Chapter 4: Factions

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Chapter 4: Factions

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

4. Factions

4.1. Faction Selection

The faction should be chosen looking at some criteria.

1. Choose the faction according to your attitude and your personal way of playing (aggressive, skirmishing, melee oriented, defensive and so on). Some factions are good in melee (i.e. have outstanding melee units), others have better skirmishing units (missile units that can give you advantage in the first phase of the battle), others have outstanding cavalry.

2. Choose the faction according the overall strategy of your team. If you are playing a MP game (2 v 2, 3 v 3, 4 v 4) it could be a good idea if every member of the team has a specific tasks and choose the faction according to tasks assigned.

3. Choose your faction according to …. your personal and historical preferences.

4.2. Mirrored Factions

If you look at faction units, you can see that some factions have the same units. You can call them mirrored factions. This is useful particularly in MP: if enemy team chose the faction you prefer, you can choose mirror faction if it exists.
Not all factions are mirrored, some are unique.

Mirrored Factions

Western Empire = Western Empire Rebels
Eastern Empire = Eastern Empire Rebels
Goths = Ostrogoths
Lombardi = Burgundii
Sarmatians = Roxolani
Vandals = Slavs


Unique Factions

Franks
Saxons
Sassanids
Berbers
Celts
Romano-British
Alemanni
Huns

Alemanni units are also present in Lombardi & Burgundii, but you cannot find in Alemanni all the units you have in Lombardi & Burgundii.

4.3. Factions’ Characteristics

Each faction has its own particular units. Each faction has its strength and weakness represented by its unit particular stats (combat points) and abilities.
The game is well balanced. That means that most of the factions are competitive and could be used in an effective way on the battlefield.
Here in synthesis some factions that can be picked up and their main characteristics.

..4.3.1. Eastern Romans

Strength
They have the best archers (eastern archers).
They have outstanding infantry units: plumbatarii, comitatenses, first cohort. These infantry units are good in hand to hand and have throwing weapons that can be used before the hand to hand, reducing enemy strength.
They have good heavy cavalry: catafracts and clibanarii.
Weakness
They have no horse archers with cantabrian circle. So they can be countered by barbarian horse archers during the shootout.
Heavy cavalry is costly. Heavy infantry has good stats for hand to hand but could be beaten by some barbarian units (axes), if they can be reached without having caused heavy losses with their throwing weapons.
Usage
Eastern romans give their best in defending. They can be used in attacking also obviously. But this attack must be a slow pace one. You must have the possibility to use pila, darts, javelin, advancing to enemy step by step and downloading all you have to those barbarians before the hand to hand starts.
They are not the best in an immediate rush.

..4.3.2. Western Romans

Strength

They have outstanding infantry units: plumbatarii, comitatenses, first cohort. These infantry units are good in hand to hand and have throwing weapons that can be used before the hand to hand reducing enemy strength.
They have good heavy cavalry: sarmatian auxilia.
They have outstanding spearmen: auxilia palatina, with high morale, high protection, shield wall.
Weakness
They have low quality archers. Ugrade them. Anyway it is very difficult with Western Romans to win the shootout phase. They have no horse archers with cantabrian circle.
Heavy infantry has good stats for hand to hand but could be beaten by some barbarian units (axes), if they can be reached without having caused heavy losses with their throwing weapons.
Usage
Like Eastern Romans they give their best in defending. They can be used attacking also obviously. But this attack must be a slow pace one… like Eastern Romans.
Auxilia palatina can give you an outstanding protection against enemy heavy cav, and can give you a very long resistent first line against enemy melee troops.

..4.3.3. Lombardi, Burgundii, Alemanni

Strength
They have outstanding archers units, very good in cost and performnce: lombardi archers, choosen archers.
They have good heavy cavalry, even if not outstanding. Burgundian lancers have an outstanding charge factor, but do not use them against heavy cavalry, they do not last long.
They have outstanding melee infantry units and that is the reason to choose this faction.
Chosen axes are low on cost and they give a very good performance in hand to hand.
Berserkers are deadly.
Weakness
No horse archers. Choosen axes are not well protected against missile shots.
Usage
Use them to win the shootout phase if you are not facing cantabrian horse archers. Then you are ready to force enemy rush (best) or rush yourself. Try always to rush on a flank if approaching romans, to avoid, if possible, their javelins and darts.

..4.3.4. Saxons

Strength
Archers-light bowmen, can hide in long grass. Use of flaming arrows good against elephants and chariots. Vulnerable to missiles.
Hearth Troops, Chosen Axemen and Spearmen-hand to hand fighters. Hearth troops and Spearmen can use shield wall.
Weakness
Limited good cavalry a disadvantage.
Usage
Use archers to try to win the shootout phase. Useful to support an allie who has weaker archers.
Spears to defend against cavalry attacks.They can form shieldwall which is almost impregnable.
Backed up with Chosen Axemen to break through the enemy attack lines. They are effective against armoured units.
Hearth Troops- Well armoured hand to hand fighting units that can also form shield wall.
A useful balanced army.

..4.3.5. Huns

Strength
The Hun strength lies with their cavalry. They have very strong melee cav in Hun Heavy Cav, Hunnic Lancers have high charge stats. Hunnic Elite are capable in hand to hand, Tribal Cav and Herdsmen are best used to chase off routers and break weakened units. Of course there are HA units.
Weakness
Very limited ( disappointing ) infantry that will struggle to compete against most other infantry.This weakness is compounded by the fact that Hun Cav units are expensive and they have no archers other than mounted, which are more expensive. At 12500 denarii, the army choice is very limited because you simply can not afford the units.
Usage
Huns do have mobility and this can be used to good effect in team battles, where they can be used to assist other areas of the battlefield. Harassment techniques making full use of their HA to reduce enemy numbers. Hopefully the enemy will be reduced to the point where the Hun infantry have some parity or are able to hold the line long enough for the Hun Cav to flank. All but ardent HA fans will be a little disappointed. Other factions can match them easily with both better/stronger infantry and cheaper cav with equal stats. CA should certainly have provided a stronger challenge if the Huns are expected to pose anywhere near the threat they actually did.

..4.3.6. Sarmatians, Roxolani

Strength
Oddly, they have decent infantry, which along side their strong cavalry, HA and archers can make them a tough nut to crack.
Weakness
Again, their main weakness is armour.
Usage
Typically, they can be used to good effect in harassing the opposing army. Their mobility and large selection of cavalry means that they can hopefully reduce enemy numbers allowing their infantry reserve to deliver the killer blow.

..4.3.7. Slavs, Vandals

Strength
These two factions are good alround, having decent infantry and cavalry choices. They also have HA.
Weakness
Like other barbarian factions, their infantry need to avoid missiles. Against Roman armies this can be difficult but they will fare quite well provided they do not lose too many men before melee.
Usage
Both are good basic armies for conventional warfare. The addition of HA allows for mobility during the shoot out. They offer more than the usual barbarian armies of Berserkers and axes and a group of Lancers.

..4.3.8. Others …. To Come Next

4.4. What Faction to begin with?
I suggest to choose an easy and strong faction to begin. One that could be used easily and statically. A defensive one. Romans. Eastern or Western Romans.
If you don’t like Romans your choice could be Lombardi, Burgundii, Alemanni.
If you like movement you can choose Vandals, Slavs, Roxolani and Sarmatians. These are cavalry based factions. Moving is more difficult than standing still.
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^Marcus Cornelius^
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