Getic Thracians - a New Hope

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vakarr
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Getic Thracians - a New Hope

Post by vakarr » Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:59 am

Hi, I've played a number of games with Thracians and have found the winning combination for this army. I like the way I can place terrain that exactly suits my army (even if it is rarely in a useful spot and we end up fighting in open terrain all the time). My army has a real chance to win for the first time without cowering in the terrain. Against those pesky later Romans I've twice broken through his line and got around his flanks - only to run out of time. The Thracian Getic army is fun because everything moves fast - at around 700 points you get 15 battlegroups (including enough generals to keep all the MF moving at double speed) and heaps of firepower. Contact is usually on the second turn. I've even learnt how to beat up a shooty cavalry army, the Thracians' worst nightmare ( I shot them up!).

The FoG list gives the Thracians some things they could never do before - combine long spears (MF offensive spear) with rhomphaias (MF with heavy weapon) and also lots and lots of horse archers. The shortage of heavy cavalry is still a problem. However, the MF can survive in open terrain and they have an advantage over heavy cavalry if they are the offensive spear type. So you can use them like heavy cavalry. I have posted a Powerpoint presentation explaining why you should be able to have lancers for the period 450 - 279 BC. So this is what I use at around 700 points:

3 X TC generals
1 X FC C-in-C
4 X 4 LH Bow, average
1 X 4 LH Javelins, Light Spear average
1 X 4 Cavalry Light Spear, sword, superior (can change this to Lance as they cost the same)
1 X 4 Cavalry Lance, sword, superior
1 X 6 MF Light Spear, average
1 X 6 MF Offensive Spear, average
2 X 6 MF Heavy Weapon, average (change to Offensive Spear if up against the shooty cavalry)
2 X 6 LF Bow, average
1 X 6 LF Sling, average
1 X 6 LF javelins, light spear, average

Initiative: +3

The basic deployment is with the LF in front of the MF, with each infantry block alternating with a unit of LH. keet the LF close to the MF. Cavalry will not like to face the archers backed by offensive spears. This presents a continous line of shoorters to your opponent. Put a general with each MF battlegroup (they can move away after the first two turns of double movement) .Modify this to take account of the terrain and be aware of the fact that most times your opponent won't go near the difficult terrain ie put your worst troops (eg the LF and LH with javelins) in or near the terrain and the best troops on the other side of the table. Only try to cover about 2/3 of the table width and put down a coastline if faced by the shooty cavalry. I haven't played an 800 point game but if I did I would go for the non-Getic army with maximum horse archers and a Greek ally in order to have three units of heavy cavalry. Choose Hilly or Agricultural as the terrain and put down maximum broken ground or open fields. If you see an artillery unit, send in the LF with bow, with a general nearby, soon the Artillery wil be running from their shooting.

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Post by madcam2us » Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:37 pm

I count +2 intiative.

16 stands of mounted + 1
Field Cmndr CnC +1

I see this configuration really struggling vs any shooty outfit as the BGs at 6 strong only take 2 hits prior to cohesion tests.

I like the Thracians but with minimum size units of 8 for infantry. I also like my LH in groups of 6 and if you can down grade the jav/lt spr types to poor I'd do so. Getting to 2 inches to be worth anything (jav range) risks them in ways that don't outweight denying the enemy from double moves.

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Post by nikgaukroger » Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:58 pm

24 mounted - 4x4 LH and 2x4 Cv.
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Re: Getic Thracians - a New Hope

Post by nikgaukroger » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:04 pm

vakarr wrote:
The FoG list gives the Thracians some things they could never do before - combine long spears (MF offensive spear) with rhomphaias (MF with heavy weapon) and also lots and lots of horse archers. The shortage of heavy cavalry is still a problem. However, the MF can survive in open terrain and they have an advantage over heavy cavalry if they are the offensive spear type. So you can use them like heavy cavalry.
Be careful as it isn't quite as rosy as you may think. Against Light Spear cavalry you will actually be a PoA down at Impact as the Cv get a + for fighting MF in the open, the Thracians get a + for their Spears and as this nets out at 0 the Cv then get a + for Light Spear. Melee could well be equal if there are no drops at Impact and the Cv are Armoured.
Nik Gaukroger

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Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:08 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:24 mounted - 4x4 LH and 2x4 Cv.
Actually he has 28 - 5x4 LH and 2x4 Cav. 24 wouldn't qualify for +2 initiative.

madcam2us
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Post by madcam2us » Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:19 pm

Damn mornings!....

