The Mayhem Tactic - Bashing with the Brits

By Cheesewiz

One of the common results from strategy in Rome: Total War is chaos. Often, gamers will find themselves loosing their planning ability as soon as the first arrows are released in battle. A true sign of a good player is being able to keep cool when your opponent gets red hot. Maintaining formation, sticking to the plan, and minimizing losses are usually the keys to keeping sanity during a fight. However, as we all have come to find out, often times that is impossible to do for the duration of the battle. The true key is to keep your control longer than your enemy, and to do it in style. With that in mind this strategy was developed. Mayhem must be your force to control.

Part One: Troop Selection

Orthodox troops create orthodox battles. Unorthodox troops create unorthodox battles. There are two general types of people you will play online: Those who plan out their game, and those who 'play it by ear'. If someone thinks about every move, they usually have trouble adjusting quickly to a changing atmosphere, unless it goes according to plan. The gamer who quickly makes decisions but lacks an overall plan typically has issues dealing with calculated assaults. Therefore, the best way to beat both styles of play is to hit them hard, and very early. The idea is to make your enemy fight on several fonts at once.

Chariots makes excellent early strike troops. They inflict large amounts of casualties if they attack groups of units, and since your opponent is usually all in one spot at the beginning, they are perfect. Now, who has the quickest and cheapest chariots? Britiania. For 10,000 denarii games, you should acquire One General's Bodyguard, seven divisions of light chariot archers, and six divisions of heavy chariots. This gives you a very mobile strike force that you can throw around the map to induce chaos on a grand scale. As they run around the map they can inflict damage just by running near the enemies troops. Unfortunately, chariots have a tendency to rout easily, and aren't very many in number. Therefore, you need a large amount of infantry, but not just any infantry.

Headhurlers are the unexpected answer to the problem. They come in groups of forty and deliver 17-attack quicklimed heads of doom and destruction. However, although they may appear to be archer-like in nature, they are in reality going to be used in mass like infantry. You will want to purchase five divisions of head hurlers. They have several other unique qualities that will be explained in detail later on, until then, trust that they will be critical to any victory with this ideology.

Part Two: Setup for Chaos

At the setup stage of the fight you will want to place all of your head hurlers on the very front of your movement area. The light chariots should go on the semi-distance flank, and the heavy chariots should all go on the opposite flank, adjacent to the hurlers. Your general should go directly behind your hurlers. Also note that you should try to make it so that your chariots have a direct line to where the enemy is likely to set up. This is because trees and hills can hinder the chariots mobility, so be cautious to take notice of that. Place your light chariots on loose formation, and line them up in two rows of three, with one extra division out to the side. Next, place your heavy chariots in two rows of three, tightly packed in for maximum charge impact. Make sure all ranged units are at fire-at-will-mode.

Part Three: Spread Panic Amongst Them

Remember that the overall goal of this strategy is two-fold. First, you want to panic your opponent into forgetting his strategy and cause him or her to make mistakes they normally wouldn't dare do. Secondly, you want to break the fight into several smaller battles spread across the map. The reason the head hurlers and chariots are so excellent for this is that they can skirmish. Skirmish mode should be enabled from the start of the fight on your ranged units. That way, you can focus on micromanaging particular things at your dicretion, while the rest of your army stays out of range thanks to skirmish mode. Since you have more units that can skirmish, you will end up having to do less microing than your opponent, and he or she will start to crumble.

The first maneuver you will make in the actual battle is to order your heavy chariots to charge directly into the enemy. This should be done as soon as the battle starts to maximize the shock value of the attack. Have the heavy chariots attack in pairs on critical lines of the enemy, but keep them all close together. You want your chariots to be certain to take out the archers who might be nearby, while sweeping through the infantry with the scythes causing massive damage and moral loss. If any cavalry is within striking distance have your heavies attack them as well. While this has your enemy scrambling for an early defensive, order your light chariots to move into arrow range to begin the bombardment. Next, move your headhurlers forward, but not so far as to put them in range. They will serve as a defensive force later on, and will need all of their ammo to do so.

Part Four: Dividing the Front

Don't be surprised if this initial attack results in you loosing 75% of your heavy chariots. If any of the routers regroup, order them to charge back in. They will gradually die off, but not without killing a huge number of enemy men, while also decrease moral and forcing your enemy to rethink his or her entire plan. The light chariots should still be bombarding at this point, and should skirmish away from any infantry assault. Have them continue to skirmish around the map, effectively spreading out the battle on your terms. If a large enough attack occurs, have your head hurlers to fire on the infantry. The heads actually have a bonus against amour. Therefore, they do especially well against heavy infantry. They also inflict a major moral drop and can cause a unit to suddenly rout after as few as two volleys of heads. If you are attacked by archers, you should order one or two groups of light chariots to alt attack them. This could cause you to lose most of the chariots in those groups, but that is well worth the price. If you are attacked by cavalry, order all nearby light chariots to alt attack them. This should cause those cavalry to be shredded by the scythes rather quickly.

Part Five: Picks and Screens

Gradually your enemy will have no choice by to divide his forces to attack your individual chariot groups. What you then should do is to order your hurlers to screen for the chariots. By doing so any small groups could rout, and bigger assault groups could be weakened enough to be finished with a chariot charge. If your opponent decides to attack with everything he or she has against your hurlers, let him. Order your chariots to either pick them off with arrows, while your hurlers pound them, or order your hurlers to alt attack and charge while also having your chariots to alt attack and charge into the fray.

During all of this your general should be placed behind your hurlers, to give them a moral bonus. Only move the general out if there is a truly dire threat that must be addressed. Eventually your enemy will wind down and have nothing left to kill the chariots with. Finish the fight, and that will be the end of that.

Conclusion

As you can see this strategy is marvelously effective against heavy infantry factions, as well as factions that lack heavy cavalry. The only problem you might run into is when dealing with cavalry archers. The only real way to prevent this is to order your chariots to alt attack them in large groups, while your hurlers pound them from the sides. This will require a lot more work on your part, but can still be very effective if you enjoy using Britannia. Remember, that the reason this plan is really effective is that you force the enemy to spread out the fight into several small battles. Since you are using troops that are excellent for skirmishing, you will have to micromanage less, giving you the opportunity to seize the day. Carpe Diem!

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