Elephants

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Elephants

Post by list_lurker » Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:12 pm

Just like to say that I've just had a game where elephants were good!

The ubiquitous 2 element BG of Macedonian elephants held their own against Legion ubermensch. Being level in the Impact ,and then in melee cancelling out the skilled swordsmen and better armour - boy , did that feel good. Then ,supported by pike, beating the Legion who then failed the COH test because of the -1 facing elephants!!

Very good...

In fact I think the legion / pike interaction is spot on IMHO!

Simon

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Post by hammy » Mon Dec 18, 2006 12:29 pm

Well I can safely say that Simon's elephants were probably what made the difference in our game last week. Simon had four BG's of two elephants scattered along his front line of archers. This made it rather difficult for my knights to ride the archers down. There were not too many fights against elephants but I broke one BG of them with archers (a mix of shooting and then melee). Their main effect was upsetting my knights order.

Hammy

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Post by vincent » Wed Dec 20, 2006 7:07 pm

Why are the elephants not considered as shock troops?

This means that impact foot have a POA against elephants.
It also means that elephants are not compelled to charge.
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Vincent

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Post by shall » Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:52 pm

Good question- perhaps they should be.

Si

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Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:11 pm

Not sure I can think of cases where nellies "surged" ahead in the same way that knights sometimes did for example. Also the Shock rules can force such troops to surge forward when under missile attack and I feel that nellies did the opposite in those cases.

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Post by vincent » Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:50 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:Not sure I can think of cases where nellies "surged" ahead in the same way that knights sometimes did for example. Also the Shock rules can force such troops to surge forward when under missile attack and I feel that nellies did the opposite in those cases.
I agree that there are not many references of uncontrolled advance by elephants. On the other hand, there are not many references either of elephants stoically standing their ground in face of shooters.
Since elephants units usually have few models (4 at most, usually 2), the opponent needs just a few hits to inflict cohesion tests, which quickly lead to the elephant breaking if they stay in place. I feel that this represents well the behaviour of elephants in front of shooters. Assume the elephants advance unprotected against LI (historicaly a bad tactic), then they will have to stop within 4 of the enemy, take a first shot during their own bound and a second during the opponent's bound. This gives a good chance of the elephants being fragmented before they can charge.
My worry is that, as the rule stands now, impact foot are better off charging into elephant (they get an impact POA) rather than closing ranks and standing to receive the charge. I do not have access to the historical relations of Pyrrhus's battles, but I do not think that the legions did take the initiative of contact when confronted with elephants, while they are encouraged to do it with the current rule mechanisms. I would be happy to be proven wrong.
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Vincent

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Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:03 pm

Bear in mind that the elephants have a longer move than the legionaries, so mostly should be able to charge the legionaries before they can be charged by them.

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Post by vincent » Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:28 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:Bear in mind that the elephants have a longer move than the legionaries, so mostly should be able to charge the legionaries before they can be charged by them.
True, but the same remark applies to gallic MF warbands, where the elephants do not enjoy the longer reach advantage. Furthermore, to stop short at the appropriate distance, the elephants need to pass a CMT (being undrilled).
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Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:46 pm

vincent wrote: I agree that there are not many references of uncontrolled advance by elephants. On the other hand, there are not many references either of elephants stoically standing their ground in face of shooters.
Nope shooters always seem to have been a problem for nellies - often cause them to run away rather than charge the shooters IIRC.

vincent wrote: Since elephants units usually have few models (4 at most, usually 2), the opponent needs just a few hits to inflict cohesion tests, which quickly lead to the elephant breaking if they stay in place. I feel that this represents well the behaviour of elephants in front of shooters. Assume the elephants advance unprotected against LI (historicaly a bad tactic), then they will have to stop within 4 of the enemy, take a first shot during their own bound and a second during the opponent's bound. This gives a good chance of the elephants being fragmented before they can charge.
As you say a bad tactic. If you advance unsupported against troops you are disadvantaged against you shouldn't be surprised if trouble follows.
vincent wrote: My worry is that, as the rule stands now, impact foot are better off charging into elephant (they get an impact POA) rather than closing ranks and standing to receive the charge. I do not have access to the historical relations of Pyrrhus's battles, but I do not think that the legions did take the initiative of contact when confronted with elephants, while they are encouraged to do it with the current rule mechanisms. I would be happy to be proven wrong.
No you are correct. Legiones did not advance to contact elephants on the whole. Mind you Pyrrhos was quite canny with his and olny used them against the legiones after they'd been engaged by other troops first :)

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Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:48 pm

vincent wrote:
rbodleyscott wrote:Bear in mind that the elephants have a longer move than the legionaries, so mostly should be able to charge the legionaries before they can be charged by them.
True, but the same remark applies to gallic MF warbands, where the elephants do not enjoy the longer reach advantage. Furthermore, to stop short at the appropriate distance, the elephants need to pass a CMT (being undrilled).
Isn't that where skill and judgement are going to come into the game? Deciding when to advance the elephants, how to support them, when to use a general to influence the CT, etc.

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