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Thread: Battle tactics

  1. #1

    Default Battle tactics

    Hi,

    Does anyone have resources on battle tactics for the game? Recently bought it, and it's much harder than every TW title I've ever tried; particularly the historical battles or quick ones, when me and the enemy have more or less equal contingents, quality and quantity wise. I play on normal, but some people here and there brag about playing on very hard, and not having that many problems.

    Does the official strategy guide have some worthy insight? It's around $5 used with shipping. I've already read frogbeastegg's beginners' guide.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battle tactics

    Welcome to the Org Matt!

    I had the official guide for STW back in the day and while it was an interesting read, it wasn't that great at helping play the game. I imagine the MTW official guide would be about the same. For what you are describing, perhaps the Medieval Total War Beginner's Guide for Multiplayer might help since in multiplayer, you are fighting with equal armies. There is a section on units and then battle tactics. Other than that, you might want to scan this forum and the MP forum to see if there is anything there that might help you.

    If you have more specific questions on the problems you are having, someone might be able to give you some suggestions. Alas, it has been well over ten years since I've played MTW, so my fuzzy memory won't be of much help...even my unfuzzy memory wouldn't have been much help as I was far from a skilled player back then.
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  3. #3
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battle tactics

    Welcome to the Org, Matt714.

    I actually have the official BradyGames MTW Guide from years back. It was one of the last useful guides ever published, it even has the kill chance formula in it. That said, you probably don't need to get it, you just need to get used to the basics. The first two TW games (Shogun and Med) have slower paced battles, and there are advantages to be found everywhere on the battlefield. Once your units get tied up in combat, the little modifiers from terrain and positioning really start to add up. Because the battles are slower, you can actually maneuver your reserves and cavalry strikes in a meaningful way. Managing morale and fatigue also play a big part during battles.

    It's not as pretty as the newer games, but we like it. The graphics lack depth, but the gameplay does not!
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  4. #4
    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battle tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    I actually have the official BradyGames MTW Guide from years back. It was one of the last useful guides ever published...
    I stand corrected.

    I will second drone's comments regarding the slower pace of the battle - you actually have time to maneuver and counter-maneuver to influence the outcome of the battle.
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  5. #5
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battle tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregoshi View Post
    I stand corrected.
    Rome's was useless, and guides for other games around that timeframe were rushed, written based on alpha releases, or were basic money-grabs. But CA developers contributed a fair amount to Medieval's guide, it's pretty good as guides go. The chapter on melee combat and the kill chance was very helpful, it's a shame they didn't do the same with missiles.
    The .Org's MTW Reference Guide Wiki - now taking comments, corrections, suggestions, and submissions

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  6. #6
    Member Member DEB8's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battle tactics

    Matt : To date I have also usually played on normal for both Shogun Total War ( Classic & Warlord versions ) and Medieval Total War.

    The AI plays somewhat aggressively but makes some silly mistakes which can be targeted ( such as suicidal General's ). The best approach is to be aggressive also ( always providing the armies are roughly matched ) and keep your General out of the action for as long as possible. When you do use your General's unit, target the enemy General ( providing your unit matches or betters the opposing General's ). Use any height / terrain advantage that you can find / get to. Note that any archers that you have, are best ( IMHO ) manually targeted ( rather than allowing the AI to choose the target )...

    The most important thing is that you should use the pause button regularly and re-evaluate each units actions / targets at each pause rather than trying to do so in "actual time". Basically, if you need to think - hit "P" to pause !! Also learn the games "paper, scissors, stone" system and how it is best applied re each unit type. If possible ( it takes a while to learn ), use your own formation line ups ( pick your preferred formation - but adjust the actual unit's positions within that formation. This is worthwhile doing even when attacking ( only a small amount of time is lost ).

