Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
Cheimison
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 251/1
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz  251/1
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:09 am

Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by Cheimison » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:40 am

I played a randomly generated battle, which was me as the Arabs v. the Ptolemaics.
It was awful. I had a huge number of medium infantry Javelinmen, which routinely did more damage to themselves than the enemy when attacking. At apparent random they would sometimes inflict decent damage to the enemy pikemen, but not enough to win. I also only had one heavy cavalry unit, only a handful of javelinmen (no mounted archers) and only a handful of light javelinmen.
The enemy had elephants, pikemen, heavy cavalry, and camels.
Although the fight went on for a while because I had so many more units than the enemy, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion - without the ability to melee the enemy oliphants and cavalry, the only time I could route the enemy phalanx was stupidity on their part (a couple of times they charged into valleys between two hills lined with my javelinmen).
This confirms my bias, that I will never play an army that doesn't have steady heavy infantry.

bodkin
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:38 pm

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by bodkin » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:58 am

While there are plenty of nations in the game quite a few of them have pathetically weak rosters, the Arabs being one of them. Unless you want to play against a similarly equipped army in a skirmisher battle you can't really use them which is a shame as it would add more variety rather than always taking heavy infantry nations.

KOB001
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:12 pm

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by KOB001 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:08 am

I'd imagine real Arabs would avoid an open set-piece battle with Ptolemaic forces... however attacking their baggage train?

jomni
Sengoku Jidai
Sengoku Jidai
Posts: 1379
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:20 am

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by jomni » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:18 am

I like playing Indians. No heavy infantry but can still beat armies with heavy infantry.

devoncop
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Lieutenant Colonel - Panther D
Posts: 1278
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:46 am

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by devoncop » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:46 am

The Indian firepower is not inconsiderable and allied with multiple elephants are decent....The Arabs do OK be Nabatoreans or similar but otherwise I wouldn't fancy them at all.

Cheimison
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 251/1
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz  251/1
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:09 am

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by Cheimison » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:48 am

bodkin wrote:While there are plenty of nations in the game quite a few of them have pathetically weak rosters, the Arabs being one of them. Unless you want to play against a similarly equipped army in a skirmisher battle you can't really use them which is a shame as it would add more variety rather than always taking heavy infantry nations.
The very next random battle I was the Seleucids, and I was fighting the Armenians with a similar army to the Arabs. I smoked them without much trouble.
Heavy infantry is sooo good in most tactical games. Total War, for example, can have armies composed entirely of Triarii, Princeps, Hoplites and horse archers. Light troops are entirely optional (at least if you have horse archers), and anything you lose in speed is more than made up for the fact that the moment the enemy gets close he's going to get toasted by your men in melee.

I don't think this is entirely unrealistic - part of the reason armies didn't have crap tons of heavy infantry was the sheer cost involved, especially if you lost some (you don't give excellent equipment to raw recruits). But it would be nice if light infantry seemed more necessary and less optional. I know the hoplites used a lot of light troops to guard their flanks on the advance, but in this game the light troops just run away so aren't very useful for protecting the flanks.

GiveWarAchance
2nd Lieutenant - Panzer IVF/2
2nd Lieutenant - Panzer IVF/2
Posts: 698
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by GiveWarAchance » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:37 am

bodkin wrote:While there are plenty of nations in the game quite a few of them have pathetically weak rosters, the Arabs being one of them. Unless you want to play against a similarly equipped army in a skirmisher battle you can't really use them which is a shame as it would add more variety rather than always taking heavy infantry nations.
Arabs are weak? A few days ago I did a battle as Rome vs Arabs (AI) and I lost decisively. The Arabian light units massacred the Roman legions with ease. That was my practice game before playing Rome vs Seleucid which I am losing even worse because of their brutal combination of elephants, phalanx and heavy cataphract cavalry.

JorgenCAB
Sergeant - Panzer IIC
Sergeant - Panzer IIC
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by JorgenCAB » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:01 am

First of... the real world does not work like games. In the real world light troops is very important for strategical reasons alone, not to mention performing tactical harassment in battles can build up over time if you can't deal with it.

