Later Seleucid 900 points

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Zephyr40k
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Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Zephyr40k » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:54 pm

Hello,

I'm preparing a Later Seleucid army for an upcoming FoG A/M tournament. I'm fairly new to FoG but not to miniatures gaming in general. Here is my proposed army list for your review and critique, with comments:

900 points max

Leadership: 4x TC. Trying to get the most bang for the buck. From what I read the Seleucids get along all right without ICs.

Cataphracts: 12 bases (max allowed), deployed in 2x2 BGs. The 'hammer' portion of my hammer-and-anvil strategy.

Phalanx: 32 bases (max allowed), deployed in 4 BGs of 8, 2x4 configuration. The "anvil" of my hammer-and-anvil strategy.

Imitation Legionaires: 4 bases, deployed 2x2. Shock infantry I'll try to deploy at the enemy line's weakest point. Ideally alongside elephants

Elephants: 4 (max allowed). Deployed in 2 BGs of 2. The classic 'glass cannon.' Break a hole in the line that the Legionairres or Cataphracts can exploit.

Skirmishers: 12 bases Poor LF slingers, 6 bases poor LF archers, deployed in BGs 3x2. They'll screen the phalanx, act as a speed bump, and try to tempt enemy shock troops to charge uncontrollably out of formation.

Light horse: 4 bases Skythian cavalry. Purpose is mainly to scare off enemy LF skirmishers and light chariots. Secondary purpose is to pursue broken enemy.

Thoraktikai: 4 bases
Thueroporoi: 6 bases
These last two are to give rear support, hold flanks, intercept anyone who tries to charge the phalanx in the flank, or hold terrain, depending on the situation.


So there you have it. What I'm going for is a fairly standard hammer-and-tongs ancient army. Something that will work fairly well across a wide variety of situations without too many obvious drawbacks. I'm trying to resist the temptation to throw in a little bit of everything the Seleucids have to offer - that's what drew my interest in the first place, their "Swiss army knife" list.

What do you folks think?

Zephyr40k
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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Zephyr40k » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:50 pm

Well, it's only a couple of hours and I'm already second-guessing myself. :) So now I'm thinking of dropping one BG of elephants and downgrading the Cataphracts to Average. That way I can add a second unit of LH (5x Tarantine Cav) and a full 8-base BG of silve shields. That'll allow me to have LH on each flank, and a total frontage of 40cm of pikes.

I'm further tempted to drop the LH down to Poor and maybe shave a BG down here and there to free up some points to add some Galatian cavalry. But that might be spreading myself too thin.

paullongmore
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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by paullongmore » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:10 am

IMHO

If you are having 12 Cats they should be in 3x4 not 2x6. However, the effectiveness of Cats is dependant on whether the Tournament is themed. They are really good in a themed tournament but if its open they are likely to be ridden down by knights. cats to average would be a mistake.

As to your second thoughts you can't have 5 Tarentines (BGs are even numbers (apart from 9), presume you mean 4)

The 8-base BG of silver shields is a good idea. i tend to have all 16.

The Galatian cavalry are best ignored.

The thorakatoi are quality and I would be tempted to have all 6 as they allow you to contest terrain.

:lol:

ravenflight
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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by ravenflight » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:19 am

I'd consider 3 bg's of 10 Phalanx. 12'a and 8's IMHO have no resiliance to casualties. 10's remain as strong as 8's after losing 2 bases.

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by babyshark » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:53 pm

I would strongly consider running the Cats in 3 BGs of 4 bases each, rather than 2 BGs of 6 bases. That will let you get best use out of the maneuverability of drilled troops. One thing for sure is that you should not downgrade the Cats to average. Double extra sure if you want them to be your strike force. Cats are pretty reasonable troops for most applications; being heavily armored they are resistant to shooting and get a POA advantage in melee against most opponents. If this is an open event, rather than themed, you should be careful not let them fight heavily armored KN. That's what you have pikes to do.

An important consideration when running any of the Successor armies is that, while they are deadly powerful to the front, they have a tendency to be on the narrow side. Think through how to deal with an opponent doing an on-table flank march by screening your pikes and running around one side of your army. Poor LF and limited numbers of LH will be hard pressed to drive off enemy skirmishers, and are potential victims in a serious skirmish fight.

Hope that helps,

Marc

Zephyr40k
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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Zephyr40k » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:55 am

Thanks everyone for the feedback so far. A few clarifications:
- Yes, I am planning on deploying the cataphracts in groups of 4. Hence the "2x2" designation.
- Turns out I only have enough pike models for 3 battle groups of standard pike and 1 BG of agrypsid pike (in groups of 8, 2x4 config of course). So I'm going with that, not gonna go buy more pike.
- I realized I can either have thoratikai OR thueroporoi, not both. There's a listing under Optional troops for poor 'civil militia' thueroporoi but I'm thinking poor Offensive Spear is not a good idea.

