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Doppelsoldners

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Doppelsoldners

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:12 pm

Need to clear up an issue with Doppelsoldners.

They are listed as Skirmishers who can charge an opponent.

Does this mean they function as a VBU 3 + Impetus 3 unit the same as any other unit and must be destroyed via doing damage?

OR

Do they ultimately follow the Skirmisher rules and after having charged in they do their damage and because they are then in contact with the enemy they are dispersed? Do they disperse next time the enemy gets activated?

To date we've played them as a 3+3 unit

The "Note" under teh Skirmisher troop type states:"This category also includes some special troops such as Doppelsoldner or the Enfant Perdus, who don't have missile weapons but who can charge the enemy".

I would suggest that they must be fought to the death and do not suffer from immediate dispersion if contacted by the enemy but the rule isn't specific. They seem a bit expensive to be one use suicide troops but as the rules are written that is what they are - Skirmishers who are dispersed if contacted by the enemy.

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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:32 pm

The rule is that formed units must move to disperse skirmishers. Without movement there is no dispersal.

Most skirmishers cannot voluntarily advance into contact themselve because they have no impetus. The advantage of units like Doppelsoldners is that they can move to contact the enemy and can get stuck in melee. So long as no formed unit moves to contact the Doppelsoldners there isn't a problem but should a formed unit, for instance, cause them to retreat and contacts them in a pursuit they are immediately dispersed.
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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:42 pm

That is certainly what 7.8 seems to say, but for a VBU3+I3 melee only unit with a cost of 16 points that makes them ridiculously expensive.

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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:53 pm

Doppelsoldners are primarily meant to chase down other skirmishers and only secondarily meant to fight formed units.
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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by jeztodd on Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:41 pm

I think everyone thinks this element of the rules should be modified and adjusted. We play them strictly as they are dispersed after contact so you are basically paying points. To get the one shot 3 and 3 charge.

On a linked theme one variation we are thinking about adopting is to allow them to charge into contact if the main block is already in contact. By this I mean they may be part of the pike block at the rear or centre and there is contact they can charge through and attack even if the front lines are stuck in combat.
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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:29 pm

This was talked about on the old forum. To be dispersed the S unit must be contacted through movement. No movement, no dispersal. So Jeztodd you're not playing the rule correctly.

Having S units on the front line of melee is risky because they can easily be dispersed through pursuit. So you take your chances. On the otherhand, a lucky or timely charge could bring great results.
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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:17 am

Gaius Cassius wrote:Doppelsoldners are primarily meant to chase down other skirmishers and only secondarily meant to fight formed units.

no argument there, but given they don't have a shoot and scoot or shoot from range capability they are a poor use of points.

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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by Tarty on Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:43 am

They're good for exploiting gaps created in lines they make for pokey manoeuvrable sweepers and being able to interpenetrate every friendly on the table they can pop up almost anywhere …trouble makers  Surprised 
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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:38 am

Ah, Tarty the Doppelsoldner!  Razz 

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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by starkadder on Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:42 am

I was under the impression that Dopplesoldners received double pay as a brief and largely unlamented experiment to break up the facing of a pike bloc. I don't know of any examples of them being used as flank attackers but I'm willing to be informed.

Yes, they would be expensive and, if they survived the first round, would break off and evade behind their parent bloc. Staying there to fight would mean their superannuation scheme was largely irrelevant.

I wonder if it wouldn't be better to cost them as a factor in a parent bloc, rather than as something separate? I confess that I feel uncomfortable with these small specialist troops wandering about the battlefield as it's not their role.

Just a thought.

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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:11 am

Often wondered whenever I see pics of pike blocks why they didn't have guys with shortish sword or stabbing poles who rolled under the pikes and then start hacking at the legs or stabbing at the groin of the pikemen.

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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by starkadder on Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:16 am

Well, that was what they did with their monster swords.

And it didn't really work.

But as they looked very cool, they were popular as palace and ceremonial guards.
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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by Jim Webster on Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:08 am

Granicus Gaugamela wrote:Often wondered whenever I see pics of pike blocks why they didn't have guys with shortish sword or stabbing poles who rolled under the pikes and then start hacking at the legs or stabbing at the groin of the pikemen.


Spanish 'Sword and Buckler' men did this. The Wiki is interesting and sums it up nicely

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodeleros

Basically they were lethal against pikemen they managed to catch at a disadvantage, but they were horribly vulnerable to steady pikemen who were waiting for them.
They were also horribly vulnerable to mounted troops.

They had their time in the sun and did achieve things but were eventually phased out

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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by jeztodd on Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:03 pm

Hi the reading I have done on the pike blocks is all secondary sources but I am in agreement with "Starkadder" that the Doppelsoldners probably fought as part of the main block. Possibly starting in the centre and then coming out to the front to use the two handed swords etc. I think this is another area that could be tightened in the rules as you can have the troops as part of a pike block in the army list but there are not really any restrictions on how they deploy.

I think it is the same for the pike block skirmish shot .. here I appreciate they may be more likely to be detached, so I guess could realistically be detached to any part of the battlefield if you wanted.

Also I am now getting really confused over the correct way these Impetus S are used in the rules .... especially with this movement element?

If the Doplesoldners charge in, can they stay in combat as long as the VBU 3 holds out? Alternatively if they charge and the other unit counter charges they are automatically dispersed after combat, as the other unit has moved into combat with them?

Interested to hear any clarifications .. thanks.

Good post to put up ..

Jez
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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by Tarty on Thu Jul 03, 2014 1:29 am

I think Gaius sums it up nicely Jez it's all in the movement regarding formed troop dispersion of S with impetus and just how long these guys hold out. The minute there's a loss in melee and a consequent pursuit they would melt away. (presuming there's recontact in the pursuit )  Smile
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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by Jim Webster on Thu Jul 03, 2014 6:15 am

Tarty wrote:I think Gaius sums it up nicely Jez it's all in the movement regarding formed troop dispersion of S with impetus and just how long these guys hold out. The minute there's a loss in melee and a consequent pursuit they would melt away. (presuming there's recontact in the pursuit )  Smile

Which actually works quite nicely, it means mounted will almost always catch and disperse them, whilst against foot they have a chance of outrunning pursuit

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Re: Doppelsoldners

Post by Gaius Cassius on Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:28 pm

And of course the counter charge is dependent on passing a discipline test (unless on opportunity) with success dispersing the S but failure going disordered and making the unit in question more susceptible to defeat by the S. This is what I love about Impetus. Lots of interesting decisions and calculations.
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