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Rome: Total War Discussion
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Total War Heaven » Forums » Rome: Total War Discussion » Question for experienced Germania players.
Topic Subject:Question for experienced Germania players.
Oolon Colluphid
posted 20 June 2008 11:38 EDT (US)         
Should I give up spear warbands as mainstay of my army?

They started out that way, obviously, as units that were quickly recruitable and effective against any other unit type, save for missiles.

But now the game is progressing and both my other recruitable units as well as the enemy's, are getting stronger, I'm not sure anymore.

For one thing, despite their decent attack points, the spear warband is not exactly the strongest phalanx unit around.
I've had spear warbands being beaten, in a town, from the front, in phalanx formation of at least 4 rows thick, by a frontal attack of a generals unit.

Also, they possibly have a negative effect on the army's mobility and adaptability on the battlefield. Also, becausse of their numbers, the upkeep for the spearman is higher than Germania's other wickedly strong infantry units.

Though on the other hand, a not particularily strong phalanx is still a phalanx, a strong main line where my archers can savely stand behind. A defensive line that keeps the enemy at bay, to keep in control. The problem is that I may not be able to use any other of the german infantries for it, as they all have high attack, but a low defense score makes them vulnerable and not really suited to hold a defensive line...

So, should I mix up my tactics - which playing as a barbarian faction I'm allready kinda doing, which is cool - or stick with the power of the phalanx.
posted 20 June 2008 12:54 EDT (US)     1 / 5       
Keep using your spears as the mainstay, but you can throw in extra infantry too. What I do is have a long line of spears with single units of chosen axemen behind each flank, so anything that sneaks around the sides will get absolutely pummelled by them when they charge. I also keep Night Raiders behind the middle, mostly to scare the enemy, but they're a very good reserve and they're controllable, unlike Berserkers. Also behind the phalanx I've got 3 chosen archers (good light infantry if necessary), a general, 2 Gothic and 2 Noble cavalry. With this you should be able to destroy just about anything - the phalanx gives you a solid platform for defence, and the other supporting troops are amongst the very best attacking units in the game.

Unless I was playing online against a human opponent, I wouldn't like to have an army of just axemen, chosen or otherwise and night raiders. They're fantastic on the attack but will suffer a lot in a melee because of their low defence. Spear warbands won't take so many losses because an enemy has to get through their line of spears to hurt them. As you've found out, an enemy general can do this and they will make a mess once they're beyond your spears, but all phalanxes suffer from this as being in phalanx and guard mode restricts their ability to free-style fight. Switch guard mode off in this situation and those horses should fall quicker. A good trick is to have two phalanx units on the same spot - effectively you now have six rows of spears!

If you get weaponsmith and woden experience upgrades for your spears, they'll be a pretty solid phalanx and will only struggle if they come up against an elite phalanx, any sort of Greek hoplites or long-speared pikemen. Even then, put them on good ground, with a bit of a height advantage, and they'll hold comfortably. If not, then run your axes around the back of the opposing phalanx and they should rout very quickly. Berserkers can be very handy if all the enemy phalanx units are fixed in place, fighting your spears.
Terikel Grayhair
(id: Terikel706)
posted 20 June 2008 13:18 EDT (US)     2 / 5       
Hail, Lord Oolon, and welcome to the Dark Forests of the North!

The hardy spearband is thy staple, from the dawn of time until Ragnarok. In the beginning, they are all thou can call to thy banners. Later, as the others emerge, they lessen in value but should never disappear. Lord Shieldwall gave thee much great wisdom in this.

Whenever we command our tribesmen, we begin thus so. Then we add on others, so that in time our warhosts consist of five or six spearbands, four bands of cowardly archers, two of wielders of axes, two more of bogeymen which frighten weaklings (Eaters of Mushrooms and Walkers in the Dark, or Vikings from the frozen north) and the rest of horseborne. Thou does command some of the finest horseborne in our Virtual world- make good use of it!

Yet the lowly spearband, available in every collection of hovels, remains the staple warband for our warhosts. And the more experience and better equipment they get, the better they are.

Luck and Fair Winds.

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Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
posted 20 June 2008 13:24 EDT (US)     3 / 5       
Also remember that, when out of phalanx formation, your spears can run as well as any other infantry. When I did the Germans, I would frequently set my spears against other infantry by keeping the unit on my right in formation, taking the unit on the left out of phalanx & running them left to charge into the enemy's right or right-rear flank while my guys in formation held them on their spears.

I also like to "pile on" - get 2 or 3 or even more of my basic units onto a single enemy. I want to start SOMEBODY routing for the morale lowering effect it has on the enemy. Yeah, doing this, some of my guys may be poorly positioned with exposed flanks themselves. It becomes a race to see who breaks into route first. Have your general toot his rally horn or your specialty units start their chanting to help your morale. As soon as an enemy unit routes, start piling onto a different one. Have one of your weakest units start chasing the routers down.

The basic German spear unit has to be the very best early unit in RTW, IMO. I used mine all the way thru the full Imperial campaign.
posted 20 June 2008 13:52 EDT (US)     4 / 5       
Spear warbands and archers, night raiders on the flanks, cavalry on the far flanks, and screeching women trailing behind to charge in with their axes if needed. Never beaten in my hands before...besides that little cavalry incident but that was my fault entirely...

(o o)

Monkey beats bunny. Please put Monkey in your signature to prevent the rise of bunny.
m0n|<3yz r 2 pwn n00b
posted 21 June 2008 22:59 EDT (US)     5 / 5       
Keep the spear warbands. Phalanx units are perfect for defense. They can hold off lots of soldiers when deployed at the gates (behind, not in front)
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