Heavy infantry is as some put it an extremely expensive type of troops, both to equip and train properly and not every culture had either the resources or knowledge to field them properly.

Set piece battles is not even necessary to win wars, being able to outlast an opponent is way more important. So... being able to force an opponent to attack in unfavorable conditions is always what you aim for and heavy infantry will always be at a disadvantage to lighter infantry (resource wise) in defensive terrain or sieges.

During the ancient time it was generally very difficult to force someone to fight. You had to pressure an enemy and force them to confront you in some way and no sane commander would face a heavy infantry army in the open unless they could match it somehow and feel confident enough to beat them.

You can't just change a list because they work badly in pitched battles which more or less never occurred. In fact pitched battles on equal terms was extremely rare. Almost all battles have an aggressor and a defender. In general holding defensive positions is a huge advantage.

The reason it was so difficult to reach an agreement between two generals to actual battle was that both generals primary goal was 'NOT to LOOSE'. Winning was just a bonus on top of that. It would mostly be preferable with a standoff than commit if you were not certain to win. So... being able to force an opponent to attack under unfavorable conditions was your primary strategical goal.

This is why it is highly unrealistic for a weaker medium infantry army to commit to battle against a heavy foot army in a generally open field map. Such an army would never agree to battle unless they were somehow forced to fight there and it would NOT be a balanced fight at all unless the medium infantry army was given a substantial points advantage.

This is also why it was so important for an effective ancient army to have a varied army, combined arms you might call it. That is Heavy and Medium Infantry, light troops and a good number of cavalry. This is one of the reason why Alexander the Great was so very successful. He was not only lucky he also had a very good mix of different troop types which enabled him to fight pretty much anywhere he wanted and against anyone. The Roman payed greatly when they had too much heavy infantry and not enough support troops, as evident against Hannibal's forces and in several other instances.

The size of an army was also a rather limiting factor. Just having the resources to raise an army is not enough. An army have to be fed and supported as long as it exist. Some areas had the resources to feed relatively large armies but these areas where few and far in between, this made the logistics of food and supplies very difficult, this was something the Romans excelled at and why they could operate large armies for very long periods of times, something very few other cultures could. This usually meant that Roman armies could pick and choose their battles and sieges more readily than other cultures or kingdoms armies could. It was not unheard of for sieges to be broken because the seiging army ran out of food before the city or their troops simply got unruly enough you had to go home.

The fact is that army list are based on history and not potential tournament results. Game tournaments have nothing to do with history. I say that you should both use the same army list if you want a decently balanced game, otherwise you just have to accept there will always be some imbalance.

rbodleyscott
Field of Glory 2
Field of Glory 2
Posts: 22316
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 6:25 pm

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by rbodleyscott » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:49 am

JorgenCAB wrote:The fact is that army list are based on history and not potential tournament results.
This.

And there is nothing to stop match-ups pitting the weaker armies against each other.
Richard Bodley Scott

Image

Cheimison
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 251/1
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz  251/1
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:09 am

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by Cheimison » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:14 am

JorgenCAB wrote:First of... the real world does not work like games. In the real world light troops is very important for strategical reasons alone, not to mention performing tactical harassment in battles can build up over time if you can't deal with it.
I agree with all that, but what that means is that in pretty much every tactical game or game where it's easy to force battle (Total War) Heavy Infantry are going to crush and be player favorites, because I don't have to feed or train them, just teleport them onto the battle field; and logistics just flat out don't exist.

JaM2013
Master Sergeant - U-boat
Master Sergeant - U-boat
Posts: 542
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:02 pm

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by JaM2013 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:24 am

There is logistic within TW games (just saying) but of course, its very poorly represented in unmodded game :)
Image

Cumandante
Senior Corporal - Destroyer
Senior Corporal - Destroyer
Posts: 117
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:53 pm

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by Cumandante » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:26 am

Cheimison wrote:I agree with all that, but what that means is that in pretty much every tactical game or game where it's easy to force battle (Total War) Heavy Infantry are going to crush and be player favorites, because I don't have to feed or train them, just teleport them onto the battle field; and logistics just flat out don't exist.
There was a mod for Rome Total War called Europa Barbarorum. In that mod all your troops were expensive, but heavy infantry and cavalry ridiculously so. Both to train and maintain. If you want to represent the strategic usefulness of light troops, a simple way to do it is to just make them cheaper.