Still, the size of the BGs concern me more....

Madcam.
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Post by footslogger » Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:33 pm

I saw that a couple of thracian armies did very well in the Roll Call Immortal Fire theme. Anyone know how those were composed?

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Post by nikgaukroger » Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:55 pm

Maximum Romans I believe :D
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Post by grahambriggs » Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:00 pm

footslogger wrote:I saw that a couple of thracian armies did very well in the Roll Call Immortal Fire theme. Anyone know how those were composed?
I played both.

First was 6,6,4 armoured medium foot, 4x6 HW protected MF, 2x4 superior Cavand some LF and LH BGs.

Second was Mob, 6x4 arm MF, 3?x6 HW, 5x4LH and 4x6 LF

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Post by gozerius » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:51 am

Unless I'm missing something, this list is totally illegal. If Getic it can only have LH-bow, and there are no lancers in the official list. Still, I like the idea. I have about 800+ pts of Thracians, but haven't increased the # of cav from the DBM list. I've used it once at 650 points against a Carthaginian army, but could not overcome Hannibal's +2 on cohesion checks. Skirmishing requires time to achieve its purpose, and we ran out.

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Post by vakarr » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:34 am

madcam2us wrote:I count +2 intiative.

I see this configuration really struggling vs any shooty outfit as the BGs at 6 strong only take 2 hits prior to cohesion tests.

I like the Thracians but with minimum size units of 8 for infantry. I also like my LH in groups of 6 and if you can down grade the jav/lt spr types to poor I'd do so. Getting to 2 inches to be worth anything (jav range) risks them in ways that don't outweight denying the enemy from double moves.

Madcam
Well typically at this number of points the shooty army only has about nine units to your 15. Units of 6 might be vulnerable to missile fire but units of 8 are too hard to manoevre. You are better having more units so you can spread the threat further. This army is big enough to put units next to one another across most of the table, to split the enemy fire, and also to put the LF in front of the MF. It has nine shooting units that all move at least 5 MU so in a way it is a shooty cavalry army itself. It also means that the LF are supported so are better able to survive the shooting. Also if the shooty army doesn't get the initiative you can select Hilly as the terrain and maximise the broken ground which favours all the Thracian troops except the heavy cavalry while stymying the enemy heavy cavalry. Yes I agree that javelin armed Light Horse are pretty useless, that's why there's only one unit of that type.

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Post by vakarr » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:40 am

grahambriggs wrote:First was 6,6,4 armoured medium foot, 4x6 HW protected MF, 2x4 superior Cavand some LF and LH BGs.

Second was Mob, 6x4 arm MF, 3?x6 HW, 5x4LH and 4x6 LF
Great to hear of your success! What's the attraction of armoured medium foot with light spear? Why not have a Greek or Roman ally and have an extra heavy cavalry unit, and some hoplites or legionaries?

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Post by nikgaukroger » Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:44 am

Move quite fast, manoeuvrable being Drilled, resistant to a lot of missile troops being Armoured, quite good in close combat, good in terrain and not Shock troops.
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Re: Getic Thracians - a New Hope

Post by vakarr » Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:11 am

nikgaukroger wrote: Be careful as it isn't quite as rosy as you may think. Against Light Spear cavalry you will actually be a PoA down at Impact as the Cv get a + for fighting MF in the open, the Thracians get a + for their Spears and as this nets out at 0 the Cv then get a + for Light Spear. Melee could well be equal if there are no drops at Impact and the Cv are Armoured.
Thanks, I never thought lancers would have worse facotrs than javelin-armed cavalry when charging medium foot! OK I might as well dump the spearmen and make them HW if not faced by lancers (next game is vs late Repulican Romans). Or downgrade them to light spear so I can upgrade the javelin-armed cavalry to bow, I did not realise the Getae weren't allowed any spear-armed light horse, contrary to all previous lists and the archaeological evidence.

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Post by gozerius » Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:35 pm

For that matter why weren't the Getic nobles allowed as armored bow/swordsmen? The bow was supposedly a noble weapon to them.

