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Author Topic: List building  (Read 775 times)

bigchris

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List building
« on: January 15, 2018, 10:41:33 AM »
So, after this weekends pummeling  :P, I started the day doing research.  Seems there was alot about list building in this game I missed.  this is what I found;

- If you don't want to lose quickly, try to take more units if you can... Armies with 27-30 units are really difficult to break.

- Horse archers, Always think to take them as elite when possible.  Elite can protect your cavalrymen from taking too many losses but also give them better chance to inflict losses...

- Heavy Infantry armies should often have 22 units or more... But it's sometime difficult with points.

- Cavalry armies shouldn't have less than 20 units.

- Generals are really important!  Always build your corps thinking that you could make several 1's on die rolls. So assume you can move all your troops with a 1 result. An heavy infantry corps could often have an ordinary general but a cavalry corps will be better with a competent or a brilliant one.

- For a corps with impetuous or non manoeuvrable troops, you should think about buying a brilliant general.

- Don't included generals in melee units.  You can lose your general on a bad roll of the dice! But, I think for horse mounted archerey units, it's a very good way to spare points...

- Elite and armor are wonderful capacities. But very expensive ones. Be sure your elite troops will not be crushed to easily because they are out numbered.
Look! We're not worried about the German army, we've got enough troubles of our own. To the right General Patton, to the left the British Army, to the rear our own goddamn artillery, and besides all that it's raining.

bigchris

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Re: List building
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2018, 11:22:08 AM »
Samurai revamp attempt 1, based on list building suggestions posted above.

I Corps     95 Points
8 Heavy Cavalry Bow
Strategist Included

II Corps    72 Points
8 Heavy Swordsman 2HW
Ordinary General

III Corps   33 Points
4 Followers with Yari, Mediocre
2 Followers With Bow, Mediocre
1 Stampeding Herd (Scythed Chariot)

200 Points.  Corps now have specific roles.  I Corps SKirmishes, threatens flanks.  II Corps is the Main fighting line.  III Corps guards the camp and covers II corps Flank.
Look! We're not worried about the German army, we've got enough troubles of our own. To the right General Patton, to the left the British Army, to the rear our own goddamn artillery, and besides all that it's raining.

AvogadroTheMole

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Re: List building
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2018, 06:23:08 PM »
Yup. Rough weekend for team CVG. Except that scallawag, Cunningham!

The great thing about ADG is that each lesson has a reasonable counterpoint. The real knack for list building seems to be in finding the balance that works best for the player, with some consideration to the theme (or lack thereof) of what they will be playing in. Armies of 25+ get really hard to break, but it gets increasingly difficult to order those troops to the locations you need them to get good matchups, set up flanks etc. Also, your quality goes down very quickly and some elite troops getting the jump on you can blow holes open before you were ready with reserves, 2nd lines, etc. Also, with so few good troops it can be hard to force the issue and punch holes when time is a factor. Vice versa, all of that can be said in the opposite for tiny armies with ~18 stands.

Looking at your new list:

8 Hcav bow is a little much if you only plan on skirmishing. Also, a few elites in there to lead stacked shots is great if you want to be a little more aggressive with them (I tend to think of skirmishing wings as doing little more than getting in the way of the enemy and preventing double moves, and only really taking serious shooting if the enemy is slower than them). Drop one, and maybe downgrade the strategist to brilliant, upgrade two to elite and you basically have enough points left to take one of those great Msword/Bow guys. Now your cav wing is possibly better at shooting and is less afraid of seeing that one small terrain piece on the otherwise wide open side of the board you want to send them to.

I think you should consider intermixing your MI and HI a little. Imagine this scenario: you go to deploy but there is meaningful terrain in two places on the board. You can only deploy your rough ground command to one of them. The other will represent a terrifying flank possibility to either or both of the HI and mounted commands if your opponent sends so much as a mediocre javelinmen into it (see above idea for cav corps). I view the scythed chariot rather dimly. It adds nothing to your breakpoint (nor counts against when killed) and rarely does any actual damage. It also does not want to enter terrain, which conflicts with the MI's stated purpose. I recommend considering converting a HI or two into MI sword/bow or MI 2HW, using points from the expendable to do so. You still have a serious HI line to provide staying power but you also have a couple of guys who can contest (and maybe win) that stupid little field near the middle of the board that you cannot waste the MI command on.