Cheimison
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 251/1
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz  251/1
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:09 am

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by Cheimison » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:58 am

JaM2013 wrote:There is logistic within TW games (just saying) but of course, its very poorly represented in unmodded game :)
It's also a grand strategy game which means the player country is going to be so well managed and optimized that cost is a very secondary factor. Europa Universalis IV is probably a worse offender than Total War in this respect, by mid-game I have hundreds of thousands of men in a standing army at full maintenance 24/7 with minimal adverse effects. As tactical games heavily favor heavy infantry, so grand strategy games heavily favor enormous empires that, instead of being fragile and lumbering bureaucratic nightmares, are super-advanced juggernauts that literally can not find stuff to spend all their money on.

Operational level games are probably the most realistic/believable, because they have a lot of stuff going on beside set-piece battles but don't allow you to become a telepathic immortal dictator who turns his country into the Empire of Man.

Jabster
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:37 am

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by Jabster » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:01 am

bodkin wrote:While there are plenty of nations in the game quite a few of them have pathetically weak rosters, the Arabs being one of them. Unless you want to play against a similarly equipped army in a skirmisher battle you can't really use them which is a shame as it would add more variety rather than always taking heavy infantry nations.
Personally I like the idea that their are match-ups where you’re up against the odds before a single unit has moved as it adds to the variety of gameplay. Winning is good but so is have a good loss.

Obviously not so good in ‘competitive’ play.

JorgenCAB
Sergeant - Panzer IIC
Sergeant - Panzer IIC
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by JorgenCAB » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:08 pm

Cheimison wrote:
JaM2013 wrote:There is logistic within TW games (just saying) but of course, its very poorly represented in unmodded game :)
It's also a grand strategy game which means the player country is going to be so well managed and optimized that cost is a very secondary factor. Europa Universalis IV is probably a worse offender than Total War in this respect, by mid-game I have hundreds of thousands of men in a standing army at full maintenance 24/7 with minimal adverse effects. As tactical games heavily favor heavy infantry, so grand strategy games heavily favor enormous empires that, instead of being fragile and lumbering bureaucratic nightmares, are super-advanced juggernauts that literally can not find stuff to spend all their money on.

Operational level games are probably the most realistic/believable, because they have a lot of stuff going on beside set-piece battles but don't allow you to become a telepathic immortal dictator who turns his country into the Empire of Man.
The most common voice is that it is no fun when a game hold you back in what people view as artificial limits on your power. EU IV and that community is a great example of that. There are however some really good mods for EU IV that turns it into something allot more interesting.

Games are games and usually not strategical simulations. I like games that do allot of simulations. This means that there need to be abstracted features since the number of things that can impact events are often too complicated to keep much detail.
But... mostly it is down to AI. If they AI can't use the game mechanics to good effect then the more mechanics you have it is just going to be that much easier for a player to curb stomp his surroundings and everything will snowball from that.
It is not that hard to reign in the snowball effect, the thing is most people will not like it.

In a game like this one people are expecting to go to battle with equally strong armies, if that can ever be a thing. For the most part point systems are an illusion as this discussion have proven several times now. The worth of a unit depends heavily on the map and what units the opponent have chosen to deploy. The actual value of a unit could possibly vary as much as +/-50% depending on other factors.

carll11
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:58 pm

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by carll11 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:16 pm

Re: the East- everything in the end is a somewhat luck driven ( game wise) crap shoot, for example Crassus got smoked by an average boob named Surena with almost entirely horse archers.
Crassus had a decent amount of cavalry what he didnt have was Generalship. Trajan and Julian to name 2 had success against the same type of forces with roughly the same forces comparatively. I will make a point of fighting in the East to see whats what...

