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Early Franks

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Early Franks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:16 am

Here is my list for the Early Franks. Please feel free to critique or otherwise comment on the list.

EARLY FRANKS
(VOLUME Cool
CS=Poor (0 pts)
Nr Type M VBU I D VD Pts Notes
0-3 CM Nobles* 10 5 2 B 3 23
or   FP Nobles*   5  6 4 C 3 25 Impetuous - Francisca
12-50 FP Warriors*  5 4 4 C 2/3 15(11) Impetuous –Francisca
0-4 S  Javelinmen 8 2 0 B 1 12 Javelin
0-4 S  Archers 8 2 0 B 1 12 Short bow B
0-1 Alamanni
0-1 CM Cavalry*  10 5 2 B 3 23
4-12  FP Warriors*  5 4 4 C 2/3 12 (9) Impetuous
0-4  T Archers  6 3 0 C 1 11 Short Bow A
or    S Archers  8 2 0 B 1 12 Short Bow A
0-2  S Javelinemen 8 2 0 B 1 12 Javelin


NOTES AND OPTIONS. FP Warriors can form large Units. Up to 1/2 deployed FP can be upgraded to VBU=5 (Veterans) for a final cost of 19pts per Unit. CM and FP Nobles may only be taken with an attached General that is neither Incompetent or Coward. A large unit consisting of a front rank of FP Nobles and a back rank of Warriors is permitted. Francisca uses the Pilum rule but with a +2/+2 rating and is lost when the front unit takes its first hit. Alamanni allies: Up to 1/2 deployed FP can be upgraded to VBU=5 for a final cost of 16 points.
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Zippee on Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:04 pm

Questions to consider:

FP warriors - can or must form LU?
FP upgrade - must be LU front rank or can they be independent? I'd make them LU front rank compulsory.

FP Nobles - I'd consider losing the compulsory general but remove the * from the Warriors. If you want a general you need to take a noble unit but you could take less generals with a larger block of nobles.

FP Nobles - surely these can be B class FP? They'll be dragged down to C for group DTs but still gain the combat bonus for being a cut above.

Francisca should be limited to FP nobles and upgraded FP warriors. Makes the rear rank filler cheaper and prevents the peasantry being used separately with a warrior's weapon.

Oh and the francisca benefit is lost "when the unit is no longer fresh" - that's the correct terminology Smile

And if you limit it to upgrades and nobles you can lose the "front unit" qualifier which looks awkward as written because they do not have to be used in LU.
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:37 pm

Thanks for seriously looking over the list Zippee. I appreciate it. I am resubmitting the list with all your suggestions included. Interestingly, some of your wording was suggested to me by another player in my group. Should have listened to him!

In the modified list below there is only an option for 3 commands for the Frank player. That seems a bit low for a Poor army command. How does one compensate for this? The list could have more Nobles (0-5 instead of 0-3) but I am conscious of not wanting to create a super group of powerful large units. The original list had the idea of each warlord (commander/general) having his own retinue of noble followers much like the Norman list allows generals to upgrade from 6 VBU to 7.

EARLY FRANKS
(VOLUME Eight)
CS=Poor (0 pts)
Nr Type M VBU I D VD Pts Notes
0-3 CM Nobles* 10 5 2 B 3 23
or   FP Nobles*   5  6 4 B 3 30 Impetuous - Francisca
12-50 FP Warriors   5 4 4 C 2/3 12(9) Impetuous
0-4 S  Javelinmen 8 2 0 B 1 12 Javelin
0-4 S  Archers 8 2 0 B 1 12 Short bow B
Alamanni
0-1 CM Cavalry*  10 5 2 B 3 23
4-12  FP Warriors*  5 4 4 C 2/3 12 (9) Impetuous
0-4  T Archers  6 3 0 C 1 11 Short Bow A
or    S Archers  8 2 0 B 1 12 Short Bow A
0-2  S Javelinemen 8 2 0 B 1 12 Javelin


NOTES AND OPTIONS. FP Warriors must form large Units. The front rank of a large unit can be upgraded to VBU=5 (Veterans) armed with Francisca for a final cost of 19pts. A large unit consisting of a front rank of FP Nobles and a back rank of Warriors is permitted. Francisca uses the Pilum rule but with a +2/+2 rating and is lost when the front unit is no longer fresh. Alamanni allies: Up to 1/2 deployed FP can be upgraded to VBU=5 for a final cost of 16 points.


