and 2 spear to fight 4 pike and 2 spear. Assuming the spear are deployed the same by both players that means a 3 to 1 advantage in army frontage for the Romans where it is blade v pike.

Instead of pressing an attack with the pike, what does the Pyrrhic player do? Do you push into a situation where you are guaranteed that you will be overlapped? I know that I don't.

And neither would any other player. Instead they delay and avoid an infantry fight, try to win the cavalry encounter with the small advantage in mounted and hope their elephant can be the game changer.

That doesn't reflect any real battle at all. It is pure game tactics adopted to meet the constraints of the rules.

If pike were not forced to double rank then it is a 3 to 2 advantage to Roman infantry. The elephant now definitely becomes a factor used in conjunction with the pike. Along the full infantry line the Romans have a small 1 element advantage. The entire dynamics of the game changes.

Now the Roman player starts to think they really want rough going around. First off it disadvantages the elephant and helps neutralize it. Second, with higher base combat factors per element, the pike player won't be so reluctant to pursue into the terrain.

Instead of a 5 to 4 combat advantage the pike drops to a 3 to 4 disadvantage. But, that isn't so deadly to them and thus worth the risk. Instead of a certain loss the chance still exists for the pike player to win. And, because most players don't fancy taking draws in competition (it is sort of moot if it is genuinely a friendly game) what this means is that many of them won't sit around for an hour waiting on time to elapse.

If it is 1 to 3 the chance to double is just so high that the pike player will never put their pike into that fight. They'll look at their opponent, make a mental note about the type of person they believe him to be, take an interminable amount of time examining every possible way to spend their 1 PIP (before deciding to not move at all) and wait on the clock.

So, as I say, a boring draw ensues.

C. Popilius Snoopi
11-25-2011, 10:14 AM
So, you will almost never see the blade v pike battle fought on anything but an almost completely clear table. Yet, if the terrain is almost entirely clear, open, good going then the pike should be victorious. That is what the sources we've been discussing tell us.

I don't believe that's what Polybius tells us in the end. I believe he says that _in the beginning of a battle, this is the case_, but that as the battle progresses the Phalanx will lose cohesion and opportunities for the Legion will open up.

A look at the Legion v. Phalanx engagements I can think of backs this up. The phalanx is best used to lock down part of the enemy line to permit more mobile forces to then flank and destroy. Also, other than Cynocephalae (a chance engagement), I'm not recalling a situation where the real battlefields were particularly bad going.

Also, all due honors to Polybius, but I think he was under-crediting the ability of Phalanx to cope with relatively minor terrain issues. Phillip and Alexander seemed to do just fine, even in the face of terrain that wasn't completely clear, open, good going. The photos of Pydna battlefield I've seen don't give me an impression of a particularly bad going field, and yet this is an occasion where the Phalanx broke up. It's difficult to maintain a line of men in perfect step at the best of times...extend that line over a mile, and add the push of battle...



Instead of pressing an attack with the pike, what does the Pyrrhic player do? Do you push into a situation where you are guaranteed that you will be overlapped? I know that I don't.

Depends entirely on the specifics of the battlefield, deployment, and forces selected...but given the chance, I'd be inclined to run interferance with ps / lh to slow up one flank, lock the center down with my phalanx, and then use my Cv/Kn/El to turn the other flank. I don't think I'd ignore any element of my army, but rather try to use it as a combined force. Something like Heraclea, IIRC.

Perhaps this will be more clear to me when I finish painting up my Marian vs. Mithridatic match up and play a few Legion/Phalanx games...for me it is all hypothetical at this point, but I'm sorry, I just can't visualize the problem you describe coming up.

Perhaps also it depends on your opponents as well. You sound frustrated in your closing, talking about making mental notes about your opposition's personalities and play style. Even the best of games suffers when you play the wrong opponent.

So far, I've been blessed to play vs. people who play for the sheer enjoyment of pushing some toy soldiers around the table, rolling some dice, being an armchair general in a no-risk situation, and to do a little historical re-creation. The fun of playing the game is more important than who wins/loses, and I suspect in a truly "stalemate" situation, should one occur, one or the other would simply do something audacious, and Nike or Jupiter Optimus Maximus, as the case may be, would smile or frown on their efforts, and we'd have a good time anyway.

teenage visigoth
11-25-2011, 11:08 AM
I would point out with proper punctilio that Pyrric armies contended not with Polybians but with perhaps the preceeding Camillan list.

