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Author Topic: List building  (Read 953 times)

bigchris

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Re: List building
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2018, 10:07:45 AM »
This is much better.  Now, If I understand the tactics, the I corps holds the center with the Pike as a solid line and the Xystophoroi  to protect their flanks and counter attack as needed.  the II Corps can hold one flank with the 4 Hoplite units also flanked by the Medium Cavalry which should prevent their flanks from being turned and a skirmisher to put out where needed.  III Corps basically roadblocks Knights, Cataphracts and Cavalry using the Elephant to intimidate the horses.  With 3 light and 2 mediums, it's basically an elephant delivery method to keep the oppositions Cavalry Honest.  Did I get that right?
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 #16 on: January 21, 2018, 10:42:38 AM »
Did I get that right?

Indeed you did!

I usually run the elephant block like so: MI,E,MI with the LI lined up immediately ahead of the elephant. That way you can move all four units at once, with just one CP. The medium sword protect the elephant's flanks and the light infantry protects it from shooting (with protection 0, elephants are vulnerable to shooting). The light horse goes farther out on the flank to cause trouble as needed.

If you are feeling more aggressive, you can run a second elephant block (exactly the same set up) on the other flank, instead of the hoplites. That way, you'll be sure to get an elephant in the way of some enemy cavalry. I'm just not sure that suites your style as well as the two infantry corps version above.
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AvogadroTheMole

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Re: List building
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2018, 08:18:07 PM »
Just be careful with how much you seek out the clash against mounted with you elephant command. Msword, even with the elephant debuf, are still in real danger against many mounted types. That, plus many horse groups are wider than your command so overlaps and flanks will be a thing.

I would consider downgrading the elite pike to ordinary. If you are willing to accept mediocre pike (which is reasonable) you should probably be looking to embiggen the army and extending its width. Your pike/HFspear line will grind out a lot of success in a frontal battle. The best way to beat it is trying to break up the formation by avoiding combat, taking different angles, etc. One of the best ways to beat this is to have a wide enough line to offer very few gaps, even when you start to pull apart. The line Mike proposes is far from narrow...but still only a third of the board (plus a few mounted of varying use in truly extending the line). Plus, if the elite pike preclude taking the elite Mspear, maybe the later are preferable.

bigchris

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Re: List building
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2018, 09:50:24 AM »
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)

Matt, this was my first build.  Was this any better or worse?
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 #19 on: January 23, 2018, 04:55:11 PM »
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)

Matt, this was my first build.  Was this any better or worse?

The absence of any terrain troops concerns me. Nothing sucks more than a single cheap unit of MI getting into a piece of terrain next to your line of advance, either giving an immediate flank attack when you engage or keeping you from advancing to where you desire to go.

bigchris

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Re: List building
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2018, 12:38:48 PM »
The absence of any terrain troops concerns me. Nothing sucks more than a single cheap unit of MI getting into a piece of terrain next to your line of advance, either giving an immediate flank attack when you engage or keeping you from advancing to where you desire to go.

So, How would you build this list then?
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 #21 on: January 25, 2018, 01:40:24 PM »
Looking at the list, if you want to use the mediocre pike available through the Phyrrus in Italy option you have a mandatory Samnite Msword. That seems a good place to start. If converting the list to fit myself, the 1st question I ask is whether I want to win terrain or merely to contest it. The second, and closely related, is if I concentrate my MI or disperse it. Third question, also interrelated with 1 & 2, how much do I want to risk the MI being a target if there is no terrain to get into.

Lets assume I want to to be able to make bids to contest or win both flanks of my line (combining corps I & II). Lets also assume I want to emphasize winning the terrain and am not very worried about being caught in the open. You say the list is at 199, so I have 1 point to work with. The easiest approach is to drop 2x pike (1 ordinary and one mediocre, returning 11 & 9 pts, if memory serves). 12 pike is an enormous number and leaving it at 10 is still more than enough to be extremely impressive. With 21 pts we could take 3 MI swordsmen and call it a day. These would be a pretty good contesting force for terrain when concentrated. If the list has javelinmen (not having my book in front of me, I do not know, but Peltasts are very common in greek/hellenistic lists) then one of them might be nice, but reduces the chance of winning a terrain piece rather than just contesting it. Maybe deploy the two sword with one command and the jav with the other. Now you can contest both flanks, if not for very long or very effectively against determined attack. This is literally intended to be a holding force for the main line to get past and into the clash long enough to get a few rounds of dice before a decent enemy terrain command can move on the their flanks. These troops are expendable if their deaths contribute to the pike going unmolested for longer. They also do not want to charge in before they absolutely have to. I.e., they do not want to start their fight while they are a move or two ahead of the HI. That risks seeing them killed before the pike can pass and now you are back at step one.

