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Marching column layout

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Marching column layout

Postby ludzik » Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:05 am

So lets theorize a bit :) Lets say we have a small column that's a mix of mounted and foot soldiers, no supply wagons, all war party. They are on their way to a destination and while not necessarily expecting an attack they are ready for it (lets leave scouts out the mix for now as that would complicate things).

One more thing: mainly country road, easily fits 2 horsemen side by side and 3 foot soldiers shoulder to shoulder.

With that said, what do you think: 8 mounted, 20 foot soldiers (6 sword bearing, 14 pike bearing), 4 archers with two 2 mounted bringing up the rear - all traveling in a formation of 2 in a row? The assumption is that whatever attack comes, it would be most likely from the front or the side with rear being mostly clear as they have just traveled through that area.

I was considering putting the foot soldiers in 3 x formation but I figured it'd be harder for them to keep rank as the road gets narrow at times.

Thoughts? :)
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Re: Marching column layout

Postby AK_Brickster » Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:43 pm

I would say mounted units in front, pikemen behind, and swordsmen bringing up the rear.

My thought process is that you want your knights to be able to use their speed, and they can't do that if they are stuck behind your ground units. After the knights, the next thing you'd be worried about is a charge from other mounted units. You want your pikemen to be in front so that they can take on any horsemen who break through the initial charge of your own mounted knights. Swordsmen are for hand to hand, and they'd have time to move into an engagement position if a enemy on foot comes into view.
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Re: Marching column layout

Postby Albatross_Viking » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:36 pm

Depending on the surrounding countryside and the likeliness of an ambush from the flanks, I would (using the numbers in your example) be inclined to place a pike on each side of the road with an archer/swordsman in the middle of the line. This way, an attack from either side will be met by a double row of spears, as the far side pikes should be able to reach past the middle row of swords and bows. With 14 pikes, 8 swords and 2 bows, the ones in the middle row will march slightly closer to each other, meaning the pikes will be spread out a bit.
Though somewhat dangerous, the gaps can easily be closed if a battle occurs, and this also makes it easier to change formation into rows of 2 men whenever a short distance of the road turns narrower, as well as leaving room for the swordsmen to advance beyond the pikes if needed.

The cavalry would be placed mainly afront to give proper maneuverability with a few, maybe 2-3, behind the column to counter occasional opposing cavalry and, particularly, fan out to get rid of potential archers attacking the infantry.
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Re: Marching column layout

Postby ludzik » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:32 pm

AK_Brickster wrote:I would say mounted units in front, pikemen behind, and swordsmen bringing up the rear.

My thought process is that you want your knights to be able to use their speed, and they can't do that if they are stuck behind your ground units. After the knights, the next thing you'd be worried about is a charge from other mounted units. You want your pikemen to be in front so that they can take on any horsemen who break through the initial charge of your own mounted knights. Swordsmen are for hand to hand, and they'd have time to move into an engagement position if a enemy on foot comes into view.

Very good point about the pikemen following the mounted. Not sure about having no horsemen in the back of the column as it'd be good to have a "quick response" force able to deflect a surprise attack before the column can reorganize itself.
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Re: Marching column layout

Postby ludzik » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:41 pm

Albatross_Viking wrote:Depending on the surrounding countryside and the likeliness of an ambush from the flanks, I would (using the numbers in your example) be inclined to place a pike on each side of the road with an archer/swordsman in the middle of the line. This way, an attack from either side will be met by a double row of spears, as the far side pikes should be able to reach past the middle row of swords and bows. With 14 pikes, 8 swords and 2 bows, the ones in the middle row will march slightly closer to each other, meaning the pikes will be spread out a bit.
Though somewhat dangerous, the gaps can easily be closed if a battle occurs, and this also makes it easier to change formation into rows of 2 men whenever a short distance of the road turns narrower, as well as leaving room for the swordsmen to advance beyond the pikes if needed.

The cavalry would be placed mainly afront to give proper maneuverability with a few, maybe 2-3, behind the column to counter occasional opposing cavalry and, particularly, fan out to get rid of potential archers attacking the infantry.


I have considered it briefly in the past but mostly from an organizational (who follows who) perspective as the archers have been brought by a different clan (working on naming conventions at the moment ) along with 3 horsemen and they used to form rear half of the center column. On the other hand, if I reform the column based on the duties I could have something like this

H H
H H
H H
H H
P S P
P A P
P A P
P A P
P A P
P S P
P S P
S S S
H H

Hmm.... I need to recruit (from bricklink :) ) more pikemen :) I'm actually tempted to move more mounted into the rear

H H
H H
H H
P S P
P A P
P A P
P A P
P A P
P S P
P S P
S S S
H H
H H

The above makes the force more balanced front and back and in case of an ambush leaves the mounted able to flank and maneuver accordingly (front to rear or rear to front). Having not considered the thread from mounted enemy in my original layout I am concerned with the lone 3 sword bearing soldiers in the rear..... Maybe I need to recruit from bricklink more horses with saddles? :) :) :)

The other problem I have, I just stripped the castle I'm building of all of its defenders.... ugh.......
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