Skythian Composition

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dave_r
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Skythian Composition

Post by dave_r » Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:34 am

I was just wondering if anybody had used Cavalry as purely skirmishers rather than light horse. I have used Skythian in the past fairly effectively, but they have the option to take the majority of the mounted (Undrilled, unprotected, bow, swordsmen) as either Light Horse or Cavalry. I have always used Light Horse in the past, but Cavalry can obviously cover much more table with the same points and same effect.

They would always be in a single line and would be used purely as skirmishers. I am thinking about going for a mix - so that the Light Horse are on the flanks and the Cavalry are facing the enemy Heavy Foot. The downside is that Cavalry can't move backwards unless they evade.

Has anybody tried this? I think it would be interesting to see how much the reduced manoever affects the army, as opposed to the extra hitting power against skirmishers and wider frontage.

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Post by hammy » Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:47 am

One of the Scotts played an all cavalry bow sword army at Britcon. I think it was Hunter but may be wrong. In the end I recall that he decided he needed a few BG of LH rather than all cavalry. If anything I would work the army with LH in the centre and cavalry on the flanks.....

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Post by dave_r » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:12 pm

I seem to remember that was Pecheneg. I think they are better than I am, so have a significantly smaller frontage. I will think about putting the Cavalry on the flanks, but my first thoughts are that it would be a bad idea on the basis:

- Heavy foot really struggle to catch cavalry - Heavy Foot are likely to be in the middle so they aren't "skirmished" out of the game.
- My Light Horse with the swordsmen capability are excellent skirmisher deterrents
- Light horse are much more likely to catch other skirmishers than Cavalry if they evade
- Light horse are faster and as such can re-deploy from the wing much quicker

I do plan on taking a mixture of LH and Cav, current guess is five BG's of Cavalry and four BG's of Light Horse

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Post by davidandlynda » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:43 pm

I took a mixture with the Bosporans at Usk,2 of each,I quite liked the concentration of fire they gave although occasionally maneovering was tricky being undrilled ,I don't think we lost them all weekend
David

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Post by nikgaukroger » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:48 pm

I don't think I'd go all cavalry for an army that wants to skirmish a lot, although a couple of BGs of cavalry can certainly add weight to the skirmish line.

One reason is that unlike proper LH when Cv evade they cannot just turn round and move back to shooting distance as they cannot make a 180 turn and do an advance in the same move. Thus you end up with a lot less shooting than you would with LH.

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Post by dave_r » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:18 pm

The point regarding being unable to turn 180 degrees and return to firing range is a good one. I guess you would have to hope that the pursuer remains within 4" so that you can simply turn and fire and still be within range. I presume Cavalry can turn 180 degrees without a test?

I was thinking about the following:

IC (80)
2 x TC (70)
2 x 4 Cavalry, Superior, Armoured, Lancer, Sword (128)
3 x 4 Cavalry, Average, Unprotected, Bow, Sword (120)
5 x 4 Light Horse, Average, Unprotected, Bow, Sword (200)
Greek Ally TC (25)
3 x 8 Average, Protected, Offensive Spearmen (168)

13 BG's (791) everything is undrilled :(

It hurts that I have to "give away" nine points, but I can't find any viable alternatives :( 6 Javelinmen cost 12 or 18 points (poor or average) to complement the Greeks, but that puts my 3 or 9 over. I could make one of the Spearmen BG's drilled, but that would inevitably mean I choose the wrong one to make drilled and end up wishing I had put it somewhere else ...

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Post by nikgaukroger » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:59 pm

dave_r wrote:
The point regarding being unable to turn 180 degrees and return to firing range is a good one.

