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Thread: Guard Mode Bonuses?

  1. #1

    Default Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Hello,

    I've discovered that certain units of crappy spearmen, like Lugoae and Pantodapoi, seem to perform much better "in formation" (ie Guard Mode) than outside of it, and manage to hold other threats much better than if they just remained in "normal" mode.

    Are there any special bonuses applied to units using Guard Mode that are worth noticing? Can I use it with great effect with more than just ordinary spearmen?

  2. #2
    Guest Aemilius Paulus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    There are no bonuses. You have a lower chance of having your unit actually engage an enemy, meaning your unit can technically be fighting and not getting tired at the same time. Also, units in Guard keep their formation, meaning that they usually won't move to attack an enemy, therefore inflicting less casualties, but at the same time losing less men due to the fact that they are always facing the enemy. The guard mode alone offers no bonuses or penalties, but it enables certain actions that will change your unit's performance.

    Spearmen are best for guard mode, as they have longer reach and do not require to move too close to the enemy unit in order to attack. When your spearmen are facing cavalry, guard mode is a must though. Swordsmen should always be kept outside of guard, especially when attacking for full effectiveness.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Well shields work for the front and left only, correct? So if the unit is in guard mode they are less likely to spread in the fray and expose their sides and back.. I think it puts better emphasis on the units "shield stats."

    Plus a tight packed unit of hoplites always looks intimidating. hehe

  4. #4
    Guest Aemilius Paulus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikil100 View Post
    Well shields work for the front and left only, correct? So if the unit is in guard mode they are less likely to spread in the fray and expose their sides and back.. I think it puts better emphasis on the units "shield stats."
    Yes, but also do not forget that defence skill only works from front and left as well.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Guard mode provides a +4 to defense and a -4 to attack. I'm not definitely sure, but I kinda notice that spear units start to die when guard mode is off too.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    doesn't defence skill only work front and RIGHT to show the unit's ability to parray an attack with his weapon?
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  7. #7
    Involuntary Gaesatae Member The Celtic Viking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ca Putt View Post
    doesn't defence skill only work front and RIGHT to show the unit's ability to parray an attack with his weapon?
    That is correct.

    I have also noticed the same thing as the OP. I don't think it gives any bonuses though, it's more likely that they simply show no sides to an enemy (unless flanked) as can happen without guard mode, and thus always keep their full defence score.

    Also, consider this: if a unit is in a tight formation and is put up against a unit in a looser formation, the first unit will have a local superiority in numbers. That is, each soldier from the unit with the looser formation will be up against, say for example, two soldiers of the other unit. That's an obvious advantage to take into consideration as well. By using guard mode, the tighter unit will keep its tighter formation, and maintain that advantage.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Interesting , I will try testing the performance of Cohors Reformata with and without Guard Mode, since their shield stats are big enough and the protected backs and sides might make them more effective, as historically they put a large emphasis on formations anyway.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Trust me, Cohors Reformata rock in guard formation. they can actually take a cavalry charge if necessary in that mode and they function as the better-than-average line troop they should be when in guard mode. When its time to make the push and go on the offensive, just take guard mode off and voila!, instant offense.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Just came with this: Cohors Reformata vs. Neitos on Grassy Flatland. In all my previous fights Cohors Reformata tends to lose badly against them, but this time I put them on shallow ranks and Guard Mode and won the fight with more kills than them. Stamina losses were particularly low and after a long fight my units were merely "Warmed Up".

    Even though Romani seem the masters of such fighting (thanks to their tight formations + big shields) anyone with a shield value of 3 and a reasonably tight formation such as Lugoae can do well in that fight. Units such as Gaesatae and Milnaht actually fare better in Guard Mode since they tend to have very high defense skills and big shields but almost no armour, so presenting a shield wall and keeping the backs protected aids them a lot even though they might lose their charge bonuses. So in fact, it seems I previously underestimated the worth of such formation and will begin to use it more widely than just with spearmen.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Yeah basically any time you want a unit to stay in formation use Guard mode. its a shame the AI seems incapable of using it of its own volition as I can think of many fights that would be tougher merely by having them in guard.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    I use ALEX-EB, it might not be the case with you but I've seen the AI consistently use Guard with their spearmen many times... but I agree it still needs to improve.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Must be Alex then b/c I use BI and I've never noticed it. But then I might be looking closely enough. I would swear it sometimes does it with hoplites but usually I'm too busy winning the battle to notice. in any case, its not a wholesale use of guard which I WOULD notice and I wish I could see since there is usually a heavy dose of spearmen in almost any campaign.
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  14. #14
    Member Member Woreczko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    If you want AI to use guard mode, install one of the formations mods, preferably Sinuhet`s.

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    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Decimus Attius Arbiter View Post
    Guard mode provides a +4 to defense and a -4 to attack. I'm not definitely sure, but I kinda notice that spear units start to die when guard mode is off too.
    Interesting. Where did you get this information?

