Just curious as to how others are handling this. I think HC does a good job with Macedonian etc pike, encouraging long battle lines. However, this does not work for the Swiss etc of the 15thC. They deployed in blocks or columns far deeper than the 16 men of the Successor period. As HC has no particular rules for depth there is no reason for the gamer to follow this example. I realise this may be seen as out of period for HC but it can also apply to classical pike (and other infantry) who occasionally deployed very deep. Romans at Cannae, Seleucids at Magnesia etc. Perhaps add +1 to sustained for every extra 2 ranks over the norm? Not intended as a criticism of the rules as they can't cover everything. Just wondering what others are doing.
You could just count the pike blocks as being in attack column. This is the normal term HC uses for units with depth. If you feel that it isn't enough, you could create a specific unit Useful Rule increasing the modifier to how you see fit.
Big Al wrote:You could just count the pike blocks as being in attack column. This is the normal term HC uses for units with depth.
I've seen the term "attack column" used before in these threads to describe units that are deeper and narrower than the dimensions provided in the rule book, but I don't see that term in the rule book anywhere. Someone suggested that my EIR units could operate in 5 wide (100mm) and 3 deep formations that were "attack columns", but I can't find any support for that. Where does the term "attack column" come from, and what does it mean in HC?
The short answer is that there are no "attack columns" in Hail Caesar. The Column formation in HC is essentially a march column. Two-rank and three-rank units are both considered to be in Battle Line formation. The formation in HC for units deployed four ranks deep and armed with pikes/sarissai is a Pike Phalanx.
I imagine that some players may be confusing the unit types in Hail Caesar with those found in Black Powder.
Last edited by A Lot of Gaul on Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:02 am, edited 4 times in total.
I have been struggling over the same issue. I have tried to come up with a solution that changes the core rules as little as possible. I suggest that for troops that genuinely fought in deep 'kiels' like the Swiss and landsknechts, they could be represented by a large phalanx unit - but that has a frontage equal to a standard sized unit. This would concentrate their striking power and simulate their ability to roll over the opposition.
I don't think this rule should apply to other 14th and 15th century troops armed with pikes or long spears (e.g. German or Flemish militias, Scots, Italians, French or Burgundians). I don't believe they adopted Swiss style tactics until the early 16th Century.
For simplicity's sake, I wouldn't introduce special rules for halberdiers or two-handed swordsmen within the pike block - though I would depict them. Separate forlorn hope sub-units are another matter, of course.