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Irregular Foot vs. Raw Hoplites

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:01 am
by w_michael
Both Irregular Foot and Raw Hoplites have the same point cost. I am playing Etruscan 490 BC - 331 BC in a MP game vs. (pot luck) Ligurian 480 BC - 145 BC. The Etruscan League have mostly Raw Hoplites and the Ligurian Tribes are primarily Irregular Foot. It seems to us that Irregular (Javelin) Foot are over-costed because the Raw Hoplites in open terrain clean their clocks. In rough terrain this would be reversed, but in pot luck terrain agricultural terrain is the most likely occurrence.

When playing Etruscans (Raw Hoplites) vs. other army lists I found Raw Hoplites to be pretty well costed (i.e. quantity vs. quality). I've heard that Irregular (Javelin) Foot in other army lists (i.e. Armenian) are very challenging as well.

Re: Irregular Foot vs. Raw Hoplites

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:10 am
by the_iron_duke
Raw troops will do worse than average troops in cohesion tests.

Re: Irregular Foot vs. Raw Hoplites

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:12 am
by w_michael
the_iron_duke wrote:Raw troops will do worse than average troops in cohesion tests.
Irregular Troops (medium foot) have a negative cohesion test against heavy troops in open terrain so this is likely a wash. I have to admit that as the Etruscan League I reassigned cavalry Sub-Generals to the infantry to mitigate poor cohesion tests of the Raw Hoplites.

Re: Irregular Foot vs. Raw Hoplites

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:24 am
by the_iron_duke
There's also cohesion tests from things like taking missile fire, adjacent units routing and generals dying.

Re: Irregular Foot vs. Raw Hoplites

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:45 am
by w_michael
I think that 30 points for Raw Hoplites is fine, and 25 points for Irregular Foot is more appropriate.

Re: Irregular Foot vs. Raw Hoplites

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:49 am
by MikeC_81
RBS and I discussed this briefly in our 3rd Bactrian campaign game though I am sure he knows the pain first hand given his army choice. Javelinmen / Irr. Foot are among the most severely over costed units in the game. In my opinion close to an order of magnitude in terms of the costing error. I'll be generous and won't compare them to Heavy Foot like Raw Hoplites since it might be construed an apples to oranges comparison. Though with an increasing number of lists which use Irr Foot as a core unit, I think that argument holds less water than before.

I will compare them to some equivalent medium foot units. just some examples and some numbers.

Irr Foot (as they are now called) cost 30 points, are average medium foot,come in ~480 man battalions but the only PoA capability they have is the Light Spear keyword which gives +100 PoA on Impact against a broad range of opponents in most circumstances.

In comparison, there is an entire category of units spread out among different army lists with different names which are essentially clones of Italian Foot. They cost 6 more points (36 total) and that gains them the swordsman keyword which grants +100 PoA in sustained melee against most opponents unless its steady spears in which case its +50 PoA. All other factors are the same.

50 PoA is a lot......This is not a limited thing like Generals providing 50 PoA to a small number of units. Units with even PoAs and modifiers have a around ~14/72/14 w/d/l odds table. 50 PoA advantage typically swings it to something like 30/65/5. An Spear unit tangling with Italian Foot is a massive 6-1 favourite to win, even if it might take a few turns to get there. All for 6 more points.

Another threshold to consider is the 100 PoA/50 PoA and the 100 PoA/0 PoA comparison since this is what happens when Irr Foot has to tangle with something like Thureophoroi (42 points) compared to say Italian foot. At 100 PoA, the disadvantage is massive. Around 49/50/1 w/d/l in this case while Italian foot fight around the same 30/65/5 ratios which gives them at least the chance to hold on for multiple turns while the rest of the army can do their jobs.

While severely limited in terms of availability in that only Romans, Carthaginians and Spanish lists get access to them, 12 points also gets you something like Spanish Scutarii which carries with it the devastating Impact Foot keyword and they still get to keep their swordsmen trait.

In short, an extra 6 points or 20 percent in points buys you a very decent unit which can be used to contest rough terrain and in a pinch can serve as a reasonable speed bump against even heavy foot in the open. An extra 12 points or 40 percent buys you the fantastic Thureophoroi or its clone equivalent which is on my list of best pound for pound (or in this case point for point) unit in the game. Or it can get you Scutarii which are essentially terminators in Impact combat and still get swordsmen as a backup keyword if they don't break their opponents on the charge.

I think I can safely say I don't toss out imbalance claims lightly given my stance on Warbands and Pikes previously. I work hard to make sure if a unit isn't working out, I make sure that its not me being an idiot first rather than just assuming its a game issue. But as of right now whether it is intended or not, army lists that use Irr. Foot as a core army unit is unplayable vs a wide range of opponents. This is doubly so for a list like the Ligurians who have no other toys to work with other than skirmishing javelins and a small contingent of Superior Armored Cav to work with. (To RBS atleast with Armenians you get Cataphracts and a light horse and mass bowmen to help).

If we isolate the Irr. Foot itself, its hard to say that the unit is anything except severely overcosted. Even when I play armies with severely limited options for rough terrain, I rarely take Irr Foot.

Re: Irregular Foot vs. Raw Hoplites

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:58 am
by w_michael
Ligurians are an especially challenging army list with only three unit types.

