This is incredibly frustrating as the Romans

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Sincilbanks
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:07 pm

Re: This is incredibly frustrating as the Romans

Post by Sincilbanks »

runninghorse74 wrote: Thu Jun 09, 2022 11:34 am I do think it is hard for the Romans and very hard for them against chariots.
I haven't used imperial Romans that much but have used late Republican.
When building a force I look at the opponents
If they are mainly foot like the germans then you can purchase another legionary group and then top up with cavalry and/or tribal skirmishers - these allow Romans to have ambush points.
This all depends on points rolled for.
Don't forget caetrati with their flexible drill.

Against possible mounted opponents Britons in chariots and even Gauls with there noble cavalry my first few support options are cavalry, Numdian and Spanish both have advantages and you can have Roman mounted warriors as well.
So this allows a possibility of 3 extra cavalry units, again depending on points rolled.
But the chariots are still difficult to operate against.
I have tried successfully and unsuccessfully using the table edge to secure a flank whilst moving my troops.
So far I see the Romans need to take their time advancing and even not moving a turn if it means keeping the whole force together to mutually support.
This does mean the game can be slow but once familiar with the rules declining a turn can mean the game does move quick enough.
This does seem like good advice, albeit I have an Imperial army not a Republican one so a lot of those cavalry options don't exist.

For me, passing a bunch of turns until I have my full force on the table and ready to advance without pressuring the Barbarian player while the Barbarian player simply passes while he waits for his ambush opportunity not only makes for a really dull game (why not just start the game with the Roman player having his forces on the board and in position and skip all the early card drawing?) but also means the game takes a lot longer than otherwise and one of the key attractions for Infamy is that I can get a game over in a few hours.
Waterhorse
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Re: This is incredibly frustrating as the Romans

Post by Waterhorse »

For me, passing a bunch of turns until I have my full force on the table and ready to advance without pressuring the Barbarian player while the Barbarian player simply passes while he waits for his ambush opportunity not only makes for a really dull game (why not just start the game with the Roman player having his forces on the board and in position and skip all the early card drawing?) but also means the game takes a lot longer than otherwise and one of the key attractions for Infamy is that I can get a game over in a few hours.
That sounds familiar. This kind of situation is the kind of thing that caused us to do away with Ambush Points. Its a great illustration of how Ambush becomes the game and not just a part of it, as I mention a couple of days ago.

"Deployment" points work very well in Chain of Command but adapting the idea for Infamy, in the manner it has been, really hasn't worked as far as I'm concerned.
Waterhorse
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Re: This is incredibly frustrating as the Romans

Post by Waterhorse »

Captain Reid wrote: Thu Jun 09, 2022 5:40 am
Doing away with Ambush points completely seems quite radical, but I can see the merit. I also wonder about making Ambush Points akin to Moveable Deployment Points in SP. So say (and this is just off the top of my head), they begin in your Deployment Zone and you get up to one per Leader. They move up to 12" when their Leader chip is drawn but must cease movement if they come within 12" of an enemy Ambush Point or Deployment Zone, or if they enter the line of sight of an enemy Unit. You'd need to tie Leaders and Units to specific Ambush markers, but it'd allow for use of terrain to conceal one's approach.
I can't really comment on Deployment Points in SP. I've only played a few games of SP and they weren't used in them. The process is clearly an off shoot of Deployment Points in Chain of Command (as are Ambush Points) right down to the 12" zone.

However, you have touched on one way we tried to make Ambush Points a bit more controlled, in linking Leaders and Units to a specific point.

The intent being to spread the jeopardy around a bit by giving all Barbarian (or Roman) units and Leaders a number and allocating that number to a specific Ambush point. If that point was discovered and removed, the units allocated there went with it. We also experimented with removing the result that gave Deployment status to a Point instead of removal. In that case the units stayed in the game but had to come in on the table edge zone along with whatever else was there.
John_savage_uk
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Re: This is incredibly frustrating as the Romans

Post by John_savage_uk »

I’ve just seen this thread. As the author of the campaign article I’m feeling somewhat guilty as it doesn’t sound like you are having a lot of fun. Which is a shame as I love Infamy and my group have had many many great games.

First in relation to the campaign game there is an inconsistency in Game 2 as has been pointed out as I included 2 fanatics, but if you choose your own list I didn’t allow this! Mea culpa! With hindsight fanatics are fine. The Britons are after all protecting their sacred grove so if that doesn’t get some warriors riled up I don’t know what will. And despite the earlier comments the Romans do have more points than the Britons.

