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Thread: Saba Military Tactics...

  1. #1

    Default Saba Military Tactics...

    Hi, again in my ever expanding appreciation for this game. Thanks EB team, until I stumbled upon you guys. My RTW game was sitting for like 3 years.

    Anyway after dominating with the Romans. I decided to take a crack at Saba. I am still a newbie in most respects and I want to beat the pulp out of The Hellenic Egyptians and their phalanx. I have yet to make my way over to India for Elephants but I do know enough that I should be getting them soon.
    I have the Arabian peninsula. Bostra just defected to me and that put me into a war with the Ptoly's. I cannot defeat their army and naturally lost the city back to them. I put a fort in between me and the Egyptians in the middle of the Road towards my Capital so hopefully if they venture down to kill me I can have advanced warning.

    I would like to see a video or step by step instructions and tips on how to play as Saba, I never auto resolve fights. I do auto resolve every time I conquer cities though. I have infiltrated two Egyptian cities and will try to cause damage to Alexandria but I need help with Battlefield tactics.

    Help a gamer out!

    I want to Rule The World

  2. #2

    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rule The World View Post
    Hi, again in my ever expanding appreciation for this game. Thanks EB team, until I stumbled upon you guys. My RTW game was sitting for like 3 years.

    Anyway after dominating with the Romans. I decided to take a crack at Saba. I am still a newbie in most respects and I want to beat the pulp out of The Hellenic Egyptians and their phalanx. I have yet to make my way over to India for Elephants but I do know enough that I should be getting them soon.
    I have the Arabian peninsula. Bostra just defected to me and that put me into a war with the Ptoly's. I cannot defeat their army and naturally lost the city back to them. I put a fort in between me and the Egyptians in the middle of the Road towards my Capital so hopefully if they venture down to kill me I can have advanced warning.

    I would like to see a video or step by step instructions and tips on how to play as Saba, I never auto resolve fights. I do auto resolve every time I conquer cities though. I have infiltrated two Egyptian cities and will try to cause damage to Alexandria but I need help with Battlefield tactics.

    Help a gamer out!

    I want to Rule The World
    k well military advice for Saba is that their faction selection troops are not going to take as far as u need or want to go. their troop selction is mostly composed of light infantry and even the Phalangitai have sub-par defense ratings. So what u are going to have to do is take a couple Ptolomic cities and use their faction selction troops to build ur army. ur gunna have to use the carthaginian and Hannibal way of raising ur army here basically. The bulk of ur army will have to be composed of foreign troops mercenaries and such.
    U could try and use just Sabean faction selection troops but that will only get u so far. When the Diadochi start pulling out their heavier cavalry and heavy Phalagitai Saba wont be able to compete, not fairly any way. if u take some Diadochi cities and use Diadochi troops against the Ptoloies and Selucid Diadochi troops u got a good shot at winning ur campaign.
    Last edited by Husker98; 03-12-2009 at 21:15.

  3. #3
    Member Member Nachtmeister's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    AFAIK, in the desert your troops have *much* better stamina than the Diadochoi troops.
    Use this:

    -Taunt them with skirmishers, have them run after a few non-melee units (light arabian infantry for instance) of yours, always shooting when they turn around to go back into formation.

    -If they keep pursuing - so much the better, just don't allow your skirmishers to get cornered.

    -Wear down their stamina, try to maybe even defeat them in detail by isolating pursuing units and hitting them with superior numbers when they are far enough from their army's main body.

    -Don't go head to head with phalangitai, shoot them in the backs with archers or slingers.

    -Use archer-spearmen to deliver sun-blotting hails of arrows when the earnest fight begins.
    Archers are better for Saba most of the time because you can concentrate their fire without hitting your own troops or moving them too much and in contrast to other factions, with Saba you are forced to use ranged units as your main damage-dealers. Your melee units are only there to keep enemies in one place, preferrably with their backs turned on your archers.

    -Sabaean generals deal decent anti-infantry damage but they are very vulnerable; combine them in a dense "chaos" with other melee units to give them some cover if they are to fight in melee.

    -Burning arrows deal morale penalties as in Vanilla RTW, so this is helpful when enemy morale is wavering.

    -The southern Ptolemaic settlements are few and far between; use this to your advantage as they won't be able to quickly assemble full stacks without you knowing they are coming (you MUST have spies because your own territory is too sparsely settled for those settlements to earn you enough money to keep all of them sufficiently garrisoned).

    -Leave a "damper" state between yourself and Arche Seleukeia for as long as possible to avoid a two-front war against two of the three most powerful factions in the game.

    -An army composition that *works* against early Diadochoi armies is
    1x General
    2x arabian light infantry (not much more because they are rather expensive)
    2x red sea levies (the axemen with wickershields; they do AP damage and are ok for longer melee if "mixed" with the general's unit and not at too heavy odds)
    4x archer-spearmen (when ammo is depleted but the battle not won, they can serve as additional, fresh but weak melee infantry at an obvious cost plus they are not quite sooo badly vulnerable to cavalry)
    4x slingers (they are cheap and do heavy damage if used correctly, i.e. in the BACK of a phalanx)
    1x cavalry - expensive but necessary to kill routing enemies...
    ... And work towards getting those heavy Sabaean spearmen and maybe even the medium cavalry; Ethiopia gives you some relatively good regionals (ethiopian swordsmen) early on if you can get past the garrison. You will have to build a naval bay and one ship (to be disbanded again after one turn) to get a BIGGER force than the one listed above over the red sea to take it though. I recommend having 4-6 units of arabian light infantry and 6 units of archer-spearmen there because you will be up against elephants. Siege for as long as possible if your general is good at logistics. This is for campaign VH/M battle difficulty settings because of the large garrison.

    -If the enemy keeps coming at you in such numbers that you are unable to rotate troops for retraining quickly enough as your borders expand, raid their major recruitment bases: For example, take Alexandreia for one round even if it is still behind enemy lines and you have no hope of holding it. Then, tear down EVERY building you can tear down, enslave the population (or kill them, depending on how evil you are and what consequences it might have for the general responsible for such an atrocity), then leave with the money and let the city rebel back to the Ptolemaioi - they will not be using it for recruitment until they have built up a sufficient MIC and some other infrastructure to maintain public order.

    Sadly, my Saba campaign (which was very successful until then) got terminated by a persistent CTD after ~20 years.
    Last edited by Nachtmeister; 03-12-2009 at 22:52.

    I am honoured to have been presented with my first baloons - - by Ibrahim for tactical observations
    and with my second balloon by Christopher Burgoyne for physical elaboration on the advantages conferred by the Kontos over the Xyston.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Good stuff keep it coming please... I want to hear other strategies as well...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    dont forget african elephants in axum/monroe

  6. #6
    Member Member Nachtmeister's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by waydog98 View Post
    dont forget african elephants in axum/monroe
    "M_e_roe", actually - but maybe they had pretty blondes with long legs there...

