elephants

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Eques
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elephants

Post by Eques » Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:46 am

What are the precise plans for elephants?

If its just to make them more robust then that is surely a mistake, again sacrificing a very notable piece of ancient flavour* under pressure from players who don't want their armies to have any weak spots.

* the tendency of elephants to panic and go charging off into their own side.

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Re: elephants

Post by shadowdragon » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:56 am

I believe the change is to increase their impact phase combat dice by 1 to 3 dice per base. Makes them deadlier but still just as fragile defensively as before.

Eques
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Re: elephants

Post by Eques » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:18 pm

I suppose that makes sense. They should certainly have more impact than other troop types.

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Re: elephants

Post by kevinj » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:54 pm

The other change that's likely is to restrict the ability of generals to command Elephant BGs in combat to those generals who are mounted on elephants themselves.

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Re: elephants

Post by Vespasian28 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:51 pm

As someone who uses and has been on the receiving end of nellies I think this is a good idea. Currently elephants are too much glass and very little cannon which this will re-dress.

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Re: elephants

Post by ShrubMiK » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:33 pm

Indeed, will be interesting to see what difference that makes in practice.

I've used nellies successfully a few times, but mostly I end a game feeling they haven't pulled their weight. I don't want them to go too far the other way and become supertanks, but they really ought to at least make the opponent worry about them crashing into his lines (before I roll a bad dice or two and they implode instantly!)

marty
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Re: elephants

Post by marty » Fri Sep 21, 2012 11:45 pm

They are pretty feeble under V1. Certainly no where near worth 25 points. They even struggle to beat mounted consistently. They probably still wont be worth it with the V2 changes (which give with one hand but take away with the other) but at least will be slightly better.

Martin

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Re: elephants

Post by MikeHorah » Sat Sep 22, 2012 12:28 pm

marty wrote:They are pretty feeble under V1. Certainly no where near worth 25 points. They even struggle to beat mounted consistently. They probably still wont be worth it with the V2 changes (which give with one hand but take away with the other) but at least will be slightly better.

Martin
Big problem I see is being ony two models per unit so lose one ( on my only too common Death rolls of 1 even with the extra plus) and they autobreak . Overharsh for armies that had a lot of Elephants Seleucid and Indian that seems . Nor can you adopt one Successor tactic which was to chain them altogether in long line on one flank or have combined elephant and light infantry units .

That said my regular late Carthaginian opponent seems to have gotten the hang of them to my great cost at times ( what with his regular failure to throw 1's in death rolls too) so not allowing an on elephant mounted general to lead them woould be a great help!

ethan
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Re: elephants

Post by ethan » Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:23 pm

I think the 3 dice at impact elephants are pretty interesting. They may not be hugely powerful, but they will be a decent value and definitely see more use. This is among the simplest and best changes in 2.0.

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Re: elephants

Post by hazelbark » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:34 pm

marty wrote:They are pretty feeble under V1. Certainly no where near worth 25 points. They even struggle to beat mounted consistently. They probably still wont be worth it with the V2 changes (which give with one hand but take away with the other) but at least will be slightly better.
I don't know that I would be quite so down on them.

A lot has to do with what else is in the army. There are very few armies that have lots of elephants and troops that can work with them.

For example
Dailami if they could get a 2nd BG of Elephants that would be a big addition to them.
The potential increased effectiveness of foot bows, may allow the indian and SE asian armies to be a touch more viable.


I do think a lot more could have been done to make elephants more interesting and more viable.

Eques
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Re: elephants

Post by Eques » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:53 pm

MikeHorah wrote:
marty wrote:They are pretty feeble under V1. Certainly no where near worth 25 points. They even struggle to beat mounted consistently. They probably still wont be worth it with the V2 changes (which give with one hand but take away with the other) but at least will be slightly better.

Martin
Big problem I see is being ony two models per unit so lose one ( on my only too common Death rolls of 1 even with the extra plus) and they autobreak . Overharsh for armies that had a lot of Elephants Seleucid and Indian that seems .
!
Aaagh!

No, not overharsh.

You pays your money you takes your choice. Elephants historically were indeed powerful but very fragile and hard to control. That is what the low autobreak is specifically there to reflect.

The philosophy behind V2 is not, I would hope, just to remove any weaknesses that individual troop types have.
Last edited by Eques on Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Eques
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Re: elephants

Post by Eques » Sun Sep 23, 2012 8:55 pm

marty wrote:They are pretty feeble under V1. Certainly no where near worth 25 points. They even struggle to beat mounted consistently. They probably still wont be worth it with the V2 changes (which give with one hand but take away with the other) but at least will be slightly better.

Martin
They weren't worth it historically so that's OK. They had one or two spectacular successes but otherwise they were either a damp squid or an actual liability.

marty
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Re: elephants

Post by marty » Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:01 pm

I dont mind them been brittle and hard to control (the 2 el units and undrilled status capture this nicely) but they should be scary in combat and almost invincible in close combat with mounted. FOG 1 did a good job of capturing the negatives but not the positives.

Whatever their level of capabilities under the rules is the points they cost should reflect this and nothing else. 25 points under v1 was probably overcosting by at least 5 points. Given the mixed impact of V2 they are probably still overpriced, just not as much.

I suspect we will see an initial rush of people trying out elephants again because of the 3 dice at impact (I might even put some of my many elephants on the table again) before the realisation they are still an unmanouverable, average unit that is cripplingly vulnerable to shooting and prone to blowing up at the slightest reverse as well as been just about the most expensive elements in the game sets in and we return to business as usual ie few to no elephants in competitive FOG.

