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Thread: Antesignani?

  1. #1
    CAIVS CAESAR Member Mulceber's Avatar
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    Default Antesignani?

    What do you all think of antesignani? Are they good? What purpose are they best suited for on the battlefield? How many units of them would you recommend taking per stack? -M
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    Guest Aemilius Paulus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antesignani?

    They are pretty nice, as they are the only decent spearmen the Marian Romani get. I usually put 2-4 of them in a stack. I also modded them to have 1 less armour, as that helmet and breastplate could not have possibly given them such a high armour value, but added the number of javelins, increasing it to a total of five to represent their role as light infantry/elite heavy skirmishers.

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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antesignani?

    Hey! I will have you know their armour value is calculated entirely according to the same rules all EB units use!

    ...'sides, what do you mean, "could not possibly"? It's a monolith bronze-plate cuirass plus good helmet. That's a pretty protective combo all right no matter how you look at it.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Antesignani?

    The antesignani are excellent screening infantry, and usually the soldiers I send around to flank a enemy battle line. They fare pretty well against any type of troops...
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    Guest Aemilius Paulus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antesignani?

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman View Post
    ...'sides, what do you mean, "could not possibly"? It's a monolith bronze-plate cuirass plus good helmet. That's a pretty protective combo all right no matter how you look at it.
    Well, I meant it in comparison to other troops with similar or even better Armour. There are numerous units in the game who have good helmets, full cuirass, and even leggings, which the Antesignani do not have, but still have a lower armour value than Antesignani.

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    Near East TW Mod Leader Member Cute Wolf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antesignani?

    Antesignani = a bit expensive, but excellent front line skirmishers who can pawn any mediocre cavalry sent by foolish enough AI to run them down.. they are good against weak heavy infantry formations, or similar heavy skirmishers (such as Peltastai or thureophoroi), didn't fare well against barbarians though... better train cohortes reformata against the aedui/ avernii/ sewboz/ casse

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    Sharp/Charismatic/Languorous Member Novellus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antesignani?

    When I used the Antesignani for the first time, it was a multiplayer game. When I played against my opponent, my lines were held by the cohorts. But once an opening was revealed, I sent both of them through the center and they proceded to butcher the enemy. It was great because their size wasn't the largest and they lived up to what the description said.
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antesignani?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aemilius Paulus View Post
    Well, I meant it in comparison to other troops with similar or even better Armour. There are numerous units in the game who have good helmets, full cuirass, and even leggings, which the Antesignani do not have, but still have a lower armour value than Antesignani.
    Such as? Do recall that the bronze cuirass is *the* highest-rated piece of body armour in the game...
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

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    Guest Aemilius Paulus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antesignani?

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman View Post
    Such as? Do recall that the bronze cuirass is *the* highest-rated piece of body armour in the game...
    Gah, people never understand the concept of relativity. For instance, most of the blokes on these forums will argue to death that their puny nation was just as important as Roma. I'll say, yes, your nation is important, but what you have to understand is that some nations are more important than other. But they won't listen and continue rambling on... Anyway, read my last post more carefully!!! I said that other troops with cuirasses have lower armour value than Antesignani. Now only this, but those "other" troops sometimes have leggings in addition to cuirasses and they still have a lower armour value. The Antesignani cuirass is rated unusually high IMHO, as most other troops have much lower armour values.

    However, EB is not always so rigid in the unit statistics. For instance, high armour uber-elite units often have only 8 defence skill, while the levy Lugoae have something like 13 defence skill, with other "barbarian" unarmoured troops having even more defence skill. How can Lugoae have more defence skill than those elites?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Antesignani?

    More armour = less agility = less defence?
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  11. #11
    Guest Aemilius Paulus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antesignani?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarax View Post
    More armour = less agility = less defence?
    No, I have thought of that too, but some very high armour troops have high defence skill as well, such as the TABs as well as their Vasci and Ebherni equivalents have 11 defence skill in addition to about 19 armour.

  12. #12
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antesignani?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aemilius Paulus View Post
    I said that other troops with cuirasses have lower armour value than Antesignani. Now only this, but those "other" troops sometimes have leggings in addition to cuirasses and they still have a lower armour value. The Antesignani cuirass is rated unusually high IMHO, as most other troops have much lower armour values.
    The Antes' armour value should add up to 12, like that of every infantry unit with the bronze cuirass-helmet-cheekpieces combo. I repeat: please give concrete examples.
    However, EB is not always so rigid in the unit statistics. For instance, high armour uber-elite units often have only 8 defence skill, while the levy Lugoae have something like 13 defence skill, with other "barbarian" unarmoured troops having even more defence skill. How can Lugoae have more defence skill than those elites?
    The Lugoae should have base defense skill 11. Without
    going to the details too much, that's the basic score for an infantry unit of their "quality grade" plus assorted bonuses pretty much all unarmoured units get (as Zarax guessed, on account of agility) plus the extra point some barbarians (in practice, Celts and Germans) categorically get.

