Ebb and Flow of battle lines

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ChrisTheTall
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Ebb and Flow of battle lines

Post by ChrisTheTall » Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:52 pm

Hi to all, and a quick question re: game theory/design with respect to movement along the battle line durring a combat/game.

I've seen a couple of demos now, and am impressed by the game,
just wondering about the static nature of the battle lines once combat ensues.
Several other playersd/observors also commented on this. (especially with comparison to WMA, DBM)
so... was this a decision to simplify the game?
or an issue of the scale of the stands/battle groups? (ie on this scale, falling back 50 meters wouldn't be noticeable)

also, how would Cannae be modelled in this system?
would the Carthaginian's center falling back have been the loss of units, rather than loss of ground?

just currious :)

chris

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Re: Ebb and Flow of battle lines

Post by rbodleyscott » Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:42 am

ChrisTheTall wrote:Hi to all, and a quick question re: game theory/design with respect to movement along the battle line durring a combat/game.

I've seen a couple of demos now, and am impressed by the game,
just wondering about the static nature of the battle lines once combat ensues.
Several other playersd/observors also commented on this. (especially with comparison to WMA, DBM)
so... was this a decision to simplify the game?
or an issue of the scale of the stands/battle groups? (ie on this scale, falling back 50 meters wouldn't be noticeable)

also, how would Cannae be modelled in this system?
would the Carthaginian's center falling back have been the loss of units, rather than loss of ground?

just currious :)

chris
It was a decision to simplify the game. We originally had recoils but they caused major complications in multi-BG combats. The rationalisation, as you say, is that at this scale, falling back 50 meters wouldn't be noticeable.

The downside is that the traditional explanation of Hannibal's plan at Cannae cannot be properly represented. This is unfortunate, but is something we have in common with every other set of wargames rules I have ever seen - in which, even if the rules have recoils, the Spanish/Gauls don't last long enough anyway to get the desired effect.

Cannae was rather an exceptional battle, and in fact so rare that I have always had my doubts regarding the validity of the traditional explanation. How likely is it that the Spanish and Gauls would be capable of being pushed back such a substantial distance without breaking? Of course, if they do break, the Romans will pursue and will then be in a position to be flank charged by the African spearmen as at Cannae.

So while removing push-backs from the mechanisms may not be 100% ideal for representing the traditional account of one (unique) famous battle, it does work well for the vast majority of historical battles and vastly simplifies play.
Last edited by rbodleyscott on Sat Aug 04, 2007 9:05 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Post by shall » Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:56 am

The scale of the battle is large too and we need to remember that - this is repsenating 10,20,50,000 per side.

A BG represents a junior general with perhaps 6-10 real units groups toghether - as they were in real battles within a command structure.

This mega-unit concept is at the heart of the design.

Small effects such as pushbacks really don't affect the game at such a level, so we have rolled all such effects into the cohesion pressures on troops.

If you want to imagine going DISR had led to a 10m pushback then fine, but it is the demoralisation that is setting in that matters so it is yjis that we represent adn focus on thereafter. So while there is no - oft used +1 for a pushback - there is instead a loss of fighting effectiveness anda drop in resilience from having gone DISR instead.

An hopefully therefore a realistic effect without the pain of having to move the models around which takes time and takes time away from the real action.

Hope that helps

Si

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Post by ChrisTheTall » Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:24 am

Hello again!

thanks for the reply, RBS, I appreciate the input,
and had also wondered how Cannae "really occurred", as I don't know that many other
battles where such a relatively large block of troops managed to fall back/retreat in sufficiently
good order to maintain fighting capability... maybe they had (prepare for attempted humor) ...
a Briliant General with a Cunning Strategem? :D
... bad chris, no donut... sorry... :shock: :oops:

chris the tall

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Post by shall » Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:20 am

I have never really felt too happy with extensive push backs. As a rugby player of old I know only too well how fast one collapses once going backwards in a scrum - the backline can't hold it. In fact I have got the split sternum as a no 8 to prove it!! And nobody is dying in that process. I don't really see it being realistic for steady gradual pushbacks to occur over long periods without some sort of localised collapse. But perhaps Cannae is the exception in history. If so cannae is a hard battle to replicate in any rules if the reality was some sort of gradual fighting withdrawal executed by "barabiran horde". At battle level a mix of a few breaks in a line and second lines getting engaged is more likely. This is what we know about Roman tactics early on with the 3 lines of battle.

