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Total War Heaven » Forums » Rome Strategy Discussion » TW 'External Lines' Theory
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Topic Subject:TW 'External Lines' Theory
SD2000
Legionary
posted 21 January 2012 15:24 EDT (US)         
Hi all

I am not that experienced at TW; about 5 months on and off of RTW, Barbarian Invasions and Medieval 2 (still think RTW is the most complete) but have faced a very similar situation in 2 different campaigns. I thought I would share my solution with you.

The first campaign where I faced this problem was when playing as Hungary in Medieval 2. Having conquered Greece and the Venetians and made a few other minor European conquests I took the first towns on the western Turkish coast. I then realised that the Mongols had ALL the rest of the east (Armenia to Egypt in RTW terms).

The second time a similar problem occured I was playing as Pontus in RTW. This time I had nearly all of Asia Minor (not Tarsus) and Armenia down to Susa. The Egyptians had the rest of the east.

Both times I had to defend the western front and deal with an enemy superior in numbers, land mass and money.

You will no doubt be aware of the presumed advantages of working on 'interior lines' but let me refresh this real life theory just in case: The Axis forces in WW2 (and the Central Powers in WW1) were said to have an advantage by being able to work on 'interior lines' ie. troops could be switched from the Russian to the Western/Atlantic front without any hazardous boat journeys or passing through enemy territory. Granted this is limited to the ability of the rail network (in WW2 terms) but in theory it should alow faster deployment of troops to the place they are needed most. Well in both my TW scenarios, particularly the second, the Mongols/Egyptians could be said to have this advantage of working on interior lines.

So here is my solution! You contol the islands and conduct a raiding policy! In both cases I took Rhodes first and then Cyprus where a raiding force was based. First you ship off spies to see where is weakly defended and then you need a naval force stong enough to land a few units without getting bashed on the way. In the Pontic campaign I was down to about 5000 gold when I landed on Cyprus. Next you conduct something akin to a Viking raiding policy; land take the town, loot it and get back to the boats, with any luck they end up fighting rebels. You get richer and they keep having to go back.

In the Pontic campaign I took Tarsus first (had 3 units in it) with a raiding of force of General and 5 units. When they moved up a full stack I destroyed everything upped the tax to maximum and shipped off - leaving them to fight rebels which again weakens them. Raiding force then went back to Cyprus and collected 3 extra units (profits from Tarsus) and onto Jerusalem (held by 1 unit of theirs) again sacked and waited for them to come before destroying all and making the city rebel - 9 units back to Cyprus - add another 4 units and back to Tarsus, sack it again and destroy everything - didn't wait just left - it rebelled they marched north, I went back to Cyprus, added three more units and landed in Egypt, where I stayed and made units to march on Isreal etc...

In this way I was able to defeat both these superior enemies and in the Pontus campaign followed up my conquest of the East by taking Crete first that alows 2-3 possible routes for invasion of Greece and again numerous raiding objectives if you need quick money.

I am just finishing the Pontus campaign (think I have 39 areas) but when finished will try this theory in Barbarian Invasions as WRE; retreat to Sicily and let the rest rebel, then raid them first before landing in reconquest.

Anyway I hope others will benefit from experience.
AuthorReplies:
Thompsoncs
Legionary
posted 21 January 2012 16:12 EDT (US)     1 / 12       
The mongols and timurids are a different matter, but in nearly all other cases one stack of my units can easily destroy/rout many enemy stacks.

My tactic vs mongols/timurids is the following:
1 Don't conquer to close to their spawning location (you can conquer them after they are gone)
2 Make sure you have 3 or 4 fully trained assassins ready.
3 Assassinate their family members. They have very powerful command rates and thus improve their auto-resolve battles. This way they will take much more casualties from other factions and rebels whe storming cities. I also managed sometimes to murder all fo their family members.

Granted, this strategy only works when you reload on failure (using quick load and quick save). Otherwise it would fail, because the chance of killing a timurid family member with full stats would be less than 20%.
SD2000
Legionary
posted 21 January 2012 23:02 EDT (US)     2 / 12       
My strategy aims to 'wear them down' rather than take the 'head on' approach. The composition of the army is NOT vital when raiding - just the winning and looting and ability to get back on the boats! You've MADE money and left them with a mess (and perhaps rebels). The only time army composition matters is when you land to stay...
ShieldWall
Legionary
posted 22 January 2012 04:45 EDT (US)     3 / 12       
Raiding is useful when you're short of cash. I've only ever really done it with the Germans, building four large boats containing an excellent general with 3 spear warbands, archer and axemen and 2 spies. Greece is a good place to raid as it's rich and usually not very well defended as the battle front drifts away from the area. So the spies land, make sure there's no big armies nearby, and the raiders set to work on a weak settlement. Kill the garrison, exterminate the population and destroy all the buildings. If there's time, before doing the latter, I'll stop and repair any losses in my army before going to the boats and abandoning the town. One problem though, it's better if the enemy faction captures the town back because a revolt doesn't necessarily mean an army of angry rebels. Rather it means an army of angry rebels assigned to the faction that you'v just attacked, and you might end up having to fight them one day.
deathal
Legionary
posted 22 January 2012 16:37 EDT (US)     4 / 12       
tactic for mongols/timurids
I have played M2TW since it was realesed and have experienced mongols/timurids many times.

