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Thread: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

  1. #1
    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    I spend a couple hours past my bedtime on Fall of the Samurai last night and I'm impressed. The battle interface feels smoother than S2 after the recent update and the game has a great overall feel. In taking over my first province I made massive use out of my favorite new toy: Naval bombardment.

    Does anyone feel this is a bit silly? Non-explosive shells cause massive craters and although a lot of settlements are coastal, they're in hilly areas on the battlemap.

    I look for any in-game advantage on Very Hard so my priority is to build a massive navy and take full advantage of this new feature. The starting corvette seems extremely powerful; How powerful will the battleships be?


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  2. #2

    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Are there going to be that many battleships, though? I haven't gotten there yet, but it seems like a battleship would not be cost effective at all if you're just going to use it for bombardment, considering some cannons would do the same job continuously through a battle without enemy units running out of the way all the time.

    Bombardment range does seem a bit silly, though. It looks like it's a 20 mile radius, and the shells (from different ships) all land within 50 metres.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    I guess you mean the ability to have ships reinforce land armies and then call on some cannon fire. It's pretty neat, but very hit or miss. I think the volleys are based mostly on how many ships/cannons are in the fleet. I would imagine frigates doing a lot more with 20+ cannons than a gunboat with only 3, but I didn't use this feature that often. At some point, your armies will be out of range of ship support.

    Also, I have this theory that certain ships are better at this than others, and same with sea battles. Frigates have a lot of cannons, but they're kind of unweildy and slow. In open sea battles, I've noticed you want something that combines speed and firepower, not necessarily just the most firepower. I bet the heavier ships are better at bombardment of ports and troops, and the lighter/faster ships are better at sea battles.

  4. #4
    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Battleships being a relative term. I'm waiting for the early tech development that reduces recruiting times by one before building the largest starting corvette. Cannon fire seems accurate enough for me and ships are available much earlier than standard cannons. Japan is a series of islands and I don't think I'll have a problem staying close to my fleet. I'm assuming you can have multiple fleets add fire support and the destructive ability will just get silly.

    I'm looking forward to naval battles. I don't think having slow ships will be a problem. The only problem is in choosing because so many corvettes are so similar.


    Reinvent the British and you get a global finance center, edible food and better service. Reinvent the French and you may just get more Germans.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    If you're trying to cause a lot casualties, you're going to be disappointed. I love the feature, but parrott guns are so much better at causing casualties. Naval bombardment is just icing on the cake.

    The best use for them, I've heard, is while engaged in a firefight. The AI spots the flares and is usually able to get some troops out of the way. That's harder to do while they are in the middle of a firefight and your other troops get to inflict more casualties while their positions are messed up.

    So far, I haven't used that much line infantry. I usually use it to give my artillery more time to pound the enemy. One time my naval bombardment disoriented the AI and caused it to reposition facing 10:30 instead of 6 o'clock and started marching away from my artillery. This was after they were almost halfway to my position. I was able to use up all my artillery's ammo and another naval bombardment while they marched back towards the end of my artillery's range.
    Last edited by andrewt; 04-02-2012 at 22:11. Reason: Smiley fail on my part

  6. #6

    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Saw this on the Steam forum. Might be useful.

    adding a Kotetsu (the ironclad) to a naval group adds +1 to the number of ground support salvos it can fire up to a max of 5.

  7. #7
    The Anger Shaman of the .Org Content Manager Voigtkampf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewt View Post
    The best use for them, I've heard, is while engaged in a firefight. The AI spots the flares and is usually able to get some troops out of the way. That's harder to do while they are in the middle of a firefight and your other troops get to inflict more casualties while their positions are messed up.
    I approve of this. But I find the AI's behaviour in the light of naval bombardment truly ridiculous.

    I designate the target area and order the strike. There comes a flare flying, probably thrown by some joker hiding in the bushes. In the middle of the enemy formation, which is standing still. Time 'till impact - 15 seconds. I countdown silently, yet the AI does nothing. Only several seconds before the impact, their jedi senses awaken and they scatter away, suddenly making room for the shells to fall! Only reason I ever hit anything is the fact that the ship's cannons are not precise.

    This "evasive maneuvers that start 4-5 seconds before impact and vacate the entire targeting area" have happened to me every time I used naval bombardment...




