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The Siege of Jerusalem (Third Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: No-prep New City rss

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Joe Lott
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Does anyone else here, on Assault 1 make a no-prep take of the new city? I do! I just wondering about everyone else.
 
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Aaron Lipka
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That's what I usually do in AP1 also, despite my father egging me on to mine at that point. I think that the disadvantages outweigh the potential advantages.

The drawbacks to waiting for a mineshaft is using up potential weeks. This affects Judean VPs, but more importantly it affects Roman replacements. Simply put, the Romans don't receive a single extra man for waiting before AP1.

There are advantages too, but they are dubious. On the New City wall, the rams have the least trouble making a decent breach, omitting the bastions. Meanwhile, archers and artillery can be using attrition to whittle down the Judean forces on the wall (usually). Trying to mine and make a breach sooner doesn't make the ground-battle any easier for the Romans, if they have a strong faction or three to meet on the field!

Mines might be applied to peripheral areas like HP or TQ, but I tend to think that these aren't optimal for AP1. Bottom line, I say that IF the NC is the AP! target (which it usually is), then it can be easily done without taking weeks to apply mineshafts.

~Aaron
 
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Joe Lott
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I agree completly with this, you loose the replacement cost! It just seems there is a lot of talk of doing other things like its "normal". Why bother.

Pompey4 wrote:
That's what I usually do in AP1 also, despite my father egging me on to mine at that point. I think that the disadvantages outweigh the potential advantages.

The drawbacks to waiting for a mineshaft is using up potential weeks. This affects Judean VPs, but more importantly it affects Roman replacements. Simply put, the Romans don't receive a single extra man for waiting before AP1.

There are advantages too, but they are dubious. On the New City wall, the rams have the least trouble making a decent breach, omitting the bastions. Meanwhile, archers and artillery can be using attrition to whittle down the Judean forces on the wall (usually). Trying to mine and make a breach sooner doesn't make the ground-battle any easier for the Romans, if they have a strong faction or three to meet on the field!

Mines might be applied to peripheral areas like HP or TQ, but I tend to think that these aren't optimal for AP1. Bottom line, I say that IF the NC is the AP! target (which it usually is), then it can be easily done without taking weeks to apply mineshafts.

~Aaron
 
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Alan Lipka
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Hi Guys –

I am a big proponent of the “Mine in Phase 1” strategy. It follows one of the most basic military concepts. Here is my thinking …

GIVEN: The Roman starts with 4 intact Legions and faces the fewest number of Judaean units across the longest front.

APPROACH: Use everything the Roman has to crush the Judaean defense with the fewest casualties.

APPLICATION: This is where things get complicated. In its simplest form, though, three things must be accomplished to maximize the results:

1) A City Area must be taken to get at least 10% of the necessary Levy Capacity to continue on to the next Phase.
2) Some kind of advantage must be gained that can be used in Phase II. This can be done either by grabbing Territory (capture of another Area) or by changing the Terrain (creating Breaches / damaging Forts).
3) Keeping Roman unit loss under 50 and Casualty VP’s under 150.

STRATEGY: The New City lends itself most easily to all of the strengths the Roman can bring to bear because of its weak Walls and extended front. It is the most easily captured Area for a Phase I assault because of isolated Built-Ups within the Area and many entry points. As well, the Roman has great mobility due to the Clear Terrain around the NC Walls and can shift his forces with great freedom. All of which simply begs an overwhelming assault that destroys the Walls quickly, creates numerous entry points via Breaches and staircases, reduces Judaean defenders with concentrated Missile Fire and threatens all of this along an extended front. The result is an assured NC capture … thus fulfilling the first goal. Very nice.

Now, if the purpose of Phase I is simply to take the Area and move on, then it is pretty clear that the Roman has overkill force. So, the challenge is to use the “extra” manpower to soften up the Judaean somewhere else. That is where Mines in Phase I come into play.

