Pike Phalanx

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Cheimison » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:26 am

JC_von_Preussen wrote:My MP experience with Phalanx so far :

When I play them : they suck, they get disrupted on impact whatever the odds in my favor and then lose follwing turns.
When I play against them : they are buldozers : they win impact and rout my own units in two-three turns.
I've had good experience with phalanx so far, except for against Romans because swordsmen own pikemen. Hoplites, however, are really underwhelming.
I think that terrain is the biggest problem for phalanx. Rocky ground is a nightmare.

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Kaede11 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:57 am

Still there are some posts out there stating quite the opposite: Phalanxes are too weak when attacked frontally. I'm still deciding what to think, but maybe they are. I get that shock infantry are going to be better on the impact phase, but I don't know if I'll ever be convinced about watching hastati erasing phalanx units because they disrupt the enemy when they charge.

I think this should be reajusted in some manner.

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by jomni » Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:43 pm

Kaede11 wrote:Still there are some posts out there stating quite the opposite: Phalanxes are too weak when attacked frontally. I'm still deciding what to think, but maybe they are. I get that shock infantry are going to be better on the impact phase, but I don't know if I'll ever be convinced about watching hastati erasing phalanx units because they disrupt the enemy when they charge.

I think this should be reajusted in some manner.
Why not? A rain of javelins can disrupt them beyond pike range?

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by JaM2013 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:02 pm

jomni: it was actually not that common to do so.. while being hit by a pilum is not something you would take lightly, Pike formations were deep so even if you manage to kill several guys, there were still pikes projected your way.. not sure if there is any better way how to model the pikes though.. they were not wall of death as many think, but at the other side they were capable to keep enemy at bay for quite some time if not outflanked.
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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Kaede11 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:29 pm

jomni wrote:
Kaede11 wrote:Still there are some posts out there stating quite the opposite: Phalanxes are too weak when attacked frontally. I'm still deciding what to think, but maybe they are. I get that shock infantry are going to be better on the impact phase, but I don't know if I'll ever be convinced about watching hastati erasing phalanx units because they disrupt the enemy when they charge.

I think this should be reajusted in some manner.
Why not? A rain of javelins can disrupt them beyond pike range?
Maybe, but as far as I know the phalanx was never defeated by charging frontally. The main weakness of the formation was being prone to flanking and also their lack of flexibility which doomed them if they could not fight in optimal terrain.

Also, this does not only apply to roman units. Every shock infantry is a major danger for phalanx pikemen. They will win if the charge is resisted, but if they get disrupted things can get rough pretty quickly. I am not sure if that portrays how frontal battles against a phalanx would work out.
JaM2013 wrote:jomni: it was actually not that common to do so.. while being hit by a pilum is not something you would take lightly, Pike formations were deep so even if you manage to kill several guys, there were still pikes projected your way.. not sure if there is any better way how to model the pikes though.. they were not wall of death as many think, but at the other side they were capable to keep enemy at bay for quite some time if not outflanked.
Sure, they were not a wall of death, but I am sure they were a force to be reckoned with. At least when attacked frontally... maybe shock infantry should get less POA when attacking phalanx frontally... or Phalanx could get a bonus agains Shock infantry when they have allies on their flanks to simulate the inability of the enemy to flank them.
Last edited by Kaede11 on Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Scutarii » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:43 pm

I feel that use diferent sizes for heavy foot units is a problem because open room to very rare things.

For example triarii are very inefective even when is best roman infantry in quality-armor (at least they are not swordsmen) because their size made them very poor to deal damage to enemy units at same time they are less capable to deal with them.

Other point is how warbands are to effective to rush over units with offensive spears even when they are in better terrain to defensive... the impact of these units is brutal even for average units, and after disrupt enemy simple is not possible stand VS them more than 2 turns (if are more than 1 warband in the attack is possible have the unit routed in impact turn) i see how an average warband as heavy foot impact an average hoplite unit and result was 11-67 with hoplite unit fragmented and forced to retreat... and hoplites form part of a line + behind behind a stream.

Pike units are strange because in general are less capable to fight long time compared with other heavy foot and engage them with frontal charges is less suicide for attacker than it needs be.

For me pike units need be stronger in frontal combat BUT in compensation they need lose 1 square of movement, only have 2 squares when they are far from enemy + they are under commander area but when they are closer to enemy they need be less movile at same time they are harder to defeat when are not flanked... and for me flanked means flanked, attacked from the squares they have in flanks, never from the front.

Pike units are bigger than others but more sensible... they break faster than smaller units.

One point could be made shorter the diferences in size between units from 350 to 750 (triarii-pike) because now is 250-900 and specialize more heavy foot because is not the same a warband than a hoplite-legion or a pike unit.