    BTW, that's the Ethiopian settlement I mentioned earlier IIRC.
    Yes, elephants and, at this stage more importantly (you won't be able to afford elephants if you conquer it early, which you nevertheless should do to have a well established military infrastructure by the time the Ptolemaioi recognize you as a serious threat, ally with AS and throw everything they have at you) it also has Ethiopians. Swordsmen to get behind phalangites or even stand up to them from the front for a short time while your archers and slingers do the killing from the other side, spearmen to counter cavalry and form a defensive line on the field, and archers; look at their stats in-game and compare them to the native Sabaean archers, maybe test them in a custom battle, then decide which suit your purposes best. I think it mainly depends on where you want to use them (can't retrain them in many settlements, outside of =>Ethiopia<=, for instance).

    Oh I almost forgot - lvl1 MINES are your ABSOLUTE top priority. Without them, you will not be able to build infrastructure and support an army at the same time. Keep your settlements building money-generating and public order buildings all the time; build caravan scouts when it is clear that you will be short on cash for a while (cost below 1000 minai IIRC but they take long to build; that way you don't have to spend those turns waiting when you have enough money to start a new building every round).

    You should use your starting army to rush the neighbouring Eleutheroi; you can take the north-western one in round one by using your spy to open the gates. That way you don't have to disband your army to avoid running into debt.

    Use slingers as garrisons - they have the lowest upkeep per soldier.

    The starting battles are a bit tricky - use two of your generals as "tanks" - but careful, they can't take as much punishment as other infantry generals; however they automatically retrain with no cost and they do better in melee than any of your other starting troops.

    Keep a careful eye on their stamina - when they reach the second stage of exhaustion (don't know if it was "winded" or "out of breath" or something else because my Vanilla RTW is the German version and there it says "au▀er Atem") they incur serious damage-penalties and become very vulnerable.

    Use "no battle time limit" setting and just park them on "defend" setting in a sheltered position after the first time you rout the first wave of defenders inside the city.
    The defenders will come again, charge your generals, lose a few men - and rout again, and again, and again. This will make them very exhausted while your generals rest between engagements.

    If you use the battering ram(s) on two wall sections you can choose where to enter; do this so that your generals face the passage to the town square but are "behind the corner" with no enemies behind them; practically creating a killing zone for your archers right next to the gate area when the defenders attack the generals.

    Right-hand side of the passage is better than left because enemies in melee with your generals will be presenting their shield-less right to your archers outside the walls. Keep some distance from the walls with those archers so they may fire at the area right behind the wall. This only works with level 1 wood walls, but it saves you a LOT of casualties, enabling you to take the other settlement to the east without retraining (which you will not be able to do because of money issues).

    Beware of Eleutheroi armies roaming both of these provinces - the western one will attack the conquered settlement sooner rather than later, so having a task-force ready in your core territory to quickly respond during the first two years is a good idea - or just have spies watching their every move to know ahead of time when they come for you. The eastern army did nothing but mope around in my campaign; I think it is safe to move past this one to conquer the next settlement - although both create unrest by devastating land tiles, something you can ill afford because you need high taxes with low garrisons to get the money for the mines.

    After this, you just keep moving and conquering Arabia until you reach the cape on the north-east. Do not conquer beyond it because otherwise you will be awarded a mutual border with the Arche Seleukeia to provide for an instant, catastrophic, epic campaign FAIL.

    Keep an eye on the Seleukid border area with a spy at all times. They usually park a half stack there which will do nothing for a looong time. As soon as they set siege to the Eleutheroi settlement on the northern coast of Arabia, prepare to attack THEM before they attack you, they will not take more than two attempts at conquering this settlement because their phalangites are like a NUKE on autocalc. When this happens (here's the part I didn't get to try due to the CTD), I advise rushing for Seleukeia and Babylon; no matter whether you can hold them or not - just raid them, destroy the MICs there. It is the AS main recruitment center beside Antiocheia. It is where their armored phalangites come from - the killer weapon against Saba.

    I am honoured to have been presented with my first baloons - - by Ibrahim for tactical observations
    and with my second balloon by Christopher Burgoyne for physical elaboration on the advantages conferred by the Kontos over the Xyston.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nachtmeister View Post
    "M_e_roe", actually - but maybe they had pretty blondes with long legs there...

    BTW, that's the Ethiopian settlement I mentioned earlier IIRC.
    Yes, elephants and, at this stage more importantly (you won't be able to afford elephants if you conquer it early, which you nevertheless should do to have a well established military infrastructure by the time the Ptolemaioi recognize you as a serious threat, ally with AS and throw everything they have at you) it also has Ethiopians. Swordsmen to get behind phalangites or even stand up to them from the front for a short time while your archers and slingers do the killing from the other side, spearmen to counter cavalry and form a defensive line on the field, and archers; look at their stats in-game and compare them to the native Sabaean archers, maybe test them in a custom battle, then decide which suit your purposes best. I think it mainly depends on where you want to use them (can't retrain them in many settlements, outside of =>Ethiopia<=, for instance).

    Oh I almost forgot - lvl1 MINES are your ABSOLUTE top priority. Without them, you will not be able to build infrastructure and support an army at the same time. Keep your settlements building money-generating and public order buildings all the time; build caravan scouts when it is clear that you will be short on cash for a while (cost below 1000 minai IIRC but they take long to build; that way you don't have to spend those turns waiting when you have enough money to start a new building every round).

    You should use your starting army to rush the neighbouring Eleutheroi; you can take the north-western one in round one by using your spy to open the gates. That way you don't have to disband your army to avoid running into debt.

    Use slingers as garrisons - they have the lowest upkeep per soldier.

    The starting battles are a bit tricky - use two of your generals as "tanks" - but careful, they can't take as much punishment as other infantry generals; however they automatically retrain with no cost and they do better in melee than any of your other starting troops.

    Keep a careful eye on their stamina - when they reach the second stage of exhaustion (don't know if it was "winded" or "out of breath" or something else because my Vanilla RTW is the German version and there it says "au▀er Atem") they incur serious damage-penalties and become very vulnerable.

    Use "no battle time limit" setting and just park them on "defend" setting in a sheltered position after the first time you rout the first wave of defenders inside the city.
    The defenders will come again, charge your generals, lose a few men - and rout again, and again, and again. This will make them very exhausted while your generals rest between engagements.

    If you use the battering ram(s) on two wall sections you can choose where to enter; do this so that your generals face the passage to the town square but are "behind the corner" with no enemies behind them; practically creating a killing zone for your archers right next to the gate area when the defenders attack the generals.

    Right-hand side of the passage is better than left because enemies in melee with your generals will be presenting their shield-less right to your archers outside the walls. Keep some distance from the walls with those archers so they may fire at the area right behind the wall. This only works with level 1 wood walls, but it saves you a LOT of casualties, enabling you to take the other settlement to the east without retraining (which you will not be able to do because of money issues).

    Beware of Eleutheroi armies roaming both of these provinces - the western one will attack the conquered settlement sooner rather than later, so having a task-force ready in your core territory to quickly respond during the first two years is a good idea - or just have spies watching their every move to know ahead of time when they come for you. The eastern army did nothing but mope around in my campaign; I think it is safe to move past this one to conquer the next settlement - although both create unrest by devastating land tiles, something you can ill afford because you need high taxes with low garrisons to get the money for the mines.

    After this, you just keep moving and conquering Arabia until you reach the cape on the north-east. Do not conquer beyond it because otherwise you will be awarded a mutual border with the Arche Seleukeia to provide for an instant, catastrophic, epic campaign FAIL.

