Roman v Barbarian Foot - Combat Factors

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rich
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Roman v Barbarian Foot - Combat Factors

Post by rich » Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:14 am

Weight of Numbers

Romans fighting on ++ makes it hard for Barbarian foot
to win in a straight fight when the Barbarians have larger numbers but no overlaps.

I believe Romans deserve armour and the skilled sword factor.

Barbarian foot get no benefit from weight of numbers when they have no overlaps.


Barbarian weight of numbers in a straight fight
Could Barbarians with 3 or 4 ranks either:

1) Have a (+) factor for the 3rd and 4th rank against Roman foot.
- Three ranks of Barbarian foot could give them (+)
- Four ranks of Barbarian foot could give them (++)
So Barbarian weight of numbers evens the factors.

2) Roll combat dice for the 3rd rank vs the Romans 2 ranks combat dice.
But I know BG usually fight with first two ranks only.


Romans with Support
If both the Roman foot and Barbarian foot have equal 3 or 4 ranks
then Barbarian foot gets no benefit and the Romans fight with (++) factors.

----------------------------------

Maybe this has been discussed already.

Rich

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Post by lawrenceg » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:28 am

It has been discussed.

The conclusion was that skilled sword has an extra points cost over normal sword which is based on the average of:

It is very good against barbarian foot (and other Romans)
It is absolutely useless against most other things.

Therefore if you play equal points, the barbarian foot will not have enough numbers to compensate.

The solution is to give the barbarians more points than the Romans when you set up your battle (for a fun game).

In a tournament, the skilled sword Romans have an easy ride versus barbarian foot opponents, but struggle against other types of opponent that are not affected by skilled sword.
Lawrence Greaves

rich
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Post by rich » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:41 am

Thought it would have been discussed, but there doesn’t seem an answer yet.

-----

Still think its tuff on a 10 base BG of Barbarian foot in 2 files 5 ranks deep
fighting a 4 base BG of Romans 2 ranks deep. No benefit for numbers.

There must be an answer rather then taking away the skilled sword factors of the Romans,
or messing with army points.

Pike get a 3rd and 4th rank bonus, but I know their weapons are longer.

Anyway thanks.
Hopefully something willl come up to fix it.

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Post by stenic » Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:09 pm

Why would you be in 5 ranks deep? Considering Hits per Base and only first 3 ranks count then chances are you are going take hits, test and suffer badly. Surely you'd be at most 3 deep; front 2 ranks with 4 files and the 3rd rank with two spare bases to feed in. Now you get more dice and are less likey to suffer a hits per base penalty.

Steve P

rich
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Post by rich » Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:42 pm

I agree to maximise the hits per bases for a BG you are encouraged
to spread out into more files.

If the fight is in a line of Barbarian BG’s against a line of Roman BG’s
it just gives the Romans more dice to hit the same Barbarian BG at (++) if it deploys thinly. I don’t know the percentages but the Romans surely still have the big advantage.

Chances are the Barbarians will out number the Roman line and overlap the ends of the last BG’s in the line. But also chances are the Romans will win in the centre.

The Barbarians don’t seem to gain much by spreading out thinly against Roman foot unless they get overlaps. And they don’t gain anything by being deep except by replacing deaths, but surely they will frag or break before deaths get important.

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Post by stecal » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:05 pm

stenic wrote:Why would you be in 5 ranks deep? Considering Hits per Base and only first 3 ranks count then chances are you are going take hits, test and suffer badly. Surely you'd be at most 3 deep; front 2 ranks with 4 files and the 3rd rank with two spare bases to feed in. Now you get more dice and are less likey to suffer a hits per base penalty.

Steve P
problem with 4 wide is that 8 roman dice on 3+ with rerolls will usually score 6 hits = autokill of Barbarian base. 4-5 combat rounds of this and the Barbarians autobreak if they haven't already due to CTs. Meanwhile the Barabarians usually score maybe 2-3 hits on 5+. There is also the threat of 11+ vs any barbarian general in everyone of those losing combats -- eventually they get him, causing more checks.

Take away the +2 for death rolls for the winner and the barbarians could attrit away the Roman line bit by bit.

and there are no of those imaginary "overlaps" in single unit vs unit combats. Even the most braindead Roman player will keep a continuous line across his front of Legionaries and Auxilla BGs.
Clear the battlefield and let me see
All the profit from our victory.

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Post by ShrubMiK » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:02 pm

The problem is very simply stated: skilled swordsman is too much. The fact that these troops are superior, which is not that common amongst infantry, already reflects their perceived greater ability. Add in armour and that seems like plenty big enough of an edge in the fight to me.

It also seems a bit odd to have two levels of sword ability, but only one for all other weapons (unless you count knightly lance).

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Post by mbsparta » Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:27 am

Nik suggested changing Roman Legionaries to swordsmen at -1 point. This has worked very well for us.

Mike B

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Post by expendablecinc » Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:46 am

ShrubMiK wrote:The problem is very simply stated: skilled swordsman is too much. The fact that these troops are superior, which is not that common amongst infantry, already reflects their perceived greater ability. Add in armour and that seems like plenty big enough of an edge in the fight to me.

It also seems a bit odd to have two levels of sword ability, but only one for all other weapons (unless you count knightly lance).
I agree. "Skilled" is already built into the "Superior" category so there is a double counting of the effect of prowess. Either make them average or make them swordsmen.

