Warband vs Mediocre Legionaire

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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Blastom1016
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Warband vs Mediocre Legionaire

Post by Blastom1016 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:28 am

I'm trying to figure out how to win with a warband army against roma.
Currently either a warband or a Mediocre Legionaire bg costs 54 points. But the warband is inferior in every aspect against a legionaire unit - they're unmaneuverable, which as said in the manual, can cause sigificant inconvenience; and their lower armor gives the legionaire +50 PoA in melee.
Plus, they may also be easier to bend. Not sure if they don't receive the +1 cohesion test from being heavy (Close Ordered) or suffer extra for being warband. They got a lot of double cohesion drop in my experience.

The only advantage for the warband over legionaires, I think, is the larger unit size, which helps in soaking arrow fire and preserve fighting capability on model lose. But as they broken so fast, the preserving feature doesn't seem useful in melee. Lots of the warband got routed in nearly full size on frontal combats.

So I think, the only true advantage of them may be they're better against some massive archer or horse archer base army, that has trouble to cause cohesion test on shooting.

Do anything I'm missing something with the warbands?

mgardner
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Re: Warband vs Mediocre Legionaire

Post by mgardner » Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:33 pm

Both types of Warband are 4 points more expensive than Mediocre Legionary. Also the armor POA difference between Armoured and Protected is +25, not +50.

Loose order is type Warrior, which means they are the ones that suffer a cohesion penalty vs. Heavy Foot - close order does not. Loose order is NOT disordered by rough terrain, and also the cohesion penalty only applies in open terrain. So the performance of loose order Warband is highly dependent on terrain - if they can attack a Legionaire in rough terrain or goad a Legionaire to attack them while the Warband is in rough terrain, they come out on top.

For close order, I agree their only advantage is manpower. Warbands have +50% more men than Legionaires (three ranks vs. two) but this gives more bonuses than you have listed. They get +10 POA on impact (Deep Impact Foot), and since armoured does not apply to impact phase this puts them at a slight advantage vs. Legionaire. Once melee starts, the Legionaires get their +25 armour POA, and since only the first two ranks are fighting, the manpower advantage of the Warband does not provide any immediate benefit. But as melee continues, IF the warband is not routed, their losses from the front two ranks will be replaced by the third rank which is an advantage the Legionaires do not have. So eventually the additional manpower will show up as a combat strength modifier in favor of the Warband. As you have observed, the hard part is to keep them from routing until their manpower advantage kicks in. To this end, anything you can do to soften up the Legionaire before impact will help - do you have a skirmisher advantage? If the enemy has normal / superior Legionaires, you may have more units and can try to set up 2-vs-1 or flanking situations.

Blastom1016
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Re: Warband vs Mediocre Legionaire

Post by Blastom1016 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 3:49 pm

mgardner wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:33 pm
Both types of Warband are 4 points more expensive than Mediocre Legionary. Also the armor POA difference between Armoured and Protected is +25, not +50.

Loose order is type Warrior, which means they are the ones that suffer a cohesion penalty vs. Heavy Foot - close order does not. Loose order is NOT disordered by rough terrain, and also the cohesion penalty only applies in open terrain. So the performance of loose order Warband is highly dependent on terrain - if they can attack a Legionaire in rough terrain or goad a Legionaire to attack them while the Warband is in rough terrain, they come out on top.

For close order, I agree their only advantage is manpower. Warbands have +50% more men than Legionaires (three ranks vs. two) but this gives more bonuses than you have listed. They get +10 POA on impact (Deep Impact Foot), and since armoured does not apply to impact phase this puts them at a slight advantage vs. Legionaire. Once melee starts, the Legionaires get their +25 armour POA, and since only the first two ranks are fighting, the manpower advantage of the Warband does not provide any immediate benefit. But as melee continues, IF the warband is not routed, their losses from the front two ranks will be replaced by the third rank which is an advantage the Legionaires do not have. So eventually the additional manpower will show up as a combat strength modifier in favor of the Warband. As you have observed, the hard part is to keep them from routing until their manpower advantage kicks in. To this end, anything you can do to soften up the Legionaire before impact will help - do you have a skirmisher advantage? If the enemy has normal / superior Legionaires, you may have more units and can try to set up 2-vs-1 or flanking situations.
:roll: But the warband are much more likely to get disrupted before the manpower shredded enough to it favor.
Unmaneuverable is quite huge as well.

mgardner
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Re: Warband vs Mediocre Legionaire

Post by mgardner » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:23 pm

I am not arguing that Warband is better than Legionary, just pointing out that the matchup may not be as lopsided as you originally thought. On a pure 1v1 battle, I would put my money on Legionary but you have to work with what your chosen list gives you and maximize your strengths / minimize your weaknesses.

