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"Clash of Empires unit depth" Topic

Clash of Empires

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Simon Boulton25 Jan 2013 4:41 a.m. PST

I'm quite interested in these rules and understand they are similar to WAB in some aspects.
I'm hoping someone will be able to tell me how many ranks can pike or spear armed infantry fight in combat and what is the rank depth bonus for infantry units?
Many thanks,

TMPWargamerabbit25 Jan 2013 9:09 a.m. PST

Several game examples on blog: link
If you poke about you will see the common formations for a typical COE game.

For the ranks bonus question. Basically the same as WAB 2.0. Most close order is front rank plus two additional ranks for the +1 for CO formation and +2 for ranks. Open order formation don't receive the CO bonus when fighting.

There are some additional rules covering ranks. Greek "Deep" phalanx receive +1 if 5 ranks or more depth with restricted width.

Some close order cavalry receive a rank bonus.

If 4 or more ranks and you "out rank" the opponent, then you receive a +1 to ML if forced to test morale. Commonly seen with barbarians in our games.

Weapon range in HtH similar to WAB2.0. Assuming no disruption effects..Pikes 2 ranks fight, long spear one (moved) or two ranks (stationary) with historical exceptions for two ranks if moving, Basic javelin/spear one rank with some rerolls.

I play both WAB and COE. There are some differences but after playing both games I have found even if I forget the differences the games flow. With the slow disappearance of WAB, Our group of long term ancients gamers switched from WAB to COE about 2 years ago.


Mars Ultor25 Jan 2013 10:20 a.m. PST

Thanks for bring this up, Simon – I have just about the same question regarding pike formations. I'm almost about to start a Pyrrhic/Macedonian army and was wondering what others used as a decent pike formation. I'd still like others to chime in about pike formations, not only for CoE but also for Hail Caesar and War & Conquest too, if possible.

CoE has a further rule about number of ranks and files in a viable phalanx. As I don't have the book with me, I'll have to look it up, but I don't think one can have a long, thin formation…seems I remember it had to be nearly squared, but maybe someone who knows it better can chime in.

brevior est vita25 Jan 2013 10:58 a.m. PST

Hail Caesar is a little different from the others in this respect. All calculations are by unit rather than by figure. Provided that unit frontages are roughly consistent, the number of figures or ranks per unit is left largely to player discretion.

The rulebook does recommend a depth of four ranks of figures for pike phalanxes, but this has little effect on game play. Instead, there are special rules for phalanxes, as well as units armed with long spears or pikes, to help reflect their historical abilities.

Lord Raglan25 Jan 2013 11:09 a.m. PST


Have a look at War and Conquest first – I have played CoE and WaC, IMHO the latter wins hands down.


Simon Boulton25 Jan 2013 12:01 p.m. PST

Guys, many thanks for your reply. Haven't done much ancients in a while but all the plastic stuff is tempting me. Is interesting that there now seems several sets of rules that you can use a WAB "style army" with.

Sounds like a four deep pike block would be okay?

Lord Raglan25 Jan 2013 12:52 p.m. PST


I have played Successor armies using War and Conquest, it offers good results: link


Stuart at Great Escape Games30 Jan 2013 5:34 p.m. PST

I play three deep with most phalanxes, four deep if the troops need a bit of stiffening up. Deep phalanxes count as normal ones unless they are as wide as they are deep.

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