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Clarifying melee dice for large units

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Clarifying melee dice for large units

Post by AncientWarrior on Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:20 pm

Hello,

Preparations are underway for a counterfactual contest between Alexander and Caesar. Shocked

Wanted to make sure I have the large unit “procedures” understood.

A large unit of FP Pezetairoi (page 14 of Extra IMPETVS 4) has a move of 5, a VBU of 4, and Impetus of 1, and a Discipline of B.

In melee against a foot unit, a large unit of these pikemen would roll how many dice?

My educated guess is 7. scratch

4 dice for VBU
1 dice for Impetus
2 dice for depth (counting front rank and second unit)

The pikes would retain the impetus of 1 until the second unit had been destroyed and 1 VBU had been taken away from the fighting unit, right?


Thanks. Smile

Chris

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Re: Clarifying melee dice for large units

Post by Nick B on Thu Apr 02, 2015 7:54 pm

I think it's 6. The large unit bonus only counts for the second and subsequent ranks so only 1 for depth.

Cheers

Nick

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Re: Clarifying melee dice for large units

Post by dadiepiombo on Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:58 am

yes the depth bonus is just for additional depth. So you get a +1 for second rank and a +2 for a third rank.
I would suggest to upgrade to VBU 5 the frontal rank of pikemen to stand in front of legionaries with VBU 6.
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Re: Clarifying melee dice for large units

Post by AncientWarrior on Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:10 am

Thank you gentlemen - it appears I misread the modifier table re large units and depth bonus.
I hear you about the VBU upgrade. I am afraid that this would result in a complete revision of the drafted order of battle.

I am going to proceed with what I have. If the phalanx falls, well . . . I know who is to blame.

Thanks again.

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Re: Clarifying melee dice for large units

Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:05 pm

The pike need to be upgraded to 5 and be 3 ranks in depth to really get the effect that they historically produced. They way you have it AW the legions will likely slaughter them (especially with the new rules that gives extra benefit to supported/covered flanks.)
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Re: Clarifying melee dice for large units

Post by AncientWarrior on Sat Apr 04, 2015 12:29 pm

As I remarked in the previous response, upgrading the pezetaroi to VBU 5 would eat up too many of the 500 points established for the scenario/experiment. Building phalanxes 3 units strong/deep (thus providing a +2 against infantry in melee) would also dig into the allowed number of points and make for a smaller army. A rogue unit of Roman medium cavalry into the flank of these pikemen would spell disaster, I think.

Am playing this scenario with "old" rules as I am not that comfortable or familiar with the mechanics and nuances of IMPETVS. Not sure about the new rules re flanks and support. Given that groups cannot contain disordered units and given the specific activation sequence, this seems - at least to me - problematic. Perhaps I will purchase the new edition of the rules. Perhaps not. One can hope that there are plenty of explanatory diagrams in the planned 2nd edition as opposed to pages of eye candy.

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Re: Clarifying melee dice for large units

Post by dadiepiombo on Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:05 pm

I will improve the diagrams.
Playing with Impetus without the amendments of Advanced Impetus is not a problem. The amendments were issue to improve the game and improve the balance, but Impetus rulebook is pretty enough balanced if you play historical matches.
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Re: Clarifying melee dice for large units

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:45 am

AncientWarrior wrote:As I remarked in the previous response, upgrading the pezetaroi to VBU 5 would eat up too many of the 500 points established for the scenario/experiment. Building phalanxes 3 units strong/deep (thus providing a +2 against infantry in melee) would also dig into the allowed number of points and make for a smaller army. A rogue unit of Roman medium cavalry into the flank of these pikemen would spell disaster, I think.

Be careful here, your logic needs to focus on the Cohesion Test. If you start with a VBU 5 unit then a single enemy hit gives you a test of 4 or less (66% pass). If you start with a VBU 4 unit then that same single hit means you pass on a 3 or less (50% pass).

If you are disordered then the numbers become 3 or less (50%) vs 2 or less (33%).

i.e. The degradation gets very very deadly very quickly and even the neatest phalanx gets broken up as units retreat variable distances potentially allowing the winning team to get Support benefits.

Meanwhile those damn Romans with their discipline start at 6 and happily slug it out with you as the odds are well in their favour even if you do have the ablative rear armour benefit until you have them broken down to VBU4 after inflicting a couple of casualties that they have no rear unit to absorb.

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Re: Clarifying melee dice for large units

Post by AncientWarrior on Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:40 pm

Point taken, GG. Please attribute my faulty logic to a general lack of experience with the rules and not a result of intellectual incapacitation. Although, there are those, I am sure, who would argue otherwise . . . tongue

As things turned out, the Roman cohorts did not meet the pike phalanxes. Just posted the battle report (see Alexander versus Caesar). I went back and forth about continuing the battle to its proper end, but decided to cut it short based on the status of the field.

Thanks for the response and experienced feedback/input.

Regards,

Chris

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Re: Clarifying melee dice for large units

Post by Tarty on Mon Apr 06, 2015 12:09 am

It's easy as a new player to obsess over dice numbers I think we all went through it Chris Smile  
As you get to have more games you'll soon get to realise it's really all about army breakpoints and keeping your force in some kind of order for as long as you possibly can.
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Re: Clarifying melee dice for large units

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:45 am

AncientWarrior wrote:Point taken, GG. Please attribute my faulty logic to a general lack of experience with the rules and not a  result of intellectual incapacitation. Although, there are those, I am sure, who would argue otherwise . . . tongue


All good mate, Impetus has more than a few mechanisms that throw spanners in the works of traditional gaming thinking. The separation of hits from casualties is just one of them. Flexible thinking and considered risk taking are essential to success, and for me that is what makes Impetus a special system indeed.

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