Changes to the Ancient Spanish list

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Strategos69
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Changes to the Ancient Spanish list

Post by Strategos69 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:15 am

We were debating in the FoG 2.0 forum about the changes to the Barbarian foot and it arose the question of the differences between Barbarians from Hispania and those from the Gauls or Germania. Now it has the problem that it does not have much punch and relies heavily on terrain. According to Quesada Sanz, the Iberian and Celtiberian armies were not a band of brigands fighting just in low scale battles as guerrilas. In fact they did fight field battles against the Romans, although they lost most of them. According to his studies, in most of the battles the Spaniards were outnumbered. Quesada Sanz states that in the description of battles usually it is not said that the troops did not stand against the Romans, but rather that they were poorly led by bad generals and were not very flexible. Regarding weponry, the Polybean era legionary sword was invented by the Spaniards and thus called gladius hispaniensis. They both threw javelins before the combat (pila for the Romans and phalarica and soliferra for the Iberians and Celtiberians). Therefore, I would say that both Romans and Spaniards were likely the same, but the Spaniards having less staying power and drill than the Romans (so for now no change).

In the other hand, the Ancient Spanish list has just a few options. We know that the generals had a group of loyal troops linked to him by a client system, called devotio iberica (Plutarch, Sertorius, 14). Basicaly they did swear that they would not survive their lord in battle if lost. This led to many suicidal charges or mass suicides during sieges. They could be similar to the Gallic soldurii foot. Moreover, to give the list some superior troops, there are a couple of options: represent the warrior aristocracy and clients or upgrade troops in specific campaigns, like Numantia or Viriatus. Numantia fought almost 20 years against Rome and resisted, whereas Viriatus made a great impression on the Romans and is even mentioned by Frontinus. For those it could be possible to upgrade a few units as drilled (and even some superior caetrati). Besides that, the reduction in points can help to have more units for ambushing, which did happen in some battles against the Romans. By the way, as ambushers there is a description of Viriatus preparing the battlefield with holes to make the enemy cavalry fall in a trap. Maybe some fortifications can be allowed as for the Gauls.

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Post by Strategos69 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:45 pm

As suggested in the v2.0 thread, I will add here slowly the evidence to support the proposed changes:

About the devotio hispanica:

It was the custom among the Iberians for those who were stationed about their leader to die with him if he fell, and the Barbarians in those parts call this a "consecration" (devotio). Now, the other commanders had few such shield-bearers and companions, but Sertorius was attended by many thousands of men who had thus consecrated themselves to death. 5 And we are told that when his army had been defeated at a certain city and the enemy were pressing upon them, the Iberians, careless of themselves, rescued Sertorius, and taking him on their shoulders one after another, carried him to the walls, and only when their leader was in safety, did they betake themselves to flight, each man for himself.
(Plutarch, Sertorius, 14.4)

So my proposal is creating a single BG for the whole list as an option:
Scutarii linked bu the devotio hispana: Heavy foot elite undrilled impact foot armoured (4-6) as the Gallic soldurii
Sertorius should have the option of upgrading some caetrati and scutarii (2 each?) BG to superior as it is quoted that they were several thousands linked by that oath.

About Sertorius army composition (more Romans for Sertorius):
By these devices he made the people tractable, and so found them more serviceable for all his plans; they believed that they were led, not by the mortal wisdom of a foreigner, but by a god. At the same time events also brought witness to this belief by reason of the extraordinary growth of the power of Sertorius. 2 For with the twenty-six hundred men whom he called Romans, and a motley band of seven hundred Libyans who crossed over into Lusitania with him, to whom he added four thousand Lusitanian targeteers and seven hundred horsemen... (Plutarch, Sertorius, 12)
So Perpenna yielded and led them off, and joined Sertorius with fifty-three cohorts. (Plutarch, Sertorius, 15)

53 cohorts are around 25.000 men. I would say that those are more than just a single BG. Maybe the option for Roman allies could fit here better.
I am not sure if it is necessary to note the difference but the original 2.600 Romans were devoted and loyal friends who campaigned the whole time with him, so it might be possible the option to upgrade them as elite in the later stages of the campaign. The other legionaries were reluctant, so maybe a compulsory grading of ordinary would be better for those, but I am not certain about this in terms of game balance.

