Haven't been around for a while, so I'm not sure if its a comfort, or otherwise, that this topic has reappeared! The good Captain Reid providing wise council and insight in this regard in previous discussions I was involved in, continues to do the same, I note.
Cutting to the chase, the kind of things mentioned in this thread have had me on the verge of binning Infamy on numerous occasions. So much so I/we gave up on the kind of micro adjustments and debate I have seen thus far and went for the Nuclear Option!
We decided that in there somewhere was a reasonable game with reasonable mechanics struggling to get out and that the obstacle to progress was the entire existence of Ambush/Deployment points. So we ditched them, entirely. No adjustments, no tactics, no faffing around trying to solve the unsolvable - out, gone, departed, slung, finished with, Kaput! With one exception, Ambush from within or behind Warriors is unchanged.
The rules in connection with Baseline areas and deployment are now all we use and we get a game we like to play. Ambush/Deployment points don't make these rules, or the resultant game. They wreck it. Without them you can concentrate on the rest and not permanently be fixated on their existence and how they influence game play and tactics to the exclusion of all else. As a result Romans get a chance to do something other than fret.
Did they worry when patrolling the frontier, probably, I would. Did they get shafted by Hairy People who knew where they were going to go every time they went out, probably not. Did the aforementioned Hairy People have the ability to teleport to the best Ambush point and decide just how many men they could, or would, commit from it? Or change their minds when they "saw" a better option suddenly appear? No.
Its only a game, I hear you say. OK but lets have one that's not permanently tilted.
To add further. I agree with the idea of Chariots as IFVs is nonsense and that Roman Cavalry is ignored to the point of extinction but without Ambush/Deployment points, quite a bit of those negatives are mitigated against.
To assist this we have binned the "Army Lists", which are only suggestions anyway, and now tend to play games where the Romans always have Cavalry present and the overall force for both sides is generally around the 140 - 150 point mark and contains a total of seven or eight units.
I have five predetermined lists for Cohors Equitata and five for Cavalry Alea. A pre game dice roll picks the lucky winner for each outing and they take their chance from there.