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Total War Heaven » Forums » Rome: Total War Discussion » Do you make much use of you surroundings in battle?
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Topic Subject:Do you make much use of you surroundings in battle?
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Oolon Colluphid
Legionary
posted 02 June 2008 11:42 EDT (US)         
You know, hide units in woods o long grass, put archers at high points, try and break up and enemy formation around rocks or buildings in the battlefield.

I ask, because I usually don't. I mean, I'll take a hill when it's there, especially when defending, but mostly I've found that the position of units in relation to eachother, your armies formation, is more important than anything else.

So usually, I just make my formation, phalanx in the middle, cavalry at he sides etc. and then look where to put it. Woods tend to be only a nuisance as I pretty much always have onagers in my armies. Long grass is invisible from a distance and makes my framerate 2 f/s when I zoom in. It's nice when a unit that can hide there happens to be there, but I'm not purposely putting them there.

Anyway, any more creative strategies out there?
AuthorReplies:
jimUK
Legionary
posted 07 June 2008 16:45 EDT (US)     26 / 51       
actualy, i've taken a liking for peltasts.
Its such an awesome sight hen you leave then on Fire at will, but take skirmish off, wait for the enemy to approach your line and see hundreds of Pila destroy a unit in seconds, with pin point accuracy!
CaesarVincens
Legionary
posted 07 June 2008 16:59 EDT (US)     27 / 51       
I agree;
however I have to say, peltasts do not throw pila; only Roman line infantry throw pila, everyone else (except maybe Iberians) throws regular javelins. A pilum is a special sort of throwing spear, not just a catch-all name for something one throws.

Veni, Vidi, well... you know.

Extended Cultures, A modification of RTW.

Si hoc legere posses, Latinam linguam scis.
ɪf ju kŠn ɹid ­ɪs, ju noʊ liŋgwɪstɪks.
Diadochius
Legionary
posted 08 June 2008 14:21 EDT (US)     28 / 51       
seluecid has a copy cat unit of roman legionares, so im guessing that they can throw pila aswell.
CaesarVincens
Legionary
posted 08 June 2008 18:21 EDT (US)     29 / 51       
I haven't done research on copy legionaries, but if the throwing weapon they use is the same as a Roman pilum (about six feet long half of which is the head, and it bends in the middle) then yes, you could call those pila.

Veni, Vidi, well... you know.

Extended Cultures, A modification of RTW.

Si hoc legere posses, Latinam linguam scis.
ɪf ju kŠn ɹid ­ɪs, ju noʊ liŋgwɪstɪks.
jimUK
Legionary
posted 08 June 2008 19:31 EDT (US)     30 / 51       
My bad, i just assumed since they have the same model in game XD

[This message has been edited by jimUK (edited 06-08-2008 @ 07:31 PM).]

SrJamesTyrrel
Legionary
posted 08 June 2008 19:45 EDT (US)     31 / 51       
they actually don't have the same model in game! >:O

(not that it REALY matters, this is RTW heaven, not RTW university :P)

I'm still a strong proponent of playing the game using historical tactics:

velites and skirmishers, then hastati, then principes, then triarii, reserves (depleted units, etc) and generals (which i don't like to engage). Flanks composed of missiles and levies when i have numeric superiority.

you'll never kill your own men if you don't shoot through your own lines! d'oh.

as hellenistic armies, leave enough space between phalanx units for your peltasts to first retreat through (after the time for skirmishing has ended) and later to charge through (when the enemy has stopped charging and needs to be routed). i usually give enough room, depending on playing mode, for about three to five men to stand across these gaps. usually equal parts pikes and skirmishers is a good ratio. also, leave out of phalanx while the skirmishers retreat, so that they don't get stuck on the friendly spears. cavalry is purely for flanking never for charging unless your's desperate.



are there more effective ways to play? sure, the n00b box and the mass of horses, but those are less fun after the first few times because I get sick of 600 kills, 6 dead (two healed!) type battles.
Andalus
Legionary
posted 09 June 2008 14:22 EDT (US)     32 / 51       
I'm still a strong proponent of playing the game using historical tactics:

velites and skirmishers, then hastati, then principes, then triarii
The problem is that historically Velites were dispersed among the maniples, and were not individual units. If you have Velites among your Hhastati, they will kill your own men through friendly fire. If you put them in front, the working of the game is such that they can't do much good before they have to pull back, particularly if the enemy send cavalry at them. It works slightly better against phalanx armies, but you don't really want a frontal attack/defence againts phalanxes.
SrJamesTyrrel
Legionary
posted 09 June 2008 16:56 EDT (US)     33 / 51       
well i never said the game liked you to play this way, only that it was more interesting.

