Chapter 13: The Battle- First Moves

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Chapter 13: The Battle- First Moves

Post by ^Marcus Cornelius^ on Sun 08 Jun 2008, 14:18

13. The Battle: First Moves

13.1. Moving on Battle Field

Here we are. The battle is commencing.
Talk with your mates and decide an approach to enemy strategy.
Then drag your entire army to its destination.
In moving your army keep in mind these principles:

1. Move your army to reach your mate armies. A team has always to act as one.
2. Move your army as one, except for light or missile cavalry scouting enemy forces if needed.
3. Move your army at a slow pace if you can. Running means tiring. Tiring means less combact power in melee, less energy in throwing missile weapons, less energy to hold a position if attacked. But if enemy is going to reach you and try to double you, be quick to get protection close to your mates and run.
4. Move your army to get an advantage position. That is, try to win strategically even before fighting.

13.2. General Concept
In Total War MP games players all start with the same amount of denarii. i.e. on paper, when the games starts, none has an advantage, apart from personal skill and experience.
What is an advantage position? It is a combat situation that allows your team to fight starting with an advantage. Just like, you could have bought more men with your limited budget.
Example: 40 archers on a hill will kill enemies as if they were 60.

I see two types of advantage position:
- Location advantage (hill, edge, river)
- Manoeuvre advantage (2 v 1, 3 v 2, etc.)

Remember, strategy is the art of moving your forces to win the battle just before having to fight it.
Really, move to an advantage position and 90% of work is done. If you win the strategical battle the tactical win will follow as natural.

..13.2.1 Location Advantage

Location advantage is easy to understand.
Taking the top of a hill, deploying on edge of a slope will give your army advantage.
This advatage will work for you:
- During the skirmish phase
- During the melee phase.

Archers throwing arrows from a hill will have their range increased. The missile attack factor (i.e. precision of shot and armour piercing factor) will increase a bit too.
Infantry or cavalry fighting uphill will have their combact factors decreased a bit.

So, if it is possible, all players of a team should move together to immediately take a location advantage position. Or they should move to prevent enemy taking location advantage.
All factors equal, if you miss location advantage you loose the game. See picture for example.



..13.2.2. Manoeuvre Advantage

Manoeuvre advantage is less easy to understand and less easy to achieve.
Manoeuvre advantage means that your team manoeuvres to concentrate more friendly combact factor on less enemy combact factor for a certain period. During that period manoeuvre will cause more casualties in numbers to enemy than enemy can cause to your team. In that period a consistent part of enemy forces is standing unemployed and is not causing any harm or danger to friendly units.

If you attack 1 enemy unit (40 men) doubling it with 2 units (80 men), the overall losses for enemy will be 1 unit (40 men: routed or dead). But less then 1 full unit overall will be the losses for your team.
This can be applied both to missile duel and to melee.

This advantage is much more for melee troops, because with the extra unit you can try to flank. Units attacked on flank rout easily and cease fighting.

So manoeuvre advantage consists in doubling (2 armies v 1 army), tripling (3 armies v 1 army, 3 armies v 2 armies).
The two (or three) surviving armies will be able to attack the 1 (or 2) remaining enemy army almost at full strength. And that means a second double (triple).

If during the start of the battle you can see that the enemy armies act as separate armies and they are split in two or more parts and the space between them is wide, you can hurry and catch one isolated. Thus, you can exploit a manoeuvre advantage. See picture.




Another way to achieve manoeuvre advantage consists in half a double.
This is typical in melee phases. It consists in dividing one of your team armies (usually a lateral one) in a mobile wing (cavalry) and a static main body. The static main body keeps off an entire enemy army, while the mobile wing adds its force to team mates to hit enemy in flanks and cause a quick collapse. See picture.



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^Marcus Cornelius^
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