Auxilia & Thureophoroi/Thorakitai - advance notice

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Auxilia & Thureophoroi/Thorakitai - advance notice

Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:50 am

As it is highly likely that the v2 list revisions will remove the MF option from these troops we want to give players plenty of advance notice - it will also allow the beta test players to adopt this change now and use it in their play test games.

This change is not being made lightly, however, it is based on the authors' belief that a HF classification best represents the historical behaviour of these troops and, that as we are now at the v2 stage of FoG, there is no longer any need for backward compatibility with previous rule sets. For those concerned about the basing of their existing figures we would remind players that the rules contain provision for the use of "non-standard" basing (p127 of the published rules) and so their figures will not need to be rebased.

In addition to this change we would allow thureophoroi to be optionally deployed at the start of the battle as LF, Protected, Javelins, Light Spear euzonoi - much as the Alexandrian Macedonian pikemen have a MF deployment option - and a proportion of Principate Roman Auxilia to likewise deploy as LF, Protected, Javelins, Light Spear levis armatura.
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Post by Mehrunes » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:57 am

In addition to this change we would allow thureophoroi to be optionally deployed at the start of the battle as LF, Protected, Javelins, Light Spear euzonoi - much as the Alexandrian Macedonian pikemen have a MF deployment option - and a proportion of Principate Roman Auxilia to likewise deploy as LF, Protected, Javelins, Light Spear levis armatura.
Cool, you went the right way I believe!

Will this option be available to all (especially the odd BG some armies can have as mercenaries) or only to those armies where they are more of a core troop type?

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Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:00 am

Mehrunes wrote:
In addition to this change we would allow thureophoroi to be optionally deployed at the start of the battle as LF, Protected, Javelins, Light Spear euzonoi - much as the Alexandrian Macedonian pikemen have a MF deployment option - and a proportion of Principate Roman Auxilia to likewise deploy as LF, Protected, Javelins, Light Spear levis armatura.
Cool, you went the right way I believe!

Will this option be available to all (especially the odd BG some armies can have as mercenaries) or only to those armies where they are more of a core troop type?
Remains to be seen. We probably need to do this on a case by case basis. For example, it seems unlikely that historically the Seleucids, with so many other available light troops, would choose to field their small numbers of thureophoroi as LF. OTOH it probably does no harm to give them the option - although it is unlikely that anyone will ever use it.

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Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:02 pm

thefrenchjester wrote:why not letting the choice to field them as Medium Foot?

Ancient authors gave different interpretations of how they are fielded;
Well the point is rather that they didn't - unless you know different, in which case now is the time to present your evidence.

Modern authors have differed in their interpretations in the past, which is not the same thing. More recent interpretations better fit the actual evidence. (In our opinion of course).

As a starting point see:

http://www.ne.jp/asahi/luke/ueda-sarson ... ates1.html

http://www.ne.jp/asahi/luke/ueda-sarson ... ates2.html

Also any of the many works on the Roman army by Adrian Goldsworthy.

We see it as our role to make FOG as realistic as possible, and not to reiterate the cliches of the wargaming past. Wargames rules should follow the latest evidence. If we stood still on historical interpretation, Late Roman legions (for example) would still be armed with long spear and javelin, as they were in early versions of WRG rules.

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Post by VMadeira » Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:48 pm

Actually I think that the Auxilia were many times deployed on the flanks of the legions, where is more likely that they will meet cavalry. Hvy foot being better against cavalry than MF, so it seems to me that this change encourages players to adopt realistic deployments, which is positive.


Pity the romans loose flexibility in their lists, but that's life, they already have many options :) .

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Post by Intothevalley » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:26 am

I'm sure that as usual the authors have done their research and got this right, and to be applauded for not being held back by entrenched wargaming convention.

However, looking at my recently acquired Hellenistic army, I'm forced to think 'another army full of HF protected offensive spear - boring!'.

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Post by timmy1 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:21 am

I will certainly need to consider if I will continue playing FoG:AM were this change to be incorporated in V2.0. Worsens too many of my armies that already struggle.