that skirmishers should need to retreat after a few tosses is nothing out of the ordinary, at best they confuse the unit and get a few kills, just like real life. Take them off skirmish mode and issue retreat commands, too - they get at least another volley. or better yet, have your line counter-attack at the same time your velites aim - your legions will rush past the skirmishers just before the enemy hits and the chaos is fantastic.

putting units inside each other, on the other hand, is confusing - but i've never seen them kill with friendly fire while doing that. velites or even real missiles can fire from within another unit, if Rome truly dispersed them this way. loose formation makes them less distracting to the unit they've "joined."


not to mention, the best possible result of skirmishers is that they'd lure the enemy into a frontal (suicidal) cavalry charge. flanks officially secured!

why wouldn't you want a frontal attack with phalanxes? that's how they did it (well, joined in front for a pushing contest and then waited, in fair battles, for the flanks to decide the victor)



the game provides very easy ways to win battles, most of them have been discussed. but i find little fun in what are essentially exploits. who wants to make a square and watch the enemy die in droves for more than a few battles? or get to the end of the battle and find that their archers, who fired an entire quiver before the defending line even started taunting, got hundreds of kills each? it's dull. i like to see real battles get fought even if that does mean no more 1400-12 victories

[This message has been edited by SrJamesTyrrel (edited 06-09-2008 @ 05:04 PM).]

jimUK
Legionary
posted 09 June 2008 17:20 EDT (US)     34 / 51       
Why wouldn't you want to slaughter the enemy under your might?

Its rome Total War Not Rome Historically accurate battle simulator

[This message has been edited by jimUK (edited 06-09-2008 @ 05:20 PM).]

SrJamesTyrrel
Legionary
posted 09 June 2008 17:25 EDT (US)     35 / 51       
oh i still like to slaughter the enemy, only i prefer to do it by issuing commands rather than setting up IMPREGNABLE MANFORTRESS (very easy in vanilla) and becoming a spectator.
Bones40
Legionary
posted 09 June 2008 20:12 EDT (US)     36 / 51       
SrJamesTyrrel,

Do you set your formations up historically as well? You said you have the ranks the same (skirmishers, Hastati, Pricipes, triarii then General), but do you do it like a checker board like they did historically to give the Velites room to retreat back through the gaps between hastati units, which is the same gap the principes come through to engage or the hastati retruit through the gaps in principes...wow I explained that horrible.

[This message has been edited by Bones40 (edited 06-09-2008 @ 08:12 PM).]

SrJamesTyrrel
Legionary
posted 09 June 2008 20:51 EDT (US)     37 / 51       
not as much space as i leave between phalangites, no, but i do leave some space.
Diadochius
Legionary
posted 10 June 2008 04:39 EDT (US)     38 / 51       
Yeah im with Lord Tyrell on this one.

The man fortresses work well on ai, but have you tried using them online against humans? It doesnt work very well.

Although I do disagree about taking on a phalanx head on... with anything. I tested one unit of maxxed out spartans against one unit of maxxed out Urbans, and the Urbans lost badly. They killed about twenty Sparts, lost about 50 odd of there own and the remaining 20- 30 ran away.
SrJamesTyrrel
Legionary
posted 10 June 2008 07:26 EDT (US)     39 / 51       
oops sorry i thought we were talking about attacking/defending WITH phalanxes, not against them >.<
Diadochius
Legionary
posted 10 June 2008 13:21 EDT (US)     40 / 51       
Hmmm... well we might have been, I cant be bothered finding the actual post to clarify though...
Andalus
Legionary
posted 10 June 2008 16:30 EDT (US)     41 / 51       
Do you set your formations up historically as well? You said you have the ranks the same (skirmishers, Hastati, Pricipes, triarii then General), but do you do it like a checker board like they did historically to give the Velites room to retreat back through the gaps between hastati units, which is the same gap the principes come through to engage or the hastati retruit through the gaps in principes...
I do that, but then the game automatically puts Roman armies in that formation. I sometimes adjust it slightly as to which units go where, but I generally use it as my standard Roman formation. It works well against Carthaginian armies, I have found, and also Barbarian armies (Except Germans), because the unbroken line of warbands will be broken.

Unless of course I am outnumbered or disadvantaged, in which case I will adapt my tactics based on my surroundings in battle. I like splitting my legionaries into two groups on two hills, so the enemy either have to split their own forces, or turn to face one group, leaving their flanks exposed to the other group. In both cases any cavalry or light, fast troops I have are ready to exploit this and get behind the enemy rear.
Bones40
Legionary
posted 10 June 2008 18:53 EDT (US)     42 / 51       
I do that, but then the game automatically puts Roman armies in that formation. I sometimes adjust it slightly as to which units go where, but I generally use it as my standard Roman formation. It works well against Carthaginian armies, I have found, and also Barbarian armies (Except Germans), because the unbroken line of warbands will be broken.
Actually they don't in 1.5 Vanilla, at least for me. I tested it out today because I noticed that RTR does put them in the checker board formation. I wanted to see if Vanilla did as well and I just failed to notice it, but vanilla just puts the units of principes directly behind the units of hastati, rather than staggering them in the gaps between the hastati units.
SrJamesTyrrel
Legionary
posted 10 June 2008 19:41 EDT (US)     43 / 51       
andalus - only in RTW can you divide your forces in the face of a superior enemy and hope for victory >.<
Andalus
Legionary
posted 11 June 2008 12:45 EDT (US)     44 / 51       
As jimUK said:
Its rome Total War Not Rome Historically accurate battle simulator
SrJamesTyrrel
Legionary
posted 11 June 2008 12:51 EDT (US)     45 / 51       
it's a good point, too. But i use that as a reason not to use skymod :P.

