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Thread: Battlefield Tactics

  1. #1

    Red face

    I read so many times people describing how the stupid AI marches exhausted to its timely death, trudging wearily uphill where it is intercepted by an incoming charge of Templar or whatever...

    Now, whenever I go into battle the AI uses this very tactic ON ME

    I hate bridge maps, simply because I'm always the one who ends up having to make the first move.

    So, my question is:

    How can I... entice the AI to come and get me, rather than the other way around?

    I don't use the timer, and I generally don't take siege weaponry on to the open battlefield. Any clues?

  2. #2

    Lightbulb

    Well, I assume your question is directed to the situation where you are the attacker, if you are the defender, the AI will most likely come to you.
    When you attack at bridge maps (never an easy job), you should make sure to check on what and how many troops the AI has stationed in the province (always a good idea to wait a couple of turns, the AI might deploy some troops to other locations so making the assault easier for you), and then choose your own force accordingly. I've found that bridge battles often require specially designed armies, contrary to other occasions where you just throw all ragtag units you have into the fight, knowing you will probably win in open terrain..
    You should definitely bring at least 4 missile units, (archers, but preferably arbalesters due to their superior range), your best spear and shock units (upgrades and all..) and perhaps a light cavalry unit.
    March towards the bridge and see if you can hit the enemy's units without having to cross the river, if you can, fire away. Then you should set up one unit of spearman flanked by a shock unit on both sides immediately in front of the bridge. Now, you can send a fast unit (your light cavalry, preferrably) to the other side and close in on the enemy.
    The AI should dispatch a few units to engage you, but don't join battle, instead retreat slowly towards the bridge. Usually they should follow you and that's where you can hit them with missiles (if they set up out of your range initially).
    If they retreat, just move your scout unit ahead again.
    If you are good, you can get them to follow you across the bridge, then you can start attacking them with your spearmen or shock unit. Usually, that's the point where the AI will mobilise all of its remaining forces and head towards the bridge and that's when you've achieved your primary goal of turning from attacker into a defender.
    It should be easy to hold the bridge and decimating the enemy forces until they start routing. When they do, you can cross the bridge and set up on the other side, in case they rally or reinforcements do arrive.

    Sometimes, this strategy doesn't work, and you have to resort to brute force to gain a foothold on the other side of the river. In that case, be sure you bring tougher (and more&#33 troops as well as a better general (the general's number of command stars has a huge effect on his troops).

    If you can't muster all of this, then don't fight that bridge battle at all. You must have a clear advantage if you want to attack at a bridge map.
    Ignoranti, quem portum petat, nullus suus ventus est. -Seneca, Epistulae Morales, VIII, 71, 3

  3. #3
    Member Member Al Shama'ar's Avatar
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    As a standard I always deploy 2 archer units to the left and right of the bridge, so that all 4 of them can control it. Spearmen behind them with a gap through which my cavalry can manouver.

    Now, as a decoy i used to have peasants, but they're too slow, so i started using 1 unit of Ginetes (they can throw javelins) and depending on the AI troops positioning, sometimes all i do is to send them across the brigde and back and surely a enemy cavalry unit will follow them and be (half) decimated by my archers. Other times the Ginetes will have to throw some javelins first.

    After repeting this once or twice, i can usually get one unit of Ginetes across the bridge without being attacked.
    Then i use them to split the AI's army. As many as 200-300 men have folloew them across the fields.
    Here is where i have mo make a careful read of the enemy army, cause it's time to cross that bridge
    There are several options, but the important thing is, the next unit to cross the bridge, cannot be stopped before it gets to the other side, it has to leave enough space behind them so that the rest of my army can follow.

    Hope that helps
    Al Shama'ar

    Amateurs talk Tactics, Professionals talk Logistics

  4. #4
    Resident Northern Irishman Member ShadesPanther's Avatar
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    Angry

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Brutal DLX @ April 04 2003,08:23)]Well, I assume your question is directed to the situation always a good idea to wait a couple of turns, the AI might deploy some troops to other locations so making the assault easier for you
    yes there is a problem with that. It is known that the Computer cheats and moves according to your moves. This means that when you attack a provnce with little or no troops there they move ALL available troops to that location so really you can never really attack a big powerful faction who have massed troops on the borders with a sucker punch eg take that province with massive force and then spread out behind them like perfect Blitzkreig

    "A man may fight for many things: his country, his principles, his friends, the glistening tear on the cheek of a golden child. But personally, I'd mudwrestle my own mother for a ton of cash, an amusing clock and a stack of French porn."
    - Edmund Blackadder

  5. #5
    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Org ShadesPanther. Thanks for departing the Shadow Realm long enough to pay us a visit.
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  6. #6
    Member Member Nowake's Avatar
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    Well, panther, but you can always send some diversion troops in order to keep them in their place ...


  7. #7
    Throwing stones from afar Member Cazbol's Avatar
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    Note that you don't have to send a unit all the way over the bridge to draw the enemy towards you. Click on the opposite end of the river (with a good defensive unit) and as soon as the enemy moves you press backspace so your troops stop right there on the bridge. The AI will then engage you on the bridge while your archers/crossbowmen/arbalesters mow them down.

    I don't think I've ever lost a bridge battle but then I always bring a lot of my best ranged units.

