Oh I do understand what you are saying Goragrad
, so let us split the discussion into
its three main salient points:-
1) what should happen to doubled LH when shot at a distance?
2) what should happen when doubled LH are in ‘close combat’ with shooters?
3) why should Ps kill doubled LH in close combat when Bows can’t?As for point 1):
I think many would agree that having LH being machined-gunned down
by three shooting Bows (21 chances of being doubled out of 36) is a little too excessive.
It doesn’t seem to match the historical accounts, and from a game point of view it’s far
too easy and makes LH far too vulnerable.
And this excessive vulnerability is not based upon historical evidence or game playbalance.
It’s merely a side-effect of the DBA combat system. Bows need to be able to defeat Cv/Kn,
so Bows have a CF of 4 against mounted. LH are weaker than Cv/Kn, so have a CF of 2.
Ergo, LH get slaughtered by shooting Bows...and the fact that the LH are spread-out in a
an open-order skirmish formation (so that many arrows would land in empty space) and
that the LH are zooming about (making them a difficult target to hit) has been completely
Having doubled LH flee from distant shooting, as MedievalThomas
suggested, is a much
better solution. It doesn’t make the LH ‘invulnerable’...they’ll often flee right off the table.
And having LH being ‘routed’ (i.e. destroyed) when doubled in the rear, or if they are unable
to flee at all, also helps to reduced this perceived ‘invulnerability’.
In effect, it means that Bows will take roughly two bounds to destroy the LH instead of one.
be defeated by shooting, the historical accounts say so, but I also think that the
shooters should have to work for it rather than just have it handed to them on a plate for
just turning up!(An alternative is to make all LH/Cv/Cm/Kn have a CF of 3 when shot at.
Hell Cataphracts, no matter how much horse armour they are carrying, are just as vulnerable
in DBA as Cv when shot at. So a CF of 3 would be the standard, and LH are also 3 because
although they have less protection they gain a bonus for being in a an open skirmish formation
and are moving about rapidly, while Kn are also 3 because although they often have more
protection they are in a denser formation and more arrows are likely to strike someone.
But it is a bit more awkward and a less elegant solution) Actually, a CF of 3 vs shooting could be the better approach. But then the WWG should get the kill on doubles.
That bring us on to point 2):
What about being doubled in close combat with shooters.
Here we come face-to-face with the severe limitations of the DBA combat system.
If you score less you recoil, and if you are doubled you are destroyed.
It would be nice to have something in between these two extremes, and fleeing fits the
bill. Fleeing is worse than just recoiling, but it’s not as bad as being destroyed.
And as I’ve said, extensive playtesting showed that if LH are destroyed when doubled
in close combat with Bows, the bowmen will be encouraged to charge at
So how do we resolve this paradox?...we want LH to be destroyed when doubled in
close combat with Bows...but we don’t want the Bows to actually charge at the LH?! (An alternative would be to do what HoTT does with Kn...LH that charge into Bows
are destroyed if doubled in close combat, but if the Bows do the charging the LH will
But it is a bit more awkward and a less elegant solution)
Actually, my playtesting with my wargaming mates showed that having close combat
LH fleeing from Bows when doubled is essential
in reducing the ‘invulnerability’ of LH.
Consider the following situation:-
The LH charge the Bows...get doubled...and turn and flee 4 BW.
Next bound the Bows advance 1 BW and shoot...into the rear of the fleeing LH.
And if LH are doubled in the rear, they are routed and removed.
Again it means that Bows will take roughly two bounds to destroy the LH instead of one.As you noted, CC for LH is merely a close range missile attack - there fore BW closing to CC are not ahistorically 'charging the LH but merely closing to a more effective range. Presuming no overlaps the BW will have 9 chancea to kill the LH vs 6 of being destroyed - still fairly risky for the BW. And the uncertainties of PIPrills may leave the BW without the chance to advance and get a second shot at the LH prior to their 'recovering their facing.
Last of all, we have point 3):
Psiloi killing LH in close combat when Bows can’t.
Well, strange as it may seem, the historical battle accounts by the ancient historians tell
us that missile armed skirmishers were a good way of countering Light Horsemen.
Xenophon mentions this in his “March of the 10,000”, where the Greek mercenary Hoplites
hastily formed bands of slingers to see off the Persian Light Horse, and Arrian in his account
of Alexander fighting the Scythians when crossing the Jaxartes river, plus many other examples.Actually, the Greeks (aside from Athens) didn't field actual archer or massed slinger units (and DBA does limit slingers to skirmish units where in reality they were often used in massed units that outranged and had more lethality than bows) - the Ten Thousand and Alexander in massing their slingers were in effect doing so.
This superiority of Ps over LH was probably due to three reasons: foot Ps could ‘outrange’ the
Light Horsemen, and standing on steady ground would make the Ps more accurate than bouncing
up and down on a galloping horse, and a Light Horseman is more vulnerable than a foot skirmisher
(a skirmisher is one small target...a Light Horseman is two
targets, the rider and his horse, so is
much easier to hit).Aside from the higher density of the BW units, all the reasons why foot archers should also kill LH. And due to the higher density of BW there would be more missiles going downrange than with PS.
Indeed, a case can be made that Ps should be better
than LH...and in DBA 3.0 they are (sort of):-
Ps get to ignore corner-to-corner overlaps. LH do not.
So having Ps able to kill LH in close combat by using direct aimed ‘sniper fire’ (but with a low CF
of only 2) rather than massed bows shooting in volleys (most of them shooting blindly overhead
at a dispersed fast moving target that the rear ranks can’t even see) seems about right.
DBA is only a simulation of ancient warfare, and in DBA it’s the effects
, and not how you generate
those effects, that matters...providing they give the correct battlefield behaviour.
All I can say is give this “LH flee if doubled by Bows, unless shot in the rear” concept a go,
and see the effects with your own eyes.