Just my gut feel but for Cannae in FOG I would suggest something like .........
  • Lots of troops needed - 8 Gallic BGs - 5 front line 2 deep and 3 rear support 4 deep.
    Front line gauls fight hard given rear support but legionaries eventually get the upper hand - but a close run thing with a fair bit of damage done
    Front line gallic BGs flee under pressure behind their rear ranks
    Romans pursue into 2nd line of Gauls and tuck in again
    Spanish on the sides clobber the wings of the Romans having cleared their fronts
    Many gauls who have fallen back rally behind their other troops and rejoin the fray
    Romans crumble but have no such troops to fall back on
    Carthaginian mounted troops mop up the routers by prusuing them and cutting them down
Si

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Post by neilhammond » Sun Aug 05, 2007 1:13 pm

Hannibal's front line was known to have been bowed forward. As an alternative Simon, try the following explination in "FoG" terms:

5 Spanish/Gallic in the front line, with the centre 3 pushed forward. The 2 African spear blocks would be behind the BGs on each end of the infantry line. Something like:

Romans....Romans....Romans
Romans....Romans....Romans
Romans....Romans....Romans


...................BG3
...........BG2...........BG4
..BG1............................BG5

Spear..........................Spear

Ignore the dots which are there for layout purposes. I haven't shown the cavalry on each wing either. The bow is too pronounced because of the ascii limitations, but it would look okay on the table.

The Romans were in a deep rectange, and were known to be not as well trained as usual - so a mixture of poor and average. The Roman block (i.e. a rectangle consisting of multiple BGs probably 4 deep) hits BG3. After several rounds of melee BG3 breaks because it's overlapped and the romans are better armoured. The Roman block surges on to hit BG2 & 4, with the centre Roman BGs starting to get sucked forward in pursuit of routing BG3. At this point it is known that the Romans started to feed their reserve line into the centre to enable them to exploit the hole in Hannibal's centre.

Eventually BG3 outstrips the pursuers and Hannibal manages to rally them in his centre rear. Meanwhile BG2 & 4 also slowly crumble & break and the Romans pursue and the somewhat ragged block stops against BG1 & 5, with the centre pushed forward in pursuit of routing BG2 & 4.

Quite a few of the Roman BGs are disrupted from the earlier fighting - quoting Goldsworthy ("Cannae") "The attack still had considerable momentum, but very little order, and was no longer under anyone's control. In such a mass an officer of any rank could only influence the men immediately around him". In FoG terms I'd interprete this as the Roman command being tied up fighting in the front line and unable to bolster other disrupted Roman units.

BG1 & BG5 hold for the moment, allowing the spearmen to turn 90 degrees inward to face each other, positioned to deliver a flank charge against the Roman "bulge" - the original bow shaped line is now inversed. The Romans are unable to turn (failed CMT due to poor dice rolls / disrupted / poor quality having to reroll 6's). They are hit in the flank by the spearmen and the Roman units break. Some of the nearby Roman units fail their morale test and the momentum of the Roman surge falters.

This allows Hannibal to rally the battered BG2 & BG4 (or at least one of them), and combined with the previously rallied BG3 enables the Cathaginians to seal the Romans in.

In the mean time the Cathagian cavalry does its stuff and eventually falls on the Roman rear.

Note that if you had push back in the rules it gets harder to represent this because BG1 and BG5 will almost inevitably get pushed back onto the African spearmen, who are perpindicular to them.

It wouldn't be easy for the Cathagians, but then the battle wasn't quick & easy, and the Romans held out for a long time and inflicted a lot of damage.

What do people think? Goldsworthy suggests in Cannae that the centre of the Cathaginian line breaks & routs (although other accounts/authors suggest a pushback).

Neil

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Post by ChrisTheTall » Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:14 pm

Thanks Neil,
that sounds like a very reasonable explanation of the battle,
as well as the manner in which FoG could represent the battle.

chris the tall

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Post by shall » Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:42 am

Thanks Neil

I may even give that a try as a refight sometime - although after a few easier ones I think. However you look at it a bit of hannibalic genuis seems to have taken place. As in sport these seem to happen only very rarely

Si

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Post by neilhammond » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:33 am

shall wrote:Thanks Neil

I may even give that a try as a refight sometime - although after a few easier ones I think. However you look at it a bit of hannibalic genuis seems to have taken place. As in sport these seem to happen only very rarely
Yes, I'm tempted to give the refight a try sometime as well.