Learnt the hard way :shock:

dave_r wrote:
I guess you would have to hope that the pursuer remains within 4" so that you can simply turn and fire and still be within range. I presume Cavalry can turn 180 degrees without a test?
Yes they can.

pretty boy wrote:

I was thinking about the following:

IC (80)
2 x TC (70)
2 x 4 Cavalry, Superior, Armoured, Lancer, Sword (128)
3 x 4 Cavalry, Average, Unprotected, Bow, Sword (120)
5 x 4 Light Horse, Average, Unprotected, Bow, Sword (200)
Greek Ally TC (25)
3 x 8 Average, Protected, Offensive Spearmen (168)

13 BG's (791) everything is undrilled :(

It hurts that I have to "give away" nine points, but I can't find any viable alternatives :( 6 Javelinmen cost 12 or 18 points (poor or average) to complement the Greeks, but that puts my 3 or 9 over. I could make one of the Spearmen BG's drilled, but that would inevitably mean I choose the wrong one to make drilled and end up wishing I had put it somewhere else ...
I'd consider dropping a BG of the unprotetced cavalry and making 2 of the LH into 6 base BGs. IMO if you are all 4 base BGs and get into a shooting match they can be a touch vulnerbale at times and so a mix is better. Could just be my odd view though.

I'd use the points to get the drilled spearmen as well - just resist temptation to deploy it away from the other two BGs :D

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Post by dave_r » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:20 pm

I'd consider dropping a BG of the unprotetced cavalry and making 2 of the LH into 6 base BGs. IMO if you are all 4 base BGs and get into a shooting match they can be a touch vulnerbale at times and so a mix is better. Could just be my odd view though.
This is actually something I have tested extensively. My opinion is that if you want to fight with the LH then sixes are a must, if you want to shoot then fours are significantly better. Reasons:

- BG's of four LH have a frontage of two, normally it is only possible to get two hits, therefore they can't lose a base and you have to get both hits to force a CT
- BG's of six still have to take a test when receiving two hits, just not at a minus, but are much more likely to be forced to test
- BG's of four when charged can really drag the enemy about as they are much more manoeverable
- More potential to get around the sides and behind the enemy, which normally means the enemy begin to resemble a pin cushion
- When charging skirmishers you are more likely to get one of the BG's to catch him, cos you throw more Variable Dice Rolls

Of course, when you fail every CT because of the -1 for HP2B then you will indeed be correct :wink:
I'd use the points to get the drilled spearmen as well - just resist temptation to deploy it away from the other two BGs
If I deploy them Left, Middle and Right - as one Battle Line then you would obviously make the drilled one on the left or right. I can guarantee I will choose the wrong one....

Of course this is the first go, I may even post a match report after Monday's game against the Later Carthos.

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Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:30 pm

dave_r wrote:
I'd consider dropping a BG of the unprotetced cavalry and making 2 of the LH into 6 base BGs. IMO if you are all 4 base BGs and get into a shooting match they can be a touch vulnerbale at times and so a mix is better. Could just be my odd view though.
This is actually something I have tested extensively. My opinion is that if you want to fight with the LH then sixes are a must, if you want to shoot then fours are significantly better. Reasons:

- BG's of four LH have a frontage of two, normally it is only possible to get two hits, therefore they can't lose a base and you have to get both hits to force a CT
- BG's of six still have to take a test when receiving two hits, just not at a minus, but are much more likely to be forced to test
- BG's of four when charged can really drag the enemy about as they are much more manoeverable
- More potential to get around the sides and behind the enemy, which normally means the enemy begin to resemble a pin cushion
- When charging skirmishers you are more likely to get one of the BG's to catch him, cos you throw more Variable Dice Rolls
I agree with Dave, LH in 4s always.

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Post by Kineas1 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:37 pm

I had very good success last weekend using Armoured Cav in a single rank--not as Skirmishers, but as skirmisher killers. I haven't played enough to learn fine points, but I still like 6s of LH--take up more room when you put them in one rank 9as a delay flank, for instance, against non-shooting opponents like Seleucids) and in 3 ranks, they're hard to shoot up. (2 wide and 3 deep).
4 base is so fragile...

So I have a lot to learn...

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