Later Seleucid 900 points

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grahambriggs
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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by grahambriggs » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:52 am

Agree that a single unit of MF is not much use. Since your 6 will need to ba at least 2 deep to be effective, it'll be too small a unit to successfully contest terrain (which will be four elements wide at least.

In terms of the deployment, your plan is less than 20 elements wide. What do you plan to do regarding the other 26 element widths on a standard 6 foot table? If the answer is "nothing" then you risk being outmanouvered. You might think about that as a role for your light troops.

The light horse will have a tendency to get in the way of the other mounted, which can have unpleasant consequences. Perhaps deploy to the side. I'm not a fan of pike in 10s but that is a matter of taste. Yes they are resilient but to my mind they cost too much. If they are in there though, put the average 8 in the centre of the line, not the end. The end is where you get overlapped and lose bases.

I don't have a problem with using FCs. They have a lot of advantages. Though I think 2 + 2 TCs is overkill. Flank marching with one is an option - though your battle troops are too slow to do it really. You could do it with a unit of skirmishers perhaps. It does mean there's a 6MU flank zone where the enemy will worry about being made to flee away when you arrive. That can help make that area a no go zone and effectively narrow the table for a while.

Other FC benefits are if CiC +1 on initiative - you'll probably lose anyway though. Move 4 BGs of course is very handy. the 8MU command range is good later on when play breaks up and BGs get scattered.

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by ShrubMiK » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:11 pm

I would always have something that can contest terrain (note: in my view "contest" does not mean "expect to win in"!)

Otherwise you may have a bit of a headache trying to attack a line of enemy outside of terrain, but with terrain on one (or both) flanks and projecting forward from the line, and have to accept either fighting against overlaps or worse (if the terrain projects forward far enough, you'll have to worry about advancing past something that can charge you in the flank).

You can try to pin whatever is in the terrain frontally, but again if the terrain is deep enough that may mean you have to actually enter the terrain to do so.

Conclusion: I like MF!

Even if I end up committing the MF against superior numbers I hope they will contest the terrain for long enough that my other troops can get the job done outside.

If on the defensive, I'll usually have a bit of terrain somewhere that a BG or two of MF can hide in. Even if it is way off to one side, the enemy has to worry about them coming out at an opportune moment to do some mischief if nothing is committed to cover them.

If it's too open, or the enemy has too many or better terrain-capable troops...keep the MF in reserve, use them for rear support, emergency gap filling, or marching out to one side when it becomes clear where the scary enemy troops are being committed.

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Zephyr40k » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:13 pm

Thanks to everyone for all your feedback so far. Here are my thoughts, for what they are worth (perhaps a few cents :) ):
grahambriggs wrote:Agree that a single unit of MF is not much use. Since your 6 will need to ba at least 2 deep to be effective, it'll be too small a unit to successfully contest terrain (which will be four elements wide at least.
I lean towards ShrubMK's opinion that an element of MF is useful if only as a deterrent; that is, even if the MF can't actually win a rough-terrain fight, at least it prevents the opponent from using terrain with impunity.

Of course, until the rubber meets the road I'm just talking out of my ear. Maybe I will go HF.

I'm also thinking MF Thoratikai would be an excellent unit to use in an abmush, if there's a suitable terrain element available.

My issue with this tournament format is that, having to submit your armylist a week in advance, you also have to commit to whether each BG is MF or HF when you mail your list in. It would be convenient to be able to first see each table's final terrain setup before deciding the MF/HF option (as a real commander would do), but oh well.
grahambriggs wrote: In terms of the deployment, your plan is less than 20 elements wide. What do you plan to do regarding the other 26 element widths on a standard 6 foot table? If the answer is "nothing" then you risk being outmanouvered. You might think about that as a role for your light troops.
Yes, that is a very legitimate question and I have put some thought into it. My plan would depend on the enemy army's composition.

If it's a 'conventional' army (dense core of HF or knights, skirmish screen, and some outrider elements to do the flanking with), my best option might be to push forward and try to come to grips with the enemy army before his outflankers can roll up my flank. Use any BGs uncommitted to battle-lines to deter or hold off the on-table outflankers. Also use terrain and the Thoratikai as available to anchor one line. Also, as you suggest, use a trivial off-table outflanking force to effectively 'shrink the table width' for a while, hopefully until the pike are in contact.

If it's a steppe-style army, consisting mostly of LH or Cav, then I'll need to do something more radical. I suppose I could deploy thin, putting the pike 2-deep and the cataphracts 1-deep. Then put the lighter elements farther out to the side. That would effectively double the width of my army, and then I can attempt a massive army-wide wheel to 'shut the door' on the enemy and fight across the short width of the table.

