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Thread: best defensive formations

  1. #1

    Default best defensive formations

    Hi itsthe noob again:D

    Well I wouldn't say im a noob now because all your helped turned out tot work for me. My Roman Empire isnt in trouble, and the only people thats attacking me is the dog-gone Audis and the other barbarian faction that starts with an "A". But im not worried about them since their fairly weak, and the Audi are much stronger than I. But anyways are there any guides on best deployment formations? I checked all over and cant seem to find one. I need to know the best formation for a defense and the same for an offense

  2. #2
    EBII Bricklayer Member V.T. Marvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    For defense (and counter-attack later on) you can try this one:
    - Put your Leves/Velites to the front in LOOSE formation, 5-6 men deep, with skirmish mode OFF, guard mode ON and fire-at-will mode ON
    - Put your Hastati right behind them, in dense formation, 4 men deep, with guard mode ON and fire-at-will mode ON
    - Put your Principes behind the Hastati in dense formation, 4 men deep, with guard mode OFF and fire-at-will mode ON
    - Put your general behind the principes in the middle of the line to maintain their morale
    - Put your Triarii and Rorarii behind the general to guard against any AI attepts to encircle your flanks

    Wait until the enemy approaches your line and start to engage your leves/velites, they will suffer casualties, but the enemy even more as your skirmishers and both line of your infantry will pepper him with missiles. Once you see that your leves/velites are shaken or wawering (or even routing) order them behind your line to reform and shoot their remaining javelins into the melee, which is now taken by your hastati. Wait a while. Turn the guard mode of your hastati OFF so that they engage the enemy in earnest now. Wait a few seconds. Order your principes to charge the enemy. Order your reserves (triarii, rorarii, any allies you may have and the leves/velites withdrawn before from the front) to encircle and attack the flanks of the enemy. Have a good fun!
    Last edited by V.T. Marvin; 01-23-2009 at 20:57. Reason: spelling :shame:

  3. #3
    Rampant psychopath Member Olaf Blackeyes's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    STOP playing as Rome. They are the most hated faction in the game.
    (At least for me.)

    EDIT: Well actually its between Rome and Makedonia.
    Last edited by Olaf Blackeyes; 01-23-2009 at 21:00.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayve View Post
    You're fighting against the AI... how do you NOT win?

  4. #4
    Guest desert's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    Actually, the Romani are beloved by 95% of the people here.

  5. #5
    Member Member Primative1's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    Quote Originally Posted by Zues! View Post
    Hi itsthe noob again:D

    Well I wouldn't say im a noob now because all your helped turned out tot work for me. My Roman Empire isnt in trouble, and the only people thats attacking me is the dog-gone Audis and the other barbarian faction that starts with an "A". But im not worried about them since their fairly weak, and the Audi are much stronger than I. But anyways are there any guides on best deployment formations? I checked all over and cant seem to find one. I need to know the best formation for a defense and the same for an offense
    Pretty much what Marvin said:

    Always have reserves/multiple lines.

    Vs the Barbs have your Hastati in deep formation & hold position.

    Feed in your 2nd & 3rd lines where you want to hold/make the break through. The Romans are perfect for this.
    '.....I should like to see the last king strangled with the guts of the last priest.'

  6. #6

    Default Re: best defensive formations

    Since I dont keep Hastati in my army = this is what its built up of

    3 Principes
    5 Calvary
    1 General
    10 Triarii

    -Triarii with flanks bent for protection
    -Principes
    -General
    -Calvary

    Is this fine?

  7. #7

    Default Re: best defensive formations

    Quote Originally Posted by Zues! View Post
    Since I dont keep Hastati in my army = this is what its built up of

    3 Principes
    5 Calvary
    1 General
    10 Triarii

    -Triarii with flanks bent for protection
    -Principes
    -General
    -Calvary

    Is this fine?
    I think with this army you dont really need tactics, just ctrl+a then right click on enemy general, you will win easily with so many elites and cavalry. Unless of course you are are playing on VH difficulty or something.