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by lapdog666 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:46 pm

Scutarii wrote:I feel that use diferent sizes for heavy foot units is a problem because open room to very rare things.

For example triarii are very inefective even when is best roman infantry in quality-armor (at least they are not swordsmen) because their size made them very poor to deal damage to enemy units at same time they are less capable to deal with them.

Other point is how warbands are to effective to rush over units with offensive spears even when they are in better terrain to defensive... the impact of these units is brutal even for average units, and after disrupt enemy simple is not possible stand VS them more than 2 turns (if are more than 1 warband in the attack is possible have the unit routed in impact turn) i see how an average warband as heavy foot impact an average hoplite unit and result was 11-67 with hoplite unit fragmented and forced to retreat... and hoplites form part of a line + behind behind a stream.

Pike units are strange because in general are less capable to fight long time compared with other heavy foot and engage them with frontal charges is less suicide for attacker than it needs be.

For me pike units need be stronger in frontal combat BUT in compensation they need lose 1 square of movement, only have 2 squares when they are far from enemy + they are under commander area but when they are closer to enemy they need be less movile at same time they are harder to defeat when are not flanked... and for me flanked means flanked, attacked from the squares they have in flanks, never from the front.

Pike units are bigger than others but more sensible... they break faster than smaller units.

One point could be made shorter the diferences in size between units from 350 to 750 (triarii-pike) because now is 250-900 and specialize more heavy foot because is not the same a warband than a hoplite-legion or a pike unit.
i feel phalanx could be better implemented. perhaps what you said, less AP, more frontal power, less flank power

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Scutarii » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:04 pm

One problem in game is that in FOG I heavy foot had 2 hexes of movement but medium foot had 3, now medium infantry is less mobile but stronger in combat and the problem is that heavy foot was nerfed to open room for medium foot... is this bad??? no, but i think pike units suffer to much nerf and they are now very far from be the old front combat unit... apart the numbers are very reduced, even pike armies have a very limited number of pike units... i prefer see smaller pìke units but with more to buy and less access to other heavy foot units, you need use medium foot to compensate the pike units problems.

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Kaede11 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:19 pm

I agree, phalanxes need to be better on frontal attacks and weaker when flanked. The ? is how should we implement that. Maybe just reducing the POA of swords against them when attacked frontally, just like some spears nullify cavalry's POA.

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by JorgenCAB » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:24 pm

I think we need to look at the bigger picture...

If I line up ten phalanxes against ten average Gallic warbands then they will cause a cohesion test on one or two on the charge while one of their will have to roll a cohesion test.

In every melee following that then the phalanxes will basically have a 50% to cause cohesion tests in both player turns in the melee phase.

To be honest I don't see how pikes are weak against warbands, average pike units will even win against superior warbands in about 65% of the cases given no other outside influences, not to mention pike can take way more casualties before they start to lose any strength.

As long as you have some reserves to plug any possible breakthroughs a line of pikes are almost unstoppable by anything other than pike frontally. You MUST use reserves because the random nature of combat will make sure some combat go bad, it will happen. Reserves will simply make the random nature of the dice have a much less of an impact.

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Scutarii » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:11 pm

You say it... if you face 10 phalanx VS 10 warbands but none of the phalanx armies can place 1 VS 1 proportion of phalanx units... even if you add raw phalanx that are more a problem tham a help... raw pikes is like have the old anarchy charges...

Now you can have at best 10 capable pikes (macedonian army) 91x3 superior 72x7 average pikes ... but in general a warband army can place more... germanic place 15 for 81x4 superior 63x11 average + 6 open warbands (stronger than the medium infantry in game)... in low point battles you can play with support units but when you are in a really big battle pike armies become short of core infantry while germans could place more of their core infantry... apart the warband medium foot is very strong VS any medium foot because have 300 soldiers more.

In FOG I i specialiced in pike armies and my impresion is that in FOG II they solve the problem with barbaric armies but nerfing to much the armies based in non barbaric heavy foot... even i feel like they reverse the old problem.

Some work is needed in heavy foot-medium foot balance, first could be simple touch unit size but have in mind that game is going to have medieval era armies and they are not going to have big heavy foot units except maybe the pike units (swiss,burgundians...) and this is going to be a new problem to but instead with warbands with pure pike armies.

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by GiveWarAchance » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:15 pm

+1 to making pike units stronger on the front and weaker on sides. I read a big book about Alexander's career and his father too. Basically the pike formations were absolutely unbeatable from the front in combat as long as the terrain was flat and every time enemy units in front would be shredded. Even arrows were not very effective cause the bristle of pikes deflected arrows fairly well. On hills they lost cohesion badly and took longer to form up than enemies and that's how the Romans beat them. And on the flanks they are as weak as newborn hamsters unless they can quickly change face to meet the threat. Alexander the Great endlessly drilled his phalanxs to change facing very fast so they were powerful in combat.

