Pike Phalanx

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
Aryaman
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
1st Lieutenant - 15 cm sFH 18
Posts: 833
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:12 pm

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Aryaman » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:07 pm

I am your side in this discussion :)

HudsonGame
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:03 pm

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by HudsonGame » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:29 pm

Aryaman wrote:I am your side in this discussion :)
Thanks. I am glad somebody is. :D

MikeC_81
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
Posts: 727
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:28 am

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by MikeC_81 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:23 pm

HudsonGame wrote:
Aryaman wrote:
HudsonGame wrote: Well, as I stated, that was true under Alexander, but, under the Successors (and lets not forget Pyrrhus), much less so. The Phalanx armies the Romans faced were much more brittle. You flanked them and they were in deep trouble. But, late, or early, the Macedonian phalanx was unassailable (on flat open ground) from the front by sword wielding units. Put the Phalanx up against another Phalanx, it turned into a sort of shoving match. I think the game needs to reflect all of this, which it does not at this time.
We have only the Roman point of view of those battles. The phalanx was to be used in conjunction with cavalry, anvil and hammer, the Roman armies of the period always sought to get cavalry from allies, Aetolains at Kynoskephale, Pergamenes at Magnesia...

Well, your point is largely true, but, my point is that the reason the Phalanx could be used as an anvil, was because it was unassailable from the front (on open terrain) by the typical sword wielding unit. The Phalanx could hold this type of infantry in place while the cavalry did their flanking thing. As I have stated before, the game does not reflect this. The Phalanx in this game is treated just like any other homogeneous infantry unit. It would be nice if this error could be addressed.
 
Isn't this already addressed by ZoCs? I mean if you march a Pike unit in front of an enemy unit you want to pin, its movement options are exceedingly limited. I have used ZoC mechanics in every game in order to get flanking moves done.

Also how do we know Alexander's Phalanx's were less brittle? He never met late republican Roman soldiers or armies in his career that so thoroughly trounced Pike wielding formations. Or maybe his brilliance and the competence of his sub commanders and or the skill of his veteran troops mitigated issues that his lesser skilled successors were unable to replicate?

I always advise caution and in topics such as these to avoid the use of absolute or insinuating that the game 'need a fix' because while I am sure you are well learned in this particular area, no one can come close to knowing with any degree of certainty the differences between how Alexander's men and officers operated the phalanx and how the diadochi that the Romans faced operated them or much of any facets of ancient warfare.
FoG 2 Post Game Analysis Series on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKmEROEwX2fgjoQLlQULhPg/

HudsonGame
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:03 pm

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by HudsonGame » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:08 am

Isn't this already addressed by ZoCs? I mean if you march a Pike unit in front of an enemy unit you want to pin, its movement options are exceedingly limited. I have used ZoC mechanics in every game in order to get flanking moves done.

Also how do we know Alexander's Phalanx's were less brittle? He never met late republican Roman soldiers or armies in his career that so thoroughly trounced Pike wielding formations. Or maybe his brilliance and the competence of his sub commanders and or the skill of his veteran troops mitigated issues that his lesser skilled successors were unable to replicate?

I always advise caution and in topics such as these to avoid the use of absolute or insinuating that the game 'need a fix' because while I am sure you are well learned in this particular area, no one can come close to knowing with any degree of certainty the differences between how Alexander's men and officers operated the phalanx and how the diadochi that the Romans faced operated them or much of any facets of ancient warfare.

Well, while playing two separate battles, I saw a sword wielding unit (A Warband) hit a Phalanx unit from the front in open ground and drive the Phalanx back with heavy casualties. I saw this happen several times. The Macedonian phalanx was unassailable (on flat open ground) from the front by sword wielding units. Not the case in the game. Again, that is my point. If the programing makes fixing this impossible, then I suppose it cannot be fixed. I am just saying it would be nice if it could be fixed.

Spectre195
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:45 pm

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Spectre195 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:18 am

HudsonGame wrote:
Isn't this already addressed by ZoCs? I mean if you march a Pike unit in front of an enemy unit you want to pin, its movement options are exceedingly limited. I have used ZoC mechanics in every game in order to get flanking moves done.