    Seriously, get rid of at least 6 of those triarii and 3 cav and replace them with hastatii/principes/skirmishers/allies - you will find the game will be a lot more fun then.

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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    I always have 2 Hastati/low quality units, 2 Principles/veterans, 1 Triarii/Elite, 4 ranged units, 0-1 cavalry, and 1 General. Because 1/2 stacks fighting multi-stacks of gauls is much more epic.
    Last edited by antisocialmunky; 01-24-2009 at 02:57.
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  9. #9
    Satalextos Basileus Seron Member satalexton's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    stop playing romani, start playing makedonia. ALL HAIL MAKEDONIA!!!

    edit: ok, i'm actually tempted to play a romani campaign starting in britannia with marian reforms...ALL HAIL BRITANNIA!!!
    Last edited by satalexton; 01-24-2009 at 05:51.




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  10. #10

    Default Re: best defensive formations

    Quote Originally Posted by V.T. Marvin View Post
    For defense (and counter-attack later on) you can try this one:
    - Put your Leves/Velites to the front in LOOSE formation, 5-6 men deep, with skirmish mode OFF, guard mode ON and fire-at-will mode ON
    - Put your Hastati right behind them, in dense formation, 4 men deep, with guard mode ON and fire-at-will mode ON
    - Put your Principes behind the Hastati in dense formation, 4 men deep, with guard mode OFF and fire-at-will mode ON
    - Put your general behind the principes in the middle of the line to maintain their morale
    - Put your Triarii and Rorarii behind the general to guard against any AI attepts to encircle your flanks

    Wait until the enemy approaches your line and start to engage your leves/velites, they will suffer casualties, but the enemy even more as your skirmishers and both line of your infantry will pepper him with missiles. Once you see that your leves/velites are shaken or wawering (or even routing) order them behind your line to reform and shoot their remaining javelins into the melee, which is now taken by your hastati. Wait a while. Turn the guard mode of your hastati OFF so that they engage the enemy in earnest now. Wait a few seconds. Order your principes to charge the enemy. Order your reserves (triarii, rorarii, any allies you may have and the leves/velites withdrawn before from the front) to encircle and attack the flanks of the enemy. Have a good fun!
    I have a problem...Well I just got into a battle with...uhhh the faction that I had a treaty with...and we both had a full stack in the battle...I put my Hastati in front like you said, the principes behind then and so forth...but the Hastati had taken MASSIVE casualties even when I backed them with the reserve infantry...any tips?

  11. #11
    Rampant psychopath Member Olaf Blackeyes's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    Hastati are near worthless infantry until they get some battle experience. These guys are DESIGNED to take massive casualties. However they are cheap, have high moral, stamina and are easy to upgrade so they are worth the frustration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayve View Post
    You're fighting against the AI... how do you NOT win?

  12. #12
    Xsaçapāvan é Skudra Member Atraphoenix's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    find a hilltop or forest to ambush the enemy,
    if no choice missile soldiers at the front line, heavy infantry or phlanxes if you play with hellenic factions,
    cavalry in one wing, ı tried to put cavalry in both wings but believe me one wing cavalry with single envelopment tactic invincible, the only exception is HA armies of nomadic faction.
    you can only face them with elite phalanxes they can only give you %10 20 casulties before their arrows finished That is why I always blitz AS before she can recruit her elite phalanxes playin with pahlava.

    and remember spare one elite cavalry for the suicidal misson of killing enemy general, when enemy general falls it can be count as half victory, the other half the easier one.

    P.S. when you see an elephant in the enemy army , sorry pal RUN LIKE CHILDREN! no idea but they are immortal men
    Last edited by Atraphoenix; 01-24-2009 at 12:02.



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  13. #13
    Member Member Macilrille's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    Read- Read- Read.

    For a Roman gameplay guide showing you how a Roman should be played (more or less, I have commented on where I disagree somewhere else), https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=101787.

    In fact I always found the Historical Roman Deployment in Squares worked well, plus it is fun to play historical-ish. I also try to keep it largely composed like the Roman ones were, but not 100 %.

