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Tyrant: Battles of Carthage versus Syracuse» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Skirmish line effectiveness rss

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Jonathan Webb
Canada
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Does anyone else find the skirmish lines very effective in disrupting the enemy infantry line advance?

Often I will send a skirmisher right up to the enemy line so if they want to maintain an unbroken front line, they will have to shock attack with one of their units and just move the others one space ahead. And if they want to keep moving, they will take a cohesion hit. I find the skirmish lines can really disrupt and delay infantry line advances.
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Ryszard Tokarczuk
Poland
Kraków
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Yes.

My friend even made it a point to keep his skirmishers in play, in goal of cutting off the avenues of rout for my units. I mean, his heavies smashing against my heavies frontally, like honest people would do ... but then one pesky slinger or archer or javelinist and his ZOCs changes the final outcome and turns my rout into straightforward elimination.

One can even create traps like the one that you describe - forcing the enemy to advance that one hex forward in certain areas. In my circles such tactics got even their own name: "breakwater". I really enjoy that aspect of the game - creating "difficult terrain" with just positioning of your own units.

Skirmishers are weak and may rightly seem weak but used well they return the love at least twofold

(Of course, there are always counter-tactics that can be employed )
 
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Tobrukker
United States
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Jonathan4290 wrote:
Does anyone else find the skirmish lines very effective in disrupting the enemy infantry line advance?

Often I will send a skirmisher right up to the enemy line so if they want to maintain an unbroken front line, they will have to shock attack with one of their units and just move the others one space ahead. And if they want to keep moving, they will take a cohesion hit. I find the skirmish lines can really disrupt and delay infantry line advances.


JW, Yes. A bit too effective IMO. And I found if you had a large SK line as Carthage often does, and the opposing Greek Hoplite army has a small one the tactic you describe is the best and most effective. The Hoplite player would either split his line for one part to advance often only a couple more hexes before it too hit another SK, or keep the entire line together and combat the first SK unit. This can produce an agonizingly slow advance for the Hoplites. While this was problematic given the time scale of each Turn, the real problem was that the Cavalry wings would be decided way before the infantry even closed to combat with the enemy infantry, who of course didn't advance at all(or sometimes only advance with the non-levy Corps). If Carthage won one or both wings with their cavalry the Hoplites would get attacked from behind.

This turned battles where the Hoplites were favored per the Balance section to where they became large underdogs.

This didn't seem to reflect the history too well. Perhaps a tactic not encountered in playtesting, as the battles in GBoHA don't have such large SK lines.

#1 I decided that SK wouldn't stand and Melee with Heavy Infantry,(what does that even look like?), and required them to Orderly Withdrawal when HI approached. (SK were not throw away troops, usually paid Mercs, and hence weren't fanatic)

#2 Alternatively, I thought about allowing HI to voluntarily not advance after combat with SK, allowing them to possibly link up with an adjacent part of the line, but deemed it didn't help enough. Of course you could use this in addition to #1.

#3 I didn't play with this, just throwing it out there, but to compensate for the effect of #1, that any Hoplite unit in a Line Command that has suffered a cohesion hit this Turn from SK missile fire loses an MP, additional hits incur no further loss of MP. The unit(s) could either be left behind or the entire Line is slowed.

With SK in range preventing the Hoplites from Recovering hits, they will still be beat up when they meet the enemy infantry.

I found that using #1 above made the battles play out more historically and in line with what the Balance section on the Battle suggests.

HTHs

 
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Tom Shydler
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
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marque du lion wrote:
Jonathan4290 wrote:
Does anyone else find the skirmish lines very effective in disrupting the enemy infantry line advance?

Often I will send a skirmisher right up to the enemy line so if they want to maintain an unbroken front line, they will have to shock attack with one of their units and just move the others one space ahead. And if they want to keep moving, they will take a cohesion hit. I find the skirmish lines can really disrupt and delay infantry line advances.


JW, Yes. A bit too effective IMO. And I found if you had a large SK line as Carthage often does, and the opposing Greek Hoplite army has a small one the tactic you describe is the best and most effective. The Hoplite player would either split his line for one part to advance often only a couple more hexes before it too hit another SK, or keep the entire line together and combat the first SK unit. This can produce an agonizingly slow advance for the Hoplites. While this was problematic given the time scale of each Turn, the real problem was that the Cavalry wings would be decided way before the infantry even closed to combat with the enemy infantry, who of course didn't advance at all(or sometimes only advance with the non-levy Corps). If Carthage won one or both wings with their cavalry the Hoplites would get attacked from behind.

This turned battles where the Hoplites were favored per the Balance section to where they became large underdogs.

This didn't seem to reflect the history too well. Perhaps a tactic not encountered in playtesting, as the battles in GBoHA don't have such large SK lines.

#1 I decided that SK wouldn't stand and Melee with Heavy Infantry,(what does that even look like?), and required them to Orderly Withdrawal when HI approached. (SK were not throw away troops, usually paid Mercs, and hence weren't fanatic)

#2 Alternatively, I thought about allowing HI to voluntarily not advance after combat with SK, allowing them to possibly link up with an adjacent part of the line, but deemed it didn't help enough. Of course you could use this in addition to #1.

#3 I didn't play with this, just throwing it out there, but to compensate for the effect of #1, that any Hoplite unit in a Line Command that has suffered a cohesion hit this Turn from SK missile fire loses an MP, additional hits incur no further loss of MP. The unit(s) could either be left behind or the entire Line is slowed.

With SK in range preventing the Hoplites from Recovering hits, they will still be beat up when they meet the enemy infantry.

I found that using #1 above made the battles play out more historically and in line with what the Balance section on the Battle suggests.

HTHs



These sound like reasonable solutions to me. Skirmishers simply did not engage heavy infantry. And the little "traps" mentioned above NEVER happened. That is one of the problems with GBoH. Its attempt to be extremely detailed- and definitely over-defined in terms of tactical scale allows tactics that are ahistorical (ie, most of the units are too small, and therefore have too much mobility in historical terms...a failing due to the felt necessity of representing the Roman army)
 
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Jonathan Webb
Canada
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I think I will start playing with #1 and see how it goes. I do not think #3 is needed to offset effects of #1 because the SK can still move adjacent to the heavy infantry to fire its missiles and disrupt the advance. #1 just gives the SK line less options.
 
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Tobrukker
United States
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JW,

There is also the situation where enemy SK are stuck in friendly SK ZOCs, your choice whether to allow/make them OW, or perhaps instead auto-rout, when the heavies approach, OR to make the heavies fight them per the rules as written since they can't normally OW. Just a heads up.
 
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Jonathan Webb
Canada
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marque du lion wrote:
JW,

There is also the situation where enemy SK are stuck in friendly SK ZOCs, your choice whether to allow/make them OW, or perhaps instead auto-rout, when the heavies approach, OR to make the heavies fight them per the rules as written since they can't normally OW. Just a heads up.

I think the auto-rout makes the most sense, or at the very least having the SK do a TQ check.
 
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