Not to pile puke on Larry's pronouncements, but the BG fight proposal in perhaps punked.

larryessick
11-25-2011, 01:40 PM
I would point out with proper punctilio that Pyrric armies contended not with Polybians but with perhaps the preceeding Camillan list.

:)

Cynoscephalae is 197BC. Camillan ends in 275BC. So definitely Polybian Roman.

However, not Pyrrhic -- which is my error -- but Later Macedonian at Cynoscephalae.

And, you are correct, for Roman v Pyrrhic is should be Camillan.

Very astute catch. So let's re-examine vis-a-vis DBA with this in mind.

Pyrrhic v Camillan gives us 4 pike and 2 spear v 3 blade and 5 spear. If the Pyrrhic player double ranks his pike but not his spear he has a 4 element wide line. The Camillan player can double rank his interior spear and still have a 6 element wide line.

There is no incentive for the Pyrrhic player to try and engage the Roman line as he is at a disadvantage everywhere and cannot stop his line from being out flanked.

However, if things were changed to what I've suggested there isn't much difference as the lines go to 6 wide v 8 wide and the Romans still have an advantage.

The net effect is that the Pyrrhic player has to delay the main infantry battle until he has won the cavalry and light troops engagement. This is true regardless. What is more, this may not be ahistorical. Alexander, at least, seemed to favor this approach in many battles.

Although either method gets similar results it is always best not to change things if the current rules get the same effect. Score one for the "its all fine how it is" camp. :)

In the case of Polybian v L. Macedonian it is 6 blade and 2 spear v 6 pike. Here it is worse for the pike. The Macedonians have an advantage in rough going troops and a disadvantage in cavalry. The Romans can negate the rough going advantage by detailing off 2 blade into the terrain if it is there. But, they probably just conceded the terrain and move the fight to open ground.

If we recreate Cynoscephalae by substituting an El for a blade it gets down right ugly. The Macedonians have no tricks to play. They can't use their warband element so probably opt for auxilia instead. They have shorter lines (double ranked their pike is 3 elements wide, easily overmatched by the blade and spear even at only 5 blade) and don't even have a realistic chance to win the cavalry fight. The Roman can just ignore any terrain or, as before, detail off a few blade if needed to neutralize any threat in that area.

End result is that the Macedonian player will be looking for any possible way to avoid giving battle with half his army while trying to finagle a win with his light troops. No matter what the Macedonian player does it is a recipe for disaster.

Here it would dramatically alter the encounter if pike were able to fight with an advantage and only 1 rank deep. The Roman player would be more at risk so the Macedonian player would offer battle. The slightly longer Roman line might be effectively neutralized by Macedonian light troops if blade get detailed off to deal with terrain. The elephant becomes a key part of the battle with its potential to quick kill the pike. It is a scrum with the Macedonian hoping to win with pike and gain interior overlaps for 5 v 2 and doubling while the Roman hopes to hang on, exploit flanks, and win with elephants.

So, we have to conclude that the current rules don't give the Macedonians a chance to win where the evidence is that, except for the effects of the phalanx coming apart, they would have. Now it is time to score one for the "we should change things" camp.

And, since changing gets good results both times but not changing only once I argue in favor of change.

Of course, this is moot as the changes will never take place in the DB system (DBA or DBM/MM). But it is an important exercise in understanding the dynamics and evaluating the merits of different perspectives.

Larry

john meunier
11-25-2011, 02:19 PM
Of course, the Roman should be deployed in three lines with 3 Bd, 3 Bd, and 2 Sp from front to back. The 2 Ps should be arrayed in front of this block, leaving just 2 Cv (including the general) to guard the flanks.

If we are going for history, that is.

C. Popilius Snoopi
11-25-2011, 02:47 PM
So, we have to conclude that the current rules don't give the Macedonians a chance to win where the evidence is that, except for the effects of the phalanx coming apart, they would have.


