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Thread: [EB 1.2]: Baktria vs Saka on open ground

  1. #1
    Morale: Impetuous Member OctoJob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Athens, Greece

    Default [EB 1.2]: Baktria vs Saka on open ground

    Hi all,

    I'm interested in developing an effective military strategy to counter the Saka as the Baktrians on open ground. So far, in two attempts of the Baktrian campaign (both in Hard for both combat and campaign modes), I've followed a strategy which involves scouting the map with my spies for possible ambushes and storming enemy cities. This is because the Baktrians hold a significant advantage against the Saka when defending walled cities: you just place your phalangitai against any breached openings and have the enemy spend their cavalry against your spears. Provided that you don't have more openings than phalanxes, the Saka cavalry advantage is effectively wasted, and if you have units of Persian Archers, those can effectively pick off some ram-bearing units or even destroy a ram or two. Furthermore, the abundance of cavalry units in any given Saka army means that there are few foot units to push the rams and those are lightly armored (typically Subeshi archers). This means that you can sally forth with some cavalry units, if available, and further disrupt the enemy's approach towards your walls.

    However, it is often the case (for example, when attempting to disrupt enemy reinforcements) that you will have to fight the Saka on open ground. I find it tough to mobilize my foot units (archers, heavy spearmen, light spearmen, heavy skirmishers) in an effective battle formation before the enemy horse archers have effectively reduced my army's morale and numbers to unmanageable lows. When in phalanx formation, the Pantodapoi Phalangitai appear to fend off enemy arrows well, and so do my Baktrian cataphracts; however, simply fending off arrows without any possibility of catching the enemy doesn't do much for me. This, of course, has been a historical issue with all Hellenistic and later Roman / European forces against Central Asian nomad armies and can probably be reproduced by people playing with the Seleucids against the Parthians, for instance.

    In any case, I'm interested in any opinions about how this issue can be dealt with.



  2. #2
    EBII Hod Carrier Member QuintusSertorius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: [EB 1.2]: Baktria vs Saka on open ground

    My experience against horse archers was the Sauromatae, rather than Saka, but I avoided units which had less than 10 armour, which all but negated their arrows. The only less-armoured units were local foot archers, who outranged them. I put an armoured wall up, put my archers behind that wall, and snapped out at any cavalry who got close with my medium lancers.

    Any unarmoured lights (unless long-ranged foot archers) are a waste of time, unless you like bringing an arrow soak along. I had Bosporan Heavy Archers and Kretan Archers as two of my foot archer units, longer-ranged than the horse archers and with enough armour to survive a prolonged shower. I also had Scythian Foot Archers, who relied much more on the well-armoured units in front of them for cover. In any case they were cheap and easily replaced. Not sure you have access to anything but Heavy Persian Archers, and too many of them starts to feel exploitative.

    The job of your heavy infantry is to protect your foot archers, and then absorb the inevitable charges when the horse archers run out of arrows. Pantodapoi Phalangitai are too lightly armoured to do this, all it takes is for a unit to ride around behind them and they will get slaughtered.
    It began on seven hills - an EB 1.1 Romani AAR with historical house-rules (now ceased)
    Heirs to Lysimachos - an EB 1.1 Epeiros-as-Pergamon AAR with semi-historical houserules (now ceased)
    Philetairos' Gift - a second EB 1.1 Epeiros-as-Pergamon AAR

  3. #3

    Default Re: [EB 1.2]: Baktria vs Saka on open ground

    Pikewall+foot archers+Cataphracts+Bactrian Medium Cavalry=Win.
    "however, simply fending off arrows without any possibility of catching the enemy doesn't do much for me."
    But seriously why do you bother ?They will atack sooner or later once their quivers are empty and you will only take low casulities when doing it right.Even if they should withdraw ,march to their cities while fending of the attacks and make them pay.

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