Cataphracts

A place to ask specific rules questions about TRIUMPH!
CoachB
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Cataphracts

Post by CoachB » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:52 am

Just a curious question about the Cataphracts being on a deeper base. When they Fall Back they break contact from their pursuers. I understand them breaking from Foot, but not how they can break off from mounted. They are by nature a heavier armored unit and not agile enough to turn and move away from a pursuing Knight unit. Is the base depth wrong for them?
thanks for the help.
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David Kuijt
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Re: Cataphracts

Post by David Kuijt » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:28 am

CoachB wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:52 am
Just a curious question about the Cataphracts being on a deeper base. When they Fall Back they break contact from their pursuers. I understand them breaking from Foot, but not how they can break off from mounted. They are by nature a heavier armored unit and not agile enough to turn and move away from a pursuing Knight unit. Is the base depth wrong for them?
Are you only concerned about when they fight Knights? Otherwise, everything that falls back "breaks off", no matter what their base depth. Unless they are fighting something that pursues after combat (Warband, Warriors, Knights, Elephants).

Square bases describe close-order mounted (mostly -- Chariots excepted, for reasons of figure size). Square bases, plus close-order, makes Cataphracts significantly more awkward to maneuver than Knights (or any open-order mounted). Switching the sizes of their bases (Knights and Cataphracts) would mess this up -- make Knights less maneuverable, and Cataphracts more maneuverable) to some extent. It would also mess with the clarity of the base depths -- right now EVERYTHING on a Knight-depth base is open order. EVERYTHING. Putting Cataphracts on Knight-depth bases would make it harder for people to internalize the rules and easier for people to make mistakes identifying troop types, which causes ill-feelings and grumpiness.

So we are aware of your concern, but in this case, there are a lot of reasons why square bases works better for Cataphracts, in spite of the minor oddity of their base depth allowing them to break contact with pursuing Knights.

Does that help?
DK
CoachB
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Re: Cataphracts

Post by CoachB » Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:51 pm

Howdy David,

Sorry never got back to answering your question if it makes sense. And yes it does, totally forgot I asked the question but have been playing Cats on squares since I asked the question.

So, thank you for the answer, even a year later LOL!
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David Kuijt
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Re: Cataphracts

Post by David Kuijt » Sun Aug 08, 2021 10:04 am

CoachB wrote:
Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:51 pm
Howdy David,

Sorry never got back to answering your question if it makes sense. And yes it does, totally forgot I asked the question but have been playing Cats on squares since I asked the question.

So, thank you for the answer, even a year later LOL!
De nada.
DK
Brian Caskey
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Re: Cataphracts

Post by Brian Caskey » Mon Aug 09, 2021 3:46 pm

Getting ready to base up my first Cataphract stands - Sassanid Persians
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I love Thistle & Rose Figures
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Re: Cataphracts

Post by skc » Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:56 am

Square bases!? Now I realise! (40mm for me) I've been blissfully playing with the old DBA/DBM 30mm. Oh well back to the 'drawing board. (at least may be easier to squeeze my chunky 40yr old Cataphracts on base now.;) Note the glitter on the armor and skin suture needles for lances. (keeps the little kids hands off;)

Maybe to 'sort out this oddity,' make Cataphracts 'fall back' 1/2 their depth? (1mu) They're certainly different, slow and unmanouvereble. or just leave the bases as 30mm deep? (for 15mm) Not so sure of the need to identify them. They're already quite noticeable as is and more so than other mounted. (Could maybe be applied to all the Square based. Horde, WW, Chariots, Elephants too?)
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David Kuijt
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Re: Cataphracts

Post by David Kuijt » Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:48 am

skc wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 6:56 am
Maybe to 'sort out this oddity,' make Cataphracts 'fall back' 1/2 their depth? (1mu) They're certainly different, slow and unmanouvereble. or just leave the bases as 30mm deep? (for 15mm) Not so sure of the need to identify them. They're already quite noticeable as is and more so than other mounted. (Could maybe be applied to all the Square based. Horde, WW, Chariots, Elephants too?)
Sorry, I didn't understand what you're advocating?

A shallower fall-back doesn't make anything less maneuverable -- bigger fall backs aren't a maneuvering advantage, especially not for stands that only have 4mu movement (Elephants, Cataphracts). The only advantage from bigger fall-backs is if it allows you to disengage enemy troops that advance after combat and have a shorter base depth (Knights), and neither Elephants nor Cataphracts really want to disengage an enemy Knight that pushes into a probable double overlap. So if you are shortening the fall-back distance, you might be giving that troop type an advantage.

Unless your old basing system was really hard to rebase (some people use epoxy or glues that are a total booger to unglue), I'd recommend rebasing them. Another option is using a base extender -- putting a metal 40x40 base under your 40x30 base, with a 10mm ledge of balsa built to the right height and flocked the same as your regular bases. It can be temporarily attached using blue-tac, two-sided tape, or magnetic sheeting.
DK
JonathanJ
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Re: Cataphracts

Post by JonathanJ » Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:55 pm

David Kuijt wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 11:48 am
Unless your old basing system was really hard to rebase (some people use epoxy or glues that are a total booger to unglue), I'd recommend rebasing them.
I'm in the middle of rebasing some light camelry and now remember why I stopped using epoxy on bases... 🙄

Rebasing is worth it in the long run though!
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Re: Cataphracts

Post by skc » Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:59 pm

On thinking more on it, it seems to be both an advantage or disadvantage (but both inappropriate) in certain situations with disengaging from Fall Back owing to base depth.