Martin

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Re: elephants

Post by Eques » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:42 am

marty wrote:I dont mind them been brittle and hard to control (the 2 el units and undrilled status capture this nicely) but they should be scary in combat and almost invincible in close combat with mounted. FOG 1 did a good job of capturing the negatives but not the positives.

Whatever their level of capabilities under the rules is the points they cost should reflect this and nothing else. 25 points under v1 was probably overcosting by at least 5 points. Given the mixed impact of V2 they are probably still overpriced, just not as much.

I suspect we will see an initial rush of people trying out elephants again because of the 3 dice at impact (I might even put some of my many elephants on the table again) before the realisation they are still an unmanouverable, average unit that is cripplingly vulnerable to shooting and prone to blowing up at the slightest reverse as well as been just about the most expensive elements in the game sets in and we return to business as usual ie few to no elephants in competitive FOG.

Martin
I agree they should be more powerful at impact, as that is their great strength to make up for some of those weaknesses. Its a little ridiculous to give them the same dice as infantry!

I also agree that if they are still not very good the way to approach it is to amend the point values, in fact IMO that should be the general principle when amending V1 rather than just saying all troops can do everything.

Unless, as in the case of the 2 impact dice, V1 was unhistorical.
Last edited by Eques on Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

grahambriggs
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Re: elephants

Post by grahambriggs » Mon Sep 24, 2012 8:57 am

marty wrote:Whatever their level of capabilities under the rules is the points they cost should reflect this and nothing else. 25 points under v1 was probably overcosting by at least 5 points. Given the mixed impact of V2 they are probably still overpriced, just not as much.
Martin
I agree with the sentiment. I rather suspect tat the rules authors though deliberately overpriced the more unusual troop types. e.g. elephants, scythed chariots, war wagons, camels, etc.

This may have been a deliberate action to guard against under-costing these and ending up with a rule set where the unuaual types dominate. v1 did attract criticism that drilled-armoured-superior troops were too good for the points. But at least a lot of well known armies could have them. Imagine how bad it would be if it were a case of "I'd like to play such and such an army but i know it has no chance against the masses of armies with camels and scythed chariots that I'll find in competitions".

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Re: elephants

Post by zocco » Mon Sep 24, 2012 9:36 am

Martin[/quote]

I agree they should be more powerful at impact, as that is their great strength to make up for some of those weaknesses. Its a little ridiculous to give them the same dice as infantry!

[/quote]

I'd have to disagree. Having fought elephants a few times with late roman infantry they seemed quite effective against my impact foot and light spear types. The real problem is that FOG has made other infantry and particulary spearmen and pike overly effective vs elephants. From my limited reading this effectiveness is not evidence based (if someone knows otherwise please feel free to post). I don't know of any cases of elephants fighting spearmen and the only case I came across for pikes was Hydaspes where the pikes were only useful after the elephants had been heavily engaged by psiloi. Up until that time the pikes were (according to Arrian) suffering substantially.

z

Eques
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Re: elephants

Post by Eques » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:11 am

zocco wrote:Martin
I agree they should be more powerful at impact, as that is their great strength to make up for some of those weaknesses. Its a little ridiculous to give them the same dice as infantry!

[/quote]

I'd have to disagree. Having fought elephants a few times with late roman infantry they seemed quite effective against my impact foot and light spear types. The real problem is that FOG has made other infantry and particulary spearmen and pike overly effective vs elephants. From my limited reading this effectiveness is not evidence based (if someone knows otherwise please feel free to post). I don't know of any cases of elephants fighting spearmen and the only case I came across for pikes was Hydaspes where the pikes were only useful after the elephants had been heavily engaged by psiloi. Up until that time the pikes were (according to Arrian) suffering substantially.

z[/quote]

Well I don't know about pike/spear specifically but as a general point once close order, drilled troops like Romans and Macedonians got used to them they were generally able to repel them by various means, often thereby sending them crashing back into their own side.

The Command & Colors Board game deals with elephants quite well I think, both in terms of their firepower and their liabilities.

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Re: elephants

Post by Delbruck » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:21 am

In V1 I never liked fighting elephants with Romans. Clearly, V2 will be even more diffcult.

With all the negative changes I do not expect that I will use Romans much in V2. A 48 point pike block is much cheaper AND effective.

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Re: elephants

Post by grahambriggs » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:23 pm

Eques wrote: Well I don't know about pike/spear specifically but as a general point once close order, drilled troops like Romans and Macedonians got used to them they were generally able to repel them by various means, often thereby sending them crashing back into their own side.

The Command & Colors Board game deals with elephants quite well I think, both in terms of their firepower and their liabilities.
I'm not sure that the authors of the rules I've used have done much looking at what elephants actually did on the battlefield. The FOG approach does seem to capture their close combat role, and does make them unreliable (though more in the sense that there's suddenly a cohesion test and a hole than trampling through friends - though the result might be the same).

However, it doesn't cover the other roles elephants had, for example forming a screen against mounted, very well. You could try to do that in FOG, but the elephant BG isn't really wide enough to screen proerly, and risks being shot down itself.

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Re: elephants

Post by hazelbark » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:39 pm

grahambriggs wrote:However, it doesn't cover the other roles elephants had, for example forming a screen against mounted, very well. You could try to do that in FOG, but the elephant BG isn't really wide enough to screen proerly, and risks being shot down itself.
I think there are some units that should have elephants like attachments in FOG N. You use one base to signifiy they are present with a BG and spread out thinly through the BG.
The would offer No positive POAs maybe none at all but do 2 things. Disorder nearby Cav and add the extra -1 to losing to Elephants. That would more accurately model "some" of the armies use of elephants.

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