    Feel free to find me a concrete example of a high-end, well-armoured unit that doesn't have at least 9 defense skill (which is the base for "veteran" quality units; "elite" ones get 11...).
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

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  13. #13

    Default Re: Antesignani?

    plus the extra point some barbarians (in practice, Celts and Germans) categorically get
    What kind of? "Barbarians", like their civilized counterparts, were last time I checked ordinary fighters specially if we are talking about Lugoae, which are levies without any sort of drilling and very elementary skills regardless of their provenience. Celtic militias were never famous for their good training.

    "Agility" might warrant the addition of a single point or two, but I'm still lost on how Hoplitai and the Cohors Reformata only get 8 while these levies get far, far more.

  14. #14
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antesignani?

    Write that down to being, on the average, bigger and stronger thanks to more balanced and protein-heavy diet and healthy living in the woods. And I guess combative physical sports were pretty common too. *shrug* Hey, I didn't make the rules. I just cross-check the numbers add up like they should.

    Also, I rather suggest you take a look at the defense score totals of, say, said Lugoae and similar unarmoured low-and-light troops and compare them to well-equipped and -trained folks like the Reformata and whatnot. The agility bonus - generally not given to anything with armour value over 8, IIRC, except some *really* elite bodyguard types - is there chiefly to allow for the fact IRL even unarmoured troops were actually sorta difficult to kill in hand-to-hand as long as they were fighting back; at least part of which was due to the certain benefits of nimble and unencumbered movements. (Properly designed armour doesn't restrict you much, but it *is* more or less heavy and depending on the design disallows a variety of posture shifts and whatnot.) Particularly the open-order types with room to maneuver.
    Compensation, essentially, to fudge the system in order to get the desired results. I'll remind you it's not like the levies and whatnot stood much chance in a straight fight with quality troops regardless...
    Last edited by Watchman; 12-23-2008 at 00:58.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

    -Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

  15. #15

    Default Re: Antesignani?

    And I guess combative physical sports were pretty common too. *shrug* Hey, I didn't make the rules. I just cross-check the numbers add up like they should.
    So as in the Classical Mediterranean. Of course, if we consider that Celtic lands were becoming gradually more urbanised in the EB timeframe, the larger urban populations presumably levied for war would probably live on some sort of trade or agriculture as opposed to the "in the woods" figure, whatever that means, and not much different from a Greco-Roman levy in "strenght" or whatever differential a rugged life could make.

    But still I agree that given the limitations of the engine and such the figures are in general good for balance, however I disagree that such differentials between the skill of Lugoae and the line Greek Hoplites, for example, should exist for anything more than that, and just that.

  16. #16
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antesignani?

    Eh, it's actually a question of local ecology, climate, population density etc. For example a 16th-century upper-class French traveler observed in his diary that a full Mediterranean meal roughly amounted to what was regarded as appetizers north of the Alps...
    Plus, animal protein - a key "building block" when size growth is concerned - was always in a particularly short supply around the Med. Not too much to hunt, not much to fish in the sea, not that good conditions for raising pigs and cattle for slaughter... Conversely, north of the Alps there was far more of all of that (particularly fish, on the shores of the Atlantic and the Baltic) for much more dispersed populations.

    Also, recall that the defense skill score does not entirely stem from out-and-out ability to ward off blows with your shield and weapon, but also general readiness and ability to simply get out of the way of attacks - something that's generally easier when not weighed down by armour. And also something you're going to pay that much more keen attention to when there's nothing to stop anything that connects...

    Mind you, not every unit that under this logic was given the "agility" bonus due to considerations of inter-unit balance. Bataroas (the helmeted, shirt-wearing Gallic longsword guys) are and example, as the bonus would've driven their defense score total to a number unecceptably high for their price range and compared to some other, better equipped and hence more expensive, Celtic units. Botroas (the spiky-haired, topless longsword dudes) on the other hand duly got it.
    Last edited by Watchman; 12-23-2008 at 02:03.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

    -Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

  17. #17

    Default Re: Antesignani?

    For example a 16th-century upper-class French traveler observed in his diary that a full Mediterranean meal roughly amounted to what was regarded as appetizers north of the Alps...
    I would take that with a grain of salt, though. Cultural perception of food is not negligible and the larger use of meat north of the Alps as one of the main parts of the diet as opposed to south of it might have awaken the preconception that the more vegetarian oriented Southern diets were like the "appetizers" to the North.