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Post by philqw78 » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:22 am

timmy1 wrote:I will certainly need to consider if I will continue playing FoG:AM were this change to be incorporated in V2.0. Worsens too many of my armies that already struggle.
It needs to be taken in context with the other changes Tim. And I wouldn't want to lose you. But then I'm an old romantic.
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Post by elysiumsolutions@fsmail.n » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:11 am

As Phil says the changes to HF at v2 which mean they move the same speed as MF when 6 inches from the enemy and have the same turn and move as MF means that I would probably choose to have the auxilia as HF anyway to get rid of the MF in the open issues.

Paul

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Post by Jilu » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:05 am

timmy1 wrote:I will certainly need to consider if I will continue playing FoG:AM were this change to be incorporated in V2.0. Worsens too many of my armies that already struggle.
Wait Timmy V2 changes come and go

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Post by zocco » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:47 am

timmy1 wrote:I will certainly need to consider if I will continue playing FoG:AM were this change to be incorporated in V2.0. Worsens too many of my armies that already struggle.
I can certainly feel Timmy1’s pain and frustration at what I can only call a very poor decision. I too am considering whether it is worthwhile continuing with FOG.

Having collected and played Dominate Romans for 20 years (or more) I can’t say I’m overly impressed by what I can only say is the ‘V2 witch hunt ‘.

Despite RBS’s comments on evidence (no doubt sincerely expressed) I’d have to say that this argument is more about selective use of evidence. But first why do I think that this decision is wrong.

Lets consider as an example the Dominate Roman list – by removing the MF option for most auxilia the DRoms are left with very few troops that can contest rough or difficult going. They can have 4 bases of LF , 6 bases of MF militia (poor) and up to 8 (or 4 if a Western army) bases of MF auxilia archers. Considering the size and diverse nature of terrain in the Roman empire this is simply an ineffective force. In terms of tabletop battles Roman armies struggle on steppe terrain now they will struggle against many armies that can put down enough rough and difficult terrain and dominate this with quality MF.

Whilst Goldsworthy believes that auxilia foot formed up as heavies what he also believes in is the flexibility of the Roman army. It is for example much more credible to assume that one of the reasons the late roman army has few specialist light infantry units was because Roman foot were adaptable and could deploy as HF or MF as required than to assume that the Roman army did not have the capacity to fight effectively on parts of the battlefield covered by rough terrain. This is not to say it was preferred (due to the possibilies of enemy ambush and reduction in the Roman advantages of command and control) but certainly there is no evidence to suggest that Roman foot were not capable of it. Nor should there be - the Roman army was composed of long term soldiers and adopting a more open order deployment was not a difficult thing to do (if it was then many barbarian foot rated as MF would not be able to achieve it) – and was just one more option in the infantry’s tactical repertoire.

As an anachronistic historical comparison the new ruling would place the Dom Rom army on the same basis as the late 18th century Prussians who eschewed light infantry – there is no historical basis to assume the later Roman (or indeed any Roman armies) suffered from this form of ossification. Another 18th century example – and more appropriate (for the Romans) is the British infantry in the American War – they adapted to a more open order formation for forest fighting where required.

To put it back to a more contemporary timeframe it would be odd indeed that professional soldiers could not adapt themselves to rough terrain compared to various barbarian MF (many of which were actually recruited into the Roman army ! – eg Batavians, Dacians and Thracians etc) and to believe that auxilia foot could adapt themselves less well than say undrilled Indian javelinmen (see Kushan list) – simply beggars belief.

To sum up Roman infantry were quite adaptable to terrain and to adequately reflect this would mean a rule that they could deploy into HF and MF as required on the battlefield but short of this (and I’m not expecting such a rule) the best option we have available is to allow the auxilia to have the current option of HF or MF at deployment.

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Post by jonphilp » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:42 am

One wonders why the Romans bothered with long term "professional" legions and auxiliary units if they were not flexible , obviously the legions never operated in anything but flat open countryside. I have always read Goldsworthy as noting that the Roman army was flexible in deployment although they did prefer to fight in the FOG "heavy" infantry way if possible. With this ruling will the Batavians now become heavy rather than medium infantry in the early German list when "core" troops or only become "heavy" when they have joined the Roman Army. I must admit I always thought the Batavians were given special treatment by the Roman authorities as they valued the Batavians fighting skills. If they were so valued why would they change their fighting style ie from Medium to Heavy in FOG terminology. Perhaps we need to see the full picture on other changes ie movement rates , terrain effects to see the reasoning behind this change.