Last edited by Gaius Cassius on Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Zippee on Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:36 pm

Gaius Cassius wrote:

In the modified list below there is only an option for 3 commands for the Frank player. That seems a bit low for a Poor army command. How does one compensate for this? The list could have more Nobles (0-5 instead of 0-3) but I am conscious of not wanting to create a super group of powerful large units. The original list had the idea of each warlord (commander/general) having his own retinue of noble followers much like the Norman list allows generals to upgrade from 6 VBU to 7.
.

I don't think you can - an army can only have up to 4 commanders in any case, so 3 plus a possible ally seems right.

I wouldn't offer additional nobles - they will be cherry picked all the time, as it is a single command version could have all three together, that's an elite option but fine as it's limited.

At heart it's a simple minded army - it has to win by aggression and hitting/staying power. That means big blocks commanded by generals - as I said on a previous thread, there's really not a lot to choose between these 'hairy barbarian' armies, you've added francisca to this as bit of flavour, that's about as far as it goes.
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:31 am

Good point. 1-4 commands is the limit for any list. With the Alamanni ally that makes 4. Sounds good to me.
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Zippee on Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:27 pm

I think you want to check the points costs

The FP Nobles have gone from C to B but remain 25 points!

I admit I'm still worried that Noble FP at 6 4 are pretty hard dudes. 5 4 and B class is probably sufficient, especially as the B class gives you a +1 in melee now and you'll have the general with so that's +1 on the CT and they'll have flank supports and they'll have a rear rank anyway. . .
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:46 pm

Yes, I had forgotten to increase the point cost to 30. Thanks for noticing.

I don't have a problem with reducing the Nobles to VBU5. On the other hand, both the Gaul and Celtiberian lists in EI4 have VBU6 Elite infantry that can form large units. I have actually fought against them with a variety of opponents. So it is not unheard of in Impetus for this combination. I am thinking that is it either B class or VBU 6 and not both. Let me think on that.
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Tarty on Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:09 am

I think you've done a pretty good job here Gaius.
I'm actually not that convinced the Francisca was as effective as the pilum.... but it does add flavour so happy to go along with it Very Happy
Also 6 4 Impetuous FP's are a little different to the FL equivalent. Combined with the pilum rule is going to make these guys nasty.
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:21 am

Thanks Tarty. Since pilum is not very effective in Impetus I think you mean that the Francisca is not as ineffective as it should be!Very Happy  What the Francisca offers is a degree of uncertainty in the ensuing melee. Most of the time it misses but it hits just enough to unnerve the opposition. I find this when I am facing German cavalry with the hundreds added in with the same bonus.

A couple of extra points. In the Alamanni list, one can choose to dismount nobles to 6/4 infantry. The only difference is that they cannot form large units. I think the EI lists evolved and my hunch is that if the EI2 lists were redone, they'd be able to form large units with Warriors (as the Soldarii in the Gaul list can do in EI4.)

Even with the Nobles and Francisca I think this is a fairly weak list. It has considerable hitting power but no flexibility. It will be the least adaptable of all the warband lists that I have so far seen (EIs and Beta.) I think it will lose more than it wins. But at least it will be a colourful army.
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Zippee on Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:42 pm

One of the big problems in comparing back to the old lists is that the flank and discipline combat modifiers have a big impact on the VBU rating for combat. I don't think we know how the Gallic list would look if written now.

We can only hope that much of the delay of 2ed is because all those BI2 lists are being fleshed out to full lists to be released alongside the rules.

