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Autor Thema: Special Formation of Gondor and Arnor Spearmen  (Gelesen 1398 mal)

NoldorSithLordsShipwright

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Special Formation of Gondor and Arnor Spearmen
« am: 27. Jul 2018, 09:39 »
The Basic Idea

I believe that the current Porcupine is an ill-fitting formation for the basic spear units of Gondor and Arnor and should be replaced with the Shield Wall, which the basic swordsmen and elite infantry of both Gondor and Arnor already have.

Why Porcupine is Good for factions like Rohan and Isengard

The Porcupine is primarily for the purposes of denying the enemy the opportunity to flank the unit in question. Such a formation fits Isengard and Rohan better than Gondor and Arnor, as the open lands of Rohan provide many opportunities for cavalry to maneuver and attack that an infantry army needs to defend against. Rohan infantry must be on the defense for Isengard’s wargs while the Uruk-hai need to be prepared for the Rohirrim. If their spear infantry must have a specialized formation, then porcupine would be the ideal choice.

Why Shield Wall is better than Porcupine for Gondor

The Shield Wall is used to bring one’s defensive power all in one direction to block an enemy advance. Gondor’s main opponent in the lore, Mordor, doesn’t field much cavalry but trolls instead, which are not nearly as fast (meaning it’s easy for the shield wall to turn to prevent flanking) and tend to wade into the enemy ranks.

Gondor’s defenses also tend to funnel the enemy into predetermined paths, where a shield wall with all its defensive might facing one direction would be most useful. In the films, we only really see Gondor’s soldiers fight in Osgiliath, Minas Tirith, and the Black Gate. Both Osgiliath and Minas Tirith provided predetermined avenues for enemies to strike, funneling enemies through the streets of both cities into the waiting defenders. One notable example is the wall of spearmen that met the army of Mordor at the breached gate of Minas Tirith.

The Shield Wall very heavily favors Gondor’s and Arnor’s defensive strategy: a strong and sturdy line of defenders blocking the enemy, supported by archers (and maybe trebuchets) behind the lines. It also fits the spearmen more cohesively with the other infantry (Swordsmen, Tower Guard, Guardians of Arnor), and gives the spearmen additional protection against enemy infantry and monsters.

It also fits the offensive strategy of Gondor and Arnor: a slow, unstoppable advance, which the porcupine, being a static and purely defensive formation, cannot support. Shifting to porcupine would require that advance to stop, breaking their momentum. This is a problem for Gondor and Arnor specifically because the only cavalry they can deploy to make up for the lost momentum are the expensive knights. Rohan doesn’t suffer this problem because their cheap and numerous cavalry allow them to make up for the loss of momentum in their infantry if they need to stop. Isengard can use their shield bearers to protect their infantry from cavalry and don’t need to stop their advance at all. Men in shield wall can still maintain their advance, if not the speed of their advance. Gondor players will also gain a cheaper and more mobile (but substantially weaker) version of the Tower Guard earlier in the game.

Balance Concerns

There may be some concerns about balance, as Gondor is already a powerful faction for turtling, but I think that the vulnerability to flanking while in shield wall as opposed to porcupine, weakening an offensive march, balances out the additional armor.

Spear Wall/Syntagma - Alternative Suggestion by FilipGeorg95

Zitat
So, because Gondor usually refers as a "beacon" of the Man civilization in Middle-Earth ( something like real life Atlantean legacy from the Plato's writings and parts of SPQR/ Greek city states ) the best solution for their spear infantry by me should be something very similar to "Syntagma" or "Phalanx" formation where the first 2 lines will hold their spears pointed towards the enemy while the rest of the battalion will hold them above the heads and shoulders of the main line.
« Letzte Änderung: 31. Jul 2018, 03:15 von NoldorSithLordsShipwright »

FilipGeorg95

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Re: Special Formation of Gondor and Arnor Spearmen
« Antwort #1 am: 30. Jul 2018, 14:51 »
Your idea is pretty much fitting for a organized faction that favors both military tradition and history that dates back to the glorious days of Numenor. But since I study history I would urge that the whole concept of the 'shield-wall" is more fitting for the peoples of the North in Tolkien's Universum simply because the Eorlings and pretty much all of Rovanion is based on Scandinavian and Germanic peoples that used the formations with great advantage mostly against other assaulting infantry ( the most famous shield wall was undoubtedly broken in Hastings, 1066 where the Norman cavalry literally smashed the Saxon infantry line ).
So, because Gondor usually refers as a "beacon" of the Man civilization in Middle-Earth ( something like real life Atlantean legacy from the Plato's writings and parts of SPQR/ Greek city states ) the best solution for their spear infantry by me should be something very similar to "Syntagma" or "Phalanx" formation where the first 2 lines will hold their spears pointed towards the enemy while the rest of the battalion will hold them above the heads and shoulders of the main line. Another solution in order to maximize the effect of their military tradition and usage of this unit is simply to give them sort of passive/active ability that will increase the defensive capabilities when multiple spear units are present. In other words, organization and order results in increased armor protection for all soldiers next to you ( basic concept of "Syntagma" and "Phalanx" ) but results in very slow movement. So, this would be a tricky one: if used for offensive, the player will lose any advantage of maneuvering and taking key targets, but, used for defending ( best for bases and narrow passes ) the enemy will deff. collide like water on a rock.

