I wonder if it got left out for reasons of space - like the rules for variying the stats of commanders as in the BP book or in the Roman Vs Britons battle report.I don't see any reason not to add it as a special rule where it seems appropriate - i'm thinking of applying it to units of Wars of the Roses Men at Arms, who don't have shields but are in full plate and i reckon should have the same option of fighting defensively with their polearms.Ethos of HC/BP is very much use the rules as a skeleton and flesh them out with tweaks and changes that you and your opponent feel are appropriate.
As I understand it, Close Ranks is for use by all obvious types. As you say, Dark age shield walls, but also Roman cohorts and Greek Hoplites, which are heavy infantry. However, Pike phalanxes can use it and those are not usually heavy infantry. The thing is that they would normally be formed infantry, in close order. Warbands wouldn't use it, I shouldn't think, although I would say that a Mycenaean infantry unit might be allowed due to the size of their shields. Some might not class these as warbands, though.
Close Ranks is allowed for "shield-carrying heavy infantry units fighting in a battle line" (p. 66). That would include the "Heavy Infantry Pike Phalanx" troop type outlined on p. 94. Since there is no mention of a MI pike phalanx as a troop type in Hail Caesar, I am guessing that all Macedonian-style pike phalanxes would normally qualify as "Heavy Infantry."Just my two drachmai worth. Cheers,Scott
“What we wish, we readily believe, and what we ourselves think, we imagine others think also.” ~Gaius Julius Caesar
Yup - the 'close ranks' rule is a rule that applies to HI - it's intended to apply to all HI - so it's not really a special rule. You 'could' apply it as a special rule to other troops - but I see it as characteristic of the type - a development of close fighting infantry tactics. The more I read about the dark age shield wall, and the Hoplite synaspismos, and Caesar's descriptions of legionaries closing tight, the more it just seemed like the same thing really - or at least something similar in intent.Pike phalanxes are certainly heavy infantry in the general sense of the word - including in the sources where the usual translation is 'heavily-armed' - and in HC. I think in the old WRG rules they were considered 'MI' on the basis that they wear non-metallic armour (that being the distinction between HI and MI in the old WRG Ancients rules). HC is a bit more liberal with the way it treats armour though - the Morale save is based on a unit's likllihood of hanging in there. On the whole units that are heavily armoured tend to be the guys with better morale and determination - so there is a link - but the Morale save is not based on the literal amount of metal surrounding a warrior (or his horse!)With Myceneans and pre-Hoplite era troops - my inclination is to treat these all as MI. I know its a bit of simplification but if you think Biblical =MI and Classical =HI then that's a good guide. Late Assyrians tend to spoil things... can't quite make my mind up there... but they do bridge the two eras really. I have them as MI in my lists though - on the whole I suspect they are more like Achaemenid Persians than Greek Hoplites - it makes more sense in the general development of near eastern warfare. Well - that's my case - others are more that welcome to come up with their own interpretation of course!The other things that I struggle with in the case of Myceneans is the David Rohl date recalibration which is so... so... tempting! If it's all true - and I realise many academics oppose the so-called New Chronology - it would move the Myceneans a lot closer in time to Classical Greece. I still tend to think of them as fighting in a looser, heroic and individual style though - which makes them MI in my book. I really don't feel qualified to comment one way or the other on the veracity of Rohl's arguments... but if it was true it would link all those Bliblical armies together in a much more satisfying way. If you haven't read it I would get a copy of The Lords of Avaris - and I'd say the same to anyone interested in the Late Bronze Age - Hyksos Period - Myceneans - Trojans - because it really is a great read. Just bear in mind it might all be nonsense:)Rick
Thanks for the reply Rick. How would you rate Roman Hastati? (poorer type) I was thinking of using them as heavy infantry (on account of their shields and tactics) with the values of medium infantry, Although a lot of other games don't really differentiate between Princepe (full blown heavies) and Hastati Looking forward to the army list book. James.
Principes are more experienced than Hastati and so would have slightly better morale. They may have better equipment as well, due to that experience. They were all trained the same though. They were all similarly armed with pilum and sword, though some principes maniples might have spears instead. All would be Heavy Infantry. Really, the classification terms like "Heavy Infantry" and "Medium Infantry" are only wargames terms anyway. So you can give them whatever stats you feel is right. However, for this you could also add a little more variation by using the useful rules and adding "Green" to some maniples of Hastati.