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Topic Subject:Help against Egypt
Aurelius Scipio
Legionary
posted 18 December 2011 01:33 EDT (US)         
As a Rome: Total War player, I am most effective with, and happiest with the Seleucid Empire. I consider myself, if not a master, than at least very well versed in the use of phalanx warfare in any situation. Seleucid 1.5x man count for pikes, their long length pikes, and their amazing cavalry make them half impossible to beat when i command a battle personally (except when I sent almost 1000 Levy Pikemen screaming into a town center to kill 40 Urban cohort that survived a prolonged arrow barrage. The Urban Cohort routed my entire army, but I digress). When playing as the Seleucid Empire, Egypt is by no means an easy foe, but it is a simple one to destroy, albeit by a lengthy defensive process involving the bridges over the Nile and massive quantities of pikes and archers.

That being said, I started playing Rome as the House of Scipii, whom I still love today. I'd like to get around to finishing a campaign with them, and taking control of Rome. There's just one problem: Egypt. Usually, I expand along the coasts of the Mediterranean, taking Greece, Carthage, Rhodes, Cyprus, Crete, etc. This generally gives me a strong naval-based trading empire to fund my lengthy wars. Except Egypt always seems to have a larger navy that can take mine in an autoresolve 3/5 times or so. Plus they like to blockade my ports. I know this to be an effective way to cripple my trade, as I have done something similar to Scipii while playing as the Seleucid Empire (simultaneous attacks on several cities, executed populace, burned down every building inside after retraining my troops). Besides working on my navy, there's another problem when playing Scipii. The Egyptian Empire is huge by the time I get there! I don't have endless spear lines to employ while playing as Scipii, so does anyone have any strategies to help me take on Egypt without massive casualties to my proud legions? I can take on three stacks of Egyptians with one stack of Seleucid pikes easily on a bridge, and lose few men, but my Legions are being ripped to shreds by superior Egyptian archers and chariots.
AuthorReplies:
Drakontos
Legionary
posted 18 December 2011 02:36 EDT (US)     1 / 21       
Welcome to the forums, Aurelius!

Glad to meet another player who likes the Scipii - they were my first faction too. And I also met my match in the Egyptians. They aren't the most balanced of factions.

There are a few ways to deal with the Egyptians - and only a couple involve taking advantage of the AI's weaknesses.
1) (Heavy) Onagers. AI armies often sit still, waiting for you to attack. A few rounds of fire falling from the skies will decimate the Egyptian Pikes. Not the best of form, and not guaranteed to work, but sometimes it is worth the reduced movement rate, particularly when you're heavily outnumbered and need to conserve your troops.
2) Mercenary Hoplites. They have Phalanx. Enough said.
3) Archer Auxilia. Fire arrows will cause the chariots to run amok.
4) Spear Auxilia! They are very cheap and easily retrained, and will bog down the chariots easily enough. As a matter of fact, your legions should also do a fairly good job of taking down the chariots, so long as you stop them from moving.
5) Attack the Egyptians in one place with one army, then send the main force straight to the Nile Delta and take their key settlements. That should do a fairly good job of crippling their economy - and you can sit tight in their fortified cities, with no culture penalty, and wear down the Egyptian forces.
6) Take Crete, Rhodes and Salamis. The Egyptians are unlikely to launch a serious invasion of any of them, and they provide (in addition to lots of trade income) a good base from which to raid coastal settlements.

I hope those help. There are also a lot of threads on the forum dedicated to just this issue, among which here are just a few:

http://rtw.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=2,2737,0,all
http://rtw.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=2,2544,0,all
http://rtw.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=2,2102,0,all

They should for the most part just reiterate what I said above. Again, welcome to the forums, and best of luck in your campaigns!

PROCRASTINATE NOT JAMAIS ARRIERE
Aurelius Scipio
Legionary
posted 18 December 2011 02:53 EDT (US)     2 / 21       
Thank you for the welcome. I've been lurking around Heavengames for some time, but haven't joined the forums until now. As for taking on Egypt, the last time I tried to take the Nile Delta and sit on it, I was hit by wave after wave of Egyptian armies coming down from the Armenian area. As for Onagers, they might be worth a try. I'm an infantry man, and almost never use artillery. The main problem with using archer auxilia against Egyptian chariots, is that more often than not the Egyptian chariots are archers. I'm loathe to send my men to their doom, so I try to stay out of enemy arrow fire. Mercenary Hoplites tend to break and run against a chariot charge, and I tend not to employ spears that can't enter phalanx. That might be worth changing though, if Auxilia are what I need to kill Egyptian chariots. It's also good to know that I'm not the only person that's had a spot of trouble with Egypt. Egypt really does seem to be unbalanced at the best of times.
Drakontos
Legionary
posted 18 December 2011 03:02 EDT (US)     3 / 21       
You don't pick a fight with the Egyptians when you've got other conquests tying up resources, that's for sure. I'm also an infantry player - consider the Archer Auxilia worthy losses to keep your real troops, your Legions, alive.