I agree re the Hannibalistic genius comment. To work the following had to happen:

1. The victorious Cathaginian left wing cavalry had to not pursue too long (but long enough to ensure the Roman cavalry didn't rally)
2. They had to march arcoss the rear of the Roman lines and attack to Roman cavalry on the opposite wing
3. They had to not pursue again, and instead attack the rear of the Roman infantry
4. Whilst this was going on the Cathaginian foot had to hold out against superior numbers of better armoured Romans who were eager for the fight

The Romans were expecting a double envelopment - they only requirement of their cavalry hold on long enough to allow them to wipe out the Cathaginian centre. At Trebia they'd succeeded in cutting through the centre - so their plan was to push hard & commit even more infantry to the central push.

Neil

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Re: Ebb and Flow of battle lines

Post by benny » Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:34 am

rbodleyscott wrote:
It was a decision to simplify the game. We originally had recoils but they caused major complications in multi-BG combats. The rationalisation, as you say, is that at this scale, falling back 50 meters wouldn't be noticeable.

The downside is that the traditional explanation of Hannibal's plan at Cannae cannot be properly represented. This is unfortunate, but is something we have in common with every other set of wargames rules I have ever seen - in which, even if the rules have recoils, the Spanish/Gauls don't last long enough anyway to get the desired effect.

Cannae was rather an exceptional battle, and in fact so rare that I have always had my doubts regarding the validity of the traditional explanation. How likely is it that the Spanish and Gauls would be capable of being pushed back such a substantial distance without breaking? Of course, if they do break, the Romans will pursue and will then be in a position to be flank charged by the African spearmen as at Cannae.

So while removing push-backs from the mechanisms may not be 100% ideal for representing the traditional account of one (unique) famous battle, it does work well for the vast majority of historical battles and vastly simplifies play.
I've not been following activity on this forum closely of late so have only just seen this but found it interesting as I'm not convinced that Cannae is that exceptional in the context of push backs etc. You've said that removing push back/follow up type mechanisms was a design decision to simply the game, which is fair enough, but I'm wondering how then you can model such other battles as Pydna or Kynoskephalai? In both instances the Macedonian phalanx driving back the Romans was key to the outcome of the actions, leading as it did to the fragmentation of the phalanx (Pydna) and exposure to flank/rear attack (Kynoskephalai)?

cheers

Benny

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Post by nikgaukroger » Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:10 pm

At Kynoskephalae the breaking of the makedonian left wing was the real reason that the Romans could attack the rear of the right. It was only after this had happened that the un-named tribune led the 20 maniples to the final attack.

At Pydna it was the uneveness of the ground that disrupted the phalanx front, as ground is naturally uneven it is moot, IMO, as to whether any pushing back of the Roman line was a contributory factor here.

Back to Cannae I note that the usual way this is illustrated is the Carthaginian centre going from a convex to a concave formation which means that the ends of the line pretty much stay where they are - the African infantry still have to march up to the Roman flank and turn to move inwards. If this is a correct representation you don't actually need push backs to do the battle at all.

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Post by benny » Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:28 am

nikgaukroger wrote:At Kynoskephalae the breaking of the makedonian left wing was the real reason that the Romans could attack the rear of the right. It was only after this had happened that the un-named tribune led the 20 maniples to the final attack.

At Pydna it was the uneveness of the ground that disrupted the phalanx front, as ground is naturally uneven it is moot, IMO, as to whether any pushing back of the Roman line was a contributory factor here.

Back to Cannae I note that the usual way this is illustrated is the Carthaginian centre going from a convex to a concave formation which means that the ends of the line pretty much stay where they are - the African infantry still have to march up to the Roman flank and turn to move inwards. If this is a correct representation you don't actually need push backs to do the battle at all.
Two pints to make here.

Firstly, I don't really have a problem if, for convenience and simplicity of game play, you have decided not to model push back/follow up type events. However, I think you would be better served by simply stating you consider it an acceptable trade off in terms of accuracy rather than try to pretend that they didn't happen or weren't important.

