Hi, just got the new list book and wondered what people thought. We all have "our" armies and have our own ideas re lists, the new list book has thrown up some interesting points, are these errors or new interpretations. One of the great things about HC is the flexiblity so this is not a critic. Just interested in what you all think re the points below.
1. Companion Cavalry has no wedge option ! Surely a mistake it was what they were famed for ! 2. Hoplites as Elite phalanx ? Most of the Greek boys had their family held hostage to "encourage" them to fight. Maybe 1 unit at most the rest should be levy or maybe 5+ morale ? 3. Thracians as light infantry ? We have been using them as warbands with one or two hard units with rhompania, makes them quite weak.
Interested where the writers got these ideas from.
After a recent discussion on the Yahoo groups and an after baettle report, it would appear that cavalry in wedge is much too powerful. The Wedge rule may need some modification. The rule does state that cavalry tended to flatten out on contact, which might be why. The real problem is people's interpretation of the Wedge formation and a Wargame equivalent. In the game a Wedge has no flanks, has a positive save modifier and a positive morale modifier too.
The Macedonian cavalry is famous for using the wedge, however, that does not mean that it was the reason for their success. Rather that was down to the quality of troops, timing of attacks and the choice of weapon used, the Sarrissa. The Thessalians used a diamond formation, essentialy a wedge, but do not seem to have had the same success. Why not if it was down to the wedge formation? Just an observation.
Hoplites were still good, wheter or not their families were held hostage. In such a situation what would you do? Not fight? Then you would either die in protest at the hands of the enemy, or live to see your family murdered and then probably die by execution. So you fight, but you fight with all your skill, so why would they not be elite, if that is what they were?
I understood that the Thracians were light infantry. They could still be in warbands even though light infantry. This is the thing for me, what is light infantry? Does it relate to the style of fighting and the abilitly to fight in open or closed order? Does it reflect the equipment used, little or no armour with small shield and javelins?
The Republican Roman army works. There was a recent experiment run by a member of the Yahoo group, who posted a report on TMP.
Al, cheers for the response can't say I agree with you but that's opinions for you !
The wedge is a powerful tool, we have had two games with them, once they were almighty the other just ok. I think the wedge rules work well. These were afterall the primary shock cavalry of the period. Yes they are hard to stop but they should be. They can be beaten usually by attrition, they burst through and get surrounded not so good then.
Re Thessailians, yes they fought in a diamond formation however it was not their job to deliver the battle winning charge. They set up on the left flank against the more elite right wing of the enemy. They were there to keep the enemy busy on that flank, protect the phalanx on that side and generally slow down the enemy whilst Alexander and the Companions did the hollywood charge. A successful charge from the Thessilians is unlikely to be followed up and exploited. It could be argued that they fought better than the companions holding off greater numbers for longer time, they also didn't use the xyston. A bonus in "defensive" charges and less ability to follow up melees would be a fair reflection.
Have to disagree re the Hoplites, how can mercenary Hoplites be as good elite Hoplites in the Greek list. There are two types of worse Hoplites in the Greek list. The Hoplites were used by Alexander to garrison rear areas and at Gaugamela were behind the main phalanx. If they were as good as they are in this list they would be in front of the phalanx. I disagree with the argument that they would fight well when faced by an enemy. While in general this is true is it not true of everyone faced with death ? There were of course the veteran Hoplites who formed the advanced guard of the invasion who had been hired by Philip who would match the stats given but in an average size army maybe one or two units at most.
My questions re the Tharcians is re why they are not classed as warband ? Yes they are armoured as light infantry but all the rules I have played over the last 30 years have classed them as warband so why the change.
You may have a point about the hoplites not being Elite. That is something you can change. Remember that HC is not a game for army lists, even though they have been provided. That was because there was a clamour for them from the wargaming public. The rules were intended to use scenarios and OOBs.
As to the cavalry formation, I still think the wedge as written in the book is a bit too powerful for cavalry. I can't remember if there is any amendment or suggestion in the lists book, but the one in the main rules was written for infantry and does say that cavalry would flatten out on impact. Taking that into account, it would appear that there should be an alternative, less powerful version. I know the companions were good, but I am not so sure that they would be that good. Without knowing the full intentions of the author, it is open to opinion.
I only mentioned the Thessalians to highlight that a Wedge formation isn't or shouldn't be the reason for a hard hitting almost invincible unit and that it should be down to a combination of the weapon and troop quality. The formation shouldn't make the cavalry as powerful as it seems to if used as written.