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Thread: Hotkeys--Key to Battlespeed

  1. #1
    Best Laugh on the Seven Seas Member Good Ship Chuckle's Avatar
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    Default Hotkeys--Key to Battlespeed

    Friends, Romans, lend me your ears. I have the secret to total domination on the battlefield.

    As an avid player of Rome Total War, I am always searching for ways to improve my game playing skills. I search for ways to outbest the computer in every catagory. But the computer has one distinct skill that I cannot quite compare to. It can communicate commands to its units instantaneously, whereas I have to pull my mouse all the way over to the bottom right of the screen to the command buttons. Think about the precious time that is wasted to when you have go back and forth from your units and the command buttons.
    That amount of time is enough for your archers to fire a volley into the backs of your own soldiers. That amount of time is enough for your calvary to charge into newly lowered spears. That amount of time is enough to cost you the battle.

    Therefore I have devised a system that allows you to methodically and instantaneously communicate commands to your units. The answer is Hotkeys.

    To edit Hotkeys, (starting at the main menu) go to game 'options', then 'controls'. Then manually edit by double clicking them.

    The following configuration is soley the result of my own reasoning and determination. I encourage you to copy it and share it with others, just be sure to give the credit to Good Ship Chuckle.

    Good Ship Chuckle's Hotkeys
    <k> fire at will mode
    <l> skirmish mode
    <;> toggle run/walk
    <'> special ability
    <i> defensive mode
    <o> show unit destinations
    <p> rotate unit counter clockwise
    <[> rotate unit clockwise
    </> halt


    How to use them. Please go to the 5th post on this thread for an in-depth, easy to understand tutorial on hotkey usage, in addition to the rest of this post.
    Start by placing your pinky-through-index-fingers on the keys <k><l><;><'> respectively. Each finger is also assigned the key directly above it <i><o><p><[>. In addition, the index finger is assigned the </> key.

    Now notice how your thumb gracefully falls on the <Ctrl> key. This is intentional. The <Ctrl> key is extremely useful in battle for multiple unit selection. Double clicking a unit while holding <Ctrl>, selects all other like units as well.
    Another important key in battle is the <Alt> key in reference to legionaires, Jav Cav, and Cilician Pirates. Attacking while holding <Alt> makes sure that they attack directly, instead of throwing an unwanted volley of pila. This key should also be covered by the thumb. I know its a stretch, but the game doesn't give the option of changing the key that represents <Alt> nor <Ctrl>.

    Getting your fingers to cooperate at first is difficult, but becoming fluid with the keys is just a case of muscle memory. Trust me, after a while you stop even thinking about it. I've been using this configuration of hotkeys for about six months (of hardcore playing) and I can honestly tell you that my battlefield dexterity has improved ten fold. As for its effects on Carpal Tunnel...I'm not so sure.

    Please use the rest of this thread to discuss how much you love (or loathe) my idea. Tell me about your own personal configurations, or you can simply put in your . I'd also like to see someone come up with a configuration for lefties (As I am right handed). I hope that my idea for hotkeys will help you as much as it has helped me. Go in peace my brother, and impress the world with your newfound hotkey skills.
    Last edited by Good Ship Chuckle; 01-21-2008 at 22:24.
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  2. #2
    sucks Member Punicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hotkeys--Key to Battlespeed

    That's pretty interesting. I do remember losing a few battles just cause I wasn't able to get around to calling orders quick enough. This could especially help in ambushes, if executed quick enough.

    Anyways, thanks for the help, I'm definitely gonna start using those.

  3. #3
    Best Laugh on the Seven Seas Member Good Ship Chuckle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hotkeys--Key to Battlespeed

    I am honored to help a fellow RTW disciple in his quest to self improvement.
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    Eshmunazar lol

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  4. #4
    Deranged rock ape Member Quirinus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hotkeys--Key to Battlespeed

    I'm not skilled enough to use all that hotkeys. :P I only use a few hotkeys:

    P -- Pause
    N -- Normal Speed
    T -- Triple Speed
    G -- Group
    Alt-click -- Melee attack

    That's about all I use. I normally issue orders in pause, and for orders like Fire At Will or Guard Mode or special abilities, I just click on the button. Shockingly primitive, I know, but thank the gods (or at least CA) for the Pause button.
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  5. #5
    Best Laugh on the Seven Seas Member Good Ship Chuckle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hotkeys--Key to Battlespeed

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirinus
    I'm not skilled enough to use all that hotkeys. :P I only use a few hotkeys:
    I hope that I did not come across as being extremely technical when I explained my hotkeys. I can honestly tell you that it does not take a lot of skill. No more skill than it takes to type on a keyboard with out looking (which is a skill taught in most middle schools). Once you understand this tutorial about hotkeys, you will deliberate about giving commands as much as a video gamer thinks about pressing the the buttons on his controller.

    GSC's Crash Course On Hotkeys
    Right now, as you read these very words, I want you to follow these 10 simple steps, in this order.


    The Base keys for your fingers:
    1) Place your PINKY on the <k> key
    2) Place your RING FINGER on the <l> key
    3) Place your MIDDLE FINGER on the <;> key
    4) Place your INDEX FINGER on the <'> key
    5) Place your THUMB on the <Ctrl> key
    (Your left hand should be relaxed and comfortable)

    The Co-designated keys (keys that are to be pressed, but not rested upon by their respective fingers):
    6) Your PINKY also presses the <i> key
    7) Your RING FINGER also presses the <o> key
    8) Your MIDDLE FINGER also presses the <p> key
    9) Your INDEX FINGER also presses the <[> and </> keys
    10) Your THUMB also presses the <Alt> key

    This configuration was designed so that you (the player) can keep your eyes on the screen, your right hand on the mouse, and your left hand stationary while your fingers press the appropriate keys independently with out needing to watch them. If you can do this, then you are already a master of the hotkeys.