NoldorSithLordsShipwright

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Re: Special Formation of Gondor and Arnor Spearmen
« Antwort #2 am: 31. Jul 2018, 03:12 »
I like your suggestion of the Syntagma formation. It fits my reasons just as well if not better than the Shield Wall does, as it aligns with Gondor's and Arnor's defensive playstyle, and better fits the scene at the gate of Minas Tirith.

To make it more interesting and to take inspiration from the historical phalanx, which was nigh unbreakable from the front by even other infantry (not counting enemy phalanxes and the later Roman Hastati), and also medieval spear/pike walls, perhaps instead of a general armor bonus (which will come with the Spellbook anyway) perhaps they gain armor against infantry specifically, but come with a significant speed malus, reflecting its nature as a defensive formation.

As an active or passive ability, though, I think it fits less. Gondor and Arnor's thing is that their core units all have specialized formations, reflected by Gondor's upcoming Central Spell: Formations of Gondor.

Thank you for your response! I'll include the Syntagma (maybe under the name of Spear Wall) in my original post as an alternative to the Shield Wall.

Halbarad

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Re: Special Formation of Gondor and Arnor Spearmen
« Antwort #3 am: 31. Jul 2018, 10:31 »
I like the idea to exchange porcupine formation with something like a shieldwall/phalanx. So I'm for your suggestion. I would like it if the player could put swords and spears into formation with just one click. So like he can upgrade them together he can also change formation into shield wall with both units together.

FG15

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Re: Special Formation of Gondor and Arnor Spearmen
« Antwort #4 am: 31. Jul 2018, 10:48 »
The Porcupine Formation is exactly the way such a Stygma Formation would look implemented. And Towerguards already have the Shieldwall Formation. And the Pelargir Monsterslayer already have a Formation against Monsters.

Also, there is a reason, why every faction has the porcupine Formation, because it represents what normal spearman are supposed to do. Stop the cavalry. If the Spearman live after a Cavalry assault, but the archers behind them are dead, there is clearly something wrong.
Besides Gondors enemy were the Haradrim and Easterlings as well in the lore, who used quite a lot of Cavalry.

NoldorSithLordsShipwright

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Re: Special Formation of Gondor and Arnor Spearmen
« Antwort #5 am: 1. Aug 2018, 06:39 »
The Syntagma differs from a porcupine in that each member of the battalion is oriented forward whereas in the porcupine, the deployment is in a circle facing outward. The porcupine is a completely static formation whereas the proposed Syntagma would still be able to move.

I'm aware that the Tower Guard have Shield Wall, but giving regular spearmen a shield or spear wall would provide a cheaper alternative to the Tower Guard and a more versatile alternative to infantry, as it can deal with both cavalry and monsters, though it likely will not be as effective as either the tower guard in general (as those are nearly invincible against non-heroic units, even other infantry, including swordsmen) or the swordsmen in dealing with other infantry. It would ideally not supplant the Pelargir spearmen either in their specialized role, but be closer to a jack of all trades.

It would also help the Team's goal to increase the spearmen fielded, providing further incentive to recruit them.

There are also a few factions without the Porcupine. Lorien, Angmar, and all three Dwarven Realms make use of spearmen without access to the porcupine and are able to deal with enemy cavalry just as well as those with the formation.

Zitat
If the Spearman live after a Cavalry assault, but the archers behind them are dead, there is clearly something wrong.

I think this is even more reason for a mobile, responsive formation for spearmen rather than the static formation of the porcupine. The ability of the cavalry to flank depends on the ability of the spearmen to react quickly. Porcupines are immobile in game and don't react automatically unless the enemy is right in front of them. A shield wall still can move.

You do have a point about the Haradrim and the Easterlings.

OakenShield224

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Re: Special Formation of Gondor and Arnor Spearmen
« Antwort #6 am: 1. Aug 2018, 13:55 »
You mention Lorien and Angmar. They have the best anti-cavalry options in the game.
Angmar has the Carn Dum pikes which will kill any cavalry or monsters that run into them, and do massive damage to mounted heroes as well.
Lorien has the Palace Guards which are very strong, the Elk Riders that can deal bonus damage to cavalry (and knock them down with Silverthorns) and multiple stuns/fear effects to disrupt the cavalry charges.

NoldorSithLordsShipwright

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Re: Special Formation of Gondor and Arnor Spearmen
« Antwort #7 am: 3. Aug 2018, 07:15 »
While that is true of Lorien and Angmar (and Ered Luin to a lesser extent, given their Steadfastness passive ability), is that also true of Erebor and the Iron Hills? Neither of their Phalanxes possess the porcupine or otherwise have anything making them particularly advantageous against cavalry compared to spearmen of other factions.

This applies especially for the Iron Hills, as their phalanx is the only spear unit that faction can access. In fact, their special formation is the Shield Wall, which I imagine is taken from the film where the dwarves faced the army of the Woodland Realm and the invading army of Dol Guldur.

Gondor Spearmen gaining Shield Wall wouldn't really overlap with the roles of other units of Gondor while ensuring that they get a formation that toughens them up without completely immobilizing them. They would be able to take on cavalry and monsters unlike Swordsmen while remaining comparatively less effective against infantry. They would be cheaper, more numerous, and more mobile than the Tower Guards, especially with their respective formations, allowing them to better respond to quick enemy cavalry maneuvers while being comparatively less tanky. They wouldn't be specializing against monsters, thus leaving monsters the specialty of the Pelargir spearmen.

Arnor Spearmen are in the same position as the Iron Hills Phalanx - the only spear unit in use by the faction.