Now, regards to history, lets look at some source material.

Firstly, Kynoskephalae.

Polybios 25.4 (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/R ... s/18*.html)

"Flamininus [the Roman commander], seeing that his men could not sustain the charge of the phalanx, but that since his left was being forced back, some of them having already perished and others retreating slowly........."

Polybios 26.3

"For noticing that the Macedonians under Philip [ie the Macedonian right] had advanced a long way in front of the rest, and were by their weight forcing back the Roman left, he [an unnamed Roman tribune] quitted those on the right, who were now clearly victorious, and wheeling his force [20 maniples] in the direction of the scene of combat and thus getting behind the Macedonians, he fell upon them in the rear."

Livy 33.9 (http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy33.html)

"....for [the Macedonians] in following their repulsed enemy down the hill they had left the height for the enemy to make use of in his enveloping movement [by the tribune and his 20 maniples]. Assailed on both sides they lost heavily, and in a short time they flung away their arms and took to flight."

Seems fairly clear from the above that the Roman left WAS driven back quite a distance (Livy even suggests off the hill and on to the flat). The Romans were never fleeing but kept fighting while giving ground.

Now Pydna. Plutarch - Aemilius Paullus 20.5-6 (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/R ... lius*.html)

"When the first line had thus been cut to pieces, those arrayed behind them were beaten back; and though there was no flight, still they retired towards the mountain called Olocrus, so that even Aemilius, as Poseidonius tells us, when he saw it, rent his garments. For this part of his army was retreating........."

Again, fairly clear indications that the Romans were initially going backwards in the face of the phalanx.

Now Cannae:

Livy 22.47 (http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Livy/Livy22.html)

"As the latter [Hannibal's Gauls & Spainiards] fell back the whole front became level, and as they continued to give ground it became concave and crescent-shaped, the Africans at either end forming the horns. As the Romans rushed on incautiously between them, they were enfiladed by the two wings, which extended and closed round them in the rear."

So here we have the Romans pushing forwards between the 'horns' formed by the Africans. No reference to any advance by the Africans themselves.

Even more clear is Polybios 3.115 (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/R ... us/3*.html)

"The Romans, however, following up the Celts and pressing on to the centre and that part of the enemy's line which was giving way, progressed so far that they now had the heavy-armed Africans on both of their flanks. Hereupon the Africans on the right wing facing to the left and then beginning from the right charged upon the enemy's flank, while those on the left faced to the right and dressing by the left, did the same, the situation itself indicating to them how to act. The consequence was that, as Hannibal had designed, the Romans, straying too far in pursuit of the Celts, were caught between the two divisions of the enemy....."

So, sorry, push back and follow ups did happen and were significant not only at Cannae but elsewhere. As I said earlier, by all means make a decision not to model them on the basis of convenience and simplicity. But trying to justify this decision from any position of historical accuracy really just doesn't stack up :D

cheers

Benny

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Post by nikgaukroger » Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:29 am

At Kynoskephalae the Makedonians never formed a continuous line, their left was hit by the Romans as it was still marching up to catch up with the deployed right - the pushing back of the Roman left did not creat this but it was not until the right was won that the tribune took the 20 maniples. Excuse me if I consider Polybios more reliable than Livy :)

I was not saying there was no push back but that it was not actually the important part of the battle - therefore, you can ignore it and still get the proper refight/interaction.

Ditto Pydna - you do not need a push although it did happen.

Cannae is, as ever, more problematic though and it looks as though I did remember it wrongly :shock:

BTW regarding your point about push backs being left out for simplicity that is exactly what the authors have repeatedly stated - I just jumped in when you said push backs did happen to suggest that the impact of this was pretty minimal (Cannae excepted), so just my oar being stuck in, nothing official :twisted:

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Re: Ebb and Flow of battle lines

Post by jlopez » Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:18 pm

Well, actually, we managed to play Cannae in 4 and half hours with three beginners and myself using Ancients POW. The game played out almost exactly as the historical one with the Carthaginian centre caving in under pressure but holding on just long enough for the cavalry to close in on the Roman rear. Despite the ensuing massacre some Roman infantry did manage to burst through the Gallic infantry and escape.

Just thought I'd mention it.

