Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

  1. #1
    Member Member weejonnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    This is only a hypothesis and would appreciate comments.

    Suppose you have captured a large town in a hostile area (or built up one over the years) and a large faction army has taken umbrage and started a siege. Worse still, your reinforcements are not going to get there for a few turns and the 'wall' is a palisade/ log wall, your garrison is heavily outnumbered and you can see no hope of surviving the onslaught. You have no diplomats available to try and bribe the attacker.

    Well what you do is destroy everything you can before going out for death and glory:

    1) You get all that money back in your account to spend on the war.
    2) The opposing faction loses the capability to generate quality troops in the town.
    3) The opposing faction loses the port facility to build ships.
    4) There will be a collapse in public order (and possibly health)
    5) The army that captures the town is going to have its foot nailed there to try and keep the garrison effect at 80%
    6) The faction will probably have to devote resources to rebuild the town - meaning it is spending money on poor replacements

    A word of warning: when I tried this, my forces managed to win!

  2. #2
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    8,890

    Lightbulb Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by weejonnie View Post
    This is only a hypothesis and would appreciate comments.
    It's absolutely true that a smash-and-burn raid is a very effective way of crippling a city. So effective, in fact, that I consider it cheesy. There is no way the A.I. can respond effectively to it. The only downside, as you already mentioned, is:

    Quote Originally Posted by weejonnie View Post
    A word of warning: when I tried this, my forces managed to win!
    It's likely that you will get more use out of the city than the A.I. does. If your reinforcements are strong enough, you may want to keep everything intact so that you can use the city when you retake it. So I'd only consider this if there is really no chance for me to retake the city within a reasonable time-frame, i.e. if I am fighting on several fronts and am in danger of being crushed by sheer numbers.

    Welcome to the .Org, BTW .

  3. #3
    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Somewhere, but not there.
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    It also depends on what you did when you took over the town. If you exterminated (not a good idea on small towns), then there will be very little population to riot. Even if you did not, there is no guarantee that they will get upset, especially if they were happy when you took them over.

    For me personally, I won't attack a town unless the force that takes it is capable of acting as a garrison, especially if there is much chance of getting attacked. The only time I do not is if it is an island or a rebel town in my territory. If a town is advanced, I may hit with a small army detached from my main army, because I know I can retrain and train my garrison quickly. The main area I do this is Egypt, Alexandria to Memphis, if Egypt has no large armies around.

    If you are a phalanx faction such as Greece, Macedon, or Seleucia, defense is easy. Even Militia Hoplites and Levy Pikemen can barricade the streets effectively, which is the way to fight using a phalanx in a town, unless they attack a wooden-walled town, such as in your example, with two or three rams. Then some phalanx units at the walls is the way to fight. And Roman units are good enough to hold in melee combat as well, so I almost never write a city off as Rome. As Barbarian, yes.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

  4. #4
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,532

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    The only time I ever practice "scorched-earth" is when I need to create a buffer zone. As an example, playing Armenia, once I begin moving westward into Greece and beyond, the starting settlements of Artaxarta and Kotais become a real pain as distance-to-capital becomes greater. It's almost impossible to get those two cities to 24k in population, so I destroy any vanilla units and every structure possible in the city. Any units I retain, jump onto a fleet waiting offshore, and head to wherever they're needed. I do the same with the city of Seleucia, as I don't need the Hanging Gardens creating population growth problems.

    The resulting rebel stacks are enough to keep Parthia and/or Scythia busy for a long, long time

    Works well when you don't want to expand in a particular direction anymore, and there is still a faction or two that aren't quite powerful enough to challenge you, but large enough to be a pain in the a$$ if given an opportunity.
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 03-14-2017 at 19:10.
    High Plains Drifter

  5. #5
    Member Member weejonnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    This is my first (Julii) campaign: so far I have taken Spain, Gaul and am about to remove the Brits (they have two provinces left in Germania - Great Britain is mine): however my popularity with the senate is starting to drop. (I am a few turns in from the Marius reforms - I find the historical information quite illuminating). The Scipii have Africa, the Brutii Macedonia/ Greek cities - which I suspect is doing very well with Mediterranean trade.

