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Scorpio rules

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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by dadiepiombo on Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:45 pm

mmmh, about the minimum range, what about use them in opportunity before being charged?

From one point of I think they should be lost more than on the fisrt loss like pilum, after the first contact. If the Romans charges or are charged the scorpio are lost.

We could anyway make them firing bewtween 5U and 30U, but only with 1 die to reduce their firepower and possible losses. Don't know if still worth the cost anyway (but in case they can cost as 1 Art B and not as 2).
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Jim Webster on Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:52 pm

I cannot imagine you could use the artillery AND the pilum when being charged. You certainly couldn't use the artillery when charging.
I'd say that if you did fire the artillery when being charged, you automatically lost it or were caught disorganised as the artillery fell back through lanes left in the infantry for them.
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by dadiepiombo on Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:58 pm

I meant firing in opportunity before the charge so before the throwing of the pilum that comes later, when the contact is made. Anyway range 5U to 30U makes sense.
I agree that they must mostly disorder the enemy but allowing 1 or 2 dice is less abstract from one point of view and less deterministic from another ("who care, I'm already disordered")
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by starkadder on Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:54 am


GG's approach has some merit.

All aspects of this discussion come down to ratio. In the case of integrated artillery units, discrete representation wildly overstates their effect. Make them too cheap (or expensive) and you will encourage all sorts of artfulness in their deployment

Bite the bullet.

Accept that a separate light artillery stand bought and paid for as a separate stand delivers the sum of artillery firepower in a number of cohorts or however you view the number of troops in a stand. In my mind's eye, one artillery stand represents, say, X scorpions and delivers X cohorts worth of firepower.

Yes, it is aggregated into one stand and could be seen as a battery of sorts but it is a useful shorthand way of putting them on the table without ghastly compromises such as whacking them at the back of the stand. Their effect can be viewed as a collective result.

If I could just get one stand in a 350pt Marian Roman list, I would be satisfied.
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Tarty on Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:21 am

starkadder wrote:
Their effect can be viewed as a collective result.

Actually think they would be more effective like this anyway in my opinion....but the option to have your artillery dispersed within the army is a nice touch also. Perhaps the idea of an either or choice would work well ? merit in not allowing both.
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Jim Webster on Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:05 am

And remember they're NOT at the back of the stand. Remember the illustration I posted. They're not 'tall' enough to do overhead fire except when posted on a hill.

They should be in front of the unit if they're anywhere

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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by dadiepiombo on Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:33 am

with a shooting range of 30U and the lost in melee (and no shhoting at 5U) I suppose most shooting will be between 15U and 30U. At this distance in 90% of cases it will produce nothing or disorder (consider the modifiers in CT). So the losses can be in most of the cases if shooting at disorderd units.

Also pilum should gave the effect of producing disorder, but occasionally they generate losses. Limit the damage to disorder makes sense, but it is something new in Impetus and don't think we really need an exception to how the rules work for this weapon. So if we feel 2 dice are too much, then let's roll 1. But 1 means that you can do nothing at a CL within 15U.
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Jim Webster on Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:37 am

Remember the possibility of being able to 'concentrate' the fire of two or three units onto one
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by dadiepiombo on Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:47 am

It would be helpful to make some test. I suppose that a Roman army with 30pts used for artillery would be very small.
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by starkadder on Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:26 am

In front or behind, the whole battle-line would look odd, Jim. Integrating a 6mm or 15mm model onto a 28mm stand might work as representation, but so would a marker.

Talking about concentration of fire already makes me suspect the concept.

The costs of such an amendment are prohibitive in an army which is already expensive.

Just add a light artillery stand to the list with all the abilities and restrictions that such an element possesses. It's a lot simpler than hijacking the rules with yet another exception rule.
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Jim Webster on Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:11 am

Well it probably wouldn't be too difficult to angle two or three of your legionary units so they all have to fire at one target. Especially at the end of the line.
Wargamers being wargamers I can see that after a couple of games Roman players would learn how to ensure that they took out a couple of enemy units with six dice of artillery fired at them

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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by starkadder on Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:13 am

Jim Webster wrote:Wargamers being wargamers I can see that after a couple of games Roman players would learn how to ensure that they took out a couple of enemy units with six dice of artillery fired at them

That about sums up why it shouldn't be done beyond my previous suggestion.

I will declare that I do have a vested interest in this discussion. I used my freshly minted Marians (nee Caesarean) for the first time only a week or so ago.

I want to use them more as I like them and, yes, I would like a scorpion element.

