The skirmisher rules are fine. The skirmishers acted like they were supposed to act i.e., they behaved as they did historically and the results were historically accurate. You may wonder how I can come to that conclusion when talking about Umenzi or any fantasy army.
It goes like this: The counter to skirmishers are light fast troops which can match or defeat them in battle. The Umenzi have none of these, so I would call it a Umenzi problem, not a skirmisher problem. The Romans have skirmishers, but they aren't equal to Carthaginian skirmishers, same problem.
Historically, the Greeks had problems with their eastern foes because they wouldn't march out and fight them on Greek terms, which was heavy infantry running into each other. Instead they ambushed and ran. Interestingly, this is not unlike our War on Terror today, like the Greeks, we're calling the terrorists cowards and worse because they won't faces us in manly (foolish, considering the imbalance) face to face combat.
If you are complaining that valuable heavier units are being led on wild goose chases by skirmishers, then the skirmishers are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing.
If my skirmishers were isolating and defeating otherwise superior units, then they are doing what they are supposed to do.
People are too quick and ready to cry foul and nerf skirmishers. If you are going to face skirmishers then you had better come up with a counter. I believe that even with the same rules James would not fall prey to those same tactics. If he thinks the Umenzi can't beat the Carthage skirmishers then we can switch armies and I will show that it can be done, maybe not well or easily, but not so handily that we have to change the rules! We need many more test games before we can jump to any conclusions. Pardon my broken record retort, but we can't be having special rules for everything, skirmisher rules might not seem complicated if taken out of context, but as part of the whole picture it becomes one more thing. Last night, as James said, we still didn't have a grasp of the javelin rules. Yes, they are obvious when you read them, but I still find myself going back and checking on the difference between javelin and pila, on nearest enemy determination, on elevated target/firer modifiers...Everytime we have to go and look up a rule the fun factor goes down. Consider very carefully any additional modifications or changes. Maybe there should be a permanent thread on house rules. If any of these seem to come into general use then we can consider making an official rules change. Maybe these could become part of an "advanced game" that states right out that these rules provide increased simulation at a cost of playability.
Now, I'm going to try and set up a flikr account and post the battle report...