    Do not listen to Olaf, other factions can be interesting, but I for one, always return to SPQR. They are also very easy for an EB-eginner with some RTW experience to play and will not put you off the game in desperation over playing one of the factions that has to accept its finance going to very red numbers before turning it. That can be fun as well, but not to you who is new.

    Another defensive formation I sometimes do- or adapt the historical Roman to- is to have slightly missile heavy army and putting the missile troops on the flanks in rough terrain. Like the English in the 100-years war. Just be prepared that they will be charged by Cavalry, have some Hoplites or Triarii ready to intercept the cav, the missile fellahs can hide behind them and continue to pelter them. beware that slinger sometimes incur losses of your own guys if they are in the way as they have flat trajectory (less then in Vanilla, but still there). Slingers are effective though, more than most archers.

    What is that with Elephants Atraphoenix? I never have much trouble with them on H/H? Just be prepared to sustain losses and focus on them.

    My tactic for Elephants.

    1. Target ALL your missiles on them (try zoming in and see how they fall to javelins and sling bullets), arrows do not harm them much- except that Ellies do not like fire ;-)

    2. Even elephants dislike long pointy objects, ALL cavalry do, but it must needs be your elite spear like Triarii or they might become afraid and run.

    3. Elephans also dislike being charged by Heavy Cavalry, even though you will take losses, repeated charges by heavy Cavalry (especially if you do it from more than one side at once), will rout them.


    In general, getting some cavalry behind your enemy is always a good idea.
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  14. #14
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: best defensive formations

    Quote Originally Posted by Macilrille View Post
    3. Elephans also dislike being charged by Heavy Cavalry, even though you will take losses, repeated charges by heavy Cavalry (especially if you do it from more than one side at once), will rout them.
    Don't do that with your general, though. You wouldn't be the first to have his faction leader crushed by a dying elephant.
    Last edited by Ludens; 01-24-2009 at 12:32.
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    Member Member Macilrille's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    There is that, but what I forgot to add is that I am always keeping generals at the back as commanders, the charges on Elephants should be a good way for your young FM to prove their bravery and suitability for Cursus Honorum.
    Last edited by Macilrille; 01-24-2009 at 12:47.
    'For months Augustus let hair and beard grow and occasionally banged his head against the walls whilst shouting; "Quinctillius Varus, give me my legions back"' -Sueton, Augustus.

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  16. #16
    Member Member KozaK13's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    Look about on the internet for how commanders delpoyed thier armies etc.

    check AARs and all too.

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  17. #17
    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    As Romanoi, your FMs are the Casse Chariots of the Cavalry Generals.
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



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  18. #18
    Vicious Celt Warlord Member Celtic_Punk's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    i use sort of a /---\ shape if i'm outnumbered. with cavalry in the back give a last stab effort at stopping a flanking move. however this is very weak in multiplayer and a purely defencive defence formation. more aggressive formations are better for multiplayer.
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    Xsaçapāvan é Skudra Member Atraphoenix's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    you can use the stupid old motto also : "offence is best defence"
    annihilate your army before the enemy annihilate yours

    anyway: I use hit and run tactics always works against infantry.
    if you are addicted to cavalry dominated armies you just laugh slow moving phalanxes who are trying to catch your HAs with their 4.5 m long sarissas
    even roman emperials have no chance against them.



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  20. #20
    Guitar God Member Mediolanicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    Quote Originally Posted by Zues! View Post
    Since I dont keep Hastati in my army = this is what its built up of

    3 Principes
    5 Calvary
    1 General
    10 Triarii

    -Triarii with flanks bent for protection
    -Principes
    -General
    -Calvary

    Is this fine?
    Why need tactics when you use that army???