I take your point on the LU change but I'm not certain I agree with the conclusion. The Alamanni nobles are dismounted - they expect to fight mounted so they aren't part of the shield wall mass, thus no LU. I suspect the evidence points to them dismounting for siege work and the list allows that in the field.

It's possible the same should be true for the Frankish nobles.

I only really see three options for these armies:
1) nobles remain mounted - horses are better, prestige is good
2) nobles dismount as an elite heavy unit that acts alone in special circumstances
3) nobles dismount to stiffen the masses as a front rank - thus becoming the upgraded warriors and not a separate unit

I think each of them for flavour should have one or the other possibility but not the flexibility to do all.

None of them are high performance armies - and I don't consider performance on the table to be relevant to list construction discussion. We're not trying to build a "viable" army we're trying to build a reasonable historical approximation.
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:18 pm

Thanks again Zippee. I agree that the number one consideration is building a historical approximation of a particular army (in this case 5th century Franks.) With that said, I am conscious of Cyrus' concern about Beta lists becoming pet projects for people and creating lists that are really outside that normal boundaries of Impetus list design. You've commented on this too. That is what I am attempting to address in my comments. I am not a Frankophile and I am not trying to create a super dominant list.

I agree with you that the flank and discipline bonuses have changed Impetus. FP Warbands have become less vulnerable to mounted units for instance but good B class T units with protected flanks are a bigger challenge for them (they now could have 7 dice versus 4 in the past.) So the changes cut both ways.

The only troop type that is still up for discussion is the Nobles. Am I to take it that you would recommend them being rated 5/4 B rather than 6/4 C?

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Re: Early Franks

Post by Zippee on Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:19 am

I don't think that being a "pet list" and being a "viable list" are synonymous. Far too many of the beta lists suffer from, oh this unit should be better than these, so add 1 to the VBU and the Impetus and the Discipline - it's more a lack of understanding of how the game works. An awful lot of those lists are very elderly, there can't have been much play experience under the belt when they were drafted. Smile

I appreciate the flank and discipline works both ways with the enemy, but within the context of the list itself B class nobles are significantly better than C class warriors, not just in passing DTs but by a factor of 1 in combat. The B class would outfight the C class and against the same enemy the B class would still be more combat effective.

I'm suggesting that to replicate these types of armies where you have a small bucellari (or hearthgard or oathsworn or whatever romantic name we give the toughs the warlord keeps in his personal retinue) and a larger mass of 'warriors' we have essentially 3 ways of representing them, as above.

I don't think that needs to be identical across the lists as that can be part of the flavour, much as francisca are.

Thus I think you either have some elite individual units or an upgraded front - not both. I realise that's not what I said at the start but the more I think on it the more I'm coming round to that.

I can't see the individual units being C class nor the whole front line being B class.

5/4 B with francisca seems more likely than 6/4 C with francisca for individual units. But I don't think it's a deal breaker.

I'm beginning to think they should not be 6/4 if used as a LU though, I think the front units should all be the same (but can live with the units with the general having B disc.)
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:24 am

Zippee wrote:I don't think that being a "pet list" and being a "viable list" are synonymous. Far too many of the beta lists suffer from, oh this unit should be better than these, so add 1 to the VBU and the Impetus and the Discipline - it's more a lack of understanding of how the game works. An awful lot of those lists are very elderly, there can't have been much play experience under the belt when they were drafted. Smile

Entirely agree. There has also been far too much "internal" separation - for instance unit A is better than unit B and B is better than C - so far so good, but in trying to differentiate those differences the list builders forget that these units need to be compared to units outside their list otherwise the top gets too good, particularly when most list writers don't consider unit C to be anything other than average. I wrote the King David \ Israelite list and frankly I was pushed to get any type of differentiation between the tribes who at least for flavour should be represented differently. I'm not sure if all I achieved by trying to stick to reasonable classification was to create a list that is overpowered because the other betas are so subject to power creep


Zippee wrote:
I appreciate the flank and discipline works both ways with the enemy, but within the context of the list itself B class nobles are significantly better than C class warriors, not just in passing DTs but by a factor of 1 in combat. The B class would outfight the C class and against the same enemy the B class would still be more combat effective.