    Keep an eye on the Seleukid border area with a spy at all times. They usually park a half stack there which will do nothing for a looong time. As soon as they set siege to the Eleutheroi settlement on the northern coast of Arabia, prepare to attack THEM before they attack you, they will not take more than two attempts at conquering this settlement because their phalangites are like a NUKE on autocalc. When this happens (here's the part I didn't get to try due to the CTD), I advise rushing for Seleukeia and Babylon; no matter whether you can hold them or not - just raid them, destroy the MICs there. It is the AS main recruitment center beside Antiocheia. It is where their armored phalangites come from - the killer weapon against Saba.
    AS is almost dead in 238 bc... Yellow Fever baby...
    I would love to see a mock battle or video because some of the things you are saying aren't registering. I kinda get it, but at the same time I would love to see a battle replay to get a better idea.
    Thanks all good advice though, especially the in game building strategy.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Mercenaries are your friend. You won't get much near the homelands but once you get closer to the Mediterranean Sea you'll have more available. As said previously, you've only really got light infantry, using them is easier than commanding a cavalry heavy faction like the Hai, but it's a helluva lot harder than infantry centered factions too.
    What you've got going for you is 1) Stamina, 2)Speed, 3)Range, 4) Flexibility.
    Your problem is that the Saba really don't have much in the way of line holders, they're vulnerable to cavalry (especially eastern ones, once you hit the west it gets easier cavalry wise), they've also got bad staying power in a big melee.

    What you'll find is that with the hoplite/phalanx factions, you have the advantage (unless they have heavy cavalry). The reason is that they're not all that mobile or flexible, plus they tire easy. Once you hit Europe proper, you'll have a problem if you stick to your faction troops. They've got far, far, FAAAAAAR better infantry than you'll ever have (barring mercs). Their infantry will chop yours to bits and the thing that makes it even worse is that they've got just as good stamina and much better morale in general.

    One last thing, Saba are sub par for holding towns, you'll need numbers to win if the enemy sieges you. Nachtmeister said to hit certain places and destroy their recruit centers and he's right. But do this for more than just those 2 places. You'll have an easier time of it if you make a couple of full stacks or something strong enough to take the main cities of the Ptolemaioi and you'll recoup the monetary loses if you destroy almost every building there. If forces them to spend money to rebuild and also slows them down. A LOT. Always try to hit the recruitment capitals and raze them to the ground because it'll force the enemy to fight a war of attrition with you.
    Last edited by heldelance; 03-13-2009 at 15:24. Reason: stuff
    Conquering the world with the Getai

    From Aurgelmir

  9. #9
    Member Member seienchin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    I still recommend a classical style army, if you have the money.
    You can get the levy phalangitai, who can hold a line and have Ap weapons as their second weapon,
    your red sea costal levies are perfect shock infantry and the arabian cavallery is incredibly strong, if used properly. As long as the enemy does not have many archers you have a fair chance to win. By the way your main enemy are the enemy phalangitai and heavy cavallery. the phalangitai have superior numbers to most troops, so I wouldnt bother using many slingers. They maybe very strong, if you outnumber the enemy, but if your enemy comes with 7 to 8 phalangitai your slingers maybe take out 1 or 2 and then get slaughtered. I would try to get behind the enemy with a lot of the light cavallery and fire missiles on the back of the enemy and stretch it lines and maybe kill the general and then pin the enemies heavy troops with phalangitai, atack with red sea levies at the flanks and then storm in from behind with the light aranian cavallery.

  10. #10
    Member Member Nachtmeister's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rule The World View Post
    AS is almost dead in 238 bc... Yellow Fever baby...
    I would love to see a mock battle or video because some of the things you are saying aren't registering. I kinda get it, but at the same time I would love to see a battle replay to get a better idea.
    Thanks all good advice though, especially the in game building strategy.
    Ok... So being unable to capture battle replays in campaign and not sure whether it is possible to *stage* a battle with pre-opened city gates - here's the vital first turn of Saba in colour pictures...
    Creating it was so much fun that I would make an AAR if my machine didn't have such trouble with the alt-tab thing after the first 20-odd turns. Here goes:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    First, move your spy into Carna, then merge your field army with the garrison in Maryab.
    Then, attack Carna with all you have, leaving only one unit of arabian light infantry behind
    (or all of them if you feel like taking risks and prefer to increase the population of Maryab).
    Due to their high upkeep, you will likely want to disband them at the end of this round.




    You should find the gates of Carna open when you arrive. By attacking now, you can roughly
    double your income before the first round is over, thus never entering debt.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Deploy your forces as illustrated; the arabian light infantry serves only as a reserve in case
    something goes wrong in one of the following steps so that you can afford to take casualties,
    but if all goes well you shouldn't need them in this battle. Everything except the cavalry
    (including missile troops) should be on guard mode and with auto-fire switched off.




    Immediately open fire on the ethiopian swordsmen; they are the only dedicated anti-infantry unit present in Carna - but keep your missile troops on guard mode and shoot *manually* when the enemy is in the area next to the gate, not when they have the cover of the surrounding buildings to waste your ammunition on. Remember, no auto-fire.




    By the time your generals and your ethiopian spearmen have reached the gate, the enemy should have dispersed to take cover from your missile troops. If not, wait until they do; in my battle, an enemy unit of ethiopian spearmen took cover behind the corner of the building to the right of the gate. I had hoped they would all run for the town square, but the generals will be able to deal with them nevertheless. Give specific orders for one general and the spearmen to take up formation in a defensive row facing towards your missile troops on the right side of the gate. Advance your cavalry to the wall there (stay away from turrets) and have the other general face the enemy spearmen.




    In my case, the formation thing went wrong because my troops did not run fast enough; if this happens, disable guard mode and pepper the enemy spearmen coming from the right with javelins from your cavalry; maybe have your missile infantry shoot at the "hindmost" enemy unit coming from the town square but be careful about friendly fire as your troops are not in guard mode.




    This is what it should look like (I re-enabled defend mode and then pulled out of the initial melee after the enemy spearmen blocking the path to the right had routed). Now the spearmen are of course facing the main enemy force (very very important because of missile attacks).




    Get the pyro-party started. Burning arrows make them rout much faster. Ethiopian swordsmen and Sabaean noble infantry are your primary targets. Don't shoot at units running around next to the gate - shoot at those fighting your generals as these will keep their backs turned on your missile troops. Pay careful attention to the position of the slingers, make shure that the gate is not in the way of their rather flat arc of fire. Otherwise they will probably still shoot, but the damage caused by their fire will be severely weakened.


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    The enemy will attack, rout, return, attack, rout again and so forth several times. Take your time, this is why you play without battle time limits. They will get exhausted from running between fights while your units will be resting all the time. If you find yourself getting hit by enemy archers, move a bit closer to the building for cover.
    Move your cavalry into the city, take up position behind your infantry. This is why you don't disband the cavalry at the start of the turn - they can kill routing enemies, saving you the need to fight them later and lowering the enemies' overall morale. Break off pursuit and return to station if the routers reach their not routing comrades.




    When the enemy stops coming, it is time to blast the way through that passage clear. Do this after resting all your troops. Generals first, then the spearmen when the enemy cavalry attacks, then your cavalry when the enemy is getting exhausted and a rout is imminent.




    In the meantime, the archers moved into the city and walked around to the "west" or "left" gate and the slingers took to the "right" or "eastern" gate. I had moved them to the centre when one of the two enemy infantry units on the town square attacked the archers. I retreated to the west gate and rushed in with the generals, spearmen and cavalry, blocking the enemy's return path. When they attacked the generals, I fired a volley of flaming arrows into their rear which routed them - and of course they tried to flee through my troops.
    This was fortunate, but even if it doesn't happen like this the following tactic always works.




    Just form up your generals, backed by the spearmen, and set them to auto-fire. The enemy will charge. If they still have two units because the archer-stunt didn't work, pull one general away from melee and attack the enemy unit left on the town square.




    When all enemies are in melee fights with your generals, start shooting them in the backs...




    Resisting the urge to kill them all is to spare your own troops further casualties as otherwise the enemy would regroup for a final fight on the town square...




    And we are done.




    You see, if used correctly, the Sabaean generals can be quite lethal - however the comparatively low casualties caused by missile fire are deceptive; they are what caused the enemy to rout. I had my generals pursue the enemy for a short distance a couple of times back at the gate, so this is where most of their "tremendous" number of kills came from.



    I hope this is better understandable than the word-jumble in my previous post.
    Saba are one of the most fun factions to play IMHO.

    I am honoured to have been presented with my first baloons - - by Ibrahim for tactical observations
    and with my second balloon by Christopher Burgoyne for physical elaboration on the advantages conferred by the Kontos over the Xyston.

  11. #11
    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nachtmeister View Post
    Ok... So being unable to capture battle replays in campaign and not sure whether it is possible to *stage* a battle with pre-opened city gates - here's the vital first turn of Saba in colour pictures...
    Creating it was so much fun that I would make an AAR if my machine didn't have such trouble with the alt-tab thing after the first 20-odd turns. Here goes:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    First, move your spy into Carna, then merge your field army with the garrison in Maryab.
    Then, attack Carna with all you have, leaving only one unit of arabian light infantry behind
    (or all of them if you feel like taking risks and prefer to increase the population of Maryab).
    Due to their high upkeep, you will likely want to disband them at the end of this round.




    You should find the gates of Carna open when you arrive. By attacking now, you can roughly
    double your income before the first round is over, thus never entering debt.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Deploy your forces as illustrated; the arabian light infantry serves only as a reserve in case
    something goes wrong in one of the following steps so that you can afford to take casualties,
    but if all goes well you shouldn't need them in this battle. Everything except the cavalry
    (including missile troops) should be on guard mode and with auto-fire switched off.




    Immediately open fire on the ethiopian swordsmen; they are the only dedicated anti-infantry unit present in Carna - but keep your missile troops on guard mode and shoot *manually* when the enemy is in the area next to the gate, not when they have the cover of the surrounding buildings to waste your ammunition on. Remember, no auto-fire.




    By the time your generals and your ethiopian spearmen have reached the gate, the enemy should have dispersed to take cover from your missile troops. If not, wait until they do; in my battle, an enemy unit of ethiopian spearmen took cover behind the corner of the building to the right of the gate. I had hoped they would all run for the town square, but the generals will be able to deal with them nevertheless. Give specific orders for one general and the spearmen to take up formation in a defensive row facing towards your missile troops on the right side of the gate. Advance your cavalry to the wall there (stay away from turrets) and have the other general face the enemy spearmen.




    In my case, the formation thing went wrong because my troops did not run fast enough; if this happens, disable guard mode and pepper the enemy spearmen coming from the right with javelins from your cavalry; maybe have your missile infantry shoot at the "hindmost" enemy unit coming from the town square but be careful about friendly fire as your troops are not in guard mode.




    This is what it should look like (I re-enabled defend mode and then pulled out of the initial melee after the enemy spearmen blocking the path to the right had routed). Now the spearmen are of course facing the main enemy force (very very important because of missile attacks).




    Get the pyro-party started. Burning arrows make them rout much faster. Ethiopian swordsmen and Sabaean noble infantry are your primary targets. Don't shoot at units running around next to the gate - shoot at those fighting your generals as these will keep their backs turned on your missile troops. Pay careful attention to the position of the slingers, make shure that the gate is not in the way of their rather flat arc of fire. Otherwise they will probably still shoot, but the damage caused by their fire will be severely weakened.


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    The enemy will attack, rout, return, attack, rout again and so forth several times. Take your time, this is why you play without battle time limits. They will get exhausted from running between fights while your units will be resting all the time. If you find yourself getting hit by enemy archers, move a bit closer to the building for cover.
    Move your cavalry into the city, take up position behind your infantry. This is why you don't disband the cavalry at the start of the turn - they can kill routing enemies, saving you the need to fight them later and lowering the enemies' overall morale. Break off pursuit and return to station if the routers reach their not routing comrades.




    When the enemy stops coming, it is time to blast the way through that passage clear. Do this after resting all your troops. Generals first, then the spearmen when the enemy cavalry attacks, then your cavalry when the enemy is getting exhausted and a rout is imminent.




    In the meantime, the archers moved into the city and walked around to the "west" or "left" gate and the slingers took to the "right" or "eastern" gate. I had moved them to the centre when one of the two enemy infantry units on the town square attacked the archers. I retreated to the west gate and rushed in with the generals, spearmen and cavalry, blocking the enemy's return path. When they attacked the generals, I fired a volley of flaming arrows into their rear which routed them - and of course they tried to flee through my troops.
    This was fortunate, but even if it doesn't happen like this the following tactic always works.




    Just form up your generals, backed by the spearmen, and set them to auto-fire. The enemy will charge. If they still have two units because the archer-stunt didn't work, pull one general away from melee and attack the enemy unit left on the town square.




    When all enemies are in melee fights with your generals, start shooting them in the backs...




    Resisting the urge to kill them all is to spare your own troops further casualties as otherwise the enemy would regroup for a final fight on the town square...




    And we are done.




    You see, if used correctly, the Sabaean generals can be quite lethal - however the comparatively low casualties caused by missile fire are deceptive; they are what caused the enemy to rout. I had my generals pursue the enemy for a short distance a couple of times back at the gate, so this is where most of their "tremendous" number of kills came from.



    I hope this is better understandable than the word-jumble in my previous post.
    Saba are one of the most fun factions to play IMHO.
    looks like you need more archers, slingers and shock troops.some cavalry is nice, but not necessary here (in fact, a hinderance.)
    I was once alive, but then a girl came and took out my ticker.

    my 4 year old modding project--nearing completion: http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=219506 (if you wanna help, join me).

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  12. #12
    Member Member Nachtmeister's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibrahim View Post
    looks like you need more archers, slingers and shock troops.some cavalry is nice, but not necessary here (in fact, a hinderance.)
    Shock troops LMAO...
    You are just joking, right?
    Remember I said this is turn no. 1 - the Saba starting army and how to use it to conquer your first province before the first army upkeep goes out of your coffers. And ONE unit of cavalry is mandatory if you want to kill routers before they regroup.
    My post was supposed to demonstrate the opening move, not the ideal Sabaean end-game army composition...
    Last edited by Nachtmeister; 03-14-2009 at 06:31.

    I am honoured to have been presented with my first baloons - - by Ibrahim for tactical observations
    and with my second balloon by Christopher Burgoyne for physical elaboration on the advantages conferred by the Kontos over the Xyston.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nachtmeister View Post
    Ok... So being unable to capture battle replays in campaign and not sure whether it is possible to *stage* a battle with pre-opened city gates - here's the vital first turn of Saba in colour pictures...
    Creating it was so much fun that I would make an AAR if my machine didn't have such trouble with the alt-tab thing after the first 20-odd turns. Here goes:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    First, move your spy into Carna, then merge your field army with the garrison in Maryab.
    Then, attack Carna with all you have, leaving only one unit of arabian light infantry behind
    (or all of them if you feel like taking risks and prefer to increase the population of Maryab).
    Due to their high upkeep, you will likely want to disband them at the end of this round.




    You should find the gates of Carna open when you arrive. By attacking now, you can roughly
    double your income before the first round is over, thus never entering debt.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Deploy your forces as illustrated; the arabian light infantry serves only as a reserve in case
    something goes wrong in one of the following steps so that you can afford to take casualties,
    but if all goes well you shouldn't need them in this battle. Everything except the cavalry
    (including missile troops) should be on guard mode and with auto-fire switched off.




    Immediately open fire on the ethiopian swordsmen; they are the only dedicated anti-infantry unit present in Carna - but keep your missile troops on guard mode and shoot *manually* when the enemy is in the area next to the gate, not when they have the cover of the surrounding buildings to waste your ammunition on. Remember, no auto-fire.




    By the time your generals and your ethiopian spearmen have reached the gate, the enemy should have dispersed to take cover from your missile troops. If not, wait until they do; in my battle, an enemy unit of ethiopian spearmen took cover behind the corner of the building to the right of the gate. I had hoped they would all run for the town square, but the generals will be able to deal with them nevertheless. Give specific orders for one general and the spearmen to take up formation in a defensive row facing towards your missile troops on the right side of the gate. Advance your cavalry to the wall there (stay away from turrets) and have the other general face the enemy spearmen.




    In my case, the formation thing went wrong because my troops did not run fast enough; if this happens, disable guard mode and pepper the enemy spearmen coming from the right with javelins from your cavalry; maybe have your missile infantry shoot at the "hindmost" enemy unit coming from the town square but be careful about friendly fire as your troops are not in guard mode.




    This is what it should look like (I re-enabled defend mode and then pulled out of the initial melee after the enemy spearmen blocking the path to the right had routed). Now the spearmen are of course facing the main enemy force (very very important because of missile attacks).




    Get the pyro-party started. Burning arrows make them rout much faster. Ethiopian swordsmen and Sabaean noble infantry are your primary targets. Don't shoot at units running around next to the gate - shoot at those fighting your generals as these will keep their backs turned on your missile troops. Pay careful attention to the position of the slingers, make shure that the gate is not in the way of their rather flat arc of fire. Otherwise they will probably still shoot, but the damage caused by their fire will be severely weakened.


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    The enemy will attack, rout, return, attack, rout again and so forth several times. Take your time, this is why you play without battle time limits. They will get exhausted from running between fights while your units will be resting all the time. If you find yourself getting hit by enemy archers, move a bit closer to the building for cover.
    Move your cavalry into the city, take up position behind your infantry. This is why you don't disband the cavalry at the start of the turn - they can kill routing enemies, saving you the need to fight them later and lowering the enemies' overall morale. Break off pursuit and return to station if the routers reach their not routing comrades.




    When the enemy stops coming, it is time to blast the way through that passage clear. Do this after resting all your troops. Generals first, then the spearmen when the enemy cavalry attacks, then your cavalry when the enemy is getting exhausted and a rout is imminent.




    In the meantime, the archers moved into the city and walked around to the "west" or "left" gate and the slingers took to the "right" or "eastern" gate. I had moved them to the centre when one of the two enemy infantry units on the town square attacked the archers. I retreated to the west gate and rushed in with the generals, spearmen and cavalry, blocking the enemy's return path. When they attacked the generals, I fired a volley of flaming arrows into their rear which routed them - and of course they tried to flee through my troops.
    This was fortunate, but even if it doesn't happen like this the following tactic always works.




    Just form up your generals, backed by the spearmen, and set them to auto-fire. The enemy will charge. If they still have two units because the archer-stunt didn't work, pull one general away from melee and attack the enemy unit left on the town square.




    When all enemies are in melee fights with your generals, start shooting them in the backs...




    Resisting the urge to kill them all is to spare your own troops further casualties as otherwise the enemy would regroup for a final fight on the town square...




    And we are done.




    You see, if used correctly, the Sabaean generals can be quite lethal - however the comparatively low casualties caused by missile fire are deceptive; they are what caused the enemy to rout. I had my generals pursue the enemy for a short distance a couple of times back at the gate, so this is where most of their "tremendous" number of kills came from.



    I hope this is better understandable than the word-jumble in my previous post.
    Saba are one of the most fun factions to play IMHO.
    Thank a million for the scene. I got all the Arab peninsula, but I am about to lose Africa, and they Ptoly's are starting to send full stacks into the desert... thats a long trip down to kill me.

  14. #14
    Member Member Nachtmeister's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Try to obstruct their way in terrain bottlenecks - build a fort, station one unit of slingers in it to buy some time... Apart from that, try to kick their rear ends. Usually the cities far behind the front line are not strongly garrisoned --- maybe try an attack on Alexandreia with four units of axemen or something like that...

    I am honoured to have been presented with my first baloons - - by Ibrahim for tactical observations
    and with my second balloon by Christopher Burgoyne for physical elaboration on the advantages conferred by the Kontos over the Xyston.

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    Member Member Africanvs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nachtmeister View Post
    Ok... So being unable to capture battle replays in campaign and not sure whether it is possible to *stage* a battle with pre-opened city gates - here's the vital first turn of Saba in colour pictures...
    Creating it was so much fun that I would make an AAR if my machine didn't have such trouble with the alt-tab thing after the first 20-odd turns. Here goes:
    Sounds like you're using the old school method of taking screenshots. I think you'd like fraps. It's a program that allows you to take as many screenshots as you want, and you can record in-game video. The free version only gives you 30 seconds of video each time and displays the fraps logo in the corner of the video, and you can only save screenshots in bmp format.

    I can't say I've ever played Saba, but it sounds challenging. I might give it a shot. I would imagine raiding Ptolie cities up and down the Nile, hitting them where their garrisons are weak, and getting some good diplomacy going with the Seleukids to make sure you keep the two juggernaughts fighting would be sound strategies.
    "Insipientis est dicere, Non putarvm."

    "It is the part of a fool to say, I should not have thought."
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    I will try garrisons... Right now as we speak I have 3 assassins and a great spy in alexandria and I am playing terrorist. God that sounds terrible, I am turning the Saba faction into Jihadists... Anywho I havent noticed that they Ptoly's are spending "Too much" money to repair their Unique buildings they are sending stacks down from bostra. BTW AS has been pacified to only two cities. Asia Minor is know Purple and Yellow.

  17. #17
    Slixpoitation Member A Very Super Market's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    The Saba are not muslim. Neither Islam or Christianity existed back then. Just saying, I think you already know that.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
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  18. #18
    Member Member Nachtmeister's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Africanvs View Post
    Sounds like you're using the old school method of taking screenshots. I think you'd like fraps. It's a program that allows you to take as many screenshots as you want, and you can record in-game video. The free version only gives you 30 seconds of video each time and displays the fraps logo in the corner of the video, and you can only save screenshots in bmp format.

    I can't say I've ever played Saba, but it sounds challenging. I might give it a shot. I would imagine raiding Ptolie cities up and down the Nile, hitting them where their garrisons are weak, and getting some good diplomacy going with the Seleukids to make sure you keep the two juggernaughts fighting would be sound strategies.
    Thank you, Africanvs!
    The problem is, however, that my machine is really strained already with running just EB - having another application not just alt-tabbed and stuffed into the swap file but actually doing something while trying to play would produce... unsatisfactory results (CTD)
    But as soon as I get more computing power, I will get myself a Fraps as you suggested. Name sounds somewhat similar to vanilla flavoured milk powder... Any connection there?

    I am honoured to have been presented with my first baloons - - by Ibrahim for tactical observations
    and with my second balloon by Christopher Burgoyne for physical elaboration on the advantages conferred by the Kontos over the Xyston.

  19. #19
    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nachtmeister View Post
    Shock troops LMAO...
    You are just joking, right?
    Remember I said this is turn no. 1 - the Saba starting army and how to use it to conquer your first province before the first army upkeep goes out of your coffers. And ONE unit of cavalry is mandatory if you want to kill routers before they regroup.
    My post was supposed to demonstrate the opening move, not the ideal Sabaean end-game army composition...
    I meant FM's man-they are for free for all intents and purposes. just gather them all up in a single army and go rampage(like I do)...besides, does saba' really have any other type of shock troops early in the game other than the bodyguards? I do not think so. and you do start with at least 2 of them in the begining. and adoptions and marriages will add to that in no time.

    also, I can already see the reason you want cavalry, but I'll tell ye now; half the time they will have trouble going through towns, so its better to just shoot them, or chase them with light infantry. I tried to do the same, but all I was able to do was get them stuck in some random allyway and get slaughtered by some angry archers/slingers. do not foget the price they have either-they are best for when you can afford them wih your economy.

    your best bet is just to be patient; I used the above mentioned tactics, and it cost me less.and use that spy.
    Last edited by Ibrahim; 03-14-2009 at 17:42.
    I was once alive, but then a girl came and took out my ticker.

    my 4 year old modding project--nearing completion: http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?t=219506 (if you wanna help, join me).

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  20. #20
    Member Member Nachtmeister's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibrahim View Post
    I meant FM's man-they are for free for all intents and purposes. just gather them all up in a single army and go rampage(like I do)...besides, does saba' really have any other type of shock troops early in the game other than the bodyguards? I do not think so. and you do start with at least 2 of them in the begining. and adoptions and marriages will add to that in no time.

    also, I can already see the reason you want cavalry, but I'll tell ye now; half the time they will have trouble going through towns, so its better to just shoot them, or chase them with light infantry. I tried to do the same, but all I was able to do was get them stuck in some random allyway and get slaughtered by some angry archers/slingers. do not foget the price they have either-they are best for when you can afford them wih your economy.

    your best bet is just to be patient; I used the above mentioned tactics, and it cost me less. get them to sally, or use that spy.

    and mind your manners...

    Hmm, seems my post came across much more harshly than it was intended to - I concede that adding a smiley would not have hurt now after re-reading your prior post and my reply. Furthermore, I do hereby correct "LMAO" to "holding on to bowel contents with constraint and effort against heavy pulsation of diaphragm". I am also offering you a to compensate for my rude tone.
    Please, do not take it personally; I was literally falling asleep while writing that and not paying any attention to how it would be received.

    On topic, the FMs I had were all present in that army - it is all Saba has at the beginning of round 1 minus a unit of arabian light infantry.
    You are right about cavalry initially getting into trouble in city-battles... But
    1) as they lose men, they get better at maneuvering
    2) they are much more successful at retreating to the outer reaches of the settlement when the enemy regroups
    3) they loose far less stamina with all the back-and-forth-chasing.

    If you get the entire enemy army to rout, light melee infantry is the fastest killer however.
    I normally use them in conjunction with cavalry to "herd" the routers into my infantry after field battles; in cities, the FMs are sufficiently fast to score some kills before returning to their defensive position.

    Provoking a sally is an interesting idea - didn't try that yet. What's your army composition for this purpose?

    I am honoured to have been presented with my first baloons - - by Ibrahim for tactical observations
    and with my second balloon by Christopher Burgoyne for physical elaboration on the advantages conferred by the Kontos over the Xyston.

  21. #21
    Member Member Africanvs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nachtmeister View Post
    Thank you, Africanvs!
    The problem is, however, that my machine is really strained already with running just EB - having another application not just alt-tabbed and stuffed into the swap file but actually doing something while trying to play would produce... unsatisfactory results (CTD)
    But as soon as I get more computing power, I will get myself a Fraps as you suggested. Name sounds somewhat similar to vanilla flavoured milk powder... Any connection there?
    I can understand what you're saying but if you can alt-tab out of the game for the first 20 turns, you should be OK. I don't think fraps uses hardly any resources until you hit F10 to take a screen shot. Just having it open in the background shouldn't cause anything noticeable and taking a screen shot causes a minor frame rate skip, but taking video will slow you down big time. I don't know, if you like taking screenies my advice is to give it a shot, it's free afterall. If you want to know more about it, PM. It's how I do all my screen capture.
    "Insipientis est dicere, Non putarvm."

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  22. #22
    master of the wierd people Member Ibrahim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nachtmeister View Post
    Hmm, seems my post came across much more harshly than it was intended to - I concede that adding a smiley would not have hurt now after re-reading your prior post and my reply. Furthermore, I do hereby correct "LMAO" to "holding on to bowel contents with constraint and effort against heavy pulsation of diaphragm". I am also offering you a to compensate for my rude tone.
    Please, do not take it personally; I was literally falling asleep while writing that and not paying any attention to how it would be received.

    On topic, the FMs I had were all present in that army - it is all Saba has at the beginning of round 1 minus a unit of arabian light infantry.
    You are right about cavalry initially getting into trouble in city-battles... But
    1) as they lose men, they get better at maneuvering
    2) they are much more successful at retreating to the outer reaches of the settlement when the enemy regroups
    3) they loose far less stamina with all the back-and-forth-chasing.

    If you get the entire enemy army to rout, light melee infantry is the fastest killer however.
    I normally use them in conjunction with cavalry to "herd" the routers into my infantry after field battles; in cities, the FMs are sufficiently fast to score some kills before returning to their defensive position.

    Provoking a sally is an interesting idea - didn't try that yet. What's your army composition for this purpose?
    its ok.

    anyways, back on topic: whenever I do plan on sallying the enemy, I order my archers forward to shoot the enemy as they come out of the gate. I reinfroce with slingers, and the occasional javelins. whatever survives the initial barrage is then forced to eat more javelins, go through a cavalry charge (assuming I even have cavalry), and then a wall of spears and swords. the same tactic is perfect for dealing with those north Italian gauls, should you play as romani*. cavalry can be easily dealt with by using the arcer-spearman; dirt cheap, deadly, and efficient cavalry killers.

    If all goes to plan, the lightly armed Arabians will be mowed down faster than lemmings jump off a cliff. the idea is that you truly close in when you run out of ammo. by that time, they will be much weakened.

    however, there is oe problem with this: time. the enemy may sally in 1 turn, or in 8, during which time, you will lose a lot of mony in the treasury. so when you do capture the city, sack it, and tear down all unimportant buildings.

    *replace archers with leves.
    Last edited by Ibrahim; 03-14-2009 at 19:21.
    I was once alive, but then a girl came and took out my ticker.

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  23. #23
    Member Member Nachtmeister's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Sacking and razing...
    I would probably do that to the northern Egyptian settlements but not on the Arabian peninsula - need the population for taxes and as the mainstay of my forces; in my current Saba campaign started by this thread, I have the four southernmost Arabian settlements.
    Conquered the first two ASAP, then disbanded the army 'xcept for garrison slingers and built
    military government, sanitization, lvl 1 MICs and mines everywhere in this order,
    then re-built the army with
    6x archer-spearmen,
    4x slingers,
    2x red sea infantry,
    1x Arabian light cavalry,
    adopted one general,
    conquered the final settlement bordering on the starting territory and am now moving along the eastern coast of Arabia to take the next two settlements with a half stack of slingers trailing the main army to serve as garrison in the newly conquered settlements.

    This time I remembered not to build roads in Carna as this - combined with one or two spies patrolling the western Arabian coast - allows for very early warning of incoming Ptolemaioi forces.
    Even with heavy/elite phalanxes they are no match for a Sabaean army that uses the terrain to it's advantage... Unless they send a full stack completely made up of phalanxes.
    They sent a depleted half-stack which I killed off with a last-minute-levy force.
    I am not yet sure whether this slow-going economy focused strategy might be a mistake in the long run (as opposed to more or less immediately rushing for Alexandria or Seleukeia).

    Looking at the recruitment viewer, I noticed that pantodapoi phalangitai are available to Saba in it's homeland on lvl 3 regional barracks... Now I wonder, is this a) a bug b) supposed to help the Saba AI or c) historically correct? I mean, hellenes in Arabia...?

    Ibrahim, you are right about not needing cavalry for city battles - I found that the archers indeed have enough ammunition to take care of routers. What is left after that can be killed off at the town square with family members.

    *EDIT* Oh by the way, it seems that the AI will only sally immediately if your force besieging a settlement is at least three units smaller than the garrison. */EDIT*
    Last edited by Nachtmeister; 03-14-2009 at 23:00.

    I am honoured to have been presented with my first baloons - - by Ibrahim for tactical observations
    and with my second balloon by Christopher Burgoyne for physical elaboration on the advantages conferred by the Kontos over the Xyston.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Nachtmeister View Post
    Sacking and razing...
    I would probably do that to the northern Egyptian settlements but not on the Arabian peninsula - need the population for taxes and as the mainstay of my forces; in my current Saba campaign started by this thread, I have the four southernmost Arabian settlements.
    Conquered the first two ASAP, then disbanded the army 'xcept for garrison slingers and built
    military government, sanitization, lvl 1 MICs and mines everywhere in this order,
    then re-built the army with
    6x archer-spearmen,
    4x slingers,
    2x red sea infantry,
    1x Arabian light cavalry,
    adopted one general,
    conquered the final settlement bordering on the starting territory and am now moving along the eastern coast of Arabia to take the next two settlements with a half stack of slingers trailing the main army to serve as garrison in the newly conquered settlements.

    This time I remembered not to build roads in Carna as this - combined with one or two spies patrolling the western Arabian coast - allows for very early warning of incoming Ptolemaioi forces.
    Even with heavy/elite phalanxes they are no match for a Sabaean army that uses the terrain to it's advantage... Unless they send a full stack completely made up of phalanxes.
    They sent a depleted half-stack which I killed off with a last-minute-levy force.
    I am not yet sure whether this slow-going economy focused strategy might be a mistake in the long run (as opposed to more or less immediately rushing for Alexandria or Seleukeia).

    Looking at the recruitment viewer, I noticed that pantodapoi phalangitai are available to Saba in it's homeland on lvl 3 regional barracks... Now I wonder, is this a) a bug b) supposed to help the Saba AI or c) historically correct? I mean, hellenes in Arabia...?

    Ibrahim, you are right about not needing cavalry for city battles - I found that the archers indeed have enough ammunition to take care of routers. What is left after that can be killed off at the town square with family members.

    *EDIT* Oh by the way, it seems that the AI will only sally immediately if your force besieging a settlement is at least three units smaller than the garrison. */EDIT*

    Can you show me a replay of that battle in the desert? I am still getting slaughtered by elite phalanx
    I am playing with Huge Units. I just need to see how experienced guys battle with Saba, I am getting abused on the battle field. I only win if I have double their forces. like 3000 to 1700.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am loving this game, but Saba is much harder then Rome, My next faction is gonna be phalanx heavy...

  25. #25
    Member Member Nachtmeister's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rule The World View Post
    Can you show me a replay of that battle in the desert? I am still getting slaughtered by elite phalanx
    I am playing with Huge Units. I just need to see how experienced guys battle with Saba, I am getting abused on the battle field. I only win if I have double their forces. like 3000 to 1700.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am loving this game, but Saba is much harder then Rome, My next faction is gonna be phalanx heavy...

    Can't make replays of campaign battles - but I'll do a custom battle some time around.
    Note that the Ptolemaic army I mentioned attacked very early in the game, so it contained weaker units and only one elite phalanx.
    Killing phalangites without phalangites in general works like this:
    1) place one of the most durable of your units (Sabaean noble spearmen) in front of the phalanx on guard mode.
    This unit will make no kills but will only die slowly while preventing the phalanx from moving or turning around.
    2) move a fast, damage dealing unit behind the phalanx. Prefer red sea infantry, later Ethiopian swordsmen, still later Klerouchoi.
    This unit will do the killing obviously. If the chance arises (phalanx is facing you but is isolated from the rest of the enemy army) it is also very effective to move one or even several units of skirmishers behind the phalanx and shoot at it from behind.
    3) in hilled terrain, have unit 1) face the phalanx uphill and unit 2) thus attacking downhill, makes for faster kills.
    4) do not try to charge unit 1) into the phalanx (at least not when playing Saba) - they will get ripped apart as soon as their shields are no longer forming a solid wall.
    5) cavalry rear-charge instead of 2-3. Do not attempt using light cavalry for this unless the phalangites are very exhausted or their line has already been severely thinned by other attacks. I do not know whether the Sabaean medium cavalry is more effective at this than light cavalry but I have reason to believe so nevertheless (got mentioned in the "surprisingly good units" thread IIRC).
    6) archer-spearmen
    first shoot them, then spear them.

    And usually you can separate enemy forces by shooting at them; non-phalanx units will run while the phalangites lag behind...

    Above all - quickpause ("P") is your friend.

    I am honoured to have been presented with my first baloons - - by Ibrahim for tactical observations
    and with my second balloon by Christopher Burgoyne for physical elaboration on the advantages conferred by the Kontos over the Xyston.

  26. #26
    Member Member Nachtmeister's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Quote Originally Posted by Africanvs View Post
    I can understand what you're saying but if you can alt-tab out of the game for the first 20 turns, you should be OK. I don't think fraps uses hardly any resources until you hit F10 to take a screen shot. Just having it open in the background shouldn't cause anything noticeable and taking a screen shot causes a minor frame rate skip, but taking video will slow you down big time. I don't know, if you like taking screenies my advice is to give it a shot, it's free afterall. If you want to know more about it, PM. It's how I do all my screen capture.
    Thank you very much; I will indeed give it a shot

    I am honoured to have been presented with my first baloons - - by Ibrahim for tactical observations
    and with my second balloon by Christopher Burgoyne for physical elaboration on the advantages conferred by the Kontos over the Xyston.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Hey, I have an idea... this is for those metagamers.

    Can 3-4 of you just show me some replays...

    I am interested in Mass Archer Tactics and Skirmisher Tactics

  28. #28
    Member Member ibn Abihi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    As you all know, Saba is a challenging faction to play because they border two big, strong and advanced neighbors and have homeland with limited resources, both economic and military. A conventional strategy of gradually conquering province after province and steadily building up armies and cities tends not to work.

    After a couple of pretty failed campaigns I finally devised a well working strategy. I lack good tactics though :) I am more strategy than tactics guy.

    The main point is strike the root of your enemies and start expanding only after you weakened them down totally.

    Timeline and tips:
    - use your initial army to quickly conquer Arabian peninsula. Use your army wisely, minimize loses. Enough was written above about the tactics. My strong advise is: don’t train any new units unless necessary, but also don't disband troops. You will get into a slight deficit, you you will quickly recoup it.
    - save up money and build mines and mine upgrades as soon as possible, money will be the key.
    - don’t build up army yet, save money, develop economy.
    - guard against incursions from Egypt or Mesopotamia, build watchtowers, send spies, kill off diplomats to prevent Ptolemaoi and Seleukids from discovering your cities.
    - it takes about some before Ptolemaoi send any army down the Western coast of Arabia. What speeds it up is when Bostra or Meroe rebels to you which triggers war. You can't keep Bostra or Meroe economically early in the game. Destroy all units, disband all units but one and set taxes to very high. that way you at least earn some money from it.
    - keep Gerrha in Eleutheroi hands to create a buffer between you and Seleukids and postpone conflict with them.
    - when you built up your cities a bit and saved up about 50,000 mnai, build full stack army quickly.
    - muster units in at least three cities at once, build one ship to transport them quickly - limited resources mean you must limit upkeep - build quick, transport quick. This should happen in about 50 turns after start (160 BC).
    - sail to Nile delta, avoiding enemy navy.
    - conquer the Ptolemaoi heartland, Memphis and Alexandria. Don’t keep them, you would not be able to keep them probably, and prolonged war would drain your resources.
    - enslave the population of both, or transfer it to your cities (I am not sure what to prefer, it’s short/long run issue). Destroy all buildings you can. Hire one mercenary unit for each, keep it in, set taxes to very high and move on.
    - you might want to destroy the wonders as well. They will be of little use to you for many years to come, but the money gained from their destruction can boost you significantly.
    - conquering these two cities should earn about 50,000 mnai, roughly what the army had cost you so far.
    - muster second full stack in your homeland and raid provinces of Upper Egypt.
    - develop economy in your Arabian provinces in the meantime, make sure they grow and that trade thrives
    - move on to raid Syria.
    - the faster you do this the better. Blitzkrieg early in the game will make sure you defeat Ptolemaoi before they become too powerful.
    - your units are pretty weak, but I found that having full stack composed of Arabian light infantry replaced later with Sabean noble infantry plus Sabean Archers was enough to successfully defeat full stack Ptolemaoi or Seleukid armies turn after turn, eventually earning 10:1 or more kill ratio, so it pays off .
    - I found the best way to use the missile-based army is to use terrain on the strategic level - hills and bridges.
    - Archers are very powerful when firing from uphill for long time all the way as the enemy slow units approach and tire before they reach you. When the eventually do, your infantry peppers them with javelins. Weaker enemy units are destroyed or routed before they get to melee, the remaining ones are easily killed with superior number of your rested and eager infantry, even though a weaker one.
    - when you see a big army nearby, move your army on a bridge or ford tile and let them attack you. Position your infantry in very small and dense V shape behind the bridge with archers behind them. This way you can easily destroy army superior in both numbers and quality.
    - in the meantime build walls and MIC in Homna to be ready to defend your Northeastern border from Seleukids, since you can’t afford fighting on both fronts at the same time. Stone walls with 10 to 20 units of archers, light infantry or noble infantry should protect you well, even against full stacks of phalangitai when the time comes. The more chevrons the units get, the better they will defend of course. Having them trained with Athar temple in place and having good general also helps.
    - muster third full stack and only now conquer and keep cities in Ethiopia, you should be strong enough to be able to keep them without big garrison and develop quickly.
    - gradually re-conquer and keep Upper and then Lower Egypt, which was weakened by your first wave, but built up and stabilized in the meantime.
    - when Ptolemaoi are weakened enough, turn your attention to Seleukid Empire, raid Syrian and Mesopotamian cities, don’t focus on the closest, but the biggest, bypass small cities, raze and enslave big cities to earn money to finance your army.
    - again, when Seleukids are weakened enough, annex their provinces in second wave.
    - now you should be strong enough to finish off the big two and expand.

    I was not taking screenshots as I was playing, but since I am obsessed with saves, I can still take them. If there is anyone reading this, let me know your thoughts and whether you would like to see some screenshots :)
    Last edited by ibn Abihi; 03-28-2013 at 14:45.

  29. #29
    Arrogant Ashigaru Moderator Ludens's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    Hello ibn Abihi, welcome to the .Org and to EB .

    That's a very nice first post. Personally, I think that blitzing tactics are a cheesy way to win. On the other hand, the Saba don't have a lot of choice. You have to take out the Ptolies quickly, otherwise they (and their new best friends, the Seleucids) will spam you to death with phalanxes. Either way, the rest is good advice.
    Looking for a good read? Visit the Library!

  30. #30

    Default Re: Saba Military Tactics...

    i only found one error

    when fighting on bridges try and place slingers and archers hitting the enemy sistematically on their right since thats where their shields lack allowing you to do twice as much damage then if they hit on both sides (yeap in eb crossfire only works if you hit them on the front and back wich is basically reserved for fast moving horse archers and not from both flanks since only one of the flanks is a weakspot)

    in bridges i normally make 3 lines closed together as they push forward against you defensive stance units they will lock themselfs in a deep hole from wich very few will escape and as they advance instead of becoming easyer it becomes harder and harder for them and only elite units will keep fighting once their generals die out and their light and medium units start to wander off and rout out trying to run away trough your troops instead of turning back on the bridge and running as they should

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