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Thread: Best way to Cross a bridge in STW

  1. #1

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    My main Combat problem in STW on the easy setting is crossing the Bridges. When the battle starts out infrount of you army there is a bridge and the enime is on the other side. Well when you go to cross you troups are exposed to Archers fire. And you take a loss.
    So my question to you are what are some good stragites for Taking a bridge.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Hi again EarthShogun.

    You pose the ultimate TotalWar question: how to cross the bridge.

    Lots of folks here have several methods they favor (and I'm sure they'll explain those methods to you).

    But bottom line (IMO): soften the opposition up first, then charge, and very quickly exploit any vulnerabilities you find. Then mop-up.
    Be well. Do good. Keep in touch.

  3. #3
    Sovereign of Soy Member Lehesu's Avatar
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    First rule of attacking bridges.
    1.) Don't do it.
    Failing that, you could try;
    2.) Archery sniping against enemy archers and units. If you have superior ranged units, you can clear out enemy units and establish a beachead for your melee units. Cover the bridge with ranged units and try to create a killing zone so that your troops can get across.
    3.) Just muscle through. If you have superior troops numbers, you could try fighting through with force of arms. Messy, but an option.
    4.) Engage at bridge and then withdraw, hopefully drawing out his forces to follow, and then wipe out the chasing unit. Works against ai sometimes, but not really against humans.

    That's it for me. Kinda tired of typing.
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  4. #4
    karoshi Senior Member solypsist's Avatar
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    i like to bait with peasant units; my archers, along the bank, then shoot at the charging/chasing enemy. a bit of this (hopefully the ai will send out good units to be killed) and when you're out of arrows start that risky charge across.....

  5. #5
    Throwing stones from afar Member Cazbol's Avatar
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    1) Place lots of archers on both sides of the bridgehead, positioning them to give them good angle of attack on anyone on the bridge.
    2) If you have a unit of fast cavalry, while the enemy doesn't, then charge that one unit across at full speed. As soon as the first man reaches the other side order the unit to charge to either side and run them far away from the bridge and the enemies. You should usually be able to get a unit of fast cavalry over the bridge and out of harms way before the enemy can engage it in melee. This will make the AI send lots of yari units to chase your cavalry, thus reducing the numbers defending the bridge.
    3) Send a good defense unit like naginatas (or yari samurai if you don't have naginatas) across the bridge. Once they're about half way across you'll see the defenders moving in. Press backspace immediately and the naginatas will stop on the bridge. The enemy will then engage you on the bridge and voila.... you're now the defender. Mow them down with your archers. If your naginatas take too many casualties, send in another unit. Once your archers run out of arrows send in warrior monks or no-dachis to fight their way through.
    4) Depending on the number of enemies still on the other side, possibly chasing your lone cavalry unit, either set up a secure bridgehead and get the rest of your men across, or just charge after the last defenders with everything you've got.




  6. #6
    Summa Rudis Senior Member Catiline's Avatar
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    If you've got your daimyo use him. position your missile units so they're within range of the bridge but not the enemy. THe AI always deploys a little further back from hte bridge than it could or should. Send your daimyo and his body guard back and forth across the bridge. He won't take many missile casualties but the AI throws every missile it has at him. They'll also advance their melee units to engage the daimyo, and so long as you drop back they'll get slaughtered by your missiles. THe daimyo has a morale advantage so he'll rarely ever rout, and he can fight for long enugh for you to get reinforcements there if he does get caught.
    Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra

  7. #7

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    How to cross a bridge:

    General theory is that you want to put 2 units of archers on either side of your end of the bridge before starting the assault.

    Once the security force of archers is in place, start with a single unit of your weaker infantry first. They will absorb the enemy's limited supply of arrows, and will not cause better units to rout (if they survive to rout.) Commit more infantry one unit at a time until you start to see the effects of your own archers. You do not want to have units on the bridge being shot when they are unable to engage his infantry. If he shoots at your troops that are engaged, he will also shoot his own (so will you, but if you have Ashigaru fighting his Monks, his mistakes are more expensive than your own.)

    Once you start pushing the enemy away from the far end of the bridge, you have three options.

    One, you can keep pursuing. This is a mistake, because if you don't go against the archers, they'll shoot your pursuing troops, and if you do attack the archers, they'll skirmish and the infantry will rally. Either way, you're going to get a counterattack at the worst possible moment.

