Frequently I hear people's concern about AI's army. Hopefully this changes everything.
The guide will cover a few actual battles of a campaign, where all the elements of Bait Tactics are explained by text, pictures, and videos.
It should be suitable for everybody's level.
I hope it will be the best guide I have ever made.
Welcome comments and suggestions.
Suzuki Sadayu (鈴木佐大夫): "Captain of the Naginata Warrior Monks Cavalry?" Shinji Kagenaka (神慈景中): "Honored to meet you, my lord!"
"Hm... your face looks familiar. Did you ever fight Takeda in the past... like in a winter?"
"Strangely, I get that a lot, my lord. My cousin and I look much alike, and he fought Takeda. Unfortunately, he died from a duel on the snow."
"Ha! So he is actually realted to you! Here, I've always had a question about your cousin..."
"Please, my lord!"
"What was his last word? He said something but... there was no caption..."
"He said 'Defending in the castle is the worst option... should have used Bait Tactics on the field..." and then he died."
"Bait Tactics?... hm... I will have to study The Art of War further. Take some rest. We have a long way to go from here."
"Certainly, my lord!"
Note: Actually his last word was "My journey ends here. The autumn leaf dyes my gravestone red."
"Did you summon me, my lord?"
"Yes. I have a hard decision to make, so I wish to hear about your opinion."
"I am extremely honored. What is the decision to make?"
"We have successfully taken two provinces from Shimazu, but as you know, there were hardly any defenders in the castle. Now our ninja reports that Shimazu's army is marching straight at us, led by their Daimyo Shimazu Takahisa."
"Shimazu must be very angry that we stole two provinces from them."
"Our ninja reported that Shimazu Takahisa really likes to drink tea at night. So he offered to try poisoning him..."
"I see. So the decision is whether to proceed with poisons. My lord, from a Buddhist's point of view, all creatures are equal and..."
"Oh that's not the decision. Shimazu Takahisa has been sent back to Hyuga on a stretcher. We leave him alive so the commander of the army, Shimazu Yoshihisa, remains as the heir of the clan, and does not inspire his men as much as a daimyo does."
"That... was very thoughtful, my lord."
"What we want to decide is how to approach the following battle. Our power is not as strong as Shimazu's army, which consists of mainly Katana Samurai. We will be hurt badly."
"What are our options?"
Option One: we can defend in the Osumi castle. Option Two: We give up Osumi and let the Shimazu take the castle. Then we counterattack and assault the castle, looking for a way to hurt their Katana Samurai with our numerous Bow Ashigaru from outside the walls. Option Three: We meet them on the field of Hyuga."
"Hm... according to my cousin, option One is probably the worst. Option Two sounds good but there is no guarantee that Shimazu will stay inside the castle. Option Three sounds like certain death, but wouldn't meeting them on the field gives us a chance to use Bait Tactics? What is it about?"
"Actually I could not find it in Sun-Tzu's The Art of War..."
"But I accidentally found it in another book! The Art of Gore by Sun-tzu's contemporary Mao-tzu. "
"I have never heard of this Mao-tzu..."
"Neither have I. But here is actually a chapter dedicated to Bait Tactics. Let me quote the second line:"
2. In order to use Bait Tactics, we have to attack on the field.
"Hm... we can do that..."
"So let's do it!"
"But we are not even sure whether Bait Tactics will work!"
"Here I quote the first line:"
1. If you have no confidence to win a battle the hard way, why not try the easy way?
"There is a laughing drawing on the book!"
"To my cousin's prophecy!"
Note: Ikko-Ikki will lose the combat if it is automatically resolved.
Two. Anticipate thy Enemy
"My lord, we arrived at the battlefield earlier than Shimazu. Where should we deploy?"
"Have you played cards? A good player plays the enemy's cards, not his. A good general deploys according to where the enemy deploys."
"But Shimazu is not here yet."
"That's true. However, here is a quote from The Art of Gore..."