    Plus, animal protein - a key "building block" when size growth is concerned - was always in a particularly short supply around the Med. Not too much to hunt, not much to fish in the sea, not that good conditions for raising pigs and cattle for slaughter... Conversely, north of the Alps there was far more of all of that (particularly fish, on the shores of the Atlantic and the Baltic) for much more dispersed populations.
    Take the face nutritional value, and many other important aspects to notice. First, the lack of animal protein in no way means a lack of healthy nutrition to the Mediterranean population, that even modern vegetarian diets can replace the protein lost with the lack of meat and that the supposedly larger "size" of Transalpine and northern populations, which is AFAIK supported by scarce evidence and samples, does not by any means translate into immediate battle superiority since no size or strenght will save you from being killed by a slashing sword or a piercing spear. I would rather say that the contrary is true: smaller and nimble warriors could dodge attacks better and faster than large and cumbersome brutes, if that's the model we would follow.

    Also, recall that the defense skill score does not entirely stem from out-and-out ability to ward off blows with your shield and weapon, but also general readiness and ability to simply get out of the way of attacks - something that's generally easier when not weighrd down by armour. And also something you're going to pay that much more keen attention to when there's nothing to stop anything that connects...
    I think that holds true only for the heaviest armor: mail and heavy plates and the likes. Leather and linen cuirasses seem light enough to allow reasonable movement freedom and do not hamper the movement of a phisically modest warrior as much as heavier armor would. And as for the "psychological" readiness, well, any line infantry would be aware that dodging is still 100% better than absorbing it no matter the circumstances.

    Mind you, not every unit that under this logic was given the "agility" bonus due to considerations of inter-unit balance. Bataroas (the helmeted, shirt-wearing Gallic longsword guys) are and example, as the bonus would've driven their defense score total to a number unecceptably high for their price range and compared to some other, better equipped and hence more expensive, Celtic units. Botroas (the spiky-haired, topless longsword dudes) on the other hand duly got it.
    See my post above: other than engine limitations I see no reason to apply the skill ratings as they are now.
    Last edited by A Terribly Harmful Name; 12-23-2008 at 02:25.

  18. #18
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Antesignani?

    Quote Originally Posted by Basileos ton Ellenon View Post
    I would take that with a grain of salt, though. Cultural perception of food is not negligible and the larger use of meat north of the Alps as one of the main parts of the diet as opposed to south of it might have awaken the preconception that the more vegetarian oriented Southern diets were like the "appetizers" to the North.
    The context made it rather clear he was referring to the whole course simply being, well, lighter than comparable servings in the North. (Probably worth noting that German cuisine in particular was noted to be "hearty" those days...) Plus it tends to be borne out in the regional cuisines to this day, far as I know, particularly the upper haute cuisine end of the spectrum which is largely derived from the creations of the chefs for the aristocracy of old.

    Many a commentator over the centuries also marveled at the hardiness of the Mediterranean folk, who seemed to be able to survive on amazingly small amounts of food. The observation seems to often pop up in Central European authors' appraisals of Ottoman soldiery, for example.
    Take the face nutritional value, and many other important aspects to notice. First, the lack of animal protein in no way means a lack of healthy nutrition to the Mediterranean population, that even modern vegetarian diets can replace the protein lost with the lack of meat...
    Eh, vegetable diets are nutritional enough. But there plain is a lot of stuff you don't get from them, at least, not without adding in all kinds of stuff the ancient Mediterranean folks flat out didn't have access to. Isn't the usual replacement source of protein soy...?
    ...and that the supposedly larger "size" of Transalpine and northern populations, which is AFAIK supported by scarce evidence and samples...
    Far as I know it's well enough borne out in surviving skeletal samples what effects differences in nutrition level and diet have on average heights and builds you know. Eg. from what the archeologists have gleaned from skeletons, graves etc. here in Finland, male average height here was in the environs of 170 cm from the Stone Age until after the Middle Ages. Plus observable in modern demographic statistics too for that matter - the average height over here has gone up by at least 10 cm or so since WW2, on account of a major improvement in quality of life and better food. Far as I know similar phenomenom is evident among the Japanese and other more affluent Asian nations - I know I've occasionally seen Japanese tourist girls in their late teens who rival my height, and I'm a 180cm Nordic...

    Plus the ancient authors commenting on the size of the northern barbarian warriors likely weren't pulling it out of their asses. Such claims are after all - AFAIK - not made of *nearly* all enemies or barbarians they butted heads with, just the Transalpine ones...

