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The decline of the Warbands

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The decline of the Warbands

Post by Gaius Cassius on Thu May 14, 2015 3:20 pm

We have noticed that with improvement of linear armies through supported flanks, the bonus given to discipline ratings and the removing of the depth bonus that warband armies now perform poorly. Have others noticed this? Perhaps we have gone to far in rebalancing the armies?
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Fri May 15, 2015 7:29 am

yup - I suspect so. Bbt a bit early to say with confidence
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Sat May 16, 2015 1:36 am


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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Gaius Cassius on Sat May 16, 2015 4:49 pm

Granicus Gaugamela wrote:We discussed this previously

http://impetus.ativiforum.com/t350-new-rules-in-advanced-impetus-2015

Yes, I think you'll notice that I was an active participant in that discussion. I am providing further feedback to the Forum about our experience since the changes. Was curious if others have had similar or different experiences concerning warbands since the changes.
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Sat May 16, 2015 9:24 pm

Doesnt seem to be much discussion there about the warband - seems to have been accepted as a given. What appears to have happened is they have been on the bad end of three different changes which I suspect are having a bigger impact combined than was originally expected. Losing the depth on its own is not that important, but the addition of the flank support rule and the discipline bonus had meant that smaller units of warband such as you would regularly see in some armies are now almost totally useless, and the bigger formations still struggle. It is not so much the loss of the dice but the fact that opponents are fighting with 2 or 3 more dice, meaning the chance of a clear win in a round of melee is much less
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Gaius Cassius on Sat May 16, 2015 10:50 pm

I agree Cyrus. Before the changes the VBU5 warbands were coming in with 10/11 dice and hitting poor T units with 4. But with flank support and quality those poor warbands are often hitting with 8/9 (it is tougher to get flank support with impetuous troops) and the T units, if properly supported, often have 7 dice. A reasonable chance for the T units in my experience. I think the other big problem with the warband armies is that the VD of these units is usually 2 so as the back ranks start routing away the commands move quickly to routing.
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Sun May 17, 2015 12:04 am

The big issue for warbands is actually their discipline.

Once their formation is broken it is virtually impossible, in a practical sense, for them to reform and gain flank bonuses and spreading of enemy attack dice.

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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Sun May 17, 2015 8:25 am

In a unique moment never seen before we seem to be in agreement, or at least partly. The "perfect storm" has hit them. Prior to these changes a deep unit of warband could charge archers at 10-11 dice as GC says and would expect to steamroll through against 4-6. Now the archers could be on 8 dice back - assuming flanks, and Legions could be on 11 without the countercharge. Being only vbu 4 or 5 the warband are now in trouble, and as GG pointed out, you are highly unlikely if you have multiple warband to keep them in formation.
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Prinny on Sun May 17, 2015 11:17 am

This also applies to Impetuous Knights, which against all of the cheap long spear out there makes them a tough ask to take, since they will most likely be C class and not supported when they charge.
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Sun May 17, 2015 11:20 am

Prinny wrote:This also applies to Impetuous Knights, which against all of the cheap long spear out there makes them a tough ask to take, since they will most likely be C class and not supported when they charge.

True, but at least they have VBU7 or 8 as a starting point to give them a good chance of passing the cohesion test.

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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Tarty on Sun May 17, 2015 1:09 pm

I'm yet to see this trend first hand.
What everyone's saying makes sense though going off the 'numbers'. It's always been hard keeping war bands together in a coordinated attack but it seems even more critical now to avoid them going in piecemeal. Makes skirmishers important for these guys.
Not stopping me though I'm just putting the finishing touches on my last batch of Celtiberians  Cool ....will soon find out for myself I suppose  Shocked
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by dadiepiombo on Mon May 18, 2015 12:36 pm

well, they have been improved against isolated mounted charges. I have seen too many warband armies destroyed in this way.
Also I have seen many Warband armies lead in a poor way while now they need a better leadership (and yes, also Skirmishers, like many others by the way).

As warbands are much cheaper than regular B discipline foot, they can have a longer front that somewhat can rebalance the flank support.
Still the rule change was to improve the line VS Large Units, or better, VS cheap Large Units.

Let's see. The depth bonus can be restored in case. The Discipline difference not.
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Mon May 18, 2015 2:47 pm

Hi Lorenzo

I dont think we need get too involved in the discipline  factors as I don't think they're the issue, nor even the flank support, rather the fact that the cohesion test is the key to this. In the past warband had an inherent advantage in that they threw significantly more dice so could expect to cause multiple hits, when in return opponents could usually manage only one. The result was the warband had a good chance of causing multiple casualties when they took  less and therefore pushing the target back. The current situation is that now the target is throwing a lot more dice the chance of the warband winning the CT is much less - starting on generally lower VBU they are at a greater disadvantage.

Warband are in no way cheaper than B class foot - you need 2 ranks where regular foot can and usually do only deploy 1 deep, so they cant outflank - in fact taking a 4-4 warband against a standard B class hoplite the points are almost identical - the warband fight on 8 dice and the hoplites 6, but the hoplites have a better chance of passing the CT test. Where it goes wrong is if the same units are in groups, so that even if the warband arrive together the hoplites are now picking up 2 or more extra dice, and even though the warband are getting them too, the balance of probabilities are now looking more in favour of the Hoplite standing or causing more casualties.

