Sassanids vs Romans - Short report & Questions

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neilhammond
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Sassanids vs Romans - Short report & Questions

Post by neilhammond » Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:40 pm

Clive and I played Sassanids vs mid-Imperial Romans yesterday. I'll write up a battle report and post it on the open forum. Some observations and queries:

As my third game, it "played" much better from my point of view, and the battle felt reasonably "historically accurate". It was a close fought battle which swung the Roman way once the Roman light cavalry who had managed to defeat the opposing Sassanid light horse rallied from pursuit and returned to the battle to threaten the Sassanids rear.

Points of note:
- On the other flank a block of 4 elephants ground through my light artillery and auxiliary bowmen after a few bounds. This is probably okay, but it's hard to see how elephants can be countered. Certainly my artillery didn't really slow them down nor did concentrated bow shooting. Also the legionaries look like they'd also struggle to stop them.
- The Roman auxilia (armoured swordsmen) carved up the Sassanid auxilia fairly rapidly which felt right
- A block of auxilia attempted to run down some Sassanid cavalry in the open and failed miserably. Again probably right, it was the legionaries that really game the cavalry a hard time
- Clive mentioned some talk of removing the "roman" superior swordsman. Not sure about this as it was this that really gave the Romans an edge in a melee. Otherwise it's foot armoured swordsmen vs mounted armoured swordmen. My understanding of battles of that period was that the Romans had an edge in extended fighting.

It was a long game - 3.5 hrs at 800 AP. We didn't get a conclusions through calculating attrition points (losses were even) although the outcome became obvious once the Roman light horse returned.

Queries:

How do I include some photos in my battle report? Do I have to publish them somewhere on the web first (err, where?) before they will appear?

The resultant formation after you turn 90 degrees isn't clear from the rules. It says "...end in a block whose width is 1 base per full or partial base width depth of the original..." What's a base width depth? Do you just mean base depth - e.g. a formation 3 deep will end up after turning 90 degrees 3 wide (or 2 if it chooses)?

The legionaries and auxilia all had integrated archers in the 3rd rank. We differed in our interpretation of how the mechanism for support shooting works at impact. My understanding is that extra dice are thrown, using shooting POAs, but counting to the combat total hits. E.G. If I infliced 1 hit through shooting and 1 hit through impact combat then the opponent suffers 2 hits for combat calculation purposes. The issue was it was explained to Clive at Usk was that they may force a CT if you get enough shooting hits but they don't count towards the number of hits infliced in combat. So in the above example, using the latter interpretation there would only be 1 melee hit infliced.

Rallying during the interbound. The main section states that you can only test if you've dropped a level in the bound just gone. The Detailed sequence of play (p14) talkes about "in the preceeding bound". Do you mean the current bound or the bound before the current bound? It's not clear. i.e. if it's the end of my bound but I dropped a level during my opponents bound the rules imply that I can't rally until 2 full bounds are complete without dropping a leve. In this example I dropped a level "in the preceeding bound" and therefore can't attempt to rally.

I'm not sure about artillery. It's range seems short (same as bow), is difficult to move & is slow (fair enough). I'm not sure why cataphracts are less vulnerable to artillery (0 POA) than armoured knights (+ POA).

Neil

rbodleyscott
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Re: Sassanids vs Romans - Short report & Questions

Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:41 pm

neilhammond wrote:-On the other flank a block of 4 elephants ground through my light artillery and auxiliary bowmen after a few bounds. This is probably okay, but it's hard to see how elephants can be countered.
We decided in our discussion at Usk to restrict elephants to BGs of 2. This allows their brittleness to come to the fore, as the loss of 1 base results in the destruction of the whole BG. This was always part of our design for elephants, but, of course, does not work when they are in BGs of 4.
- Clive mentioned some talk of removing the "roman" superior swordsman. Not sure about this as it was this that really gave the Romans an edge in a melee. Otherwise it's foot armoured swordsmen vs mounted armoured swordmen. My understanding of battles of that period was that the Romans had an edge in extended fighting.
At the moment skilled swordsmen are staying in. If they had been removed, the intention was to compensate by mounted swordsmen POA not counting vs steady Heavy Foot - which would give much the same effect for the interaction above.
How do I include some photos in my battle report? Do I have to publish them somewhere on the web first (err, where?) before they will appear?
Sadly yes. If you have nowhere to put them, e-mail them to me and I can host them on my web-site.
The resultant formation after you turn 90 degrees isn't clear from the rules. It says "...end in a block whose width is 1 base per full or partial base width depth of the original..." What's a base width depth? Do you just mean base depth - e.g. a formation 3 deep will end up after turning 90 degrees 3 wide (or 2 if it chooses)?
3 deep HF in 15mm = 45mm depth. This is more than 1 base witdth but less than 3. Therefore the resulting formation is 2 bases wide.