    When the s**t hits the fan and the civil wars start would you go after the Blues or the Greens? I have a lot of ships plowing the Med, so can probably blockade one faction (when looking at fleets on the map they all seem to be one bireme at the moment - I did have problems with the Spanish, they had lots of ships).

  6. #6
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,532

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    Take Rome first! Then Capua, then kick the Brutii off the boot. Sicily should be next. If your navy is strong enough, keep the Scipii bottled up in Africa until you've conquered Greece and Macedonia. If you don't eliminate the Brutii first, you'll face endless stacks of green winding their way up the Adriatic coast heading for Patavium.
    High Plains Drifter

  7. #7
    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Somewhere, but not there.
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by weejonnie View Post
    would you go after the Blues or the Greens? I have a lot of ships plowing the Med, so can probably blockade one faction (when looking at fleets on the map they all seem to be one bireme at the moment - I did have problems with the Spanish, they had lots of ships).
    Go after the Brutii. They are in Greece, and Greece will provide virtually unlimited funds. I have seen campaigns (granted, on E/E), where after my building I was pulling in 30000 denarii a turn, especially after taking Turkey. Sicily is nice, good mercs, and if you take over a town that has a Temple of Neptune from Scipii, if it is Awesome Temple, you can train Corvus Quinquireme, and if Pantheion, CQ and Decere. Also, any one of their Pantheions will give you, with foundry, gold sword and shield (missile units excepted, find Gallic temples to Abnoba or Macedonian ones to Artemis, or Pantheion to Zeus). Caralis will also help.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

  8. #8
    Member Member weejonnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    I have done - sent 4 armies into southern greece to take out athens, sparta, corinth and another one. All sea trading is now blocked so income for the greens and blues is zilch (remember they need to pay their army). Obviously my name is now mud - but I had to take out the Brutii before they got too far ahead of me. (The game is in the balance - I am weaker than they are militarily but I can recruit and they can't.

    Probably going to send my assassin to take out forums, which will further hit trade. It's a pity you can't see exactly how badly they are doing (income is down to virtually nil while mine is at 10K.)

    One interesting event - The Blues were sieging a town, so I joined in and then attacked first. At the end of the day the blues had all sorts of casualties and I had the town. Does this always happen or does it depend who gets the central square?

    One thought - the Scipii are now stuck in Africa (no ships and they'll have to fight all the way round the black sea to get home.) Has anyone tried letting a ship be created in a Mediterranean port e.g. Sicily, let it go and pick up an army and then sink it on the way back?

    Final note - re re-training. I can re-train troops to make them stronger, but not recover their numbers - am I doing something wrong that can obviously be corrected?

    Further to the scorched-earth policy : probably be a good idea to leave in the port since you can always blockade it if you lose the city.

  9. #9
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    8,890

    Lightbulb Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by weejonnie View Post
    1) One interesting event - The Blues were sieging a town, so I joined in and then attacked first. At the end of the day the blues had all sorts of casualties and I had the town. Does this always happen or does it depend who gets the central square?

    2) One thought - the Scipii are now stuck in Africa (no ships and they'll have to fight all the way round the black sea to get home.) Has anyone tried letting a ship be created in a Mediterranean port e.g. Sicily, let it go and pick up an army and then sink it on the way back?

    3) Final note - re re-training. I can re-train troops to make them stronger, but not recover their numbers - am I doing something wrong that can obviously be corrected?
    1) It's been a while since I played the game, but IIRC the army that attacked first would always get the town. I could be wrong, though.

    2) IIRC the vanilla R:TW A.I. was not very keen on naval invasions. Chances are that, fleet or no, they will simply sit around in Africa (maybe attacking nearby cities) until you show up.

    3) Most likely the city doesn't have the barracks level required to train your troops, so all you get are the armour/weapon/experience bonuses.

  10. #10
    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Somewhere, but not there.
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by weejonnie View Post
    I have done - sent 4 armies into southern greece to take out athens, sparta, corinth and another one. All sea trading is now blocked so income for the greens and blues is zilch (remember they need to pay their army). Obviously my name is now mud - but I had to take out the Brutii before they got too far ahead of me. (The game is in the balance - I am weaker than they are militarily but I can recruit and they can't.

