Monday, 21 May 2012
Those Pesky Skirmishers - Further Thoughts On Parum Pugna
Skirmishers always present a bit of a problem in wargames. On the one hand you want them to serve some useful purpose, on the other not to turn them into superheroes (such as The X Men, or Don Featherstone's Napoleonic British Rifle Brigade). In Parum Pugna the skirmishers can fire at any point during movement, alowing them to scamper into close range of a slower moving enemy and then run away again. Their impact in one off attacks is limited, but it mounts up over time and, as we saw during the Korepsis Pass refight, will eventually wear down even a well-equipped and disciplined foe (good historical examples would be the actions at Pylos and Lechaeum). One thing I wanted to avoid was allowing skirmishers to be deployed as kamikaze squads, hurled into close combat with massed enemy units with no chance of winning, but with every possibility of delaying the enemy for at least a round of melee. In Parum Pugna skirmishing troops are simply not allowed to initiate hand-to-hand combat. This is slightly Draconian, I know and there is reason to suggest that some feistier skirmishers - such as Alexander's Agrianes - should be allowed to wade into a weakened opponent, or to charge into their flanks or rear. I should add that in the rules heavier peltast types such as the Thracians are dealt with seperately, based in larger groups and able to skirmish and fight at close quarters.