How to use psiloi
Psiloi often are overlooked troops. Some players do not care too much about them. This is wrong. You can judge a player skill by the way he manages foot skirmishers.
Psiloi can have many tasks in an army:
Attack difficult terrain-
The role comes from their unique ability to move as a group in difficult going. This allows a minimal PiP expenditure, keeping up the tempo of an offensive if this is coordinated with troops outside the difficult area attacked. In such a role there is an important feature: being regular is a big advantage.
Irregular psiloi are inept in difficult going, and when the tactical situation require some maneuvering, they are less effective.
From this point of view RPsS are elite troops.
Ps can deploy in outer flank sector. This is a big advantage, expecially if enemy has few or no troops able to do that. Using the psiloi to advancing and gaining an outflanking position will force the opponent to react spending pips and using troops more useful elsewhere.
If the enemy army doesn’t defend, then the threat becomes a real danger. No good being attacked frontally with fast and nimble troops going around flanks and rear
This is another importat role: Psiloi can screen infantry to allow it the first charge versus enemy. If the opposed infantry have a quick kill capability, this is a very important task.
If both infantry corps have a psiloi screen, quality and/or number can make the difference, so plan accordingly and if disadvantaged, support the psiloi to let them prevail.
The psiloi screen can have also important offensive qualities: Ps S and O too can be effective in wear down and disorder Pk and Wb, helping a lot their heavy infantry side.
Player should deploy their skirmishers avoiding that a repulse or a recoil would disorder the heavy foot behind: this is important if the heavy infantry formation has more than 2 ranks.
A recoiling Ps starting in contact with the front of a deep infantry formation would stop its recoil between the second and third line. A sure spell of disaster if the infantry are pikes and are charged by enemy foot and having the low pip dice too. It is important to know how deploy Ps and when withdraw them.
Also mounted can benefit from close psiloi cooperation. Ps can be used as a screen to guaranty the first charge, albeit this often can be suicidal, or as a reserve in second line to plug holes and provide overlaps and flank protection. This is expecially useful when the mounted arm is costly, and maybe few in numbers. This is true also when the mounted are inept irregulars. The psiloi can be moved for just 1 pip.
In the picture is showed the ideal psiloi position, between 120 and 160 paces behind the cavalry to protect the flank and avoid the death zone even after a recoil from mounted.
There are some elements that are deadly to most of troops: El , WWg and Exp. Psiloi are their natural killers, and should and must be used to deal with them. Plan accordingly.
Someone said the number is a quality of its own. For Psiloi, expecially if inferior, this is true. Fielding many of them to attack a terrain with less enemies or advance in open areas to threat enemy flanks is very useful.
A flank march with a Ps horde is usually very effective for it is fast and can pass through every terrain feature, arriving to menace sectors supposedly safe.
These are the more usual ways to use these troops. Try to plan ahead new tactics and surprise your opponent. Low regarded troops are perfect to be successful in this task.