    Probably going to send my assassin to take out forums, which will further hit trade. It's a pity you can't see exactly how badly they are doing (income is down to virtually nil while mine is at 10K.)

    One interesting event - The Blues were sieging a town, so I joined in and then attacked first. At the end of the day the blues had all sorts of casualties and I had the town. Does this always happen or does it depend who gets the central square?


    Final note - re re-training. I can re-train troops to make them stronger, but not recover their numbers - am I doing something wrong that can obviously be corrected?
    You blockaded Brutii/Scipii ports? I must be misunderstanding something, because you would not be allied with them and still blockading the port, the computer would not let you blockade them. Or did you blockade all trade coming into their ports, is that what you mean?

    Yes, since you attacked first, you took the town. I have done that myself before, though my personal code of honour keeps me from doing it more. I also used to send spies into allied towns to force a revolt, but I have the same issue with honour.

    AI will sometimes land armies, mainly if you take Sicily as say Greece, Scipii keep bringing mainland armies to Sicily to take Messana back. Other than that, they don't do invasions much, Kydonia stays rebel for a long time usually, and Rhodes rarely comes under attack as well. Palma and Caralis do get attacked quickly.

    You actually can see how a town is doing financially, send a spy into a town and it will tell you its financial status, you double-click on the town and it will be near the bottom.

    As Ludens said, you are getting the armour/weapons experience upgrades only, since town apparently does not have sufficient barracks, or possibly numbers to retrain (though that usually only happens at the town level).
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

    Member thankful for this post:



  11. #11
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,532

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    Also be aware that at higher game difficulty settings, Roman factions get monetary cheats. I have had games where I've had every single Roman port blockaded, yet the financial graph shows them actually gaining money (usually the SPQR). Since income from port trading is more than all other forms of income combined, the only logical conclusion is there's some serious gifting of money built-in

    The only empirical data I ever collected was to add up the maintenance costs for the Roman armies and fleets in a campaign I was playing, and there was no way those armies/fleets could be maintained if they belonged to a player

    Game difficulty will also affect AI behavior concerning amphibious landings. Higher settings>>>more attempts at naval landings, lower difficulty settings>>>few to none.
    High Plains Drifter

  12. #12
    Member Member weejonnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Butler View Post
    You blockaded Brutii/Scipii ports? I must be misunderstanding something, because you would not be allied with them and still blockading the port, the computer would not let you blockade them. Or did you blockade all trade coming into their ports, is that what you mean?

    Yes, since you attacked first, you took the town. I have done that myself before, though my personal code of honour keeps me from doing it more. I also used to send spies into allied towns to force a revolt, but I have the same issue with honour.

    AI will sometimes land armies, mainly if you take Sicily as say Greece, Scipii keep bringing mainland armies to Sicily to take Messana back. Other than that, they don't do invasions much, Kydonia stays rebel for a long time usually, and Rhodes rarely comes under attack as well. Palma and Caralis do get attacked quickly.

    You actually can see how a town is doing financially, send a spy into a town and it will tell you its financial status, you double-click on the town and it will be near the bottom.

    As Ludens said, you are getting the armour/weapons experience upgrades only, since town apparently does not have sufficient barracks, or possibly numbers to retrain (though that usually only happens at the town level).
    I am retraining troops in cities with the facility to train praetorian cohort (and ones with amphitheaters for Samnite gladiators). I can understand hastati/ principes not being trainable (post Marius). Oh well, no doubt I can muddle trhough - but it would be very useful for cities that have fought off sieges.

