A more decisive Impact phase.

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Strategos69
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Post by Strategos69 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:18 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
But that would misrepresent the frontage of the legion, because although the maniples are 8 ranks deep, they have maniple size gaps between them. So if you represent the hastati and principes as separate BGs, they should only be 1 base deep to represent the correct frontage including the gaps as well as the maniples.

Hence the original play-test model.
Maybe in this regard we have a different approach and that is why I was not getting your point. Some historians think that legions fought with espaces (as wide as the maniples themselves) between the maniples whereas others think that the posterior centuria advanced to close the gaps and form a solid line. The second one fits the description I put from Livy for the triarii and personally that sounds more convincing to me.

In fact I was rather thinking about combat lines than maniples. Whether we take one or another there is a bottom line: the triarii could close the front for the whole legion and I assume they did by halving the depth of the ranks if we believe Livy when he says that they formed a single compact line. Right now in FoG the frontage of the combined hastati and principes cannot be covered by the triarii and you have to use tricky geometry to support the units. If all your legions flee, you have to calculate how to position all your triarii, scattered all over, to cover the retreat of your army.

In the other hand, if you try to depict combat lines (triplex acies) by a legion of 2x2 (velites) 2x2 (hastati) 2x2 (principes) 2x1 (triarii), the geometry not only fits perfectly, but you solve the problem of the frontage. In the other hand, if you believe that legions had those gaps and thus you group hastati and principes, in order to be consistent you have to double the depth of the BG's. If we assume that prior and posterior centuries fought as a compact body with gaps among maniples, thus your BG have to represent 4 centuries deep. That would meand that the BG's should be 1x4 and 1x4. What happens right now in FoG is that hastati and principes are placed side by side and that is why triarii are mouving around in the vacuum trying to fill gaps in column.

In the other hand I think that interpenetrations for triarii and at least Marian and Early Imperial legions should be allowed. I can't see reasons against that.

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Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:57 pm

Strategos69 wrote:Maybe in this regard we have a different approach and that is why I was not getting your point. Some historians think that legions fought with espaces (as wide as the maniples themselves) between the maniples whereas others think that the posterior centuria advanced to close the gaps and form a solid line. The second one fits the description I put from Livy for the triarii and personally that sounds more convincing to me.
To me too. But surely then the resulting solid line would be 4 ranks (1 base) deep, wouldn't it?

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Post by Rekila » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:41 pm

philqw78 wrote:
Rekila wrote:In general I agree to that, but it left open the question of interpenetrating the triarii. In practice we have solved it with: “If you stop bothering with those triarii I promise to look the other way when you bypass them” :lol:
But the triarii can be bypassed when in rout. If they are a 2 base BG supporting 2 x 4 base Hatsati/prineps BG the routers can shift upto 1 base width. Therefore missing them entirely.
Yes in general, but not always, as for example if two adjacent BG broke at the same time. You must always be careful where your triarii are placed to give support and at the same time left the necessary space to allow for that 1 base shift, a thing not always easy. For me an unnecessary complication that slow play and is historically inaccurate. I agree that Hastati/principles BGs represent various maniples so the change of lines happen inside them, but as the maniples of triarii form independent BG they should be allowed to interpenetrate with hastati/principes. Things will be different if the triarii were included in the hastati/principles BGs.

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Post by Strategos69 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:46 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Strategos69 wrote:Maybe in this regard we have a different approach and that is why I was not getting your point. Some historians think that legions fought with espaces (as wide as the maniples themselves) between the maniples whereas others think that the posterior centuria advanced to close the gaps and form a solid line. The second one fits the description I put from Livy for the triarii and personally that sounds more convincing to me.
To me too. But surely then the resulting solid line would be 4 ranks (1 base) deep, wouldn't it?
It depends on the geometry of the centuria. If they were each 15 (wide) by 4 (deep), then you are right. If they were 10 by 6, that gives something that could be considered two bases deep. If they were 8 by 8 (sixty plus subofficers), then they are 2 bases deep only for the hastati. The problem if they were 15 by 4 is that triarii should be 15 by 2, which gives a non valid depth for a defensive phalanx. I will try to take a look and have more informed opinion about this.