The wording will be clarified by a diagram.
The legionaries and auxilia all had integrated archers in the 3rd rank. We differed in our interpretation of how the mechanism for support shooting works at impact. My understanding is that extra dice are thrown, using shooting POAs, but counting to the combat total hits. E.G. If I infliced 1 hit through shooting and 1 hit through impact combat then the opponent suffers 2 hits for combat calculation purposes. The issue was it was explained to Clive at Usk was that they may force a CT if you get enough shooting hits but they don't count towards the number of hits infliced in combat. So in the above example, using the latter interpretation there would only be 1 melee hit infliced.
Clive was misinformed.

The impact phase support shooting dice add any hits scored to the combat hits.

Shooting by other BGS at part of the BG not involved in the combat even as an overlap is permitted in the shooting phase. Then the hits are dealt with as normal shooting.
Rallying during the interbound. The main section states that you can only test if you haven't dropped a level in the bound just gone. The Detailed sequence of play (p14) talkes about "in the preceeding bound". Do you mean the current bound or the bound before the current bound? It's not clear. i.e. if it's the end of my bound but I dropped a level during my opponents bound the rules imply that I can't rally until 2 full bounds are complete without dropping a leve. In this example I dropped a level "in the preceeding bound" and therefore can't attempt to rally.
The inter-Bound is not part of the bound. (I am sure that you are a Latin scholar and well aware that "Inter" = "between"). We obviously need to make this clearer in the rules. Hence the preceding bound is the bound immediately before the inter-bound, which is a state of limbo between bounds. If you dropped cohesion in your opponent's bound, you can first test to rally in the inter-bound following your own bound.
I'm not sure why cataphracts are less vulnerable to artillery (0 POA) than armoured knights (+ POA).
This is an extremely valid point. We will look into dealing with it.

neilhammond
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Re: Sassanids vs Romans - Short report & Questions

Post by neilhammond » Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:33 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:The inter-Bound is not part of the bound. (I am sure that you are a Latin scholar and well aware that "Inter" = "between"). We obviously need to make this clearer in the rules. Hence the preceding bound is the bound immediately before the inter-bound, which is a state of limbo between bounds. If you dropped cohesion in your opponent's bound, you can first test to rally in the inter-bound following your own bound.
Yes, I picked up from the design philosophy that the interbound isn't part of the bound, but inevitably people will regard the interbound as either "their interbound" or the "opponents interbound". Clarification would help.

Neil

shall
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Post by shall » Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:06 pm

Your Interbounds?

You can have one each at the same time....

Santa

neilhammond
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Post by neilhammond » Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:01 pm

shall wrote:Your Interbounds?

You can have one each at the same time....

Santa
Then surely the Inter Bound should be called the Santa Bound! And there is no risk of confusion with 7th terminology.

Hohoho

neilhammond
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Post by neilhammond » Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:01 pm

A full battle report has now been posted on the open forum, complete with all colour, no expense spared digitial photos.

Neil

rbodleyscott
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Post by rbodleyscott » Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:29 pm

neilhammond wrote:A full battle report has now been posted on the open forum, complete with all colour, no expense spared digitial photos.

Neil
A very nice report Neil. Like the way you avoided AoW jargon as much as possible. Thanks very much.

shall
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Post by shall » Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:21 pm

Indeed it is thank you Neil. It reminds me of some of the ork of the late great Charles Grant who could allways keep me interested in a battle report even if I hadn't got a clue what rules he was using, and din't know anything about the period.

Si

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