MINING TACTICS: The NC Wall can take only 6 Damage Points before being reduced to a Breach. This means that 1 Mine can create the kind of Damage at Phase start that would take 4-5 Turns to do with Rams alone. (Keep in mind that Ram Breaches are not immediately open to assault due to the Fire Phase they are created in and the need to move units around to actually take advantage of them.)

One Mine will result in 4 NC Wall attacks 50% of the time, and 2 NC Wall attacks the other 50%. (EXC. QQ27) So, half the time, there is an 89% chance that at least one of those Walls will become a Breach because all it takes is an unmodified DR of 6 to do so. This is important, because there are two places where that Breach can give the Roman a chance to wait, and Mine again in the same Interphase, using the Breach created previously, against a Wall that is inside the NC ! Such a result can pay big dividends in the future, simply because one of those vulnerable interior Walls is the Antonia Fortress and the other is the Tyropean City. This is a huge factor for future assaults.

Such an approach truly means, “rolling the die”. The Roman must have a Game Plan that risks a Delay/Roll, Delay/Roll, Delay/Roll starting before Phase I (and you gotta know the odds … I have a table if anyone is interested) and takes into account the various approaches that can be applied depending on those Mining results. To simply Delay for a number of weeks in order to gain entry into the NC … nah, that is not smart. To Delay and severely damage a critical Fort (EX. QQ25) and get a shot at the AP through a Breach there … or get really lucky and Mine the Outer Temple Wall, Breach one of those Bastions, and get a shot at the Inner Temple Wall … well, it certainly deserves some attention. Note that both are possible. And the NC can still be taken despite the set-up restrictions if this result should come to pass !

ROMAN REPLACEMENTS: Every Roman unit that survives onboard is worth 2-4 units KIA’d. This simple fact makes unit conservation much more important than the Delay factor in replacing them. Until we can actually complete the Campaign Game and see how total VP’s affect things, I think it is wise to use all of the capital the Roman has to spend RIGHT NOW. Mining early (despite the loss of Game VP’s and Replacements) gives the Roman the ability to prepare for future Phases, create local superiority, and overwhelm the Judaean without taking the multiple hits that cost him so many casualties. Figure every unit lost is worth 2.5 replacements … and if you agree that 75 units lost in Phase I is reasonable, that means each unit lost is worth about 3% of its eventual replacement … and that means 10 units conserved is worth 30% in terms of replacement cost. A 4 Week Phase I Delay that saves 10 units is break even … 13 units justifies a 6 Week Delay … and I think that even if it does not work out exactly that way, the potential for destruction (be it Redoubts, Elevated Hexes or captured Areas) more than makes up for the “loss” of replacements in later Phases.

CONCLUSION: It is a mistake for the Roman to waste an Interphase opportunity to rubble Elevated Hexes at Game start. He will always have enough units to get the job done, so why fall into the trap of saving them before they are lost ? The limiting factor is TIME. Getting those units into position means creating the necessary Breaches to bring them to bear. Thinking ahead two or three Phases is critical … TIME spent early knocking down Walls WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR FUTURE BENEFIT makes all of the difference.

When all is said and done, the Roman is going to face ben Yair, two Leaders and a number of Zealots / Regulars in the Temple Ediface.

Since there is no way to reduce the Judaean to a point where this defensive posture is impossible, it is essential that the Roman starts this Melee as soon as possible in the Phase it occurs.

The Roman that does not use the pre-Game Interphase to start reducing the Temple Walls throws away his opening gambit for a dead end result.

Until proven otherwise, I strongly advocate Mining prior to Phase I. It has nothing to do with winning Phase I … it has everything to do with winning the Game.

Best –

Alan









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Aaron Lipka
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This is why I like this game. Me and my father can agree on all the potential factors, and come to seperate and opposing conclusions!

I think we can all safely agree that using weeks/mines in order to TAKE the New city is wasteful in the tactical and strategic sense.

I think we can also assume a smart TQ Judean defense in AP3 or AP4. Other considerations should always keep that in mind.

