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Thread: How to defeat land battle with min. loss of life?

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    Member Member Eusebius86's Avatar
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    Question How to defeat land battle with min. loss of life?

    I can beat the naval battles, no problem. But I can't for the life of my troops beat the land battle without incurring at least 450 casualties (I play on ultra unit size). So what am I doing wrong?

    I normally send my light infantry to deal with the closest canon on the NE stream. Then I send my 2 6 pounders NE, with 2 line infantry to attempt to silence the other enemy battery. The rest of my troops I send to the SW stream crossing, and just deal with the enemy infantry as they come. If the AI is stupid and sends a lone rifle unit, I mop it up with cavalry, otherwise it's a slug-fest with my line infantry. I always win, but not without sustaining heavy losses.

    What is the best way to silence their artillery? It is SO powerful and accurate, especially with canister shot...

    In RTW and M2TW I usually win battles with no more than 8-16% casualties, my current pace of 40-60% is completely unacceptable...

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    Member Megas Methuselah's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: How to defeat land battle with min. loss of life?

    Just charge the frontal ford. Who cares about the soldiers under your command? They're the scum of the earth.

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    I Still Play Shogun Member ratbarf's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to defeat land battle with min. loss of life?

    At least in historical battles it indeed doesn't matter that much, but in the campaign it does becuase veteren units will hand the skirts back to the noobs.
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    Member Member Eusebius86's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to defeat land battle with min. loss of life?

    Loss of life matters to me, because I'd rather not destabilize my nation due to every man between the ages of 16-60 being either dead or in the military... Also, it's very demoralizing.

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    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to defeat land battle with min. loss of life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eusebius86 View Post
    Loss of life matters to me, because I'd rather not destabilize my nation due to every man between the ages of 16-60 being either dead or in the military... Also, it's very demoralizing.
    The best way to avoid loss of life is to stand still and lure the enemy to you. If you can do that you can get in advantageous positions and gun them down with relative ease.


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    Member Member Eusebius86's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to defeat land battle with min. loss of life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Beane View Post
    The best way to avoid loss of life is to stand still and lure the enemy to you. If you can do that you can get in advantageous positions and gun them down with relative ease.
    But what do you do with their artillery?!?! It must be silenced somehow...

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    The Laughing Knight Member Sir Beane's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to defeat land battle with min. loss of life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eusebius86 View Post
    But what do you do with their artillery?!?! It must be silenced somehow...
    Well what I did was take 4 units, the three units of Hessian Line and the unit of Akirmishers, and sit them behind the hill that is infront of your starting point, where cannon cant hit them.

    I sent the rest of my army to the second ford. Afte ra careful advance at the second ford the Americans decided to try and take out the small reserve I had left at the first ford. Unfortunately for them they didn't realise I had hidden the skirmishers and a unit of Hessians in the trees and my men ambushed them and gunned them down.

    Since they sent units in two at a time I managed to take out six units of American troops with relatively little loss of life. After that I ran Dragoons across the first ford and charged and destroyed their arty.

    Then I attacked from the second ford and the first and pincered General Washington and his remaining forces at the small hamlet.


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    Default Re: How to defeat land battle with min. loss of life?

    Try positioning part of your force in defensive positions on the flanking ford but don't cross, leave your Hessians and light foot around where they started (on a reverse slope to avoid arty), and send your horse artillery to the middle of the map and fire away. After a while, a couple of American dragoons will cross the second ford and try to go for your arty, followed by a couple of minutemen and one unit of rifles, but you should have overwhelming superiority at the second ford (putting hussars close to your arty helps). The Americans might decide to cross at the first ford after that, but by this point you'll already have destroyed a good proportion of their force, and have forced them to cross.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How to defeat land battle with min. loss of life?

    The easiest option is just to compltely ignore the guarded crossing, and move all units to the ungarded crossing. double speed your dragoons and lights to get across before the colonials try blocking. Then simply march all your units up the road towards the town, 3xhessian + 2 standard line inf, in a line, with the lights on the right flank, and dragoons on the left. 2x Guards, highlanders and grenadiers in support, with your remaining cavalry behind them. place the horse artillery on the left on the hill.

    The colonials will have formed a line or double line near the town to defend, but you will shoot them down easily. and you can end it after a few volleys from your frontline and then a quick charge by your fresh guards/grenadiers/highlanders, and quickly envelop the defenders with your cavalry while they are busy with your guards. its just a matter of riding down teh remaing 4 batteries of foot artillery.

    I've tried 3 times now with small adjustments, i usually get a 4:1 or better kill ratio.

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    Member Member Murmandamus's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to defeat land battle with min. loss of life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eusebius86 View Post
    What is the best way to silence their artillery? It is SO powerful and accurate, especially with canister shot...
    I haven't checked my loss rate, but the artillery haven't been an issue for me.

