Do ambushes ever work well?

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Mahatma
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Do ambushes ever work well?

Post by Mahatma » Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:56 pm

I've been reading as many AAR's as I can and I rarely see an ambush used. The idea of surprising the enemy by launching some crack troops (I'm thinking armoured, drilled, swordsmen, superior Dailami) into his/her LF is appealling, but how do I do it? If I want the terrain to ambush from, do I not need a good PBI? And to get to +4 I need an IC and loads of mounted BG's, which means I may need less Dailami. It's the Dailami I'd like to base the army around. Maybe 2BG's of Dailami to occupy terrain, and 2 BG's of 6 Dailami with 3 LF Bow support to occupy the open. And there will be open ground somewhere which will need to be filled with something. I guess I have a Dailami fetish.

The MF+LF Dailami fill up a gap in the line in the open, trying to stay out the way of HF and such. If mounted charge in, the LF could help me out a little, maybe. I'll screen these guys with some LF to stall the opponents line.

The other Dailami advance in terrain and make inroads into the enemy with the support of a few commanders, and do the majority of the fighting. Or they launch ambushes into the crap LF or MF of the enemy. Surely Arm, Dr, Sup, Sw MF can do the job?

Got to go watch the Grand Prix, will knock up an army list later and get some thoughts on it.

jre
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Post by jre » Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:17 am

I do not know about others, because it is true that most people do not use ambushes, but there are three reasons why I want to use ambush markers. Assuming I am using an army with good MF, if not, it is just point 3.

1. To advance troops. If there is concealing terrain in a flank (and I try to help with my selections, plantation and gully, though hills also help), that lets me set up my flanking MF (or anyone else, if there is a gentle hill in a good position or I can set up the ambush in the outer edge) 18 MU (24 in the unlikely case I win initiative) from the edge rather than 10. Normally that lets me leapfrog to another interesting piece of terrain (depending on what rough terrain troops they have) before the enemy can reach it, or anchor myself in that flank.

2. To hide vulnerable troops during deployment. When you lose initiative, if there are no good places (or not enough good places) for the MF, or you have rubbish troops, it gives you an extra bluff to avoid the enemy's main thrust.

3. To bluff. Either to hide a flank refusal (when you set up nothing in a flank, except some empty ambush markers), or the absence of terrain troops to contest a piece of terrain the enemy could reach (using 1, above). I would use them too if I had a flank march to hide its point value.

I never count on surprising my opponent with an ambush, because by the time I have finished making my first move he should know how many points I am missing, so a good idea of what could be hidden or not. Also, LF, LH will make sure they are the first to get in range to check if there is some reason to be suspicious, and except for gullies, visual range is the same as charge range for MF.

Historical battles with big ambushes would be handled better, in my opinion, with smaller tables and special rules for flank marches.

Ambushes are important during the bluff part of deployment, or to get a small initial advantage. No game changing effects, just one more tool in the box of tricks.

José

shall
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Post by shall » Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:17 pm

They are great for bluffing in difficult terrain. They are not intended to provide any great crushing edge in the game. On a few occasions people stray to close and get charged by soemthing chunky - as occasionally happened in real life.

Si
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BrianC
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Post by BrianC » Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:43 pm

shall wrote:They are great for bluffing in difficult terrain. They are not intended to provide any great crushing edge in the game. On a few occasions people stray to close and get charged by soemthing chunky - as occasionally happened in real life.

Si
Are they used very often in comps?

Brian

philqw78
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Post by philqw78 » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:45 am

I've never seen an ambush used in a competition. But then I play most of my games on minimum terrain where possible. Seen a couple at the club and seen the markers used a lot at club and comp.

shall
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Post by shall » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:32 am

Are they used very often in comps?

Brian
Not a lot; but a bit.

My Ancient Britons use them quite a lot. You need a fairly dense terrain for them to be of much use - which is both realistic and intended in the rules.

Si
Simon Hall
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dave_r
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Post by dave_r » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:52 am

Are they used very often in comps?
I use them all the time, usually with a general attached to one of the BG's.

Since I like to take high PBI armies then I usually end up moving second. If your opponent knows you have BG's missing along with only three generals then he immediately has doubts over whether you are flank marching or what is in the ambush. This often slows down the first move giving me an advantage even when moving second.

I usually ambush with LF, so all they can do is slow the enemy down. Don't normally kill anything but very useful for deception and starting further on the table and pinning the enemy.

daleivan
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Post by daleivan » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:43 pm

dave_r wrote:
Are they used very often in comps?
I use them all the time, usually with a general attached to one of the BG's.

Since I like to take high PBI armies then I usually end up moving second. If your opponent knows you have BG's missing along with only three generals then he immediately has doubts over whether you are flank marching or what is in the ambush. This often slows down the first move giving me an advantage even when moving second.

I usually ambush with LF, so all they can do is slow the enemy down. Don't normally kill anything but very useful for deception and starting further on the table and pinning the enemy.
I like your idea of using ambushes to slow down the other player if he gets the first move. Hadn't thought of that. Mainly I thought in terms of causing the enemy concern over a piece of terrain, or in giving an ambushing BG a deeper deployment zone--terrain permitting.

Dale

BrianC
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Post by BrianC » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:55 pm

Great discussion guys. I might have to have a second look at ambushes.

Brian

shall
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Post by shall » Tue Nov 04, 2008 7:35 pm

I suspect we will see more ambushes used once people get very familiar with the rules. I think a lot of people are in "get the figures on the table mode" still. And also there is more juice in the terrain system than is being utilised at present.

Once you have everything else in hand putting ambush markers down when you can is likely to help create some uncertainty for the enemy. What you need to be careful about is that this may also slow things down which may not prove advantageous.

Si
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carlos
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Post by carlos » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:01 pm

I did the classic ambush in one of my first games. BG of MF behind a steep hill, enemy LF go gingerly up the hill thinking they'd be facing some LF that were downhill. Ooops.

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