Local Superiority: Gaining it and How to Use it

By Erzin


When I played my first few campaigns, I only attacked armies where I outnumbered at least 3:1. What this lead to be were long campaigns as I built up my military forces and essentially boring battles because there was hardly any challenge. So in my campaigns after that I decided to attempt fighting slightly larger enemies. After realising how much fun battles could be with your back up against the wall, I never turned back.

Local Superiority vs. Battlefield Superiority

What is the difference between local and battlefield superiority? Battlefield superiority is the strength of the combined forces of one side against another. For example, if a Roman army has you outnumbered, then they have battlefield superiority. But if your forces outnumber the Romans in a particular part of the battlefield and they are unable to send reinforcements quickly enough, then you have local superiority.

Don't get it?

Imagine the battlefield is divided into little sectors. If the combined strength of your forces is greater than you enemies in that sector, then you have local superiority. The size and spacing between these sectors are variable. For example, you hardly have tactical superiority if your enemy is able to send all his cavalry which number around half his force into a sector in a few seconds!

Using Local Superiority

Now that you understand what local superiority is, it's time to learn how to use it. As an example, imagine you are facing an army of similar quality troops, but you are outnumbered. The only reason the opposition have a better chance of winning is due to numbers. If you engage with one of your units, then he or she can flank it and still have enough army to match each of your units head to head, and still have some units left over to flanks. This is the main reason why outnumbering armies usually win between players of a similar quality. However, if you manage to gain local superiority in an isolated area and your strength beats his by say, 3:2, then you are able to apply the pressure on him. You have the power to flank his forces, or surround them on all sides. It doesn't matter if your opponent has more than enough soldiers to crush you on the other side of the battlefield; they aren't in the right place. If the smart opponent systematically isolates and crushes small portions of a larger army, then it is possible to beat armies that outnumber you 2:1 in overall strength. Alternatively, don't let an opponent defeat your larger army because he can gain local superiority. Keep your force together unless you are 110% certain that you can easily defeat a small portion of your opponent's army without being lead into a trap. You outnumber him; use it to your advantage.

Gaining Local Superiority

So how do you gain local superiority? When battling the AI, it is not difficult at all. Just send some cavalry to his lines, retreat, and odds are they'll follow. Against an online opponent, it is a bit more difficult. Setting ambushes in forest and leading them into the trap with cavalry may work, but try not to attract more units than you can defeat. If your force is mainly cavalry against his infantry it is easier, as you can cycle charge weak spots of his line with cavalry and retreating before he can reinforce it. But remember that online opponents are much smarter than the AI, so more thought on your behalf is needed with your tactics.

So there you go. Hopefully you found this useful in part and incorporate it in future battles.

A Roman general has been lured away from his men and into a Greek phalanx

I managed to lure this Roman general from their line which I wouldn't dare fight head on. An easy victory.