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Pike depth

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Pike depth

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:05 pm

Question that arose at the recent Wintercon event regarding large units of Pike and their depth bonus.

Reading the rules it states that Pike can get up to 3 lots of depth bonus (be that 3 lots of +3 dice vs mounted or 3 lots of +1 dice vs inf) which seems to mean that the front rank counts toward the total bonus given the maximum unit size is three units comprising the overall large unit.

As a followup question if the Pike start as a large unit (almost certainly) do they still count as a large unit if and when the rear ranks are lost? i.e. if reduced to the front rank unit do they still count as an overall large unit and thus retain the depth bonus or do they lose that as they are no longer a large unit?


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Re: Pike depth

Post by Aurelius on Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:49 pm

This question has caused much confusion in the past. Clarifications were published on the old forum. The intention of the wording was to say that the bonus applies to the rear ranks. So for a pike block of 3 bases the depth bonus would be +2 against foot, or +6 against mounted. The official Quick Reference sheet was updated to say;

+3d6 for Pikes vs. Mounted for each rear rank (up to 2)
+1d6 for Pikes vs. Infantry for each rear rank (up to 2)

Lorenzo started a short lived project to update the wording of all the rules affected by amendments / clarifications, with the intention of being able to paste the amendments into the rule book, but it proved to difficult to fit the wording into current available space. About the only rule he managed to update was the one for Depth bonus of Large Units. So my rule book now reads for 3rd paragraph of 7.3;
"Large Units of Pikemen get a 3 dice bonus against Mounted troops and a 1 dice bonus against Infantry for each rear Unit, up to 2 rear Units."

So there is no depth bonus for a single remaining pike base.

TD

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Re: Pike depth

Post by starkadder on Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:55 pm

Which seems entirely reasonable...
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Re: Pike depth

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:24 am

Whilst I don't have an issue with that I find it disconcerting that infantry armed with short weapons still gain Impetus against Pike.

Exactly how warband are able to charge in and get their full VBU of 5, with +4 Impetus (9 dice), with +2 for warband (11 dice) vs a tightly formed pike phalanx escapes me. It seems illogical.


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Re: Pike depth

Post by Tarty on Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:30 am

" Look into the eyes the eyes...I see Granicus with a warband army at the next outing "

The thing is you only get 1 shot with warbands... a pike block can grind it out all day long.
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Re: Pike depth

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:46 am

C'mon mate, warband are awesome provided they are large units, good high 5 at the front, 4 impetus, cheap ablative armour at the rear to absorb 4 hits and keep that Impetus bonus going...

Next tourney I will pinch Willo's idea and rock up with Yorkist stormtroopers... with my usual flank march thrown in...

That should make people happy!!

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Re: Pike depth

Post by starkadder on Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:13 am

Tarty wrote:The thing is you only get 1 shot with warbands... a pike block can grind it out all day long.

I'm still disturbed by a three element deep pike block being able to wheel and advance into contact onto the flank of an undamaged CL. All quite legal, I know, dice rolls and everything. I'm not objecting. I've heard all the carping rationalisations.

I just can't get my head around a manouevre (the 90 degree outside wheel) one of the most difficult in pike combat and taking around 20 minutes for the actual wheel before they even advanced on the second bound - and cannoning into my hapless Anatolians who must have lost in awe at the whole thing.

Bugger 'em. Pike blocks are thugs with sticks.  Laughing
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Re: Pike depth

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:31 am

I agree on that Starkers. I'd like to see Pike as large units with both width and depth.

Not sure what the rules would be but something like side by side units always:
1) act as a group,
2) always get leader bonus if attached,
3) test as individual units,
4) cannot move more than one pulse unless all individual units are ordered,
5) must wheel as a group.
6) advance and retreat as a group although all melee contacts are resolved prior to retreat/pursuit

that's probably enough, some good benefits and negatives there.

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Re: Pike depth

Post by starkadder on Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:29 am

I assume this confusion, in part, arose from 2.5.1 (p 13) which states "Large units only benefit from their Impetus bonus if the front Unit is Fresh."

If a unit is not Fresh then it doesn't get an Impetus bonus. (2.6.1) VBU are removed from the rear.

Therefore, for the above condition to be true in any case then the front element (2.6.1.) must always be regarded as Large until it (the front element) takes a casualty. After which it becomes just a bunch of blokes with sticks.

That would appear to be the strict grammatical interpretation. I do not think this was intended.
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Re: Pike depth

Post by RogerC on Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:40 pm

I agree with Aurelius that Lorenzo has said that the depth bonuses apply only to the second/third etc. rank, so there isn't a depth bonus when there is only one rank.

In addition, Lorenzo has also said 'once a large unit, always a large unit'. This is, perhaps, the reason the rules talk about large unis (LUs) retaining their impetus bonus as long as the front unit is fresh, which is something Starkadder noted. Even when the rear rank(s) are lost, the front unit will have the characteristics of a LU, even though it now gets no bonus for depth.

Why does this matter? Well, for warbands it doesn't. When the rear rank is lost, the front rank is still impetuous FL. However, in the Chinese lists, you can make LUs of FL and T, with the T as a rear rank. No depth bonus, but losses come off the rear rank first, so the front rank stays fresh longer (sounds like a deodorant commercial). The LU has special characteristics, moving as a T but interpenetrating as FP. The point about 'always a LU' is that the front rank retains those special characteristics even when the rear rank is lost, rather than reverting to a normal FL.

Of course, if you don't use such units, you needn't worry.

It is good to see someone else giving the Anatolian Turkomen a run out. They are fine lads all.

RogerC


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Re: Pike depth

Post by dadiepiombo on Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:32 pm

the front rank stays fresh longer (sounds like a deodorant commercial).

Impetus 2 will be sponsored by Axe Very Happy 
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Re: Pike depth

Post by starkadder on Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:27 am

dadiepiombo wrote:Impetus 2 will be sponsored by Axe Very Happy 

Given the average age of Australian gamers, Lorenzo, I fear it will be Old Spice.  Laughing 
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Re: Pike depth

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