I wouldn't say the Romans are exactly balanced either. Imagine taking on Egypt as, say, Dacia, or Numidia!

PROCRASTINATE NOT JAMAIS ARRIERE
Aurelius Scipio
Legionary
posted 18 December 2011 03:16 EDT (US)     4 / 21       
That's a good point. I'd daresay that not many factions stand a chance against Egypt without strategy and hard work. As for picking a fight with Egypt when engaged in other wars, there is no choice when playing as the Seleucid Empire. Within the first dozen turns, you are guaranteed to be at war with Armenia and Pontus. If you leave Egypt be, they grow too powerful to take out. Parthia seems to dislike me, and Greece can never leave well enough alone. It's quite a balancing act, taking on that many factions early game while taking out Egypt.
Drakontos
Legionary
posted 18 December 2011 04:32 EDT (US)     5 / 21       
On the few occasions that I played as the Seleucids (H/H), my solution was to spam Militia Hoplites and loop through Asia Minor as quickly as I could. Very quickly there was only Armenia/Parthia (who were pushed back easily enough) and Egypt to worry about.

It'd be interesting to leave Egypt alive and see how things went...

PROCRASTINATE NOT JAMAIS ARRIERE
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 18 December 2011 05:15 EDT (US)     6 / 21       
Hail and welcome, Aurelius.

Our dragon has told thee how to subdue the Men of Eg upon the battlefield. I do the same, but with a twist. I try to avoid fighting the Men of Eg in the open fields. I besiege their cities, assaulting quickly due to the hurlers of rock I bring along.

Once their large cities are mine, only then do I meet them in the field. I suffer horrendous casualties due to thei chariots and missiles, but they suffer worse. Then I retreat into a city and rebuild while my second stack chases the Egyptians away. In this manner, I use attrition to wear them down while remaining strong myself. And the constant retraining helps keep the Egyptian cities underpopulated, which also helps int he long run.

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Thompsoncs
Legionary
posted 18 December 2011 06:48 EDT (US)     7 / 21       
When romans have gotten the reforms none can beat the roman human player.

When facing the egyptians you are certain to face many huge armies, so can't take too much losses.

Against the egyptians use at least 6 archers units with long range (archer auxilia and cretans) and a decent line of legionary cohorts. Some cavalry on the flanks, preferably a few units of bodyguards, since they recover casualties automatically, have 2 Hp and are the ancient equivalent of a tank.

I usually see the chariots archers rush in front of their army, your archers take them out. Then keep aiming at other chariots and archer/slinger units. Their infantry and chariots can be broken by the pila attack, followed by the legionary's charge. Few can stand against roman cohorts. Use Your bodyguards to charge some of the chariots (make sure they don't charge as well, moving chariots cut your cavalry to pieces) and flank their phalanx. While your army is engaged let your archers take out their missile infantry and any remaining chariot archers. Usually only real casualties I take are from melee combat with chariots, and sometimes thier pharaoh's guard and archers.

Ad mentioned before, a few catapults can crush many chariots and phalanx men before they can reach you.

I also saw (think it was Draak) the tacting of using flaming missiles to make the chariots run amok. Egyptian chariots don't run amok. Better use normal arrows, for increased accuracy and faster reload speed.
Drakontos
Legionary
posted 18 December 2011 13:39 EDT (US)     8 / 21       
I also saw (think it was Draak) the tacting of using flaming missiles to make the chariots run amok. Egyptian chariots don't run amok. Better use normal arrows, for increased accuracy and faster reload speed.
Really? Right, I'm playing Rome right now. Getting back into the swing of things.