So here's my first attempt at a graphic representation of what the army's 'default' configuration will look like on the table.

Image

This is of course subject to modification depending on terrain and the enemy's disposition.

The main problem I see here is that I basically have no second line. If the thoratikai are off contesting terrain that leaves only the cataphracts to do the plug holes /guard flanks / exploit breakthroughs role. Do you people see this as a major problem?

I suppose I could dump one of the front-line BGs and use the points for a couple of second-tier BGs, like thracians or galatians, to give rear support and cover the flanks.

Scruff
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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Scruff » Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:29 am

First thoughts, a single unit of Cats wont do much with out some back up, I would swap the reserve cats with the Ele, use them as a reserve so if anyone opens some sort of hole, the Ele are a hard hitting punch into some units that are prob dropped down to at least disrupted. remember Ele also disorder your mounted so wont be an effective backup to the cat unit.

I would also be tempted to swap the supr pike to other end of line as that's where the enemy will prob go for as its the "weak" end ...

The lack of 2nd line will always be a prob for Seleucid's as the troops are pretty expensive.

What do you think

cheers

ps. That's a pretty cool graphic :)

Zephyr40k
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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Zephyr40k » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:53 am

Yeah the layout presumes my strategy will be to hold the left and smash the right, that's why I put all the heavy hitters over there. I'd like to concentrate force as much as possible on the smallest part of the enemy line. Of course I could just flip left and right on deployment, depending on how the terrain looks and if I think the enemy is deploying that way. I'll put the light horse and slingers down first.

Yes I forgot elephants disorder all horses nearby, and the cataphracts might need to go in as an overlap. Guess I should swap the imitation legion with the elephants. Or if I stick the elephants in back as the reserve force, that takes care of that. Using elephants as the reserve is a weird idea but I'll think about it. Thing is, I've seen other Seleucid players get as lot of mileage out of deploying the Imitations and the Elephants together. They compliment each other well; their strengths compensate for the other's weaknesses.

Thanks on the graphic... it's just a quickie Powerpoint presentation.

ravenflight
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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by ravenflight » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:15 am

If you run Elephants between your cataphracts then you will not be threatened as badly by knights. The elephants will not disorder your own cats (well, they WILL but it wont affect the dice).

Running the Cats in a bigger group to be the sledgehammer is better than two tackhammers. If you lead with the hammer on one flank, echeclon the pikes back and slow the enemy advance on the other flank then it will take a long time for the enemy to threaten the refused flank, especially if you can anchor it with some terrain with Thorakitai. They will be as hard as nails.

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by ravenflight » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:17 am

Scruff wrote:remember Ele also disorder your mounted so wont be an effective backup to the cat unit.
Not really. You'll be disordered, but without any effect (except morale I admit). You lose 1 dice per 3 out of 2 dice - in other words nothing.

Scruff
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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Scruff » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:02 am

Thanks Raven, I'm still getting to grips with the rules and mentioned with out checking, I was confused with sever disorder which is 1 per 2 :(

But yes since its only 1 per 3, the running the ele with the cats is not a bad idea lol

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by mbsparta » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:19 pm

The optimum size of pike BGs is an interesting discussion. I started playing with 8 stand BGs ... but that limits dice to "4" per combat. 10 stand BGs, while a little more resiliant, still only offer 4 dice assuming a 2x5 set up. 12 figure BGs offer 6 dice in combat but can suffer was the bases are lost. I am now leaning towrds 12 stand BGs particularly for Seleucids (who most often fight Romans in our games). I continue to believe that, in the long run, more dice are better than avoiding POA losses.

I am curious what the rest of you Successors do.

Mike B

Zephyr40k
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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Zephyr40k » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:01 pm

Now I am a bit confused, both regarding the Cataphracts and Pike.

A 2x2 unit of cataphracts gets 4 dice in impact (2 for each front rank base) and 4 dice in melee (1 for each base in first 2 ranks). So if it's disordered and loses 1 dice per 3, then the cat goes from 4 to 3 dice. So that is a significant impact.

Or do you mean that only one file of the cataphracts would be within the elephants' "aura of disorder?" Hmm.. that is an interesting technicality. I had been presuming the 1dp3 loss would apply to both files.

Now re: the pike BG size: when mbsparta says "12 figure BG", are you proposing a 6-deep formation? Or 3x4?

