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Thread: Disengaging from combat

  1. #1

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    I had always believed, until very recently, that it was impossible to disengage a unit from combat with the enemy, at least not without that unit suffering heavy casualties (from having to turn away from the enemy).

    But recently I have been experimenting with the tactic and found it to be extremely useful. It seems that units in 'front-on' combat can't disengage easily, but flanking units definitely can. One battle that springs to mind was a 2v1 battle (I was one of the two) where one single unit of h2 No-Dachi got a third of my kills on its own. Considering my army also had h5 Yari Samurai and h3 Warrior Monks, this is some achievement.

    I was using the No-Dachi to charge the enemy flank, disengage, then charge again. The No-Dachi were in wedge formation. Iwas very surprised at just how effective this was, and I know use it whenever I can. Obviously it works best with fast, agile units like No-Dachi, but monks are effective too.

    Anyone else have any opinions on this? Does anyone else use this tactic?

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  2. #2
    Insomniac and tired of it Senior Member Slyspy's Avatar
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    I find it easier to disengage troops on hold formation since they have fewer men actually engaged. Speed helps as well of course. As for your hit and run charges I shall have to try it, although it may be too heavy on micromanagement for me to be successful!

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    Senior Member Senior Member The Black Ship's Avatar
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    You are probably get away with it because of the wedge formation! It's the same explanation as that for hold position, fewer troops actually engaged.

    Sly is correct though, it is a little labor intensive, but then again so are CA!

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    Senior Member Senior Member The Scourge's Avatar
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    Well ive tried something like that with mixed results.
    You know when you wanna move the whole army but maintain facing.(Can't remember the which keys,and can't find manual.)
    Ive tried pulling the whole lot of em back,while doing just this.
    Once or twice its worked.But not everytime,which is a bit of a bummer online.
    All of a sudden ive got the enermy on my back.
    Does anyone else use this manuver.And does it always go right.
    That's it.

  5. #5
    Member Member BanzaiZAP's Avatar
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    Huh. I disengage all the time, but then, I'm a SP player. Especially in defending bridges or hilltops, that kind of thing. Rotating your troops (like tires?) will keep them fresher longer. (Like New Right Guard...)What works for me is to have unit A engaged with the enemy. Unit B then forms up right behind them. Unit A gets the order to reform behind friendly lines, and unit B gets the order to charge. Unit B steps in and holds the enemy in place, while unit A filters through the fresh troops and reforms in safety to catch their breath. By the time unit B starts getting tired, unit A is ready to go, and can charge in to replace B.... This type of thing works better for the defender than the attacker. Attacking, I have a tough unit holding formation in the enemy's face, and use the rotation in the flankers, like Rob mentioned. Once HtH units engage, they lose the Charging bonus (which is a BIG bonus!), so reforming will allow you to get another charge. With easily-killed units like No-Dachi, reforming will maximize the damage, and pulling them out of a long drag-out fight will let more of them survive to kill a little longer.

    -- B)

  6. #6

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    i get it sometimes that when i disengage unit A (see banzai's post) that it routs because i make it turn its back on the enemy
    and how much do the units really rest in banzai's example (btw i'm asking i don't know)

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    Member Member BanzaiZAP's Avatar
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    For placement, unit B is forming up literally on the heels of A, which is engaged. This means that unit A men who are Pushed Back, are pushed into B's ranks! That way there is little to no time between the two units beginning their actions. Unit B should be engaging while some of unit A are still on the line. I redraw unit A so they reform facing the enemy, only a few yards behind the actual battle line.

    Well, for resting, it takes between 1-2 minutes to go from Quite Tired to Quite Fresh, but longer if you are fully Tired. Exhausted means that the men are nearly useless, so even going up from Exhausted to Very Tired is a good thing! The more tired the men, the longer to rest. Having one unit actually engaged (or running) for about 2 minutes will bring them down from Fresh to Quite Tired. That's when I pull them back. Wait much longer, and they'll be Tired, and will take much longer to rest. There are serious modifiers between Quite Tired, Tired, Very Tired and Exhausted. Anyone with the Strategy Guide can post the actual numbers. I think it's like this:
    Quite Tired = -1
    Tired = -2
    Very Tired = -4
    Exhausted = -6
    Again, anyone with the book handy should correct me.