Also how do we know Alexander's Phalanx's were less brittle? He never met late republican Roman soldiers or armies in his career that so thoroughly trounced Pike wielding formations. Or maybe his brilliance and the competence of his sub commanders and or the skill of his veteran troops mitigated issues that his lesser skilled successors were unable to replicate?

I always advise caution and in topics such as these to avoid the use of absolute or insinuating that the game 'need a fix' because while I am sure you are well learned in this particular area, no one can come close to knowing with any degree of certainty the differences between how Alexander's men and officers operated the phalanx and how the diadochi that the Romans faced operated them or much of any facets of ancient warfare.

Well, while playing two separate battles, I saw a sword wielding unit (A Warband) hit a Phalanx unit from the front in open ground and drive the Phalanx back with heavy casualties. I saw this happen several times. The Macedonian phalanx was unassailable (on flat open ground) from the front by sword wielding units. Not the case in the game. Again, that is my point. If the programing makes fixing this impossible, then I suppose it cannot be fixed. I am just saying it would be nice if it could be fixed.
The game uses random probabilities. They will lose from time to time. And the Macedonian phalanx was probably not as all powerful as the writers lead you to believe. Embellishment was the name of the game in ancient times...

jomni
Sengoku Jidai
Sengoku Jidai
Posts: 1375
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:20 am

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by jomni » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:20 am

deleted

HudsonGame
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:03 pm

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by HudsonGame » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:44 am

Spectre195 wrote:
HudsonGame wrote:
Isn't this already addressed by ZoCs? I mean if you march a Pike unit in front of an enemy unit you want to pin, its movement options are exceedingly limited. I have used ZoC mechanics in every game in order to get flanking moves done.

Also how do we know Alexander's Phalanx's were less brittle? He never met late republican Roman soldiers or armies in his career that so thoroughly trounced Pike wielding formations. Or maybe his brilliance and the competence of his sub commanders and or the skill of his veteran troops mitigated issues that his lesser skilled successors were unable to replicate?

I always advise caution and in topics such as these to avoid the use of absolute or insinuating that the game 'need a fix' because while I am sure you are well learned in this particular area, no one can come close to knowing with any degree of certainty the differences between how Alexander's men and officers operated the phalanx and how the diadochi that the Romans faced operated them or much of any facets of ancient warfare.

Well, while playing two separate battles, I saw a sword wielding unit (A Warband) hit a Phalanx unit from the front in open ground and drive the Phalanx back with heavy casualties. I saw this happen several times. The Macedonian phalanx was unassailable (on flat open ground) from the front by sword wielding units. Not the case in the game. Again, that is my point. If the programing makes fixing this impossible, then I suppose it cannot be fixed. I am just saying it would be nice if it could be fixed.
The game uses random probabilities. They will lose from time to time. And the Macedonian phalanx was probably not as all powerful as the writers lead you to believe. Embellishment was the name of the game in ancient times...
As I said, if it cannot be fixed. Hand waving is not the same as fact. All reports indicate the Macedonian Phalanx was unassailable if attacked from the front on open ground by sword wielding infantry. This sort of infantry only defeated the Phalanx on broken ground (like at Pydna) or by flanking them. If the Romans were to embellish their accounts, I believe they would have just said they hit them head on and sent them packing. This was not the case.

rbodleyscott
Field of Glory 2
Field of Glory 2
Posts: 22214
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 6:25 pm

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by rbodleyscott » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:48 am

It is stretching the evidence to say that pike units were "unassailable" (on "level open ground") from the front by sword-wielding units.

Leaving aside the issue that Romans had pila as well as sword, and would be able to exploit any disruption caused by the pila, in the early sixteenth century the Spanish fielded sword-and-bucklermen for the sole purpose of fighting pike phalanxes!

We acknowledge the fact that the pike phalanx had the advantage against Roman legionaries frontally. It does in the game, but it isn't invincible.

In several battles, the Romans eventually won by flanking the phalanx, but they had to hold their own frontally long enough to get into such a position. They won't be able to hold their own if the frontal factors favour the pikes enough that they can never lose.