Julian
rbodleyscott wrote:
ChrisTheTall wrote:Hi to all, and a quick question re: game theory/design with respect to movement along the battle line durring a combat/game.

I've seen a couple of demos now, and am impressed by the game,
just wondering about the static nature of the battle lines once combat ensues.
Several other playersd/observors also commented on this. (especially with comparison to WMA, DBM)
so... was this a decision to simplify the game?
or an issue of the scale of the stands/battle groups? (ie on this scale, falling back 50 meters wouldn't be noticeable)

also, how would Cannae be modelled in this system?
would the Carthaginian's center falling back have been the loss of units, rather than loss of ground?

just currious :)

chris
It was a decision to simplify the game. We originally had recoils but they caused major complications in multi-BG combats. The rationalisation, as you say, is that at this scale, falling back 50 meters wouldn't be noticeable.

The downside is that the traditional explanation of Hannibal's plan at Cannae cannot be properly represented. This is unfortunate, but is something we have in common with every other set of wargames rules I have ever seen - in which, even if the rules have recoils, the Spanish/Gauls don't last long enough anyway to get the desired effect.

Cannae was rather an exceptional battle, and in fact so rare that I have always had my doubts regarding the validity of the traditional explanation. How likely is it that the Spanish and Gauls would be capable of being pushed back such a substantial distance without breaking? Of course, if they do break, the Romans will pursue and will then be in a position to be flank charged by the African spearmen as at Cannae.

So while removing push-backs from the mechanisms may not be 100% ideal for representing the traditional account of one (unique) famous battle, it does work well for the vast majority of historical battles and vastly simplifies play.

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Re: Ebb and Flow of battle lines

Post by stalins_organ » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:09 am

jlopez wrote:Well, actually, we managed to play Cannae in 4 and half hours with three beginners and myself using Ancients POW. The game played out almost exactly as the historical one with the Carthaginian centre caving in under pressure but holding on just long enough for the cavalry to close in on the Roman rear. Despite the ensuing massacre some Roman infantry did manage to burst through the Gallic infantry and escape.

Just thought I'd mention it.
which is what apparently happened at Trebia river - there's a school of thought that the convex formations of hte spanish/Gauls at Cannae was specifically to prevent the Romans being able to break through and escape.

Like Benny I cannot see how the Phalanx pushing back the Romans and becoming disordered because of it can be so summarily dismissed.

"But the ground was uneven, and the line of battle so long that shields could not be kept continuously locked together, and Aemilius therefore saw that the Macedonian phalanx was getting many clefts and intervals in it, as is natural when armies are large and the efforts of the combatants are diversified; portions of it were hard pressed, and other portions were dashing forward."
(from the same source as above)

so the disorder that allows the Romans to get in among he Macedonians is because some sections of hte Macedonian lines press forwards, while others do not.

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Post by shall » Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:17 am

Tried this early on and it was one of the reasons for intorducing uneven ground in FOG. We therefore have 4 terrain levels in FOG - with uneven the lightest that effects only close order troops such as spears and pikes and cataphracts.

Romans can handle the phalanx by getting in amongst it easily if it strays into attacking across this, but it was still quite a tussle.

Si

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Re: Ebb and Flow of battle lines

Post by rbodleyscott » Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:53 am

stalins_organ wrote:Like Benny I cannot see how the Phalanx pushing back the Romans and becoming disordered because of it can be so summarily dismissed.
Ultimately, getting the balance right between legions and phalanx is more important than the details of how this is achieved. All game systems must simplify something if the game is not to become tedious. We have chosen to simplify out visible "push-backs" and to achieve the overall balance between these classic troop types in other ways.

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Re: Ebb and Flow of battle lines

Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Aug 17, 2007 8:59 am

stalins_organ wrote:
Like Benny I cannot see how the Phalanx pushing back the Romans and becoming disordered because of it can be so summarily dismissed.

"But the ground was uneven, and the line of battle so long that shields could not be kept continuously locked together, and Aemilius therefore saw that the Macedonian phalanx was getting many clefts and intervals in it, as is natural when armies are large and the efforts of the combatants are diversified; portions of it were hard pressed, and other portions were dashing forward."
(from the same source as above)

so the disorder that allows the Romans to get in among he Macedonians is because some sections of hte Macedonian lines press forwards, while others do not.
A touch of selective reading there IMO.