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    Grand Patron's Banner Bearer Senior Member Peasant Phill's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Quote Originally Posted by Voigtkampf View Post
    I approve of this. But I find the AI's behaviour in the light of naval bombardment truly ridiculous.

    I designate the target area and order the strike. There comes a flare flying, probably thrown by some joker hiding in the bushes. In the middle of the enemy formation, which is standing still. Time 'till impact - 15 seconds. I countdown silently, yet the AI does nothing. Only several seconds before the impact, their jedi senses awaken and they scatter away, suddenly making room for the shells to fall! Only reason I ever hit anything is the fact that the ship's cannons are not precise.

    This "evasive maneuvers that start 4-5 seconds before impact and vacate the entire targeting area" have happened to me every time I used naval bombardment...
    I don't seem to have a problem hitting the enemy. In the beginning I used the naval strike when they were stationarry but not in combat. And as you say, the units got mostly out of the targetted area before the shells hit. Now I call in a strike when everybody is engaged. I look for a cluster of wavering troops (and hopefully not to much of my troops) and call in the bombardement. Because the units are engaged, they shouldn't run out of the way. If you pick the righttargets, you can get a nice rout out of it.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    I'm not sure exactly how effective shore bombardments were during the Boshin war - apparently the 110pdrs on HMS warrior had an effective range of 4.5km. But these were cutting edge rifled breach loaders - I think the earlier ships and all corvettes in FoTS would be smooth bore guns of much smaller calibre with an effective range of only a couple of km. Although that effective range may be referring to engaging ship sized targets - trying to hit an army probably required less precision...

    Whatever the case naval bombardments are still incredibly fun and I love it :D

  10. #10
    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    With only a small fleet of two corvettes and a frigate, bombardments cause enough casualties to turn the balance of forces. Selecting area fire ensures you get some decent hits even with the silly moving about. Naval gunfire covers the entire battlemap and makes the enemy vulnerable everywhere. I imagine it's great counter-battery fire. It's really handy in a siege. There is also the chance of the magic catapult effect from MTW taking out the general. Still need to develop a military port but I've had good success capturing other ships.

    Bringing artillery with the army isn't really the point. Your army is a lot faster and more maneuverable if you leave the cannons where they belong: On the boats.

    Oh, and i found out that you can call in allied strikes as well, even at night.
    Last edited by Vladimir; 04-03-2012 at 12:54.


    Reinvent the British and you get a global finance center, edible food and better service. Reinvent the French and you may just get more Germans.
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil_Maniac From Mars
    How do you motivate your employees? Waterboarding, of course.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Re: counter battery fire. Bombardments aren't much good, really. Artillery units can operate all their pieces even with half the men gone, so you'd need a direct hit on the guns.

  12. #12
    Provost Senior Member Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    The bombardment should be available when the battle begins. In a field battle waiting two minutes means you get one salvo if the enemy advances quickly. I donít think Iíve ever managed two strikes. Once the rout begins I wonít risk hitting my own people.

    Hitting a fortress during an assault can be useful if you donít mind not having its attributes on the turn you capture the place. Any damage at all voids its strategic features so I almost always try to take a place intact. I have learned that if you blast open just one gate in an assault, if an enemy attacks before you can affect repairs then ALL of the gates will be open when you defend.

    Strategic bombardments are also a way to get ships some experience if there is nothing else for them to do. Get cracking you slovenly landlubbers! Earn your keep!
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  13. #13
    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Quote Originally Posted by quadalpha View Post
    Re: counter battery fire. Bombardments aren't much good, really. Artillery units can operate all their pieces even with half the men gone, so you'd need a direct hit on the guns.
    Exactly. I'll soon see how effective explosive shells are. One hit near a cannon crew should be enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nelson View Post
    The bombardment should be available when the battle begins. In a field battle waiting two minutes means you get one salvo if the enemy advances quickly. I don’t think I’ve ever managed two strikes. Once the rout begins I won’t risk hitting my own people.

    Hitting a fortress during an assault can be useful if you don’t mind not having its attributes on the turn you capture the place. Any damage at all voids its strategic features so I almost always try to take a place intact. I have learned that if you blast open just one gate in an assault, if an enemy attacks before you can affect repairs then ALL of the gates will be open when you defend.