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Post by Strategos69 » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:26 am

About the option of a fortified camp:

There were in the Celtiberian army 4000 men with shields and 200 cavalry, making up a regular legion. These were his main strength and he stationed them in the front; the rest who were lightly armed he posted in reserve. In this formation he led them out of the camp, but they had hardly crossed the rampart when the Romans hurled their javelins at them. The Spaniards stooped to avoid them, and then sprang up to discharge their own, which the Romans who were in their usual close order received on their overlapping shields; then they closed up foot to foot and fought with their swords. The Celtiberians, accustomed to rapid evolutions, found their agility useless on the broken ground, but the Romans, who were used to stationary fighting, found no inconvenience from it beyond the fact that their ranks were sometimes broken when moving through narrow places or patches of brushwood. Then they had to fight singly or in pairs, as if they were fighting duels. (Livy, 28.1)

This Celtiberians are under Carthaginian command. It is interesting to note that the Celtiberians were more disadvantaged by the terrain than the Romans, so the classment as heavy infantry for them sounds right. The following are examples when the Spaniards fought on their own.

When the Spaniards saw the two Roman divisions on their side of the river, they decided to engage them before they could form a united front, and swarming out of their camp ([i/]castra, according to Quesada) they rushed down to battle. (Livy, 39.31)

When the Roman praetor had satisfied himself that after so many days' inaction the enemy would not expect him to take the initiative, he ordered L. Acilius to take the division of allied troops and 6000 native auxiliaries, and make a circuit round the mountain which lay behind the enemy's camp. When he heard the battle-shout he was to charge down on their camp. They started in the night to escape observation. At daybreak Flaccus sent C. Scribonius, the commander of the allied troops, with his "select" cavalry up to the enemy's rampart. When the Celtiberi saw them approaching more closely and in greater strength than they had usually done, the whole of their cavalry streamed out from the camp and the signal was given for the infantry also to advance. (Livy, 40.31)

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Post by Rekila » Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:49 am

In the case of the ancient Spanish armies there are some points to think about. First the existence of, what we can call a “mercenary industry” in the peninsula. It was at first developed in favor of the rich cities of the south. But trough the Greeks and Carthaginians was extended to the whole Mediterranean. Based on the great economic difference between the rich cities of Turdetania and the other Mediterranean areas and the poor areas of the north, west and Celtiberia, it allows many poor fighting men to found a living as mercenaries and also solves the problem of a growing population. It fact it plays an important part in the economy of those areas. That it was not anecdotic but a well established institution is proved by the facility that Celtiberian mercenaries were available to the Carthaginians trough the Punic wars even after the loss of their bases on the peninsula (Battle of the Great Plains). And when deprived of it though the “Pax romana”, those areas become unstable and a danger to neighbor areas as many men turned from mercenaries to bandits. The Lusitanian wars give a good example. Hamilcar activities in the peninsula are clearly related to the existence of that “industry”. Hamilcar come to Gades to restore Cartaginian power, and do so through the conquest of the rich Turdetania, a conquest clearly facilitated by the fact that been the Carthaginians better mercenary employers Hamilcar deprived the cities of Turdetania of their mercenary troops, and we must remember here the fate of the elder Scipios in 212! But then Hamilcar was confronted with the problem that, once he finest his conquest, his Hamilcar “Pax” deprived the societies of the north of their mercenary activity and he was the first to be forced to fight (and die) for that. Is in that context that the “devotio” must be placed, it allows to transfer the personal loyalties of the men from their tribe to an employer, leader or other individual, so to give the mercenary bodies the necessary cohesion to faze an arduous and long career. All that make the peninsula a recruiting camp of good, loyal and experienced fighters, and not only the Carthaginian generals but also the Romans benefits of it. Pompeius Magnus after the defeat of Sertorius used it extensively to provide himself a strong military base in the peninsula.

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Post by Strategos69 » Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:34 pm

I share your good analysis about the "mercenary industry of Ancient Spanish tribes". In fact the Romanisation was made several times upon the distribution of lands among these poor pepples (with no other means than cattle farming). I wonder how it should translate into the game, though. Maybe as an option in every list to have mercenaries from other people like the Celtiberians are right now?

