Chapter 18: Appendix (iii)

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Chapter 18: Appendix (iii)

Post by ^Marcus Cornelius^ on Sat 31 May 2008, 11:30

18. Frequent Mistakes When Playing TW Multiplayer Games

..1 Introduction

In describing mistakes frequently done by players I shall follow the usual path used by this guide in previous chapters. That is parallel to the phases found in setting up and fighting a multiplayer game:
1. Selecting faction
2. Choosing units
3. Deploying on battlefield
4. Starting,
5. Fighting,
6. Ending the battle.

18.2 Hints in Selecting Factions

..2.1. Choose Competitive Factions

Unless you have particular historical or attitude preferences, avoid choosing not competitive faction. That is true particularly if you are new to the MP game.
Kelts and Goths are less competitive than others if not properly used.

..2.2. Choose Easy to Use Faction If You are New

Romans (Eastern & Western) are easier to use than others. They can be used statically, because they have great fire power and strong armour.
Other barbarian faction are strong: Lombardi, Alemanni, Burgundii for example. But they can perform better if used with mobility.
If you are new and do not yet have a good skill in moving and employing units, it is better if you choose an easy and static army. This could help you practising without immediate slaughter of your army and “ruining” the game to your team mates.

..2.3. Agree Faction with Your Team Mates

Agree with your team mates the faction to be chosen, in order that everyone got the right faction to accomplish specifical tasks.
Some are strong in cavalry, others in infantry, other in missiles. Choose a faction that fit the team strategy well and is complementary with your team mate factions.

Here some guidelines.
Strong in infantry: Western Empire, Eastern Empire, Lombardi, Burgundi, Alemanni, Saxons.
Strong in cavalry: Eastern Empire, Sassanids, Roxolani, Slavs, Huns.
Strong in Missiles: Eastern Empire, Lombardi, Burgundi, Alemanni, Roxolani, Slavs, Goths.

18.3 Hints in Selecting Units

..3.1. Choose a Balance Army Unless You Agree Else with Your Team Mates

Spam armies (all cavalry, all infantry) can be easily beaten buy a good balanced army.
That is because cavalry costs much and can be beaten buy cheap spearmen.
If you have all infantry you can be easily flanked too.

..3.2. Choose Good Archers: In Quality and Quantity

Winning the shootout phase can give you a great advantage. Expetially if you did not plan a sudden attack and a rush at the beginning but you expected a long phase made of skirmishing and moving to gain position in advantage to shoot.
If you want to have chance to win the shootout you have to choose good archers, both in quantity and in quality: at least six units of upgraded archers in weapon and armour.

..3.3. Choose Artillery If Allowed If You Are Going To Be Static

If the game allows artillery, it is better for to you take some, one or two onagers, or you will take shots from distance without being in the condition to reply, losing initiative in the shootout phase. That is expetially true if you planned to have a static game with few moves and you did not plan to be aggressive and to rush enemy at the beginning.

18.4 Hints in Deploying

..4.1. Deploy As You Are Just Starting Missile Phase

Deploy your units as you are going to be when you are in front of enemy. If you do so you will be able to move your entire army with a single drag and drop of the mouse. Moving if you are attacked will be easier too.

..4.2. Missile Units in Front

Put your missile units (archers and horse archers) as first line in two to four rows. They can shoot as soon enemy is in range.

..4.3. Back Your ArchersMissile Units in Front

Put some cavalry and spearmen to back your archers. If your foot archers are attacked by enemy cavalry you have to defend them. Failing in this could cause immediate lost of missile war and game will be seriously compromised.

..4.4. Do Not Deploy Too Far from Your Team Mates

Do not deploy far from your mates. That could cause time passing by before regrouping together and a risk to be doubled.

..4.5. Do Not Deploy Too Near to Enemy Line

Do not deploy too near enemy lines. You could be immediately shot by enemy artillery and long ranged archers. You could even be targetted by a sudden enemy charge and rush without having enough time to organize a defence with your team mates.

18.5 Mistakes in Moving

..5.1. Not To Communicate With Your Team Mates the Approaching To Enemy Strategy

Better if you communicate your thoughts and next moves to allies. There is nothing worst than an allie acting like an indipendent army. If you approach enemy alone and expect your allie to understand what you have in your mind without having talked to them, you will be the cause of defeat with no excuse.