Using Knight vs Cataphract example.
Advantage to C/Phract: 3 Knight overlap 1 Cataphract, Cataphracts bound. Cataphract falls back but following up Kn cannot engage. Knights bound only gets 2CP - Only 2 KN can engage, whereas if Kn had engaged on follow-up, all 3 Kn could have got into action.
Disadvantage to C/Phracts: 3 C/Phract overlap 1 Kn. Kn somehow wins, Cataphract falls back but Kn does not engage. If the Kn had engaged it would have had to fight next bound, if Cataphract bound, with a double overlap. .

Why I say inappropriate, I agree with the originator of this thread, is that Knights impetuosity and greater speed would have got it into trouble by having to engage, now it can slip out of trouble. Also I can understand with Horde & Chariot covering a larger area but Cataphracts should not cover much more depth that regular cavalry.

Horde: I guess most that follow them up on a 'more' shatter them anyway, however while I can understand them covering a greater area I still find being able to fall back so far, unrealistic.

Rebasing: Not sure what glue I've used but I know I sold some Dbl based Gallic glued to aluminium bases, and now he just can't get them off to rebase as Warrior! I don't have a problem rebasing but am going to continue playing with 30mm depth on my Cataphracts for now.

Sorry David, just can't get my head around this! Besides I'm having enough issues getting Triumph going here and apart from the Gallic Warband to Warrior base change, to get DBA/DBM/Fog guys who have always had cataphracts based the same depth as other horse to change is a futile exercise! (Maybe this needs to be considered in future updates.)
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David Kuijt
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Re: Cataphracts

Post by David Kuijt » Mon Oct 18, 2021 8:18 pm

skc wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:59 pm
Why I say inappropriate, I agree with the originator of this thread, is that Knights impetuosity and greater speed would have got it into trouble by having to engage, now it can slip out of trouble. Also I can understand with Horde & Chariot covering a larger area but Cataphracts should not cover much more depth that regular cavalry.
All of that would be true, if we were playing with 6mm figures.

The underlying truth of the matter is this -- base depths are created by the figures. A line of combat Elephants should be (historically speaking) less deep than a line of close-order infantry, much less mounted. The space occupied by a Chariot formation would probably have been very similar to that occupied by Horsebow. But it is EXTREMELY tight trying to fit Elephants or Chariots on a square base, much less an open-order mounted or open-order foot base.
skc wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:59 pm
Horde: I guess most that follow them up on a 'more' shatter them anyway, however while I can understand them covering a greater area I still find being able to fall back so far, unrealistic.
I didn't understand the first part -- Horde don't shatter anyone. For the second part, I think you might be thinking of it wrong. Horde falling back 40mm (their own movement distance) is a crippling blow to their maneuverability -- one recoil takes them almost out of the battle. With their extremely slow movement, their fall-back distance is a major problem.
skc wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:59 pm
Rebasing: Not sure what glue I've used but I know I sold some Dbl based Gallic glued to aluminium bases, and now he just can't get them off to rebase as Warrior! I don't have a problem rebasing but am going to continue playing with 30mm depth on my Cataphracts for now.
You do you, of course! Whatever works for you.
skc wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:59 pm
to get DBA/DBM/Fog guys who have always had cataphracts based the same depth as other horse to change is a futile exercise!
Figures get bigger and bigger -- fitting 28mm mounted four-across on a regular mounted base has been impossible for years in the 60mm scale that DBA/DBM favored, and has been difficult for decades in 15mm (your figures are older, and seem to be "true" 15mm -- almost nobody makes them that size any more).

As for DBA/DBM/DBMM/FoG basing, don't get me started. Those games also have atrocities like 6Kn stands (most of which are rated as Cataphracts in Triumph). That's a 60mm deep stand on 40mm bases. And then there are the Chariot bases in 60mm wide bases, that are 80mm deep (because you can't fit a 28mm chariot on a 60x60 base, ever).
skc wrote:
Mon Oct 18, 2021 3:59 pm
(Maybe this needs to be considered in future updates.)
Our basing is good and makes sense; we long-ago considered the pathways we could take with basing. One path was to go completely new. One path was to hew slavishly to the eccentricities of the DBA/DBM/DBMM/WRG7th/WRG6th basing system, with all its idiosyncrasies and decisions that were made based upon gaming systems built back in the 1980s and earlier. We took a middle road, keeping to the general system of 40x15, 40x20, 40x30, but modifying it slightly so all open-order foot are on one basing, all open-order mounted on another basing, all close-order foot on a third, and then using 40x40 for exceptions (close-order mounted -- Cataphracts) and a couple of deep formations of close order foot (Pavise, Horde), and for several things that the figures prevent from being on other bases (Chariots, Elephants, War Wagons).

So no, not a chance that we're going to make any significant change to our basing in future updates. And I will point out that "future updates" is probably more than 5 years away, maybe even 10. Anything is possible in the future, but we might have a manned mission to Mars before the next version of Triumph starts getting worked on, so don't be holding your breath.
DK
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