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Using Rabble vs Skirmishers in front

Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:51 pm
by greedo
So I'm painting armies, and Rabble is a bit of a new type for me, being as deep as a mounted unit, but with poor skirmishers on it.

I see that Rabble Panic rather than Skirmisher who evade.

I see that Panic:
1. Fall back
2. Turn 180 degrees
3. THEN make a panic move

Panic moves die if they hit a friendly or enemy etc.
That makes Rabble more brittle than skirmishers who can pass through heavies behind them when they evade.

BUT the fall back move is first, so am I right in thinking that a Rabble would fall back THROUGH some heavy infantry immediately behind them, and THEN turn and panic? This would make them that much more difficult to get back into the fight, whereas Skirmishers could 1-2 skirmishing session in before they pull behind the battleline.

So following on this, the tactic to use Skirmishers, they can be in front of the main battleline, AND can be a bit further in front (out of contact) for multiple chances to pull enemy units out of line. This make skirmishers a bit more flexible, even if they take a few more PIPs to use.

But Rabble have to be stuck to the front of the battleline, so that when they fall back, they pass through. If they were detached from the battleline, they will recoil, turn, and then panic straight into their own troops, resulting in them being destroyed.

Does this make sense? Am I thinking about it correctly?

Example battleline using skirmishers > 1 MU in front:

Example battleline using Rabble 0 MU in front:

Obviously Skirmishers & Rabble can be used to lurk in rough terrain, and also to help extend a battleline, so this kind of tactic only applies to when the skirmishers are out in front.

And a further question about the Rb battleline.
Would this line cost only 1 PIP to move, or does the "group" have to have a straight continuous front? i..e Should it cost 3 PIPS? 1 for each Rabble, and 1 for the main battleline?

Re: Using Rabble vs Skirmishers in front

Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 1:41 am
by Rod
Rabble do not fall back through close order foot, only Skirmishers can do that.

So the rabble would push the heavy foot back one base depth, then turn to run and be unable to escape and then they die.

To use Rabble in the front they need the room to panic, but unfortunately they do not work well with close order troops. Skirmishers are much more useful for that.

Rabble work well with other open order like Chariots or Raiders for example.

They are also really interesting when deployed against Pike blocks.

Re: Using Rabble vs Skirmishers in front

Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 2:49 am
by greedo
Thanks for the clarification Rod! I was mistaking the "Skirmishers and Rabble can group move through rough terrain" with the pass through rule.

I tend to think of Hoplite battles..
I think I was also getting confused thinking that early hoplite armies ONLY had rabble instead of skirmishers. Another mistake on my part.
So that tells me that if I'm going to use rabble in a hoplite army such as Athenians, there ARE skirmishers in that army and you keep those out front. The Rabble hang out with any light troops, in rough, or just extending the battleline, but don't expect too much.

So you could put rabble out front of light troops as a way to pull enemies out of position for the light troops to then gang up on, especially if you're in rough terrain and can pull the heavy foot INTO the rough. This probably wouldn't work, but could be a good threat to keep the heavies away.

Can I ask why they are interested against Pike specifically? As opposed to other heavy infantry?

Thanks again!

Re: Using Rabble vs Skirmishers in front

Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 2:56 am
by Rod
Pike do not get rear support against a lot of light troops like Rabble, and when they panic it pulls the front line.

Re: Using Rabble vs Skirmishers in front

Posted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 4:23 am
by greedo
Oh right! Because some of the lights can negate rear support. Thanks again. Could be used against heavy foot later hoplites and warband..