I'm suggesting that to replicate these types of armies where you have a small bucellari (or hearthgard or oathsworn or whatever romantic name we give the toughs the warlord keeps in his personal retinue) and a larger mass of 'warriors' we have essentially 3 ways of representing them, as above.

I don't think that needs to be identical across the lists as that can be part of the flavour, much as francisca are.

Thus I think you either have some elite individual units or an upgraded front - not both. I realise that's not what I said at the start but the more I think on it the more I'm coming round to that.

I can't see the individual units being C class nor the whole front line being B class.

5/4 B with francisca seems more likely than 6/4 C with francisca for individual units. But I don't think it's a deal breaker.

I'm beginning to think they should not be 6/4 if used as a LU though, I think the front units should all be the same (but can live with the units with the general having B disc.)

Again broadly agree. I'd also add just because "we" made a bad decision in one list we should not use that as an excuse to make another. My earlier comments about cloning DBM lists was more aimed at a lack of understanding of how both the categorisation process and rules work and differ. In DBM there is a point (for instance) where some historical warband type units are classified as Blades because they represent bodyguards and the like who are generally more resilient than the WB classification, even if they fight in a similar way. We cannot therefore assume that Blades = FP or even Impetuous FP without a knowledge of what decision was made to place them in that classification in the first place.
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:10 pm

Again, I appreciate the feedback. Exactly what I was hoping for. My own hunch is that having LUs with the Nobles in the front is the better representation than having single units. I've amended the above list to reflect this change.

EARLY FRANKS
(VOLUME Eight)
CS=Poor (0 pts)
Nr Type M VBU I D VD Pts Notes
0-3 CM Nobles* 10 5 2 B 3 23
or FP Nobles* 5 5 4 B 3 24 Impetuous - Francisca
12-50 FP Warriors 5 4 4 C 2/3 12(9) Impetuous
0-4 S Javelinmen 8 2 0 B 1 12 Javelin
0-4 S Archers 8 2 0 B 1 12 Short bow B
Alamanni
0-1 CM Cavalry* 10 5 2 B 3 23
4-12 FP Warriors* 5 4 4 C 2/3 12 (9) Impetuous
0-4 T Archers 6 3 0 C 1 11 Short Bow A
or S Archers 8 2 0 B 1 12 Short Bow A
0-2 S Javelinemen 8 2 0 B 1 12 Javelin


NOTES AND OPTIONS. FP Warriors must form large Units. The front rank of a large unit can be upgraded to VBU=5 (Veterans) armed with Francisca for a final cost of 19pts. A large unit consisting of a front rank of FP Nobles and a back rank of Warriors is permitted and for discipline purposes is considered to be C class. Francisca uses the Pilum rule but with a +2/+2 rating and is lost when the front unit is no longer fresh. Alamanni allies: Up to 1/2 deployed FP can be upgraded to VBU=5 for a final cost of 16 points.


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Re: Early Franks

Post by Tarty on Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:03 am

Nicely sorted guys and some good points made above. If only more of the lists got this sort of vetting Cool
Yep I think 5/4 B's for the Nobles is the way to go GC ...five stars from me
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Zippee on Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:35 am

Gaius Cassius wrote: A large unit consisting of a front rank of FP Nobles and a back rank of Warriors is permitted and for discipline purposes is considered to be C class.

I think this is an unnecessary statement. The rules already cover this situation, I really think lists should avoid rephrasing rules, it only leads to difficulties. I'm left wondering what additional situation you mean. And if the main rules change, does your statement remain in force?

A LU that includes mixed discipline classes will test discipline as the worst, if they have a general with them it will be +1.

However they will be the class of the front unit for combat.

This is covered in the main rules - what else are you trying to achieve?