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Post by Rekila » Sun Dec 26, 2010 4:47 pm

Well I think that it will provide for the allowance of at least some good units, even if limited in size, classed as superior or drilled, or even skilled swordsmen. A second point to consider is the well know tactic of engage in combat and them run away to disorder the pursuers and them engage again, it was even used repeatedly in the same combat to attract the enemy to a selected terrain and ambush them. One can wonder if Hannibal well knows tactic at Cannae was so inspired. The Breaking off Rule is obviously to be considered here. Finally the Spanish armies are a good example of “Terrain” armies. i.e armies that fought defensively on their own terrain and are put at a great disadvantage with the actual system of Initiative and Terrain selection, but as that is now heavily debated elsewhere in the forum I will say no more. (By now at least) :D

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Post by Strategos69 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 12:20 am

Rekila wrote:Well I think that it will provide for the allowance of at least some good units, even if limited in size, classed as superior or drilled, or even skilled swordsmen.
Yes, I have thought about that but in the framework of picked campaigns. I was thinking about letting them for the Numantia and Viriatus campaign. Basically the idea was providing with some drilled or superior troops to give the army a little more punch. If I have time tomorrow, I will post the sources to support that. In my opinion it is an army that lacks some punch and being undrilled hardly represent some of the successful ambushes they did to the Romans.

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Post by Strategos69 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:22 pm

Special campaigns

Numantia (155-133 BC)

Numantia is a Celtiberian small town that resisted the repeated attacks of the Romans for more than twenty years. Its population has been estimated around 10.000 with 4.000 warriors. They fought bravely so that finally most of them died instead of surrenderig to the Romans, when besieged (Apian, 96-97; Orosius, Hist. V, 7.15). Therefore I would propose upgrading some veterans:

Heavy Impact Foot, skilled swordsmen, superior, protected Nb Bases per BG 6-8; total 6-18.

In the Celtiberian wars I have read in one of the battles the Numantinians fought they had up to 25% of the army composed by cavalry. I am not certain that that cavalry was mainly light cavalry, but I would say medium cavalry. In fact, whereas Lusitanians were more known for delaying actions, Celtiberians are described more closely as how the Gauls fought.

Lusitanian wars (155-136 BC) or Viriatus (147-139 BC)
1 Viriatus Inspired Commander Florus (Epitome of Hist Tit. Liv II.17 (I, 33, 15)) Apian, Iberia 62
Upgrade Round shield foot to Viriatus' Lusitanian veterans Medium impact foot, superior, skilled swordsmen Nb Bases per BG 6-8; total 6-18
Upgrade Caetrati to Viriatus' Lusitanian veterans Light foot, light spear, superior, javelins Nb Bases per BG 6-8; total 6-24
Prepared terrain for ambushing Field fortifications 0-12
Frontinus (II, 5.7)
Viriathus, who from being a bandit became leader of the Celtiberians, on one occasion, while pretending to give way before the Roman cavalry, led them on to a place full of deep holes. There, while he himself made his way out by familiar paths that afforded good footing, the Romans, ignorant of the locality, sank in the mire and were slain.

Maybe compulsory Celtiberian allies

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Post by Jhykronos » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:33 am

Strategos69 wrote: This Celtiberians are under Carthaginian command. It is interesting to note that the Celtiberians were more disadvantaged by the terrain than the Romans, so the classment as heavy infantry for them sounds right.
More disadvantaged by terrain in this instance, maybe, but that doesn't exactly jive with "accustomed to rapid evolutions", and notes of "agility". Not that the whole heavy/medium thing isn't problematical in quite a few instances.

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Post by Strategos69 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:05 pm

Jhykronos wrote:
More disadvantaged by terrain in this instance, maybe, but that doesn't exactly jive with "accustomed to rapid evolutions", and notes of "agility". Not that the whole heavy/medium thing isn't problematical in quite a few instances.
I have thought about the possibility of regrading some Celtiberians as MF when they prepared for an ambush. Celtiberians did it several times and the HF classification would not be appropriate to deal with that.

In fact, the situation could be dealt better with a change in the rules, moving HF towards 4 MU. Now if you get into terrain with HF you can say goodbye to taking part in the battle at all.

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Post by ShrubMiK » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:13 am

Nothing to stop you putting HF in ambush on the edge of terrain, so that they can get out of it in one move and move normally thereafter.

Face it, if you are fighting an army that doesn't like being in terrain, you shouldn't be expecting them to obligingly come into terrain where you can contact them at an advantage.