For, say, 24 bases, I suppose you're wondering if it's best to deploy them in (a) 3 BGs of 2x4, (b) 2 BGs of 3x4, or (c) go crazy and have 5-deep BGs, so you can do 2 BGs in 2x5, but what then of the other 4 bases. OK, I think I'm getting the issue here. It's maneuverability vs. resiliency.

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by kevinj » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:32 pm

that is an interesting technicality. I had been presuming the 1dp3 loss would apply to both files.
The rules were actually designed that way. It means there's no need to create extra rules for "familiarity with elephants".

ravenflight
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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by ravenflight » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:59 am

Zephyr40k wrote:A 2x2 unit of cataphracts gets 4 dice in impact (2 for each front rank base) and 4 dice in melee (1 for each base in first 2 ranks). So if it's disordered and loses 1 dice per 3, then the cat goes from 4 to 3 dice. So that is a significant impact.
Ok, if this is your formation:

ABEECD
ABXXCD

Where AB and CD are cataphracts and EE is elepants, well:

ONLY file B and C are disordered... A & D are perfectly fine.

AB get 4 dice. 2 from A and 2 from B. B loses 1:3. 1:3 of 2 = 0. Therefore B loses noting. Base A is not within 1 base width (cannot possibly be) of the elephants so will not lose anything. The same is true of C&D.

Now, the mythical knights that will be attacking you can ALSO get away with 'being disordered but not losing anything' if they attack ONLY the Cataphracts AB, but in doing so they will lose any advantage of overlap as they will overlap on one side, but you will overlap with the elephants on the other.

It will be YOUR job to maneuver the block in such a way that they will limit the ability of knights to do exactly this. Remembering that knights are impetuous so will charge anyway - so it isn't hard, but your lack of maneuverability will not make it easy either. Your cataphracts are drilled so can wheel without any problem, so chuck a general with the elephants and they can wheel as well. Be aware, that the flaw with this plan is that your cataphracts are impetuous but your elephants are not, so you can end up with an embarrassing situation of your cataphracts being double overlapped by everything if they go without the elephants. You'll have to make sure that everything is able to be charged by the elephants at the same time as the cataphracts.

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by ethan » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:26 am

ravenflight wrote: Remembering that knights are impetuous so will charge anyway - so it isn't hard, but your lack of maneuverability will not make it easy either.
Troops will not make impetuous charges if they would contact elephants...

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by ravenflight » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:24 pm

ethan wrote:
ravenflight wrote: Remembering that knights are impetuous so will charge anyway - so it isn't hard, but your lack of maneuverability will not make it easy either.
Troops will not make impetuous charges if they would contact elephants...

Yes, but on the wargames table things aren't always cut and dried. You can angle things.

Zephyr40k
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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Zephyr40k » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:24 am

OK, this is the latest version of my army list.

Image

Pumped out 2 of the phalanxes to 10 to be able to absorb some casualties. Replaced the imitation legionaires with the superior pike. Added 2 to the Thoratikai to max it out. Maxed out my limited LH options.

The most controversial change (I would think) is upgrading 2 of my leaders to FCs. The reason is that I want to form battlelines and double-move them up to box in the enemy before they can do an end-run. So I'll have one Battle-line of 4 pike groups (3 phalanx and 1 agrypsid) and one "assault" Battle-line consisting of the Elephants and 2 or even all 3 Cataphract BGs. The other TC leaders will take charge of a skirmish screen (2 BGs of bow/sling) and the light horse (2 BGs, one of Skythians and 1 of Tarantines). This way I have potentially 12 BGs all double-moving forward from the start.

But it hurts to have to spend the extra 30 points, only to get the larger-battleline bonus. Any other bonuses to FCs? I guess I could send my "hammer" battle-line on an outflanking march. Outflanking elephants? Who would have expected that. :)

Anyways. What do you folks think?

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by Zephyr40k » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:48 am

As for deployment diagrams, here is the latest:

Version 2a I call "Hedging my Bets."

Image

I have effective "hammer" and "anvil" battle-lines but I also retain a degree of tactical flexibility by having some uncommitted units. A problem would be having the double-moving units overrun the ones without leaders driving them forward.

Version 2b I call "All In:"

Image

This way I have the maximum number of units double-moving forward from the first turn. This will (in theory) keep the opponent off guard and having to react to my movement, ideally boxing them in their deployment zone by staying in their face. The bad news is I'm almost completely vulnerable to a flank march or anything that manages to slip out of the box.

What do you think?

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Re: Later Seleucid 900 points

Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:18 am

Having used the Seleucids at Burton, we felt afterwards that we would have been better fielding the Thorakitai as HF. (Who needs to go in terrain - we never did in 4 games).

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