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Dux Bellorum» Forums » Rules

Subject: Shieldwall don't work??! rss

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General Ludd
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OK so its a bit of a tongue-in-cheek reference to the 'Skirmishers don't work??' thread.

I had similar issues with skirmishers that were well addressed by Dan's excellent response an i'm hoping for the same here!

OK, so...

We've just kicked off with DuxB and have come across a bit of 'cognitive dissonance' with some of the troop types; the aforementioned 'skirmishers' which we too assumed were of the psiloi type, but also with Shieldwalls.

As i understand 'shieldwall' is really a reference to defensively minded troops as opposed to warriors being the hairy warband type. While recognising that we're dealing with early 'mirgration period' troops and therefore not the later period Anglo-Saxon Fyrd 'shieldwall', our expectations were:

Warriors = medium, fast, fierce, agressive types who hit hard but lack staying power. 'Hammer' troops.

Shieldwall = heavy, slow, resilient, defensive types how can hold the line. 'Anvil' troops.

What we've found so far is...Shieldwall troops are anvils made of glass, and warriors cut through them like the proverbial hot knives...

Its the Cohesion 4 thing. they just seem to lack staying power, even with Protection 6. Our last bash saw a line of Ordinary Warriors attacking a line of Ordinary Shieldwall uphill.

In our minds the warriors were doomed. In reality the Shieldwall barely slowed them down, even with the judicious use of LPs by both sides...

Basically it seems to use that the Shieldwall lack the expected staying power.

Are we missing something?
Have others found this?

I think Warrior stats are fine, but for the same points i think the Shieldwall stats are a bit off.

I'd think something more like this might be appropriate:

Move 2 (terrain restricted)

Aggression 3

Bravery 6 (8 for Morale)
They should be difficult to move without direct leadership, but stick around to the bitter end when the warriors have run off..

Protection 6

Cohesion 5
They should be at least as cohesive as Warriors

Points 3

Am i way off mark?

Do the Shieldwalls work as they were intended?

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United Kingdom
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There's only one true 'anvil' type: Foot Companions. Shieldwall do work as I intended (I spent a huge amount of time balancing stats to model what I wanted), but obviously that doesn't always match everyone else's idea of how they should work! As you mention, Shieldwall are essentially defensive infantry rather than an unflinching wall of steel ... Although I'm surprised by your knives through butter incident if you don't think you rolled unusually good dice.

This is interesting stuff ... You can read elsewhere on these boards that Shieldwall are too strong as well as them being too weak. I believe you need to work out how best to use your LPs to model what you want, and that's what makes the game tick for me. So with Shieldwall you can make them pretty invulnerable with LPs - or at least you should with reasonably average dice rolls - but if you do that, you're then having to settle for them having little punch or potentially wasting LP distribution if few hits are inflicted. That's the big choice for the player to make...

Some games see Shieldwall on top, others Warriors on top, but balanced out across the many (many!) games I've played over a few years I couldn't say that one is better than the other. The same goes with large armies with fewer LPs and smaller armies with many LPs: sometimes one comes out on top but I haven't seen an overall pattern.
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Bryan Fowler
New Zealand
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We have just finished game 4. I would say Warriors have the edge when you are a new player playing stand up head on battles. We are about to start a campaign based on the "Cattle Raid" campaign form the WHAB "Age of Arthur" book. I am picking once they have to start maneuvering to get an objective then they may be more vulnerable. We shall see.
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