Overall in the matchup of pike armies vs Roman armies, the game actually slightly favours the pike armies. (This was demonstrated in the Pyrrhos vs Roman round of one of the recent tournaments). If the pikes are made any more invincible from the front, the balance would tip far too far in favour of the pike armies.

One way of looking at it is that if the pikes do lose against Romans in "open ground", then perhaps the Romans were able to exploit some small irregularity in the ground that isn't apparent on the map, or pulled some of the phalanx out of position using manipular tactics. Each Roman unit contains 4 maniples. A lot can be going on below the visible level of representation in the game.
Richard Bodley Scott

Image

Spectre195
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Lance Corporal - SdKfz 222
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:45 pm

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by Spectre195 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:51 pm

HudsonGame wrote:
Spectre195 wrote:
HudsonGame wrote:
Well, while playing two separate battles, I saw a sword wielding unit (A Warband) hit a Phalanx unit from the front in open ground and drive the Phalanx back with heavy casualties. I saw this happen several times. The Macedonian phalanx was unassailable (on flat open ground) from the front by sword wielding units. Not the case in the game. Again, that is my point. If the programing makes fixing this impossible, then I suppose it cannot be fixed. I am just saying it would be nice if it could be fixed.
The game uses random probabilities. They will lose from time to time. And the Macedonian phalanx was probably not as all powerful as the writers lead you to believe. Embellishment was the name of the game in ancient times...
As I said, if it cannot be fixed. Hand waving is not the same as fact. All reports indicate the Macedonian Phalanx was unassailable if attacked from the front on open ground by sword wielding infantry. This sort of infantry only defeated the Phalanx on broken ground (like at Pydna) or by flanking them. If the Romans were to embellish their accounts, I believe they would have just said they hit them head on and sent them packing. This was not the case.
On the contrary. Saying you won when you loss isn't embellishing, its easily proven wrong (unless you are talking minor victory in reality was inconclusive so both sides claim victory type deal). Them losing and saying the pikes are unbeatable is definitely embellishing. If you lost then you are damn sure you are making it not because you weren't good enough but because the opponent were literally monsters. Embellishing a lost is to save face.

Also at the end of the day this is a game. If pikes were as invincible from the front as you claim they should be then that would be dumb. It would make the game terrible.

HudsonGame
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:03 pm

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by HudsonGame » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:34 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:It is stretching the evidence to say that pike units were "unassailable" (on "level open ground") from the front by sword-wielding units.

Leaving aside the issue that Romans had pila as well as sword, and would be able to exploit any disruption caused by the pila, in the early sixteenth century the Spanish fielded sword-and-bucklermen for the sole purpose of fighting pike phalanxes!

We acknowledge the fact that the pike phalanx had the advantage against Roman legionaries frontally. It does in the game, but it isn't invincible.

In several battles, the Romans eventually won by flanking the phalanx, but they had to hold their own frontally long enough to get into such a position. They won't be able to hold their own if the frontal factors favour the pikes enough that they can never lose.

Overall in the matchup of pike armies vs Roman armies, the game actually slightly favours the pike armies. (This was demonstrated in the Pyrrhos vs Roman round of one of the recent tournaments). If the pikes are made any more invincible from the front, the balance would tip far too far in favour of the pike armies.