From the Principate Roman point of view FOG is the first rule set that gave the early Romans an army that operates in a manner that I feel is close to how I believe that they operated (apart fron use of light artillery) although I have also felt that you should be allowed to field Auxilliary battlegroups as Medium or heavy foot , with both types of battlegroups being on the same battlefield. Now the only Medium troops between 100 - 197 AD will be Auxiliary Archers? My worry is that the Romans are now going to be one dimensional and not appearing on the battlefield.
Last edited by jonphilp on Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by philqw78 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:48 am

Perhaps we should wait and see what happens to HF in terrain. I'm certain their abilities will change dependant upon their capabilities. e.g. Impact foot and Lt Sp still get all their dice. OffSp still get all their dice but are not steady, so sword counts against them?? Can't say for sure, but something like that.
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Post by zocco » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:14 pm

philqw78 wrote:Perhaps we should wait and see what happens to HF in terrain. I'm certain their abilities will change dependant upon their capabilities. e.g. Impact foot and Lt Sp still get all their dice. OffSp still get all their dice but are not steady, so sword counts against them?? Can't say for sure, but something like that.
Maybe....but they would also have to up the movement rates - it's difficult enough to get HF over the centreline (even in open terrain) and in rough/difficult at 2 MU its not even worth entering such. In the open HF are frankly too easy to skirmish out of the game (the extra movement at over 6MU is unlikely to have much effect - probably no more than and additional 2 MU in a game) - skirmishers have an inordinate effect on preventing march moves (shades of DBM).

So far the V2 process has (from a Roman perspective) been;

1. remove skilled sword
2. improve Elephants (which impact foot and light spear struggle against at even 2 die each)
3. remove MF for Auxilia

I think there is a pattern emerging......

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Post by Strategos69 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:51 pm

I think less drama would be good regarding this question. It seems clear for what I have read from most of the people around that some MF were way too good in V1 and some HF should be better in terrain. I can see pretty clearly that a drastic solution, sooner or later, will involve making HF move more in uneven, make some HF troops with certain capabilities faster, more mobile and better in terrain and regrade some MF to fit the new category of that flexible foot. MF armoured offensive spearmen controls terrain better than anyone would expect and can be a match to any HF in the open and, totally counterintuitive, cavalry would damage them more.

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Post by Delbruck » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:31 am

What about Legio Lanciarii? These are MF without the option to be HF.

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Post by timmy1 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:13 am

If the protected HF had the same movement rate as MF then I could see SOME justification for this and an explaination of why the Protected option might be choosen.

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Post by jonphilp » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:53 am

From Nick's originsl post the Legio Lanciarii will be either Heavy Infantry or Light Infantry? The question is will they keep the Protected or Armoured option, Superior, Armoured Light Infantry will be interesting?. However I suspect that the Lancerii will have to go the "Blood & Gold" route becoming Heavy Infantry with additional shooting capability, ie Javalins, Light Spear ,Swordsmen.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:21 am

jonphilp wrote:From Nick's originsl post the Legio Lanciarii will be either Heavy Infantry or Light Infantry? The question is will they keep the Protected or Armoured option, Superior, Armoured Light Infantry will be interesting?. However I suspect that the Lancerii will have to go the "Blood & Gold" route becoming Heavy Infantry with additional shooting capability, ie Javalins, Light Spear ,Swordsmen.

To be honest the lanciarii are in the "need to decide" category, however, it is highly unlikely that any HF will get Javelin capability.
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Post by zocco » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:58 am

Strategos69 wrote:I think less drama would be good regarding this question. It seems clear for what I have read from most of the people around that some MF were way too good in V1 and some HF should be better in terrain. I can see pretty clearly that a drastic solution, sooner or later, will involve making HF move more in uneven, make some HF troops with certain capabilities faster, more mobile and better in terrain and regrade some MF to fit the new category of that flexible foot. MF armoured offensive spearmen controls terrain better than anyone would expect and can be a match to any HF in the open and, totally counterintuitive, cavalry would damage them more.
Your ideas have merit - unfortunately I doubt whether they are even being considered. Perhaps Nik would like to comment since he has - as it were - put the cat amongst the pigeons.

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