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by JorgenCAB » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:37 pm

Not sure what you are smoking but the chance that even a single pike is disrupted is very small while the following melee will completely destroy the warband army. You only need to station some spearmen in the back and the occasional phalanx. I would even use elephants back there who would be extremely good at countering any potential breakthroughs.

Why don't you actually test this in Hotseat before you come claiming these warbands to be so bad ass, they are not against pike in frontal engagements and neither should they be because they are better in rough and other places and more versatile than pike. Pure math will have the warband line disintegrate before anything. I have seen almost no map where I could not anchor a flank somewhere and use that to simply grind the opponent down.

You will ALWAYS have room for reserves of some form, not using it is at your own risk and you are basically screaming to rely on luck to carry the day rather than strategy.

Why do people think that pike formations somehow are invulnerable from frontal charges, this is ridiculous. Properly supported then I would agree they are almost invulnerable, there is a reason why Alexander used lighter troops to support his Phalanxes.

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Cheimison » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:45 pm

GiveWarAchance wrote:+1 to making pike units stronger on the front and weaker on sides. I read a big book about Alexander's career and his father too. Basically the pike formations were absolutely unbeatable from the front in combat as long as the terrain was flat and every time enemy units in front would be shredded. Even arrows were not very effective cause the bristle of pikes deflected arrows fairly well. On hills they lost cohesion badly and took longer to form up than enemies and that's how the Romans beat them. And on the flanks they are as weak as newborn hamsters unless they can quickly change face to meet the threat. Alexander the Great endlessly drilled his phalanxs to change facing very fast so they were powerful in combat.
+2. Although I have had pikemen work pretty well for me, I think they lose cohesion too often when charged by shock infantry frontally.
Honestly, it's just common sense to have Pikemen have different attributes depending on where you attack them from. Facing is unambiguous in the game, so no reason this shouldn't be implemented - either reducing the POA for attacking pikes frontally or making Pikemen stronger in frontal combat.

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Scutarii » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:45 pm

My impresion and what i test is that warbands are the best heavy foot in game, in relation quality-cost and army composition, they can roll over other heavy foot relative easy, pike units advantage is in numbers but in combat they are far from be the front line that they need be, here i prefer roman infantry over pike and i was a pike armies fanboy in FOG I... that enjoy defeating them but in FOG II pikes need a rework, lose soldiers and win more value as frontline units.

Other point could be add a POA bonus to pike units that have other pike units in the flanks (maybe 25 points for every pike unit in the flank and -25 when they have the flank open... if you place a heavy foot unit in pike flank you dont have +25 POA but at least you dont have -25 POA) this made attack the core of a pike combat line harder while flanks have a better chance.

Idea is

pike-pike-pike

left pike have 0 POA because has left open (-25) and one pike in flank (+25), middle pike has +50 POA because has both flanks with pikes, right same than left

heavy foot-pike-pike-pike-heavy foot

left pike has +25 POA (one flank with heavy foot, other with pike) middle pike has +50 POA and right pike +25

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by JorgenCAB » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:56 pm

But an average warband only have 15% chance to cause a cohesion test on impact while there is a 10% chance to cause one in return. After that there is a 50% chance for the pike to cause cohesion test to the warband and almost zero chance in return.

HOW is this being even remotely weak?!?

A superior warband have a 30% chance to cause a cohesion test and 5% in return whole in melee the average pike has 35% to cause cohesion test and 5% in return.

This is pure math and not gut feelings... as long as you have some reserves this is easy to deal with and the opponent will need many more reserves or they will be ripped apart. As long as you can keep your flanks clear long enough you will win this fight questions asked. Always station some of the best phalanxes on the most exposed flanks, not all of them just one will usually suffice.

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Kaede11 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:59 pm

JorgenCAB wrote:Not sure what you are smoking but the chance that even a single pike is disrupted is very small while the following melee will completely destroy the warband army. You only need to station some spearmen in the back and the occasional phalanx. I would even use elephants back there who would be extremely good at countering any potential breakthroughs.

Why don't you actually test this in Hotseat before you come claiming these warbands to be so bad ass, they are not against pike in frontal engagements and neither should they be because they are better in rough and other places and more versatile than pike. Pure math will have the warband line disintegrate before anything. I have seen almost no map where I could not anchor a flank somewhere and use that to simply grind the opponent down.

You will ALWAYS have room for reserves of some form, not using it is at your own risk and you are basically screaming to rely on luck to carry the day rather than strategy.