tactics for mongols #1.if you raid make sure you have a large enough army to wear them down, seige a city and focus on that for atleast 2-5 turns (do not build seige engines as you can wear them down without fighting) with 1 1/2 full armies use the half full army to seige and the full army to scout around (if half full army has less men than city you are seiging use full army to seige) if any mongols are in area use full army to slow them down and send backup within 2-turns (long enough for you to hold them back) likely the mongols wont attack if you have a larger force than them if they do withdraw the half army. repeat this enough times to wear down all of their armies until you can take a city without force.

tactic for mongols #2 fight fire with fire. use cavalry against the cavalry masters. that way in battle their cavalry cannot flank your archers/melee infantry. best to use light missle cavalry and light melee cavalry(speed equals new fighting style [hit and run]). do not put archers on a hill (only with heavy cavalry that have epic charge should you) even with protection because you can only protect them on one side the rest of the force is in battle.(if you dont have cavalry use fully upgraded [armour/weapons] archers) always use heavy infantry for hand to hand combat light infantry retreats too fast.

tactic for timurids #1 arrows arrows arrows. the timurids specialize in elephants so use arrows to take them out if they are still around when you have gunpowder use that(archers are better in this case because longer range). use any unit that frightens elephants. use fire mostly

tactic for timurids #2 seige vs seige. you can wait until you have gunpowder to fight them that way you can match their rockets with cannons. dont seige them they will soon become a horde again and fight the mongols.

Death is what happens when you "accidently" run into a spear
Death is what happens to the man who acts like an ass
Death is when I kill you in war
Death is how lives end
DEATHAL IS HERE TO TEACH YOU THOSE LESSONS!!!!
Agrippa 271
Legionary
posted 24 January 2012 21:23 EDT (US)     5 / 12       
Hmm. Interesting stuff, SD. I like your ideas.

Just one point about the internal lines theory, it doesn't really work if you can't hold your own on both fronts. The biggest weakness of Germany during both world wars was that it had to fight a war on two fronts. It could never concentrate enough of its forces to make an impact later in the war. It lost too many of its forces.

Nice points on the raiding. I'll have to try it.

Death is a (vastly) preferable alternative to communism.
"Idiocy knows no national or cultural borders. Stupidity can strike anyone, anywhere." -- Terikel
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 25 January 2012 01:39 EDT (US)     6 / 12       
I have a strategy/battle game where logisitics play an important part. You have to feed your forces, or they starve and eventually die. One tactic there I favor is letting the enemy build up a huge army, then send a small force behind them to intercept their supplies and use them for themselves. The huge enemy army withers and dies, until they are so weak my mediocre force can wipte them out. It costs the enemy enormous amounts of resources to create and sustain that army, and one squad in their rear nullifies the entire thing...

But that is not RTW. In RTW, I sweep in behind the myraid fullstacks of Egyptians and steal their Nile Valley, then wreck their other cities. Assassins destroy smithies, and soon there are no more chariots to worry about.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
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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
Agrippa 271
Legionary
posted 25 January 2012 16:50 EDT (US)     7 / 12       
What game is that, Terikel?

Death is a (vastly) preferable alternative to communism.
"Idiocy knows no national or cultural borders. Stupidity can strike anyone, anywhere." -- Terikel
MPounders
Legionary
posted 25 January 2012 20:12 EDT (US)     8 / 12       
My guess.is.one of the europa univeralis.games.by.paradox interactive
Punic Hebil
Centurion
(id: Punic Hoplite)
posted 25 January 2012 21:49 EDT (US)     9 / 12       
Terikel plays a game called Real Life. Unlike most others, he wins at it, and can control the turn rate.

How else would he have survived the 500 some years he's been around??

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
Agrippa 271
Legionary
posted 25 January 2012 21:54 EDT (US)     10 / 12       
I see.

Death is a (vastly) preferable alternative to communism.
"Idiocy knows no national or cultural borders. Stupidity can strike anyone, anywhere." -- Terikel
GeneralKickAss
Legionary
posted 25 January 2012 23:09 EDT (US)     11 / 12       
Most people think Terikel is crazy. He just had the rotten luck of being born in the wrong century. He'd be right at home on some ancient battlefield swinging an axe into somebody's face. Or in a Roman arena, taking his sword to other gladiators like him. They would've tossed him girls like Nancy back then.

"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.
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 26 January 2012 01:47 EDT (US)     12 / 12       
Its a game called Nemesis, or The Punic Wars, depending on where you buy it. The units are individual soldier who you can group under heroes to form armies, but don't forget to buy them a couple of pack mules carrying grain or they starve...

It is one of the few wargames I know of where logistics play an important role. Verily, your cities cannot produce squat unless you have conquered villages and arranged the gold and grain produced at the villages delivered to the city.

You cannot construct any buildings, and the fighting is rudimentary, but there is magic and priests that can affect battles, and the soldiers gain experience as well. In all, I like it very much, second to RTW of course.

|||||||||||||||| 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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