PROCRASTINATE NOT JAMAIS ARRIERE
Aurelius Scipio
Legionary
posted 18 December 2011 18:53 EDT (US)     9 / 21       
Your comments remind me of a very fun strategy I tried as the Seleucid Empire on VH/VH. I sent a full stack of Scythed Chariots with upgraded weapons and armour across the deserts from the Nile Delta. I made most of them to triple gold chevrons before their general died of old age (and awesomeness). As for the strategies you've outlined, I am starting a Scipii campaign as we speak, and will see how it works for me.
Punic Hebil
Centurion
(id: Punic Hoplite)
posted 18 December 2011 19:38 EDT (US)     10 / 21       
Scipii scum

I am the Carthaginian who became an angel, and surrendered his wings for a life on the sea of battle.

My magic screen is constantly bombarded with nubile young things eager to please these old eyes. This truly is a wonderful period in which to exist! - Terikel the Deflowerer
Aurelius Scipio
Legionary
posted 19 December 2011 01:45 EDT (US)     11 / 21       
Scum? Sir, I demand to meet you on the field of honour to prove who is "scum!"
GeneralKickAss
Legionary
posted 19 December 2011 11:21 EDT (US)     12 / 21       
As Scipio and the Phoenician prepared to fight to the death in the glorious sunset, to preserve their honour, an Egyptian chariot appeared from behind the hills to the east, sweeping downhill in a formidable display of speed, skill and cohesion. The curved blades attached to the chariot's wheels spun with vicious momentum, producing blood-curdling sounds of razor-edged iron carving through thin air as if it were made tense by the chariot's approach. Scipio pointed his gladius at the lone chariot in challenge whilst the Phoenician simply yelled in its general direction that he was awesome. Both gestures failed to halt the chariot that seemed to be flying at them now.

It was met with a small, dark object that whistled through the air right into middle of the horse's forehead, instantly incapacitating the animal whilst the buggy tumbled forward with its one driver abruptly dislodged from his winning pose onto the sun-baked soil. Unfortunately and fortunately for him, his head hit the earth first and was violently bashed in by the momentum of his acrobatic landing. The charioteer was gone to Hades now, or wherever it was that them weird brown cat-worshippers went in the afterlife.

Scipio and Punic both turned to see who had performed such a feat of strength and accuracy that had robbed them both of the chance to engage the charioteer in direct, honourable combat, and thus the chance for him to die with more honour for his display. It was a young shepherd boy, with a sling in his hand, the twin hemp cords of which he was now folding up quietly, whilst regarding the pair of them with one of his eyes, as if perplexed by their lack of bearing and manners...

Can't be arsed to finish it. The point I'm trying to make is, slingers - preferably Balearics or Rhodians - also work very well against chariots. That is, if you can get them to retreat fast enough when rushed by chariots, since they mostly have to stand before other units in order to start slinging lest they hit friendly units with their missiles' low-flying trajectory. So what I typically do, once committed to a full-blown counter-attack/invasion on Asia Minor/ the Levant, is to hire all the Rhodians as well as Cretans to form my missile division, while hiring Merc Hoplites to form the bulwark against chariot charges, if I am using a non-phalanx faction. An invasion force with such a composition would look a little like this when fully deployed:



I call it the Rhodian-Cretan-Phalanx Acies, AKA Ultimate Camping Formation. As you can see the generals and their bodyguards are covering the gaps left in the line of three phalanxes, as well as the particular infantry units positioned just behind the gaps, of course. The slingers stay behind the phalanxes when threatened by nearby chariots, and go out to let loose their deadly hails of rocks whenever the pressure relents, all of which are done as the Cretans behind remain busy unleashing hell.

"The difficulty is not so great to die for a friend, as to find a friend worth dying for." -Homer
"You see, this is what happens when you don't follow instructions, GKA..." -Edorix
Guild of the Skalds, Order of the Silver Quill, Apprentice Storyteller
Battle of Ilipa, 206BC - XI TWH Egil Skallagrimson Award

The word dyslexia was invented by Nazis to piss off kids with dyslexia.

[This message has been edited by GeneralKickAss (edited 12-19-2011 @ 11:05 PM).]