3. Anticipate thy enemy who defend. They like trees. They LOVE hills.
"Hm, there are some hills on Shimazu's side (A). There is also a pretty large hill with trees on our side (B). Which one will Shimazu choose to defend?"
"Hm, our hill (B) is certainly more attractive since it has trees grown on it. Does this mean that Shimazu will try to rob our hills? This brings me back to the Battle of Tsukushi."
"How about we deploy on our hill (B)? If Shimazu comes, we can defend. If they do not come, we decide where to move our army to."
Note: If there is no Hill A, the AI is likely to make a run to Hill B even if we are already on the hill! This has been observed in so many other battles (such as my Hattori's campaign's Battle of Kyoto). However, since the AI already has some attractive terrain within its deployment zone, it probably will not move. If the AI makes a run to our hill, we can defend the hill and intercept the AI's cavalry followed by infantry, or we can purposely deploy away from their destination to carry on with Bait Tactics.
"My lord, the enemy is here! And they indeed defend on their hill."
"Good, just as The Art of Gore predicted!"
"I thought taking high ground is common sense... Where should we deploy?"
"Hm... if I were to actively attack Shimazu, I would deploy on the closer, smaller hill A. But for Bait Tactics... let me see if there is a quote..."
4. The distance between the enemy and you should be at least two times the range of bows. The longer the better.
"Hm, so hill A is a little too close. How about our current position, hill B?? Pretty far away... I can hardly see Shimazu from here. "
"Yeah we are VERY far away from Shimazu. Let's see..."
5. Between the enemy and you, find a tree-less line for the prey to travel through.
"A tree-less line? Hm... the trees growing in front of us are pretty dense."
"It looks like that we will have to walk down the hill, stay in the open, at C."
"Wouldn't the soldiers get tired from heat exhaustion?"
"Luckily this is spring time... On my order, move!"
"STOP! We fight Shimazu here!"
"Let's do some serious Bait Tactics today!"
"Faithful warriors! Can you see little shrubs on the hill far away? Those are Shimazu soldiers! Today, we cut them down like shrubs! "
Note: Being on the low ground is a minor negative factor, as the prey will close in slightly faster.
Four. Keep Ranged Power Ratio (you/enemy) < 2
"My lord, in response to our move to the open, Shimazu rotated their army to face us. But they did not move."
"Shimazu is hoping us to attack them on the hill. They can wait all day, as the sun seems still in the sky. "
"I heard that sometimes the enemy actively attacks us even if they are the defender. It does not happen here."
"Really. Oh, here is a related quote:"
6. The enemy actively attacks you if your ranged power is more than twice as powerful as theirs. Do not carry too many ranged units to the battlefield if you want to use Bait Tactics.
"We have 9 ranged units. Shimazu has 5, but some of them are samurai. Obviously, our ranged power is less than twice as powerful as theirs. Is that why they did not come to us?"
"At least Mao-tsu wrote so. Somehow I am compelled to say he is correct. There is another quote:"
7. If your ranged power is less than twice as strong as the enemy's, bait and destroy ranged units until the ratio goes up to almost 2. This makes subsequent baiting easier.
"Since Shimazu has bow samurai, maybe we can get away with killing off one of their bow ashigaru units."
"Worth a try... OK."
"OK... er.. but how?"
Note: The exact composition of the ranged units of two armies can be found in a screenshot above. To save you the trouble here it is.
"Maybe The Art of Gore has an answer?"
"Oh how nice! There is a section exactly labelled How to Draw out Ranged Units. Let's see..."
8. How to Draw Out Ranged Units: First, make sure their ranged units are on the first row. This almost always happen to be the case.
"Can you see Shimazu's army? We are a little... far away."
"OK, I will get closer to take a look."
"My lord, Shimazu's formation... it is hard to describe in brief words. There are three rows in total. Indeed, their bows are at the front row. But right in the middle there is a katana unit. After that there is a second row made of spears. Then in the third row comes the bulk of katana units. Shimazu Yoshihisa is in the middle of the third row."