Dispersing the ability through the battle-line is too fraught with problems.
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:25 pm

We may be getting our wires crossed again. I'm sure the Marian list will have \ should have Scorpios as stands of Arty B - thats a given, and when you use them that way they act exactly like all other arty B. The suggestion that you can then use the dispersed ones in the same way wont work as there are far too few of them. What is being discussed is representing the splitting up of the 60 available down to the individual Cohorts (Legionary stands). Clearly a base of 6 Scorpios should not behave in the same way as 60?

I dont think markers or bases are viable because they clutter the table - and the suggestion you use a 15mm one in 28mm is not one I would take seriously as it would look silly.

Trying to micromanage how you represent them by restricting them to not moving and firing or not firing at point blank or whatever is not too helpful either as we only have supposition to tell us how they were really deployed, so why tie ourselves in knots? Accard suggested a perfectly reasonable way to represent the additional firepower this would give the Legions, and without it getting too complicated or fussy - and had the added advantage of actually reflecting the historical effect giving these weapons to the Legions had without making them overpowered

Why not try it and see?

And they need to be 30 U as they have to outrange Javelins
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:56 am

Cyrus The Adequate wrote:
And they need to be 30 U as they have to outrange Javelins

Using "broken" javelin ranges as the basis for the range of anything is absurd.

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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:03 pm

No, I can justify the "broken" javelin range, absurd is having a weapon that can fire three times normal bowshot restricted to half the range of a shortbow.

Unless you propose to rewrite the whole of the rules we need to work with what we have. It's an imperfect world
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:10 pm

Cyrus The Adequate wrote:No, I can justify the "broken" javelin range, absurd is having a weapon that can fire three times normal bowshot restricted to half the range of a shortbow.

Unless you propose to rewrite the whole of the rules we need to work with what we have. It's an imperfect world

Effective range for massed fire is a very different beast to singular or a couple of weapons.


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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Jim Webster on Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:26 pm

Granicus Gaugamela wrote:
Cyrus The Adequate wrote:No, I can justify the "broken" javelin range, absurd is having a weapon that can fire three times normal bowshot restricted to half the range of a shortbow.

Unless you propose to rewrite the whole of the rules we need to work with what we have. It's an imperfect world

Effective range for massed fire is a very different beast to singular or a couple of weapons.  


Just to repeat what I said back on about page 3

Going from the wiki these artillery could manage "3 to 4 shots per minute".
240 bolts per minute on the frontage of a legion which is somewhere between 200 - 240 meters depending on who's theory of frontage you go for. (In comparison 5,000 longbowmen at Agincourt might have put up to 20,000 to 40,000 shafts out over the same frontage in the same time)
Scorpio shots will be far more lethal if they hit, but you'll have overshoots and undershoots as well as the occasional one that somehow passes through the formation, or two that hit the same victim.

So I think we can say that the optimum is one shot per minute per meter of target.
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by starkadder on Fri May 01, 2015 12:29 pm

Cyrus The Adequate wrote:... I'm sure the Marian list will have \ should have Scorpios as stands of Arty B - thats a given, and when you use them that way they act exactly like all other arty B.

Except they don't have them at all in the only Marian list (Caesarean Roman in the rulebook). Caesar used a standard Marian army.

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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Jim Webster on Fri May 01, 2015 12:36 pm

starkadder wrote:
Cyrus The Adequate wrote:... I'm sure the Marian list will have \ should have Scorpios as stands of Arty B - thats a given, and when you use them that way they act exactly like all other arty B.

Except they don't have them at all in the only Marian list (Caesarean Roman in the rulebook). Caesar used a standard Marian army.


Which is probably as it should be, whilst artillery was used in the Marian army, the civil war legions don't appear to have been raised with formal artillery contingents. Indeed some of them were so rapidly raised it's doubtful whether they had enough armour for the men Cool

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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Fri May 01, 2015 1:46 pm

@ SA

We really need to get agreement on what they do before we decide who should get them. Clearly there are still a raft of armies that need a list, but surely we wont achieve much by getting distracted here?
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Sat May 02, 2015 1:07 am

Jim Webster wrote:
Granicus Gaugamela wrote:
Cyrus The Adequate wrote:No, I can justify the "broken" javelin range, absurd is having a weapon that can fire three times normal bowshot restricted to half the range of a shortbow.

Unless you propose to rewrite the whole of the rules we need to work with what we have. It's an imperfect world

Effective range for massed fire is a very different beast to singular or a couple of weapons.  


Just to repeat what I said back on about page 3

Going from the wiki these artillery could manage "3 to 4 shots per minute".
240 bolts per minute on the frontage of a legion which is somewhere between 200 - 240 meters depending on who's theory of frontage you go for. (In comparison 5,000 longbowmen at Agincourt might have put up to 20,000 to 40,000 shafts out over the same frontage in the same time)
Scorpio shots will be far more lethal if they hit, but you'll have overshoots and undershoots as well as the occasional one that somehow passes through the formation, or two that hit the same victim.  

