Spartans

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Vespasian28
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Spartans

Post by Vespasian28 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:38 pm

When FOG first came out a few of us expressed surprise that the Spartan Peers were not classified Elite. Rationale was that Superior status plus Armour would be enough to carve their way through the Persians as per history. And in the games I have played that has mostly been true. One noteable exception was a big refight we did of Plataea where the Spartans were massacred under V1 due to the intervention of the gods.

Now, has anyone done any games under V2 as this has shifted the balance more to the Persians. Much better support shooting and of course no more ++ for the Greeks in melee.
Spartans will re-roll any 1's at impact so have a chance but the peroikoi and other Greeks are statistically likely to lose the impact so rear support and an IC seems essential.

Any thoughts?

Next Saturday we are doing a straight up game so that will be one proof of a pudding.

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Re: Spartans

Post by timmy1 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:55 pm

I think one BG of Spartaites as Elite Unarmoured should be allowed. They also should not be allowed to provide rear support...

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Re: Spartans

Post by grahambriggs » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:35 am

I've played Early Persians against heavy foot armies (though not Spartans) under v2. The Immortals are less nimble (a good thing IMHO). The impact is better for the Persian bow line but is not decisive (if you're lucky you disrupt the enemy foot). The melee phases are still against the Persians as they have no POA and the Greeks get their spear. In theory, the Greeks no longer getting ++ in melee makes things a bit more even. In practice they still win the combat most of the time, though it might take a little longer.

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Re: Spartans

Post by Delbruck » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:54 pm

In V1 Persian infantry may have been down two, but armored Immortals were only down one. I am under the impression that most players maxmize Immortals and hoplites, and try to keep the Persians out of combat.

Actually, in V2 there may be some incentive to take protected immortals?

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Re: Spartans

Post by Eques » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:18 pm

I think they should have kept the support shooting as it was. Historically the archers would have been hampered and it is probably at impact that the heavy Greek hoplites would have come into their own against Asiatic type arms.

In game terms, it just gives support shooters too much of an advantage.

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Re: Spartans

Post by ShrubMiK » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:07 pm

No, it's probably in a continuing melee that having more effective melee equipment will tell.

Or are you going to start complaining next that armour doesn't count at all in impact? You may not like it, but it's the FoG philosophy.

I'm really not sure about this idea that the closer I get to a man holding a bow, advancing towards him in a more or less straight line, the harder he is going to find it to hit me? Perhaps making myself an easy target more or less balances out the fact that he might be a bit distracted by my waving a spear in his face if I live long enough.

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Re: Spartans

Post by Eques » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:05 pm

Well he would be shooting at you over the heads of his comrades and (the way I imagine it) immediately after you had gone smacking into those same comrades, pushing everyone back a few feet.

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Re: Spartans

Post by mbsparta » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:46 am

I actually like the way Spartans are depicted in the army list. By not overpowering then (and over pricing them) a Spartan army is compatable size-wise with other Classical Greek armies. Like many of the army lists, superior Spartans are an ellegant was to model the army.

As for battles against the Persiains ... Under V2; Spartan led coaliton armies are 50-50 against Persians with Medizing Greeks. Can't ask for a better game.

Mike B

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Re: Spartans

Post by grahambriggs » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:38 pm

Eques wrote:I think they should have kept the support shooting as it was. Historically the archers would have been hampered and it is probably at impact that the heavy Greek hoplites would have come into their own against Asiatic type arms.

In game terms, it just gives support shooters too much of an advantage.
Herodotus in his account of the Persian invasion of Greece has it differently. His view is that the Persians were OK as long as the mantlet wall held, but that after it went down they were in real trouble, with deficiencies in armour and in arms - e.g the sagaris axe being no match for the dory and hoplon (long spear and shield).

The impact/melee phases in FOG aren't a complete match to Herodotus - I think an exact match would need some fiddly rules to represent the mantlet wall that aren't worth it other than in re-enactments. But it's clear that the Persians were better off at impact than in melee. The Persian arrow storm was rarely enough to disrupt the armoured hoplites on their way in.

I've found similar with my Persians. Against armoured foot you don't get many tests or disruptions on the way in. You get a chance at impact as the support shooting gives a minor edge. If you can't disrupt the enemy before melee it's really a matter of time before you break. If you do disrupt them you still have to win again to do much (you'll have more dice but at a minus)

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Re: Spartans

Post by philqw78 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:18 pm

Eques wrote:Well he would be shooting at you over the heads of his comrades and (the way I imagine it) immediately after you had gone smacking into those same comrades, pushing everyone back a few feet.
The impact phase is the move to contact as well as the contact. The front rank bow would also fire before taking up their melee weapons. But shooting the front rank at impact would have far too powerful a game effect.
phil
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Vespasian28
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Re: Spartans

Post by Vespasian28 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:46 pm

In game terms, it just gives support shooters too much of an advantage.
Too early to tell I think as we are only just over two months of playing FOG2, as I believe most of us(?) waited for the old fashioned paper version.
My Classical Indian bows definitely needed a bit of help that the new support shooting provides, whether the Spartans are going to be happy about it time will tell.