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Re: Early Franks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:13 pm

What rule are you referring to Zippee with respect to large units with mixed discipline ratings? There is no mention of it in 2.5.1 and I don't remember reading about it anywhere in AI. There is mixed discipline ratings with respect to Groups in 2.5.2 but that is a different issue. But I agree, if there is already a rule can you tell where it is and I will make reference to it in the commentary rather than what is already there (I think it is a good idea to mention the rule since mixed discipline units are very rare - in fact, this is the only example I can think of!)
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Zippee on Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:09 pm

Haven't got the rules with me GC but I'm absolutely certain the matter of mixed discipline is covered.
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Tarty on Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:16 pm

Always thought LU had to have the same discipline?

Normally this is addressed in the army lists for example under the Spartan list it says
"Hoplites of the same type can create Large units." -makes sense if you want LU of Hoplites capable of an oblique move without disorder they all need to be A graders
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Cyrus The Adequate on Sun Feb 26, 2017 3:44 pm

No, you can form LU with different disciplines - for instance the Bills and MAA in some WOR lists
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:57 pm

Cyrus The Adequate wrote:No, you can form LU with different disciplines - for instance the Bills and MAA in some WOR lists

The commentary for the Lancastrians says simply that MAA can create large units with billmen. Doesn't specify anything more that that. You mentioned on the Old Forum that this includes Shire Billmen (who have a C DT rating.) You suggested that the combined unit had a DT rating of C (one of the downsides of taking mixed discipline troops.) I can't find any direction on this in Impetus but your suggestion makes intuitive sense to me. Unfortunately, you were only person to respond to the question posed. Interestingly, there isn't any rule that says that only units of the same DT can form large units. The lists themselves usually take care of this. In the absence of any specific rule on the matter (and I'm willing to be corrected) I think the list should include some direction to the players on handling mixed discipline units (since at the very least they are a rare occurrence.)

Just to add that I think having a mixed discipline unit with the Nobles at B class is a reasonable mid point between VBU 5 C and VBU 6 C. I like the idea. I just think it needs a bit more explanation than Zippee suggests.
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Tarty on Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:45 pm

Poses an interesting question that's for sure.

The thought of a rear rank getting a free 'leg up' in discipline rating on the back of the chaps out front seems a little peculiar.

Your right though GC it needs to be made clearer. If mixed discipline units are allowed do they follow the same guidelines as mixed discipline groups?
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Zippee on Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:35 am

Tarty wrote: If mixed discipline units are allowed do they follow the same guidelines as mixed discipline groups?

Yes - why wouldn't they? You test at the grade of the lowest element of the group/unit. The trend is always to the lowest common denominator, never upwards.

That said what's the gain in having them split class (other than a cheaper rear unit)?

They will always fight as the front unit and take losses to the rear. They'll nearly always be the centre point of a group with the general thus dragged down to C class for discipline tests but adding the general.

On the odd occasion when they operate individually why should they not be B class?

I fear we may be making things too complex.

"Nobles" either fight as an elite (non-large) unit or form the thin crust on the warrior (large) units, the former is B class, the latter is just a 5/4 upgrade.


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Re: Early Franks

Post by dadiepiombo on Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:58 am

I always tried to avoid LU with mixed D. But yes for WoR you can. In this case apply the lower D, like for Groups.
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Re: Early Franks

Post by Gaius Cassius on Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:35 pm

Zippee wrote: "Nobles" either fight as an elite (non-large) unit or form the thin crust on the warrior (large) units, the former is B class, the latter is just a 5/4 upgrade.

It seems like you're stepping away from your initial suggestion. I think 5/4 B is a good compromise for the Nobles. We are only talking about 3 units but it adds just a bit of extra flavour to the list and I think better approximates the importance of the Comitatus in 5th Migration armies. Many lists give players direction on how to handle specific attributes of the army and I think including some direction on mixed DT units in the commentary assists players in figuring out how to handle them. No big deal.


Last edited by Gaius Cassius on Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Early Franks

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