    Like Belid I've been taking my entire army straight around the second ford, around the far valley to the area at the rear of the town. The artillery get a few shots while you're were moving from the starting position. After that you're out of range and then once you're around to the town they can't do anything because they just shoot into the side of the hill. Once I route the main army I rush the artillery with cavalry to finish the battle.

    That way you only lose a handful of men to their cannon.
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  11. #11
    Dark Knight Member Dramicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to defeat land battle with min. loss of life?

    I've found that an effective method to reduce casualties is to make use of a reserves system. Considering the nature of combat in Empire, its not practical to commit all of your infantry at once as this will likely result in heavier casualties for relatively little gain. As a result, commit only a certain number of units to stand off with the enemy infantry, trading volleys. Obviously you want to take care of cannons as quickly as possible and this can be achieved with cavalry or skirmishers if lightly defended.

    Once your front line infantry is feeling the hurt, you can pull them back and send in a fresh regiment to take their place. Ideally you want to avoid close combat as much as possible due to the high level of casualties this produces and thus you will need to keep your own cavalry on hand to intercept any cavalry dispatched by the AI.

    Another tactic that I found works well when attempting to break the enemy's position, is to engage in a shooting battle, then quickly advance your grenadiers to launch a barrage of grenades and follow this up with a bayonet charge, supported by cavalry on the flanks preferably. If executed properly, this should decimate the enemy morale and mass routs will soon follow.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: How to defeat land battle with min. loss of life?

    It's actually quite simple. Do exactly as bellid says - take everything you have on a left hook ... but LEAVE THE DRAGOONS in your deployment area, preferably dismounting behind the hill with farmhouse. This will result in the enemy artillery spending most of their time shooting at the dragoons (rather than redeploying), but because of the hill, they won't inflict any casaulties. In the game where I did this, the dragoons lost a few horses, but took no casaulties whatsoever from a very lengthy bombardment.

    Charge the long rifle men with (guard and highland) infantry columns and horse, when they try to block you (watch out for stakes, though). Use your light infantry to flank them. That way you'll rout them with a minimum of losses.

    March most of your troops around by the left - this way you avoid lucky potshots from the enemy artillery if any of them redeploy. Set up opposite the village from the enemy, ensuring that the enemy troops will be funelled into firing alleys with cannister shot and musket fire (preferably from more than one unit). You rarely need to deploy beyond the hill in the first phase.

    Open fire with roundshot (remember the effectiveness of bouncing shot...) - that will often make one or two units charge into your lines. Harass them with roundshot as they move forward. Use your light troops to give them a first dose of musket fire and fall back. Switch to cannister as they close in on your position, and see them off. If you can do so without endangering your cavalry, chop them down as they rout but don't let your cavalry enter musket range of any of their line infantry (timing is important).

    Pound them with roundshot (try to hit the general a bit as well... it doesn't take a lot of luck to kill him). Focus on the dangerous units - light infantry and line. If they stop sending units against you, let your light infantry deploy forward and harass them with musket fire.

    Rinse and repeat.

    At some point, the AI will stop sending troops forward entirely. When that happens, carefully deploy forward with your cannons until you are within ranges where the cannon can inflict a reasonable amount of casaulties and shoot them to pieces.

    Be patient.

    The enemy cannon may inflict one or two casaulties on your line infantry, but if you deploy your units carefully, the losses will be minimal. If you get a chance to go after the cannon with your light infantry or cavalry early, of course, consider taking it. Just don't let yourself be shot at by his line battalions, or give him a chance of using cannister. If they enemy cannon should ever deploy in a position that could look effective (i.e., within LOS and reasonable range of your position), pound them with everything you've got as they move into position and unlimber. Limbered artillery is very vulnerable to cannon fire.

    Once their infantry is off, it is time to see off their artillery and dragoons (unless the latter tried to stop you at the ford - if they did, you should have seen them off easily with massed musketry from your line/guard battalions). Here you have to be careful. Horse are vulnerable to artillery, but it is possible to time your charge or go round their flanks so that you don't get shot at with cannister. Light infantry is superb at fighting artillery - deploy in skirmish order (which they really should be in at all times), approach (if you want, set up a nice juicy line brigade at a distance so that they get targetted instead of the LInf) and fire away. They can kill a battery in one or two volleys. The dragoons can be killed of by your line infantry (if you can get them within range) - otherwise you need to do it the hard way and see them off with light infantry fire + a cavalry charge.

    Doing this, I defeated the american army losing only 120 men - and most of those losses came at the end because I was too impatient when going after the enemy cannon and dragoons at the end (I reckon I lost some 60 troops doing that... 20+ of them when I charged my dragoons across the ford to get at the last battery instead of just letting the LInf handle them). The American army lost some 700 troops.
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