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Thread: Chasing routers

  1. #1
    Deranged rock ape Member Quirinus's Avatar
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    Default Chasing routers

    "The enemy flee like frightened goats! Hunt them down, and slay them all!"


    Uhm, yes. What do you usually do with routing troops? Which troops do you chase them with? What 'tricks' do you use to kill as many of them as possible before they leave the field?

    I normally keep my light cavalry (militia cavalry, equites, round shield cavalry, etc.) in reserve to keep them fresh so that they can mow down the routers. It may be just me, but I find militia cavalry to be especially deadly rout-chasers. I've gotten single silver-chevron militia cavalry before in my Greek/Seleucid games, almost purely from killing routers. They've killed far more than their fair share of cowardly kings and princes.

    If hard-pressed, I may commit my skirmishers to chasing the routers, but they aren't usually that effective, unless they happen to be fresh.

    My friend says that putting rout-chasers on loose formation kills more routers faster. Is that true?
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Chasing routers

    I'll send the Cavalry after the furthest routers, who can rest and herd later routers back into way of harm. Light troops like Velites (even Town Watch) can also effectively take down routers who have tired themselves out fighting. Other fast troops can run fanning out slightly, to catch any routers that change course for some reason, rather than running straight.

    If you don't have Dominant Cavalry then router pursuit becomes much more dangerous. Not fun to have a strong routing unit reform just when your pursuers are stretched and enemy cavalry turn up on a flank.

    So seems to me, Cavalry are essential, they have speed and also tire more slowly, so can cover awesome amounts of ground.

    One tricky issue is when you defeat a reinforced army in detail. There's a balance between bagging the routers (so they can't defend a town in next few turns, nor be trained back to full strength, depleting population), and getting fresh and set up to fight round 2, against the next army.

    The game, sometimes frustrates because fragmented units, appear to get scattered bodies all over place, and you can't attack the nearest individuals.

    I often have to hault Generals Cavalry, have them stand still, and then charge them later, to get the biz finished a little quicker.

    Some imply Wardogs chase down and eliminate enemy particularly efficiently, even off field, but my impression is that the kills stay at the on field level, and those who cross the red line with dogs on their heels, are counted as survivors.

    Historically a way of being enslaved was defeat on battlefield, so rather than "Kills" I'd like to see a good proportion becoming captives, like the anonymous captured town populations.

    This would be fate of losing Phalanxes, when surrounded and under missile fire, as they had no means of hitting back, nor escaping.

  3. #3
    Member Member Lt Nevermind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chasing routers

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirinus
    What 'tricks' do you use to kill as many of them as possible before they leave the field?
    I've noticed that sometimes a fleeing unit scatters itself too wide in length so that an average sized cavalry unit has difficulties in killing the routers. It appears to me that a unit in chase tries to place itself in the 'center of mass' of the routing unit, hence if the unit is scattered around they might basically just run along each other until the edge of the map. One way to counter this problem (a 'trick' if you prefer) is to change the unit formation to maximum length so that those scattered routers are reached. If that doesn't help then it's turn for tedious micro-management.

    Side note: I recall that such a problem with routers didn't appear in the original STW/MTW engine and I'm not quite sure why the routers scatter differently in Rome. One reason I can think of is the new feature: Foot soldiers can be stunned into the ground in certain conditions and stay still for quite some time, thus giving a head start for the rest of the unit to flee. Another reason I can think of are the difficulties with running through other units - individual men tend to get stuck in dense concentrations of soldiers who stay still.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Chasing routers

    It'd be neat if you could merge units into combat groups (to simplify control of large battles) and split off detachments, so that 1 full strength unit could be in 2 spots if it made sense. Then looking for small groups of men, scattered could be portrayed more sensibly, and you could do something about it.

    Perhaps one reason Velites are good Infantry for bagging routers, is their natural width, more chance of catching the spread individuals.

    The engine is letting itself down, when you see several units, running in formation after a routing unit (also in formation), and when the units are merged into each other with both in close order, it looks even worse.

  5. #5
    Deranged rock ape Member Quirinus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chasing routers

    Yeah... or, as one Orgah suggested a while back, have an option for the unit to 'scatter' in a rout-chasing mode-- you can't control them (like in berserk or routing), but they run so much faster and kill routers faster. This must be used with caution, as a false rout or an enemy that rallies itself might devastate an army in this state.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Chasing routers

    But feigned retreats and routs are a time honoured tactic.

    So I think being able to merge/split the tactical formations makes sense, and solves the 20 unit limit problem. Think, no more worries about what the AI is going to do with your other general.

    In another thread on this topic, someone mentioned Arcani. Indeed they can be rather amusing inducing a rout by their surprise arrival, without actually making contact, and then totally slaughter a superior unit, once it turns tails and runs.
    Last edited by RLucid; 04-07-2008 at 20:49.

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