    Guard mode does help a unit conserve stamina, and this has a major effect on both morale and attack/defence values, so I suppose that also helps.
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    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    It conserves stamina only if they sit there. If you order them to attack, I believe it goes away since everyone start pushing forwards.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Yes guard mode is very useful and very interesting. A lot of my battle tactics with the Romans are based around the different features of guard mode on/off combined to attack orders but that might be a bit exploitative of the AI's endurance. However the AI's endurance will be drained to zero in most battles that do not end quickly anyway, so the point is perhaps moot. Another really potent unit for using with guard mode is the Mihlnat swordsmen. The behave very much like Unarmoured Polybian Principes when set to guard mode on and can absorb extreme punishment from infantry and cavalry alike while killing huge quantities of the enemy force.

    When playing as the Romani I tend to set all my units to Guard Mode On to begin with. In pitched field battles I will tend to issue no attack orders, set fire at will, and allow the enemy units to charge. Any units with Guard Mode On and set to no attack order will only fight against individual units that engage the front line. The individual front line units will fight back and yield space to the opponents push mass while maintaining their formation. This will see units slowly inching backwards and only fighting those individual troops that reach the front line. By not pushing forward they will conserve endurance while yielding positioning and space to the opponent and maintaining their formation.

    When the opponent starts to tire I will issue an attack order with Guard Mode On. This will expend endurance while pushing against the enemy unit and my unit will attempt to advance in attack of the opponent while maintaining their formation. This will try and engage the entire front line in combat while maintaining formation and gaining ground on the opponent. As my units approach Winded I will issue an attack order with Guard Mode Off. This is the killing phase of the battle where both units will take increased casualties. As my Hastati endurance starts to approach Tired I will get my Principes to Charge in with Guard Mode Off. If they cannot push through the Hastati I shall set the Hastati to Loose formation, drag out a much deeper formation, set Guard Mode On and re-issue the attack order immediately after releasing the new formation order. Once sufficient numbers of the Principes have reached the front line I will set my Hastati to Tight Formation if necessary, Guard Mode On and once they have organised their formation I will tell them to Halt their attack and concede ground when attacked. With sufficient Charging of Principes, eventually they will push the enemy back or my Hastati will retreat sufficiently and I can withdraw my Hastati in good order and prepare to replace my Principes with Triarii or the next line of my battle order.

    This management of formation and guard mode and attack/charge orders may seem excessive but I find it to be much more useful and less dangerous than attempting to withdraw a completely engaged unit. The big problem is getting the second unit through the first, and this requires some quick mouse action with Loose formation, the D key, and an instant attack order in the new, deeper more spacious formation.

    In short, use Guard Mode On, Loose Formation, Draw out a Deep Formation with the same Width as your Shallow Tight Formation and issue an Attack Order as quickly as possibly and you can get those Principes to the Front Line then issue Tight Formation and Halt your Hastati and pull them from battle with minimum casualties and maximum endurance.

    I don't know how effective all that is mind you, but it is good for the old Roleplay.

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    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Decimus Attius Arbiter View Post
    Guard mode provides a +4 to defense and a -4 to attack. I'm not definitely sure, but I kinda notice that spear units start to die when guard mode is off too.
    Isn't that bonus for shieldwall formations in BI?
    I prefer use that than simple guard mode, that's why I abaondon my Alex-EB and change to BI-EB... Shieldwalls rocks!

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  19. #19

    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    When dealing with a charging enemy cavalry, should I set my spearmen in guard mode, stay ready and wait for the compact?
    I used to charge head-on against them in the same time, wishing to interrupt their charge, but it seems not the best idea.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Julianus View Post
    When dealing with a charging enemy cavalry, should I set my spearmen in guard mode, stay ready and wait for the compact?
    I used to charge head-on against them in the same time, wishing to interrupt their charge, but it seems not the best idea.
    The cavalry charge bonus in EB is sky-rocket high and their lethality are triple the normal weapons do, so basically charge them back was a suicide... I got a lot of bad experience with this...
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    There isn't any guard mode bonus.
    I've recently noted that the way "guard mode" work depends only from radius attribute.
    The radius standard for all units is 0.4 (space single man takes in the field), so diameter 0.8.
    Now, thinking about a unit in guard mode: the inter-spacing between two men... it would be less than 0.8... especially when the unit is under enemy pressure.
    If you switch off guard mode , you can see that your men take more distance between them(during enemy attack).
    Then, when men are open in this way, they are more weak in melee.
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  22. #22
    Member Member Rahwana's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aulus Caecina Severus View Post
    There isn't any guard mode bonus.
    I've recently noted that the way "guard mode" work depends only from radius attribute.
    The radius standard for all units is 0.4 (space single man takes in the field), so diameter 0.8.
    Now, thinking about a unit in guard mode: the inter-spacing between two men... it would be less than 0.8... especially when the unit is under enemy pressure.
    If you switch off guard mode , you can see that your men take more distance between them(during enemy attack).
    Then, when men are open in this way, they are more weak in melee.
    Isn't it right?
    The experience on real battle results speak differently somehow, as long as the attack are from the front, they'll maintain more effectiveness in combat compared to when they aren't in guard mode...
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  23. #23
    Member Member WinsingtonIII's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic View Post
    The experience on real battle results speak differently somehow, as long as the attack are from the front, they'll maintain more effectiveness in combat compared to when they aren't in guard mode...
    He's not saying that they don't perform better in guard mode when attacked from the front, he's saying that they actually will be more effective. However, he's noting that they do not get a bonus to attack or defense in guard mode, it is merely that their formation is much tighter and they maintain formation better. This improves their effectiveness in defending against frontal attacks because the individual men in the unit are not isolated from the rest the way they are without guard mode on. But they do not get some sort of +4 defense bonus as far as I know, it's just that the formation is tighter and harder for the enemy to break into.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Keep in mind that any unit with guard mode on won't be getting experience anytime soon, if at all.