(completely OT, i admit, i just think it's gross on the units. all the pretty skins just turn to black with specs of blown-out detail! D: )
Andalus
Legionary
posted 11 June 2008 12:59 EDT (US)     46 / 51       
Sorry, what is skymod? I haven't heard of it.
Oolon Colluphid
Legionary
posted 11 June 2008 15:13 EDT (US)     47 / 51       
If you're careful you can actually get the ai to march themselves off a hill while you march to the top of it.
I've just experienced this. I sallied from a Besieged town and moved all my units out into formation. Then, I positioned it diagonally(sp?) in fron of the enem9ies flank so they would turn and face me, until I'd turned the postitions nearly 180░ and stood on the downwards slope that was once my enemies. I'll post some screenshots later.

It was a nice battle by the way, got to use my beserkers for the first time, they're beautiful..and hilarious. They went beserk just from doing a warcry. I still love how they attack wildly and as soon as a unit routs lose interest in them and move on to another unit that's still fighting...but won't be for long
SrJamesTyrrel
Legionary
posted 11 June 2008 15:30 EDT (US)     48 / 51       
yeah the hill exploit is a good one to use in a pinch. just don't let any of your men fire while dancing or the enemy will attack while you're out of formation!

skymod just changes weather and lighting in the game, mostly adds more clouds and more brown and darker units. some people prefer it to the zomgsunshine approach of vanilla, but i'm a commercial graphic artist myself and have to say that, in this case, i think the other commercial artists had it right. vanilla units are far more readable and attractive imo than in any mod i've seen.
Oolon Colluphid
Legionary
posted 11 June 2008 17:24 EDT (US)     49 / 51       
I hadn't thought of that. Good thing I tend to have fire at will off lately.

I actually did clash with the enemy at some point, when I was getting impatient about the turn and a warband was moving in front of the lines from one side to the other and my archers walked into them. It cost me a couple of archers, but luckily there was a spear warband right behind them. Just putting that unit in phalanx solved the problem.
SrJamesTyrrel
Legionary
posted 11 June 2008 17:35 EDT (US)     50 / 51       
yeah i made that mistake with horse archers. HUGE macedonian army charges when i'm completely staggered, not even in phalanx, all flanks turned, and the generals six miles ahead of everyone else because i let them run to save time (which also means they were winded). it's probably my worst defeat in RTW history, two dead family members and a thousand men killed on the field. i killed less than 300. the army though, an invading force, was caught the next turn before reaching my boats and won a heroic victory against the remaining macedonians, with a general adopted out of the same horse archers that had screwed me up. they captured byzantium and then lost it to revolts and i switched from armenia to carthage a few days later :P.



long story short, choose when horse archers attack.



also, since we're on the topic of strategies, my dad was ticked off because his eastern general sucked before we found out how to charge them. an eastern general (and later, clibinarii) on "fire at will" but ordered to charge with the ALT key will have the crushing force of a bodygaurd with the demoralizing and disorienting bonus of javelins. Most experienced players know this but i didn't until recently so i thought i'd share.


btw these Sandwich Toothpicks "flaming arrows" pretty much encapsulate what i don't like about the lighting and effects mods.

http://xs128.xs.to/xs128/08244/wheresthefire795.jpg

[This message has been edited by SrJamesTyrrel (edited 06-11-2008 @ 09:11 PM).]

Son_of_the_King
Legionary
posted 15 June 2008 18:08 EDT (US)     51 / 51       
Do you set your formations up historically as well? You said you have the ranks the same (skirmishers, Hastati, Pricipes, triarii then General), but do you do it like a checker board like they did historically to give the Velites room to retreat back through the gaps between hastati units, which is the same gap the principes come through to engage or the hastati retruit through the gaps in principes...
I do that sometimes, but other times, when my army is badly understrength/not structured I adapt the formation to something more effective. I also always use my surroundings, for example in a battle in my AAR I used a forest to hide my cavalry while units emerging from another forest split up the enemy forces.

Exilian Patrician
| SotK |

Valour is the contempt of death and pain. - Tacitus
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