    -- B)

    [This message has been edited by BanzaiZAP (edited 12-05-2000).]

  8. #8

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    The more tired your men are, the more likely they are to rout, too.

    My example wasn't really about tiredness, but making use of the charge bonus. I've been testing it out and it still seems to be highly effective. I've been getting some good results with this tactic.

    Damn it, I'm giving my secrets away

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    Member Member Methabaron's Avatar
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    I have also experienced the disengage effect that Banzai describes in SP... for some reason in MP seems much less obvious to achieve. Specially when the unit you try to disengage does not have a back up... hmm, for some reason the pesky enemies will not stop bothering you . I think what a unit needs to disengage is having its enemy busy with someone else aswell. If your enemy is fighting ONLY with the unit you try to disengage and the enemy taisho has given it the direct order of attacking your unit there is no way you will disengage simply because your enemy will pursue you and keep in close contact. If your enemy is busy with another unit then you will have more chances to disengage. Having Unit B backing up Unit A as Ive seen in SP or as Banzai suggests seems the perfect exemple. Also flanking an enemy unit already engaged in battle could possibly be another way... etc etc etc

    This is just my guess.

    Metha

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  10. #10

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    I usually use Yari Samurai to engage the enemy in h-t-h and No-Dachi/monks to flank. In the past, I simply ordered the flanking units to attack and left them to it. But the charge bonus seems to make it worth disengaging them and charging again. The enemy can't pursue the disengaging troops because they are busing fighting the Yari Sam.

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    Member Member Methabaron's Avatar
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    By the way...

    so this means that the charge bonus is applied only to the first attack cycle of the charging unit?

    Metha
    "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

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    Nur-ad-Din Forum Administrator TosaInu's Avatar
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    Rob...
    Ja mata

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    Member Member Tenchimuyo's Avatar
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    Member Member Methabaron's Avatar
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    No way ! 8\

    Metha

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    [This message has been edited by Methabaron (edited 12-06-2000).]
    "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

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    Member Member BanzaiZAP's Avatar
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    Methabaron:
    As far as I can tell, yes, the charging bonus only has affect in the initial impact, which does make logical sense. I've noticed it most with yari cavalry charges. Since they, like no-dachi etc., die so easily, you don't want to leave them engaged long. Rob's repeated charges is pretty much ideal for the specialized hand-to-hand units. And yeah, since they're flanking, the enemy unit won't disengaged their target to chase your no-dachi.

    -- B)

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    Member Member ShadowKill's Avatar
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    I was thinking the same thing
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    Senior Member Senior Member Obake's Avatar
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    You all are right in the assumption that the charge bonus only applies to the initial combat cycle.

    As far as disengaging goes, Banzai has the right idea as does Metha. I've been able to use essentially the same tactic in MP with mixed results. I have found that it takes longer to disengage, but it can be done. Without the backup unit to hold the enemy in place though, it won't work and increases the risk of routing as mentioned by Hirosito. The problem is that when disengaging (withdrawing), that unit will turn its back on the enemy and without backup will be subject to all of the morale checks that we have come to love/hate. Add to this the penalty for being tired and .....

    This raises an issue that may need to be addressed by the developers. When shifting troops across a small distance, they will maintain facing. Why can't the same occur when withdrawing? I know that it doesn't make sense if withdrawing a unit completely from battle, but an engaged unit given orders to withdraw is not simply going to turn around and walk away.

    Perhaps there should be a specific dis-engage command that would suit this particular need. It would order the unit to in essence "back up" a certain amount of distance. This would also have the benefit of making battles more interesting.

    Imagine having your front line engaged with units poised as backup. All of a sudden, you order a front line unit to dis-engage and the enemy unit continues to pursue because they have specific orders. Now that enemy unit runs the risk of morale failure because they have advanced deeper and you could have on of your backup units now in position to flank.