Finally, I think there is tons of potential for making AP1 mines work. Just because I don't tend to use them and dad does doesn't mean much, cuz NEITHER of us can make it count in the long-haul.

Based on that, dad's philopsophy is "spend 'em! You'll lose either way, but you'll come closer to winning of you spend 'em!" while my own approach is based on the principle of "If I intend to win THIS campaign, how should I alot them?" My opinion is more conservative, and frankly, boring. And pretty arrogant, in a way.

One thing I will respectfully disagree on is losses. 200 is optimistic unless you are planning to take the NC in 7 turns. When I play dad or he plays me, The object of AP1 for the Judean is to punish the Romans. The more turns the Roman plays, the more shots the Judeans get, and the more Romans die. In turn, the Roman player must choose to blow the walls wide and take the NC fast, or advance more cautiously and make each turn in AP1 count for strategic gain in the face of casualty losses. I, for one, am still trying to work this juggling-act out. Our most recent game I lost alot of guys, some foolishly, but am able to advance on TC and UC with significant Judean defenses rubbled/captured. Whether my guys died in vain remains to be seen. For now, securing the NC from recapture is just as important as getting the TC.

Still, I think there is simple math that severely deflates my father's assertion, if the Roman is visualizing the whole campaign. Yes, I am taking it on faith that I can win, and not just get to the TQ phase (which I am worse at playing every time!) to lose. Consider.

AP1 = no wait.

AP2 = For argument, say 7 weeks. Dad could show you the stats, but that's a pretty good bet to get enough mines to break into TC.

AP3 = 8 weeks. Now you COULD try for the TQ, or you could try for the UC/AF/HP combo platter. If you go straight for TQ, you will lose: even if you snuck a mineshaft into the inner TQ, the AF still stands, and I am increasingly convinced of this important point: While the Antonia fortress stands, the Temple will not fall. The details can be discussed elsewhere; but it is axiomatic that a Roman who puts less than everything he has against the TQ in the Phase he chooses to take it has severely limited his chances, regardless of earlier mine-play.

But, if you take the triple-threat and succeed...
AP4 = 9 weeks (total 24! just enough to get in the mythological AP5)
Brace yourself. You want a ramp along the northern TQ wall to neutralize those bastions. and all the replacements you can get.
And to my mind, a very important strategic advantage: a turn (actually, two) to mine the western TQ wall from the TC. In this location, rams can confidently advance immediately to be placed vs. the inner wall, instead of spending precious time trying to clear the Courtyard for the rams' safety. IMHO, it is the fastest way to breach the Inner TQ wall on the Phase of the Assault. Previous mining might be important to some degree, but I have tried a bum-rush down death valley and from up the valley slopes against a good 5 hex TQ breach, and it flopped. Why anyone would think that more could be achieved (excluding truly extraordinary luck) hasn't spent four turns just trying to fight for the breach hexes, two for the Court, prayed for three turns while the rams pried open the Inner wall from the NE, and limped in to melee that edifice around turn 9. If you want to maxime melee on that edifice, AP1 mining seems like a hail mary on first down. It just might work against a rusty defense... but dad and I are too good at defending for that to work now.

Now, my father DOES make an interesting point about trying to make the double-mine vs. AF. I could talk to that in detail, since I would love to rubble QQ25 and move in during AP1. It would be a nice coup, but I know how to block it, and I will defend against that possibility every time. The only thing that might blow me away is 12 mining damage on the QQ25 fort... remember, any double mine gives the Judean a chance to reposition artillery and repair the fort if it isn't rubbled. A Roman who commits a mine here will meet very stiff resistance. I don't disagree that it is a feasible breach point; just that it isn't optimal.

Is it worth it then to use a mine to get a big redoubt down? I will then point to my recent experience and claim that a couple of rams can do the same... without a drop of blood spilled or a single week wasted. The blood will flow elsewhere, oh yes, but there is more than one way to shave a cat. Using weeks is one way, sure, but in the end it is not vital to winning. In some ways, IMHO, just the opposite.

