The Specialist Arms Forum

Warmaster => [WM] Warmaster Fantasy Rules Questions => Topic started by: Dark Omen on August 14, 2019, 06:42:05 PM

Title: Pikemen, do they work?
Post by: Dark Omen on August 14, 2019, 06:42:05 PM
I have recently built a Dogs of War army and I am trying out four Pikemen units in a mainly Infantry based force.

Try as I might, I can't seem to get them to work. They die very quickly to enemy charges, as they have very wide flanks that are hard to protect. Their inability to support other infantry or be supported by them makes them very fragile.

I generally run two brigades side by side, each brigade has one unit of Crossbowmen in front of 2 units of Pikemen with a unit of Swordsmen protecting the exposed flank.

Typically the enemy charges the Crossbows and Swordsmen, kills them and then falls back, as the Pikemen cannot lend a hand in support. Next turn the enemy flanks the Pikemen with cavalry and rolls up the line.

Does anyone have any advice on how to make Pikemen work?

I'm considering house ruling that the "no support" rule is ignored, so that they operate like other infantry, just based along the short edge. This would actually make charging a unit with Pikemen in support a daunting prospect, instead of an easy kill as it currently stands.

All feedback appreciated.

Title: Re: Pikemen, do they work?
Post by: Aldhick on August 14, 2019, 08:12:40 PM
I don't see any point in putting xbowmen in fornt of the pikemen. When charged you waist fragile xbowmen as well as the pikemen who cannot lend them support nor use their main strength - twice as many stands in combat against common infantry.
Title: Re: Pikemen, do they work?
Post by: adaird153 on August 24, 2019, 06:18:42 PM
I mainly use Pike in Warmaster Ancients but the same principle applies - they can take support from Flanking stands and, of course, they count as defended if charged frontally by cavalry/chariots which is quite an advantage. Just spread your brigades out with xbow on the flanks to keep the cavalry away!
Title: Re: Pikemen, do they work?
Post by: Dave on August 24, 2019, 08:06:04 PM
There was a purposed change to pikemen in Rev, it didn't pass though as we came up with another option 0eopke liked better (and it was never put up for a vote).

I think it bpiled down to pikemen getting the charge bonus when charged.
Title: Re: Pikemen, do they work?
Post by: Dark Omen on August 26, 2019, 03:34:41 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys, I'm going to trial the following house rules for Pikemen to see if they are better, worse or overpowered.
Title: Re: Pikemen, do they work?
Post by: Dark Omen on August 26, 2019, 03:41:32 PM
Using the proposed rules,

In the first picture the Pikemen (P) now provide 6 support to the Crossbowmen (C) in front of them. This makes for a solid defensive line.

In the second picture, the Green Pikemen stands have been charged by the enemy red stands and are fighting to their front, gaining Defensive status. The Blue Crossbowmen stands to the flank provide support. The Crossed out Pikemen stands provide no support, neither does the Crossbow stand to the rear.

Essentially, these new rules make Pikemen very good when fighting to the front in open ground. However they are still useless in dense terrain and can easily be flanked.
So their battlefield role is essentially to hold open ground with their flanks protected by terrain or other units.
If they are used to attack the enemy they lose their greatest advantage (defended status) but can still generate a lot of attacks across a small frontage like cavalry.
Title: Re: Pikemen, do they work?
Post by: empireaddict on September 11, 2019, 09:09:33 PM
Based on limited experience of playing against them, Pikes do seem a bit under-powered in WMR for their points cost. However, I don't have any suggestions for fixing that. Suggest more playtest before jumping to any decisions.