That MI command needs to be willing to split up a little (like a few UDs) and stagger these lines as the enemy MI approach. They are a lot of lousy troops and need to get flanks (preferably with the bows) if they want to reliably take down equivalent points of average MI. But they do pad the breakpoint, so if they stay out of trouble the enemy will have to go through far more HI and Hcav to win. If you want cheap units that might ("might") have more value than the Bowmen and are not wedded to the strategist you could take a couple of Lcav. If you get 2 you gain a +1 to your initiative, which would balance out the strategist's +1 and could potentially play one of several very useful rolls.


Michael

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Re: List building
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2018, 11:51:41 PM »
Now I'm a scalawag? I'll have to go around saying "Argh, avast ye maties!"  ;)

I agree with Matt on general principles and would probably go with something like this, if I were playing the Samurai:

SAMURAI
Corps I
Brilliant Commander
6x Samurai w sword (HI, 2HW)
4x Samurai w sword (MI, 2HW)

Corps II
Competent Commander
2x Samurai w bow (MI, sword, bow)
4x Followers w yari (MI, spear, mediocre)

Corps III
4x Mounted Samurai (HCv, bow)
2x Emishi (MCv, bow)

22 units, 200 points even

Corps I holds the center with the line of heavy sword. The medium sword can serve as a reserve or go into nearby rough terrain and threaten flanks. If necessary, you can split them up into two groups of two, especially if you have rough terrain on either side of the main line. Corp II tries to find rough terrain to shoot out of. If none is available, they can shoot for a while and force the enemy to charge the medium spear (I would arrange the group like this: FSFFSF, where F is a follower and S is a Samurai. That way the bow can cover the whole line). Corps III protects flanks, looks for flanks to exploit, and generally causes trouble (MCv are very efficient flankers - they will take a point of cohesion away and cause the enemy's unit to have a base factor of 0).

Elephants and cataphracts will still be a problem, but knights shouldn't bother the heavy sword nearly as much as they do the medium sword.
 
"A leader leads by example, not by force."

bigchris

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Re: List building
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2018, 09:16:10 AM »
Thanks for the feedback.

I think Elephants and Cataphracts will be tough no matter what, but fielding a mostly medium infantry Army is what my biggest handicap for this tournament was (along with consistently rolling 1's and 2's).  There is definitely a steeper learning curve for this game than I had previously appreciated. I may shuffle some pieces around and keep plugging away at this list using your ideas.  I think what I need to do is take my own advice and play the list until I know it front and back.

Look! We're not worried about the German army, we've got enough troubles of our own. To the right General Patton, to the left the British Army, to the rear our own goddamn artillery, and besides all that it's raining.

AvogadroTheMole

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Re: List building
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2018, 03:15:13 PM »
Now I'm a scalawag? I'll have to go around saying "Argh, avast ye maties!"  ;)

I expected better from an historian than to assume pirates. :o)

Scalawags were southern white post-war profiteers in the new order. Similar to carpetbaggers (northern whites who came down to profit).


Chris, practice does make perfect. Throwing into one of the biggest and most competitive events of the US ADG calendar was always going to be a tough ask for someone new to ancients and with only a handful of games under the belt. More play helps a lot to begin to see the patterns of the game and the ebb and flow of troop movements. It took me a while to understand where the points of contact would be and the resulting match ups. But once I started to see them I could begin to try and take control over those variables and engineer better situations. Even if you see a horrible series of combats developing, if you see it early enough you can help yourself by delaying, walking away, shuffling troops, pressing harder where you have better situations, etc. The more games with more opponents and armies, the easier it is to see the dangers and the opportunities.

While I think Mike and I both offer good list advice, I think you are on point in thinking that playing your list into complete familiarity is the single best way forward. I have found ADG is far more about being good at playing your list/being a better player than it is about crafting a superior list. Certainly in an environment where you cannot bank on knowing your opponents' list and play style.

Michael

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Re: List building
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2018, 08:31:40 PM »
Scalawags were southern white post-war profiteers in the new order. Similar to carpetbaggers (northern whites who came down to profit).

Bah! American history - who cares about that?
"A leader leads by example, not by force."

bigchris

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Re: List building
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2018, 10:03:38 PM »
So I am currently considering three other armies and would like feedback on which one you guys might fit my play style, defensive, better.

