Open or Close order for Romans

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wkeyser
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Open or Close order for Romans

Post by wkeyser »

I don’t see any real difference for the romans to be in close order or open order in combat. Am I missing something? I can see that Cavalry vrs open order foot have an advantage and cavalry vrs close are at a dis-advantage but in combat against other infantry there does not seem to be any difference in combat ability. If this is so then why would you not always move and fight in open order?
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William

Archdukek
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Re: Open or Close order for Romans

Post by Archdukek »

Being in Close Order enables Drilled troops to convert between 1/3rd and half of their Attack dice into Defence Dice (7.4 p57). Defence Dice can then be used to reduce the effect of an opponent’s attack before you roll for armour saves. (7.6.1 p 59)

So being in Close Order helps Drilled Troops absorb a Barbarian Mobs first and most aggressive attack better by potentially reducing the number of Kills and Shock. They can then change into Open Order to counter-attack the Barbarians with their full set of Attack dice.

John

wkeyser
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Re: Open or Close order for Romans

Post by wkeyser »

Ah great I missed that, will have to try that in our next game.

Thanks
William

Munin
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Re: Open or Close order for Romans

Post by Munin »

Can you change order in the middle of a combat? Or would you need to Shield Punch first?

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Captain Reid
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Re: Open or Close order for Romans

Post by Captain Reid »

So far as I can see it may be done in combat.

And that's fair enough as moving from open to close order was very likely a halving in depth by 'even ranked' men stepping forward to fill the gaps in open order and the new 'second line' closing with the first'

For instance:

_X_X_X_X_X_X_X
X_X_X_X_X_X_X_
_X_X_X_X_X_X_X
X_X_X_X_X_X_X_

becoming

X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X
X.X.X.X.X.X.X.X

except more likely 6 or 8 men deep reducing to 3 or 4
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Paul H
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Re: Open or Close order for Romans

Post by Paul H »

Can you go from close to open in combat too?

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Captain Reid
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Re: Open or Close order for Romans

Post by Captain Reid »

Again, I should say so. There's a (admittedly rather awkwardly phrased) passage in Caesar that would support that, but in theory the supposed drill (above) would be reversed. The each close order rank retires 6 feet (probably) then even numbered men retire an extra 3 feet from all ranks including the front one, restoring the position as in the top picture above,

One might disallow it against enemy that currently have Fervour (because Shield Bash disengaging isn't allowed) but I'd say it'd be fair enough - it's not a 'clean break' from the fight, you've still men fighting and the retiring men from the first rank are ending in a position very close to the front, which is the point - they can take one step forward to thrust at any man threatening the flank of their mate in the front rank.
The climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change. - Greta Thunberg

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