One way of looking at it is that if the pikes do lose against Romans in "open ground", then perhaps the Romans were able to exploit some small irregularity in the ground that isn't apparent on the map, or pulled some of the phalanx out of position using manipular tactics. Each Roman unit contains 4 maniples. A lot can be going on below the visible level of representation in the game.
The reason I have spoken out about this problem is that I played two games using a Phalanx force vs the Gauls. I had a line of like eight or nine Phalanx units for my center. The Gauls attacked my center of Phalanx units with their Warbands. At least three of my Phalanxes were thrown back with heavy casualties. This was done from the front in open ground. I have studied ancient warfare (and warfare in general) for many decades. I have a Masters in History. I don't think that makes me the last word in ancient warfare, but I do think it makes me somewhat knowledgeable on the subject. From everything I have read, I do believe that could not have happened. To hold their own, the Romans would just have to do their thing by forming a formidable shield wall, which even a force of pikes would find very hard to drive back. It would no doubt be an impasse. One big problem with the Phalanx is that, to be effective, they had to operate on nice flat open ground. Pydna is a good example of what happened when they left their nice flat open ground. The Romans did do as you suggested, they broke into their smaller formations and took advantage of the disrupted Phalanx. Hence the Roman victory that day. The other big problem with the Phalanx is that it (at least the ones the Romans faced) was not very nimble. If hit from the flank, that was it for them. Roman infantry tactics were very adaptable, the Phalanx was not. That was the reason the Phalanx was finally dropped. But that does leave the established fact (despite Spectre195's bizarre reasoning) that the Phalanx formation was VERY formidable from the front. Flank them or draw them into broken ground. That was the way they were defeated historically. As I stated before, if this cannot be fixed, I understand. Reprograming the whole game (which, aside from the Phalanx thing, I really like) to fix this would not be cost effective. But, I still think the way the Phalanx is treated in the game is not historical.

vakarr
Sergeant Major - SdKfz 234/2 8Rad
Sergeant Major - SdKfz 234/2 8Rad
Posts: 643
Joined: Sat Mar 04, 2006 6:57 am
Contact:

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by vakarr » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:24 pm

On the whole, (though I have seen some horror clashes with their traditional rivals, warbands and legions) I've found that pike phalanxes can be pretty reliable and have lots of stamina. One problem with AI pike phalanxes (particularly apparent in a Youtube Magnesia video) though is that the AI tends not to charge in formation but slew to the right or left, thus leaving each unit open to flank charges if it wins.

MikeC_81
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
Posts: 727
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:28 am

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by MikeC_81 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:55 am

I have great respect for the fact that you own a Master's degree but as for precise comments on exactly what happened at Pydna or any other ancient battlefield, I have serious doubts given the fact I don't even know if we have a first hand account of the events of Pydna. My understanding is that the majority of the descriptions came from Livi and Plutarch who lived some 100+ years after the battle. How can you be so sure as the interaction between teh various soldiers?

The American Civil War ~150 years ago has enough first hand accounts and actual orders written about it by Generals, their staff, lower grade officers, and common men that these documents are still be sorted through with by historians today. And despite the fact that we have all of this written documentation along with access to historical training manuals used at the time and even access to actual weapons used at the time, we can't even figure out for sure what range rifled muskets were accurate at, how much damage they actually caused, and the actual distances involved when units opened up on each other.

Add to that we don't have a historical account, indeed if such an encounter ever took place, between the Gaulic/Germanic warrior tradition that the Warbands are supposed to represent fighting against Hellenistic heavy infantry tradition of the phalanx.
FoG 2 Post Game Analysis Series on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKmEROEwX2fgjoQLlQULhPg/

HudsonGame
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:03 pm

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by HudsonGame » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:49 am

MikeC_81 wrote:I have great respect for the fact that you own a Master's degree but as for precise comments on exactly what happened at Pydna or any other ancient battlefield, I have serious doubts given the fact I don't even know if we have a first hand account of the events of Pydna. My understanding is that the majority of the descriptions came from Livi and Plutarch who lived some 100+ years after the battle. How can you be so sure as the interaction between teh various soldiers?

The American Civil War ~150 years ago has enough first hand accounts and actual orders written about it by Generals, their staff, lower grade officers, and common men that these documents are still be sorted through with by historians today. And despite the fact that we have all of this written documentation along with access to historical training manuals used at the time and even access to actual weapons used at the time, we can't even figure out for sure what range rifled muskets were accurate at, how much damage they actually caused, and the actual distances involved when units opened up on each other.

