War and Conquest Romans

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War and Conquest Romans

Post  Adam02 on May 5th 2015, 06:38

I coming late to the party and these sorts of things have probably all been discussed already but I have been looking at how WaC treats the Romans and think there is room for some discussion.

The Pilum

WaC gives this special treatment in (a) allowing a re-roll for kill rolls but the re-roll is for all rolls not just misses (unlikely to improve an av score) and (b) giving it an armour penetration value of 1 in the opening round of any combat.

Warry talks about the pilum coming into prominence during the Celtic invasion and of how Caesar mentions the pila pinning together Celtic shields - which implies penetrating 1/2-1" of oak and hide and how, handicapped by a pilum the shield become useless. Caesar recounts Celts throwing away such encumbered shields, preferring to fight without them. Scope here to begin thinking about the advantages of the pilum not so much in re-rolling misses but of removing an armour benefit of enemy with shields, except the booking keeping could be a bugger (cf John Warry Warfare in the Classical World 1980)

Sword and Shield

What to make of use of short sword and disciplined use of the scutum and that quote of Caeser's 'one German barbarian could easily defeat one Roman but that 100 Romans could easily defeat 1000 Germans'? This feels a little like a sheildwall???

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Re: War and Conquest Romans

Post  steve row on May 6th 2015, 07:12

Some random Roman ramblings

I've not played war and conquest yet but have been using various Roman wargames armies since nineteenseventysomething.

The pilum usually gets treated as having a strength bonus in the first round of combat . I can't think of a set of rules that allows for shields being abandoned as described . Perhaps it is because of the book keep element of who has a shield and who doesn,t .

Some rules have allowed Romans unlimited "shots" with their pilum and others say when its gone , its gone.

Roman army developed and changed the armour and missile weapons of it,s legionaries over the hundreds of years it fought . At different times they seem to have used different methods of replacing the front rank units. I expect this partly to keep fresh troops in the front rank and partly to make sure the frontline still had its missile weapons

In the Fall of the West supplement for Warhammer Ancients the Roman infantry are allowed to form shield wall. This list covers Roman armies towards the end of the western empire, but still a couple of hundred years before the shield walls of the dark ages . Certainly there are many accounts of earlier roman armies fighting from behind their shields so wargames armies should be able to too.
i have come accross the references to gallic shields being pinned together before . Until reading Adams post i had not not thought this at all strange . however pinning shields together implies that they fought with shields overlapped. shield wall again? .however most historical references and indeed rules sets suggest they fought in looser wilder style so would have presented a more open target than a shield wall.
the manuals for greek and roman armies state that troops could operate in different spacings depending on which stage of the battle they were at . they would be more open on the march rather than standing against a charge for example, so it is possible that on the defensive the gauls would have stood closer to get some benefit from each others shields.

On a slightly different tack i have played a set of rules, Tony Bath i think , where routed troops are assumed to throw away some of their equipment to help them get away quicker . If they were later rallied they could reform and fight again but at greatly reduced effect due to loss of equipment . Routing troops throwing stuff away sounds plausible . If you rally them in a game you save the victory points but they don't become effective troops again until resupplied . More book keeping to record .Possibly more useful in a campaign

Anyway that is probably more than enough from me for now .

This just a bit of thought ( and bits of thoughts is all i can usually manage ) and not an attempt to do anything particularly expert like

Enjoy your war and conquest.

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Re: War and Conquest Romans

Post  Dave Toone on May 12th 2015, 19:03

Something I discussed with Mick from 1st Corps at this weekends WaC Tournament was how the Pilum would be much more useful if each rank were allowed to apply the weapon bonus once per turn of combat (so the front rank would get the weapon bonus as many times as there were ranks in the unit), until each rank had effectively 'thrown' their pilums into the combat, thus allowing a good number of the troops that have the weapon to make use of them. This would avoid the situation where troops brought into the melee during a second round of combat, effectively lose any weapon bonus.

Alas, although we do put AOLs together because the Scarab official lists for WaC are a little unbalanced and left unloved for years at a time, changing core rules from the rulebook gets very, very messy and so we avoid it, to keep things simple!! Laughing


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Re: War and Conquest Romans

Post  Adam02 on May 13th 2015, 07:50

It feels, like it or not, that the centre of gravity is shifting. The work you have done on the AOLs is invaluable and does involve new thinking. This is but an extension of that

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Re: War and Conquest Romans

Post  steve row on May 16th 2015, 11:40

thought i would google "how many ranks of a cohort could throw their pila at one time2

found a link " pilum volley and line reinforcement the roman army" by some one called garyb.0catch.com

it has a load of stuff on which tactical situations troops could throw and how many ranks could do it at once. just theories though as unless he has lied about his age he wasn,t actually there! . i havn't read it in detail yet

it does have pictures and diagrams which i know will be easier for many of us to follow rather than having to try and understand actual words

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Re: War and Conquest Romans

Post  Adam02 on May 16th 2015, 20:25

I came across this passage in Philip Matyszak 'Legionary: The Roman Soldier's Manual'. If we believe it, is I think, pointing to an example of the pilum as missile weapon not just a melee weapon

"Cavalry

If the action is against those inexperienced in fighting Romans, the enemy leader might decide to blow a cohort apart with a ferocious cavalry charge. The sight of several hundred half-crazed horses thundering down on one is a truly terrifying sight. Yet even as an inexperienced soldier is considering dropping everything and running for his life, the veteran legionary is praising Jupiter for delivery the enemy into his hand. Cavalry have no chance against well-disciplined infantry in close formation, because the horses simply will not charge home. If the soldiers stay calmly in their ranks, the horses will screech to a halt in front of them, and the drill instructor's assurance that a well-thrown pilum shower can stop a cavalry charge stone dead will prove to be literally true"

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