1. Classical Greek
2. Feudal Spanish
3. Scythians
Look! We're not worried about the German army, we've got enough troubles of our own. To the right General Patton, to the left the British Army, to the rear our own goddamn artillery, and besides all that it's raining.

bigchris

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Re: List building
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2018, 01:35:12 PM »
Here is a Feudal Spanish List I put together;

Feudal Spanish; 1068-1081
Initiative: 2
Fortified Camp
23 Units

I Corps
Brilliant Corps Commander (Included)
Medium Knight Impetuous x2, Elite
Medium Knight Impetuous x2
Medium Cavalry Impetuous x2

II Corps
Competent Corps Commander (Included)
Medium Knight Impetuous x2, Elite
Medium Knight Impetuous x2
Medium Cavalry Impetuous x2

III Corps
Competent Corps Commander
Heavy Spearmen x8
Light Infantry Bow x2

Look! We're not worried about the German army, we've got enough troubles of our own. To the right General Patton, to the left the British Army, to the rear our own goddamn artillery, and besides all that it's raining.

Michael

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Re: List building
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2018, 07:50:45 PM »
That looks like a typical knight-centered list, and would probably do well against most things. I'm not sure that it fits your style, though. Impetuous armies are generally "point and shoot." You line them up and let them run forward. The trick is lining them up in the right place, so they have good match-ups when they hit the enemy line.

If you are looking for something defensive, you will probably prefer the Greeks. They can pack a surprising amount of heavy spear into a 200 point list, something Bob R. loves to do. I find it a bit boring, because it has very little mobility, but it's pretty resilient and can win games by sheer attrition.

The Scythians are a completely different army type, and definitely not defensive. What you have to do with them is get the attack, run as far forward as possible, shoot, evade, shoot, evade, shoot, evade, and hope that your opponent runs out of units before he chases you off the board.

If you are looking for a list that is unusual, but has some good options for units, take a look at Pyrrhus (no.44). His list has a mix of pike, cavalry, a couple of elephants, heavy spear (hoplites), and a few light troops thrown in. I played him in a tournament once, and every time I told my opponents what I was playing, they said "Who?" So, it's pretty likely you'll be the only one playing him.
"A leader leads by example, not by force."

AvogadroTheMole

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Re: List building
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2018, 11:52:59 AM »
Well, that Spanish list is the exact opposite of defensive. That is an attack, attack, and attack some more style list. It also has a bear of a time repositioning. Kris Snyder plays a very similar list (when the theming allows he goes exclusively with the knights, otherwise exclusively as Hcav, he does not seem to be interested in mixing them) and has had some success. When things like opposing cav or swordsmen cannot get away his knights have a good time. But as soon as his opponent has troops/command that allows some dancing and delaying things get rocky for him quickly. I faced him (using the cav version because of the period) at the NE team tournament last year. My pip-rich, evade-capable Byzantine cavalry caused him a ton of headaches and by the time he really ran them to ground I had already picked off a couple horse with flank attacks and crumpled his pedestrians, giving me a clear win. Another point, your list has both low initiative and zero capability to handle terrain. If some punk gets a field somewhere near the center of the board and so much as a javelinmen into it the entire line of horse will find itself at risk of being flanked. Also, you will risk going 2nd a lot which mean your opponent will have both more time and space to respond to your chargey horde of doom, making in more likely they will get icky things like Hspear in front of them.

The greeks are a classic (hah!) army. They are pretty low on the aggression. If you try them I endorse trying to get whatever MI you can into there. You probably will not win many of those terrain fights, but you can show your opponent that he probably cannot simply wait out an easy victory and threaten your flanks. Also, the mounted is very weak. Do not take too much. If the list has any bowmen, take them. Your army will be very passive and peppering an enemy with arrows is one of the best ways to convince them to commit to fighting or running. Also, they would be wonderful against mounted bow armies, which will be one of your weakest matchups.

Mike is right that Phyyric is pretty uncommon (Seleucid is the popular hellenistic successor army). Don Manser had a Phyyric list at the USTT last week. But I think that was because he loves pike (I played him at Cold Wars and his Alex the Great list had the legal minimum of things with four legs and either maxed or nearly maxed pike). Phyyrus is great for that since you can take lots of mediocre pike. One of the best parts about playing a Phyyric type list is that you can easily morph it into any of nearly a dozen hellenistic lists and get different support troops or find one that lets you be cav-heavy instead.