I suppose I will remain boring and conventional, but I cannot see the mine-game ALONE becoming crucial to winning a campaign (unless you get very lucky, which I never do! Dad might though). Don't get me wrong: it is the single most important interphase event. However, I CAN visualize a time when the Romans might long for three more cohorts in replacements that he cannot get because he has too few weeks left... based on the fool's faith that the TQ can, and will oneday, fall.

Beyond that, my friends lies the Promised Land. I may not get there with you...

~Aaron
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Kenneth Kloby
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My friend an I never prep before the first AP, but we always go after the New City in the first AP.

 
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David Hull

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I'm profoundly late to this discussion, but since there is an interesting divergence of opinion here, I'll weigh in with my thoughts. To have a realistic chance at victory against expert Judean defence, the Roman player *MUST* use mines before the 1st AP. This has very little to do with the attack on the New City, though. In order to have any chance of taking the Temple, the Roman player must breach ~10 Temple Outer Wall hexes and ~5 Temple Inner Wall hexes before the start of the 3rd AP. An experienced Judean player knows this and will set up most of his or her artillery around the Temple. I believe the optimal Judean Artillery set-up for the 1st AP is actually to put all Ballistae, all Onagers, and *ALL* Cauldrons around the Temple. The Roman player must start breaching the Temple Outer Wall during the 1st AP and won't get anywhere with Siege Engines unless some of the wall hexes are already breached or at least seriously damaged. I think the standard attack is ~2 legions vs. the New City and ~2 legions vs. the Temple with the option to help against the New City, if needed.

On top of this . . . in my experience, the Roman player can cut his losses in the New City substantially by using one mine there. The problem with the New City is that there is a lot of open ground to cover, and the price for the Roman can be high without a good screening force. Mining will open up a 2-3 hex wide breach in the first few turns, allowing the Roman to start pushing Testudos (and even Siege Engines) through the breach by Turn 3. Screened by Testudos, Roman missile units can also enter the City and force the Judean player to retreat to built-up hexes for cover. The Roman player can then selectively break the Testudos in the line to make a concentrated attack with Titus on the weakest hexes in the Judean defence. If the initial attack goes in, the Roman player will take minimal losses with this strategy. I've actually managed to take the New City while losing *ZERO* heavy infantry. Admittedly, the defense was sub-optimal, there was minimal artillery on the walls, I got a few timely 6's on the first push, and I lost two legions worth of screening cavalry and a handful of missile units to protect my heavy infantry.
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Alan Lipka
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hull00 wrote:
I'm profoundly late to this discussion, but since there is an interesting divergence of opinion here, I'll weigh in with my thoughts.

Never too late, David. We are learning things as we go and changing our opinions as results dictate.

hull00 wrote:
To have a realistic chance at victory against expert Judean defence, the Roman player *MUST* use mines before the 1st AP.

Pete White just took out the corner Fort at QQ32, Susa Gate, and the two Bastion Outer Temple Wall hexes south of it in AP I without using a single Mine. Against me ! angry
Now ... it cost him 376 Casualty Victory Points to do this and take the New City and it was a near run thing that he did not Mutiny, as Cestius was Panicked at NIGHT for 2 Turns ... but the fact is, he surgically eliminated the Judaean Forts on the eastern Temple Wall and dropped 2 Outer Wall Bastions as well ! Holy poop !

This has certainly changed my notions about what can be done without Mines ...

hull00 wrote:
In order to have any chance of taking the Temple, the Roman player must breach ~10 Temple Outer Wall hexes and ~5 Temple Inner Wall hexes before the start of the 3rd AP.

Well, maybe not that many. whistle

hull00 wrote:
I believe the optimal Judean Artillery set-up for the 1st AP is actually to put all Ballistae, all Onagers, and *ALL* Cauldrons around the Temple.

