View Full Version : Stupid Hordes

Furious Mental
11-06-2005, 14:15
I don't know what other people's experiences with hordes is, but in my experience they tend to be incredibly stupid. Often all they do is pillage their way across the map without any thought of settling down anywhere, until they've finally depleted their forces to the point where they can't settle down anywhere and even if they did the city would promptly revolt against them. In one game I set up as a quick experiment
- the Sarmatians took Illyria et Dalmatia. Not content with capturing a large city that happens to be their target province, they sacked it and moved on. Then they sacked Venetia. Then Mediolanium. Apparently neither of these massive cities with extensive infrastructure was a worthy capital. So then they went all the way to Spain, sacking everything in their path, and now can't take any cities because they are too weak. The actual location of their target provinces and the desirability of cities for settling seems to have had no effect upon them.
- Huns went east, pillaged their way through the Sassanid and Eastern Roman Empires, and settled in Pergamum. They garrisoned this city with a minute army (even though had many huge armies), so it promptly revolted back to the ERE and now they are just sort of wandering aimlessly fending off huge Roman armies with their own diminishing forces.
- The Roxolani went immediately to Constantinople, took it, and settled there. Smart yes? No. Like the Huns, they had an unnecessarily minute garrison and it immediately revolted back to the ERE. Now they just sit in northern Greece not actually doing anything.
Why do hordes behave like this? Isn't the whole idea of being a horde that you want to settle somewhere good as quickly as possible? So why do hordes often not bother to settle anywhere, even the best locations in the game, and when they do settle, not even bother to properly control their city?

Silver Rusher
11-06-2005, 15:21
I have to say I agree in some parts of what you say, but it has been established that most of the stuff a horde does is completely random and unpredictable. I always see hordes settling in Tribus Iazyges, when they could go to Constantinople or Dacia instead. Probably a coincidence though, because like I said, the horde's actions are random.

11-06-2005, 15:34
The thing about hordes that I notice is they don't settle down, or even try, until nearly 400. The Vandels for sure don't take a settlement until 390.

Furious Mental
11-06-2005, 15:44
As I understand it, the higher the difficulty level, the greater the advantage of settled factions against hordes, so any horde that waits four decades to try and settle somewhere on a higher difficulty level is probably going to have almost no soldiers left at the end. This seems to have been borne out in an ERE campaign I played (VH). The barbarian factions which horded (Huns, Roxolani, Goths) ended up with tiny armies wandering the map and slowly dieing off. The barbarian factions which didn't horde (Franks, Allemani, Lombards, Burgundians) expanded and took over the WRE. Hording often seems to achieve nothing more than to prolong a faction's death.

Sol Invictus
11-06-2005, 16:40
In my current ERE campaign on M/M, the Huns have done well by taking Mediolanum, Ravenna, and Rome ad have a fairly nice little homeland. It is around 395 A. D. and their one large army just left Rome to rack up the needed number of province for the win, I guess. Problem for them is that I have a large Army/Fleet ammaseed across the Adriatic in preparation for my final campaign to capture Rome. I don't really know much about the other Barbarian faction or what they are doing.

11-06-2005, 17:50
Hmm, I allied with Hordes as the Alemanni and granted them safe passage through my lands. The Goths sacked all the southern coast settlements past Masillia (as I have all of Italy and most of Central Europe) then settled in Burdigala. The Huns fought the Vandals in my lands, resulting in me backing up the Vandals and finishing the Hun Hordes for good. I then struck the Vandals because they were hovering dangerously near Ravenna, and they fled out of my area, and took Campus Iazyges, and then I ceasefired and allied with them.

Somebody Else
11-06-2005, 18:23
Each and every horde that's come into my lands (playing as WRE, Franks and Alemanni) seems to eventually head for Avaricum. Which is irritating, as it's a way away from any other settlements, and so takes some time to reinforce. Not, of course, that they often succeed in taking the city - a couple of good melee infantry units make stone-walled cities well-nigh impregnable.

