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Thread: AI armies and forced march

  1. #1
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default AI armies and forced march

    Anybody else notice how so many AI armies are in forced march mode? I get why its done for the added marching speed, but its aggravating how the AI does it so often, and now I really cant wait for a mod that removes all the flags from open field battles.
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  2. #2
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    AI navies seem to be in uh.. forced row? All the time.

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  3. #3

    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    Its annoying chasing a 300man army around your homelands because they are in forced march and you cant attack them because the only way to catch up is to be in forced march.
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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    Do armies on forced march suffer attrition? I play a lot of WWII games by Talonsoft and there is a "forced march" feature (sort of). Units have mobility points with mechanized units having double or more than foot units, and combat is phased (movement>combat>2nd movement>combat). You hold back a certain amount of mobility pts. for the second phase (provided you are successful during the combat phase) and then you can move or attack, but not both. Units also have a supply and readiness number and both decrease during movement and combat. However, if you choose to expend ALL of your mobility points in the first movement phase (essentially a forced march) your readiness (reflected by the amount of equipment and men ready to fight, not always the same as your total amount of equipment and men) goes down much more quickly and you consume fuel and supplies also at an accelerated rate. Very much a realistic system>>>you can force march to get a unit somewhere quicker than normal....but at a cost.

    Hence my question about attrition. (sorry for the long-winded description)
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  5. #5
    Praeparet bellum Member Quillan's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    No. They can't initiate a battle, they suffer a 25% penalty to morale if someone else attacks them, and if attacked they have to defend a capture point, but they don't suffer attrition just from forced marching.

    The problem is, the earlier posters are correct. They move much farther on a forced march (seems to be a 40-50% increase on land, 100% increase at sea), so if they slip past you, you can only catch them with a forced march. And since you're in that posture, you can't attack them. You either need another army ahead if them, or you have to trap them.
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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    but they don't suffer attrition just from forced marching.
    So basically like a "Two Towers Uruk-Hai" forced march. Not very well thought out, it seems. If an army suffered attrition for each turn on a forced march, they would have to drop out of that mode or simply melt away. That's such a basic principal, IMHO, and Talonsoft has it right.

    100% increase at sea
    Since the introduction of true navies in R1, I've always had a dislike for the way a fleet could sail as far as it cared to (provided it's not attacked) irregardless of supplies and distance from a friendly port. Replenishment-at-sea won't be happening until the 1940's, I'm afraid
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  7. #7

    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    If you have one army in your home area trying to chase an forced march army can be a pain in the neck

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    Praeparet bellum Member Quillan's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    So basically like a "Two Towers Uruk-Hai" forced march. Not very well thought out, it seems. If an army suffered attrition for each turn on a forced march, they would have to drop out of that mode or simply melt away. That's such a basic principal, IMHO, and Talonsoft has it right.



    Since the introduction of true navies in R1, I've always had a dislike for the way a fleet could sail as far as it cared to (provided it's not attacked) irregardless of supplies and distance from a friendly port. Replenishment-at-sea won't be happening until the 1940's, I'm afraid
    Well, the problem is that with one turn per year, it now takes an army about 10 years to march from Rome to the English Channel. That is assuming, of course, it doesn't have to stop to fight along the way. It takes about 5 years to sail from Lilybaeum to the Straits of Gibraltar, if I remember correctly. The movement speed increase somewhat compensates for that. It would probably be more accurate to call it "Travel mode"; the army is more focused on speed than scouting, so it can go farther but suffers penalties if attacked.
    Age and treachery will defeat youth and skill every time.

  9. #9

    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    Quote Originally Posted by Quillan View Post
    Well, the problem is that with one turn per year, it now takes an army about 10 years to march from Rome to the English Channel. That is assuming, of course, it doesn't have to stop to fight along the way. It takes about 5 years to sail from Lilybaeum to the Straits of Gibraltar, if I remember correctly. The movement speed increase somewhat compensates for that. It would probably be more accurate to call it "Travel mode"; the army is more focused on speed than scouting, so it can go farther but suffers penalties if attacked.
    And as gigantic as the campaign map is, not having this option would make reinforcing territories FAR more difficult

  10. #10
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    Well, the problem is that with one turn per year, it now takes an army about 10 years to march from Rome to the English Channel.
    This has been precisely the problem ever since R1 when the # of seasons per turn was reduced from 4 to 2. This never scaled well with the map. In reality, this trip for a marching army (if it didn't have to stop to fight battles or get held up at river crossings) would take 2-3 months (at 20mi/day>>>roughly 1000miles). However, for R1, this was tolerable because you got generals with the "Drillmaster" trait (among others) and you could load him up with as many movement-boosting ancillaries as he could handle. With an all-cavalry army, moving on paved roads or highways, you could travel very long distances on RTW's map. See:

    http://i990.photobucket.com/albums/a...man/BSS_12.jpg (the army standing on the bridge came all the way from Iazyges in one turn, the other army from Apollonia in a single turn).