Quite a commitment. I'll have to look that strategy over. I tend to like the concentration of force tactic, so it should be fun playing around with this kind of setup.

hull00 wrote:
The Roman player must start breaching the Temple Outer Wall during the 1st AP and won't get anywhere with Siege Engines unless some of the wall hexes are already breached or at least seriously damaged.

Well, Pete sure proved this wrong ! Two Forts and two Bastions Breached ... against ME !!! shake

hull00 wrote:
I think the standard attack is ~2 legions vs. the New City and ~2 legions vs. the Temple with the option to help against the New City, if needed.

That should do it. Figure at least 300 Roman Casualty VP's though ...

hull00 wrote:
I've actually managed to take the New City while losing *ZERO* heavy infantry. Admittedly, the defense was sub-optimal ...

surprise Where did you break through, David ?

hull00 wrote:
screening cavalry ...

Having a hard time imagining how CAV is used screening a New City penetration this early. Umm ... would you like to have a chance to show me ? cool Ever played VASSAL ? Great fun !

Hey man, thanks for chiming in on this. Wonderful to have another perspective as we try, try, try to figure out how the Roman can have a 50/50 chance to win this thing. In the 3 Campaign Games I am playing now as the Judaean, there is a good chance my worthy opponents will prevail past AP III. We are not there yet, but the Roman preparation is better than I have ever seen. Even against ... me. devil

All the best -

~ A
 
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David Hull

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Lipka149 wrote:


hull00 wrote:
To have a realistic chance at victory against expert Judean defence, the Roman player *MUST* use mines before the 1st AP.

Pete White just took out the corner Fort at QQ32, Susa Gate, and the two Bastion Outer Temple Wall hexes south of it in AP I without using a single Mine. [. . .] This has certainly changed my notions about what can be done without Mines ...


I'll bet you didn't hit him with the maximal Judean Temple defense, i.e. Ballista, Cauldron, Leader, Archer(x3) in Susa Gate and QQ32, Archer(x2), Cauldron on every Eastern Outer Temple Wall hex. Even an armored tower has trouble surviving adjacent to either of the Forts with that defense. I believe you won't succeed without a mine against this setup.

Lipka149 wrote:

hull00 wrote:
In order to have any chance of taking the Temple, the Roman player must breach ~10 Temple Outer Wall hexes and ~5 Temple Inner Wall hexes before the start of the 3rd AP.

Well, maybe not that many. whistle


I would love to be shown that it can be done with less. You must be able to melee the Temple edifice with 2 new full cohorts every turn after Turn 3 or so. You can't keep that many cohorts fresh and in range unless you can set up and shelter near the outer temple wall. That won't happen if the wall is still standing. You also need to be able to melee at least two hexes of the temple edifice from two sides to have any chance to get in. That requires breaching 5 inner wall hexes.

Lipka149 wrote:

hull00 wrote:
I think the standard attack is ~2 legions vs. the New City and ~2 legions vs. the Temple with the option to help against the New City, if needed.

That should do it. Figure at least 300 Roman Casualty VP's though ...


Probably about right on average . . . might be less with a lucky mining roll against the temple outer wall. A mine in QQ34 will sometimes breach the two temple outer wall hexes adjacent to the forts. If that happens, your casualties will be significantly reduced.

Lipka149 wrote:

hull00 wrote:
I've actually managed to take the New City while losing *ZERO* heavy infantry. Admittedly, the defense was sub-optimal ...

surprise Where did you break through, David ?

I think I'll wait to reveal that until I know whether we are playing a Vassal game!

Lipka149 wrote:

hull00 wrote:
screening cavalry ...

Having a hard time imagining how CAV is used screening a New City penetration this early. Umm ... would you like to have a chance to show me ? cool Ever played VASSAL ? Great fun !


I have a busy schedule and could probably only find a few hours a week to play at odd times, but if that would work for you, I'd be happy to try. Also I've never used Vassal, so you'd have to be patient with me. Email me at hull00 at gmail if interested.
 
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