    Two, you can move your forces across and play defensively until that's done. Archers do not cross all at once. PATIENCE at this point is needed. Once you are across, it's pretty much like any other battle, but do NOT completely abandon the bridge until you KNOW he is out of reserve units and is fully engaged with what he does have. Keep a small guard force at the far side of the bridge.

    Three, IF you have cavalry, you can move them across ahead of your infantry and archers and go after his archers while procceding to secure the far side of the bridge. Depending on how much infantry he has, this may get your cavalry into a trap, so it is not always a great idea.

    An attack against two bridges is similar, except that you want to attack both bridges simultaneously, and be ready to exploit success on one. You still hold the far side of the one you take, but quickly move against the rear of the forces guarding the other. Again, get everyone across.

    Consider what the enemy has when planning the attack. You can get to this point and STILL LOSE if he has Cav Archers and you haven't anything to chase them with. If you bring fast cavalry for the purpose of chasing CA's down, do NOT commit them to any other task. Plan for numerical superiority. Three-to-Two is MINIMAL. There's no such thing as excessive. Put the best leader you have to the effort.

    If the enemy defending is too strong, consider attempting to draw the enemy into an attack to thin the defenders. This would be especially worth doing if you can basically give up one province to half or more of his bridge force, then attack the bridge from the sea (you won't draw off much if the bridge borders on TWO of your provinces) the following turn with overwhelming force.

    Think about assassinating the leader, even if it's a mere 0 general; the disarray will help a lot in the following battle.

    And there's always Bribery.

  8. #8

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    I'd advise against all above...
    Charging cav generally doesnt work all that well...

    In STW I used to put a unit with good armour first. Just on hold and lose formation. Naganitas are great for this.
    If the enemy melee comes in ,put them in close and make your own archers shoot them.

    The naganita can take quite some arrows and the main point is to drain the enemy archers. Once drained send in monks, or spears (if the enemy has loads of cav) since there'll be no arrows left fo them...



    Abandon all hope.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Mithrandir @ June 02 2003,12:57)]I'd advise against all above...
    Charging cav generally doesnt work all that well...

    In STW I used to put a unit with good armour first. Just on hold and lose formation. Naganitas are great for this.
    If the enemy melee comes in ,put them in close and make your own archers shoot them.
    Point of order here. I didn't suggest using the cav to charge the MELEE, nor AT the bridge. I said (or tried to) that once it was possible to cross, you MIGHT chase the archers with cavalry, and in my experience, that not only works, it works right well.

    You can use heavily armored troops, including Naginata if you want to, and it can work as described. However, I'd suggest paying careful attention to what you have behind them, because IF they rout, everything they get near is going with them. Having had that happen once too often got me to switch to leading with expendables.

    Furthermore, it's all well and good to name a strategy that depends on having Monks and/or Naginata, but you don't always have either. Similarly you may not have archers, but I wouldn't even consider a bridge attack without them unless I had extreme numerical superiority.

    What do you mean if the enemy melee comes in? Only time I've ever seen that NOT happen is when they simply didn't HAVE any. It isn't so much a question of whether or not they commit infantry, it's a question of how many and what kind.

  10. #10
    For TosaInu and the Org Senior Member The_Emperor's Avatar
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    The key is to transfer your bridge attack into a bridge defence situation.

    fast moving cavalray can run under the arrows so using them to bait the enemy out of positions is a good tactic. try to bring the enemy to you, because those chokepoints on bridges are a killer

    if there is more than one bridge on the map then clearly things are much simpler because you can split your amry up, and the enemy has to defend on two fronts. Single bridges are very dodgey to cross, and you might suffer less casualties doing an auto-calculation of the battle

    Severl times have I been defending a single bridge from a vastly superior force, and most times I repulsed them with minimal losses... The Kill ratio was often ludicrously high
    "Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it."

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (The_Emperor @ June 02 2003,13:46)]Severl times have I been defending a single bridge from a vastly superior force, and most times I repulsed them with minimal losses... The Kill ratio was often ludicrously high
    That's a fact. One good way to figure out how to approach a bridge assault is to defend against one a few times (you can do custom battles for this.)