Isn't that rather like saying that the evidence is that the Poles would have won WWII, except for the efects of cavalry coming apart in the face of tanks? :)

Seriously, historically, where did a Phalanx army beat Legions? The only example I can think of is one where the Elephants actually were the decisive arm, not the Phalanx, and even there, it was the textbook Pyrrhic victory.

larryessick
11-25-2011, 03:44 PM
Seriously, historically, where did a Phalanx army beat Legions?

I'm not certain that we have any battles where we can say pike phalanx beat legion or legion beat pike phalanx where this was the only element of the engagement. In every case there are external factors that might be better used to explain the results.

At Heraclea and Asculum, for example, the two fight to relative stand stills until Pyrrhic elephants provide the decisive blow. By Beneventum much of the Pyrrhic army is no longer pike but rather Italian -- presumably spear in DBA.

At Cynoscephalae the pike phalanx holds the upper hand until the Roman elephants hit the section that had not yet completely deployed. The flank that was showing itself victorious was then outflanked and hit from the rear as its interior support disappeared.

IMO what these show is not that legion is superior to pike, at least frontally, but that victory accrues from holding the lines in a somewhat balanced scrum until the other factors have time to develop.

To my way of thinking, this means we should never have a situation where it is lopsidedly in favor of one over the other. And, when I take into account that the opinion in Rome is that pike are unstoppable frontally it means that we should try to replicate that by giving the advantage to pike in a pike on blade engagement.

What I've tried to show through example and reference to DBA armies in my last posting is that the Roman army is highly favored and that it is the player with the pike phalanx that will seek to avoid battle.

I don't think this is the response that we normally expect. Rather, from history we seem to see that both sides were more than willing to engage.

But, I feel that the pike player will be so disadvantaged in the fight that they will not want to engage at all. That is, IMO, an effect of the current rules with the combat advantage going to the legion unless the pike double ranks. By giving the combat advantage to the pike and doing away with double ranks both sides perceive they can win*.

At that point it becomes a balanced contest. As for when did pike beat legion -- in the bigger scheme it could be argued that in every engagement between Rome and Pyrrhus the pike army won the tactical engagement. Even Beneventum is not so much a Roman tactical victory as it is a strategic one.

*Edit: Both sides perceive they can win, the Roman because it has longer lines giving balance on the flanks and opportunity for overlap and friction kills, the pike because it has a combat advantage on the interior of the line and (with good fortune and careful sequencing of fights) the chance at doubling.

C. Popilius Snoopi
11-26-2011, 09:54 PM
At Heraclea and Asculum, for example, the two fight to relative stand stills until Pyrrhic elephants provide the decisive blow. By Beneventum much of the Pyrrhic army is no longer pike but rather Italian -- presumably spear in DBA.

Agreed. In fact, I'd say the Elephant was decisive at Beneventum too... :) Just the other way around from what Pyrrhus would have preferred. To be honest, IIRC, Asculum is so poorly attested it's hard to say what happened.

At Cynoscephalae the pike phalanx holds the upper hand until the Roman elephants hit the section that had not yet completely deployed. The flank that was showing itself victorious was then outflanked and hit from the rear as its interior support disappeared.

I'd chalk this one up less to the Roman elephants than the Legionary system, where there was sufficient tactical flexibility for the tribune to peel off some maniples, go back down and hit the rear of the phalanx. Try doing something like that with a phalanx! Also, credit must be given to the legions who perhaps fell back but were not routed at the bottom of the hill on Macedonian right. In DBA terms, Phalanx "out-rolled" the legion, but didn't double it on the right.

IMO what these show is not that legion is superior to pike, at least frontally, but that victory accrues from holding the lines in a somewhat balanced scrum until the other factors have time to develop.

Quite so, and precisely what we see in DBA, is it not? Mathematically a blade element alone cannot destroy a supported pike element...similarly, while the pike can destroy the blade one time in 36, the more likely result is the scrum until the other factors develop. Ideally for the Macedonians, this would be hitting it in the flank or rear with more mobile troops simultaneously to hitting it in the front with the sarissae.