"Hm... I do not recognize this formation. But fortunately there is an Appendix about formations at the end of the book! Let's see... OH here it is!"
"Misplaced Katana? Not a very cool name for a formation, but catches the essence of it."
"So I guess that's a gree light to proceed with baiting..."
9. How to Draw Out Ranged Units: Second, march the bait forward. The best bait for enemy's ranged infantry on the first row is your own ranged infantry. They come to you when you get close to their range, or when your unit's range almost touches the target prey.
"OK, let's do just that. Bow Ashigaru unit #1, march!"
"It is quite a long walk..."
"Yeah. Let's take a 5-minute break."
Note: If the AI does not have Katana, there is simply no Katana in the middle of the first line. So the formation can be simply called "Bow on the First Line", which is AI's default defensive formation.
Six. Keep the Right Distance
"Finally our bait is there! And... look! There are three units of Shimazu Bow marching at it!"
"It worked! Let's draw them back and destroy!"
"Turn back and run! Don't let them shoot at you!"
(10 seconds later)
"What the... the preys went back to their formation... come back to daddy! "
"Hm... maybe The Art of Gore has something to say?"
"Ops, there is a section called Keep the Right Distance. Should have checked the guide first..."
10. Keep the Right Distance: In order to keep a ranged-unit prey follow your bait, a suitable distance must be kept between them. The ideal distance is slightly longer than prey's range. If the distance is too long, the bait is off the hook. If the distance is too short, the bait is shot. If you use a ranged infantry to bait another ranged infantry and the terrain is relatively flat, simply let your bait walk back. The ideal distance will be maintained just about right. But if you see the prey starts running, your bait should run, too.
Important: Do not lead the prey into any tiny patch of tree as they will be off the hook.
"Wow that's a monster paragraph for classic Chinese. So what we just did was to let the prey getting too far behind."
"Good, so our bait will comfortably walk back with the prey."
"Yeah! Come back to daddy!"
"My lord, I have a question..."
"Didn't we agree that we should only draw out one unit of Bow Ashigaru? If we defeat all three, wouldn't Shimazu Yoshihisa actively attack us with everything he has left?"
"What should we do?..."
"Maybe the book has something?"
"Yes! Right on the next line!"
11. Keep the Right Distance: If too many ranged-unit preys are on hook and defeating them all would cause the enemy to actively attack, make your bait run a little bit until you shake off the extra preys.
"Start jogging until I say walk!"
"One prey turned back!"
"Two preys turned back!"
"Walk now! Nice! Now let's take another 5-minute break... "
"Good, the Shimazu Bow Ashigaru has followed our bait all the way back. Now what do we do?"
"Let's see what The Art of Gore says:"
12. Trap for Ranged Prey: There are two kinds of traps for a ranged unit. The safer trap is to duel them out with all of your own ranged units in loose formation. Once the prey is about to shoot at us, run up closer so the prey is covered by all units' range.
Another way is to back charge them with more than one unit of cavalry - only safe when the enemy's morale is low.
"Hm... charge with cavalry, that would be my unit and my lord's..."
"Why risk our lives? Let's play safe this time. Bow Ashigaru in loose formation! Go!"
"They are shooting at us! We are taking casualties!"
"Draw arrows... Fire!"
Eight. Induce a different formation
"My lord, just a few escaped! We had to pull back from their bow samurai."
"Good work! Good. Good... what's next?"
14. After destroying all ranged units you can without triggering the enemy's attack, we start drawing out the enemy's melee infantry. This can be done easily if the enemy picks a formation where melee infantry becomes the first row.
"Makes sense. If the enemy's ranged units are on the first row, we will have to draw them out from the side, which could be difficult to do if the enemy will always rotate to face us."
"Yeah. But I wonder how we can order Shimazu to adapt another formation?