..5.2. Being Separated From Your Team Mates

A team has to act as one. Act separated from your allies only if you have a clear plan that helps you to reach and fight with them when the skirmish and the main fight occurs. You must not miss the fight, or your mates will be doubled/tripled and the next step will be your army with no chance to survive because overwhelmed by numbers.

..5.3. Moving in Range of Missile Units

When you move just in front of enemies deployed, just do it when you are safe and you are sure missile enemy units cannot reach your moving units with their volleys.
That is expetially true if you are marching aside and shifting to the flank of an enemy army well drawn up and ready: they could quickly move a bit ahead and start shooting at your units not ready to respond. Volleys taken with no replies are a great advantage in missile warefare given to your enemy.

..5.4. Losing Heights

Moving in the first phases of the game has one objective only: taking an advantage position. Heights is the only clear advantage position on open ground. Move to gain heights. PreonWhen you move

..5.5. Running When Not Necessary

If you have time enough to move to your position without you and your allies being endangered by enemy, do it walking. Running cause your units to get fatigue, expetially armoured ones. Men tired get severe combat penalties.

..5.6 Walking When You Have to Hurry

If your mates are in trouble do not hesitate to run to reach them. If your are in trouble and risk a double, do not hesitate to run to gain safer position.

..5.7. Moving Army with Inf/spears Set in Shieldwall

Units set in shieldwall mode walk slowly and cannot run. So, when your are moving on the battlefield but your are not close to fight phases, keep the shieldwall mode switched off.

18.6 Mistakes in Skirmishing

..6.1. Not Using All of Your Missile Capacity, Resulting in a Loss of the Missile Warfare

The missile superiority by numbers applied can give you an advantage in kills far more superior than the difference between number of men at start. This means that even a little difference in archer number at start can make a big difference at the end of missile duel.
This means that it is not of any convenience if your archers are fewer or equal to enemy’s, keep some as reserve.
Use all of your archers since the beginning of skirmish phase.

..6.2. Not Using Your Archers with Efficiency and Efficacy

These are simple rules to follow to use your missile units with good results:
- put your units in line
- put your units in loose formation
- put your units in 2 to 4 lines maximum
- put your horse archers in Cantabrian Circle
- do not put a missile unit on another: 1 enemy volley will catch 2 of your units
- do not shoot with your unit at an angle: less efficiency.

..6.3. Archers Following Targets Unintentionally

If you target enemy units with your missile units and let them in engage at will mode, they will follow their targets moving on battlefield. That could be a not expected result: if your target is retreating behind enemy lines, your following target archers could find themselves too near to enemy lines and easy to be catched by mounted hunters.
After you have click on your target, put your archer on defend mode to prevent them from moving ahead.

..6.4. Not Backing Your Archers

You always have to defend your archers from hunting enemy cavalry. So back them with cavalry and spearmen, ready to run and catch anti-archer enemy cavalry. This require some micro-management: charge enemy incoming units with cavalry and spearmen, withdraw your units before loosing control when enemy gives up catching your archers, etc. But you cannot do without it.

..6.5. Getting Trapped in “The Catch My Archers” Trap

Some veterans use the “The Catch My Archers” Trap.
That trap works in this manner:
1. Some cavalry well armoured (cataphract, clibanarii) caharge your foot archers.
2. Your cavalry reacts hunting for enemy incoming cavalry.
3. Enemy withdraws cavalry and target your cavalry with his foot archer shots.
At the end of it, you lost some of your cavalry, the enemy is untouched.

To counter the trap you can:
1. Use your armoured cavalry to counter enemy cavalry. Result: a draw. Or
2. Put your archers in defend mode, back your archers close with your armoured infantry. Well armoured infantry are roman infantry. You can use spearmen if you are barbarian. Do not use axemen, because they are very vulnerable to missile shots. If enemy try to catch archers he loses cavalry. Result: some infantry lost for you, many knights lost for enemy if he dares catching your archers.

..6.6. Not Recalling Cavalry Hunting for Archers

You have to micro-manage yor cavalry hunting for archers. If you forget to withdraw them when they cannot catch archers without getting catched by enemy back units, you will loose your cavalry. So, use only cavalry in numbers that you are sure to control, when you are trying to catch foot archers.