MPounders
Legionary
posted 19 December 2011 12:18 EDT (US)     13 / 21       
When facing down the Egyptians something I've found useful doesn't even include battle tactics. The Egyptians expand into areas that are extremely wealthy but also have to deal with ridiculously fast growing provinces leading to alot of unrest. Spies decrease public order. I've forced Egyptian cities into revolt by cramming a few spies into the city and sabatoging sewers and temples with my assassins. Another thing to do is to shut down the production of chariots by sabotaging blacksmiths, remember that Egyptian chariots take 2 turns to build so its a time consuming thing. Use Crete and Cyprus as staging areas for raids into the Levant. Blitz Memphis and Alexandria,the naval bonus is a good boon against the Egyptian navy. Basically hit them on all points at once. Large-scale unrest, mass blockades, assassination of family and sabotaging cities will make the field battles in the long run a walk in the park. Hoped this helped
Thompsoncs
Legionary
posted 19 December 2011 16:17 EDT (US)     14 / 21       
Indeed, the egyptians have insane high populations, making them vulnerable to riots. But assassinating family members is a tactic I use against every enemy later in the game, when I have money to maintain an assassin army. Taking out family members also kills removes their bodyguard, which are very strong. Dead family members also can't produce children. I've managed to get enemy factions wiped out while they still had many cities and armies, but al their leaders had been killed, in battle or with silent blades/poison.
Aurelius Scipio
Legionary
posted 19 December 2011 21:19 EDT (US)     15 / 21       
All valid strategies. At my current point in the campaign I recently started, I control: Crete, Rhodes, Pergamum, Sparta, Corinth, Syracuse, Messana, Capua, Carthage, Thapsus, and Lilybaeum. After expanding into Pergamum (and thus defeating Greece), the Egyptians sent an emissary to me offering an alliance. I am holding true to it currently, as Pontus has assaulted my positions around the Black Sea, and need dealing with. I'm trying to deal with an unhappy population in Carthage, aggression from Numidia (luckily, I can hold a wall), and working to transport armies from Greece and Sicily to the front lines. I have built a grand fleet of Quinqereme, so naval supremacy is currently mine. I am also eagerly awaiting the Marian Reforms to get my most powerful infantry to the field.
GeneralKickAss
Legionary
posted 19 December 2011 23:13 EDT (US)     16 / 21       
Just mass-build triarii, as many as you can get, before the reforms kick in because they work quite well in my limited experience against cataphracts.

"The difficulty is not so great to die for a friend, as to find a friend worth dying for." -Homer
"You see, this is what happens when you don't follow instructions, GKA..." -Edorix
Guild of the Skalds, Order of the Silver Quill, Apprentice Storyteller
Battle of Ilipa, 206BC - XI TWH Egil Skallagrimson Award

The word dyslexia was invented by Nazis to piss off kids with dyslexia.
Aurelius Scipio
Legionary
posted 20 December 2011 18:24 EDT (US)     17 / 21       
Call me crazy, but I prefer Principes to Triarii any day.
Punic Hebil
Centurion
(id: Punic Hoplite)
posted 20 December 2011 18:44 EDT (US)     18 / 21       
Crazy? Neigh, I call you Mortal Enemy

As for defeating Egypt, have spearmen and horses. Spearmen take care of any chariots and heavy infantry, and horses take care of any (and by any, I mean the armies of) skirmishers which the Egyptians are sure to bring to battle.

I am the Carthaginian who became an angel, and surrendered his wings for a life on the sea of battle.

My magic screen is constantly bombarded with nubile young things eager to please these old eyes. This truly is a wonderful period in which to exist! - Terikel the Deflowerer
Drakontos
Legionary
posted 20 December 2011 18:44 EDT (US)     19 / 21       
Crazy people are more fun. But I too definitely prefer Principes - not that I ever see Triarii, since I hit the Reforms by the time I have the barracks required.

PROCRASTINATE NOT JAMAIS ARRIERE
Thompsoncs
Legionary
posted 21 December 2011 02:05 EDT (US)     20 / 21       
Triarii might have better stats and are better vs cavalry, but they don't have 2 volleys of pila. No matter what unit your facing, pila will do great damage. Especially vs slow phalanx who allow you to throw both volleys. And they might not get a bonus vs cavalry, but not many cavalry units can win a 1 on 1 battle with principes.
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 21 December 2011 02:24 EDT (US)     21 / 21       
One can always remove that irritating "_and_not_Marian_Reforms" or whatever from the Triarii Export_Descr_Unit file.

Then you can get Triarii anytime...

I handle Roman spearmen differently- I add phalanx to auxilia. Why not? Chariots were dead and gone forever by the time the Romans got legions, so they never had the need to train their spearmen in phalanxes. This fixes that.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
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
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