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Re: Spartans

Post by madaxeman » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:40 pm

Eques wrote:Well he would be shooting at you over the heads of his comrades and (the way I imagine it) immediately after you had gone smacking into those same comrades, pushing everyone back a few feet.
Thats a pretty literal interpretation of a very top down gaming system.

Support shooting in FoG isn't an actual rear rank of soldiers shooting actual arrows whilst an actual front rank of actual soldiers does something else entirely.

It's a game mechamnic in which one extra dice is being rolled per base frontage to mathematically simulate the relative combat effectiveness of a bow formation in the initial stages of a simulated combat.

V2.0 just changes the score to hit with that extra dice, as the authors now think that the previous effect didn't provide a satisfactory simulation.
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Re: Spartans

Post by prb4 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:43 am

Support shooting in FoG isn't an actual rear rank of soldiers shooting actual arrows whilst an actual front rank of actual soldiers does something else entirely.

It's a game mechamnic in which one extra dice is being rolled per base frontage to mathematically simulate the relative combat effectiveness of a bow formation in the initial stages of a simulated combat.
Actually support shooting in FOG IS only the rear rank shooting and the front rank twiddling their thumbs.
In FOG the front rank of a bow unit do nothing in a charge.

We know this because a BG with non-shooters in the front rank shoots just as well in the impact round as a BG with shooters in both ranks.
There is absolutely no benefit in the impact round of having a bow in the front rank.

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Re: Spartans

Post by philqw78 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:26 am

Is this some sort of Nubian comment?
phil
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prb4
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Re: Spartans

Post by prb4 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:26 pm

Is this some sort of Nubian comment?
Nope.

Just a pet peave of mine that there is no benefit to having bow in the front rank of a BG during the impact round.

So for example, lets say, troops with a heavy weapon in the front rank and Xbow in the back rank are just as effective at shooting in the impact phase as a BG with Xbow in the front and back ranks.

I don't know if there are any armies with HW/Xbow BG's or HW/Bow BG's but they would probably be quite good :D

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Re: Spartans

Post by kevinj » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:12 pm

HW/Bow combos are available, Early Zhao Chinese and a few of the Korean armies have them.

As for the effect at impact, it's back to the abstraction that Fog uses in its top-down approach. The 2 dice that each front rank base represents all of their efforts at impact, both shooting and fighting. So you have to ask the question, who would be better in an impact situation, a group with heavy weapons or a group with bows? The Fog authors opinion was clearly the guys witht the big choppers, so they get a POA.

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Re: Spartans

Post by ShrubMiK » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:17 pm

You could alternatively assume that the guys in the front rank are not shooting (much) during the impact phase, as they really are distracted and inconvenienced by the need to get their melee weapons and perhaps shield ready, brace themselves for contact, etc.

Just because they are depicted with a bow and don't have a specific impact/melee capability doesn't mean they will be trying to load and fire the bow repeatedly when the enemy is slashing at them with a nasty sharp sword from one one metre away...I would imagine that most "pure" bowmen have some sort of side-arm, a small axe or club or dagger, and if not they would pick up a big stick off the ground to try to protect themselves with!

The important thing is: do the rules mechanisms produce reasonable results. If it turns out that pure archer BGs are still seen as being too vulnerable to being run over by anything charging them, there may be a case for allowing the front rank bowmen some sortt of benefit - e.g. shoot at reduced capability to reflect getting one shot off before switching weapons; or an impact POA for being bow armed vs. certain types of chargers.

Or if as Eques fears archers turn out to be too powerful due to support shooting changes, there will need to be an adjustment the other way.

As pointed out above, we'll have to wait and see...

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Re: Spartans

Post by grahambriggs » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:26 pm

prb4 wrote:
Is this some sort of Nubian comment?
Nope.

Just a pet peave of mine that there is no benefit to having bow in the front rank of a BG during the impact round.

So for example, lets say, troops with a heavy weapon in the front rank and Xbow in the back rank are just as effective at shooting in the impact phase as a BG with Xbow in the front and back ranks.

I don't know if there are any armies with HW/Xbow BG's or HW/Bow BG's but they would probably be quite good :D
There is a benefit. Each front rank base with a bow has the benefit of rolling two dice in the impact phase even if they are ONLY armed with a bow - e.g. no side arm. Often, those dice will only hit on a 5 or 6 but they can still hit. It's the arrows that do those hits. A front rank may have other weapons which may improve the POA. For example, the Persians get a light spear. So vs hoplites any 4s hit as well.

There are troop types with HW/Xbow. Guess what? when they play against Persians they've got a real problem. They get outshot. So they often have to charge in and the Persians are at an advantage at impact - because of the rear rank support shooting ironically.

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Re: Spartans

Post by jonphilp » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:26 pm

What Paul is finding is that version 2 has not improved his dice during a game. Mind you the Spartans army list has always left questions as a well rounded Spartan army will not be significantly better quality than say an Athenian force. The moral superiority of the true Spartans over fellow Greeks on the battlefield is not shown by the rule set as no elites can be fielded.

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Re: Spartans

Post by philqw78 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 6:02 pm

jonphilp wrote:What Paul is finding is that version 2 has not improved his dice during a game.
:lol:
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