Looking at further options, the brilliant general with just 4 horse, two of which are unable to evade, is probably an extravagance. With him your initiative bid is only a +1, so you can assume that you will lose initiative anyway. If we demote him to competent we free up 3 points. These can add impact to all three MI. However, getting a 4th MI would be great, since I said I wanted to contest both flanks and that lone sword/jav looks pretty lonely and outmatched. Right now our army count is +1 by trading 2 pike for 3 MI. I also am dubious of of all those mediocre Hspear. They are probably the bookends of your line, owing to their agility and speed (relative to pike, of course). They are the troops you want to be able to turn to wall off a flank threat if your MI fail (or the terrain forces the MI to hide elsewhere - say an open side of the board with some strong charging cavalry units out there). I think we want these to be ordinary. If we drop two, we can upgrade the other two to ordinary and leave 8 points. That is enough for another MI + 1 point. If we accept the general downgrade we have 4 MI sword + 4 points - enough for 4 upgrade to impact, or two upgrades to elite. Season to taste. You then have two decent terrain presences to shield the ends of your line. If the enemy only has one terrain command, one of yours will go down for sure. But you will have the opportunity to walk through the other and try to pry open their flank. If your line gets separated from the MI you now have a much more stalwart Hspear to turn and try and block off the easiest paths to flanks. Your battle line does shorten by 4 HI, but it is still 12 wide and its average quality has gone up a little. Plus there are plenty of circumstances where the MI are practically as good as the heavies at extending the line.

If you want to focus on having MI that are safer to stand out in the open and extend your line, then you will want to work in the Hypaspists (Mspear elite) for 9 pts each. The easiest path I see is dropping impact from all 4 MI and using those points to convert 2 swords over to them.

AvogadroTheMole

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Re: List building
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2018, 01:52:41 PM »
Thinking a little more, my advice above arguably runs a little counter to what I posted the day before about maximising width of pointy sticks. If you really want to run a giant spear/pike line then you are probably better off selling out and minimising the cavalry in favour of more sticks (and maybe even more MI) and integrating what is left into the other commands (i.e., 3 commands of infantry with a horse here and there). That cav wing runs the risk of being a liability against a lot of opponents. It does not run away well, meaning you quickly either stand with everything or leave the xystophoroi to fight it out against more numbers...and standing is iffy as most aggressive horse groups will have more chargey horse than you do. You can make it work, but it will take some clever maneuvering, very early correct assessment of your prospects (once they can ZoC you with their next move regardless of your action, the jig is already up for your xystophoroi and it will either be good or bad), and a willingness to walk away from a clear mismatch.

Michael

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Re: List building
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2018, 08:49:23 PM »
Maximized pointy sticks may work in many situations, but I don't think it's much fun to play. One lines them up and marches them forward. Roll a few dice and the game is over. I prefer a list with greater mobility, a smaller footprint, and more nuanced play style.

Ultimately, though, what works for you may be very different from what works for me or Matt. Fortunately, Pyrrhus is a flexible force with lots of options. I would recommend playing variations of the list until you find your style.
"A leader leads by example, not by force."

bigchris

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Re: List building
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2018, 01:32:42 PM »
So, after giving your suggestions some thought, I rethought the list a bit.  Here is the latest rewrite;

I Corps
Competent Corps Commander
Pikemen x2
Pikemen, Mediocre x2
Medium Swordsmen, Impact x2
Light Infantry Bow x2

II Corps
Competent Corps Commander
Pikemen x2
Pikemen, Mediocre x2
Medium Swordsmen x2
Light Infantry Sling x2

III Corps
Competent Corps Commander (Included)
Heavy Cavalry, Impact, Elite x2
Heavy Cavalry x4
Light Cavalry Javelin x2

This comes to 200 points exactly. Now, these selections are all the mandatory ones (1-2,1-4, 4-12 for Pike with half needing to be mediocre) for the list.  None are 0-whatever.

My thought is that I and II Corps can mutually support each other while III Corps can either threaten a flank, or counter my opponents Cavalry.  Knights, and elephants will still be a problem for the Cavalry, but aren't they always going to be an issue?
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 #25 on: January 26, 2018, 01:54:31 PM »
Actually, if you think you will be up against knights and elephants it is usually a good idea to try and out guess your opponent and stick the pointy sticks in front of them while deploying the cav elsewhere. Your cav may also be able to hold up against those in the sense that if you keep the impact horse well back, you can move the evade-capable horse up and then fade away. Always moving back up to make it hard for the scary things to turn in towards your foot.

"Maximized pointy sticks may work in many situations, but I don't think it's much fun to play. One lines them up and marches them forward. Roll a few dice and the game is over."

But it is fun when it is over and you won. :)
Actually, viewing them that way is a great way to lose lots of games. The deeper strategy and maneuver becomes even more critical and dominates the game against better opposition. Another issue is that the "secondary" troops become more critical to your success when dealing with an asymmetrical matchup. My lack of terrain capability is a big part of what doomed me to so many draws in the USTT. Particularly when my mounted was not up to the task of forcing the issue in my favour.

"Ultimately, though, what works for you may be very different from what works for me or Matt. Fortunately, Pyrrhus is a flexible force with lots of options. I would recommend playing variations of the list until you find your style."

