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Rome: Total War Discussion
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Total War Heaven » Forums » Rome: Total War Discussion » Newbie needs help to Improve control and movement of Forces
Topic Subject:Newbie needs help to Improve control and movement of Forces
posted 22 May 2006 13:35 EDT (US)         
I am a newbie and need to to become more proficient at moving my units around the battlefield. I'm am looking for
a strategy guide that would help me and focuses very strongly upon this topic. All help would be vastly appreciated. By the way, I own the Gold Edition.
HG Alumnus Superbus
posted 22 May 2006 13:46 EDT (US)     1 / 15       
Some advice I can give you here and now is:
Practise on custom battle
Keep flicking your eyes down to the unit bar periodicly- that way you won't have as many units standing around, or being isolated and wiped out.
Don't just concintrate on one part of the battlefeild. It may be fun to watch the buggers kill each other, but it could cost you the game. If you've seen Time commanders on the BBC, you'll know what I mean.
Learn to be a good micromanager
Walk troops if it's not importaint.

That's all my gems off hand.

And I shall go Softly into the Night Taking my Dreams As will You
posted 22 May 2006 14:37 EDT (US)     2 / 15       

For learning to control your units on the battle map, I would recommend the following strategy

First, learn the stats of the major line units of each civ. You'll know them all eventually, but knowing the line units stats is more important early on than knowing the stats of special units (mercs, arcani, etc.)

Second, fight a series of battles on the quick battles map, setting a medium amount of denarii, a fairly open field situation (no bridges, sieges) and you using an infantry based civ (no parthians or scythians yet, they fight a different kind of war), I'd recommend a greco-roman civ like any of the factions or Greece, or Macedon. Give your enemy another infantry civ, say Gaul or Dacia, or Spain. Hold off fighting the elephant or cavalry civs until you've mastered micromanagement.

In these battles pause often to review the situationand make moves in the first ones. Learn how to control the troops with hotkeys, and learn to rough estimate missile ranges. As the series wears on, increase the amount of time you go between pauses until you cease pausing all together. The key here is to pause and see the full situation of the battle, but as you gain experience the minimap and a quick overview is all you're really going to need. Develop a battle doctrine, and improve it until it becomes a regular source of victory. Fight battles against varied computers with harder difficulties and with you using weaker armies.

Practice Siege and Countersiege warfare. Not with the dream teams such as 20 urban cohorts, but with armies that you will likely field during a campaign. The key here is to develop sound doctrines of siege, because when a battle gets going, the poop will hit the fan. Learn which combinations of siege engines work, and in what situations.

Finally, go online and play multiplayer. You will, unless you happen to be Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, loose an ungodly amount of early battles, but don't loose heart. Eventually the Win/loss will even out and you will be well on your way to being a master of ancient warfare.

posted 22 May 2006 15:18 EDT (US)     3 / 15       
Hey taccovert4 that was very interesting feedback. Sounds like your saying to really learn the capabilities of your units,[they're strenths and weaknesses] and learn how to field them. Wow, this game is very deep and looks like it
will never get old. I really need to figure out the hot keys
to make a little easier.
posted 22 May 2006 16:13 EDT (US)     4 / 15       
I would like to add that it is wise to check the unit cards of both your and your foes units. I underestimated berserkers in my first campaign and got massacred. :/
posted 23 May 2006 08:47 EDT (US)     5 / 15       
That's pretty much it severe. Know yourself, know your enemy. If you have these two things you are halfway to victory. After that it is just creating a combat doctrine (most good players have one whether they admit it or not), and using it. Although I tailored the guide to RTW, it works universally. This is the same method I used to learn some of my more "serious" strategy games, the ones with mediocre graphics but combat engines that scream perfect realism, such as hit calculators that factor in dust, heat, angle of hit, location of hit, range, armor, and armor piercing ability to determine whether a tank was damaged or not.
posted 23 May 2006 09:45 EDT (US)     6 / 15       
Severe, to specifically answer the control and movement around the battlefield question, my advice would be to.

Prior to battle:

1. put your troops in the formation you want them in (doesnt matter where on the map).

2. Once fully in formation with all units precisely in the right area, i.e archers front or back, cav on the sides, infantry in middle, etc etc (whatever combo you prefer).Then ' Start Battle'.

3. Highlight all units

4. Group all units in one group (play with buttons on right until you find the right one thatwill do this for you)

5. Move (right mouse click) highlighted army anywhere on the battlefield and they will stay in that exact formation. This works either before you start the battle so you can reposition your entire army easily anywhere on the ballefeild, or after starting battle, you can walk and/or run your entire army to a new position and they will stay in perfect formation without the need to reposition each unit or grouping.