And, when I take into account that the opinion in Rome is that pike are unstoppable frontally it means that we should try to replicate that by giving the advantage to pike in a pike on blade engagement.

...which DBA does. Again, in a vacuum the well-formed pike can destroy the blade, whereas the blade cannot destroy the well formed pike.

Realistically, Macedonian tactics from Phillip II on were to use the Phalanx as the anvil against which the hammer (in the form of more flexible troops) will drive the enemy. DBA does this well. Once you have that flank, the pike, like anyone else, gets a quick kill on its foe, and with a +6 to the dice, that's a very deadly quick kill.

What I've tried to show through example and reference to DBA armies in my last posting is that the Roman army is highly favored and that it is the player with the pike phalanx that will seek to avoid battle.

And I suppose that's where I disagree with you. Firstly, and most superficially, it's impossible to avoid the battle, shy of refusing to play the game. What that leaves is trying to jockey for a position which plays to your strengths and your opponant's weakness. That's what I would classify as tactics. If anything, in the game the Macedonians (and everyone else) has a stupendous terrain opportunity with the edge-of -the-world effect to guard at least one flank.

Yes, a pike line will be shorter if it double-ranks...just as in real life. Macedonian commanders made decisions about whether to deploy 8 ranks deep, 16, or 32 (etc). So must you. Is a shortened line an insurmountable weakness? Not at all. It simply means this fact must be accounted for in the tactics.

I don't think this is the response that we normally expect. Rather, from history we seem to see that both sides were more than willing to engage.

Nor is this the response I'd expect on the tabletop.

That is, IMO, an effect of the current rules with the combat advantage going to the legion unless the pike double ranks.

Here is where our opinions differ. To my experience in this game, doubling your ranks is often a fine idea, and hardly something that will lose you a game. While I haven't played this out with pike armies, I've done it with spear and with warband plenty of times, and not had particular difficulty. Guard your flanks with terrain or light troops (as in history) and go for it.

At that point it becomes a balanced contest. As for when did pike beat legion -- in the bigger scheme it could be argued that in every engagement between Rome and Pyrrhus the pike army won the tactical engagement. Even Beneventum is not so much a Roman tactical victory as it is a strategic one.

Personally, I give Pyrrhus a 1-0-1 for Heraclea-Asculum-Beneventum. In Heraclea his elephants won him the contest. In Beneventum, his elephants lost him the contest. Asculum is simply too poorly attested to properly call, although we do learn that Roman anti-elephant war wagons should do poorly against psiloi. :)

*Edit: Both sides perceive they can win, the Roman because it has longer lines giving balance on the flanks and opportunity for overlap and friction kills, the pike because it has a combat advantage on the interior of the line and (with good fortune and careful sequencing of fights) the chance at doubling.

Errrm...now I'm confused. Have I misunderstood you all along?. You say that the Romans would have longer lines? In your brave new world, why would that be the case? I thought you were advocating doing away with the need for rear support, and all DBA armies have the same number of elements. (Or are you thinking DBM/DBMM, or some other game again?) DBA-wise, I think what you've described above reflects accurately the way things are now.

larryessick
11-27-2011, 01:35 AM
Errrm...now I'm confused. Have I misunderstood you all along?. You say that the Romans would have longer lines? In your brave new world, why would that be the case? I thought you were advocating doing away with the need for rear support, and all DBA armies have the same number of elements. (Or are you thinking DBM/DBMM, or some other game again?) DBA-wise, I think what you've described above reflects accurately the way things are now.

Well, 12 v 12 means nobody has a longer line. But, not all 12 elements are created equal.

In this case I'm looking at blade + spear for Romans v pike or pike + spear for Pyrrhic or Macedonians. The infantry numbers favor the Romans with the balance going into light troops (psiloi or auxilia) or mounted (cavalry or light horse or elephant).

So there is a longer Roman infantry line in either case, which I'd thought I'd discussed earlier in the thread.