    I use 1 velites, 4 hastati, 2 principes, 1 triarii, 1 heavy cav, 1 general and I still win against fullstacks (on medium that is).
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  21. #21
    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    Quote Originally Posted by Atraphoenix View Post
    you can use the stupid old motto also : "offence is best defence"
    annihilate your army before the enemy annihilate yours

    anyway: I use hit and run tactics always works against infantry.
    if you are addicted to cavalry dominated armies you just laugh slow moving phalanxes who are trying to catch your HAs with their 4.5 m long sarissas
    even roman emperials have no chance against them.
    If you have to fight the HA vs Heavy Infantry fight with a realistic budget, you just sit there with hordes of archers behind spears. Then you leap frog your archers closer to the enemy HA since you should out range them.

    Not very sophisticated, but it will draw the match.
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



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  22. #22
    Member Member Cyrus's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    I am palying as the romans right now too, so i have a few questions,
    1) wich would you recommend of the folowing: after taking all of italy(on land) including mediolanum, massilia and segestica should i expand west ward and declare war wo my ally the arverni or go south west and attack epeiros hoping the geti dont attack me? (they're a strong power having like 7 territories, 40k mnai, and stretching as far as the alps more or less)
    2) wich would be my best choice on range units: celtic arcers, greek archers,or roman slingers?
    3) why do my units always suffer enourmous casualties when facing enemies with "pila"(can't remember the name in english for the spear you can throw, help please) like 30 per volley and mine only inflict 10 or so? counting they start throwing at the same moment more or less. plus enemy "spears" seem almost unending, they will throw at me like 16 volleys before actually turning to melee.
    thx in advance
    -Cyrus


    Italians do it better! Chi dice donna dice guai. Abbi donna di te minore, se vuoi essere signore. Donne e buoi dei paesi tuoi. Fiume, grondaia e donna parlatora mandano l'uomo di casa fuora.
    And my personal favorite: "Non rimuovere il confine antico fissato dai tuoi padri". In english: "Do not remove the anchent border placed by your fathers". It looses something in the translation......

  23. #23
    Guitar God Member Mediolanicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    1) Taking the rest of the rebel cities in Illyria if there are any. Then just wait until someone attacks you (which is bound to happen). If you can't wait for it, go for Epeiros I would say.

    2) Roman slingers do the job well. Greek archers are cheap auxilia which can be brought when fighting unarmored opponents or to shoot in the back of engaged enemies (although akontistai or velites are even better for that job)

    3) I don't notice that, my advice is this: If you are attacking either use a cheap skirmisher unit to pepper the enemy first and let them take the casualties from their spears, or just charge without throwing your pila if you think you end up getting more losses than it's worth by throwing them before engaging.
    If you are defending you just put them on throw at will and see them die...
    Last edited by Mediolanicus; 01-24-2009 at 20:51.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: best defensive formations

    I would tell you to gather a enemy in southern Ital near Sicily, because the Carhage are going to betray you and stab you in the back...like they did me...its a pain....

    Question: Why do they have so many elite units? I just got out of two battles, Destroy one of their full stacks and crippleing mines, then after that battle my crippled stack clashed with another of their full stack and crushed theirs again, now they have another full stack at my throat!

    how do they have so much men to spare and so many elite units

  25. #25
    Rampant psychopath Member Olaf Blackeyes's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    THAT is a RTW thing. Its the AI.
    The AI tends to go berserk to destroy you as soon as you border it/go to war with it. It has probably stopped build troops on ALL of its other fronts just to come over and kick your arse.
    In vanilla RTW the AI couldn't pump out that many elite units due to the fact the vanilla didn't HAVE that many elite units to pump out. However EB has like 10 times the number of options for troop recruitment including twice the number of elite units so yeah it does that.
    Also due to the raised money prices and the fact that the AI has the GIVE ME FREE MONEY script, (Like 10k mnai a TURN)(another RTW thing) PLUS the fact that they can produce like 20 unit per turn in their biggest settlements means you gotta fight through like a !@$!load of fullstacks of elites b4 you get anywhere. And you have to struggle to get the higher level barracks for you elites so your using militia units to fight elite units. EB is not for the fainthearted.
    @#$ing cheating AI.
    Last edited by Olaf Blackeyes; 01-24-2009 at 21:44.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayve View Post
    You're fighting against the AI... how do you NOT win?

