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Thread: Fleet Compositions

  1. #1
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Fleet Compositions

    I find naval battles to always be a little (so as not to say a lot) more confusing than land battles and I've tried a number of fancy looking and on paper effective fleet setups but in the end, I always find myself going back to something like artillery ships (usually balistae cause they actually fire pretty quickly and I like their range, I've tried some onager ships but they're not as nice imo) and then ships with javelinmen on them. The reason I prefer javelin men over archers is because they have a higher rate of fire (even though not as much range but that's part of why I like javelins)

    I've given up trying to micro naval battles, so I always just make two groups, one artillery and one eh... point defense laser javelins from hell (at a ratio of 1:2). Then I send the javelin ships ahead, turn on fire javelins and leave them clustered up so they can support each other. There really don't seem too many ships that can stand up to combined flaming javelin spam from 2 or 3 ships at once.
    Then I just micro the artillery ships and shoot whatever the javelins are not shooting.

    Upside... I have not lost a battle like that yet but I usually outnumber my enemies in fleets at the point in the game.
    Downside... It's expensive. Expect your javelin ships to do a pretty good job at soaking up fire themselves. After every major battle, the fleet needs a turn or two in port.
    Another downside: I'm not sure if barbarian factions can build artillery ships. The last time I got my hands on them as the Gauls it was cause I captured a Roman town that could build them and for some reason that let me build them, which was pretty cool. They were even called 'Roman Light Artillery Ship' or something but were all crewed by Gauls.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    I am experiencing same. Naval battles pretty frustrating for me. I can effectively direct ships and get a good first contact, with rams and so forth, but then it just dissolves into a huge mess. It's counteruntuitive to me that oared ships can't back astern a few strokes to disengage, but instead have to turn completely around. Which means there's often not enough room to do so, and if there is, then they show their sides to the enemy and become very vulnerable to ramming themselves. All in all, the assault ships seem weak in player-controlled battles just because of their clumsiness and lack of responsiveness. I too have had more success with artillery ships and just trying to keep things as simple as possible. I'm going to try your approach of adding javelin-armed ships in place of assault vessels.

    The sad truth is that fleets, unlike armies, seem likely to perform better in auto-resolved battles. That's been my experience, anyway.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    same problem here I usually auto those but when I do I end up loosing more then I should (probly doing something wrong) whenever I use assault ships combine with different kind of siege I did the best but that were against troop transport and levies and I outnumbered them (still lost 3-5 assault) whenever I ram I get boarded by an other or the very one I rammed whenever I board I get rammed before I can get an other ship there and I feel it is hard to manuver them around to the side to get a side ram I hope some one make a movie on how to use fleet correctly :)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    I do a combination of artillery ships and assault ships with some missile ships sprinkled in. I just have my artillery ships soften up the enemy and have them come to me. Then I have my assault ships counter charge. The artillery ships have decent health and can charge incoming ships that get too close.

    After some ramming action, the remaining ships usually get stuck against each other and all the sunk ships. That's where the missile ships shine.

  5. #5
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewt View Post
    I do a combination of artillery ships and assault ships with some missile ships sprinkled in. I just have my artillery ships soften up the enemy and have them come to me. Then I have my assault ships counter charge. The artillery ships have decent health and can charge incoming ships that get too close.

    After some ramming action, the remaining ships usually get stuck against each other and all the sunk ships. That's where the missile ships shine.
    Why not just use only missile and artillery ships? You can build the big 'tanky' missile ships. They're just as good at getting stuck on other ships as the assault versions. If you micro them well enough, you can even get them to more or less deflect boarders by just spamming javelins their way as they come onto your ship and then they all die XD

  6. #6

    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Almost a month and 2 campaigns' worth of playing later, the arty/javelin setup is definitely the way to go. Once I switched to OP's composition, naval battles have gotten quite viable. I won't claim to "never" AR them any more, but I play them out now at least as often as I do land battles. Before I had AR'd almost all sea battles regardless of odds; too many instances where an "inferior" force had caused disproportionately high losses on me because I couldn't get assault ships to do what I wanted them to do. With the missile-heavy composition, the performance difference is startling...almost to the point where I begin to wonder if it's not supposed to be this way. Here's a couple of thoughts:

    1. We know there's two broad types of naval vessels; naval and assault. Obviously they have different roles. Rather that just different sea-combat roles, however, my thinking has evolved to different fleet roles altogether. An arty/missile fleet is specialized for at-sea combat, and as such used to establish dominance on water. An assault-ship fleet, on the other hand, is a specialized amphibious force, and is used for capturing ports. One could counter-argue, of course, that an embarked army is better for such a role, rendering an amphib fleet superfluous. That would be true of course, except for the army cap. A specialized amphib fleet can conceptualized as a way to get an "extra" army or two above the cap...with the limitation of course that they're only capable of capturing (minor) coastal settlements. The amphib fleet has additional advantages over a land army afloat. First, if it does run afoul of an enemy fleet, it has sufficient hull strength to put up a real fight if it can't withdraw...it will take losses, but it will not be easily destroyed. Second, an amphib fleet is better able to destroy an enemy land army afloat, than is one's own land army afloat. So, to draw an imperfect modern analogy, an assault-heavy fleet can be thought of as one's "Marine Corps" embarked in an "Amphibious Task Force". It won't stand up to a true land army on land, nor should it seek battle with a true naval fleet...but it offers a kind of sea/land flexibility in coastal regions.

    2. All that said, I've come to realize that an arty/missile fleet can capture a port as well, IF the settlement is minor and is defended only by a garrison or perhaps a garrison plus smaller army. The fleet can simply bombard the garrison from the harbor until they all break morale. It won't work against a garrison plus large army because the ships will probably run out of ammunition before breaking all those units. At least, that's my theory, I haven't actually tried to take out a full-size army this way yet.
    Last edited by Bramborough; 10-19-2013 at 19:36.

  7. #7
    Member Member Kamakazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    I have never used a fleet in any of my campaigns
    If living is nothing dieing is nothing then nothing is everything and everything is nothing


  8. #8
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamakazi View Post
    I have never used a fleet in any of my campaigns
    It was the same for me but I got one halfstack now in my new Seleucid campaign since I desperately needed more units quicker. +3 units recruited per turn is great, and fleets can capture unguarded coastal settlements on their own.
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    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamakazi View Post
    I have never used a fleet in any of my campaigns
    I honestly hate naval battles in any TW game since they decided to make them playable. I'd much rather they just went back to how it worked in Rome 1, where you AR them and that depended on simply how many ships you had.

  10. #10
    Member Member Kamakazi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Honestly ive never seen any use for them. In S2 I only made one if I was blockaded really badly but that rarely happened. In this game they are rendered pretty useless because every army can spawn transports and go a raidin'
    If living is nothing dieing is nothing then nothing is everything and everything is nothing


  11. #11
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Well you have a limited amount of armies and every little crap fleet beats an elite stack at sea in autoresolve, so they're nice to have for that at least.

  12. #12
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Sp4 View Post
    Well you have a limited amount of armies and every little crap fleet beats an elite stack at sea in autoresolve, so they're nice to have for that at least.
    They do?
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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  13. #13
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Yup.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Artillery ships are pretty good at capturing port settlements. I can kill around 200-400 enemy soldiers per ship before they run out of ammo. Having them fire at the proper target can be a royal pain, though.

  15. #15
    Provost Senior Member Nelson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Iíve had great fun with the naval battles. The ships look terrific and the ramming/boarding works the way I expect it should. It does take practice to manage a large action well. The fight can be dicey since ships are far closer in combat capacity in the hands of the AI than land units are. Winning when outnumbered is a lot harder to do at sea than ashore. And twenty ships are a lot to micro. Practice wonít make you perfect but it will make you competent. Expect to lose ships. Use warships for sea battles, not transports. They are too slow and ponderous. I seldom use transported armies to fight at sea. Itís just too easy to lose a lot of good men when transports get rammed and a whole cohort goes down with each one. I believe this is the number one frustration with the naval warfare in Rome2. Itís easy to lose a lot of men quickly when you expect the same cakewalk you get ashore.