Add to that we don't have a historical account, indeed if such an encounter ever took place, between the Gaulic/Germanic warrior tradition that the Warbands are supposed to represent fighting against Hellenistic heavy infantry tradition of the phalanx.
There is no reason I am aware of to doubt the account of the Battle of Pydna. Livy sourced Polybius who was contemporary and in fact spent many years after Pydna living in the household of Paulus as a Greek hostage. If you wish to discount ancient history, I suppose that is your privilege. I am most sorry, but I do not. I in fact like Field of Glory II. I, unlike many, am not a fanboy of this game, and thus can voice my opinion of what I see as an inaccuracy. I suppose you could call me a fanboy of the Phalanx. I have studied the Macedonian Phalanx ever since I played the SPI game Phalanx some decades ago. After many years of study, I conclude this Phalanx business as not being historical. I am assuming this cannot be addressed because of programing. This makes great sense for the company. I will conclude by again saying I very much like this game. It was very fun to play (outside of my Phalanx units being smashed by wildling brutes). I give the developers a thumbs up.

jomni
Sengoku Jidai
Sengoku Jidai
Posts: 1375
Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:20 am

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by jomni » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:41 am

HudsonGame wrote:
MikeC_81 wrote:I have great respect for the fact that you own a Master's degree but as for precise comments on exactly what happened at Pydna or any other ancient battlefield, I have serious doubts given the fact I don't even know if we have a first hand account of the events of Pydna. My understanding is that the majority of the descriptions came from Livi and Plutarch who lived some 100+ years after the battle. How can you be so sure as the interaction between teh various soldiers?

The American Civil War ~150 years ago has enough first hand accounts and actual orders written about it by Generals, their staff, lower grade officers, and common men that these documents are still be sorted through with by historians today. And despite the fact that we have all of this written documentation along with access to historical training manuals used at the time and even access to actual weapons used at the time, we can't even figure out for sure what range rifled muskets were accurate at, how much damage they actually caused, and the actual distances involved when units opened up on each other.

Add to that we don't have a historical account, indeed if such an encounter ever took place, between the Gaulic/Germanic warrior tradition that the Warbands are supposed to represent fighting against Hellenistic heavy infantry tradition of the phalanx.
There is no reason I am aware of to doubt the account of the Battle of Pydna. Livy sourced Polybius who was contemporary and in fact spent many years after Pydna living in the household of Paulus as a Greek hostage. If you wish to discount ancient history, I suppose that is your privilege. I am most sorry, but I do not. I in fact like Field of Glory II. I, unlike many, am not a fanboy of this game, and thus can voice my opinion of what I see as an inaccuracy. I suppose you could call me a fanboy of the Phalanx. I have studied the Macedonian Phalanx ever since I played the SPI game Phalanx some decades ago. After many years of study, I conclude this Phalanx business as not being historical. I am assuming this cannot be addressed because of programing. This makes great sense for the company. I will conclude by again saying I very much like this game. It was very fun to play (outside of my Phalanx units being smashed by wildling brutes). I give the developers a thumbs up.
It can be modded. If your problem are just Warbands an not Romans, then just remove the Impact Foot capability of warbands in the squads.csv. No coding needed. Just not sure how it affects the rest of the match ups vs. warbands

nikgaukroger
Field of Glory Moderator
Field of Glory Moderator
Posts: 10265
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:30 am
Location: LarryWorld

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by nikgaukroger » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:54 am

jomni wrote: It can be modded. If your problem are just Warbands an not Romans, then just remove the Impact Foot capability of warbands in the squads.csv. No coding needed. Just not sure how it affects the rest of the match ups vs. warbands
It would completely **** them up basically :? [Mod: Keep it clean please]

Must say in relation to the concerns raised I've found phalanxes to perform pretty much in line with my reading of history. I've certainly flattened warband armies with them on a regular basis - mention this as this seems to have been the initial concern. Issues I have seen with them appear to me to be more due to the limitations of the AI than the basic game approach for phalanxes (or when fighting smaller battles where a wild swing of luck taking out a unit will have a greater effect as there are fewer units in an army).
Nik Gaukroger

"Never ask a man if he comes from Yorkshire. If he does, he will tell you.
If he does not, why humiliate him?" - Canon Sydney Smith

nikgaukroger@blueyonder.co.uk

MikeC_81
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
Posts: 727
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:28 am

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by MikeC_81 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:13 am

HudsonGame wrote: There is no reason I am aware of to doubt the account of the Battle of Pydna. Livy sourced Polybius who was contemporary and in fact spent many years after Pydna living in the household of Paulus as a Greek hostage. If you wish to discount ancient history, I suppose that is your privilege.
Just so we are clear, I am not doubting the generalized version of events at Pydna.