11-07-2005, 02:10
I've basically obliterated the Huns as the ERE, and pretty seriously crippled the Goths as well. None of the hordes seem to be doing especially well, so perhaps (as someone mentioned above) it is a lot harder for them on higher difficulty levels?

The WRE even seems to be doing okay, and has held most of its territories which is the polar opposite of what happened in all my earlier M/M games.

11-09-2005, 20:42
Huh. In my ERE campaign (VH/M) many of the hordes seem to be wandering around the Hungarian Plain and Bulgaria. One - the Vandals I think - several times moved a stack to stare confusedly at the forts I had plugging the bridges in that direction until I moved the mobile reserve army next to the bridge in question, at which point they went off. The Goths recently laid siege to the fort I had right across the bridge north of Sirmium, at which point the mobile army (based there) moved up and slaughtered the lot without too much trouble. Seems like even basic Archers can beat the plain-vanilla Horde mounted archers in a straight firefight, and the assorted barbarian infantry didn't seem to hold too long against Commies, Lanciarii and the odd Bosphoran Mercs up close after first being showered with flaming arrows. 'Course, the Auxilia Palatinae, A. Equites and Household Bodyguards inviting themselves to their flanks and rear didn't help any.

Judging by what the spy I recently sent to check out the WRE saw, they haven't made much progress that way either. Can't vouch for all those barbarians up north, of course, but I somehow suspect they haven't exactly been swept aside either.

11-09-2005, 20:55
Well we should all know by now that any unit under the control of the "AI" in this game is as good as dead.

Not really worth taking the time to brag about beating AI armies....but anyone who has played the Huns can tell you that a horde in the hands of a human player is unstoppable. Imagine the whole of Western Europe (i.e the nice juicy parts with all the cash) turned rebel-colour and 200,000+ Denarii in your treasury by 400AD. That goes for any hordable faction really.

The AI just doesn't really know what to do with a horde.

11-09-2005, 21:20
Well, it doesn't really tend to know what to do with most of its troops. Its usual response to a proper battleline of missile-supported infantry with flanking cavalry often seems to consist of little more than dithering back and forth between attacking and moving away, with the end result that it tends to send a handful of units into a disordered charge, pull short, and run back to its lines, much to the glee of the player's archers who can pour fire into their retreting backs.
It only seems to press home a general assault if it eventually realizes it's going to get shot apart unless it moves, or it thinks it has at least a parity in line troops (Sassanid Levy Spearmen seem unwilling to engage even Limitanei although this tends to change if Clibanarii try to lead the attack; conversely, those sword-toting steppe infantry seemed to be willing to take on even Comitanenses) - nevermind now that if it really tried to overlap with superior numbers or something it'd usually do a lot better than by vacillating until parts of its line are already all but broken by incoming fire...

The Hun
11-09-2005, 22:18
In my first Hun campaign I drove out Roxolani who settled Spain and took most of Europe, they did ok for Horde.

11-09-2005, 23:30
I really like to play as ERE, but basically it just seems like a cakewalk-- there really isn't anyone to seriously challenge it. The Hordes potentially COULD, but over a dozen or so games they just seem to mill around aimlessly.

On the other hand, I just played my first game as the Huns-- which was a blast! While I could fairly easily win all the battles with my great Cavalry, all the "powers" (ERE.WRE, Sassanids) sent wave after wave of full stacks (most with decent Generals) at me--esp. once I settled down (Constantinople, Thessolonica(?), Athens(?)). The sheer weight of numbers kept me hopping. Plus, I HAD to fight the battles or absorb significant losses in autocalc. They also kept blockading my ports (keeping me short of cash), attacking my pathetic fleets, etc.

So I guess my point is there probably isn't much challenge to playing ERE/WRE at any level-- primarily due to "stupid Hordes". But at least playing as a Horde has SOME challenge at the strategic level (although I agree a human-controlled Horde army should be almost invincible). And tactically it's quite satisfying to unleash the Horde on the so-called "civilized" factions.


Furious Mental
11-11-2005, 04:49
Well if you want a bigger challenge with the ERE you change the descr_strat file to pump the Sassanid Empire full of steroids.