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Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:26 am
by 76mm
I've played a few absolutely epic games as Slaves vs Romans and wanted to ask Richard to consider a few tweaks to make this very fun faction more playable (I noted that in the army-rating thread, the Slaves are rated in the worst category).

In an open field fight against the Romans, I think the slaves are toast, so not much to be done there. In the right terrain, however, the slaves can give the Romans a real fight, but are fatally handicapped by a few issues:
1) the slaves desperately need a handful (in a very large battle) of medium troops--currently they have NO medium troops, so in rough terrain slave troops are as bad off as the Romans, other than the untrained rabble, which has its own issues;
2) perhaps as an alternative or an addition to the first point, make slave units slightly cheaper--I've only played a couple of games, but both played out exactly the same way--the Slaves did very well until they hit about 45%, but then completely disintegrated (meanwhile the remaining Romans are in good shape). While this is realistic enough, it would help make the faction more playable if the Slave armies were slightly bigger; and
3) maybe the fix for the issue of how generals are assigned will resolve this, but give the Slaves at least 3 generals (in a very large battle)--they have massive amounts of poor troops and right now one rout can shatter an entire wing.

Anyway, I don't think any of these proposals are especially ahistorical, and they would really help to make this faction more playable. What does everone think?

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:19 am
by Scutarii
In the original FOG were 2 slave lists, one based in HF other in MF... apart there was the "gladiator" unit.

I think as you say slaves need somekind of medium foot and add the gladiator units, very small HF or MF units but very strong to perform a diferent role in battlefield... if i dont remember bad is a custom scen where appear gladiator units.

For light foot.... maybe they can have more units of this type i list BUT worst in quality to compensate.

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:54 am
by devoncop
One of the epic battles described by 76mm above was against my Romans and by rights he deserved to win. He is quite right about some better quality of smaller units like gladiators (a bit like the Triarii unit size) being needed.
The generals I would question a little as the slaves were by their nature undisciplined so lacking the control of multiple generals would be perhaps more accurate.

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:39 pm
by Bombax
devoncop wrote:One of the epic battles described by 76mm above was against my Romans and by rights he deserved to win. He is quite right about some better quality of smaller units like gladiators (a bit like the Triarii unit size) being needed.
The generals I would question a little as the slaves were by their nature undisciplined so lacking the control of multiple generals would be perhaps more accurate.
Bah! They would have been acting as a disciplined proletarian liberation army, comrade! 8)

Anyway... Plus one on the general request to 'beef' them up!

Cheers,
Bombax.

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:43 pm
by 76mm
devoncop wrote: The generals I would question a little as the slaves were by their nature undisciplined so lacking the control of multiple generals would be perhaps more accurate.
Not sure about deserved to win—i had the most favorable terrain imaginable—but it was a very good game. But even in the best terrain, I’m not sure that the slaves can win without some of the tweaks above. It would be a real shame if this faction gets no play because it is unwinnable (unless someone can prove me wrong).

On the generals I agree that the slaves were an undisciplined bunch, but most of them were probably volunteers and they were fighting for the highest stakes—these were not conscript levees.

Also, lets not forget that the Romans have some ahistorical advantages in custom battles featuring slaves—Especially in the form of numerous veteran troops (IIRC Spartacus’ initial opponents were mainly untried). Spartacus did after all win several battles against the Romans.

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:19 pm
by Spectre195
I think this thread opens up a good discussion on the nature of the game to begin with. With war games there is always the two camps of:

1) Should it be as historical as possible trying to reflect reality

2) Should it recognize that at the end of the game it is a game and should have semblance of fairness.

Personally I lean more towards the second camp; however there is enough armies in FOG2 that I don't mind that some are trash, especially since they don't even get unique models I don't get to use....though I wouldn't mind tweaks to balance. Maybe give some of the weaker armies the ability to purchase some veteran versions of their units. That could be a good compromise to let them get a slight boost without breaking immersion.

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:40 pm
by 76mm
Spectre195 wrote:With war games there is always the two camps of:

1) Should it be as historical as possible trying to reflect reality

2) Should it recognize that at the end of the game it is a game and should have semblance of fairness.

Personally I lean more towards the second camp; however there is enough armies in FOG2 that I don't mind that some are trash...
Usually I am firmly in the first camp, but believe that there is no contradiction between playability and greater realism with the slaves:
1) It seems hard to believe that the slaves had no medium infantry units...many of the slaves, including Spartacus himself, were Thracians--should we really suppose that they would not know the value of medium foot? We have very little info about the composition of the slave armies, but I don't believe there are definitive sources that state that the slave armies were exclusively heavy foot.
2) Regarding the generals, with a slave army in a very large battle you get about 50 units, and two generals--just not enough to hold the army together. These armies were not composed of hapless untrained conscripts, many of them were veteran warriors from Thrace, Gaul, wherever--adding at least one, maybe two generals would give them a little extra oomph.

I don't agree there there are enough armies in FOG that it is OK if some are trash...there are lots of armies, but many of them are hopelessly outclassed or mismatched--for something different I recently fought an MP Samnite vs Apulian battle, and it was absolutely ridiculous--I just marched straight ahead and thrashed the hapless Apulians 48%-0%. We need as many good matchups as possible; I'm not even talking about slaves holding up to Romans in an open battle, but being able to hold up to them ever, even with the best terrain.