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Post by philqw78 » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:53 pm

Strategos69 wrote:It depends on the geometry of the centuria. If they were each 15 (wide) by 4 (deep), then you are right. If they were 10 by 6, that gives something that could be considered two bases deep. If they were 8 by 8 (sixty plus subofficers), then they are 2 bases deep only for the hastati. The problem if they were 15 by 4 is that triarii should be 15 by 2, which gives a non valid depth for a defensive phalanx. I will try to take a look and have more informed opinion about this.
Does any of this minutia really matter, what matters is getting the feel and result as representative as possible on the table.
phil
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Post by nikgaukroger » Wed Jan 05, 2011 10:12 pm

philqw78 wrote:
Strategos69 wrote:It depends on the geometry of the centuria. If they were each 15 (wide) by 4 (deep), then you are right. If they were 10 by 6, that gives something that could be considered two bases deep. If they were 8 by 8 (sixty plus subofficers), then they are 2 bases deep only for the hastati. The problem if they were 15 by 4 is that triarii should be 15 by 2, which gives a non valid depth for a defensive phalanx. I will try to take a look and have more informed opinion about this.
Does any of this minutia really matter, what matters is getting the feel and result as representative as possible on the table.
Not in FoG - in other games yes, but not this one.
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Strategos69
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Post by Strategos69 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:19 pm

philqw78 wrote:
Strategos69 wrote:It depends on the geometry of the centuria. If they were each 15 (wide) by 4 (deep), then you are right. If they were 10 by 6, that gives something that could be considered two bases deep. If they were 8 by 8 (sixty plus subofficers), then they are 2 bases deep only for the hastati. The problem if they were 15 by 4 is that triarii should be 15 by 2, which gives a non valid depth for a defensive phalanx. I will try to take a look and have more informed opinion about this.
Does any of this minutia really matter, what matters is getting the feel and result as representative as possible on the table.
I agree that the important thing would be getting the overall impression and that is why I think that a 2 by 2 (hastati), 2 by 2 (principes) and 2 by 1 (triarii) legion allowing interpenetrations gives you a better taste of how the legions worked (the same for Marian Romans). I think that the key component of legions was that, being able to change lines, they could bring in fresh troops while minimizing the casualties.

In the other hand, if you like history, you love minutiae like this.

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Post by footslogger » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:06 pm

Strategos69 wrote:
philqw78 wrote:
Strategos69 wrote:It depends on the geometry of the centuria. If they were each 15 (wide) by 4 (deep), then you are right. If they were 10 by 6, that gives something that could be considered two bases deep. If they were 8 by 8 (sixty plus subofficers), then they are 2 bases deep only for the hastati. The problem if they were 15 by 4 is that triarii should be 15 by 2, which gives a non valid depth for a defensive phalanx. I will try to take a look and have more informed opinion about this.
Does any of this minutia really matter, what matters is getting the feel and result as representative as possible on the table.
I agree that the important thing would be getting the overall impression and that is why I think that a 2 by 2 (hastati), 2 by 2 (principes) and 2 by 1 (triarii) legion allowing interpenetrations gives you a better taste of how the legions worked (the same for Marian Romans). I think that the key component of legions was that, being able to change lines, they could bring in fresh troops while minimizing the casualties.

In the other hand, if you like history, you love minutiae like this.
I love minutiae like this. Just not in this game. The abstraction here is different.

If one really wants to model this kind of minutiae, it seems a different mechanism with a different representational scale is needed. And mainly focussed on rome and her enemies, rather than sumerians to swiss.

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Post by Strategos69 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:12 pm

footslogger wrote:
Strategos69 wrote:
philqw78 wrote:Does any of this minutia really matter, what matters is getting the feel and result as representative as possible on the table.
I agree that the important thing would be getting the overall impression and that is why I think that a 2 by 2 (hastati), 2 by 2 (principes) and 2 by 1 (triarii) legion allowing interpenetrations gives you a better taste of how the legions worked (the same for Marian Romans). I think that the key component of legions was that, being able to change lines, they could bring in fresh troops while minimizing the casualties.

In the other hand, if you like history, you love minutiae like this.
I love minutiae like this. Just not in this game. The abstraction here is different.

If one really wants to model this kind of minutiae, it seems a different mechanism with a different representational scale is needed. And mainly focussed on rome and her enemies, rather than sumerians to swiss.
The problem here is the geometry. And it might look like a minutia but if you want to represent a historical battle you don't have triarii enough to cover your whole line of hastati/principes and then that is not a minutia. And if you want your triarii to cover your hastati/principes, you have to play geometry to avoid routing troops and again you do not manage to cover your whole front. Interpenetrations as the rules allow: simple and easy and you can even have the triple acies. In my opinion, the scope of entire lines is not so detailed one and responds what we read on the sources. And the same happens for Caesar legionaries, by the way.