  8. #8
    Humanist Senior Member A.Saturnus's Avatar
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    I actually like bridge attacks. They are tough, but winning is much more fun that way. I usually use some heavy armor piercing inf to get at the other side. Halberdiers or preferably CFK. They can break through spearmen defending a bridge. As soon as his line has fallen back a bit from the bridge, I bring the whole army across, pass the heavy inf and engage the enemy all around the bridge. If you can push them back a bit, you can establish a bridge-head and from then it`s like a fight on open field.

  9. #9

    Smile

    Thanks a lot for the replies... They're more than welcome

    However, I do see a little problem: routing due to constant retreat when taunting them with light cav / jinettes. And I can't rally these ones... Is the game designed that way to prevent one from using such tactics?

    Yeah, I'm usually the attacker, so I guess that's why the enemy's first move is to the far edge of the map. Chickenshit enemy...

    Oh, I wasn't juat talking about bridge maps in the original post, but I thank everyone for their input all the same.

    See ya around,
    A.

  10. #10
    Member Member Morten viking's Avatar
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    If you have some long range artillery, it might be an idea to bring it along. I tried to defend a bridge and had a bombard in my army. I just chose the bridge in the most defensible position and placed the cannon on a hill just behind my blocking force. I was hoping to do some bowling with tightly packed enemies on the bridge. It might have been interesting for my own unit on the bridge, but unfortunately, the bombard's accuracy was on par with Scuds so only a handful enemies got hit. A higher valour unit might have been better or battlefield artillery with better accuracy might be worth a shot (Sorry, couldn't resist the pun )

    Otherwise, when the AI park on a hill, you can try to irritate him a bit with a ranged unit. This works well if the enemy doesn't have missile units, otherwise they will shoot you to pieces. Try to flank the AI if there are nearby hills. It might give you the high ground and make the ai move, even if it taks some time to get in position. If this doesn't work, storm and hope your troops can pull it of.

    MV

  11. #11
    Member Member Kongamato's Avatar
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    Constant Retreat is caused by too much clicking and re-ordering.

    Try using waypoints or establishing closer safe zones for your harassment cavalry to retreat to.
    "Never in physical action had I discovered the chilling satisfaction of words. Never in words had I experienced the hot darkness of action. Somewhere there must be a higher principle which reconciles art and action. That principle, it occurred to me, was death." -Yukio Mishima

  12. #12
    Wait, what? Member Aelwyn's Avatar
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    The worst part is when you get the Constant retreat message while chasing the AI, which is the one retreating. I remember a battle where I marched across the map, the AI ran to one side. I took my time following them, then they started running down the side of the map. I followed them all together, taking my time. They ran to where I started the battle. So I followed. They started up the other side once I got there, and then a full few units of mine just ran off the field. Eventhough I was constantly chasing the AI, and keeping my army together. I couldn't do anything but laugh.

  13. #13

    Lightbulb

    I've had that happen in a desert battle. Luckily, my army was the one with the camels and desert archers. Theirs was, well, a bit on the heavy side

    As for feigning the move over the bridge, sometimes it doesn't work and the AI troops go back to their initial place. So, it's not exactly a given...

    Another point is the cheating AI during the strategy screen, that also doesn't happen each time. One has to distinguish between routine AI redeployments, which means you just had bad luck they moved in that province at the same turn you attacked, and real cheating where the AI seems to see your moves first. Usually, that can be dealt with by diversionary attacks, as someone already mentioned. It doesn't happen a lot in my games though...
    Ignoranti, quem portum petat, nullus suus ventus est. -Seneca, Epistulae Morales, VIII, 71, 3

  14. #14
    Member Member ABG's Avatar
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    The constant retreat is a bug indeed, even in MP, coz sometimes is part of ur strategie, trying to lure the enemie to catch him after.

    In STW, on bridge battles i like to use some fast Yaris cavs. As IA always wait u on the other side i deployed many archers and so on just on the edge near the bridge. Then i crossed the bridge with yaris luring some heavy units of the enemie, then back the yaris and start shooting with archs and muskts. I won many battles on this way with really poor loses.
    Never tried on MTW, but i suppose it will work also.
    mmmm, no, cant remember.

  15. #15
    Member Member Tiwaz's Avatar
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    I usually prepare for possible bridge battles by bringing in some good old mercenary meat. Usually bit better units are good since AI will start shooting arrows into big melee which, hopefully, starts at the bridge and when you start throwing in arrows as well there will be lots of corpses there. Once enemy has exhausted itself go in with heavy troops and cross the bridge fast.

    On a little different topic, AI desire to acquire higher ground for defence is sometimes really stupid. Once it decided that best spot to defend is behind my army. I nearly panicked when I noticed that they were coming in while I was still preparing for my attack until I noticed that they were trying to pass my army without a battle.

    Needless to say I took the opportunity and assaulted their flank while they marched.

  16. #16
    Moderator Moderator Gregoshi's Avatar
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    Welcome ABG. Now that we've lured you across the bridge to register...
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  17. #17
    smell the glove Senior Member Major Robert Dump's Avatar
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    Tne best way to beat the AI is a well placed .45 glacier round on the motherboard between the pcu slot and the IDE channels. This way, you win the campaign in spirit, although you miss the end movie. if there is one. dunno. keep shooting my pc.
    Baby Quit Your Cryin' Put Your Clown Britches On!!!

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