Re: Irregular Foot vs. Raw Hoplites

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:13 am
by MikeC_81
Re: Irr Foot costing 25 points.

I would much rather see them do something unique with Irr Foot and give them keywords or abilities to justify the 30 points rather than try to just make them cheap enough till its fair. I doubt anyone wants to fight with or against hordes of Irr Foot where a player is just sending waves of men while trying to flank with what they have extra.

RBS as said that he doesn't want to go down the road of homogenizing units and that is a stance I can agree with.

If we don't want to turn Ligurians or any Irr Foot heavy list into Zombie hordes there needs to be something that they can give Irr Foot to make them unique and playable. Off the top of my head something like limited evasion or maybe a propensity to break off from close combat like cavalry currently does would be of massive help. It will allow them greater opportunity to repeatedly use their Impact combat table rather than just doing praying for a good Impact resolution and disrupt their opponent. It would also avoid homogenization and provide the player with a unique unit that isn't total trash and would potentially be very useful as a halfway unit between light foot and standard infantry of the line with a totally unreliable flavour to it.

Another option would be to make them like heavier javelin units which have the option to to fire missiles one square out. Maybe even a combination of those two things where they can toss javelins but also break off combat frequently. It would be unique enough that it wouldn't just be some super light foot unit and it definitely wouldn't be viable as an infantry unit of the line since its propensity to break off melee fighting would make it impossible to hold positions.

Re: Irregular Foot vs. Raw Hoplites

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:13 am
by rbodleyscott
We are considering various options, these included,

Re: Irregular Foot vs. Raw Hoplites

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:53 am
by Cumandante
MikeC_81 wrote:If we don't want to turn Ligurians or any Irr Foot heavy list into Zombie hordes there needs to be something that they can give Irr Foot to make them unique and playable. Off the top of my head something like limited evasion or maybe a propensity to break off from close combat like cavalry currently does would be of massive help. It will allow them greater opportunity to repeatedly use their Impact combat table rather than just doing praying for a good Impact resolution and disrupt their opponent. It would also avoid homogenization and provide the player with a unique unit that isn't total trash and would potentially be very useful as a halfway unit between light foot and standard infantry of the line with a totally unreliable flavour to it.
A nice suggestion! Being more slippery makes sense considering their equipment, and would also help their chances of survival.

Re: Irregular Foot vs. Raw Hoplites

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:47 am
by rbodleyscott
Cumandante wrote:
MikeC_81 wrote:If we don't want to turn Ligurians or any Irr Foot heavy list into Zombie hordes there needs to be something that they can give Irr Foot to make them unique and playable. Off the top of my head something like limited evasion or maybe a propensity to break off from close combat like cavalry currently does would be of massive help. It will allow them greater opportunity to repeatedly use their Impact combat table rather than just doing praying for a good Impact resolution and disrupt their opponent. It would also avoid homogenization and provide the player with a unique unit that isn't total trash and would potentially be very useful as a halfway unit between light foot and standard infantry of the line with a totally unreliable flavour to it.
A nice suggestion! Being more slippery makes sense considering their equipment, and would also help their chances of survival.
It would work to their advantage against many enemies, but to their disadvantage vs Impact Foot. (Not by much I guess - the relative POAs would be the same, but their would be an extra -1 CT modifier for losing impact phase vs impact foot)

Re: Irregular Foot vs. Raw Hoplites

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:26 pm
by Cumandante
rbodleyscott wrote:
Cumandante wrote:
MikeC_81 wrote:If we don't want to turn Ligurians or any Irr Foot heavy list into Zombie hordes there needs to be something that they can give Irr Foot to make them unique and playable. Off the top of my head something like limited evasion or maybe a propensity to break off from close combat like cavalry currently does would be of massive help. It will allow them greater opportunity to repeatedly use their Impact combat table rather than just doing praying for a good Impact resolution and disrupt their opponent. It would also avoid homogenization and provide the player with a unique unit that isn't total trash and would potentially be very useful as a halfway unit between light foot and standard infantry of the line with a totally unreliable flavour to it.
A nice suggestion! Being more slippery makes sense considering their equipment, and would also help their chances of survival.
It would work to their advantage against many enemies, but to their disadvantage vs Impact Foot. (Not by much I guess - the relative POAs would be the same, but their would be an extra -1 CT modifier for losing impact phase vs impact foot)
Does evading count as losing impact combat?

Re: Irregular Foot vs. Raw Hoplites

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:17 pm
by TheGrayMouser
It would be odd to have a troop type that is basically a step up from a mob be able to do all kinds of acrobatics regular drilled and sometimes even "elite" troops cannot. What , some herdsman armed with a fire hardened stick and or a nice rock , after being conscripted by King blabla can pull back from close combat when Alexander's hypaspists cannot?

I like the idea of them perhaps getting some missle capability, 20% javelins or something?
Or you could make them "fast warriors"( assuming the are unprotected, not sure...) with the ability to move three grids per turn.

Re: Irregular Foot vs. Raw Hoplites

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:27 pm
by rbodleyscott
Cumandante wrote:Does evading count as losing impact combat?
They aren't going to be allowed to evade. (Been there, done that, and saw the damage it did to WRG 7th edition rules)