For fun I did some tests of Warband (Close order) vs Mediocre Legionary, to see when the Warband manpower advantage surpasses the Legionary armor advantage in melee. If the Warband can survive three melee rounds without getting disrupted, around the fourth round they will be fighting on equal terms vs the Legionary (their combat strength modifier will be roughly equal to the +25 POA armor bonus). From round 5 onwards, the combat odds will shift in favor of the Warband as their combat strength modifier continues to grow larger than the armor bonus. There’s about a 60% chance the Warband will make it to round four without losing a single battle - and of the battles they lose, not every one will result in a failed cohesion test.

To better your chances of victory, you’ve got to look to the rest of your army. Let’s pretend you are also evenly matched with skirmishers, and before the impact phase both units are depleted 10% (48 losses to Legionaries, 72 losses [edit - not 96 as originally posted] to Warband). The Warband can still field two full ranks, so will start getting a combat strength modifier right away. Now they only have to survive 1-2 rounds without getting disrupted before the melee odds shift in their favor. NOW I would put my money on Warband.

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Re: Warband vs Mediocre Legionaire

Post by MVP7 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:58 pm

Directly comparing the cost efficiency of warbands and mediocre legionaries isn't really relevant to winning Romans with warbands as both army types require very different way of thinking. For Romans and some other armies with top tier units of their time it is enough and even effective to get into "fair" linear 1-vs-1 fight in the open as long as your flanks are secure. With army made of mediocre units like warbands you really need to avoid such fair fight as much as you can:

Force the enemy to maneuver around obstacles to disrupt the formation; put your units in positions where it's unfavorable for the enemy to attack them and keep them there; never offer or start a fight that you aren't likely to win unless it is a calculated part of a greater tactic; use your best troops and generals to achieve local superiority in small area of the front while the rest of your army stares the enemy from hills, forest and rough terrain.

If you have loose order warbands those are some of the most powerful units in rough terrain or forests which can be very convenient against the Romans. That being said, Romans lists are pretty good counter to warband heavy infantry armies so it's not going to be easy fight in any case.

Blastom1016
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Re: Warband vs Mediocre Legionaire

Post by Blastom1016 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:53 am

mgardner wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:23 pm
I am not arguing that Warband is better than Legionary, just pointing out that the matchup may not be as lopsided as you originally thought. On a pure 1v1 battle, I would put my money on Legionary but you have to work with what your chosen list gives you and maximize your strengths / minimize your weaknesses.

For fun I did some tests of Warband (Close order) vs Mediocre Legionary, to see when the Warband manpower advantage surpasses the Legionary armor advantage in melee. If the Warband can survive three melee rounds without getting disrupted, around the fourth round they will be fighting on equal terms vs the Legionary (their combat strength modifier will be roughly equal to the +25 POA armor bonus). From round 5 onwards, the combat odds will shift in favor of the Warband as their combat strength modifier continues to grow larger than the armor bonus. There’s about a 60% chance the Warband will make it to round four without losing a single battle - and of the battles they lose, not every one will result in a failed cohesion test.

To better your chances of victory, you’ve got to look to the rest of your army. Let’s pretend you are also evenly matched with skirmishers, and before the impact phase both units are depleted 10% (48 losses to Legionaries, 72 losses [edit - not 96 as originally posted] to Warband). The Warband can still field two full ranks, so will start getting a combat strength modifier right away. Now they only have to survive 1-2 rounds without getting disrupted before the melee odds shift in their favor. NOW I would put my money on Warband.
:D From the experience, they just worked like spearmen? Pretty interesting.
So warbands will be used like impact foots against spear army, while like spears against impact foot army.

Blastom1016
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Re: Warband vs Mediocre Legionaire

Post by Blastom1016 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:01 am

I see the advantage on warbands. They’re quite strong against grinding troops, like spearmen or irregular.

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Re: Warband vs Mediocre Legionaire

Post by slithpile » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:18 am

I'm only a single player gamer, and I've only been playing for a few weeks. So my opinions won't be as informed as the experienced multiplayer competitors.

But my experience so far is that Warband type armies feel too expensive for what they do. I've been able to play out my fantasies of Rome v Carthage v Macedonia and all the associated neighboring nations with roughly similar army styles. And all those battle have lived up to my hopes. But every time I play a battle involving Gallic/Germanic/British forces (either as them or against them) I feel like those guys should have more units given their limitations.

I'm getting familiar with the limitations of the AI, so I can still win with them, but Warbands still feel expensive for what they do.

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