>being undrilled hardly represent some of the successful ambushes they did to the Romans.

I don't agree with that point - surely you don't need to know drill to stage an ambush? Sure, undrilled in game terms also implies a bit more impetuosity, so depending on troop types and terrain they are in (if any) they might leave the ambush position earlier than you would like, but that can happen to regulars too in the right circumstances.

>"accustomed to rapid evolutions", and notes of "agility"

Those could be taken to indicate either or both of added manoeuvrability (i.e. drilled status) or increased speed (MF).

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Post by Blathergut » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:42 am

Make the Celtiberians (or the elites as well) Determined Foot as in FoGR. Move = 4.

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Post by Strategos69 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:26 am

Blathergut wrote:Make the Celtiberians (or the elites as well) Determined Foot as in FoGR. Move = 4.
That is interesting. Let's see how things turn regarding that.

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Re: Changes to the Ancient Spanish list

Post by helot2000 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:14 pm

Now that Rise of Rome v2 is out, I see the only change to the ancient Spanish list is that you can take 1/3 of Scutarii or Medium Caetrati battlegroups as Superior. In Sertorius' Lusitanians, those BGs can be no greater than 6 bases in size. In light of the discussions in this thread, I can't help but feel a bit of a letdown. The Balearic Islands are right off the coast of Iberia. Would it be too much to give the Spanish a Balearic Slingers option or are they bound to always serve the Romans?

;-)

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Re: Changes to the Ancient Spanish list

Post by kevinj » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:39 am

Detailed list changes were, like points changes, excluded from V2. Therefore the only changes that result are those of a generic nature like this.

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Re: Changes to the Ancient Spanish list

Post by helot2000 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:03 am

Thanks for the info. So is it v3 that might have detailed changes?

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Re: Changes to the Ancient Spanish list

Post by batesmotel » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:16 pm

helot2000 wrote:Thanks for the info. So is it v3 that might have detailed changes?
The original plan for V2 was no major list changes before the decision to go with the digital publication. Now that the lists and rules can easily be updated electronically rather than require a reprinting, list changes do not need to be tied to a major rules revision. So I expect it isn't necessary to wait for V3 for list changes if the authors agree to the revisions.

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Re: Changes to the Ancient Spanish list

Post by nikgaukroger » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:21 pm

batesmotel wrote:
helot2000 wrote:Thanks for the info. So is it v3 that might have detailed changes?
The original plan for V2 was no major list changes before the decision to go with the digital publication. Now that the lists and rules can easily be updated electronically rather than require a reprinting, list changes do not need to be tied to a major rules revision. So I expect it isn't necessary to wait for V3 for list changes if the authors agree to the revisions.

Chris

The publishers, Chris, the publishers, not the authors - alas the authors have very little say :cry:
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Re: Changes to the Ancient Spanish list

Post by batesmotel » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:03 am

nikgaukroger wrote:
batesmotel wrote:
helot2000 wrote:Thanks for the info. So is it v3 that might have detailed changes?
The original plan for V2 was no major list changes before the decision to go with the digital publication. Now that the lists and rules can easily be updated electronically rather than require a reprinting, list changes do not need to be tied to a major rules revision. So I expect it isn't necessary to wait for V3 for list changes if the authors agree to the revisions.

Chris

The publishers, Chris, the publishers, not the authors - alas the authors have very little say :cry:
I though that was the problem with Osprey as the publishers of the printed lists but shouldn't be now that Slitherine is directly publishing them in digital format. But then I suppose JDM is entitled to be unreasonable if he wants to ;-).

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Re: Changes to the Ancient Spanish list

Post by mbsparta » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:36 pm

batesmotel wrote:
helot2000 wrote:Thanks for the info. So is it v3 that might have detailed changes?
The original plan for V2 was no major list changes before the decision to go with the digital publication. Now that the lists and rules can easily be updated electronically rather than require a reprinting, list changes do not need to be tied to a major rules revision. So I expect it isn't necessary to wait for V3 for list changes if the authors agree to the revisions.

Chris

This is a very slippery slope ... I have used the Spanish list, as is, and there is little need to change it. I can see the ability to list tinker as a destuctive element to FoG. We all have our own prejudices about how we think armies should be modeled. Determined Foot???? Let's not get our games confused. The lists, at least the ones we use, are very well done and fit into the FoG world very well.

Mike B

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