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Pocket Battles: Celts vs. Romans» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Celts v. Romans Troop Tile Strategy rss

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Josiah B
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Here are my thoughts on general strategy for the different troop tiles in Celts v. Romans. Overall, the Romans are a more straightforward army to play. They hit hard, have some decent war machines, and great special abilities. The Celts are more specialized. They have devastating chariots and special units, but they can get torn apart if their fast units get drawn into combat too soon. On to the tiles:

Romans:

Emperor: He has the best special abilities in the game. An extra order token and the ability to order two units at once can destroy an opponent’s force. Expect him to be targeted by Elvish Eagles if you’re fighting Elves. Keep him out of danger so you don’t lose that extra order.

Centurion: This troop tile can be put in either missile units or combat units. I generally use him for missile units, since one combat die doesn’t help much in a three-tile cataphract unit where every die counts.

Scorpio: I like this unit. It has good shooting stats and is great for taking out lone units or forcing the other player to use an order token for wounds on cavalry. Yeah, it’ll probably be destroyed, but I usually find it useful.

Imaginifer: Use these guys on cataphract charges or artillery.

Onager: It has good range, but it is hard to hit anything with. I like to beef up its chances by using “excite” on it if possible.

Ballista: I use these like the scorpio. This one has two wounds, so it can take a hit, but if it’s in the back row you should be okay.

Aquilifer: This guy is best in combat units since Roman close combat causes more damage in most cases than Roman shooting. Give him at least one cavalry unit to beef the unit up.

Cataphracts: The best troop tiles in the game. I only put one of these per unit so I can spread the “impetus” ability to as many units as possible. Add a roman cavalry tile and some praetorians and your unit should roll through anything it touches. Most Roman strategies will be based around wiping out an enemy sector (or two) with these units. It’s very effective. The best way to stop a cataphract unit? Charge it!

Roman Cavalry: These guys are a good compliment to any combat unit, especially cataphracts. They aren’t strong enough to be that effective on their own, though.

Praetorians: Excellent infantry. Make sure they get into combat fast so they aren’t shot up.

Legionnaires: Standard filler infantry. They work most anywhere in combat units. Romans have a lot of infantry choices, so it should be easy to create a unit with strong attack dice using Legionnaires.

Auxiliares: These guys are better than they look. If they hit, they cause two wounds. I’ve put them with cataphracts before just because they pack so much punch. Just make sure your attack dice range is broad enough to ensure you score a hit. The downside is Auxiliares limit the unit size to three troop tiles.

Archers: These guys are decent. Elves will tear them apart, but you can always use “excite” or include an aquilifer to make them more dangerous. I generally use them to clean up combat zones after charging with cataphracts, or to respond to charges.

Celts:

Druid: I don’t use “heal” too often. With the Celts I would only “heal” if your opponent has run out of order tokens. “Excite” is a must for your main combat units. If you are facing the Elves, give this guy some missile units nearby or he’ll be eagle breakfast.

Queen: This unit is fantastic. But don’t go charging her head on into the enemy’s most powerful infantry/cavalry. I try to pin an enemy unit with another combat unit, and use the chariot's fast ability to sneak in and wipe out what’s left of the engaged enemy unit. It works really well, so long as your combat unit holds. Since her charge is devastating, expect missiles to fly her direction. I’d keep her in the rear line as long as possible to counter this, and try an move her forward when you opponent is low on order tokens.

Chariot: Not as good as the queen, but also very dangerous. If possible, target a weak enemy unit first so you can take advantage of the chariot’s “overwhelming” ability.

Champion: If you take this unit, use its ability as fast as possible so you can get rid of the enemy’s order tokens. I like to put him in javelin or sling units because it keeps him alive longer in most cases.

War Chief: You need to give him a cavalry troop tile, and it almost needs to be a noble cavalry one. Horsemen have too hard a time hitting anything. Make sure his unit charges.

Gestatae: These guys have the potential to tear the enemy to shreds. “Frenzy” can give them insane amounts of attack dice, and “overwhelming” can cause them to tear through an entire flank. I like giving them horsemen companions so they get the fast trait (so you can protect them from missiles in the rear zones). HOWEVER, I have the worst luck imaginable with gestatae units. I once had one get pinned for two turns against a ballista. They seem like great units, they just hate me for some reason.

Hero: He’s like a Celtic scorpio. Use him like one.

Noble Cavalry: Good solid cavalry. Great attack dice. Put them in your close combat line units, or with gestatae.

Noble Infantry: Good infantry. Use them for line combat units.

Warband: Standard infantry. Use them to fill in gaps when creating combat units.

Javeliners: These guys will probably die fast, but they can fire on chargers and strike back if any tiles survive. I like putting the champion with them since he seems like he fits there.

Slingers: Decent ranged units. They won’t cause much damage, but they can still whittle down enemy units. You could also add some javeliners to give them some close combat dice.

Horsemen: The fast ability is good, but your horsemen units will be limited to two troop tiles. Use horsemen units like the chariots. Either pin or weaken the target enemy unit, and then sneak the fast unit forward and finish them off. It’s tricky to pull off, but it can be done.

Conclusions:

The Romans are fairly straightforward, and the Celts are a specialty army. When playing the Celts, do not forget to take advantage of their speed units if you have them in your army. Sneak attacks by fast units will save you. As I stated in my strategy article on Orcs v. Elves, this game is better with more armies. I am impressed how well balanced the four current armies play against each other. Once you get a feel for how each army plays, you should have some pretty close games no matter which army you pick.
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Chema
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Great analysis.

Since I'm used to play solitaire battles, is quite pleasant when you realize that you're sharing tactics with other generals!

Reading your articles, it seems that you think the Elvish eagle can only be intercepted by shooting (please correct me if I'm wrong). Paolo said that flying units can be intercepted by shooting AND by melee units. If you play with "only intercepted by shooting" and you feel the Eagle still has a fair cost, please let us know. I've only played with the official rule.
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Josiah B
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Ha! You're right about the eagle! It's right on the special abilities sheet. For some reason I never noticed it before. Luckily my regular opponent hasn't noticed it either. . .
 
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