Author Topic: Ancient Spanish- rubbish or simply misunderstood?  (Read 31 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Toady

  • Hd(I)
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Ancient Spanish- rubbish or simply misunderstood?
« on: January 03, 2021, 01:20:03 AM »
Happy New Year to everyone. Let’s hope that 2021 can’t be any worse.....

I haven’t been having much luck with my Ancient Spanish army, ever.... and wondered people’s opinions on them as an army. We only ever play historical matchups, so they namely form up against Carthaginian and Roman opponents.

I’ve tried Ax S as the main troop type, which seem unable to pack a punch against historical opponents (Romans and Carthaginians) and when I tried a switch to BdF they got murdered by Carthaginian Ax S... :(

I know the lack of sub generals stops people using them in competitions as too much chance of an unreliable ally but how do people find them in non-competition?

Can an Iberian commander have Celtiberian Allies? Can Sertorius have Iberian or Celtiberian allies? It’s not stated in the lists that I can see....

Any tips on how to play them much appreciated. I love them dearly having spent so many weeks painting them but the relationship is sadly souring....

Cheers

Fon Tok Nak

  • Hd(I)
  • *
  • Posts: 26
    • View Profile
Re: Ancient Spanish- rubbish or simply misunderstood?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2021, 06:28:50 AM »
No sub-list has another sub-list as a possible ally, so Iberians cannot have Celtibarian allies, etc.

Follow Sertorius' example.

Comparing the Ancient Spanish aggression against that of historical opponents means they will usually be defending. Then the list has lots of terrain to hide in and lots of terrain troops, so I would try and get terrain across the table and sit in or behind it and wait for the enemy to come to me, aiming to attack them when they are in the terrain or coming through gaps.

Consequently, I'd also have Ambush and/or Concealed Command. I might even sit right back and have a Delayed Command if the table is quite open. (Mixing these tactics will also keep a regular opponent guessing.)

Also, if the plan is to sit back and wait for the enemy, an unreliable ally becomes less of an issue.

As to which sub-list to take, my personal preference would be AxS with all the BdF mercenaries, but PsS two deep also has advantages. The Ps can advance in line through terrain (and the BdF can also go impetuously through terrain).

Finally, I would use Cv in packets of two as march blockers rather than as offensive troops.

Anthony


Barritus

  • Kn(S)
  • *****
  • Posts: 651
    • View Profile
Re: Ancient Spanish- rubbish or simply misunderstood?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2021, 12:55:16 PM »
Happy New Year to everyone. Let’s hope that 2021 can’t be any worse.....

I haven’t been having much luck with my Ancient Spanish army, ever.... and wondered people’s opinions on them as an army. We only ever play historical matchups, so they namely form up against Carthaginian and Roman opponents.

My experience of playing against them (in open competitions) is that they're nearly impossible to beat and that they can easily overwhelm a range of armies.

Quote
I’ve tried Ax S as the main troop type, which seem unable to pack a punch against historical opponents (Romans and Carthaginians) and when I tried a switch to BdF they got murdered by Carthaginian Ax S... :(

I know the lack of sub generals stops people using them in competitions as too much chance of an unreliable ally but how do people find them in non-competition?

See above. Even in open comps they can threaten a range of opponents. Having three allies is less of an issue than you might expect.

The key strengths of the army I've faced are (a) its main troop types are cheap, meaning you can have large commands, (b) aggression 0 means you should be defender most of the time, meaning you should be able to clog up the table with terrain you can dominate with Ps (S), and (c) the (S) advantage for the Ax is really useful against foot.

Quote
Can an Iberian commander have Celtiberian Allies? Can Sertorius have Iberian or Celtiberian allies? It’s not stated in the lists that I can see....

No to the options above. You have to take one of the three ethnic groupings.

Quote
Any tips on how to play them much appreciated. I love them dearly having spent so many weeks painting them but the relationship is sadly souring....

Cheers

The guy who used Spanish (Ax (S) version - is that Iberian?) successfully was a master of exploiting the advantages of the army. He took four commands, all around the same size, with Ax (S) dominating the three allied commands, and the C-in-C managing the Bd (F). Each command had a few Cv, LH and Ps, with one command having a fairly decent number of Ps (S). His army size was close to 100 ME.

