Author Topic: Unbreakable armies?  (Read 1437 times)

Concretedust

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Unbreakable armies?
« on: October 23, 2015, 09:43:40 PM »
Hi all,

I have been toying with the idea of alternative ways to deploy my armies in an attempt to see if i can make them as close to unbreakable as possible.

I toyed with the idea of only deploying enough elements from a command in the front line that if all were removed as casualties would not actually brake the command. E.g, if a command of 28 ME strong, broken at 9.3, you would only deploy 9 ME of units in the first battle line, the remainder in a reserve battle line behind them. The same goes for all other commands. This would I believe have the following benefits.

It would mean that the enemy would have to inflict a greater number of element casualties on you before reaching army break point if deployed and played correctly as casualties would be better spread across all commands, this would take some practice as not to commit the reserves too early as to reach brake point.
A correctly deployed and played 93 ME army would need to take 38 ME of casualties and would not even reach brake point assuming the reserves were not committed to the fight. Remember, never put a general of any kind in the first battle line.

You would have a smaller front line ensuring that the command pips would be better utilized on fewer elements. Just make sure you do not have impetuous troop types behind your front line wanting to break through. You need to maintain discipline and cohesion as to prevent you from being taken apart piecemeal.

Most players I have played against commit everything in one super attack, trying to outflank, direct assault etc, this means you can focus you efforts in trying to break the commands of your choice as they will all be attacking you and available as targets, you may find you only need to kill up to 20 elements before they are thinking or running. This gives you the advantage. I do understand that playing better opponents will be more difficult but most use this type of tactic so a greater or lesser degree.

Just make sure you have a balanced front line with a mixture of unit types as to put the opponent in a position so they will not be able to avoid unfavorable match ups in combat.

Has anyone else tried this sort of thing and if so what are you thoughts, does it work?

Just my thoughts.

Concretedust.


LawrenceG1

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Re: Unbreakable armies?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2015, 06:47:00 PM »
I tend to follow the "Starship Troopers" philosophy of "Everybody drops, everybody fights", so I haven't tried your idea. I think it would be difficult to implement successfully. You need to think about how you would get around problems such as:

Your frontage is only 1/3 of your army, so the enemy will easily be able to outflank you.

The enemy will be fighting with 100% of his army against 1/3 of yours, so he should beat your front line easily.

It is unlikely that you will take no casualties at all, so when the enemy has knocked some holes in your front line, how do you stop him getting to and killing your "filler" troops?

If the enemy does manage to break even one of your commands by somehow getting into your filler, the 2 ME penalty could still break the other commands.

These obstacles may not be unsurmountable, but your idea is probably easier said than done.

That said, IIRC someone did very well at the ITC with an army including about 60 Hd that presumably were not intended to fight and one of my pals does very well with a Mongol Conquest army that avoids combat once the commands get close to 1/3 losses. Also it is quite popular to use one or two small commands with regular army baggage that can't be broken as long as you keep the general out of danger (e.g. 3 BwX/O DBE, 1 BdX, 1 General, 2 Reg army baggage = 12 ME ).

Concretedust

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Re: Unbreakable armies?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2015, 07:53:31 AM »
LawrenceG1,

I see you points and good ones at that. I know it will take time to refine the lists and fighting style to help with this sort of style of play so I will try a few ideas out and come back with some feedback for you over the next few weeks.

Watch this space.



Many thanks.

Concretedust.

Barritus

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Re: Unbreakable armies?
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2015, 02:54:40 PM »
G'day Concretedust

I've tried techniques similar to this with a couple of armies. It can work well, although it's tricky to manage and there are drawbacks.

Let me explain with a couple of examples.

I've used the Sub-Roman British with commands containing massed Sp (I), and reserves consisting of Cv and LH. A typical command consisted of 24 Sp, plus 4 Cv, 2 Ps, 1 LH, a general and 2 baggage, for a total of 24 Morale Equivalents. The command thus became Disheartened when losses reached 6.5 Morale Equivalents and broke when losses reached 8.5 Morale Equivalents. With the Sp fighting in three ranks, I could afford to lose the entire front rank of Sp, and even quite a few of the second rank, before the command became disheartened, and theoretically the command would still be intact if the entire two front ranks were destroyed. In one game I faced a Cham army, and pretty much every element in my opponent's front rank had a quick kill against the Sp. Despite taking heavy casualties, my Sp had the advantage of high combat factors, and eventually I got lucky on the dice. My opponent had few reserves, and once there were a couple of holes in his line, my Sp started wrapping the flanks of enemy elements, and his losses increased dramatically. In the end I won the game with only one disheartened command, even though I lost more than half the Sp in the army.

In a similar vein, my Early Byzantine army includes an infantry command consisting of 8 Bd (I), 4 Ps (O), a Bd (I) general, and 2 regular baggage, for a total of 18ME. That command breaks only after the loss of 7 Bd (assuming I keep the Ps and general out of harm's way).

Another example I'm looking at involves the Komnenan Byzantines, with commands of 0.5ME Bw (I) up front, backed by 2ME Bd (S) Varangians. A command with 8 Bw, 2 Bd, a general and 2 baggage could lose all of the Bw and not even be disheartened.

Another way of playing with these rules includes the use of 0ME troops like Expendables, or the simple Polybian Roman army with Bd (O) backed up by Sp (S) and regular baggage.

The general rule is to design commands to lead with low ME troops, and pack the reserve line with high ME troops, generals, regular baggage, and maybe even Baggage (S). How well it works depends on how well the low ME troops fight and how quickly they die. The latter in turn partly depends on what army you're facing. For example, any army leading with Bw (I) in two ranks will be in trouble against an opponent with Wb or decent quality mounted.

Anyway, that's my experience. Your experiences may differ.