Defensive Spearmen, what are they good for???

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carlos
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Post by carlos » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:13 pm

Oops, meant 2 dice at 4+ and 1 at 5+, 6+ if armoured spearmen. I still fancy the chances of the spearmen on the overall battle though.

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Re: Defensive Spearmen, what are they good for???

Post by ravenflight » Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:35 pm

philqw78 wrote:I do feel defensive spear are hard done to at impact against those with no impact POA's.
Phil, I agree with you. I think that Defensive Spearmen should count as no POA if charging shock or Elephants, but count as offensive spearmen if charging non shock or being charged.

I believe it would be simple and would be more realistic.

Hell! As it stands, they can't even charge javelin armed mounted without being at a disadvantage (I think), which may be correct in some circumstances (some who are rated as Defensive Spearmen may not be able to as they are only just above being 'mob') but not in all (such as Minoans, Sumerians? or Ghurids). By this I mean that there are some troops in the list who are Defensive Spear who are perhaps not good enough to be called that, and others who are Defensive Spear who were actually more aggressive.

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Post by timmy1 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:26 am

Dave

Your quote 'But I thought FOG was supposed to be less luck-dependant than DBM? Not in my experience it isn't...' perhaps has missed the point about how the luck works.

In another game system every single dice roll can be key, a 6-1 eaither way can win or lose a game if the players are willing to run the odds. The very best players win by having a plan that minimises the risk around a single 6-1 going bad. I suspect that the McNeils were very good at that when at their very best.

In FoG, no single combat is decided by one roll of the dice. Even if it is just a BG of 4 LH shooting there are usually at least 4 dice rolled. By having many more dice rolls per interaction, poor luck averages out statistically (unless you are Hammy). I think that this is how the game is less luck dependent. However if a player wants to play the game in a way that does not work with the designers philosophy, then it can seem that the game is more luck dependent. Yes some armies are less good under FoG than under other rules, partly I suspect deliberate in attempting to get more different armies on the table (and the IWF and Britcon seem to be getting some of the less well used armies on the table) and partly because the designers have decided that only that different aspects of history are key to the simulation.

I too am playing more DBM than FoGAM currently. However most of my gaming time is with FoGR which I am really excited about - despite owning more DBR armies than DBM, I have not played DBR this past 50 weeks. I am hoping that FoGR will help me become more excited about FoGAM.

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Re: Defensive Spearmen, what are they good for???

Post by Ghaznavid » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:42 am

ravenflight wrote:
philqw78 wrote:I do feel defensive spear are hard done to at impact against those with no impact POA's.
Phil, I agree with you. I think that Defensive Spearmen should count as no POA if charging shock or Elephants, but count as offensive spearmen if charging non shock or being charged.

I believe it would be simple and would be more realistic.

Hell! As it stands, they can't even charge javelin armed mounted without being at a disadvantage (I think), which may be correct in some circumstances (some who are rated as Defensive Spearmen may not be able to as they are only just above being 'mob') but not in all (such as Minoans, Sumerians? or Ghurids). By this I mean that there are some troops in the list who are Defensive Spear who are perhaps not good enough to be called that, and others who are Defensive Spear who were actually more aggressive.
I don't think there are many examples of defensive spears actually meeting, much less charging light spear armed Cavalry. At any rate if the spears in question were 'more aggressive' as you put it they shouldn't be defensive spears. I think Def. Spears are fine as is. If you allow them to charge to many other troops (mostly of the type one actually wants to charge) you just created Off. Spears that are cheaper and won't ever charge against orders. Sounds pretty unbalanced to me.
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Re: Defensive Spearmen, what are they good for???

Post by Scrumpy » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:45 am

ravenflight wrote:
philqw78 wrote:I do feel defensive spear are hard done to at impact against those with no impact POA's.
Phil, I agree with you. I think that Defensive Spearmen should count as no POA if charging shock or Elephants, but count as offensive spearmen if charging non shock or being charged.

I believe it would be simple and would be more realistic.