Once again, until I actually do this on the table, i suppose I couild be just talking out of my other ear. Time to do some drilling.
grahambriggs wrote: The light horse will have a tendency to get in the way of the other mounted, which can have unpleasant consequences.
Well I was figuring the LH would have a commander and could double-move 14 MU per turn compared to the cataphracts' double-moving 8 MU. That should open plenty of clearance between the two. Or do you mean once the LH have to evade heavier enemy elements? Hm yes, that could cause trouble for the heavy mounted. OK, off to the side they go.
grahambriggs wrote:Perhaps deploy to the side. I'm not a fan of pike in 10s but that is a matter of taste. Yes they are resilient but to my mind they cost too much. If they are in there though, put the average 8 in the centre of the line, not the end. The end is where you get overlapped and lose bases.
So you bring up another good point that I was thinking might be part of my 'crafty secret plan.' Set up the 8-block of pike at the end of the line as a lure, tempting the enemy to try for a flank charge on it while setting up an uncommitted cataphract BG to guard that flank and intercept whoever comes along to take the bait.

Or I could keep all the pike 5-deep and use the extra 24 points to buy another BG of LF skirmishers. I'll have to see if I have the models for that.
grahambriggs wrote:I don't have a problem with using FCs. They have a lot of advantages. Though I think 2 + 2 TCs is overkill. Flank marching with one is an option - though your battle troops are too slow to do it really. You could do it with a unit of skirmishers perhaps. It does mean there's a 6MU flank zone where the enemy will worry about being made to flee away when you arrive. That can help make that area a no go zone and effectively narrow the table for a while.

Other FC benefits are if CiC +1 on initiative - you'll probably lose anyway though. Move 4 BGs of course is very handy. the 8MU command range is good later on when play breaks up and BGs get scattered.
If I go with a flank charge with a FC, I'll need 2 FCs, right? Since the flank-marching commander can't be your CinC, and your other commanders can't outrank your CinC, I believe I read that somewhere?

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Vespasian28 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:19 pm

If I go with a flank charge with a FC, I'll need 2 FCs, right? Since the flank-marching commander can't be your CinC, and your other commanders can't outrank your CinC, I believe I read that somewhere?
Correct that the CinC cannot flank march.
However your other commanders can "outrank" the CinC. History is littered with generals who were far better commanders than their nominal CinC's.

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by babyshark » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:52 pm

Zephyr40k wrote:
grahambriggs wrote: The light horse will have a tendency to get in the way of the other mounted, which can have unpleasant consequences.
Well I was figuring the LH would have a commander and could double-move 14 MU per turn compared to the cataphracts' double-moving 8 MU. That should open plenty of clearance between the two. Or do you mean once the LH have to evade heavier enemy elements? Hm yes, that could cause trouble for the heavy mounted. OK, off to the side they go.
The LH evading is exactly the problem. A crafty opponent will work to force the LH to evade through the Cats, disrupting them before they get to fight. Or, at the least, forcing you to do a lot of extra maneuvering, delaying your hammer blow.
Zephyr40k wrote:
grahambriggs wrote:Perhaps deploy to the side. I'm not a fan of pike in 10s but that is a matter of taste. Yes they are resilient but to my mind they cost too much. If they are in there though, put the average 8 in the centre of the line, not the end. The end is where you get overlapped and lose bases.
So you bring up another good point that I was thinking might be part of my 'crafty secret plan.' Set up the 8-block of pike at the end of the line as a lure, tempting the enemy to try for a flank charge on it while setting up an uncommitted cataphract BG to guard that flank and intercept whoever comes along to take the bait.
Pikes are not there for crafty plans. 8) Pikes are there to get stuck in and start bludgeoning the enemy (or to force the enemy to react to their presence). Put the 10s on the ends of the line.

Marc

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:56 am

Zephyr40k wrote:Thanks to everyone for all your feedback so far. Here are my thoughts, for what they are worth (perhaps a few cents :) ):
grahambriggs wrote:Agree that a single unit of MF is not much use. Since your 6 will need to ba at least 2 deep to be effective, it'll be too small a unit to successfully contest terrain (which will be four elements wide at least.
I lean towards ShrubMK's opinion that an element of MF is useful if only as a deterrent; that is, even if the MF can't actually win a rough-terrain fight, at least it prevents the opponent from using terrain with impunity.
Not really. A BG that loses is 2 attrition points towards your defeat. What sort of deterrent is that? Sounds more like a target to me.