15. A change in formation can be induced when a unit of cavalry approaches the side of the enemy. Once a desired formation is adapted, the distraction should remain on the spot so the new formation is "stabilized".
"OK! I am on this! Bodyguards, come with me!"
"Ha! it worked! Shimazu has changed its formation to... let me check the Index of the Book. Oh, the "Marginalized Bows" formation."
"The Bow units are left at the edges, away from battle. I guess they are moved to the sides to protect the flanks from... you, my lord."
"But that leaves their spears exposed at front!"
16. Drawing out melee ashigaru is very easy. Prioritize on baiting them out if they are on the first line.
"On the front row there are two units of Yari Ashigaru. Something wonderful is about to happent! "
"The Art of Gore is Good!"
Nine. Cavalry Draws out Melee Ashigaru
"Let's work on the two Yari Ashigaru units on the first line!"
17. How to draw out melee ashigaru on the first line: Simply march a cavalry unit toward the prey. The prey will start charging the bait when the bait is still quite far away.
"Please let me do this, my lord!"
"Sure! I am stuck here to keep Shimazu's new formation anyway. Remember, your job is to lead the prey back!"
"Yes, my lord!"
"This is too easy!"
"Yeah! Keep walking, don't let them fall too far behind~"
Note: Actually approaching from the side, even back, also draws out melee Ashigaru. They are designed to be cannon fodders, so the AI will always charge them "first", meaning that they start attacking when their enemy is still quite far away.
Ten. Melee Trap for Melee Prey
"My lord, please be ready! I am leading the prey back!"
"OK! Let's... er... "
17. How to trap melee ashigaru: There are two ways. One: use multiple melee units to form a pocket. The goal is to rout the bait by quickly charging them on multiple sides, and then massacre the routing soldiers. Two: Use ranged units to severly weaken the bait when it gets close, and rout it before it can engage our men. The latter way is more suitable for advanced ranged units.
"Yeah, our Bow Ashigaru are not powerful enough. Loan Sword Ashigaru, let's welcome our guest!"
Eleven. Long-ranged Bow Draws out Melee Samurai
"Got them all, my lord!"
"Good! Now we have got rid of all Shimazu's Yari Ashigaru.... all melee infantry remaining are samurai. How do we tackle it?"
18. Draw out melee samurai: The best way is to use Bow Warrior Monk to shoot them from afar. When they receive a certain damage, they will start charging.
"But... this is year 1549, where do we find Bow Warrior Monks? "
"Well, there are Naginata Warrior Monk Cavlary... "
"Oh wait, here is another solution..."
19. Draw out melee samurai: Another way is to use your ranged infantry and approach them head-on - not from the side. They start charging at you when you get close - it might require a paranoid general, though.
"Hm... well, at least it is worth a try. "
"Maybe I can get them close enough to shoot at the samurai, but not close enough to draw out Shimazu's Bow Samurai! Then we can deal some damage to them to make sure they do come out!"
"Good! I will take over to hold the Shimazu formation in place, so my lord can deliver some encouragement on the Bow Ashigaru!"
Note: At the end of the guide I will supply another video showing how to use Bow Warrior Monk to draw out melee samurai.
Twelve. Calvary Draws out Cavalry
"My lord, I am approaching from the opposite direction, so I am not sure whether this is close enough..."
"Hm... maybe a little closer."
"Yes, my lord."
"A little closer."
"OK... oh no, Shimazu's Bow Samurai is coming at me!"
"Oh no, Shimazu's taisho is coming, too! He is coming at me!"
20. When your cavalry gets sufficiently close to the enemy, their cavalry might start charging you. You may wish to bring spear units nearby just in case. Sometimes, you can draw out the enemy taisho and intercept him with spear units.
"Shall I fight, my lord? We are Naginata, and we have twice the men! We can take him out!"
"Lead him all the way back! Yari Ronin, run to the forest there! Meet your comrades and kill their taisho! We will butcher him like Shoni!"