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Post by philqw78 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:48 pm

Strategos69 wrote:The problem here is the geometry. And it might look like a minutia but if you want to represent a historical battle you don't have triarii enough to cover your whole line of hastati/principes and then that is not a minutia.
Yes you do have enough. How often have you actually played this game? I have explained this before in this thread. Put the Triarii between the join in the BG of Hastati, Princeps. There is exactly the right number. The H&P will not be burst through as routers shift 1 base width or drop 1 file. Giving Triarii the unnecessary ability to interpenetrate will just lead to unhistorical tactics. The Triarii will immediately be pushed to the front once any lancer cavalry threaten and then the H&P will move back through once the pikes/IF come forwards.

Will I have to explain this again?
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Post by philqw78 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:49 pm

In fact the mid Republic list is designed so that you must take exactly the right amount of Triarii for support to ALL H&P.
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Post by Strategos69 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:44 am

We do know that the front of the triarii was the same as the front of the hastati and principes, but the depth was the half. Hastati and principes are deployed in FoG as a 4 by 2 block. Their triarii are in a block of 2 by 1. They simply don't cover the whole front, that is what I said. And that is wrong from a historical point of view, because we do know that the trarii formed a compact block to cover the retrat of the whole army. You are thinking in terms of legions and I am thinking in terms of lines. That means that in order to FoG to be historically accurate, all your triarii BG's shouls be able to deploy as a whole line after the hastati and principes. As the geometry fitted, the aspect of the last line would be a continuous line when ready to fight and in FoG that is not the aspect. We don't need millions of games to realize that. And when in game, you have to move any of your triarii one by one. Sometimes you need a ruler to play so that you line up them properly.

You are right that you can use them in columns and place them in between BG to get the rear support. That is not what I was saying. What I said is that the last line of the triarii should look like a line, not a Swiss chesse when covering the retreat of the whole line. The only little thing we know about this interaction from Livy is that, when "inde rem ad triarios redisse" they formed a compact body and that does not happen in FoG. For a game that tries to get such a general flavour of it, to me that seems something very easy to fix. By the way, nothing has been said about the Caesarian Romans, where we know at least the second and third line were roughly equal (unless the legion was underpowered). How do you do that except that in columns?

In the other hand if your fear is that a BG of triarii arise to counter cavalry, well, that cavalry shouldn't be there in first time. It is good to know that we avoid something to happen to avoid something I have been told players never do (charge with cavalry the front of foot). Curiously we do know that hastati and principes were able to retreat though the wholes of the triarii, so that kind of interaction was possible. But if that ahistorical use is feared, let interpenetration only for routing purposes.

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Post by philqw78 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:42 am

Thanks Strategos, I understand now. That would be difficult to represent on table due to the figure scales. For every 8 H+P you only get 2 Triarii. :(

There are other threads on here about rear support, and columns for rear support I agree look wrong as well.

To get it to look exactly right would be very difficult. Unless the legion deployed three BG deep (H/P/T), you would then get 4 bases of triarii behind your 16 H+P 4 wide. But it would not be very effective in game and you would need an interpenetration special rule then.
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Post by Strategos69 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 12:37 am

philqw78 wrote:Thanks Strategos, I understand now. That would be difficult to represent on table due to the figure scales. For every 8 H+P you only get 2 Triarii. :(

There are other threads on here about rear support, and columns for rear support I agree look wrong as well.

To get it to look exactly right would be very difficult. Unless the legion deployed three BG deep (H/P/T), you would then get 4 bases of triarii behind your 16 H+P 4 wide. But it would not be very effective in game and you would need an interpenetration special rule then.
Yes, the design of the game makes that the Roman front would be too narrow compared to other armies. In the other hand, I would really like to play triplex acies :lol: That is why a campaign book could be such a good idea: you can have rules for people playing specific historical match ups without caring about how the game would work in other parts. I will be playing one of these days a phalanx (average protected pikemen) against my own new modelled legions (light spear, average protected swordsmen) but allowing interpenetrations. My guess is that the Romans will prevail because of the exchange of lines, but I want to give it a try it.

A simple fix to FoG would be to double the actual number of triarii based more on what they did (form a line after hastati/principes) and let hastati/principes interpenetrate them when routing.

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Post by kdonovan » Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:17 am

I'm not thrilled by the idea of a second round of impact combat in the 1st melee phase - it really disrupts the elegant symmetry of the game.

If the problem is in the melee phase fix that.

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