Author Topic: Holy Wa! Skirmisher Tidal Wave!  (Read 3277 times)

lazyj

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Holy Wa! Skirmisher Tidal Wave!
« on: January 22, 2010, 09:59:33 AM »
So rather than clutter up the current skirmisher discussion with what is essentially just ranting, allow me to post in this topic:

There needs to be a limit on number of skirmishers!

Mike and I played last night and he took every Core skirmisher available in the Carthage decks. 14 skirmishers! In a 2000 point game! I was outnumbered as Umenzi for pete's sake.  :o

The game came down to a razor thin margin - which as I think now, we totally screwed up and Mike should have won. When he posts the session report, with pictures, maybe people will see more of my point. But I just don't see how Umenzi can handle 14 enemy skirmishers.

And while Mike was totally within the rules to do it this way, it seemed a bit ridiculous. I don't know if skirmishers just shouldn't be core, or if you have to say something like "can't have more skirmishers than regular troops". However it works out, I am ready for a change. Soon! :-\

Kevin

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Re: Holy Wa! Skirmisher Tidal Wave!
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2010, 01:18:12 PM »
Heh, that's pretty funny.  :D 

Seems like the best best for the Umenzi is to load up on Javelineers and Possessed, and to make sure his battle line is 9 wide.  Vs skirmishers it might not be a horrible idea to put shamans in the front line in order to widen the line. 

I look forward to reading the report!

It's possible that Carthaginian skirmishers shouldn't be core.  However, playing Carthage I often find myself struggling to meet the core requirements in a viable army...and that's with skirmishers!

The problem is that if you take away the skirmishers, Carthage is left with 4 core units:

Libyan Foot and Scutarii - These both hit hard, but are quite fragile given their point cost.  They do quite well in certain roles, but an entire army based on them will break like glass.

Gallic Warriors - Ugh.  With only 3 green boxes and 2/1, they'll likely have to make a rout check on their very first turn of combat vs. pila-chuckers.  :-\

Spanish Cavalry - Ugh.  They cost 35 more points than Roman Equites, and are no better than Equites until they go into the yellow.    :-\  Plus Cavalry is at its best when going after units which are under 75% of its point cost, and at least when fighting Rome that category narrows to Hastadi (which Jaime has never taken) and skirmishers (which Rome's Italian Cavalry does equally well for less than 2/3 the cost).
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 01:50:04 PM by Kevin »
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

crantastic

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Re: Holy Wa! Skirmisher Tidal Wave!
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2010, 01:24:11 PM »
yes, but how can you have your 35,000 psiloi raining death from the hills on your enemy's 8000 hoplites if you don't make 'em core?  

i'll read the session report to find out more about the makeup of Mike's army, and how you dealt with it. and what it was you think you "totally screwed up".   ;)
At least two-thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political ideas.  -Aldous Huxley

lazyj

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Re: Holy Wa! Skirmisher Tidal Wave!
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2010, 02:01:37 PM »
Total screw up that cost Mike the game: He managed a Front and Rear pinch with two Caetrati on an isolated, out of Leadership range Umenzi Spearmen with only Faith Armor and 2 hit boxes left (1 yellow, 1 red because of the special condition that wipes out the last red hit box).

Anyway, the Spears miraculously made their pre-combat rout check. We then proceeded to combat, where I snuffed out his "Front" Caetrati while not taking any damage from either of them, then whacked the "Rear" one on the following turn.

Except we didn't apply the Javelin rule.

So instead of Mike getting two javelin attacks before combat even started he had to make do with the regular combat rolls, which didn't end well for him. He SHOULD have had about five extra dice to roll, with the odds saying he could have done at least 2 damage from them. And because it was Breaking Point scenario, if he had killed those Spearmen he would have won instantly. Heck, doing two damage would have caused me to take another Rout check at 8 - odds definitely not in the Umenzi favor.

That was the easily defined moment, but we forgot the Caetrati javelin rule all night - they got their ranged attacks but never got to use it on their charge, which means he easily should have done another 5-6 damage (those damn skirmishers were swarming all over everywhere). The winning margin was razor thin in this one, and I have no doubt that if the skirmishers were played with the correct rule he would have won.

Kevin

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Re: Holy Wa! Skirmisher Tidal Wave!
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2010, 03:00:16 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing that you didn't use any of the discussed skirmisher rule proposals.

With 20+ skirmishers I imagine they're 2-3 deep, and if you use the "Routing though a non-routing skirmisher causes it to make a rout check" proposal that after first contact you have most of the skirmishers fleeing like a herd of panicked bison.

And of course if you get rid of the rout check which non-skirmishers take from being pinched by skirmishers that threat goes away.

So I'd say keep the Carthaginian skirmishers as core.  Once skirmishers are fixed anyone taking an all-skirmisher army should get spanked like a bad puppy.  But I'm still looking forward to the report!
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

lazyj

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Re: Holy Wa! Skirmisher Tidal Wave!
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2010, 03:42:29 PM »
Correct - no modified skirmisher rules, they were there in all their annoying glory. Though we DID use the newly discussed fear option (mentioned here: http://yourmovegames.com/forum/index.php/topic,1231.msg11699.html) which I liked a lot. Excellent modification to the rules.

I am much much MUCH more in favor of doing something to the skirmisher menace after that game. I don't really care what it is, but it needs to happen SOON.  >:(


gull2112

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Re: Holy Wa! Skirmisher Tidal Wave!
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2010, 05:25:01 PM »
The skirmisher rules are fine. The skirmishers acted like they were supposed to act i.e., they behaved as they did historically and the results were historically accurate. You may wonder how I can come to that conclusion when talking about Umenzi or any fantasy army.

It goes like this: The counter to skirmishers are light fast troops which can match or defeat them in battle. The Umenzi have none of these, so I would call it a Umenzi problem, not a skirmisher problem. The Romans have skirmishers, but they aren't equal to Carthaginian skirmishers, same problem.

Historically, the Greeks had problems with their eastern foes because they wouldn't march out and fight them on Greek terms, which was heavy infantry running into each other. Instead they ambushed and ran. Interestingly, this is not unlike our War on Terror today, like the Greeks, we're calling the terrorists cowards and worse because they won't faces us in manly (foolish, considering the imbalance) face to face combat.

If you are complaining that valuable heavier units are being led on wild goose chases by skirmishers, then the skirmishers are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing.

If my skirmishers were isolating and defeating otherwise superior units, then they are doing what they are supposed to do.

People are too quick and ready to cry foul and nerf skirmishers. If you are going to face skirmishers then you had better come up with a counter. I believe that even with the same rules James would not fall prey to those same tactics. If he thinks the Umenzi can't beat the Carthage skirmishers then we can switch armies and I will show that it can be done, maybe not well or easily, but not so handily that we have to change the rules! We need many more test games before we can jump to any conclusions. Pardon my broken record retort, but we can't be having special rules for everything, skirmisher rules might not seem complicated if taken out of context, but as part of the whole picture it becomes one more thing. Last night, as James said, we still didn't have a grasp of the javelin rules. Yes, they are obvious when you read them, but I still find myself going back and checking on the difference between javelin and pila, on nearest enemy determination, on elevated target/firer modifiers...Everytime we have to go and look up a rule the fun factor goes down. Consider very carefully any additional modifications or changes. Maybe there should be a permanent thread on house rules. If any of these seem to come into general use then we can consider making an official rules change. Maybe these could become part of an "advanced game" that states right out that these rules provide increased simulation at a cost of playability.

Now, I'm going to try and set up a flikr account and post the battle report... :P
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