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Dispersing Skirmishers - any defensive ideas?

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Dispersing Skirmishers - any defensive ideas?

Post by jeztodd on Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:56 pm

Played a great game yesterday 25mm Patrician Roman versus Huns at 300 points. Pleased to end up with a slightly winning draw !

In the game ended up losing all my skirmishers as the light cavalry Huns ended up doing a two move attack. Firstly oblique to set up on an exposed flank, second to make contact and wipe out the S unit automatically. No chance to evade out of the way and S units automatically dispersed.

Wonder if anyone had any thoughts how to avoid this? In some ways the job of the skirmishers was to take the casualties and stop this hitting my CP and CM cavalry but was just annoying losing the units.

Cheers Jez
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Re: Dispersing Skirmishers - any defensive ideas?

Post by Jim Webster on Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:27 pm

Just a thought, struck me just now and I've not followed it up but if your skirmishers are within the ZOC of the legionaries behind them, cannot the legionaries counter charge the Huns who are charging the skirmishers?

Jim
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Re: Dispersing Skirmishers - any defensive ideas?

Post by Tarty on Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:47 am

As well as Jim's suggestion….couldn't the skirmishers get a shot before being removed ? considering they're not evading.
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Re: Dispersing Skirmishers - any defensive ideas?

Post by Aurelius on Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:13 am

Hi Jez,

I find hindsight is great! I always know what I should have been doing by the end of the game  Smile 

Just checking...Those tricksy Huns must have been at an angle to your frontage initially? Otherwise they could not have charged to contact (avoiding ZOC) in two moves. If initially parallel it would have been: first move oblique, second move pivot, discipline test, third move charge to contact, discipline test.

So I guess the tactic is to recognise the risk when near CL that are set at an angle that would give them a two phases to contact, and then set your own S at an angle to force the third phase and increase the risk of disorder.

Tony

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Re: Dispersing Skirmishers - any defensive ideas?

Post by pw4379 on Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:46 pm

Can CL pivot? I know they can oblique and of course wheel, but can they pivot as well!! (I assume around their centre?)

Come to that can any other troops pivot?

Philip

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Re: Dispersing Skirmishers - any defensive ideas?

Post by Aurelius on Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:29 pm

Sorry, casual choice of terminology there. I meant wheel on one corner.

Tony

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Re: Dispersing Skirmishers - any defensive ideas?

Post by jeztodd on Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:35 pm

Thanks for the replies ... yes I was losing the skirmishers at the flanks and the Huns were coming in at all angles. As Tony describes it was a two move attack but the critical point is that they are hitting the flank (sides of the base) typically coming in on a 45 degree angle so there is no option to evade.

I think the option of having a front line right behind would mean that the Huns could enter that unit ZOC so I was probably operating the skirmishers too loosely, unsupported.
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Re: Dispersing Skirmishers - any defensive ideas?

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:16 pm

I use this tactic quite a bit when facing S troops. Players can get a bit careless with S thinking that they can get out of all harms way. CL are very effective in keeping them in check. On the otherhand, the CL will now often be out of position so the question is whether the S was properly supported by other troop types. A T unit or perhaps your own CL can often get a decent flank shot on the enemy CL because the enemy CL is now on an angle coming in. This is what I love most about Impetus. The infinite combinations and possibilities.
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Re: Dispersing Skirmishers - any defensive ideas?

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:30 pm

As I've posted before I'm a fan of using skirmishers as frontal "snipers" to try and disrupt the enemy at distance (as well as covering my own troops) but more importantly I use them to break up large blocks of my enemy so his attacks become less coordinated.

As such they are always out front, not to one side, as the army advances. As the heavier units move in then the S move aside to snipe where possible but generally just keep out of the way.

Skirmishers are little use as flank guards, the whole dispersement thing makes them very poor at that compared to Light Infantry (FL). The S lads need to have their big ugly brothers behind them for all the reasons others have noted, that way even if they get trapped by CL at least they have lured the CL in front of your main units and hopefully you can smite them mightily without giving them a chance to evade.

Sometimes you need to trade a good man's life for that of an excellent, or at least more expensive, one of your enemies. So be it, they die in the cause. Just don't get too liberal with letting them die, don't want to sour the victory percentages too much...

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Re: Dispersing Skirmishers - any defensive ideas?

Post by jeztodd on Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:05 pm

Thanks useful comments ... on a related note with S troops I am always tempted to push a little further ahead with them especially if it gets them the chance to get some point blank shooting in. Trouble is if this doesn't work out you are then pretty isolated and easy prey ... just have to learn to be patient or maybe get an impetuous war band style army !
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Re: Dispersing Skirmishers - any defensive ideas?

Post by jeztodd on Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:12 pm

Oh by the way if you want to see a few pictures on the battle we played that prompted the post they are here, my brothers blog page

http://theflyingshed.blogspot.co.uk/
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Re: Dispersing Skirmishers - any defensive ideas?

Post by Tarty on Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:45 pm

Personally I've always liked the way Impetus makes people use skirmishers the way they're supposed to be used ...as screeners first. There's a few armies where they can more than that but mostly not.
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