6. You can then individually group specific units that you may want to move about or attack with.

I found this very useful as it gave me more time to think about attack and counters etc without having to format my army again if i wanted/needed to move about.

For example, if facing onagers or artillery and you want to move your army before they get fireballed, you can move the whole lot and keep the exact formation you started with.

Hope this helps. Sorry if it doesnt make sense.

General Oman.

[This message has been edited by wlnoble (edited 05-23-2006 @ 10:00 AM).]

HG Alumnus Superbus
posted 23 May 2006 09:56 EDT (US)     7 / 15       
Point 2 should have 'start battle' at teh end, as if you group them in deployment, when you march them in the actual battle they'll go to line formation. Trust me, bad thing. Very bad.

And I shall go Softly into the Night Taking my Dreams As will You

[This message has been edited by EnemyofJupitor (edited 05-23-2006 @ 01:50 PM).]

posted 23 May 2006 09:59 EDT (US)     8 / 15       
Very true, amended accordingly.
posted 23 May 2006 11:28 EDT (US)     9 / 15       
Thanks very much guys for this help, I'm taking notes so that I don't forget these gems. They may save my virtual life someday. EnemyofJupitor, could you put the last thing you said in different words. I was'nt sure what you ment by "teh" but it's very nice to see such a good response to the question of a newbie. One Day, I to will be victorius, but it seems that I must first suffer the onslaught of the enemy's wrath and learn from this [virtual] suffering. Sorry
about all this verbage,LOL
posted 23 May 2006 11:36 EDT (US)     10 / 15       
Everyone was a newbie at some stage or other and its only arrogant people that make fun of newbies. So, take their mindless abuse on the chin, learn as much as you can and hit them where it hurts...on the battlefield. In my opinion, you will learn by far the most by playing online against humans. It will hurt for a while when you are getting badly pasted, but after a while you will be in charge of your own killing feilds. Remember...everyone loses, everyone. Dont let it put you off. Its a great game as is BI. Cant wait for MTW2 to arrive.

Enemy of Jupiter meant 'the' when he wrote 'teh', only a typo

[This message has been edited by wlnoble (edited 05-23-2006 @ 11:38 AM).]

posted 23 May 2006 11:42 EDT (US)     11 / 15       
Thanks for words of encouragment wlnoble, I will take them to heart.
posted 23 May 2006 17:08 EDT (US)     12 / 15       
All I can say is, Practice, practice, practice. It's the best way to learn. After a while, you get a feel for each unit's movement, how they respond in different situations, and how best to use them. Then, you can unleash them and whoop some virtual ass:P
posted 23 May 2006 22:51 EDT (US)     13 / 15       
Hot keys that I always use are:

-/+ to stretch/compress a unit's width.
A wide unit with only a few ranks is fine for strong infantry on a front line, but its rather un-maneuverable. Shorter units are more flexible. I tend to strech out my centre units (usually spearmen), & compress my reinforcements & flank guards.

ALWAYS keep a solid infantry unit(or two) as a reserve behind the main line. You are better off with a front 6 units wide with 1 reserve unit, than with a front 7 units wide.

I almost always compress my archers/missile units into shorter blocks. When you start to move them around the field, you will find that longer blocks are far tricker to position properly.

</> rotates the unit. I often set up my army off-centre, on the highest ground I can, & ROTATE the whole army to face where the enemy is likely to deploy.

Something else which came up some months back, when you are deploying your army on the battlefield, before you press 'start battle', check where the high ground is in the enemy's deployment zone - It's quite likely that they will deploy on the high ground. Try to nullify any advantage they might have by doing the same.

When you start using cavalry, stack them all together. The AI is stupid when it evenly balances its cavalry on each flank. If you stack all your cav together on one flank, you WILL overwhelm the AI's cav screen on that side. If you are worried about your 'un-protected' flank where you don't have a cavalry screen, put an extra infantry unit on that flank behind your main line to catch & deal with the enemies correspondingly weaker cav.



Stupid questions & their appropriate responses from an Australian tourism web site:

Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

posted 23 May 2006 23:09 EDT (US)     14 / 15       
Thanks GMRage. This advice is stuff I would never have known. I must print all this info so that I can have it nearby when playing and try it out. When I played Attila,
I used the hill on the right and it proved invaluable. I won that game against the AI but on the easy level. So does'nt anyone use the grouping units at the bottom of the screen or do you find that the keyboard is much faster to get to?
posted 23 May 2006 23:37 EDT (US)     15 / 15       
One last thing - moral. Moral is the most important factor in this game. The quickest way to end a combat between two equal units is to charge a unit into the rear of the enemy, this will shake the themy unit's confidence and cause all sorts of mayhem beyond whatever damage the rear charging unit actually does. Without exageration, it will reduce your casualties to a tenth what they would be otherwise once you master this tactic.
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