My first 15mm FoG army . . .

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Skullzgrinda
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My first 15mm FoG army . . .

Post by Skullzgrinda » Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:24 am

. . . will be my last WRG 7th army. Scythians.

I have been reading a lot on this site and the madaxeman site, and I am very excited about FoG. Tearing through Katrina damaged, crumbling bags, boxes and rusting tins, scrambling about for caches of long lost leads to do a half dozen armies, I finally decided to resume where I left off on a *barely* completed Scythian army.

It was difficult to decide on the Scythians, as I have screaming lusties to do a Hunnic army and recently bought quite a bit of lead for it. However, reality forces me to face the fact that I only need to paint 12 - 60 castings to be finished with the Scyths, as opposed to a start from scratch. I am posting to ask a few general questions with an eye towards maximizing the fun quotient and tournament flexibility for the Scyths.

1) It seems to me from what I have read, that a larger horde of ordinary LH is better than a smaller horde of superior LH. This would give me a certainty of more units for both morale and maneuver opportunities as opposed to a chance for better rolls. Fair analysis, or six of one half a dozen of another?

2) I am inclined to go with bow and sword for my superior armored cav rather than lancer. Is this sound?

3) I am thinking of making 1 -3 units of unprotected cav to increase shock combat potential. Is this advisable or not?

4) Infantry. There is the rub. What I have painted maxes out the old WRG 7 options for Scythian and allied foot. My history with this army is that the result was usually awkward, with lacklustre infantry being a ball and chain on my better than average LH, and insufficient numbers of LH to crush with certainty any large mass of opposing cavalry. Is this likely to be true under FoG as well? Having read a LOT of AARs on various FoG games I cannot decide.

5) If I do go for a foot option I will run with Scythians only. Should I max them out or just get a minimum for normal tournament conditions? I am anticipating open tournament rather than themed.

6) I remember one dismal matchup of the Scythians with a low countries army. He formed a horseshoe turtle defense which I surrounded. Neither of us could do a thing to the other, so we took the draw and hit the trade stands early. Will a decent contingent of infantry perhaps tempt shieldwall armies out of position?

Last, with regard to a Western Hunnic army: Has anyone experimented with a heavily loaded Germanic ally list? It seems at a glance - but not really knowing the rules - that this would offer the best balanced and quality Folkwandering Period / Dark Age barbarian horde list. Decent numbers of decent shock cavalry, decent shock and missile foot, and excellent quantities of high quality mounted support with the Huns - or is this just a muddled and unfocused approach, divided in its doctrine?

Thanks in advance for your comments! :D

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Post by pezhetairoi » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:55 am

I'll give you my opinions.
I assume you are using the "Skythian or Saka" list from the "Immortal Fire" book. 550BC to 50AD
I like this army, and I have faced variations of it a few times. I have a few Saka mercenaries for my Persians. Fun to paint.

1 -- the quality rating for your LH BGs (battle Groups) is limited to average. I think you'll find that quite adequate. If you are speaking in general terms, a bigger horde will be more forgiving (if you can handle the traffic jams) but a small+quality horde will increase your specific chances.

2 -- Turning the CAV into armoured horse archers has its advantages (concentrated fire, some melee capability, a chance to escape), but your army may not need that since the LH fill that role well. I'd suggest some shock troops to give you the punch when you finally need it. Lancers hit much harder at impact.

3 -- The unprotected cav won't increase shock potential much -- they shouldn't charge anything unless its already limping. They will concentrate fire and send-off enemy LH though. However, they are more easily trapped and killed than LH. I'm of mixed opinions about unprotected CAV.

4 -- You will find this largely true in FoG as well. The biggest use for the infantry is helping you hold rough terrain. They are not battle winners. The pre 300BC foot with bow and spear are okay. I've seen them used well as fire support. But if you take them you can't have any lancers.

5 -- I'd go without any foot, but that is my choice. To me, they'd just get in the way. Others may have other opinions.

6 -- Armies with lots of spears will always be an issue for Skythians. You will find him hard to damage and he will find you impossible to catch. You might have a better deal out of it. Really you'll have to concentrate fire (and get some luck) to weaken him enough for the charge with the CAV. He'll be taking precautions to stay intact and he'll either try to run you off the table, or catch you in trap against some rough ground. You can also try to outflank him.
The infantry might be something he'd try to kill first -- some can't really escape very well. Is that what you meant by tempting? Your infantry will most likely be outclassed (even in period) so you can forget about using them for an assault.