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Post by vakarr » Sun Nov 02, 2008 10:06 pm

gozerius wrote:For that matter why weren't the Getic nobles allowed as armored bow/swordsmen? The bow was supposedly a noble weapon to them.
The reason is, I suppose, that the Thracian nobles in Getic iconography are always shown using a javelin, not a bow, although a bow may be implied (eg the metal plaque showing a horseman with a bow hanging in the air behind him). I guess the list authors seem to have seen that this is sufficient evidence to contradict Thucydides statement that all Getae fought with the bow but not sufficent evidence to contradict that statement in regards to the lighter armed cavalry

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Post by Mahatma » Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:42 am

Maximum Romans I believe
Oh damn I dislike the Romans immensely.

This thread has partially inspired me to collect the Thracians. It's something to do with the funky crescent shields, which are reminiscent of the Slaanesh cavalry shields from Warhammer.

Anyway, let me know how this army progresses (is that spelt incorrectly? it looks wrong) in it's evolution so that I may possibly learn a trick or two for the day I put my Thracians to war. I see Xyston sells some of the best looking Thracians around for a good price so I may pay them a visit soon.

Ever pulled off a succesful ambush with this army? I want to co-ordinate a beautiful ambush but haven't read the rules properly, or at least absorbed them to the point of total recall. Good film. Dailami were an option for this but my villianous Roman foe Gary would probably favous a historical matchup, so I'll go with Thracians.

I've got the MF in terrain, the heavy weapon to cancel out armour POA and the enemy is disordered and loses 1 base in 3. Damn the Romans have Sw bonus, I'm -1POA behind. Or am I?

Live long and prosper.

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Post by vakarr » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:50 am

Mahatma wrote:
Maximum Romans I believe
Ever pulled off a succesful ambush with this army? ......

I've got the MF in terrain, the heavy weapon to cancel out armour POA and the enemy is disordered and loses 1 base in 3. Damn the Romans have Sw bonus, I'm -1POA behind. Or am I?
In most games you are unlikely to get any useful terrain where you need it. You could be lucky with Romans, as then you have an opponent who might help you with some extra terrain for a change, instead of trying to minimise it. The terrain rules are designed to put the terrain around the edges, so your ambushes are likely to be in places which your opponent can avoid. You can't ambush in the central sector anyway. Also, you need to have the initiative to be able to have the greatest freedom to ambush. Then you can only place three ambush markers, so it's likely that any ambushes will be rather obvious. The best value of ambushes is in concealing whether you have a flank march or not. A flank march is not worth it unless you are sure you are going to have a lot of turns - you have to roll at least 10 to get one to come onto the table, and then you have to roll for individual units. In short, don't rely on ambushes or flank marches. Expect your opponent to avoid the terrain and deploy accordingly. The role of the terrain is to restrict your opponent's options, not to fight in it. If you put difficult terrain down, expect undrilled Medium Foot to spend most of the game just trying to get across it- so try to put as few troops in it as possible. That's where the Open Fields or Broken Ground comes in - put as much of that down as possible.

You are better off regarding the Medium Foot as support for the cavalry and using the minimum number of foot. The heavy weapon Medium Foot are good value for points, and are a good all-round troop type, but they do not have a significant advantage over any other type of medium or heavy foot and won't scare anyone. They are difficult to turn, and take a long time to execute a flank attack- that's why the Romanised (drilled) foot are an improvement. You have to win the open ground to win the game, so try to think of ways to attack your opponent instead of cowering in the terrain while your opponent picks a vulnerable point in your line and attacks you there. Putting LF in front of the MF will help in this regard, as will deploying alternating infantry and cavalry battlegroups.

Roman heavy foot will be severely disordered in difficult terrain, so lose one dice in two. That's why they won't be seen in it - or near it. They will have MF of their own to occupy it if they so wish. What you have to do is try to get the Roman line stretched out so that the Romans deploy in one rank somewhere, and/or have to deploy their very flexible and manoeverable reserves into the front line.

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Post by philqw78 » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:43 am

I've got the MF in terrain, the heavy weapon to cancel out armour POA and the enemy is disordered and loses 1 base in 3. Damn the Romans have Sw bonus, I'm -1POA behind. Or am I?
The Romans will get + for sword and you will get + for Heavy weapon so equal. Unless they are Superior swordsmen. Then you don't get a + for heavy weapon, but at least they don't get a + for armour.

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