So I think we can say that the optimum is one shot per minute per meter of target.

Selective quoting of Wiki amuses me.

Wiki also states that the 3-4 is unaimed parabolic shooting, and the accuracy shot is much slower (and limited to 100 metres).

Wiki, your preferred source, also states that the usual tactics were to mass them on a hill, i.e. they form what we use a standard artillery unit to represent.

Again using Wiki archers fire 6 times per minute so 30-40 archers are pumping out as many shots as your 60 Scorpio battery. Less weight of shot but equivalent number.

The Scorpio deserves no special rules, it is just a form of standard artillery, nothing more, nothing less. To allow it to be cherry picked is a falsity, once that door is opened every weapon or army list can be contested on the basis of "ah, but contemporary writer XYZ stated that <<insert irregular event here>> and that's what I want to model".

As for javelin ranges my point is that they have an effective full range of 23BU given that infantry can move once and "shoot" them without penalty or if standing still they can be shot out to 15BU.

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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Sat May 02, 2015 7:33 am

Hmm - I don't think Wiki is a reliable source, and it "amuses" me (read I think you are being a bit of a ********* ****) to see you trying to put words into other posters mouths by stating that is Jims "prefered source" in a derogatory way but I assume Julius Ceasar is a bit more acceptable to you???

Because thats where the quote originates - and my rather tattered copy will confirm it, if I can be arsed to dig it out.

Lorenzo wants to model the distribution of the Scorpio down to Cohort level. I dont think you can stop him, it being his prerogative. I agree with you that when massed as a battery the Scorpio is not more or less than arty B, but you insist on ignoring the direction of the discussion - ie should we\can we reasonably model the historical use of the Scorpio when dispersed, as did on occasion happen.

So going back to "selectively quoting" Wiki - err Ceasar - the point about range is that when firing at a massed target (which I'm comfortable describing as a unit in Impetus) the Scorpio is perfectly capable of hitting at 400 meters, which I think you will agree is more than the 104.8 meters that the current world record holder managed (I used Wiki for that bit but I think the margin of error is wide enough for it not to be a problem, nor any differences in a modern javelin to an ancient weapon - even if he took a really long run up). Under these circumstances shooting 30U would seen acceptable

Javelin range is only 15U btw - if you insist on quoting the rules please have the common sense to read them first. Skirmishers and light foot may throw them without penalty after 1 move, "infantry" may not.

Play nice, cos we can all be arses if the mood takes us.
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Tarty on Sat May 02, 2015 7:55 am

Have to be careful not to get too caught up in ground scale GG...that's a slippery slope look where DBM/FoG ended up bluuuuuurgh !... to be avoided at all costs ( my opinion of course Wink )

Javelins and open order fighting is difficult to get right but Impetus has done a pretty good job of it. Reduce the range of javelins and you end with a bland foot unit that has limited use... shot before contact is about all it's capable of. Would be a loss for the game I think.

Scorpions at a cohort level ? - still think it's a storm in a tea cup don't see a problem with them being an option at all.
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by starkadder on Sat May 02, 2015 9:04 am

Tarty wrote:Scorpions at a cohort level ? - still think it's a storm in a tea cup don't see a problem with them being an option at all.  

And Caesar is using a Marian formation. Not that Marius was really responsible for it either. Describing them as purely Civil War is wrong even to the fiction of calling them Caesarean. Even then the list is too limited to describe the Triumvirate conflicts.

Just give an option of an artillery unit. Just one.

As an ex-statistician, among other things in my career, this argument is now theological. One group wants to overarm, the other are factor warriors.

Neither side is justifiable.

One artillery stand will serve. Not enough to make a huge difference but available as an option to those who like them.The firing stats can then be viewed as an amortisation along the line.

Frankly, I don't care any more. I will travel my own road.
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Re: Scorpio rules

Post by Gaius Cassius on Sat May 02, 2015 1:53 pm

I've read the last four pages and here is my thoughts.

For 350 point games one can buy an Artillery B of Scorpios and keep it as a battery or disperse it among the legions. If it is dispersed among the legions it fires 1 die per legion stand out to 30U. This means at long range the primary purpose of the scorpio is to disorganize the enemy. At 15U most warbands and other troops will have an S screen which means the Scorpio cannot effectively fire. I would agree with Jim that scorpios cannot fire within 5U. Once the legion is worn the scorpio is lost.
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