    As Rome, the first civil war I had began in Athens with 6 senate stacks. They immediately sailed for Italy (I suppose) but did not make it because they were all destroyed by a single large fleet of my own in two separate battles, no AR. Two thirds of my fleet was lost but the civil war was over in three turns at small cost.
    My fleet composition was the one I use for all purposes; 3 - 5 artillery ships, 5 - 6 missile ships and the rest assault, usually fire pot biremes. This will suffice for naval combat and port attacks both especially after the Marian reforms.

    An amphibious assault exploits the artillery you have. It will gut the garrison before you rush the town IF you maneuver the ships enough to avoid line of sight issues. Itís well worth it. Obviously, you must have enough assault ships to get an adequate force across the beach to succeed. If the bombardment went well you wonít need a lot.

    In a sea battle vs a combat fleet I bombard any enemies that can burn me first then bombard/ram/burn the remaining foes. Easier said than done when you donít outnumber the opponent. Concentrate the artillery fire and get all the ships involved once you get to a big pile-up.

    The artillery ships offer awesome firepower. Put three of them on an enemy and the target will go down fast. When fighting transports I target the most valuable enemy troops first. I use the missile support ships to keep the transports away from the artillery. When ramming, hit the target with 2 or 3 ships when possible. Generally you donít want to melee a transport one on one with a warship as you will be outnumbered but this is no reason not to use warships at all! Small quick ships can ram and sink transports with surprising speed. And they will back out and ram again if you micro them.

    At some point, when a big scrum occurs, look for any ships you have that are in trouble and try to move them out of harms way or get them some fresh relief somehow. Itís tough staying on top of the fight but having managed nearly all of the sea battles myself I have become much better than I was at first.
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  16. #16
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Nelson's post actually got me excited about naval warfare
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamakazi View Post
    Honestly ive never seen any use for them. In S2 I only made one if I was blockaded really badly but that rarely happened. In this game they are rendered pretty useless because every army can spawn transports and go a raidin'
    How did you managed that, in S2 everybodies fleets were upon my trade roots and blocading my harbors, needed 4 or 5 war fleets after mid game not counting the trade fleets just to protect my trade and chasing the enemies.

  18. #18
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by nearchos View Post
    How did you managed that, in S2 everybodies fleets were upon my trade roots and blocading my harbors, needed 4 or 5 war fleets after mid game not counting the trade fleets just to protect my trade and chasing the enemies.
    Especialy the Wako pirates were so annoying But the AI didn't skimp on ships either. Even if I was crushing it hard with massed land armies, it would still insist on maintaining a full army of ships to beat on my trade fleet, when that upkeep would be better spent training yari samurai...
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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  19. #19
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    The good thing is, with the geography of the S2 campaign map, you had the choice to never bother with any ships unless you wanted to go to Chosokabe land. In FotS, they even got rid of that, though in FotS, it was easier to build 'Iwineverything' navies, which in S2 was kind of hard, unless you went Christian and started building the trade galeon things.

    During a FotS co-op campaign, my friend and I essentially split the entire map in half with a curtain of ships and armies reaching from the northern edge all the way to the southern edge to keep the AI from sending naval invasions to the other end of the map. It was fairly hilarious and a little ridiculous.

  20. #20
    Dux Nova Scotia Member lars573's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Myth View Post
    They do?
    Very much so. Transport ships are the seas going equivalent of a mob*. They are, without much hyperbole, a rickety barge with a half wit crew. Boarding actions aside any other action a proper naval vessel can engage transport with they are very venerable too. Any raiding or missile ship with flaming ammo can sink multiple transport ships before they run out of ammo. Assault ships can cleave them in twain with a good ramming.