Hell! As it stands, they can't even charge javelin armed mounted without being at a disadvantage (I think), which may be correct in some circumstances (some who are rated as Defensive Spearmen may not be able to as they are only just above being 'mob') but not in all (such as Minoans, Sumerians? or Ghurids). By this I mean that there are some troops in the list who are Defensive Spear who are perhaps not good enough to be called that, and others who are Defensive Spear who were actually more aggressive.
Yup, why should ds stand there and be shot down by bowmen ? Ah well no doubt the authors have a good reason for their decisions.

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Re: Defensive Spearmen, what are they good for???

Post by ethan » Sun Oct 04, 2009 3:27 pm

Scrumpy wrote: Yup, why should ds stand there and be shot down by bowmen ? Ah well no doubt the authors have a good reason for their decisions.
They probably wouldn't just stand there, they would charge. They just aren't very good at it...

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Def spear do need a little more

Post by eldiablito » Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:16 pm

I have to agree. Def spear need a little more than they currently have. Would it be THAT bad if the get a + to any foot that has no other advantage? Medium and light foot archers and peltasts become vulnerable to def spear? Yet archers on a hill could become very scary for the def spear.

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Re: Def spear do need a little more

Post by philqw78 » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:23 pm

eldiablito wrote:Yet archers on a hill could become very scary for the def spear.
Instead of the "Oh my God we're going to die" that they are now?
phil
putting the arg into argumentative

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Re: Defensive Spearmen, what are they good for???

Post by ravenflight » Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:37 pm

Ghaznavid wrote:I don't think there are many examples of defensive spears actually meeting, much less charging light spear armed Cavalry.
Remembering 'defensive spear' is a created category for a games system that creates ahistorical opponents. Sure, as RBS has said multiple times the rules have been created for primarily historical matchups, but even in then it is an artificial mechanism to be able to categorise troops accordingly. I don't know nearly enough about the near east, but aren't most Islamic Arabic infantry 'defensive spear'? Aren't most cavalry 'bow' or 'light spear' armed?
Ghaznavid wrote:At any rate if the spears in question were 'more aggressive' as you put it they shouldn't be defensive spears. I think Def. Spears are fine as is.
Yes, I'm really not much into changing the rules, and got drawn into something that I really don't care that much about. I own a Ghurid army and I'm quite excited by Defensive Spear Minoans, but I also see problems with them where things don't appear to be 'as I would expect'.

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Post by hammy » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:54 pm

IMO defensiev spear have their place. The army I used at Derby to good effect this weekend had a BG of defensive spear and I haev to say that the fact they were defensive spear was actually a big plus. Not being shock troops means you can use them in a different way to offensive spear. You don't need to be as careful with them as you do with the offensive types. Put them in the right place and your opponent will have to attack them.

That said I think that giving them a tie break POA when charging like mounted light spear would not be a bad thing.

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Post by Lycanthropic » Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:59 pm

I run a VERY fun Ordonnance Burgundian army with mixed ordonnance BGs of Def Sp front rank & Longbow back rank.
This list really is 'fun', I love the choice of generals.
IMHO Def Sp is awesome. I charged with them once to save another BG - they fragged at impact and broke in melee, causing the BG they were 'saving' to rout.
So I stopped charging....and started to survive. And when I say survive I really mean talk about hairy combats!
I've also experimented with MF Def Sp, these guys get slaughtered unless they are uphill behind fortifications with a tail wind...at night.
Now armoured Def Sp would be sweet, maybe with some MF crossbow in the rear rank...........where's my Swords & Scim...RICHARD!!!!!!

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Post by ethan » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:14 pm

hammy wrote:That said I think that giving them a tie break POA when charging like mounted light spear would not be a bad thing.
I might also give that to troops with "Swordsmen" and no other melee/impact factors.

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Post by hammy » Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:31 am

ethan wrote:
hammy wrote:That said I think that giving them a tie break POA when charging like mounted light spear would not be a bad thing.
I might also give that to troops with "Swordsmen" and no other melee/impact factors.
Possibly but my Santa Hooey Doh Dah sword and buckler men are plenty good enough anyway :D

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Post by Scrumpy » Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:15 am

Sadly the Indian swordsmen are not in the same league. :(

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Post by lawrenceg » Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:53 am

Lycanthropic wrote:I run a VERY fun Ordonnance Burgundian army with mixed ordonnance BGs of Def Sp front rank & Longbow back rank.
These guys are more vulnerable than pure bow BGs to defensive spear charging .
Lawrence Greaves

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Post by madaxeman » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:24 am

lawrenceg wrote:
Lycanthropic wrote:I run a VERY fun Ordonnance Burgundian army with mixed ordonnance BGs of Def Sp front rank & Longbow back rank.
These guys are more vulnerable than pure bow BGs to defensive spear charging .
That seems perfectly reasonable and sensible. :wink:
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Re: Defensive Spearmen, what are they good for???