    I know that we're talking about extreme micro-management here, but the possibilities are exciting to contemplate!

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    Senior Member Senior Member ElmarkOFear's Avatar
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    Rob, The flanking no dachi unit IS very effective and can cause a rolling flank if used properly as y ou are using it. The only thing you have to be careful of is make sure you do not get caught in the routing enemy unit's path becasue that will slow y ou down on your next flank. Try not to hit them from behind on the outside of their flank but the inside rear between two of their fighting units. This has the effect of routing two units at once and keeps you from getting entangled in their troops. You should always be aware of the path the enemy will use when their troops rout and chase them from behind not in front. I hope this helps some, ElmarkOFear
    I have seen the future of TW MP and it is XBox Live!

  19. #19

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    Thanks for the advice Elmark!

    The tactical depth of this game continues to astound me. I played Age of Empires II for the first time in ages the other day and was totally shocked by how bad the combat felt. I never remembered it being that bad! Obviously months of playing STW has made me realise just how good game combat can be! The fact that, having played the game for months, I'm still finding new and more effective tactics, shows just how great this game is.

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    Member Member BanzaiZAP's Avatar
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    I'm with ElmarkOfFear - if you can break their core, the wings will crumble. Also, you run less risk of getting caught amongst their fleeing troops. Here's where Wedge formation works best. Have a unit of monks or no-dachi set to Wedge, and have them run to a space behind enemy lines. Immediately after bursting through, they should wheel into Close, and charge the enemy from behind. Serious micro-managing, though, because if your attention leaves those monks for a second, they will be surrounded and rout, or be butchered. Risky, but when it works, it can scare off a nearly full army.

    -- B)

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    Senior Member Senior Member Obake's Avatar
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    One thing that I would like to address here.

    Rob jokingly talks about giving his secrets away, and I know that there are several others on this forum who won't post their specific tactics for fear that others will start using them. I believe that Tosa may even have been chastising Rob with his post on this thread.

    Many of us have in the past and/or currently made comments about the lack of quality play online (monk rushers, campers or just plain lousy players). This type of thread (along with those on Cav and Ranged units) can only serve to improve the level of play online. While it is true that there are certain players who can be considered "The Elite" of Shogun (and no I'm not talking about the clan!), anything that they and the rest of us can do to help improve the play of others online will only serve to increase everyone's enjoyment of the game.

    I would encourage everyone to openly share their tactics, the successful and the not so, in order to benefit the community. I would especially encourage the top tier of players to follow the lead of Rob and others that have spoken and give up their "secrets". Doing so will help to provide us all with a continuing challenge as we play the game.

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    Senior Member Senior Member ElmarkOFear's Avatar
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    Ok, I will reveal my most secret strategy . . . I set my men up on the back edge of map and when the game starts I hit "select all", then I hit the "rout" key. I can truthfully say that I have never lost a single man in battle using this strategy. LOL ElmarkOFear
    I have seen the future of TW MP and it is XBox Live!

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    Member Member BanzaiZAP's Avatar
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    Anyone who needs to keep their tactics secret deserves to get beaten! The whole point of this kind of game is to prove that there is NO "unbeatable" set up or tactic. Besides, part of the fun is to come UP with an "unbeatable," then try to have your friends find ways of beating it! It's like the Monk Rush trick. Once or twice is fine, but if people know you prefer that strategy, then they'll find easy counters to it. For example, the Trojan Horse. When they first tried that one, it worked like a charm. Wouldn't recommend trying it again, though... Anyway, what kind of general doesn't have at least two ways of defeating his own tactics? If you don't know how you can be countered, how can you prepare counter-counters? Or are those the kind of people who play chess only thinking about the very next move?

    If I didn't have a Plan B, I guess I'd be afraid, too.

    Anyone who is offended by my opinion is perfectly welcome to go fnord themselves. I'm getting a cable modem soon, and can be there to whip your butts with your own tactics! Or get my own soundly beaten, as the case may be.... but then, that's the fun! ANY tactic can be overcome! (I say that NOW.... wait until after I play Magyar Kahn....)