    The experience system is tied down to each man, not the unit as a whole. Properly used guard mode only allows the front line to fight, and at a reduced killing rate at that.

    Although that means you'll still gain experience, but since it's those same front line guys that die first.....they're not keeping it for long.

    As a result you'll get a unit that'll grow exp at a slow rate, if at all. Happens every time I use those Thracian spearmen in my Getai campaign. They only gain exp when chasing routers, whereas my Komatai are just swimming in 4-5 chevrons.

    Edit: you should also never ever use guard mode for shock infantry unless you're desperate. Very heavy shock infantry like Milnaht (lightest, probably) and Solduros are about the only ones you should ever try them with. Doing it with lighter swordsmen like Bataroas is just a waste of men and their specialities, which are the combo of high lethality and high attack that comes from the charge.
    Last edited by Grade_A_Beef; 10-28-2009 at 20:14. Reason: forgot to mention

  25. #25

    Default Re: Guard Mode Bonuses?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grade_A_Beef View Post
    Keep in mind that any unit with guard mode on won't be getting experience anytime soon, if at all.

    The experience system is tied down to each man, not the unit as a whole. Properly used guard mode only allows the front line to fight, and at a reduced killing rate at that.

    Although that means you'll still gain experience, but since it's those same front line guys that die first.....they're not keeping it for long.

    As a result you'll get a unit that'll grow exp at a slow rate, if at all. Happens every time I use those Thracian spearmen in my Getai campaign. They only gain exp when chasing routers, whereas my Komatai are just swimming in 4-5 chevrons.
    This is only true when your unit is prone to taking heavy casualties from a frontal attack with guard mode on in which case you are probably not using your unit very effectively, or they are simply too poor a unit to perform their function with a high degree of staying power. Units with significant frontal defense used effectively will gain experience by swapping high rates of opponent casualties for minimal rates of friendly casualties. Camillian Triarii in my save are an excellent example of this, being at 3 silver chevrons by the time I have conquered Sicily and the Po valley despite being used as a tactical reserve unit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grade_A_Beef View Post
    Edit: you should also never ever use guard mode for shock infantry unless you're desperate. Very heavy shock infantry like Milnaht (lightest, probably) and Solduros are about the only ones you should ever try them with. Doing it with lighter swordsmen like Bataroas is just a waste of men and their specialities, which are the combo of high lethality and high attack that comes from the charge.
    The thing you have to keep in mind is your own flexibility, the ability to use the options available to you and the entire state of the battle and campaign. There is very little point in exploiting a strength of a unit when it ignores a corresponding weakness, so constantly charging your Bataroas into combat where they will be swiftly surrounded and dispatched, or simply obliterated with javelins is a waste of unit when they could hold a line, force a frontal attack at their strongest points and avoid the huge weaknesses of a flank or rear attack, and allow your other units to win their tactical battles and role up the line.

    This is especially true if you find yourself outnumbered in terms of troops but fighting with a cavalry or elite infantry unit advantage. In this example it is your battle formation, defensive strength and ability to win key engagements at decisive points that is your units strength, not any kind of charge bonus or weapon lethality.

    This is where units like Bataroas and most especially Milnaht are at their best. They have a few glaring weaknesses but multiple strengths and are very flexible units. Milnaht take the Bataroas concept of combined sturdiness and combat potency to another level altogether. They may not look like a Polybian Principe maniple but do not be afraid to draw the comparison if you recognise the differences, which are minor. Infact you could say that a Gaullic army composed of Bataroas and Milnaht is the Gaullic version of a Polybian Legion.

    If you want to go the route of the line collapsing charge then you can do a lot better than smashing your most generally valuable units into a wall under a hail of javelins. Infact you could let them smash into your wall under a hail of Javelins and let them know they are in for one hell of a meatgrinder of a battle then hit them with your real tactical reserves, charging demons and melee supremacists of Uirodusios and Gaesatae backed up by Brihentin. Can't see many proper Polybian Legions standing up to that kind of a fight.

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