This is the core of my message when I say the list is less important than the player. Ethan Zorick cares deeply about list minutia and extracting every last drop of optimization. But he already is a superlative player with a deep understanding of the rules, his play styles, and all the possible match ups and ways games can play out. Put another way, Tiger Woods cared a lot about the clubs and balls he used and dumped them if he felt they were not adequate after a short trial period. I could barely tell my pitching wedge from my friend's fancy new one that cost an arm and a leg.

Michael

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Re: List building
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2018, 08:19:06 PM »
@Chris... That looks like a good list to start with. It should be resilient enough to give you a fighting chance in most games. Matt is right that pike are your best options versus elephants and knights. +2 versus all is great in those situations.

@Matt... I'm sure you're right. My perspective on pointy sticks is probably why I don't win with them.  :)
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bigchris

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Re: List building
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2018, 09:25:17 AM »
So after yesterdays conversations I looked over the Later Samurai list (not much better really).  So I went back to the Feudal and started to think more about terrain and strategy.  Long and short, the Samurai definitely need dense terrain.  But if I pick the max amount, unless I have a strategist, I won't be able to affect any of the terrain.  3 of 4 gives me one move, but is it worth it of an opponent takes the minimum and gets two rolls (Though I do wonder why it doesn't go the other way, minimal amount of terrain 1 roll, 3-4 pieces two rolls).  Planning on using terrain only works if it is placed where it can be used effectively. So, back to the list.

I Corps
Brilliant Corps Commander (Included)
Heavy Cavalry Bow x6
Light Cavalry Bow x2

II Corps
Competent Corps Commander
Heavy Swordsmen 2HW x2
Medium Swordsmen 2HW x4
Medium Swordsmen Bow x2

III Corps
Ordinary Corps Commander
Medium Swordsmen Bow x2
Medium Spearmen Mediocre x4

Fortifications x6

My thought is to plant the Heavier Infantry Corps behind the fortifications with the 2 Bow Units to guard flanks, use the Lighter infantry Corps for Ambush or just stick them in rough terrain to maximize their potential, and use the Cavalry Corps with the light Cavalry to threaten flanks or possibly draw knights away from the main fight.  Still a squishy list, but if I pay it more defensively, my hope is that the fortifications and better use of terrain might mitigate the shortcomings.  I know flanks will be an issue, but I think this might offer a better chance against straight on rushes by elephants, Knights, Cataphracts and anything else that would normally run over the mediums on open ground.
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 #28 on: January 31, 2018, 01:13:34 PM »
I think you are solving the wrong problems and substituting them with greater dilemmas. ADG is a game of maneuver. The maneuver may be many layered and subtle, but a major theme is forcing your opponent to react to your choices. As has been noted by many new converts, options for reaction are often limited and especially so when the enemy is already near. By hiding behind static fortifications you cede all real initiative to your opponent and the advantages that come with forcing their hand. Sure, the bonuses might make a frontal attack suicide. But who is going to be foolish enough to commit suicide by attacking your defenses frontally? There are no objectives the enemy is forced to blindly come after, like in FoW. Attacker/defender are concepts that only apply to setup rules. This plan takes your most powerful corps and renders it inert, giving the opponent infinite time to reorient their attack to concentrate on the other corps. If you set up in the center of the board, they can choose which wing they favour and concentrate 2 corps on it with near impunity. Sure, your horse can evade away. But pinning them in a corner will be pretty easy for double their number and they will eventually die or run off the table. Both now leave a giant hanging flank for the center corps. They can then either abandon their fortifications to turn to meet the threat, negating all the points spent on the defenses, or receive flank attacks...for which forts offer no bonuses (only when combat is through the fort). If you set up on a wing, that is even worse. That makes it dangerously easy to concentrate all 3 corps onto 1 or both of your others while screening off you infantry if it does come out to play. The ease in which the other guy might get to break your army without fighting any of your main corps would be a huge problem.

The only way I see large-scale fortifications working out for a player is by going all-in on it. One of the HMGS regulars, I call him Acropolis Al, has a propensity for playing this way. But he is wholly commited to it. Multiple artillery pieces (medium & hvy) and a number of bowmen/crossbowmen. These are behind the forts, which are often spaced out. In between he takes lots of tough HI. And then he camps in a corner, preferably with his back to a coast. He is daring his opponent to come in and try him. The only way he can put any damage out is if his opponent attacks. If he faces opponents with patience they will have all the time in the world to set up their attack exactly as they want it. And if they push in and get repulsed...well he is probably in no position to pursue them and force a break on them. He can only win if they attack hard enough and long enough for them to feed enough into his grinder. And if he does not get his coast, he is potentially very vulnerable to a flank march. Winning tournaments is almost completely out of the question since he will struggle to get outright wins. He also risks facing an opponent wholly unequipped to play his style of game who might (rightly) refuse to come in and instead sits across the table playing on his phone for 2+ hours. Boring for all, but a decision he made at army design.

bigchris

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Re: List building
« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2018, 05:34:43 PM »
Well, there‚Äôs not alot of other options to use that 6 points for.  Upgrade 3 units to elite, fortify my camp, I can add one more light cavalry unit, a single Light Artillery unit or a single stampeding herd (scythed chariot)
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 12:28:39 PM by bigchris »
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.