    ...does not by any means translate into immediate battle superiority since no size or strenght will save you from being killed by a slashing sword or a piercing spear.
    True enough, although bigger size amounts to more sheer body mass which absorbs injuries somewhat better. Not by much, but slightly. More importantly, however, it correlates relatively directly to raw baseline "horsepower" (which of course still needs to be developed with exercise - which most people got by physical labour - and training, but anyways) which in turn is helpful in delivering stronger blows and conversely warding off those of your opponent. Or at least the other guy has harder time pushing you around and otherwise gaining a similar situational superiority on you.
    Bigger size also means longer limbs. To give a comparision, back around the World Wars the Japanese consciously designed their rifle and bayonet longer than was necessary to help their soldiers (whose average height was in the 150-160 cm range those days... speaks a bit about the average nutrition level of the nation; heck, bad eyesight - from which the stereotype of bespectacled "Jap" derives - was relatively common owing to deficiencies in Vitamin A supply...) match bigger Westerners in a bayonet fight.

    ...I would rather say that the contrary is true: smaller and nimble warriors could dodge attacks better and faster than large and cumbersome brutes, if that's the model we would follow.
    Right, because a lot of renowned warriors in history weren't unusually big and strong or anything. Size and bulk only get in the way if they're excessive (think modern bodybuilders) and you're not practised in moving properly - and even emergency militias received *some* level of training. It is certainly true that superior skill and speed go a very long way to negating any advantage in size and strenght - especially in armed combat - but that hinges very heavily on the *superiority* bit. If skill and speed are about equal, then obviously the bigger and stronger fellow holds an advantage - not necessarily a decisive one, but real nonetheless.
    And the less the level of skill of the combatants involved, the greater the edvantage of brute strenght and size - because the smaller fellow doesn't have the know-how to compensate and deal with it.

    Also, it's worth noting the big barbarians we're talking about lived in rather violent societies where all kinds of minor scuffles and raids were the rule not the exception, and even rank commoners as a result developed a relatively high degree of martial competence and pugnacious mindset. Tended to manifest in popular physical sports and other pasttimes too, many of whom were rather physically competitive and "full contact".

    All of which is borne out well enough in the EB system, really. While it may indeed be a bit arbitrary to give the burly barbarians of the North the bonus points they get, their poorly equipped militias still get slaughtered by actually skilled fighters nevermind now well-equipped ones. And although their more capable warriors have the skills to back up their physiques, they're wont to be rather outmatched by the soldiery of more "civilised" lands in war gear which obviously goes a rather long way mitigating that slight advantage...
    I think that holds true only for the heaviest armor: mail and heavy plates and the likes. Leather and linen cuirasses seem light enough to allow reasonable movement freedom and do not hamper the movement of a phisically modest warrior as much as heavier armor would.
    Eh, mail is flexible; like heavy cloth, although quite heavy. The issue is really more that many kinds of body armour are either heavy or relatively stiff and rigid (or both), neither of which is really good for your overall agility and maneuverability, metal greaves rather weigh down the legs, etc. And most of the stuff is rather hot to wear to boot, which both drains stamina and discourages excessive movement (to avoid additional heat build-up etc.).

    Hence, the somewhat arbitrary cap on total armour value above which it is a rare unit indeed that receives the agility bonus. IIRC I used 9+ as the break point - and that's little more than hard-leather/linothorax body armour and good helmet or some roughly comparable combination...

    In other words, the bonus normally only goes to the light troops that in any case need some kind of compensation to be able to face heavier equipped troops in-game as well as they quite often did IRL, due to the way the game engine works
    And as for the "psychological" readiness, well, any line infantry would be aware that dodging is still 100% better than absorbing it no matter the circumstances.
    Armour "forgives errors", as it were. One rather suspects the lack thereof focuses the mind nicely on the importance of making the most out of the unrestricted mobility light gear gives you...

    Insofar I know of, well-armoured troops on the other hand tended to fight more aggressively, devoting that much less attention to defense as they could better rely on their gear to keep them safe. In the game this is represented by the more armoured soldiers (and horses) having higher mass scores, meaning they're better able to push their foes back. Well, and the higher armour values tend to better keep them from getting killed in the process too.
    Last edited by Watchman; 12-23-2008 at 03:24.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

    -Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

  19. #19

    Default Re: Antesignani?

    Antesigani are probably my favorite unit for all the Romani. When used properly they devastate. With a bit of experience, they can become true Elites, able to go mano-a-mano with anything.
    They are used to flank and destroy. And woe to cavlary!

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