Can anyone here ( esp some of you folks who were on the rules development and FAQ teams) provide some insight as to why rear support was dropped for Spears in 3.0? I understand the side support change allowing shieldwall armies to look like shieldwall armies, but armies like Hoplites look and act (IMO) more appropriately with the rear support. I know we can house rule it back but I was wondering about _why_ it came out like it did?
I think it’s just a play balance thing Roland. Spears were at an extreme disadvantage against Blades.
If the Spears are two deep, they’ll be easily outflanked. If they match the Blade battleline, they’ll have a weaker CF. This makes Dark Age Anglo-Saxon battles pretty one-sided when fighting against the Vikings. Having side instead of rear-support address this.
MedievalThomas came up with an interesting House Rule. Spears gain +1 for side-support, OR, +1 for rear-support, but not both of these together, and leave it up to players to make their own choices. See fanaticus.boards.net/post/32751/ for details.
Well Decebalus, what exactly is a Roman Blade element? Is it a Maniple?…is it a Cohort?…or is it an entire Legion?
As the II/10 Camillan and the II/33 Polybian Romans have 4 x 4Bd, and as a Roman army with both Consuls present usually consisted of 4 Legions, I like to think of each Blade as representing a entire Legion.
After all, the 45,000 man army of Alexander The Great is represented by a mere 12 elements, so I’m quite happy with the abstract way DBA handles army numbers.
We do have historical evidence that Greek Hoplites sometimes formed up thinner than usual, as at Marathon, and sometime they formed up deeper. How do we simulate that if Spears are always one element deep?
And I can find no historical examples of Hoplites deploying in multiple lines, like the Romans, yet the artificial DBA deployment rules leaves the deployment zone is so narrow for heavy foot that we are forced to do so.
So I say let the Spears gain +1 for side OR rear support, but not both together, and let players decide for themselves how deep the formation really is and how many ranks it actually represents.
This is a nice house rule for armies with ridiculous numbers of Sp elements given the narrow deployment zone. (I mean why can Sparta outnumber all other Greek cities in Hoplites when historically this was not the case?). It allows a phalanx to deploy and fight within some terrain limits and bring all elements to bear. It also provides some staying power against blades as it can absorb some disruption to the line at the cost of a shortened line and the potential of two elements outflanked. It would probably help 4Ax heavy armies too, like Samnites.
Jim is right…as he often is. Allowing Spears to gain +1 for side OR rear support (but not both together), adds some extra historical tactics to the otherwise boring ‘line-up-and-charge’ Greek Hoplite battles on our wargames tables.
To quote from Duncan Heads “Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars”:- “(Hoplites) most commonly fought in multiples of 4 ranks deep, usually eight, though four was known, and 12 and 16 common.”
Well, if a two deep Pike formation represents 16 men deep, then why can’t a 16 man deep Spear formation do the same?
But leaving aside the Greek Hoplites for the moment, many of the other ancient nations used Spears as well. And I very much doubt that the Dark Age Anglo-Saxon untrained ‘Select and Great Fyrd’ militia always fought in formations exactly 8 ranks deep, never more and never less.
Post by medievalthomas on Jan 6, 2022 22:21:39 GMT
It got dropped because we needed to close out rules before Phil faded.
It was a mistake. The rule should be you can get a +1 from either Side Support (Shield Wall) OR Rear Support (Phalanx). If you take the +1 for Rear Support you gain the key word Pursue v. all Foot except Ps.
This will be the standard rule in A Game of Knights & Knaves as we expand in to pre-1000AD armies to accommodate Hoplite tactics. It will make double based Spear unnecessary. You can limit the "Phalanx" formation to just certain armies. Like all Formation bonuses both Elements must be entirely in Good Going.