All in all it is a fun discussion but ultimately moot as no change along these lines will be forthcoming in any DBx rules. Whether that is a good thing or not depends ultimately on whether one believes that DBA (or the other DBx rules) gives sufficient historical feel.

larryessick
11-27-2011, 01:47 AM
And I suppose that's where I disagree with you. Firstly, and most superficially, it's impossible to avoid the battle, shy of refusing to play the game. What that leaves is trying to jockey for a position which plays to your strengths and your opponant's weakness. That's what I would classify as tactics. If anything, in the game the Macedonians (and everyone else) has a stupendous terrain opportunity with the edge-of -the-world effect to guard at least one flank.

Back to your point that it is a 12 on 12 game. If I can get you to double rank 3 elements it is now a 12 on 9 game. The army with exposed flanks is the one with the 9 element frontage.

I will take that encounter any time with the 12 elements to my opponent's effective 9. Everything favors me in that situation.

Conversely, I will never willingly give battle to my opponent if I have the effective 9 elements. I will spend all my time with fiddly angles and odd sized groups dirtying up the battlefield and making contact impractical for my opponent.

Meanwhile, I will seek to win on a cavalry flank using all my mounted troops.

That means I can, in point of fact, avoid engagement of the smaller line by using nasty angles to bring the fight to a halt. And, if PIPs are good I can keep that going for a very long time.

This is what you will see in competition. People abuse the game doing things that are not historically accurate because they work within the rules and prevent defeat.

I'm clearly jaded. But, my experience is that the player with the fewer number for frontage will not offer battle.

C. Popilius Snoopi
11-27-2011, 10:01 AM
So there is a longer Roman infantry line in either case, which I'd thought I'd discussed earlier in the thread.

I missed your focus on heavy infantry. Not sure I understand it either. I tend to make heavy use of my lighter troops.

All in all it is a fun discussion but ultimately moot as no change along these lines will be forthcoming in any DBx rules. Whether that is a good thing or not depends ultimately on whether one believes that DBA (or the other DBx rules) gives sufficient historical feel.

Very true, and given some of what you say in your next post, I suspect that has as much to do with the play style of your group as it does with the rules.

Back to your point that it is a 12 on 12 game. If I can get you to double rank 3 elements it is now a 12 on 9 game. The army with exposed flanks is the one with the 9 element frontage.

For me, the finesse here is in using terrain and screening troops to make sure your opponent can only bring part of his army to bear. Also, here's where it is useful to use your skirmishers to screen your flanks. This is much more historical and to my experience works pretty well.

Meanwhile, I will seek to win on a cavalry flank using all my mounted troops.

Winning with your cavalry sounds fairly authentic for Macedonian victories to me. The pike phalanx is somewhat mobile terrain. :D


That means I can, in point of fact, avoid engagement of the smaller line by using nasty angles to bring the fight to a halt. And, if PIPs are good I can keep that going for a very long time.

I guess it depends what you mean by bad angles. If you're talking about exploiting things that don't work simply because our little men are glued on bases with 90 degree angles, yes, that is a problem. If you instead mean using your skirmishers or light troops to line up a favorable contact, that would be tactics.


This is what you will see in competition. People abuse the game doing things that are not historically accurate because they work within the rules and prevent defeat.


If a change is needed to the system, that is where I would put it...to minimize people abusing the physical limitations of the game pieces (or board...I hate the edge of the world effect).

Ultimately, though, that is difficult in the extreme, and you can achieve pretty much the same result by simply playing people who prefer to play the game than look for and exploit the loopholes.

In the end it is a game, to be played for fun. For me, and it sounds like for you, this fun comes at least in large part from the ability to play a historical game. People who instead prefer to win (or not lose) by racing a tournament clock have different priorities. That is very difficult to fix if you play against them, but very easy to fix by simply playing only against people who share your priorities.

Matt
12-03-2011, 03:21 AM
Interesting thread. I had a similar discussion here about 2 years ago. Those threads are here if interested:

http://www.fanaticus.org/discussion/showthread.php?t=9323&highlight=Romans

http://www.fanaticus.org/discussion/showthread.php?t=9476&highlight=blades

Larry, I essentially agree with your premise that pikes are not well represented historically, and I would like to believe there is some sort of better DBA model. I also think blades could be better modeled.

However, having said that, my limited experience with playing actual games has brought me to the conclusion that the system as is does produce fairly authentic results, vis-ŕ-vis blade vs. pike battles, based on historical documentation, although historical tactics are generally not the method of achieving this.