As for the Germa-Huns, well it might have some potential. The warrior foot barbarians could help take care of those pesky spears. Maybe try it the other way too, with Huns assisting the Germanics. Depends on how you construct the lists. Ally armies are hard to predict, just ask Attila!

Good luck.

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Post by Skullzgrinda » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:00 pm

Thank you for your reply pezhetairoi!

You have persuaded me to go with armored cav lancers. This should help me to keep them out of action and uncommitted until they are truly needed, and to then do a better job of nutcracking.

I am going to go with a couple of unprotected cav units - one for each wing - just to help clear enemy skirmishers. Taking them for a test drive essentially as it seems eveyone is at best ambivalent abut them.

I will ditch the infantry for now. They were always more liability that benefit, and were an awkward drag on mobility. The average to poor quality got me in trouble as well. The ONE time I ever placed was due to the infantry though. In ridiculous columns they launched an impetuous charge at a huge. disrupted Early German warband which had been penetrated the turn before by some wedges of heavily armored cav. It was hard to set up, the target could not have been more ideal, and things could easily have gone wrong. In short - a difficult longshot combination that would not work under FoG. But for this solitary occasion, the infantry were always a liability, and in each game I cursed myself for not painting more cavalry instead! The infantry are dismissed for now - FoG seems to reflect the primacy of archery and maneuver for a horse archer army anyway. :idea: A radical concept in the gaming world but one that is very welcome to me!

As for managing the traffic, I will have to study up on the possibility of flank marches, but will probably have a large reserve to defend the camp and reinforce where and when necessity dictates.

The family just took off for the weekend - so I am off to paint in the day and read rules tonight! :D

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Post by Skullzgrinda » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:18 pm

pezhetairoi asked:

"The infantry might be something he'd try to kill first -- some can't really escape very well. Is that what you meant by tempting?"

Yes. A purely cynical exercise in baiting a trap. Fairly transparent attempt though . . .

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Post by batesmotel » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:40 pm

Don't completely write off the foot for the Scythians. I've used a slight variant on Dave Ruddock's IWF list that placed 2nd at the IWF 2009 in Alexandria and found the units of poor LF to work very well both for beefing up the total BG count and for additional fire power as well as delaying troops when I used them against a Sassanid Persian army. The three units of poor LF (2 x 6 LF archers and 1 x 4 LF slingers) cost the same as 1 BG of 4 LH. The LF can do a fairly good job by them selves at staying out of trouble with a little caution. The 8 MF spearmen for 16 points are one more cheap BG and suitable as camp guards (or for use as bait :twisted: ).

Chris

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Post by Skullzgrinda » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:24 pm

batesmotel wrote:Don't completely write off the foot for the Scythians. I've used a slight variant on Dave Ruddock's IWF list that placed 2nd at the IWF 2009 in Alexandria and found the units of poor LF to work very well both for beefing up the total BG count and for additional fire power as well as delaying troops when I used them against a Sassanid Persian army. The three units of poor LF (2 x 6 LF archers and 1 x 4 LF slingers) cost the same as 1 BG of 4 LH. The LF can do a fairly good job by them selves at staying out of trouble with a little caution. The 8 MF spearmen for 16 points are one more cheap BG and suitable as camp guards (or for use as bait :twisted: ).

Chris
Thanks Chris! I am not abandoning the foot - especially since I almost have the list max already finished - but I am settng them aside for initial use of the list under FoG. I don't have anyone near here to game FoG with, so my learning experience will be to plunge into a tournament. *sigh*...

Accordingly, I will keep it simple, and work up to a more combined arms list once the basics are in hand.

I did study the Ruddock list on the madaxeman site, and was a bit surprised by the number of foot units. Your endorsement of them - especially against another horse army - is heartening too.

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Post by MARVIN_THE_ARVN » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:16 pm

so my learning experience will be to plunge into a tournament. *sigh*...
Try to play in a doubles tournament and pick up ideas from your partner, thats what I did (Thanks Phil!!!)