    The 'Forced March' feature, to me, is CA's way of saying "yes we know movement rates don't scale well with our maps, so here's a way to get from point A to point B quicker".

    Problem is, it allows armies to "have their cake and eat it too", because in real life forced marching comes with a price: tired troops, desertion, higher rate of operational accidents, etc. The morale penalty for being attacked off a forced march only covers part of this. Desertion and a lack of readiness means that an army suffers numerical losses as well as those for morale which means an army cannot sustain 'forced march' indefinitely. So what you end up with is this:

    so if they slip past you, you can only catch them with a forced march. And since you're in that posture, you can't attack them. You either need another army ahead if them, or you have to trap them
    Yeeesch

    Even Stonewall Jackson had to take a break from his famous ACW "Ride 'round the Shenandoah".
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 09-16-2013 at 22:15.
    High Plains Drifter

  11. #11

    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    They could easily change it so that you can only force march if you start the turn inside your territory or in friendly territory. That way, you can force march once from your own territory into enemy territory. You have to go back to your own or friendly territory before you can force march again with that army.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    This would be a viable solution in my book
    High Plains Drifter

  13. #13

    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    I don't really see that it needs "fixing" at all in the first place.

    The -25 morale hit, plus the tactical disadvantage of having to defend the much-hated on-field victory point, already seem ample penalty for being caught in forced-march mode as it is.

    Re attritional losses, I don't necessarily see that Forced March has to be imagined as some sort of grinding "death march" at a physically harmful or tiring pace. It wouldn't necessarily impact morale to the point of desertion (as long as the army isn't attacked on the march).

    I view Forced March as the army making distance gains each day, rather than marching at a faster pace. The way I visualize all this:

    In Normal mode, some skirm/cavalry units would leave first, and main infantry body might wait an hour or two to allow this recon screen to fan forward and out before starting off. Order of march would be close, to facilitate rapid deployment into battle formation. Troops would be fully dressed in armor with weapons readily accessible. The baggage train would be heavily guarded, and the army would move in such a way that the train could always be hidden or maneuvered to safety. The army would stop with several hours of daylight left, in order to set up defensible locations with some minimal palisading, light entrenchment, sentry posts, etc. Indeed, they might stop earlier in the day than they otherwise would, in order to take advantage of favorable ground. Robust sentry presence would be maintained all night, requiring significant proportion of the men awake. All in all, the main body might actually move something like 6-8 hrs during the day, perhaps less during winter.

    In Forced March mode, tactical considerations are greatly reduced or perhaps eliminated. The troops wouldn't necessarily march any faster, but could start earlier without having to wait for scouting screen to go out, and could march later into the afternoon or even early evening. They could camp pretty much where they stop, and only need enough time to pitch tents and get some chow before sacking out. Sentry requirements would be greatly reduced (meaning each soldier would get more sleep, compensating for the longer march times). With no tactical considerations to the order, the units could "route-step" (i.e., walk freely with varied gaits) rather than march in step, and the units would string out a little bit. Each individual soldier would still have to carry all of his gear of course, but wouldn't have to wear all the armor, and could perhaps carry it more comfortably. All in all, the army moves much farther each day not by pressing its individual men faster/harder, but rather from de-emphasizing tactical readiness. In this mode, the army could move something like 10-12 hrs during the day.

    Heck, the more I describe this, I'm kinda talking myself into hypothesizing that the individual soldier would prefer "Forced March" mode over "Normal". Maybe it's just the implicit connotations of the names that have us tripped up, as "Forced March" just sounds negative. It might be more useful to think of Normal as "Tactical Movement", whereas Forced March is really just "Administrative" or "Non-tactical".