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:17 pm
by hjc
76mm wrote: I don't agree there there are enough armies in FOG that it is OK if some are trash...there are lots of armies, but many of them are hopelessly outclassed or mismatched--for something different I recently fought an MP Samnite vs Apulian battle, and it was absolutely ridiculous--I just marched straight ahead and thrashed the hapless Apulians 48%-0%. We need as many good matchups as possible; I'm not even talking about slaves holding up to Romans in an open battle, but being able to hold up to them ever, even with the best terrain.
Perhaps over time a points handicap system can be worked out for particular match-ups, or a points ratio. e.g. Slaves get 1500 points, Roman gets 1000 points (only an example, not claiming to be accurate or fair).
While the points values on a list measure the inherent value in the units, I agree that some match-ups on equal points will be a walk-over for one side. I suppose this system might consider the 'average player' - the tactical geniuses might not need a handicap system.

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:15 pm
by vakarr
Seems strange that the slaves don't revert to fighting in their national styles, so there should be some medium Gallic types (medium warband?) as well as undifferentiated other medium types (medium foot javelins) and a few other nationals (Thracians). The role of the slave Generals was critical in deciding their behaviour, of course they should have them. Haven't looked at the list but I suppose you get units in captured armour and imitation legionaries? If you create your own scenario you can add or subtract as many troops or troop types as you like.

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:54 am
by 76mm
vakarr wrote:Seems strange that the slaves don't revert to fighting in their national styles, so there should be some medium Gallic types (medium warband?) as well as undifferentiated other medium types (medium foot javelins) and a few other nationals (Thracians). The role of the slave Generals was critical in deciding their behaviour, of course they should have them. Haven't looked at the list but I suppose you get units in captured armour and imitation legionaries? If you create your own scenario you can add or subtract as many troops or troop types as you like.
Yes, you get imitation legionaries ("Heavily Armed Slaves") and guys with spears and a loincloth ("Poorly Armed Slaves"), and some skirmishers. I guess the slaves might not have been able to fully revert to their national styles because of lack of the necessary weapons/armor/shields, but dunno... I know you can do lots of things in the editor but would like for this list to get buffed in for the custom battles. And again, if the Roman list has lots of veteran legions which weren't present for many of the battles against Spartacus, as it does, I don't see why we shouldn't give the slaves the benefit of the doubt with some medium foot and more generals.

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:11 am
by Scutarii
One solution could be add a medium foot unit based in imitation legionaries, you can buy imitation legionaries HF or MF, other is add a unit based on their mob units but working as MF.

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:55 pm
by Oster
The case of the Slaves uprising illustrates perfectly the problems of inequal armies.......

After all, in real world, they defeated many Légions and Roman consuls and crushed défenses all along the Peninsula, even close to Roma Gates !

At first we can consider the fact that each Gladiator munus provided weapons (in small number), each agricultural domain gave Tools and metal to create more, then each defeated military unit provided an almost equal number of weapons and armor , enough to equip the former fighters enslaved ..... even if they are outnumbered by clercks, servants or landworkers, they may be a much more serious force than a Hollywood rabble !
If the Senate took desperate measures and recalled légions and famous ( and dangerous...) generals, the fear and panic testifies the size of the menace .

I agree with most of your suggestions specially regarding Imitations Legionnaries, some medium foot/horse troops, more low ranked generals.....but I would add that since I began to play this gorgeous Wonder FoG II, I miss some FoG I features.......

In this case, I'd designed in FoG I some Spartacus-like scens ..... I used the powerful " Edit Unit " to beef up the Slaves by numbers (of men per unit), some protection or (rare) armour, and better morale factors.....
After all, even a rabble with women, elder, etc.... in desperate circumstances can do something or just resist enough to slow or bog a Legion of dubious value......which can be adjusted the same way .

I used the same tricks for the Crusades, Albigensis sieges etc....and -more or less- it worked _ at least to play solo .

So, I just wish to add the suggestion to give us the opportunity to use the real gooddies of FoG I to perfect FoG II ! :)

Sorry for mispelling, English is not my natural language ....

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:07 pm
by grumblefish
I just won a game as the Slaves against Romans. Actually, I absolutely obliterated the Romans. It was an open field battle; I stacked a tonne of light-spear guys in a forest on one flank, while my other flank was against an impassable river. I used my skirmishers to lure the Romans in, and then BAM, absolute slaughter. My opponent (who I will not further humiliate by naming) was probably laughing when about 10+ units of shirtless guys came streaming out of the forest, but who's laughing now?



Seriously, though, give Spartacus a few superior HF or MF units. These are trained fighters who proved themselves capable of taking down Roman soldiers in pitched battle. The bulk of the army should be untrained poor people who are using captured arms and armour, but there should be a core group of people who know a lot about how to stab people with sharp objects.

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:51 am
by jomni
grumblefish wrote:I just won a game as the Slaves against Romans. Actually, I absolutely obliterated the Romans. It was an open field battle; I stacked a tonne of light-spear guys in a forest on one flank, while my other flank was against an impassable river. I used my skirmishers to lure the Romans in, and then BAM, absolute slaughter. My opponent (who I will not further humiliate by naming) was probably laughing when about 10+ units of shirtless guys came streaming out of the forest, but who's laughing now?
Sounds like a movie script.

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:03 am
by grumblefish
jomni wrote:
grumblefish wrote:I just won a game as the Slaves against Romans. Actually, I absolutely obliterated the Romans. It was an open field battle; I stacked a tonne of light-spear guys in a forest on one flank, while my other flank was against an impassable river. I used my skirmishers to lure the Romans in, and then BAM, absolute slaughter. My opponent (who I will not further humiliate by naming) was probably laughing when about 10+ units of shirtless guys came streaming out of the forest, but who's laughing now?
Sounds like a movie script.
The Roman fears the gladiator warrior!

Image

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:27 pm
by vakarr
jomni wrote: Sounds like a movie script.
"Gladiator Braveheart"?

Re: Give the Slaves Some Love

Posted: Mon May 14, 2018 3:13 am
by 76mm
Yippee, I finally won as slaves after many attempts. Sure would be nice if they could get some decent medium foot, though...