    Strategic bombardments are also a way to get ships some experience if there is nothing else for them to do. Get cracking you slovenly landlubbers! Earn your keep!
    The starting wait time is another flaw with the S2 battles. I never have a problem with the wait time though. Either I take up a defensive position far enough away that I get them once on the march and once when engaged. Castle damage is a one turn annoyance that's pretty hard to avoid anyway. It's a lot easy to inflict casualties when armies are penned up inside a castle. The whole thing becomes a kill zone. I can't imagine open gates being a problem when guns are so widely available. You may even take fewer casualties as the enemy is trying to enter instead of shooting back.

    I wasn't aware that ships could get experience from bombardments. Ship experience seems pretty easy to get anyway.

    It's looking like Total War: The Great War, is doable and will be fun.
    Last edited by Vladimir; 04-03-2012 at 17:27.


    Reinvent the British and you get a global finance center, edible food and better service. Reinvent the French and you may just get more Germans.
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    How do you motivate your employees? Waterboarding, of course.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Quote Originally Posted by Nelson View Post
    Strategic bombardments are also a way to get ships some experience if there is nothing else for them to do. Get cracking you slovenly landlubbers! Earn your keep!
    Isn't a landlubber the opposite of a sailor?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Quote Originally Posted by Nelson View Post
    The bombardment should be available when the battle begins. In a field battle waiting two minutes means you get one salvo if the enemy advances quickly. I don’t think I’ve ever managed two strikes. Once the rout begins I won’t risk hitting my own people.

    Hitting a fortress during an assault can be useful if you don’t mind not having its attributes on the turn you capture the place. Any damage at all voids its strategic features so I almost always try to take a place intact. I have learned that if you blast open just one gate in an assault, if an enemy attacks before you can affect repairs then ALL of the gates will be open when you defend.

    Strategic bombardments are also a way to get ships some experience if there is nothing else for them to do. Get cracking you slovenly landlubbers! Earn your keep!
    I don't really care with FOTS, though. Using bow samurai in previous campaigns, I can take out castles without causing damage. Using artillery in FOTS, I'm going to have to repair anyway. Might as well add naval bombardment to it.

    I actually like focused attack better than area so far. I'm using it normally against ranged units, even when against mixed armies.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Yeah. Melee units don't do anything when they are uncommitted, and are easily fixed when they are committed; they attack only once at a predictable point. Ranged units are annoyingly formless.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Senior Member Graphic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir View Post
    Does anyone feel this is a bit silly? Non-explosive shells cause massive craters and although a lot of settlements are coastal, they're in hilly areas on the battlemap.
    It's a bit gamey, yes, but Total War has never been a war sim. It's a fine addition IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Voigtkampf View Post
    I approve of this. But I find the AI's behaviour in the light of naval bombardment truly ridiculous.

    I designate the target area and order the strike. There comes a flare flying, probably thrown by some joker hiding in the bushes. In the middle of the enemy formation, which is standing still. Time 'till impact - 15 seconds. I countdown silently, yet the AI does nothing. Only several seconds before the impact, their jedi senses awaken and they scatter away, suddenly making room for the shells to fall! Only reason I ever hit anything is the fact that the ship's cannons are not precise.

    This "evasive maneuvers that start 4-5 seconds before impact and vacate the entire targeting area" have happened to me every time I used naval bombardment...
    Again, it's definitely gamey, but it's a necessary evil. If they didn't move naval bombardments would break the game. It helps if you imagine that the ships are just off the coast and they can hear the cannons firing.
    Last edited by Graphic; 04-04-2012 at 07:03.

  18. #18
    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Quote Originally Posted by Graphic View Post
    Again, it's definitely gamey, but it's a necessary evil. If they didn't move naval bombardments would break the game. It helps if you imagine that the ships are just off the coast and they can hear the cannons firing.
    Which I believe you can. If you pay attention, you can hear distant thunder.


    Reinvent the British and you get a global finance center, edible food and better service. Reinvent the French and you may just get more Germans.
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    How do you motivate your employees? Waterboarding, of course.
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  19. #19
    The Anger Shaman of the .Org Content Manager Voigtkampf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Quote Originally Posted by Graphic View Post
    Again, it's definitely gamey, but it's a necessary evil. If they didn't move naval bombardments would break the game. It helps if you imagine that the ships are just off the coast and they can hear the cannons firing.
    Hmmh, yeah, well, I get the "gamey" thing, of course. You can't have 100% reality in games, that much is certain. What irks me is the apparent AI cheating. And yes, I am almost sure as well to have heard the distant canon thunder each time some 4-5 seconds prior to the impact.