    Is any of this historically accurate? I dunno...but it sounds pretty reasonable to me. Viewed from this perspective, it makes perfect sense to me that Forced March carries no particular drawbacks unless the army is attacked, and then the morale/positional penalties are pretty severe.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    Is any of this historically accurate? I dunno...but it sounds pretty reasonable to me.
    Some interesting reading:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loaded_march

    http://www.garenewing.co.uk/angloafg...ahar_march.php

    Conditions were hard. Most of the force was woken up at 1 or 2 in the morning to start off by 4, when it was freezing cold and pitch black, making it all the more difficult to load up the pack animals. By the time they stopped at 1 or 2 in the afternoon (though often the rear guard didn't get in until 5 or 6 hours later) the temperatures had risen to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, with no shade and a scarcity of water. Sore feet was the main complaint, and the casualty and sick list slowly increased as the march went on.
    The first a general view, the second a famous British march.

    This one is interesting to me as the author is a source of quotes often seen on RTW loading screens:

    http://suntzusaid.com/book/7

    Of note from SunTsu:

    If you march fifty LI in order to outmaneuver the enemy, you will lose the leader of your first division, and only half your force will reach the goal.
    If you march thirty LI with the same object, two-thirds of your army will arrive.
    We may take it then that an army without its baggage train is lost; without provisions it is lost; without bases of supply it is lost.
    And this:

    Stonewall Jackson said: "The hardships of forced marches are often more painful than the dangers of battle." He did not often call upon his troops for extraordinary exertions. It was only when he intended a surprise, or when a rapid retreat was imperative, that he sacrificed everything for speed.
    I like still the idea of numerical attrition, though what you propose is not unreasonable. But judging from those accounts in the links, I would hesitate to say that the individual solder would actually prefer forced march to normal....
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 09-17-2013 at 05:08.
    High Plains Drifter

  15. #15

    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    I know this thread is focused on forced marches, but this is related and I didn't think it was enough for a new thread.

    I just had a battle that wasn't an ambush and wasn't a forced march, but I still got the Capture Point.
    I think it was because the AI assassinated my general before the battle. The game didn't tell me that happened, but during the AI turn I got the "Noble Death" video and I started the battle without a general. After the turn was over the game still didn't tell me why the general died. <shakes fist>

    My thoughts regarding capture points are

    for ambushes - I'm actually OK with the capture point representing the baggage.
    for forced marches - I'd like to see the troops start off fatigued and have a smaller area for setting up the battle (no capture point).
    for general assassinations - I think a moral penalty would be sufficient (no capture point).

  16. #16
    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    Quote Originally Posted by phred View Post
    I know this thread is focused on forced marches, but this is related and I didn't think it was enough for a new thread.

    I just had a battle that wasn't an ambush and wasn't a forced march, but I still got the Capture Point.
    I think it was because the AI assassinated my general before the battle. The game didn't tell me that happened, but during the AI turn I got the "Noble Death" video and I started the battle without a general. After the turn was over the game still didn't tell me why the general died. <shakes fist>

    My thoughts regarding capture points are

    for ambushes - I'm actually OK with the capture point representing the baggage.
    for forced marches - I'd like to see the troops start off fatigued and have a smaller area for setting up the battle (no capture point).
    for general assassinations - I think a moral penalty would be sufficient (no capture point).
    Did the capture point belong to you or the enemy? Because oftentimes the AI will be on forced march even when it really shouldnt be.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: AI armies and forced march

    Quote Originally Posted by Hooahguy View Post
    Did the capture point belong to you or the enemy? Because oftentimes the AI will be on forced march even when it really shouldnt be.
    It belonged to me. I was all set to try and converge my army and reinforcing navy into a defensive line but I had to defend the silly capture point.
    I'm not 100% sure that the assassination caused the capture point. I don't even know if it was an assassination - the game is occasionally terrible in giving you information.
    But I don't want to get this too far off topic. I may browse .com for a definitive list of capture point triggers.

    Edit: I searched the .com site and found this explanation
    http://forums.totalwar.com/showthrea...-amp-A-Post-E3
    Also, where there are land and naval forces combined in a battle, the defender’s baggage train will be present to prevent any remaining defending navies winning a battle unrealistically by hiding out at sea, waiting for the battle to end or the attacker to give up, while remaining attacking land forces are unable to reach them from the land.
    The capture point wasn't due to the assassination. It was due to the fleet that was reinforcing my army.

    Anyway,
    back to forced marches
    Last edited by phred; 09-17-2013 at 21:09.

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