..6.7. Being involved in an important melee with only a few units

Sometimes, during initial movement phase or skirmish phase a melee between cavalry can occur: for example it can be caused by an attempt to catch foot or horse archers . This can start as a few units involved and end as a crescendo of cavalry and infantry massed in a bigger melee.
Be ready to move in the melee all the unit you can send. The one that succeed in involving most of units wins the melee and gains a substatial advantage for the rest of the fight.

..6.8. Using Heavy Cav to chase Horse Archers

There is no use in trying to catch horse archers with heavy armoured cavalry. Only fatigue and shots by horse archers, you are too slow to reach them.

18.7 Mistakes in Melee

..7.1. The All in One Click Group

This is a mistakes frequently done by new players: a massive clik, after having selected all the army, on an enemy unit.
A veteran could easily reinforced the unit atacked with some of his and then use left units to flank and sorround the army. Disordered attacks do not suceed by rule and can beeasily countered.

..7.2. Charging Under Pilum Fire

A Roman army, or a Frank army and few others , has the capacity to throw weapon (pilum, axe, spear, dards, etc.) at will at incoming charging units. If you launch your axemen in a charge against a plumbatarii unit ready to fight and with at will mode switch on, they will catch two- three volleys before reaching their target. At half their strength they will loose.
So when you are going to charge ready to throw units you will have to draw their fire away from your valueble melee units.
This can be done using less valour units like farmers, cheap spearmen, limitanei, slaves, etc.
Put your unvaluable unit in front, charge the enemy, catch the fire, and then engage enemy with good melee troops almost untouched.

..7.3. Cavalry Versus Spearmen

Avoid enemy spearmen if you are manouvring cavalry. Cavalry must be use to flank enemy or to counter cavalry. They get sticked to spearmen and loose men and get fatigue.

..7.4. The All Employed - No Reserve Mistake

This is a comon mistake and easy to do even for veterans.

The situation is explained as follows.
1. You are envolved in the main melee with almost your units enployed and fighting. They are holding the fight well even if there is some uncertainty.
2 Only a couple of infantry and cavalry units lay not engaged, waiting for your orders.
3. Your enemy is more or less in the same situation, with some units left as reserves.
4. The fight is uncertain, and you decide to resolve throwing your reserves in the melee.
5. The enemy line holds to your last effort enough to allow enemy reserve to flank and charge in the back of your lines.
6. Your army collapses.

The lesson is: use your few reserve units only if it is necessary. Do not waste them. Be patient and use them only for filling dangerous gaps in your line or to flank and sorround enemy.

..7.5. Not Proper Use of Defend and Engage at Will Modes

Use defend mode if you want your men to hold front line longer.
Use engage at will mode if you want your men to kill faster.

..7.6. Standing Still Under Heavy Fire

If you lose the shootout phase or you are fronting a roman army with pila and dards (plumbatarii, comitatenses) you risk to catch heavy fire on your units and lose your strength.
At this point you have to make a quick decision. Probably the choice will be between these:
a) Get cover near in a safe and distant position behind an allie still strong in missile units, or
b) 1. Communicate that you have to attack enemy and agree with your allie the course of action,
2. Organize your army to attack: unit to catch fire in front, good melee units behind,
3. Launch the attack and engage in melee.

18.8 Mistakes in Chasing and Regrouping

..8.1. Chasing Not Dangerous Enemy Units

The enemy army is giving up. Some units are fleeing, but the main line sis still standing. Your cavalry, and some of your best infantry units broke the line and are starting chasing fleeing enemy units.
Fleeing unit are not a danger. Order your winning units to reverse their chase and turn towards the back of still standing and fighting enemy units. If you do that entire enemy army will collapse.If you do not that maybe the rest of enemy army will beat yours and some enemy units will survive, being much more difficult to be defeated now.
No use in chasing fleeing units if the battle is not totally won.

..8.2. Not Regrouping Before Last Melee

Always regroup before engaging in a second melee phase. The survivors need rest and reorganization before engaging again. The Wise Totalwar Player once said: “Don’t get carried away with small victories. Whatever kills might be earned in chasing are offset by the fatigue it cost you. If you get a moment to breath, take it and regroup.”
^Marcus Cornelius^

Number of posts : 93
Location : Italy
Registration date : 2008-05-31

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