The passage, which is about the way the Romans gain an advantage over the phalanx due to the latter becoming disordered, starts with mentioning the uneveness of the ground and the difficulty of keeping a cohesive line over the length of a long battle line. It then goes onto also mention the break up happening as a result of the natural ebb and flow of combat along the line - so there are 3 factors involved there not just 1.

IMO due to the mechanisms in FoG for losing bases and changes in cohesion the above factors can be said to abstracted into the combat system without the need for an explicit push back mechanism. Abstracted in as is, say, many troops shooting in DBM - whether it is satisfying for you as a player is something you'll only be able to tell by playing (like the lack of shooting for a lot of DBM troops) but IMO there is good logic behind why it can be so abstracted in this example.

BTW as I'm pretty sure you've done some re-enactment type stuff (or even, IIRC, your Gondorian guardsman bit :) ) I'd be interested if you've tried to take a long shield wall on an advance over normal ground - I've done something like it and can assure you disruption happens quite easily without combat.

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Post by benny » Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:35 am

nikgaukroger wrote:At Kynoskephalae the Makedonians never formed a continuous line, their left was hit by the Romans as it was still marching up to catch up with the deployed right - the pushing back of the Roman left did not creat this but it was not until the right was won that the tribune took the 20 maniples. Excuse me if I consider Polybios more reliable than Livy :)
By all means prefer Polybios :)

It makes no difference, Polybios is also quite clear on the fact that the Romans were driven backwards. Regards significance, I do concede you can argue that Kynoskephalae can be represented without push backs, but it is like representing Jutland without having British battlecruisers that explode. It happened, even if it didn't materially impact the shape or outcome of the action!

nikgaukroger wrote:BTW regarding your point about push backs being left out for simplicity that is exactly what the authors have repeatedly stated
:)

Fair comment and I confess I was reacting to the later rationalisations.........

cheers

Benny

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Re: Ebb and Flow of battle lines

Post by benny » Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:48 am

nikgaukroger wrote:
The passage, which is about the way the Romans gain an advantage over the phalanx due to the latter becoming disordered, starts with mentioning the uneveness of the ground and the difficulty of keeping a cohesive line over the length of a long battle line. It then goes onto also mention the break up happening as a result of the natural ebb and flow of combat along the line - so there are 3 factors involved there not just 1.
Yes, but you need to consider this passage in context with the preceding one I gave.

"When the first line had thus been cut to pieces, those arrayed behind them were beaten back; and though there was no flight, still they retired towards the mountain called Olocrus......"

First the Romans are driven back THEN we are told the Macedonians start to fall into disorder. It is stretching things to try and dissociate the falling into disorder from the follow up of the back pedalling Romans. Whether the disorder was a result of uneven ground, the natural difficulties of maintaining order or both is not really relevant. What is relevant is that the disorder is a CONSEQUENCE of the follow up - that is if it had been able to remain stationary the phalanx would have maintained its order. That a stationary phalanx would not only maintain its order but in doing so remain invulnerable to legionaries is demonstrated by Livy 32.17 where the Romans are unable to make any impact on a stationary phalanx detachment defending a breach.

"When the serried Macedonian ranks presented their enormously long spears it was like a shield-wall, and when the Romans after fruitlessly hurling their javelins, drew their swords they could not get to close quarters, nor could they hack off the spear-heads; if they did succeed in cutting or breaking any off, the splintered shafts kept their places amongst the points of the uninjured ones and the palisade remained unbroken. Another thing which helped the enemy was.....[that] they had not to attack or retire over a wide stretch of ground, which generally disorders the ranks."

Now of course you could argue that the push back/follow ups that led to the disorder in the phalanx at Pydna were too insignificant to represent at FoG's level of abstraction. However, bear in mind that Amellius is described by Plutarch's source (Poseidonius - a possible eye witness) as rending his garments in despair upon seeing this. Thus the retreat must have been of sufficient distance for a CinC to be able to see it from some way off - so surely worth representing. And, anticipating the obvious reply ;) , yes we are told Aemillius was not already 'on the spot' as his next action is to 'come up quickly'. Subject checking to the actual Greek, the translation clearly suggests he initially saw events from a distance and then rushed over to manage the situation.

Sorry Nik but you do seem to be rather flogging a dead horse on this one...... :)

cheers

Benny

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