What I am doubting is whether there is enough tactical information from a secondary source in which the original author never even witnessed, for you to comfortably use the words like 'never' and 'impossible' when describing whether it was taking on the Sarissa phalanxes from the front was possible or not in open ground. I will note that Livy's account notes terrain as only one of several factors as to why gaps would open up in a Phalanx line. Other reasons include gaps forming from 'those who were slower from those who were faster, and those who advanced from those who held back, and lastly, those who pressed upon the enemy from those who were repulsed'. Hmm I thought Phalanxes weren't supposed to get repulsed....

It could be that the Romans were the first recorded force in history who had the discipline and flexibility with enough latitude given to commanders of sub units to actually exploit issues that may have always existed. In any case, you are entitled to your view but I think speaking in absolutes seems inadvisable.

I doubt this is a programming issue btw. You could probably just make them invincible by giving them Impact +400 PoA vs anything and you would get an invincible phalanx.
FoG 2 Post Game Analysis Series on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKmEROEwX2fgjoQLlQULhPg/

nikgaukroger
Field of Glory Moderator
Field of Glory Moderator
Posts: 10265
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:30 am
Location: LarryWorld

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:25 am

MikeC_81 wrote: I will note that Livy's account notes terrain as only one of several factors as to why gaps would open up in a Phalanx line.
Was it Livy (or perhaps Plutarch) in relation to Pydna who just talks about the unevenness of the ground in a very general manner and not specifically what we might call for a wargame "broken ground" or similar? I.e. he is just talking about the reality that unprepared ground is not bowling green flat and naturally includes small irregularities that could cause some level of disruption to a formation. Or am I recalling something totally different?

Other reasons include gaps forming from 'those who were slower from those who were faster, and those who advanced from those who held back, and lastly, those who pressed upon the enemy from those who were repulsed'. Hmm I thought Phalanxes weren't supposed to get repulsed....

It could be that the Romans were the first recorded force in history who had the discipline and flexibility with enough latitude given to commanders of sub units to actually exploit issues that may have always existed. In any case, you are entitled to your view but I think speaking in absolutes seems inadvisable.
So basically the things that are below the visible level of representation as Richard said above :D
Nik Gaukroger

"Never ask a man if he comes from Yorkshire. If he does, he will tell you.
If he does not, why humiliate him?" - Canon Sydney Smith

nikgaukroger@blueyonder.co.uk

HudsonGame
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:03 pm

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by HudsonGame » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:24 pm

MikeC_81 wrote:
HudsonGame wrote: There is no reason I am aware of to doubt the account of the Battle of Pydna. Livy sourced Polybius who was contemporary and in fact spent many years after Pydna living in the household of Paulus as a Greek hostage. If you wish to discount ancient history, I suppose that is your privilege.
Just so we are clear, I am not doubting the generalized version of events at Pydna.

What I am doubting is whether there is enough tactical information from a secondary source in which the original author never even witnessed, for you to comfortably use the words like 'never' and 'impossible' when describing whether it was taking on the Sarissa phalanxes from the front was possible or not in open ground. I will note that Livy's account notes terrain as only one of several factors as to why gaps would open up in a Phalanx line. Other reasons include gaps forming from 'those who were slower from those who were faster, and those who advanced from those who held back, and lastly, those who pressed upon the enemy from those who were repulsed'. Hmm I thought Phalanxes weren't supposed to get repulsed....

It could be that the Romans were the first recorded force in history who had the discipline and flexibility with enough latitude given to commanders of sub units to actually exploit issues that may have always existed. In any case, you are entitled to your view but I think speaking in absolutes seems inadvisable.

I doubt this is a programming issue btw. You could probably just make them invincible by giving them Impact +400 PoA vs anything and you would get an invincible phalanx.