The problem I find myself running into is over-engineering the system - too many modifications etc which slow down the process. One thing that I do believe is useful that is used in other systems but not in DBA, is army specific rules. An example would be the spear bonus for rear support when applied to the classical Greek world. In my understanding, only Thebes used deep spear formations, and only in the later Hoplite period, but in the system any Hoplite army could use it in any era. Something as simple as a note at the bottom of the Later Hoplite list stating that the Theban army can have one Sp element receive a +1 combat bonus from a second rank of spears would work. In this case I would also add a special rule of some sort to the Spartans. Many/most lists would not have any special rules.

Are there other examples of excessively deep spear formations out there? Maybe, I don't know. It seems to me that a section of special army rules would be useful. I understand that this of course could get out of hand, and for many this is seen as overcomplicating and not needed.

A few thoughts for now. Maybe a new thread in the house rules section should be set up to discuss this further?

Macbeth
12-07-2011, 07:17 PM
Something as simple as a note at the bottom of the Later Hoplite list stating that the Theban army can have one Sp element receive a +1 combat bonus from a second rank of spears would work. In this case I would also add a special rule of some sort to the Spartans. Many/most lists would not have any special rules.


List rules give me the shivers :D

For many years I used to delcare that I preferred the longer, more detailed game of WRG7th to DBA but was finding the time constraints with a wife and young children left me with not enough time for that type of game so was playing DBA.

I used to organise the WRG7th competition at Cancon in Canberra because I was almost the last man standing (wrt WRG7th) in the Australian Captial Territory and I didn't want to see the institution die. I worked through the transition to Warrior but played very few games. In my youth I wrote some very scathing letters about organisers that play in their own competitions (as it applied to volleyball) and so didn't play in the competitions I ran.

For what became the final Warrior competion I did play to make the numbers even and for the first time became exposed to the vast array of special rules for certain troops and lists that became bewildering. All it takes is for a contemporary commentator to have scratched on his wax tablet that "These wert the best <troop of that type> for that time period" and Viola - special rules :p.

I also had an epiphany at that competition - I really did prefer DBA.

Given that the tidal wave that is FoG had just crashed over the Warrior and DBM crowd in Australia I decided that the 15mm Warrior Comp at Cancon could be quietly put to sleep. :2up

Had I continued I would have made a local ruling that List Rules only count against Historical Opponents Then taken cover as the masses howled :2up

Cheers

larryessick
12-07-2011, 09:08 PM
When 7th was the only game I use to advocate to Scott Holder that many situations should be handled by list specific rules. I don't know how influential that was but I do know that Warrior has ended up with many. It is also substantially the same as and substantially different from 7th at the same time.

Paradoxical, that last bit but true nonetheless.

I do not think it is the best answer for DBA. To the contrary, I think it is a rather poor solution. The best answer is an overhaul to the combat factors and elimination of rear support entirely from the game.

Alas, none of that matters so it becomes all idle speculation.

Macbeth
12-09-2011, 02:21 AM
When 7th was the only game I use to advocate to Scott Holder that many situations should be handled by list specific rules.

That explains the jagged edged tone to your posts ;)

Whenever anyone here in Oz tried to advocate anything to any of the horsemen we were shot down in flames - if you recieved the same treatment that is :D


I don't know how influential that was but I do know that Warrior has ended up with many.

Many is an understatement - they were a little cautious with the first set of lists published (Bilblical, Dark Age) and then hit their straps with later books, to say nothing of the overarching list rules for certain types - Mongols, Normans, Dark Age Barbarian Foot, Roman Legions, Macedonian Companions and so on.

My tipping point was the special rules for Later Carthaginians IF Hannibal was the general -- woo boy they couldn't lose a trick :rotfl


Alas, none of that matters so it becomes all idle speculation.

Too true - all the best Larry

Cheers

larryessick
12-09-2011, 10:49 AM
Whenever anyone here in Oz tried to advocate anything to any of the horsemen we were shot down in flames - if you recieved the same treatment that is :D

The only problem is Jon. He makes me look positively saintly. :D