    What is and will always look silly is the fact that the AI doesn't react to the initial flare, at all, and then always vacate the designated area before the impact. Even when they are marching. Not only that their superior hearing saves them from the direct impact, it gives them a special boost for the moments when they scatter around like roaches on speed. No amount of goodwill can ignore how silly that all looks. Only thing that might help is to simply close your eyes.




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  20. #20
    Senior Member Senior Member Graphic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Quote Originally Posted by Voigtkampf View Post
    Hmmh, yeah, well, I get the "gamey" thing, of course. You can't have 100% reality in games, that much is certain. What irks me is the apparent AI cheating. And yes, I am almost sure as well to have heard the distant canon thunder each time some 4-5 seconds prior to the impact.

    What is and will always look silly is the fact that the AI doesn't react to the initial flare, at all, and then always vacate the designated area before the impact. Even when they are marching. Not only that their superior hearing saves them from the direct impact, it gives them a special boost for the moments when they scatter around like roaches on speed. No amount of goodwill can ignore how silly that all looks. Only thing that might help is to simply close your eyes.
    The AI isn't cheating. I don't know if you've fought against the AI when they had naval support yet, but when they call it in the Yosemite Sam guy goes "they firin' their bombardment suh!" or something to that effect. The AI just rightly assumes that you're calling it in on the thickest clump of their army.

    They may not act naturally in avoiding it, but they aren't cheating.
    Last edited by Graphic; 04-04-2012 at 19:14.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Quote Originally Posted by Graphic View Post
    The AI just rightly assumes that you're calling it in on the thickest clump of their army.
    I don't think that part's quite right because I've tried to use bombardment as counter-battery. I've never had the AI bombard me yet. Do you not get to see a flare?

  22. #22
    The Anger Shaman of the .Org Content Manager Voigtkampf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    Quote Originally Posted by Graphic View Post
    The AI isn't cheating. I don't know if you've fought against the AI when they had naval support yet, but when they call it in the Yosemite Sam guy goes "they firin' their bombardment suh!" or something to that effect. The AI just rightly assumes that you're calling it in on the thickest clump of their army.

    They may not act naturally in avoiding it, but they aren't cheating.
    It is a perfectly sound assumption, to be honest. I will test it during the campaigns and see what happens. Lets give the AI the benefit of the doubt.




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  23. #23
    Member Member Azi Tohak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    I think it's great fun, but it seems to me the AI does a decent job of avoiding the flare as much as they can. I don't know why they don't simply stop when the flare plops in front of them.

    I had a substantial increase in the number of shells (16 to 48 maybe?) when I had a single larger (26) gun ship in my fleets.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    I think you mean the ability to improve military ships and then rely on a number of firearms. That's pretty neat, but very random. I think the burst is heavily based on the number of ships and guns of the fleet. I can not imagine much more with the frigates of 20 guns + as a gunboat with only 3, but I do not use this function very often. At some point bearing is outside the scope of the support container.

    I also have this theory that some boats are better than others, and with the same battles. Frigates have a lot of weapons, but they are a bit slow and was bulky. In the open sea battles, I noticed that you have something that the speed and firepower, not necessarily just the firepower to be united. I bet the heavier boats are better in the bombardment of ports and ships and troops easier / quicker and better fights.
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  25. #25
    Member Member Yesugey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    On battlefield map, it's best to use them in the castle sieges. Sieges are harder in the firearm era, and Naval Bombardment closes the deal because there is nowhere for the enemy to run. Man, it's fun to watch the bodies flying!

    To use it on regular battle, you must wait for the engagement to start. The enemy units trying to escape gets even bigger losses.

    I also like to bombard the routing enemy if they clomped together. Fun to guess the time of the bombardment right.

    On stragety map, Bombarding a place is extremely advangageous because you might literally shot down unit production.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Thoughts on Naval Bombardment

    I love how you have put it. So epic and makes a lot of sense. Bravo!!

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