    -- B)

  24. #24
    Member Member Methabaron's Avatar
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    Heheheeeeee, Obake, Banzai,

    I see that we think alike and I have already posted for the sharing of tactics, specifically asking Magyar for his ideas on cavalry but the *darn* gent will not print more than 3 lines on a row !!!

    Sharing strats is one of the most fun parts of these forums for God's sake!!!!!!!!

    Anyway, coming back to the flanking monks or nodachi in the back of the enemy... of course it sounds great.... the point is that you have to keep your main army holding and lasting enough for these monks/nodachi to have time to give a turn around and get to the back of the enemy !!!, alternative?: use light cavalry, od course is a no brainer, faster etc etc... and many ppl use it already... why?, because most ppl use 60 men units in their games!!!! and in these games units rout faster so monks/nodachi arent fast enough and you need real speed !!!!, use 100 or 120 men units and you will have more time to flank properly !!! , wondered why some LINKS always use 100 or 120 men units in their games???, well, thats one of the reasons why..., there you go.

    Metha

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    "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."

  25. #25
    Member Member Dwimmerlaik's Avatar
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    One thing I can say about MagyarKhan is that he uses Mongol tactics to a T. The other day he ripped my army apart on Tami Kochi with his cav archers, got me all confused with multiple attacks on the flanks and then sent in the monks to finish me off.

    The basic pattern to this attack is as follows; a skirmish on several fronts with CA to harass the enemy advance, disorganise troop lines and so on. This is intended to draw out the enemy at which point the CA withdraw and face entrenched muskets and usually a flanking attack with WM or ND.

    If you try and play defensively with lots of YS and NG, he wil harass with CA wear you down tramping all over the place trying to neutralise his CA.Then he will rip you with his h-t-h units or even a neat cav charge.

    Should you try to meet him on equal terms with CA and YC, he will out-micromanage you and feed you you horse kebabs on the end of a yari!

    So how do you beat the guy?
    1. Micromanagement!
    2. Neutralise his CA
    3.Battle groups..units of muskies, and YS and maybe ND working together to repulse CA attacks (like squares in the Napoleonic Wars)
    4. Patience - don't let him lure you with advantages that do not exist
    5. Flexibility - be ready to react to changes quickly in battle tempo
    6. The right army balance - If i knew I would tell you folks...have to figure this out yourselves
    7. And finally and most importantly, know the terrain!!

    Am I still on topic?

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  26. #26
    Member Member TooCool's Avatar
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    disengaging troops is a veru good trick in the game but what about realism? IMHO, i think that isn't realistic because an fighting unit don't bother manoeuvre order. In the board wargames, engaged units can't receive order until they aren't in contact with enemy unit. I wish that futur totalwar games won't allow giving order to engaged unit (maybe unless if they are in "hold formation" and not in desorder). What do you think? (I think that everyone will flame me ;-))

  27. #27
    Member Member Ieyasu's Avatar
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    From what I can gather on the topic, disengaging in the game is murder. From the topic notes, and from my own experience, the only way to disengage without sustaining horrendous casualties is to already have another engaged with the enemy. Holding formation and wedge manuevers makes sense in minimizing overall skirmishing/contact, but if they're the only ones in the fight, they still have to turn a side to leave, and this offers a slaughter.

    What kills me sometimes is how the game reacts to a direction change... that the unit in question actually stops to form up again, rather then just turning and forming on the move... is this realistic?

    Flanking moves offer the freedom to select and disengage with minimal negatives... again, especially if the guy you're hitting is tied up, right?

    I usually form my units into two rows along the formation. The front ones do the tying up, and so are either monks or heavily armored Nags. On the second row, lower honor monks, and no-dachis for the second wave and flank attacks once the enemy is engaged and committed. Of course, lately it has been a pleasure to see people not committing their entire army into the fray at once. Makes for far more interesting games.


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