Also note that Roman-style Argyraspids are not bad in terrain - so put them on the end of the line facing the terrain and that will keep the enemy in the terrain honest, without having to go in and risk defeat. Except that you appear to have dumped them.

Our theory was that if we had to contest terrain, we could attack it with the MF thorakitai and the Imitation Legionaries. In practice this did not happen in 4 games. It might one day, but in the meantime, HF thorakitai would have been more useful. (As a reserve BG behind the phalanx, giving the phalanx rear support meantime. We had 2 x 12 pikemen, so 6 thorakitai could support them nicely.)

I would, incidentally, also recommend BGs of 12 pikemen. 2 BGs of 12 were noticeably more resilient on several occasions than if we had had 3 BGs of 8. Also you get more bang-for-your-buck when you put a general in the front rank.

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by hazelbark » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:12 pm

rbodleyscott wrote: I would, incidentally, also recommend BGs of 12 pikemen. 2 BGs of 12 were noticeably more resilient on several occasions than if we had had 3 BGs of 8. Also you get more bang-for-your-buck when you put a general in the front rank.
I think this is more true in V2 than it was in v1.

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Fluffy » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:20 pm

I agree, no MF, I used to play with 2 BG (tracians).
I found the MF in this army are either too good to be allowed to take terrain (get skirmished or avoided) and achieve nothing but wasting points or they are too few and end up dying and costing you a flank, which you should have left alone.
Note MF is not as important in FoG as they used to be back in DBM, I have had my HF swordsmen (I run 2 BG's of 4 legionares) do a better job in rough.

Run the 2 BG's of LH together, 1 BG can be routed in a LH fight by the whim of fate and quickly enough to leave a problem LH.

Keep in mind that pike can be a hammer too and cats can take plenty of shots from skirmishy cavalry types and/or scare a mounted wing (esp. with elephants).
Also just one BG of cats hanging around should keep MF hiding, if you really need to keep enemy MF off your flank.

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by ravenflight » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:47 am

Hi.

Army list is good.

Just keep in mind you probably want the bigger pike blocks on the outside. You don't get MUCH (any) risk of a casualty from shooting when you're in the middel of a block of that size, but the flanks may be at a bit of a risk... So why put them in the middle?

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Zephyr40k » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:51 pm

Here's the army I eventually took to the tournament:

Unit Type Type "#
bases" "Unit
Price" Subtotal Notes
Cataphract Alpha Cataphract 4 20 80 Superior
Thoratikai Medium Foot 6 10 60 Superior
Phalanx Delta Heavy Foot 8 6 48 Superior
Phalanx Alpha Heavy Foot 12 6 72
Phalanx Beta Heavy Foot 12 6 72
Agrypsyd Phalanx Heavy Foot 8 8 64
Imitation Legions Heavy Foot 4 14 56
Archers Light Foot 6 5 30 Average
Slingers Light Foot 6 4 24 Average
Cretan Archers Light Foot 6 6 36
Skythians Light Horse 4 10 40
Tarantines Light Horse 6 7 42
Elephants Elephant 2 25 50
Elephants Elephant 2 25 50
Troop commander Commander 1 50 50
Field Commander Commander 1 35 35
Field Commander Commander 1 35 35
Field Commander Commander 1 35 35

So seeing as this was my first tournament, and only having less than a handful of games under my belt, and going up against some of the best players in the world, I decided to keep my goals modest: I wanted to not come in last. And I achieved that goal... just barely.

Comments on the final armylist:
Cataphracts: based on advice I got, I brought the minimum one BG of cataphrtacts. The consensus was that Cats are never a good idea in an open competition as they can't really compete with knights. In this tournament, the one BG of cats did fairly well for the most part, only once getting totally skunked because I failed 3 CMTs in a row for the elephants that were blocking their escape, so they got pinned and surrounded and taken apart.

Thoratikai: I have to say it went about like how Fluffy said. The one BG of MF thoratikai simply wasn't enough to make a difference. Even when I combined them with the Cretans and they worked together, they were only marginally effective. In one infamous game vs. dominate romans, he sent 2 BG of MF (4 bases each) into a village after my Thoratikai and Cretans. I figured it was an even fight but they completely rolled my troops, dominated the village, and went on to dictate the tempo of the rest of the battle.

Cretans: I tried to have them work with the Thoratikai to hold flank terrain, but honestly they were more effective when paired with a BG of elephants to keep mounted away. They did fair-to-middling in every game except one, in which they actually broke a BG of armored crossbow cavalry over several turns. Of course, the elephants next to them helped, I'm sure.

