dinsdag 5 november 2013

The Quality of Quantity

They flock to me like moths to a flame...

I fly to them as a bee drawn to honey...

Massed infantry troop armies.  I can't explain it, but somehow I always end up choosing those as an army of choice.  It must be something in the appeal of having massed blocks of infantry marching forward, forming lines, setting themselves to take the charge head on...

Mind you, I'm talking massed armies of 'basic quality' troops, not rabble troops like for example Skaven in Warhammer, but armies made up of your average, run of the mill PBI.

When I look back on my gaming career, I always ended up with those kinds of forces.  I commanded with succes in Warhammer an Empire army made up of State Troops, a Chaos Dwarf force with large blocks of Hobgoblin subordinates, a Vampire Counts army made up of infantry blocks to swarm and fear the heck out of the enemy, and when taking a more elite army, I took a Wood Elf force with a line of basic archers as wide as my deployment zone, and then some in the second ranks.

I can't explain it...

Past my Warhammer years, came the years of Flames of War and Babylon 5.  I mostly commanded an Italian 8 million Bayonet Fucilieri company with lots of infantry and some light support tanks like the L6/40, and in Babylon 5 I got the best results with the Earth Alliance fleet with a lot of Thetys vessels in it.

I can't explain it...

On the more historical side of wargaming, I've always been drawn to the era of Big Battalions and regimented troops.  I like the periods roughly going from the English Civil War up until the American Civil War, for no other reason as these all where mostly about blocks of infantry, lining up and exchanging fire.  I never went for cavalry forces or specialised troops.  Now with By Fire and Sword apparantly getting picked up by TSA, I had an army and I picked... Cossacks.  A force of much infantry troops.

My 800 points Field of Glory army, the Yayoi Japanese, will number a staggering 112 bases when done plus it's commanders.
My newly kindled intrest in FoW will leave me with a British infantry division of cheap medium tanks and a heap of PBI.
And in the Dark Ages I always fielded the Irish... a force of mostly foot soldiers, cheap due to rarely having armour and not at all elitist... and in huge numbers.

I can't explain it...

Yet for some reason, this tends to be the sort of force I often get the best results with.  Ranks upon blocks of infantry, all of normal quality.

I CAN explain that!

See, my playing style has always been of the more defensive nature, having the enemy come to me and whitter him down by massed fire where able.  His elitist remains usually aren't sufficient enough anymore to break up the large blocks, and flanks can be charged in by the whole lot of troops available.

If the opponent is of a pure defensive kind, I can meatgrinder my force to the other side and still get a decent amount there to have a fighting chance and overrun him in close quarters.

But there is also one big trick behind this kind of playstyle, and one my opponents never seem to have figured out.  So here I am revealing my big secret: having lots of basic troops makes you fail safe to the mass of special rules you have to remember in battle with all kinds of elite and special troops at your disposal.

THAT dear opponents, has been the trick to carry on the day the past 15 years.  I could focus purely on the adapting circumstances on the battlefield, without having to take into account which specialty forces should be where.  The line falters but holds or the line breaks, this has always been my'personal wargame mindset'.  Pure and simple, and simple can bring you victory.

As Sun Tzu once said: Know thy enemy, but know thyself even better

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