He always placed a lot of terrain, including the largest 1 FE BUA */** he could field. By placing a road he had a lot of flexibility about where to place the BUA to clog up the table as needed. He also tried to place terrain in such a way that something difficult landed somewhere in the middle of the table, so his opponent didn't have a large amount of open space to deploy a large block of heavy infantry or Kn. Instead, opponents would usually have to break up their heavy infantry/Kn forces and deploy them either side of the difficult terrain. He would then place his commands such that he could control that large piece of terrain with his largest group of Ps (S), or perhaps Ps (S) from two commands. That way, if his opponent tried to advance past that difficult terrain to attack his Ax or Bd, he could be threatening their flanks with the Ps.

He wasn't afraid to advance against his opponents, even when they had Kn. He had a number of ways of neutralising Kn, such as the Ps flank threat mentioned above, relying on numerical superiority to overwhelm opponents with overlaps and occasional lucky dice rolls, and sometimes by using the expendable flaming ox carts.

The only time I came close to beating his army was when I tried a Papal Italian army against him at the club. I managed to get the match-ups of Sp (S) and (O) (supported by Bge (S)) against his Ax (S), and Kn (F) against his Bd (F).

Against Polybians and Carthaginians, I'd recommend the tactics summarised below:

- all the terrain you can field, including taking a road and BUA and trying to break the battlefield up into narrow channels separated by difficult terrain you can control with Ps (S);

- take plenty of Ax (S) and possibly a group of Bd (F) in the C-in-C's command, give one command around 10-15 Ps while the others get around half a dozen each, and spread the Cv and LH around;

- deploy the Ax/Bd in the channels between the terrain pieces in 2 or even 3 ranks, and the Ps ready to dive into the terrain;

- consider using the Ambush stratagem to place some Ax right out on a flank where they can block an enemy mounted advance from marching, or develop a threat of their own on the enemy's flank;

- get the Ps into the terrain first, remembering Irr Ps are clumsy in difficult terrain, so you'll need quite a few PIPs to move them into flank-ready positions;

- if you have an unreliable ally, use the C-in-C's PIPs for what you need him to do each bound, and only save 3 PIPs for an activation attempt if it won't stop you from doing things you need to do (there are a number of ways to activate an unreliable ally, there are some things an unreliable ally can still do even while unreliable, and most times your opponent won't be able to do much to exploit the unreliability anyway); and

- advance the Ax/Bd into the channels and prepare to receive the enemy's attack, keeping in mind very few troops in either Roman or Carthaginian armies have a quick kill on either the Ax or Bd, and use your PIPs to send Ps into the flanks of the enemy infantry blocks.

Given the historical opponents, you may wish to consider using the flaming ox carts to lead an advance (don't just throw them out ahead of a stationary army). Because they can be deadly against massed heavy infantry, your opponents may be tempted to spend a lot of PIPs moving Ps and Ax into their path - PIPs (and Ps) that can't be used to contest your control of the difficult terrain. And if your Ax/Bd are right behind the ox carts they can take on those enemy Ps and Ax for some easy first-up casualties.

Against Romans you don't need to fear his Bd, remembering in your bound even a single overlap on the Bd is 3(S) v 3(O), so you should be able to attrition his Bd away.

Against Carthaginians any Sp he takes are vulnerable to Bd, so try to anticipate where he might place his Sp and deploy the Bd to face them.

Good luck!

* Actually it might have been the largest 0.5 FE BUA he could field. I'd have to check the rules.

** Remember that the perimeter of a BUA is good terrain, up to 20mm in from the edge (which just happens to be the depth of Ax and Bd (F) bases). Ps can hold a BUA pretty much all of a battle unless your opponent is willing to spend a lot of resources on taking it, but otherwise its straight sides make it a useful piece of difficult terrain to place a three-rank group of Ax/Bd in that can advance straight out as a group.

Toady

  • Hd(I)
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
Re: Ancient Spanish- rubbish or simply misunderstood?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2021, 06:50:12 AM »
Thanks so much to you both for the very helpful replies!

You have convinced me to give them another run out :)

For the Glory of Spain!

Barritus

  • Kn(S)
  • *****
  • Posts: 651
    • View Profile
Re: Ancient Spanish- rubbish or simply misunderstood?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2021, 06:20:00 AM »
Let us know how the games go, in case we can offer you some more tips.