Skirmishers shattering Elephants

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Maerk
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Skirmishers shattering Elephants

Postby Maerk » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:00 am

In my last game playing Later Carthos in Spain versus Iberians, I lost all of my three elephant stands in close combats versus enemy skirmishers. My opponent had cleverly managed to have an overlap in each of these fights, thus enhancing his chances to shatter my ellies.
While I ungrudgingly acknowledge his success, I nevertheless wonder why skirmishers get a +2 in close combat vs. Elephants, while Light Foot and Raiders do not. Can you help me understand the idea behind this design, please?

(btw it was a great game: max. number of terrain pieces, Carthos ellies and heavy foot jammed inside their battle line area, Iberian light foot approaching across difficult terrain, Carthos try to crush Iberian mounted wing with their own javelin cavalry and elephants and get blown to pieces by the onrushing skirmishers).

best,
Maerk

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David Kuijt
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Re: Skirmishers shattering Elephants

Postby David Kuijt » Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:18 pm

Maerk wrote:While I ungrudgingly acknowledge his success, I nevertheless wonder why skirmishers get a +2 in close combat vs. Elephants, while Light Foot and Raiders do not. Can you help me understand the idea behind this design, please?


Longer-ranged weapons (all Skirm have slings or bows or crossbows or in rare cases handgonnes; LtFt/Raiders have nothing that is longer-ranged than thrown axes/javelins/darts or melee), training specifically in skirmishing (duh), and historical evidence of effectiveness against elephants.

Skirm are only +1 base factor against mounted, where Light Foot and Raiders are +2 base. The +2 modifier makes Skirm a total of +3 against Ellies in particular (better than the +2 base of LFt/Raiders), which is supported by various historical accounts (of which Cartho elephants are, IIRC, one of the notable examples of getting killed or negated by Skirm).
DK

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Re: Skirmishers shattering Elephants

Postby Maerk » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:04 pm

David Kuijt wrote:Longer-ranged weapons (all Skirm have slings or bows or crossbows or in rare cases handgonnes; LtFt/Raiders nothing that is longer-ranged than thrown or melee) (...)

understood

David Kuijt wrote:(...) training specifically in skirmishing (duh).

So LtFt/Raiders are fighting in their ranks and do not have any skirmishing abilities?


David Kuijt wrote:(...) and historical evidence of effectiveness against elephants. (...) (of which Cartho elephants are, IIRC, one of the notable examples of getting killed or negated by Skirm).

against Iberian skirmishers or roman velites or both?

Maerk

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David Kuijt
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Re: Skirmishers shattering Elephants

Postby David Kuijt » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:30 pm

Maerk wrote:
David Kuijt wrote:(...) training specifically in skirmishing (duh).

So LtFt/Raiders are fighting in their ranks and do not have any skirmishing abilities?


We classify stands into buckets. Everything must go into a bucket; nothing can go into two buckets. We turn the infinitely varied and complex historical world (about which we have very limited information) into a discrete set of 16-18 stand types.

So when we decide "X is a skirmisher" we are saying "rating X as skirmisher fits with our understanding of how the unit fought, how it was equipped, how it was trained, to the best of our understanding."

And if we decide "Y is a Raider" the same thing applies.

So what are you asking?
DK

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David Kuijt
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Re: Skirmishers shattering Elephants

Postby David Kuijt » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:36 pm

Maerk wrote:While I ungrudgingly acknowledge his success, I nevertheless wonder why skirmishers get a +2 in close combat vs. Elephants, while Light Foot and Raiders do not. Can you help me understand the idea behind this design, please?


Maerk, perhaps you're fixating on the modifier, not on the interaction as a whole.
  • Skirmishers against Elephants are +3 to +5 (after the modifier is applied), and shatter the Elephants
  • Light Foot against Elephants are +2 to +5, and shatter the Elephants
  • Raiders against Elephants are +2 to +5, and shatter the Elephants

So what in the above do you not like? Skirmishers are better at skirmishing (irritating, attacking, and avoiding getting crushed in hand to hand) than Raiders and Light Foot, and such combat techniques are known to have been historically effective against Elephants. Skirmishers have longer-ranged combat tools, which aids in their ability to irritate, attack, and avoid getting crushed by Elephants.

So why don't you like the table above? Don't fixate on the +2 in close combat vs. Elephants -- that +2 is a modifier applied to their base factor of +1 against mounted, which sucks. Look at the table above, and tell me what you don't like, or what you don't understand. I'm not sure what else to tell you.
DK

Andreas Johansson
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Re: Skirmishers shattering Elephants

Postby Andreas Johansson » Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:33 pm

The successes of light foot (in the general, not the Triumph!-specific troop type sense) against elephants that readily comes to mind are Romans, primarily javelin-chuckers. What examples of bow (or other long-range) skirmishers v. elphants do we have?

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Re: Skirmishers shattering Elephants

Postby Maerk » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:32 am

David Kuijt wrote:We classify stands into buckets. Everything must go into a bucket; nothing can go into two buckets. We turn the infinitely varied and complex historical world (about which we have very limited information) into a discrete set of 16-18 stand types.
(...)
So what are you asking?


I am asking for a description of the different 'buckets' to understand what discerns a light foot stand from a skirmisher stand.

Maerk

Rod
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Re: Skirmishers shattering Elephants

Postby Rod » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:48 pm

Maerk,
there is a pretty good description on Meshwesh under troop types:

http://meshwesh.wgcwar.com/troopType/description

Skirmishers:
Loose order troops with long-range missile weapons, but used as individuals (not volley fire) and at short ranges (as close as can be done without personal risk), and with relatively limited ammo supplies. Effective irritants against enemy heavy foot and similar melee-focused infantry where their response of fleeing when overmatched and then regrouping and returning makes for a frustrating battle without good result for the heavy foot. Examples are Balearic slingers, Cretan archers, Medieval handgunners, and so on.

Light Foot:
Loose order infantry with javelins, shields and a melee weapon, whether a stabbing spear or sword or other weapon. Loose order makes them weak against mounted, but excellent combatants in bad terrain. Examples are innumerable, but include Thracians, Irish kerns, Ancient Spanish, and Burmese foot.

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Re: Skirmishers shattering Elephants

Postby Maerk » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:09 pm

Why didn't I see it before ... this is what I've been looking for. Thank you, Rod!

Maerk


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