    Congradulations. You have just passed GSC's Crash Course On Hotkeys. Give yourself a pat on the back!


    To refresh your memory of what all the keys mean:
    Good Ship Chuckle's Hotkeys
    <k> fire at will mode
    <l> skirmish mode
    <;> toggle run/walk
    <'> special ability
    <i> defensive mode
    <o> show unit destinations
    <p> rotate unit counter clockwise
    <[> rotate unit clockwise
    </> halt

    Now only one thing remains. Practicing.
    Once you have the keys remotely memorized, select an easy battle, or finally take out that god-forsaken band of brigands tearing up your countryside. Once the battle has started, order yourself NOT to move the mouse over to the command buttons whatsoever. Instead, execute your commands with the hotkeys (Pause it if you need to. @Quirinus). But whatever you do, DON'T CLICK THOSE COMMAND BUTTONS! After each battle you will notice that you'll think less and less about pressing. You'll simply think "I think I'll lower my spears for those oncoming calvalry" or "I better make my warband give the warcry before I charge", and BOOM!, your index finger just hit the <'> key. The command was given instantly, giving you a decisive advantage over any adversary. Your computer won't know what hit it.

    This second post is really meant to be an addition to the original one. But unlike the original one, this tutorial was meant to be as informative and as simple as possible. If there is something I've missed, or somewhere that I've made myself unclear, please let me know. Because I fear that when some people visit this thread they become too baffled or frightened by its complexity to post a response, when in fact it is really not complex at all. Simply give this tutorial a shot, and you will find that how simple yet rewarding hotkey usage is.
    Last edited by Good Ship Chuckle; 01-21-2008 at 22:42.
    When your mama jokes aren't funny anymore, who ya gonna call?
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  6. #6
    Member Member Charge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hotkeys--Key to Battlespeed

    Are you using up, left, right, down arrows on keyboard?

  7. #7
    Best Laugh on the Seven Seas Member Good Ship Chuckle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hotkeys--Key to Battlespeed

    No arrow keys at all. Not in my configuration.
    I didn't include them because they are not close enough to the <Alt> or <Ctrl> keys, which the game doesn't allow you to move. Otherwise I might've.
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  8. #8
    Member Member Charge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hotkeys--Key to Battlespeed

    Ah, I use WASD for moving QE for rotating camera.

  9. #9
    Best Laugh on the Seven Seas Member Good Ship Chuckle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hotkeys--Key to Battlespeed

    I see. Your talking about hotkeys that move the camera. I personally stick to moving the mouse the to the edges of the screen to move the camera, and it serves me well enough. Also, both my hands are already involved with the mouse and the hotkeys I use for battle commands...so I don't really have the luxury of moving the camera with hotkeys. I like the idea however. Maybe some else will adopt it.
    When your mama jokes aren't funny anymore, who ya gonna call?
    Eshmunazar lol

    Laughin' out loud since 251 BC.

  10. #10
    Servo Servorum Member wumpus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hotkeys--Key to Battlespeed

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirinus
    I'm not skilled enough to use all that hotkeys. :P I only use a few hotkeys:

    P -- Pause
    N -- Normal Speed
    T -- Triple Speed
    G -- Group
    Alt-click -- Melee attack

    That's about all I use. I normally issue orders in pause, and for orders like Fire At Will or Guard Mode or special abilities, I just click on the button. Shockingly primitive, I know, but thank the gods (or at least CA) for the Pause button.
    Hello there! It's quite fun to find out that I'm not alone--like you, I use the P-key frequently to hold the battle for a while, while I issue further orders to my men. (Yes, thank CA for giving us the P-key.) Before this, I thought I was one of the very few who use (or "abuse"?) the P-key in a battle.
    And I usually set "Fire at Will," or "Use Fire," or "Guard Mode" at the start of the battle, and generally leave them at that without much further tinkering--in the heat of battle, I don't have the luxury of time to reset things which have already been set.
    But I'm wondering: do you, like I usually do, have your LEFT hand on the cursor arrow keys to control your units and your RIGHT hand alternating between the mouse and the numeric keypad (for access to the /, *, -, and + buttons) to control your camera? Pretty inefficient, I know, and fortunately we have this "hot key" stuff to improve our gameplay, huh?
    Hawooh.

  11. #11
    Deranged rock ape Member Quirinus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hotkeys--Key to Battlespeed

    Quote Originally Posted by Good Ship Chuckle
    I hope that I did not come across as being extremely technical when I explained my hotkeys. I can honestly tell you that it does not take a lot of skill. No more skill than it takes to type on a keyboard with out looking (which is a skill taught in most middle schools). Once you understand this tutorial about hotkeys, you will deliberate about giving commands as much as a video gamer thinks about pressing the the buttons on his controller.
    Hehe, no, I just meant that, a lot of the time, I accidentally press 'O' or '[' or even ']' when aiming for 'P'.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Hotkeys--Key to Battlespeed

    I like efficiency, I will be trying this. Well done you.

  13. #13
    Best Laugh on the Seven Seas Member Good Ship Chuckle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hotkeys--Key to Battlespeed

    If there is one thing that this tutorial will lend you, is efficiency. The hotkeys allow you to give commands instantaneously, and it doesn't get much faster than that!
    When your mama jokes aren't funny anymore, who ya gonna call?
    Eshmunazar lol

    Laughin' out loud since 251 BC.

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