Scythians need to be a patient army. Shooting is not a quick killer in this game. It is rarely ever a killer, actually. Even if you max out on the charging cavalry option(s) in this list you will need to plink away and try to pull the enemies formation apart bit by bit. This will allow you to set up stronger stacked shots and eventually flank attacks to finish stands off. And it may take a long time to tease out the wrong type of opposing army. If you take the charging horse it will be very important to time when to send them forward. A lot of enemies will see them as the target they can come to grips with, so too exposed and you risk losing your hammer to a healthy enemy. Committed too late and your hopes of breaking the enemy for a real win will not have time to come to fruition. An army with significant numbers of Bowmen and/or mixed units is your bane. Armies with lots of chargey horse are also a problem. A heavy foot army, preferably with lots of swordsmen, but spears are mostly the same, too, is probably your ideal matchup. Although if enough of them have armor than that can put a bit of a damper.

bigchris

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Re: List building
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2018, 10:32:40 AM »
So, Having never looked at the Pyrrhic list before, your recommendations had me give it a good read.  Though, to be fair, having the flu these last few days gave me ample opportunity to read when I wasn't sleeping.  So this is the preliminary list I put together.

Pyrrhic 280-275 BC

I Corps
Ordinary General
Epirotes and Macedonians; Pikemen x3
Tarentine Phalangites; Pikemen, mediocre x3
Greek Hoplites; Heavy Spearmen, mediocre x2
Rhodian Slingers; Light Infantry Sling x2

II Corps
Ordinary General
Epirotes and Macedonians; Pikemen x3
Tarentine Phalangites; Pikemen, mediocre x3
Greek Hoplites; Heavy Spearmen, mediocre x2
Light Troops; Light Infantry Bow x2

III Corps
Brilliant General, Included
Xystophoroi; Heavy Cavalry Impact Elite x2
Greek Horsemen; Heavy Cavalry x2

24 units and 199 points.  I could downgrade the III Corps General to Ordinary and get a Fortified Camp (I noticed quite a few of those in my games at the tournament)
Look! We're not worried about the German army, we've got enough troubles of our own. To the right General Patton, to the left the British Army, to the rear our own goddamn artillery, and besides all that it's raining.

Michael

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Re: List building
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2018, 04:55:28 PM »
Wow! That's a serious amount of pike. Since pike require two CP to do a full or half turn, I think you'll find ordinary commanders overwhelmed by the strain of maneuver. I would recommend having at least a competent commander (brilliant or Pyrrhus himself would be even better) with each pike block. The cavalry wing, with only four units, should be fine with just an ordinary commander.

Although pike can handle just about anything, including knights and elephants, I enjoyed having an elephant or two in my Pyrrhic force. They can cover any field or brush terrain and can put the fear of god into opposing knights or other cavalry. I usually pair them with a couple of hypaspists (the medium spear variety).

However you decide to configure it, though, I think you will enjoy playing the force.
"A leader leads by example, not by force."

bigchris

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Re: List building
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2018, 05:47:50 PM »
I switched around the Generals so that each Infantry Corps has a Competent commander and an Ordinary for the Cavalry Wing.  I thought about the Elephants but wasn't sure how to work the list to fit them in.  Do you remember the list you put together?
Look! We're not worried about the German army, we've got enough troubles of our own. To the right General Patton, to the left the British Army, to the rear our own goddamn artillery, and besides all that it's raining.

Michael

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Re: List building
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2018, 12:52:51 AM »
For Pyrrhus in Italy, I did something along these lines:

Pyrrhus at Heraclea (280 BC)

I Corps
Pyrrhus
2x Guards (elite pike)
2x Epirotes (ordinary pike)
2x Tarentines (mediocre pike)
2x Xystophoroi

II Corps
Brilliant commander
2x Greek horsemen (medium cav)
4x Greek hoplites
1x Light troops (LI bow)
 
III Corps
Competent commander
2x Tarentine horsemen (LH Bow)
1x Elephant
2x Samnite mercenaries (MI sword)
1x Rhodian slingers

That's 21 units and 200 points exactly. I usually have the pike in the center with the other two on the wings. The key is to guess which wing will have your opponent's cavalry and put the elephants there.

 
"A leader leads by example, not by force."