Why do people think that pike formations somehow are invulnerable from frontal charges, this is ridiculous. Properly supported then I would agree they are almost invulnerable, there is a reason why Alexander used lighter troops to support his Phalanxes.
Well I've fought some macedon vs gaul small battles and lost because warbands charged frontally against me and I should have won in melee but the impact phase was enough to disrupt the unit. And when the pike unit is disrupted, it loses against the warband. Obviously, no unit is invulnerable. I'm just saying that most of the time, 1vs1 charging directly against a wall of spears is not going to end well for you. Rome always won against the phalanx luring it to difficult terrain, taking advantage of their flexibility to flank them or even using their own elephants against them. Never charging frontally and hoping for the mass and power of the charge to disrupt enemy formation and then be able to fight them hand to hand.

Phalanx pikemen should never be perfect nor invulnerable, but they should be pretty good at what they do and that is fighting as a single body, frontally, when they are on even terrain.

http://www.livius.org/articles/battle/c ... e-197-bce/

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Scutarii » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:03 pm

The problem is you are not going to have 1 VS 1 situations... VS human players you could be forced to mantein the line waiting enemy attack... while he made 2-3 units attack one of your pike units... or simple avoid your main pike body to wait you with terrain advantage.

The problem with pike armies is they cant place all you need to neutralize the warbands advantage... and we talk about non drilled heavy foot... and to be fair the combats i see between pikes and warbands are far from be favourable to pikes... they cant crack the wardband fast enough to be catched by the enemy reinforcements.

I need test it more but in this moment i dont have a lot faith in a line of pike units...

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by JorgenCAB » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:12 pm

Kaede11 wrote:
JorgenCAB wrote:Not sure what you are smoking but the chance that even a single pike is disrupted is very small while the following melee will completely destroy the warband army. You only need to station some spearmen in the back and the occasional phalanx. I would even use elephants back there who would be extremely good at countering any potential breakthroughs.

Why don't you actually test this in Hotseat before you come claiming these warbands to be so bad ass, they are not against pike in frontal engagements and neither should they be because they are better in rough and other places and more versatile than pike. Pure math will have the warband line disintegrate before anything. I have seen almost no map where I could not anchor a flank somewhere and use that to simply grind the opponent down.

You will ALWAYS have room for reserves of some form, not using it is at your own risk and you are basically screaming to rely on luck to carry the day rather than strategy.

Why do people think that pike formations somehow are invulnerable from frontal charges, this is ridiculous. Properly supported then I would agree they are almost invulnerable, there is a reason why Alexander used lighter troops to support his Phalanxes.
Well I've fought some macedon vs gaul small battles and lost because warbands charged frontally against me and I should have won in melee but the impact phase was enough to disrupt the unit. And when the pike unit is disrupted, it loses against the warband. Obviously, no unit is invulnerable. I'm just saying that most of the time, 1vs1 charging directly against a wall of spears is not going to end well for you. Rome always won against the phalanx luring it to difficult terrain, taking advantage of their flexibility to flank them or even using their own elephants against them. Never charging frontally and hoping for the mass and power of the charge to disrupt enemy formation and then be able to fight them hand to hand.

Phalanx pikemen should never be perfect nor invulnerable, but they should be pretty good at what they do and that is fighting as a single body, frontally, when they are on even terrain.

http://www.livius.org/articles/battle/c ... e-197-bce/
Yes... and the chances are very low. First of the dice result is an abstraction and terrain in squares are also an abstraction. Even open terrain may have some rough going and your pike phalanx might just have entered into that one bad spot and that was enough for them to become disrupted due to the charge. In my opinion we need to expand our horizons a bit and look at the overall picture. You can't let one or a few single events formulate your opinion. The math is clear and your MUST except that one in a while they will loose and if you don't plan for it you are leaving it up to luck and that is what you deserve.

Small battles are obviously more prone to high swings of luck and are not really a good way to judge the random nature of the game.

You also must accept that the dice represent more than just soldiers attacking each other, they also represent the overall random nature of unforeseen things that can influence the action.

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Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Kaede11 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:15 pm

JorgenCAB wrote:But an average warband only have 15% chance to cause a cohesion test on impact while there is a 10% chance to cause one in return. After that there is a 50% chance for the pike to cause cohesion test to the warband and almost zero chance in return.

HOW is this being even remotely weak?!?

A superior warband have a 30% chance to cause a cohesion test and 5% in return whole in melee the average pike has 35% to cause cohesion test and 5% in return.

This is pure math and not gut feelings... as long as you have some reserves this is easy to deal with and the opponent will need many more reserves or they will be ripped apart. As long as you can keep your flanks clear long enough you will win this fight questions asked. Always station some of the best phalanxes on the most exposed flanks, not all of them just one will usually suffice.
Just tried now and you are right. My apologies because I was thinking about the beta days and this has obviously been changed. Still, I played Magnesia yesterday and I really feared going against enemy hastati's and the like, I remember my odds not being very good.

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