Pike: the pike did all right when I was able to bring them to bear and get them into the battle. size-8 blocks are far more maneuverable, and when I had to collapse a wing to deny a flank the 8-pikes were far more up to the task than the 12's. The 12's were more resistant to shooting but the enemy still managed to turn the flank often enough to put paid to my plans, usually.

Elephants: These did pretty well as long as I made the CMTs and death rolls. In one infamous game I had both BG of eles together, they got shot, and I rolled a 1 for both BG's death roll... poof 100 points of elephants evaporated all at once. that was pretty awful. But otherwise they worked pretty well, dominating wherever I deployed them and setting the pace of the confrontation there.

Skirmishers: While good in theory, they didn't work out as well as I had hoped. I was planning on using them to harass enemy line troops and pull them out of formation, but most people had an IC and rear support so they were pretty resistant to forced charges. Secondary purpose was to try and get some Disruptions in via shooting but they just couldn't generate enough dice to do that (especially vs. an IC).

Light Horse: A couple of times I managed to use them well to harass and delay an enemy flank long enough to get my line troops where I wanted them; one time they died horribly when I rolled really low on the VMT and he rolled really high. Most of the time, though, they ran around flanks, did a little bit of harassment, and then wound up getting chased off the table.

So, based on feedback and results, I think I'll be converting this army to a Early Successor (Seleucid) army. That way I can get 3 BGs of elephants and more pike, and can drop the cataphracts entirely. Though the thought of painting up another 12 bases of pike makes me cringe.... erg. Maybe I'll paint some Egyptians first.

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Robert241167 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:14 pm

Hi there.

Can I just check where you mentioned that both BG's of elephants failed the death roll from shooting that you added +3 to their death roll?

Both side by side would hopefully not take more than 3 shots if in the right place.

Rob

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Zephyr40k » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:19 pm

Yup, even with the +3 I failed. Rolled two 1's for the two units' death rolls, one right after the other. He got in enough shots from different directions, managed to hit with every die rolled. It was an epic collapse of that flank.

And as for that "if in the right place" thing... yeah well I may not have positioned them as well as I should have. I took a chance he couldn't get enough hits on them to kill them, and well, there ya go.

It was a civil war fight, me vs. another Later Seleucid player. In return I managed to wipe out his Imitation Legions later with a similarly obscene turn of the dice.

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Robert241167 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:27 pm

Thanks for clarifying.

Generally when you least want your opponent to roll a handfull of hits he/she will upset you by achieving the feat.

In past games I've stopped trusting to fate when leaving disrupted skirmishers near shooters. Best to move them back fully out of range range than trusting the dice gods.

My armoured auxilia used to hate going into column. Every time they did it my opponent would get the one hit needed and they would disrupt. They would then fail the test to charge a flank that had been perfectly set up. :twisted:

Rob

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by philqw78 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:22 pm

Robert241167 wrote:.....My armoured auxilia used to hate going into column. Every time they did it my opponent would get the one hit needed and they would disrupt. They would then fail the test to charge a flank that had been perfectly set up...........
If you weren't such a cheesy player this wouldn't have been set up in the first place so serves you right. I bet they were kinked as well

:wink:
phil
putting the arg into argumentative

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Robert241167 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:28 pm

Nah, they were justy kinky Auxilia Phil...................... :oops:

Only in V1 too, V2 may have put a stop to it due to the kinked column.

Rob

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by petedalby » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:58 pm

In one infamous game vs. dominate romans, he sent 2 BG of MF (4 bases each) into a village after my Thoratikai and Cretans.
Dominate Romans can no longer field Aux in 4's? Or were they something else?
but most people had an IC and rear support
Just to clarify - rear support helps with Cohesion Tests (CTs) but not Complex Move Tests (CMTs) - and it's a CMT to avoid shock troops charging.
Pete

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by philqw78 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:06 pm

petedalby wrote:
In one infamous game vs. dominate romans, he sent 2 BG of MF (4 bases each) into a village after my Thoratikai and Cretans.
Dominate Romans can no longer field Aux in 4's? Or were they something else?

Auxilia Sagitarii,

also the amendment in the rules now means that Dominate LF JLS can no longer be fielded as the max is 4 but the minimum is 6.
phil
putting the arg into argumentative

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Fluffy » Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:53 pm

If you want to go mass pike then early Successor is likely better.

If you don't want more pike go for "combined arms" which means: stick to later Seleucid, drop some pike (3 BG or less, I run 1 BG of 12), take a second BG of manouverable legionares and more mounted.

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by muz177 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:58 am

What about going for Later Macedonian for superior pikes?
Muz

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