BTW:

I fought the mid republican starter army with a spartan (persian wars) starter army and didnt lose an attrition point despite a pretty much straight up fight of OffSpear VS Impact Foot. Is this expected outcome? I initially thought I'd have to try and win elsewhere - thinking the romans much tougher.

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Post by rich » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:41 am

Roman BG’s of 4 bases probably works in the Roman favour as well as the skilled sword and superior. They get it all.

I can see the reasoning behind reducing Romans strength by taking away the skilled sword. Personally I like the variation it adds to the game and I like to see Romans strong.

Only in my preference I would prefer to see Roman foot opponents given the chance to match the Roman factors in certain situation, rather then diluting the Romans.

Rich

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Post by Polkovnik » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:48 pm

How about a + POA in melee for having 3 (or maybe 4) ranks of any steady foot troops (not including LF), if the net POAs are otherwise negative. So it would work like a sort of mitigating factor POA.

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Post by JEFFEDBOB » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:03 pm

The real problem is very few people play a realistic roman army, with a few exceptions no roman army was made up entirely of superior
legions. Average protected impact foot swordsmen have a chance against average armored swordsmen, almost none against superior
armored skilled swordsmen. Add to the mix the flexibility of drilled four stand units and the romans will win. I have played 12 solo games
between my romans and my early germans at 800 points, the germans won twice. I think the problem is more in the lists than the troop types. Julius Caesar did have a rock hard army of all superior legions for a short time, no one else did in my opinion.

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Post by ethan » Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:17 pm

Make the death roll modifier for winning (and shooting?) based on unit size (and have it adjust as units get attrited away).

Something like

BGs of <= 4 +1
<=8 +2
<=12 +3

rich
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Post by rich » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:26 am

JEFFEDBOB wrote:The real problem is very few people play a realistic roman army, with a few exceptions no roman army was made up entirely of superior
legions. Average protected impact foot swordsmen have a chance against average armored swordsmen, almost none against superior
armored skilled swordsmen. Add to the mix the flexibility of drilled four stand units and the romans will win. I have played 12 solo games
between my romans and my early germans at 800 points, the germans won twice. I think the problem is more in the lists than the troop types. Julius Caesar did have a rock hard army of all superior legions for a short time, no one else did in my opinion.
Yeah maybe reducing the percentage of skilled sword a lot in an army rather then banning them totally in a comp is the way. Kind of think banning SSw will make Romans a bit bland.

Changing the combat factors of their opponents is hassle and maybe too much of a change to the way the game works.

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Post by Strategos69 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:28 pm

Polkovnik wrote:How about a + POA in melee for having 3 (or maybe 4) ranks of any steady foot troops (not including LF), if the net POAs are otherwise negative. So it would work like a sort of mitigating factor POA.
I think that is a good idea. I would state 4 ranks instead of 3 so that it is a risky option (being forced to test more easily) but this way we could depict on the battlefield some tactis that were historically put in place, as reinforcing the Theban phalanx in Leuctra or doubling the depth in Cannae. Moreover, the mass attack can work if you manage to break through the enemy (as the Cimbri and Teutones did before Maruis came to office, or in Leuctra) but if you don't this tactic can turn into a carnage (as in Aquae Sextiae, Vercellae or Cannae)

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Post by hazelbark » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:39 pm

Another minor option would be to allow barbarian foot to interpentrate itself, so wave attacks can be worth trying.

Right now between the frontal power of the romans and the penalties for a BG breaking, the barbarian has to try and outflank the romans. Also hard with undrilled vs drilled.

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Post by paulburton » Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:11 pm

I have experimented with wave attacks with Ancient Spanish (front line undrilled, second drilled in 4s). Insufficient attrition to work.

It might be worth trying 3 (or maybe even 4) waves with the first 2 or 3 lines in a single rank of 12 stand BGs to minimize the effect of losing them - only 1 rank counts at impact and is at evens. So just forget the melee and since you are likely to autobreak being MF is not really a disadvantage. Either have proper HF or small drilled units in the last wave. An IC is pretty much a must once you are expecting broken units.

I haven't tried this yet but 4 ranks of protected impact sword costs about the same as 2 ranks of legionaries.

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Post by Legionbuilder » Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:52 pm

Historicaly from what I know about - Romans were tough in a formed legion face to face with the enemy - they enemies who whooped them - hit them another way. I like the way my romans fight face to face. I have had some games of Romans vs Romans - TOUGH - but fun

I like the rules BUT I field Romans

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Post by timmy1 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:15 pm

Dan

Are you proposing hermaphodrite (sp?) Gauls 'Another minor option would be to allow barbarian foot to interpentrate itself'?

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Post by Mehrunes » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:03 pm

paulburton wrote:I have experimented with wave attacks with Ancient Spanish (front line undrilled, second drilled in 4s). Insufficient attrition to work.

It might be worth trying 3 (or maybe even 4) waves with the first 2 or 3 lines in a single rank of 12 stand BGs to minimize the effect of losing them - only 1 rank counts at impact and is at evens. So just forget the melee and since you are likely to autobreak being MF is not really a disadvantage. Either have proper HF or small drilled units in the last wave. An IC is pretty much a must once you are expecting broken units.

I haven't tried this yet but 4 ranks of protected impact sword costs about the same as 2 ranks of legionaries.
You know your first broken wave will most likely disrupt all what is behind them?

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