Chapter 5: Units- A General Overview

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Chapter 5: Units- A General Overview

Post by ^Marcus Cornelius^ on Sun 08 Jun 2008, 16:41

5.1.The RPS system
What is the RPS system? The Rock Paper Scissor system is the base logic of Totalwar series.
That means that unit type R beats unit type P, and unit type P beats unit type S, and unit type S beats unit type R.
So the first tactical principle to understand is what type of unit to use to counter enemy type of unit.
Here is the basic:
- Spearmen beats cavalry
- Melee Infantry (swords and axes) beats spearmen
- Cavalry beats melee infantry.

So during battle:
- Place your spearmen where enemy cavalry will/may charge
- Engage enemy spearmen and melee infantry with your melee infantry
- Use your cavalry to charge enemy melee infantry (preferably in the back or flank).
Knowing this basic is not enough. Units have specific capabilities. Better to know their characteristics in detail. But what type of army to build to begin? Can you suggest one? Yes. The best way to learn how to fight in Totalwar is building a balanced army.

5.2. A Balanced Army
What is a balanced army? A balanced army is an army which has a number of units per unit type. I.e. a balance army has some archers, some spearmen, some melee infantry, some cavalry.
Why do I suggest choosing a balanced army to begin?
Because a balanced army can perform a wider range of tasks. It can skirmish, it can engage in melee, it can defend, it can charge and flank with cavalry. So it is more flexible. Not necessarily more effective, but more flexible in taking tasks in charge.
A balanced army is the best way to learn, because it employes all types of units and compels you to learn how to use all of types of units.

That following could be a typical 20 unit balanced army:
- 6 archers (horse archers and/or foot archers)
- 1 artillery
- 3 spearmen
- 6 melee infantry (axes and swords)
- 4 cavalry units (light and heavy).

5.3. Quality or Quantity?
This is a good question. In previous Totalwar games (Shogun Total War, Medieval Totalwar) the answer would have been: Quantity. In RTW and RTW / BI you can choose.
You can build competitive armies both filling all the 20 slots or filling only 16-17-18-19 slots.
Especially in 2 v 2, 3 v 3, 4 v 4 games where your mate can cover your fewer numbers with his units in order to let you choose some few outstanding units.
But do not overdo it, armies with less units leave some enemy units free to flank. Anyway surely it is not a fault if your army can be made up of 16 to 19 units.

5.4. The stats
The stats are the combat and capability factors specific to each unit. By right clicking with mouse after having selected a unit, you can see a summary of the most important stats of the unit selected.

Next it is the concept behind the most important stats. The higher the stats the higher the cost of the unit.

Attack Factor: it is the rating at which the unit will cause losses to enemy unit engaged in melee.
Defensive skill: it is the first protection factor to oppose resistence to enemy attack factor in melee.
Armour: it is the second protection factor to oppose resistence to enemy attack factor in melee and protection versus enemy missiles.
Shield: it is the shield. The effect is similar to armour.
Armour + Shield + Defensive Skill: it is the overall defensive protection in melee.
Charge Factor: it is the strength of the first strike of the unit charging an enemy unit.
Range for Missile Units: it is the distance from which a missile unit can hit enemy units.
Attack for Missile Weapons: it is the rating at which shooting from distance the missile unit will cause losses to enemy units.
Morale: it is the will of the unit to keep on fighting even with heavy losses.

NihilisticCow has written a macro to import the unit stats from BI to a spread sheet for easy viewing to help learn about the units a little easier. If people are interested the spread sheet can be obtained here http://www.savefile.com/files/8956118. A printer friendly condensed version as a pdf is available here http://www.savefile.com/files/1329688.

Thanks to NihilisticCow.
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^Marcus Cornelius^
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