Cheimison
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 251/1
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz  251/1
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:09 am

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by Cheimison » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:37 pm

JorgenCAB wrote: The most common voice is that it is no fun when a game hold you back in what people view as artificial limits on your power. EU IV and that community is a great example of that. There are however some really good mods for EU IV that turns it into something allot more interesting.
which, of course, need not be artificial at all. The ability to control remote provinces AT ALL has been a problem throughout imperial history, right up to the modern Chinese Empire and the American hegemony. Rebellious satraps and rampant corruption are basically typical of all empires everywhere ever. But I am well aware that a lot of people don't like dealing with it, they just want to paint the map a certain color and inflict lots of casualties on hapless AI countries.
In a game like this one people are expecting to go to battle with equally strong armies, if that can ever be a thing. For the most part point systems are an illusion as this discussion have proven several times now. The worth of a unit depends heavily on the map and what units the opponent have chosen to deploy. The actual value of a unit could possibly vary as much as +/-50% depending on other factors.
Definitely, for example the heavy infantry I am so fond of is virtually useless if the enemy has nothing but light troops and light horse. He will never be able to really beat me, but I will essentially be either sitting on a hill refusing to chase him or chasing him all day. In order for a phalanx to prove its mettle it actually has to be able to come to grips with the opponent.

JorgenCAB
Sergeant - Panzer IIC
Sergeant - Panzer IIC
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by JorgenCAB » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:53 pm

Cheimison wrote:which, of course, need not be artificial at all. The ability to control remote provinces AT ALL has been a problem throughout imperial history, right up to the modern Chinese Empire and the American hegemony. Rebellious satraps and rampant corruption are basically typical of all empires everywhere ever. But I am well aware that a lot of people don't like dealing with it, they just want to paint the map a certain color and inflict lots of casualties on hapless AI countries.
Yes... another problem is motivation. Players run their empires with no emotion and everything they do is about more money, territory etc.. the player have no real regard to family ties between dynasties, friendship or hatred between the ruling classes. All these things that govern real politics. They can just bully whatever seem to be the easiest victim which they might get away with. Players are just given too much control over the affairs of the government.

There are so many factors that could govern a players action and actions should have real consequences, most actions should have a political chain reactions, both good and bad and many should be impossible to predict as they are in reality. These things would reign in the snowball effect as well if implemented well. Managing an empire such as in EU IV should be about politics and not painting the map but trying to keep your country together. Most wars and conquest are products of politics, cultural development or in ancient times often about entire migration of an entire people.

Cheimison
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 251/1
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz  251/1
Posts: 128
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:09 am

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by Cheimison » Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:13 pm

JorgenCAB wrote:Players are just given too much control over the affairs of the government.
I would actually like a game where you don't - something like Crusader Kings without the RPG garbage, so the whole game is about making friends IN YOUR OWN BUREAUCRACY so they don't just sell all your newly acquired iron on the black market, which was as likely as not what would happen whenever you open a government mine.
There are so many factors that could govern a players action and actions should have real consequences, most actions should have a political chain reactions, both good and bad and many should be impossible to predict as they are in reality. These things would reign in the snowball effect as well if implemented well. Managing an empire such as in EU IV should be about politics and not painting the map but trying to keep your country together. Most wars and conquest are products of politics, cultural development or in ancient times often about entire migration of an entire people.
Agreed. Really, my ideal Paradox game is Crusader Kings with no RPG elements but the logistics and military depth of Victoria 2. But that takes power out of the hands of all-powerful psychic dictators, which is really what most of the audience wants. I want a government sim, not a map painting arcade game.

JorgenCAB
Sergeant - Panzer IIC
Sergeant - Panzer IIC
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: Heavy Infantry or Go Home

Post by JorgenCAB » Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:05 am

Cheimison wrote:Agreed. Really, my ideal Paradox game is Crusader Kings with no RPG elements but the logistics and military depth of Victoria 2. But that takes power out of the hands of all-powerful psychic dictators, which is really what most of the audience wants. I want a government sim, not a map painting arcade game.
Then we are at least two that wish for that... ;)

Post Reply

Return to “Field of Glory II”