But in answer to the general point of how do the Romans win. It’s a good question. In our early games the Romans did find it very tough. They had to be very careful, methodical and not make any mistakes. Having said that peoples experience varies. I was chatting to some guys after the Lard Workshop this weekend and they were finding it very difficult to win as the Barbarians!

If you are really struggling I’d suggest putting the campaign on hold. Maybe play a few games in Roman territory (significantly reduces the numbers of ambush points) and see how that goes.

Chariots are very powerful as has been mentioned but are vulnerable to cavalry. In reality the Romans initially struggled against them then used their cavalry effectively as anti-chariot troops. Infamy mirrors this well I think. Cavalry have the range to charge them and if they evade possibly catch them (especially if you’ve a Signa card to assist). But if they stand they are fighting mounted and obviously at a significant disadvantage. At worst you’ll drive them off. Be careful you pursuing cavalry don’t then get counter charged if the chariots activate. But that’s where having 2 groups of cavalry helps as they can support each other. While chariots can raise fervour with the drive by shooting they have to get within 6”. While they’ve usually got the movement to get way its a bit of a risk for them and again that may leave them within charge range.

Generally 1 group of chariots should be able to be dealt with.

Fanatics are a challenge. Use close order if you are in charge range of a fanatic ambush. This will help soak up the initial impact and you can then break out into normal order when your leaders activate to get more attack dice to kill the blighters. Generally they should die quickly but it’s the shock they inflict that will hurt.

Generally the Romans should find that the biggest risk is shock. With a 4+ save on legionaries should find they stay around much longer than the barbarian warriors but it’s the accumulation of shock that’s the biggest worry. Use your drill to manage shock at every available opportunity.

And don’t be afraid to “Shield Punch”. In my experience it’s the most under used Roman drill but is fantastic powerful in the right circumstances. Breaking off from a fight your disadvantaged in, automatically rallying a point of shock per group and then potentially being able to throw pila and charge again can be a game winner.

Don’t let individual groups get isolated and your force defeated in detail. Keep your troops tight and mutually supporting. If choosing a list Exploratores are worth their weight in gold. Never leave home (especially in Barbarian territory) without at least 1 and take 2 if you can.

Again as has been mentioned Archers are very useful. If a barbarian unit has shock it can’t raise fervour. Some archers pinging away at a large barbarian warband will give them a problem (all you need is 1 shock) and they’ll either have to stay hidden and risk not raising fervour or use other troops to deal with your archers. All of a sudden you’ve got the initiative! Appreciate I didn’t give the Romans any in Game 2 but don’t be afraid of changing the lists!

But don’t give up. I found the challenge of learning to use the Romans one of the most fun parts of the game. It’ll take a few games but once you get it your barbarian opponent will start to struggle. That (albeit steep initially) learning curve adds so much depth to Infamy.

Adding to all that getting the cards coming out in your favour and some good dice rolls help!

I hope this helps. DM me if you want to discuss in more detail and always happy to try and set-up a virtual game if that might help. But please don’t give up. Infamy is a great game. But it can be an unforgiving mistress. But like all things the success is that much sweeter when you’ve had to struggle 😊

Good luck

John
Sincilbanks
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Re: This is incredibly frustrating as the Romans

Post by Sincilbanks »

John,

Perhaps you could critique my approach in the first post in the thread?

I'm really not sure how any of your advice applies in this scenario?

My cavalry has to be deployed before the chariots because I need them to remove ambush points to allow my legionaries to advance safely. Isn't that consensus, I don't think it's any co-incidence the chariot was deployed on the far flank away from my cavalry, how am I supposed to commit my cavalry against the chariots and use them to remove deployment points?

My 2 groups of legions walked into 30 warriors and fanatics in ambush. You can't use shield punch while the barbarians have any fervour left and fanatics start with 6 from ambush so it's highly likely you are going to be losing long before you get to shield punch. Even if by some miracle my 2 groups of legionaries survive the ambush from the fanatics I somehow have to fight my way onto the objective past 3 more groups of warriors in ambush and get 16 points of tasks all the while avoiding getting smashed in the flank by the chariots...