    NB : To date I have played and won all of my previous campaigns ( 13 STW [ 5 Classic + 8 Warlord ( including 2 @ Mongol Invasion) ] and 1 MTW ) and I rarely lose a battle...
    Last edited by DEB8; 07-11-2015 at 15:46. Reason: Correction to STW Campaigns split / total

  7. #7
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battle tactics

    @ Matt

    Playing the MTW AI is similar to playing the STW AI. As has been mentioned, the rock>paper>scissors method is very much in play. If you constantly run all cavalry armies, the AI will counter with spears; if you run mostly spear infantry, the AI will counter with sword infantry and cavalry archers.

    As has also been mentioned, take every advantage of terrain that you can...STW/MTW AI is very sharp & aggressive, so if you allow it to run around at will, you'll soon find yourself at the south end of a north bound kangaroo

    Start with an easy faction (it's also 'fuzzy memory' for me to recommend which), start on easy difficulty until you get a good feel for tactics, and raise the bar from there.

    You can also set up custom battles, 1v1 even, to practice tactics. With STW, I spent a lot of time in small custom engagements (4v4 usually) with muskets to get the hang of them. Customs battles can help a lot.

    One thing not mentioned is that weather plays a much more important part in the first two iterations of the TW series. When I got to RTW and saw what was considered to be a thunderstorm, I nearly died laughing

    THIS is fighting in a thunderstorm:

    http://japandave.com/blog/wp-content.../okehazama.jpg

    STW's Battle of Okehazama is what hooked me into playing TW...the lightning....driving rain....the thunder of my cavalry's hooves to match that of the storm...hidden Nodachi crouching deep in the woods, waiting for the signal.....

    Now that memory is certainly not fuzzy

    Anyways...use the weather to your advantage when you can. If the enemy is archer heavy, fight in the rain---it reduces archer effectiveness. If the enemy is cavalry heavy, fight during the winter---cavalry tire much faster than infantry in the snow. Need to force a bridge crossing---fight in the fog.
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 07-08-2015 at 20:44.
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  8. #8
    Member Member DEB8's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battle tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    @ Matt

    Start with an easy faction (it's also 'fuzzy memory' for me to recommend which), start on easy difficulty until you get a good feel for tactics, and raise the bar from there.
    From the Beginers Guide : For the Medieval game try the English (nice location, good units with even better ones available when the clock hits 1205, reasonable income), the Byzantines (no need to worry about the Pope, awesome units which slowly become outdated, potential for massive income), the Egyptians (no Pope, isolated position which is easy to protect, potentially large income), the Danes (only one province to manage) or the Spanish (really good units, small at the start so they are easy to manage, can expand into Muslim territory easily, quite rich and they have easy access to iron).

    [ For reference my single MTW campaign to date was : the English. I am currently playing the Saxons ( Wessex ) in the Viking Invasion variant. ]

    Anyways...use the weather to your advantage when you can. If the enemy is archer heavy, fight in the rain---it reduces archer effectiveness. If the enemy is cavalry heavy, fight during the winter---cavalry tire much faster than infantry in the snow. Need to force a bridge crossing---fight in the fog.
    I fully agree with the first two here ; the third is a new one on me - I must remember that one !!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Battle tactics

    the third is a new one on me - I must remember that one !!
    Not fool-proof, no bridge crossing is, but mostly it works like a charm

    Refine it even further by lining your side of the river with your own projectile troops (archers, guns, etc.), send across your sacrificial lambs to get decimated, and when the enemy gives chase to your routers...baadaboom Rinse and repeat until you are out of ammunition or sacrificial lambs. Congratulations, you've probably eliminated 30-50% of the forces opposing you.

    I know this is the MTW Forum but worthy of note, but an absolutely hilarious scene is this:

    Sometimes I play STW using non-historical units, Kensei & Battlefield Ninja being two. Have a Kensei general, and the rest BFN. Attack in the fog...send all your BFN across the bridge (fire-at-will is off, of course) and get into position. Then have your Kensei general step forward onto the bridge (the only visible unit in your army), turn fire-at-will on for the BFN, suggest to your Taisho that he light up his best cigar, sit back and enjoy the murder, madness, and mayhem
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 07-09-2015 at 20:02.
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