  26. #26
    Member Member Cyrus's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    Quote Originally Posted by Olaf Blackeyes View Post
    THAT is a RTW thing. Its the AI.
    The AI tends to go berserk to destroy you as soon as you border it/go to war with it. It has probably stopped build troops on ALL of its other fronts just to come over and kick your arse.
    In vanilla RTW the AI couldn't pump out that many elite units due to the fact the vanilla didn't HAVE that many elite units to pump out. However EB has like 10 times the number of options for troop recruitment including twice the number of elite units so yeah it does that.
    Also due to the raised money prices and the fact that the AI has the GIVE ME FREE MONEY script, (Like 10k mnai a TURN)(another RTW thing) PLUS the fact that they can produce like 20 unit per turn in their biggest settlements means you gotta fight through like a !@$!load of fullstacks of elites b4 you get anywhere. And you have to struggle to get the higher level barracks for you elites so your using militia units to fight elite units. EB is not for the fainthearted.
    @#$ing cheating AI.
    I disagree. the ai can't recruit more than one unit per turn per city. plus if you play cards right you can recruit loads of elites too. but that ain't no fun. but you are right about the AI being annoing, in a pahlava campaign i defeated about 12 fullstacks of argyraspides and the elite seleukid cavalry (in 2 turns). and after that i had an other 4 making their way through the anatolic plateu.
    but aside from that it's really not THAT difficult.......
    P.S. Zues i never had Karth-hadast attack me i didn' invade an island, it's really weird they backstabbed you.
    Last edited by Cyrus; 01-24-2009 at 22:06.


    Italians do it better! Chi dice donna dice guai. Abbi donna di te minore, se vuoi essere signore. Donne e buoi dei paesi tuoi. Fiume, grondaia e donna parlatora mandano l'uomo di casa fuora.
    And my personal favorite: "Non rimuovere il confine antico fissato dai tuoi padri". In english: "Do not remove the anchent border placed by your fathers". It looses something in the translation......

  27. #27

    Default Re: best defensive formations

    Yeah, like my daddy says, one unit per turn only in RTW.

    My advice: go and conquer Greece, after that you will have the economy to destroy everthing in the game realtively easily. Plus you will start off only fighting one faction, probably epirus, but pretty soon the rest of the Hellenes will attack you as well. Leave the North and West till later as they take longer to develop and build themselves into worthy enemies.

  28. #28
    Member Member Cyrus's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    I actually decided to attack cartage. i now have Corsica,Sardinia and sicily and am moving towards carthage. do you think i should stop and attack epirus or continue with the africans?
    Plus i also tried to take as many rebel settlements as i could, not only in illyria (where i took an other one) but in the part north of the alps.


    Italians do it better! Chi dice donna dice guai. Abbi donna di te minore, se vuoi essere signore. Donne e buoi dei paesi tuoi. Fiume, grondaia e donna parlatora mandano l'uomo di casa fuora.
    And my personal favorite: "Non rimuovere il confine antico fissato dai tuoi padri". In english: "Do not remove the anchent border placed by your fathers". It looses something in the translation......

  29. #29
    Member Member Macilrille's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    You are Blitzing :-( Too easy.

    Though when the stupid AI refuses to accept peace it can be necessary to teach it a lesson.
    'For months Augustus let hair and beard grow and occasionally banged his head against the walls whilst shouting; "Quinctillius Varus, give me my legions back"' -Sueton, Augustus.

    "Deliver us oh God, from the fury of the Norsemen", French prayer, 9th century.
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  30. #30
    Member Member Cyrus's Avatar
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    Default Re: best defensive formations

    I actually thought i was taking it kinda slow......


    Italians do it better! Chi dice donna dice guai. Abbi donna di te minore, se vuoi essere signore. Donne e buoi dei paesi tuoi. Fiume, grondaia e donna parlatora mandano l'uomo di casa fuora.
    And my personal favorite: "Non rimuovere il confine antico fissato dai tuoi padri". In english: "Do not remove the anchent border placed by your fathers". It looses something in the translation......

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