I don't want a bunch of generic advice that might or not apply, I want some cold hearted analysis of what I did wrong in this scenario?
John_savage_uk
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Re: This is incredibly frustrating as the Romans

Post by John_savage_uk »

Okay

It’s difficult to give specific advice as there are a lot of variables not least the card draw and the terrain. Oh and the scenario. But let’s take the example of Game 2 in the campaign. You need to get to the sacred groves to destroy them.

But here’s my starter for 10.

Don’t use your cavalry to close down Ambush Points. They’ll get isolated and cut up. Don’t go up the middle of the table. Head up 1 flank so ideally you are out of ambush range from AP on the other flank. Keep your Legionaries together. When you get in ambush range deploy into Close Order. It does limit your offensive ability but it means you can fight off the unit initial attack much more effectively. If you hold for the first couple of rounds and use your drill to rally shock the balance swings into your favour. Once the initial shock is spent the barbarians start to die. When your leader activates you can switch back to open order which will kill more barbarians.

Clear a route to the objective up one side the table.

Protect the flanks with your cavalry. When he brings out his chariots counter with your cavalry. Just the threat of a flank charge if he dares to threaten your flanks can keep him at bay.

If you don’t like the fixed forces pick your own. Bring some archers etc.

Don’t use your legionaries to do the tasks. Use some auxiliaries and protect them with the legionaries.

Be slow and methodical and dictate the tempo of the battle. If you really don’t think you can do the task then just go for a force morale win. If the British player rushes up with his chariots try and isolate them and kill them. Losing an elite unit can be a big FM loss.

It’s not easy and it’s a puzzle. Again It’s difficult not to lapse into generalities.

I hope this helps.

John
Sincilbanks
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Re: This is incredibly frustrating as the Romans

Post by Sincilbanks »

Well I did ask for specific advice about this scenario, so scenario 2 would be a good place to start..

Have you seen the pictures I posted in the first post? That will give you the terrain.

My Romans are clearly in close order as indicated by the last image and got blown away by the fanatics. My 20 legionaries are obviously together, they always are...

Clearly the British players did not "rush up with his chariots" so I tried to shield them with my auxilia.

Perhaps I could have gone up the right flank? The left flank is clearly a non-starter? My suspicion is probably that I get whacked by the ambush of 30 warriors and the fanatics from the hills on the right and the chariots deploy on the left but I guess that was worth a try.

I think it's probably time you showed me how it should be done if you are still willing. I'm happy to get together virtually at some point and we can replay this scenario and see how it should work...
John_savage_uk
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Re: This is incredibly frustrating as the Romans

Post by John_savage_uk »

Very happy to do something virtually. Drop me a DM and we can get something set-up

Cheers

John
Wanha Herra T
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Re: This is incredibly frustrating as the Romans

Post by Wanha Herra T »

We played a campaign last year and my experience was, that all the scenarios in the rule book - except pitched battle - were really unbalanced, or simply badly designed. When playing a straight up pitched battle - and specially on Roman territory (much less deployment / ambus points for barbarians) Romans did perform well.
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Captain Reid
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Re: This is incredibly frustrating as the Romans

Post by Captain Reid »

Wanha Herra T wrote: Tue Jun 06, 2023 1:38 pm We played a campaign last year and my experience was, that all the scenarios in the rule book - except pitched battle - were really unbalanced, or simply badly designed. When playing a straight up pitched battle - and specially on Roman territory (much less deployment / ambus points for barbarians) Romans did perform well.
My experience is that in Barbarian Territory, the Romans have a decent chance in Patrol, Ubique and Outpost Attack so long as they keep the objective firmly in mind and choose supports wisely.
In Roman territory they have a decent chance in all scenarios.

The Romans can win Escort, Foraging and Village Raid in Barbarian territory, but very seldom in my experience by actually making any meaningful attempt to achieve the objective, rather trying to force an engagement and winning by reducing Barbarian Morale to 0. And even doing that the Romans typically find things very hard as they are compelled to move within Ambush distance.

As I'm really not convinced that Ambushes in the tactical sense of dozens of warriors leaping from bushes and descending upon an unsuspecting foe were much of a thing, I've experimented with Ambush allowing immediate Deployment and a roll for Fervour as per the Ambush table (rather than the inferior generating Fervour table) - the exception being Fanatics who I let Ambush straight from Mobs - but I make them roll for movement as that seems more in keeping with Lardy uncertainty than fixed distance. I've found this pushes things more towards the Romans being on a fairer footing in barbarian territory and makes little difference in Roman territory.
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