Give deep Impetuous FL +1 on their CT tests - that may well fix them?
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Gaius Cassius on Mon May 18, 2015 5:36 pm

I agree with keeping the Discipline Difference and the Flank supports (has really improve Impetus in my opinion.) I wonder if we shouldn't put back in the +2 depth bonus for Warbands against infantry. Don't change the CT. The problem in my experience is that the Warbands are not generating enough hits. Especially when they are not moving. The extra couple of dice should rebalance things.
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Mon May 18, 2015 7:02 pm

My assessment is the same - not enough hits, but 2 extra dice wont make much difference. The previous situation was based on the WB out-hitting the the target by anything up to 2-1 dice. Those days are gone, so another solution would be to change the other end of the test - hence CT
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Mon May 18, 2015 9:51 pm

Only FP Warband should get the +2, not the FL.

Warband should be like battlecruisers, big potential damage but also veryvulnerable.

The FL get movement and possibly javelins as benefits, I'd actually prefer to see them NOT be available as large units.

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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Tue May 19, 2015 6:43 am

I could not agree less - there are two types of warband as is, the light fast ones and the slower but better equipped ones. The difference is huge on table and quite reasonable. There is no reason to treat them all the same which is what you are suggesting. No Impetuous FL have Javelins at the moment and I am assuming they never will.

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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by dadiepiombo on Tue May 19, 2015 7:20 am

now, just keeping this discussion at a brainstorm level only, improving the CT of warbands could be justified by improving the CT for all impetuous troops while on a charge. Like a fanatic boost. As said I'm just thinking aloud.
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Tarty on Tue May 19, 2015 9:53 am

dadiepiombo wrote:now, just keeping this discussion at a brainstorm level only, improving the CT of warbands could be justified by improving the CT for all impetuous troops while on a charge. Like a fanatic boost. As said I'm just thinking aloud.

Interesting idea. Maybe they lose the bonus once tipping over 50% ? like their compulsory move restrictions ?
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by dadiepiombo on Tue May 19, 2015 10:10 am

yes, once they are no longer impetuous.
Well in Impetus 2 I want to improve the rules on impetuosity or better when you go pout of control. Not automatic like now.
So I have to see it this fits.
Warbands should be troop with high impact, but they cost not much, so are the numbers ther other power.
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Tue May 19, 2015 11:12 am

Cyrus The Adequate wrote:I could not agree less - there are two types of warband as is, the light fast ones and the slower but better equipped ones. The difference is huge on table and quite reasonable. There is no reason to treat them all the same which is what you are suggesting.

Sorry mate, this seems a bit contradictory. I am proposing that they be treated VERY differently. As you say the heavy chaps are better equipped and get in amongst it directly so they get the +2

FL Impetuous get the benefits of movement through terrain etc, presumably to represent the forest ambushes etc which is also fair enough but then they are not such a coherent mass as being worthy of the +2

FL non impetuous get (potentially) javelins as their unit advantgae as well as movement.

So there's a range of benefits which can be accessed, just not everything at once (Warband, FL movement, Javelins), the best you can get is 2 from 3.



Cyrus The Adequate wrote:
No Impetuous FL have Javelins at the moment and I am assuming they never will.

There has been some discussion around here of exactly that, a bunch of super cheap FL javelin who throw then burst into charge etc etc etc. And I hope that doesn't ever come about.

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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Gaius Cassius on Tue May 19, 2015 12:56 pm

My observation is that the Warbands now get easily stuck in melees with other infantry and have a hard time getting moving again. The main problem seems to me that they are not generating enough hits. Granted that +2 dice isn't huge but it had a significant enough effect to have it removed in the last amendments. Seems to me that reinstituting this bonus is the first place to start. CT is an interesting idea but if you're only rolling 4 dice in a melee passing the CT is the least of your problems.

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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Tarty on Tue May 19, 2015 10:30 pm

As an interesting sideline ( but connected in many ways ).... how many people attempt to use the 'break off' option with FL Warbands ? Don't see it exercised much ( if ever ) in our group ?
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed May 20, 2015 2:00 pm

I've never seen it used for FL Warbands but have for CP. Could be useful in a fight with FP but no so much with T and javelin armed FL.
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Re: The decline of the Warbands

Post by rnsulentic on Wed May 20, 2015 11:55 pm

Hmmm...well, we just played a classic(al) (heh) match up between Romans and Dacians.
Here is the Dacian first line, just lookit them all!


The Dacian general decided to gamble and move twice to close the distance quickly because he'd rolled double 1's on the first turn and went from poor to incompetent and just sat there.

The Romans are at the top, artillery interspersed in line with legionaries. because of the disorder, the artillery started causing cohesion tests, which of course caused casualties and took off the impetus.

Some of the Romans actually ended up charging when the Dacians got closer, and despite some back and forth fighting, The Roman front line destroyed the Dacian front line with the loss of one artillery unit, and a couple of worn legionary units.

The support dice certainly helped, as did the quality die, but taking the impetus off the warbands was key.
Depth bonus would have helped some in this situation, but I'm not sure it would have tipped the scales.
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