Post by grahambriggs » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:37 am

davem wrote:Played my Minoans vs Christian Nubians. Advanced my spearblocks towards his Bw and survived the delude of shooting fairly well. (Whats with CN being superior bow anyway???)
Charged into the Bw and was then surprised to get broken by them in HtH??? WTF???
My opponent, Ray "The Helmet", nice chap as he is, then explained that Def Sp were rubbish and were little use at all and that few people took FOG armies fielding significant numbers of these troops.
That may be so in FOG as a game mechanism, but I'm supposed to accept that a formed body of men with partial armour and shields can get beaten in HtH by unprotected archers with no HtH weapon other than bare hands and daggers??
This for me was one more nail in the coffin of a game that promised so much but has failed to deliver.
Amusingly, one the very next table my opponent was fuming that my Akkadian defensive protected spears took out his flank BGs (armoured lancers and proper english Longbows). Yes, the impact is scary but if you get to melee unscathed there's only one result.

The great thing about defensive spear if that they're a point cheaper than offensive (it adds up; to 48 points in my army). They're also much better house trained - they'll just do what you tell them. I think they're spot on in value.

Yes, they don't like charging the enemy, which is a pain if the enemy is shooting at you. But get stuck in with 16 bases 6 wide, generals and rear support and they'll do the job.

FoG is a very different game to DBM in terms of decisions. They have to be made earlier in FoG to have an effect. Also the combat zone decisions are different.

In fact my opponent and I remarked upon it in that very game. I had some bad luck in the centre which became a large hole, about a DBM command's worth. In DBM I'd have started back pedalling and doing the single element shuffle. In FoG that doesn't work so we had to charge along the line to try and make something happen. In went Sharru-kin at the head of his retinue spearmen: dead BG of men at arms plus dead general. Then dead BG of Longbows and their general. Then dead Northern border foot. Eat copper!

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Post by pyrrhus » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:16 pm

(
That said I think that giving them a tie break POA when charging like mounted light spear would not be a bad thing
.) yet another reason not to take LS heavy cav when they cost the same as lancers ,yes they can evade great .They already suck at impact and are ok at melee .Wait they must be the deffensive spear of the cavalry world . :lol: some how the points seem off for these guys with no way to disrupt the enemy (on their own ) to warrent a charge . sorry my own rant

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Post by philqw78 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:23 pm

pyrrhus wrote:(
That said I think that giving them a tie break POA when charging like mounted light spear would not be a bad thing
.) yet another reason not to take LS heavy cav when they cost the same as lancers ,yes they can evade great .They already suck at impact and are ok at melee .Wait they must be the deffensive spear of the cavalry world . :lol: some how the points seem off for these guys with no way to disrupt the enemy (on their own ) to warrent a charge . sorry my own rant
They are great against MF Off and def Sp, foot Hvy Wpn, foot with no impact POA, Def Sp in Single rank, MF lt Sp, mounted bow sw cav, Bow LCh, Mtd with no impact POA, etc. In fact better than lancers against some of these.
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Post by hammy » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:52 pm

pyrrhus wrote:(
That said I think that giving them a tie break POA when charging like mounted light spear would not be a bad thing
.) yet another reason not to take LS heavy cav when they cost the same as lancers ,yes they can evade great .They already suck at impact and are ok at melee .Wait they must be the deffensive spear of the cavalry world . :lol: some how the points seem off for these guys with no way to disrupt the enemy (on their own ) to warrent a charge . sorry my own rant
How about we try a game, both armies have say 6 BGs of light horse bow, a few BGs of LF and 5 BGs of superior armoured cavalry. My cavalry are light spear, yours are lancers.

My money is on the light spear every day of the week.

I won't be charging you frontally mind :twisted:

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