Well, I took a look at Livy's account and did see that he remarked "...that the phalanx (which even a small inequality of surface renders useless) could not advance on it." The Macedonians, under provocation, disregarded that known fact and advanced across the river moving on the Romans over terrain that possessed "inequality of surface". While advancing, loosing formation because of the terrain, the phalanx would understandably exhibit all the problems Livi related. The Roman tactical flexibility allowed them to take advantage in this situation (as Livy related). Thus the Macedonian defeat. Well, I will drop any more dispute on an Attacking Phalanx formation. I began this discussion because I fought two engagements against the Gauls where they attacked my line of ten phalanxes from the front with their warband units. Of those ten (who were all on open terrain), on first contact, they drove three phalanxes back with heavy casualties. I am sorry, but I find that absurd. Also, I have never said I thought the Phalanx was invincible. It was very formidable from the front (most especially while on defense). Doing what you said would just make them as you said "invincible". If it were possible (and I am not sure it is with this game), they should be very formidable from the front (as a nod to you, perhaps not so much while on the attack). Being flanked, or attacking from broken terrain, they should be very vulnerable. I will again close by saying, overall I think this game is very enjoyable. I again give the developers a thumbs up (except for the Phalanx business, lol).

MikeC_81
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
2nd Lieutenant - Elite Panzer IVF/2
Posts: 727
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:28 am

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by MikeC_81 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:13 pm

nikgaukroger wrote: Was it Livy (or perhaps Plutarch) in relation to Pydna who just talks about the unevenness of the ground in a very general manner and not specifically what we might call for a wargame "broken ground" or similar? I.e. he is just talking about the reality that unprepared ground is not bowling green flat and naturally includes small irregularities that could cause some level of disruption to a formation. Or am I recalling something totally different?
I do not know, I only know the Livy account because someone has it translated online. I am sure uneven terrain had something to do with it but I challenge anyone anywhere to find a piece of ground large enough for armies to fight on that does not contain some amounts of irregularities. Terrain inequities invariably happen anywhere and everywhere. I am certain Alexander the Great did not fight every single battle on smooth open ground that was perfectly level with no obstacles around.

The point I am trying to make, like I made in the Warbands thread, is that no one will likely ever know the whole story unless we sanction Hunger Games style criminal punishment systems and make them reenact these battles for us ad naseum (for science! :mrgreen: ). The generalized version of events is all we can ever hope to have and maybe with some practical history like people have done trying to true to life reenactments will give us some additonal insights in terms of what was practical and what is just theoretical nonsense. So for anyone to come in here and say it was "never" thus or such outcomes were "impossible", I would take issue with such stances. Especially when to my knowledge, Gallic/Germanic tribal warbands never actually had significant combat with the Macedonian Phalanx system for us to draw any conclusions from.

Within this paradigm of "its kind of fuzzy", FoG 2 has it mainly right. Certainly within the 'same ballpark' so to speak. I have some issues with some combat interactions but certainly nothing that is grossly abusive of history. Impact Foot for example is in my estimation a tad too strong or at least very obnoxious to deal with. But I would certainly not go as far as HudsonGame and just declare this interaction as unrealistic.
FoG 2 Post Game Analysis Series on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKmEROEwX2fgjoQLlQULhPg/

JaM2013
Master Sergeant - U-boat
Master Sergeant - U-boat
Posts: 542
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 1:02 pm

Re: Pike Phalanx

Post by JaM2013 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:10 pm

actually, Livy and other Roman historians suggested that Phalanx was defeated by Romans who put "uneven resistance" so parts of phalanx moved forward and parts were pinned by romans so holes appeared and Romans used them to get into flanks of phalangites.. Greek historians tend to overstress the importance of "broken ground" as main reason for defeat, even though they also claim Macedonian army was no longer full of veterans, therefore were more likely to break formation... Personally, i think truth is on both, and Phalanx was defeated because of Roman tactics and independent command of their Centurions and Military Tribunes who were allowed to take initiative if they saw opportunity, lack of experience on Macedonic side with large scale battles against Romans (most of Cynoscephalae veterans was gone already), and also because of broken terrain phalanx was unable to handle over entire battle front...
Image

Post Reply

Return to “Field of Glory II”