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Downloads Home » Battle Videos » Desert cav spammer slaughtered

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Desert cav spammer slaughtered

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Game Version: Rome: Total War 1.2
Number of Players: 4
# of Denarii: 30,000
This is a quick and furious battle which shows something most people love seeing. A guy whose entire army consisted of 5 onagers and 15 desert cavalry gets routed in about 10 seconds.

The game is a 2v2, the Julii (me) and Carthage vs. the Scipii and Egypt. Everyone has a normal army (6-7 cavalry, archers, infantry) except for Egypt. His army consists of 5 onagers and 15 desert cavalry screening it. Seeing as he spent his entire 15,000 they must have been upgraded as well.

The battle closes fast; there is no archer duels, no circling, all 4 armies are in the middle of the field duking it out from the onset.

Both me and Carthage immediately take off for Egypt. Scipii sees this, immediately takes off for us.

The 6 Julii archers open up on Egypt with fire arrows (desert cav is not armoured so regular arrows would have caused more casualties, but the fight happened so fasr I opted for fire and its effect on moreale).

Rather than charge us while on the move and thus bring his advantage to bear while we're out of formation, throwing us into disarray and ripe for the Scipii blow, Egypt instead tries to outflank us both to get at the archers behind. In doing so, he runs right into the Scipii army, messing up his ranks and confusing him enough so that he stops and sets up a defensive formation.

As 15 Egypt desert cavalry run the gullet between the Scipii and Julii/Carthage armies, they make it to the flank - just in time to meet 7 units of praetorian cavalry and 7 units of companion cavalry. The scene is reminiscent of a WW1 charge into machinegun-defended trenches. 6 archer auxillia pour flaming arrows on the mass of desert cav as Carthaginian slingers unload into them. The horses clash head on; praetorians in front, companions in the side. The effect is devastating.

7 desert cavalry rout on contact. After a 5-second melee, the remainder of the egyptians rout. There are so many horses around that half of egypt's entire force is cut down just trying to get out of the hell their commander stuck them in; unfortunately, the commander himself is now dead and his body trampled, with a praetorian spear through his chest.

Egypt is now out of the battle. His shaken rallying cavalry routs on contact with anything, taking trmendous casualties.

Julii and Carthage immediately pull back and try to reform as through all this, the Scipii legions are literally within javelin range. They pour fire into Carthaginian infantry caught between their and Julii lines and divide their force in two; a smaller holding force meant to slow the Julii and a larger, cavalry-supported force which goes after Carthage. The Carthaginians immediately attack; Julii split their forces, sending 4 cohorts at the smaller Scipii force while their cavalry circles around it. It is unopposed as the Scipii cavalry are busy elsewhere...

The left wing is close to collapse; fresh Scipii cavalry, 5 cohorts and 4 rallied desert cav units supported by 6 archer auxillia smash into 4 units of sacred band infantry and the remaining companion cavalry. The Carthaginians manage to form phalanxes just in time to receive the Scipii charge; as in a chain reaction this is smashed into by their cavalry, which in turn is charged by the Egyptians. While giving a good account of themselves, they rout and the remaining 3 sacred bands are on the verge of breaking as well. But then, the Julii arrive.

Simultaneously on the right, the smaller Scipii force is under attack from a few poeni infantry. They are quickly joined by 4 Julii cohorts, who unload their pila and charge into melee. A Scipii first cohort arrives to bolster the line long enough for their main thrust on the left to come relieve them. But then praetorian cavalry smash into them from behind, decimating and routing the lot.

The battle on the left, nearly lost, is now an even match as the arriving Julii help and the ferocity of Carthaginian defense manage to keep the enemies at bay. Slowly, the grinding infantry battle turns against the Scipii - and then the Julii cavalry crashes into them from behind, finishing them off.

The battle is pretty much over now. Both sides mop up each other's archers; once Scipii has gotten all the easy kills he can and is faced with sacred bands, urban cohorts, companion and praetorian cavalry, he admits defeat.


This is a great battle which proves that it's not enough to have one of the most overpowered armies in the game, one also needs to know how to use it.

It also highlights the weakness of desert cavalry and the reason I very rarely use them anymore. Low morale. Desert cavalry's strength lies in their numbers and their armor piercing ability. When they hit other cavalry those two factors will usually combine into a lot of kills, FAST, which will rout the opponent on the spot. So how do you fight it?

Hit them in force, hard. When the desert cavalry finds itself on the short end of a charge which manages to inflict enough casualties in a short time, they will rout instantly. This means that they will rally later with most of their men intact, but we all know that units which have once routed suffer a morale penalty. Combined with their low starting morale, they're useless for the remainder of the battle.

Side note: the Scipii player has actually done nearly everything right in this fight. He came to the aid of Egypt and nearly turned the combined army's flank. He was sunk by his partner, who first charged through his ranks effecting what was essentially two 2v1 engagements (albeit happening very close after one another), then lost his army due to severe mismanagement.
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