If you cant do that just let the player you are playing know your a newbie and if they are a decent chap/chapette they will hopefully go easy on you.
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Post by Legionbuilder » Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:10 am

Welcome to the WORLD of FOG - I agree get in one of the tournaments when you can -most of the veterens are very helpful

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Post by hazelbark » Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:04 pm

Mr Ruddock is the scythian champion currently. His IWF army was:
1x8 MF poor lt spear
2x6 lf poor bow
1x4 lf poor sling
8x4 LH aver bow sword
2x4 cv unprotected bow average sword
3x4 cv armd super lance sw
4xtc

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Post by spike » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:56 am

hazelbark wrote:Mr Ruddock is the scythian champion currently. His IWF army was:
1x8 MF poor lt spear
2x6 lf poor bow
1x4 lf poor sling
8x4 LH aver bow sword
2x4 cv unprotected bow average sword
3x4 cv armd super lance sw
4xtc
And you have to practice running away.......... A LOT :lol:

Spike

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Post by david53 » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:50 pm

While being at the same club Dave R I looked around for armies to use I liked LH armies such as the Seljiks and Mongols used both in comps so a move to skythian was easy and asking for some advice from Dave R I took said army to Britcon. Its not an easy army to use correctly but i enjoyed it and only was broken once over the six games I took 16 BGs and the army that beat me was 19 BGs and seeded 8 IIRC of Dom Roms.
Have a plan thats a given but more so with Skythian as you only have three Shock BGs don't waste them. I played at +2 for pre battle this for me was a mistake as losing it you move first but since most armies have some form of HF so what they get to double if you go for +4 you get Steppes allowing more more movement.
Take the infantry as poor so what you re roll 6's you still get a chance to hit on 4's with the reroll, over the weekend they were a great asset they shot down HF/Medium foot disrupted Cavalry lancers disrupted as well. But that was just a plus without them shock foot can ignore your Cavalry but get them inside 3 inchs and they test well worth it.
Don't take the Cav as bow you need shock troops of some kind not made my mind about which type yet.
Learn all about movement for your LH what they can and can't do, its great fun FOG mind it will not be a army you will win big with until you've had good practice but it is fun. I myself would'nt like to face a LH army BTW the worst army for you is a LH army then its not fun.
Dave

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Post by batesmotel » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:48 pm

When I used a variant on Dave R's list, I took 3 BG of cavalry unprotected, bow, sw versus Dave's 2 BG of these. I think the trick is to be able to use the unprotected cavalry to support the 3 BG of lancers (and possibly to chase opposing LH) in order to get the maximum oomph out of the 3 BG of shock cavalry. I didn't have any problems due to having the 3 BG of unprtected cavalry against the Sassanids but I'm not certain how well they'd do in a tournament setting without using the list more times.

Chris

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Post by MARVIN_THE_ARVN » Mon Aug 17, 2009 10:06 pm

I myself would'nt like to face a LH army BTW the worst army for you is a LH army then its not fun.
LH armies are only fun for the person playing the LH army :wink:
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Post by hazelbark » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:23 am

MARVIN_THE_ARVN wrote:
I myself would'nt like to face a LH army BTW the worst army for you is a LH army then its not fun.
LH armies are only fun for the person playing the LH army :wink:
Not true, if you have an army designed to hunt and kill LH

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Post by Skullzgrinda » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:23 am

hazelbark wrote:
MARVIN_THE_ARVN wrote:
I myself would'nt like to face a LH army BTW the worst army for you is a LH army then its not fun.
LH armies are only fun for the person playing the LH army :wink:
Not true, if you have an army designed to hunt and kill LH
Such as . . . ? 8)

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Post by rbodleyscott » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:54 am

Skullzgrinda wrote:
hazelbark wrote:
MARVIN_THE_ARVN wrote: LH armies are only fun for the person playing the LH army :wink:
Not true, if you have an army designed to hunt and kill LH
Such as . . . ? 8)
Han Chinese

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Post by philqw78 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:13 am

RBS wrote:Han Chinese
So nobody has one yet.

But A mix of 6 lancers, 6 LH are very good, just outnumbered. So you need a plan.

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Post by hazelbark » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:25 pm

Skullzgrinda wrote:
hazelbark wrote:
MARVIN_THE_ARVN wrote: LH armies are only fun for the person playing the LH army :wink:
Not true, if you have an army designed to hunt and kill LH
Such as . . . ? 8)
There are many to choose from.
Lots of Cav armies
Lots of MF that either have armor or bows
Armies with superior lancer LH.
Many choices. I haven't treid it yet but someth like Serbs that is LH and KN is likely dangerous to LH too.

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Post by hazelbark » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:31 pm

philqw78 wrote:So you need a plan.
Plans always help. Cunning plans are even better. I think one of the weakness of medium skill players with LH is they think they may not need a plan and versus a player of medium skill with a plan they can get hurt.

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Post by david53 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:07 pm

MARVIN_THE_ARVN wrote:
I myself would'nt like to face a LH army BTW the worst army for you is a LH army then its not fun.
LH armies are only fun for the person playing the LH army :wink:


Said like a true infantry general :wink: soon to be a London General BTW I misplaced Swifter than Begales at britcon so can't help with infantry for biblical period.

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