  13. #13
    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Somewhere, but not there.
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    You can have an Proconsul's/Imperial Palace and without an Army Barracks to train Praetorian Cohort. Of course, if those towns are at that level, then they would almost certainly have an Army Barracks. Of course if you just had Marius...I guess your recourse is to just train Praetorian Cohort as your garrison Nobody is taking that town. I rarely use gladiators or Arcani, are your gladiators not retraining either?
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

  14. #14
    Member Member weejonnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Butler View Post
    You can have an Proconsul's/Imperial Palace and without an Army Barracks to train Praetorian Cohort. Of course, if those towns are at that level, then they would almost certainly have an Army Barracks. Of course if you just had Marius...I guess your recourse is to just train Praetorian Cohort as your garrison Nobody is taking that town. I rarely use gladiators or Arcani, are your gladiators not retraining either?
    The only troops that are being recruited back to original numbers are the ships. I can retrain 1 war dog for 600 denarii - and get 1 war dog.

  15. #15
    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Somewhere, but not there.
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    And the buildings are all repaired, I take it. War Dog means, what, Stables? And it only gives you one wardog in the entire unit? You should be able to train Roman Cavalry at that level as well, since you have had Marian reforms. What is the population? Assuming you have not modded the game, especially in the buildings files, if you are unable to retrain in repaired buildings that are of sufficient level, with sufficient population and finances, it sounds like a glitch in the game.

    I was wrong, it looks like a Proconsul's Palace does not train Praetorian Cohort, only Army Barracks level or higher, or an Imperial Palace.

    On a rabbit trail, in Gaul, if you capture a town with a Sacred Circle of Epona, you can upgrade it to Awesome Temple of Horse, automatically giving troops trained there a silver chevron, then the Pantheon level gives two silver chevrons.
    Last edited by Vincent Butler; 03-22-2017 at 00:42.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

  16. #16
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,532

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    The only troops that are being recruited back to original numbers are the ships
    Check to make sure the appropriate buildings for training/retraining a particular unit are repaired. If you have placed multiple buildings in a queue, only one building at a time becomes usable...the others only come online after they are actually repaired. If the structure required to train a particular troop type is in a usable state, and you cannot train/retrain, then there's a problem with the save-file as Vincent has pointed out. That only naval vessels are being repaired leads me to believe that there's damage to structures, as ports are never damaged during sieges. Structures can sustain partial damage and still be usable, but I've never tried to use a building that has even slight damage so I can't say what happens when you do try
    High Plains Drifter

  17. #17
    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Somewhere, but not there.
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    Repairs on multiple buildings happen in the same turn, constructing buildings follows the queue, one won't start till the one before it is finished. Same with retraining vs training. If you give the command to build/train, and then repair/retrain, the repair/retrain will happen that turn regardless of the queue, even if the repair/retrain involves multiple buildings/units. Building/training will wait till each preceding one is done, but repairs/retrains are done immediately. Sometimes a damaged building will allow retraining that a less-damaged one at another time will not. At least, that is what seems to happen, I may be wrong.

    You don't have automanage turned on, do you? If so, turn it off and see if that solves the problem.

    You are playing just the standard Rome Total War, right?
    Last edited by Vincent Butler; 03-22-2017 at 06:02.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

  18. #18
    Member Member weejonnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Scorched Earth Policy: good or bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Butler View Post
    Repairs on multiple buildings happen in the same turn, constructing buildings follows the queue, one won't start till the one before it is finished. Same with retraining vs training. If you give the command to build/train, and then repair/retrain, the repair/retrain will happen that turn regardless of the queue, even if the repair/retrain involves multiple buildings/units. Building/training will wait till each preceding one is done, but repairs/retrains are done immediately. Sometimes a damaged building will allow retraining that a less-damaged one at another time will not. At least, that is what seems to happen, I may be wrong.

    You don't have automanage turned on, do you? If so, turn it off and see if that solves the problem.

    You are playing just the standard Rome Total War, right?
    Thanks for the info - will put it to good use.

    Yes: bought the package RTW, BI and Alexander - I am micromanaging everything. I don't think I changed any settings so presumably am running on normal difficulty. (40 territories, 180 years to go - Julii and Egypt are about to have a fracas as there is no-one else for them to attack. There are about 7 full armies stuck outside Carthage - one bireme has basically killed the Blues. The Brutii are expanding up North, but their cities (bar 2) have no garrisons. They have about 6 armies left but IMHO are doomed.)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO