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Thread: Battles - Migration from MTW2 to ETW - Tips

  1. #1
    Member Member marlboro's Avatar
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    Jun 2002

    Default Battles - Migration from MTW2 to ETW - Tips

    One of the most enjoying thing about the total war series, for me, was the battle mode. Here, my usual tactic was to enjoy a bit of fire exchange while the main bulk of my troops were getting in position. Then I would engage in hand to hand, flanking here and there, etc and that would be it.

    With ETW, I am having a bit of difficulty getting my head around the new systems of guns, etc and standing around firing at everybody. So, can everybody provide some battles tips, how you play the battles, etc for the game. Let me start by asking a few questions to get going...

    Does hiding in woods have an effect of your firing? i.e can all of your troops fire off, and you get the advantage of cover? It goes the same with building.

    When should I engage in hand to hand?

    Friendly fire, if I engage troops in H2H, should I get the other troops to stop firing on the engage unit?

    Calvary, in MTW2, they were great for flank attacks, but ETW their role is more of mopping up withdrawing troops. Has anyone use them to better effect?

    Rank deep? any thoughts? fire rate?

    I know this seems an open ended thread, but I really like to get some input on how people transition from MTW2 to ETW.

  2. #2
    Member Member Tsavong's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    United Kingdom

    Default Re: Battles - Migration from MTW2 to ETW - Tips

    I think in ETW inferiority is king the rest is more a side show and or a tool to be used to win the inferiority fight in my opinion.

    For Late period battles I normally use a large amount of rifle units say 4 or so to screen my main body of line inferiority and support that with cavalry to attack enemy cavalry/artillery or to charge into the black of the enemy line once its been shot up a bit and may be an artillery unit or 2 but often nun.

    I think the best way to rout a enemy army is to get some flanking fire on them, firing form the sides or back of a unit of inferiority. Even guards with there impressive stats can be killed by a gun fire if you flank them.

    Cavalry can still be used for flank attacks if you time it right on a unit of line that's been shot up a bit and hit it from the side or back it can brake, they can also be useful for driving off enemy light inferiority or rifles and as I said attacking enemy artillery.

    I'd advice 3 or 3 and a bit ranks deep for line inferiority for a good fire rate in late.

  3. #3
    Member Member Fwapper's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    Edinburgh, Scotland

    Cool Re: Battles - Migration from MTW2 to ETW - Tips

    Flanking is still just as important as ever. If your line is longer than theirs then you can wrap around them and fire on them from behind. Cavalry is also still great for this, although you may want to charge in with bayonets to fix the enemy in place first.

    Always keep reserves! You might think it's a waste of firepower but when the enemy has exhausted themselves on your first troops, an influx of fresh men can be decisive. If there are hills you can position the reserves above and behind the first line so they can fire over their heads. Reserves can also be used to plug broken bits of line or push through to turn a flank. So don't commit all your troops at once :)

    Artillery was very important in this period and remains so in this game (although many people find it hard to believe ). You can rain metal on the enemy general or artillery from afar - but guns become most lethal once you are within canister shot range. If there is not a high enough hill to put the cannons above the troops so they don't shoot them in the back, it is a good idea to have them integrated into the line thus:

    ======== Cannons ======== Cannons ========= Cannons ========

    The enemy will either stay at range and try to outgun you (unlikely if you spray them with canister shot) or they will charge home with bayonets and cavalry. In this event your reserves move round to flank, fire from behind your line, or join the melée. (Assuming you kept reserves of course)

    Once you have light infantry and cannons you can have them charging around to fire on exposed areas, or from behind. Just be sure to keep them out of arms' length when the enemy retaliate. Light infantry can lay stakes if there are threatening cavalry around.

    Try never to be charged by cavalry unless you are in square formation - they can get into it suprisingly quickly.

    Other than that - the old Total War tactics work pretty well, especially if you have a facton like the Ottomans or Maratha Confederacy who have more antiquated troops.

    Buildings offer a lot of protection from bullets but are vulnerable to artillery. Good for units that can't hold a place in the line (like Firelock Armed Citizenry).

    Generally go for melée fighting if the enemy are about to break, or if a larger morale shock is needed - or if they have missile superiority :)

    Once you have researched Rank Firing it's best to have line infantry in three ranks to maximise firepower. But... if you haven't researched it or have units (like Militia) which can't fire by rank then you can have them spread out as much as possible (almost one rank). However, only do this if they are unlikely to be attacked in melée.

    Now don't go beating be in multiplayer
    Last edited by Fwapper; 04-12-2009 at 13:04.

    Self proclaimed loser of 'User Who Looks Most Like His Avatar' competition.

  4. #4
    Member Member anweRU's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Bangor, ME

    Default Re: Battles - Migration from MTW2 to ETW - Tips

    I would say it depends on your faction & technology advances vs your opponent.

    If you have ring bayonets and the enemy hasn't even researched plug bayonets, fire once and go melee. If you have musket infantry who are actually better melee types (Hindu musketeers, Cossacks? come to mind), then go to melee as fast as possible.

    Cavalry can still be very good. Especially if you have lancers or other heavy cavalry. The trick is to pull them back as soon as their charge is complete. And you'll still loose a quarter or so of the men. Don't let them stay in melee with the unit they just charged, or they may get slaughtered.
    Last edited by anweRU; 04-13-2009 at 13:23.
    Ancestry: Turkish & Irish. Guess my favorite factions!

  5. #5
    Member Member Obadiah's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    NYC, NY

    Default Re: Battles - Migration from MTW2 to ETW - Tips

    Open field cavalry charges on an isolated infantry unit in line (especially one that's running, but definately NOT in square) are very strong. The graphics show guys being thrown backwards about 40 feet- very fun to watch. If inf are already partially depleted, this will cause a route. If they're full strength, try to isolate them from bulk of enemy, then arrange for 2 cav units to charge in quick succession, at 90-degree or 180-degrees from each other. Enemy routes every single time I've tried this.

    As to guns vs hand-to-hand, I find the AI usually forces the issue by charging. If I have a choice, I try to flank/encircle, depleting units before changing with bayonets. But even then, when it becomes H2H, I have advantage of encirclement.

    Which brings up my one real complaint with AI- it *still* lets itself get encircled, and beaten by inferior troops. This is most obvious in battles with small #'s of units. I beat two line inf units with four firelock citizentry by simply encircling, depleting, and then finally charging. If AI had taken on my units more aggresively instead of letting itself get caught in the middle, it certainly could've won.

  6. #6
    pardon my klatchian Member al Roumi's Avatar
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    Mar 2009

    Default Re: Battles - Migration from MTW2 to ETW - Tips

    I first found it tempting to out-shoot the enemy (AI), falsely believing it would result in fewer kills to me -as in MTW2, but am now of the same opinion as von Clausewitz, that even in the 18th century, melee is the main focus of combat.

    For me, the key difference between ETW and MTW2 is that in MTW2, i found it was generaly more advantageous to attack with missile fire than hand to hand -as you could receive fewer casualties for the number of kills you inflicted on the enemy (providing you had the strategy, tactics and the troops that is: hello mr pavise crossbowman, sitting on a hill-top/river crossing etc). I found that MTW2 battles were more even in melee, where you would receive a higher number of freindly casualties per enemy kills.

    In ETW however, the tables have turned. I find that it's both harder to engineer the tactical advantage to enable devastating missile firing and that by and large, missile exchanges (shooting it out) are now most equal in terms of kills received and inflicted. It might be just a more level playing field (literally -there are now few large hills to camp on), but I now find that melee is more conclusive and that I seek to engage in it earlier than I would have in MTW2.

    Consider European line inf vs European line inf. Both will always have the same range -unless endowed with a tactical advantage (eg on a hill), so the advantage usually lies with who gets the first shot/volley off. Tech advantages over the enemy (ie they don't have them) like rank and platoon fire will help a good deal, but your unit will still stand to lose a fair few men from even their first volley. Experienced and elite line infantry units have higher firing and melee skills but will still die just as easily as raw recruits from the enemies fire. In fact, I've so far found that elite and experienced units have a greater melee advantage than ranged and that they kill more per casualty in melee than in a protracted musket duel.

    Real tactics of the time involved firing a couple of volleys before a bayonette charge. This works most of the time for me too in ETW (and has been recommended by many on this forum).

    Ultimately though, the most conclusive battles and those with the highest ratio of enemy deaths to yours result from combined arms and tactical out-maneuvering of the enemy. Using each troop type as appropriate and to the best effect, in coordination with the rest of your army was and is still the best way of levering those 'Heroic' victories.


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