    *With raiding/pursuit types being seas skirmishers, assault/missile ships being medium infantry, and the arty/tower ships being heavy infantry. Keep in mind I referring to the actual ship itself. Not any marine unit on them.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    In the mid-game, actual naval ships can easily sink transport ships with just one head on ramming action.

  22. #22
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    You don't even have to engage them. Actual fleets have a huge AR advantage and for some reason any casualties are only ever applied to the ship of the commander, which is absolutely fine if you are just using siege ships anyways ^^

  23. #23

    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    The good thing is, with the geography of the S2 campaign map, you had the choice to never bother with any ships unless you wanted to go to Chosokabe land.
    I dont know, how about trade, in all my campaigns i had to protect my trade fleets, and also my ports, where the trade roots where starting, i.e. the AI was blockading a port which was making 10000 or 15000 kocu from trade and then 0.
    In mid or latter game with advanced units, that could be an economic dissaster.

    And with S2 i couldnt find an other way to make real money other than trade, and by the way if someone can give my any tips to do so, it will be very welcome.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Myth View Post
    Especialy the Wako pirates were so annoying But the AI didn't skimp on ships either. Even if I was crushing it hard with massed land armies, it would still insist on maintaining a full army of ships to beat on my trade fleet, when that upkeep would be better spent training yari samurai...
    Yes, that was very annoying, also the countless one or a couple of ship fleets, aaaaall the way upon the trade routs raiding them and playing the cat and mouse game.

  25. #25
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    By the time realm divide hits. No one is trading with you anyways. Farms, markets, sake dens. When people still trade with you, a blockaded port could be disaster, yes but you can just park a navy in that port and use it to defend whenever that became necessary. Trade nodes were kind of meh, unless you wanted to build some fancy building, which really was not necessary. There was never a reason to actually go out to see and campaining about.

  26. #26
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Sp4 View Post
    By the time realm divide hits. No one is trading with you anyways. Farms, markets, sake dens. When people still trade with you, a blockaded port could be disaster, yes but you can just park a navy in that port and use it to defend whenever that became necessary. Trade nodes were kind of meh, unless you wanted to build some fancy building, which really was not necessary. There was never a reason to actually go out to see and campaining about.
    The whole idea of a trade "node" is meh. Trade is not some artificial gamey circle on a map somewhere. The pirates were so abundant that one wonders how they get the finances to constantly challenge the naval supremacy of the entire nation of Japan?!

    Saying that one dosn't need trade and sea to succeed sounds a lot like "I know this was badly done but don't pay attention to that part of the game". Since you're the one who accuses people of being "CA apologists" for liking Rome II I find it funny you would youreslf act like "an apologist" for Shogun II (the game which you like).

    In the end, everyone supports the game they like
    Last edited by Myth; 10-23-2013 at 14:04.
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
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  27. #27
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    I find R2 a lot more fun than S2 and I am not exactly apologising. It was poorly done, it was annoying and I would have liked it if they just didn't have naval combat but I feel about that ever since they made naval battles playable in ETW.

  28. #28
    Strategist and Storyteller Member Myth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    Well then, I daresay the game has improved a lot if a S2 fan likes it more than S2...
    The art of war, then, is governed by five constant
    factors, to be taken into account in one's deliberations,
    when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.

    These are: (1) The Moral Law; (2) Heaven; (3) Earth;
    (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.
    Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"
    Like totalwar.org on Facebook!

  29. #29
    Member Member Sp4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    I never really liked S2 as much as Rome 1 or Medieval 2. The setting was boring and uninteresting, there was no diversity.. blabla, well you know the story. I only played it as much as I did cause it had a working co-op mode but I said that 500 times before as well.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Fleet Compositions

    I love S2 as i start to love R2 after patch 5 playing Seleucids on legendary, i will be sure after next patches and playing more factions, right now im very exited with the current campaign.

    But S2 is my second favourite of the series the first being the original Shogun TW.

    And also like the naval battles in S2 and playing a lot of them.

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