    WHY are enemy casualties so high when they attack? Because they do a mass rush against a lot of archers, generally. My ideal bridge defense team is 14 archer units, and two infantry. Often the infantry never gets engaged, and is only there for insurance in the event he uses cavalry. The mass rush results in the attacker being crowded together so much that hardly an arrow fails to kill SOMETHING. When you pour it all on the most elite unit, the survivors rout and take everything behind them with them. I've had such battles where I've killed over 1000 enemy and the only men I lost were friendly fire (c'est la guerre.)

    THAT being so, I strive NOT to use these tactics when I attack a bridge. I don't lead with the best so they won't rout the whole army. I don't do a mass rush so that a large number of enemy arrows are wasted.

  12. #12
    For TosaInu and the Org Senior Member The_Emperor's Avatar
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    My best bridge defence battle was playing agaisnt a massive German Force against my own poxy English force (I had a good general and only 3 units of archers, four cavalry, three men at Arms, and about four or five Spearmen/Seargents)

    I killed/captured well over 1000 men, and I only lost 9 And I was way outnumbered (the reinforcements kept comming in, and my archers were out of ammo despite my conservation of arrows)

    The casualties were mainly my cavalry who were chasing down the enemy general and his catapult and Balista perched on the other side, (and of course running the enemy off the map when the final routing happened) though I did lose 4 feudal Seargents when the enemy Spearmen touched my front line.

    In reality only 1 unit of seargents, my cavalry (generals unit among them) actually fought in combat, the rest just stood there looking pretty in the formation I had drawn.

    Such a victory is really cool and it is so satisfying to see a field dominated by enemy corpses with barely one or two of your own to be seen



    "Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it."

  13. #13
    Chief Sniffer Senior Member ichi's Avatar
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    EarthShogun:

    Several differing views above. Different people have different strengths, styles, strategies. The best idea is to lure the enemy just across the bridge and then smash with many units from all sides.

    My advice is to rotate your units off the bridge when they start to get tired. If you send a Yari unit across, watch as the unit's number of men drops. The fatigue will also increase, as shown by an ever diminishing number of bars on the unit's icon at the bottom. You can also hold the cursor over the unit to assess its current state.

    As you send a unit across have a reinforcement unit waiting just outside archer range, ready to take their place on the bridge.

    When the unit on the bridge is Very Tired or Exhausted, or when the number of men is reduced to 30 -35% of original, charge the reinforcements onto the brisge. once they are in place pull the original unit back out of archer range and rest em as long as possible.

    If you wait too long to pull a unit out they will rout when you do. Sometimes they will rally, sometimes not

    Only place one or two units at a time on the bridge until you think you are able to push across, or the enemy runs out of archers.

    I don't take a lot of archers, always save fast cav for the chase after I'm across, and lead with my weakest units first.

    Remember to use spears against horses whenever the enemy charges the bridge with cav.

    ichi
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  14. #14
    Member Member Balamir's Avatar
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    aha bridges eh? theyre tricky but I enjoy em a lot. I like hills too I like anything except those steppes they use in mp they simply bore me to death. I mean what strategy of land can you use if they are totally flat? if you beat the map you beat the enemy. and there, you have no choices. its simply flat. (please note that I always attack too, dont think I like hills coz I defend). Anyway its not the subject.

    What I suggest for a bridge on STWi I dunno. On MTW, I'd suggest you shoot as many men as you can and then send a unit that you can sacrifice.Send them as attacking. the enemy will attack you probably before you cross the bridge. set them on defence and hold formation. (they should be a unit of good armor and good defence.) then you need to send your key to victory: naptha throwers It is very important that you send only 1 unit of yours to defend the enemy units because otherwise the dumb napthas cant get through the other units you sent, to shoot simply. When your napthas are in range, make em shoot . 1,2,3 and the enemy will start routing. then take all your army and cross the bridge. Thats my way, otherwise its just a massacre for me
    cheers

  15. #15

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    Not to argue with you Balamir, but a couple of points to bear in mind...

    He asked about STW, and the presence of seige equipment and naptha throwers, while accurately treated in the above response, doesn't figure into STW.

    Also, for MTW, not everyone can get naptha throwers, although the possibility that they might be waiting for my advance units underscores why I start with expendables, and have missile units in range of the far side of the bridge before starting across. (which is similar to current army doctrine for a river crossing.)

  16. #16
    Member Member Balamir's Avatar
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    Yeh I know the thread was for STW, sorry to ppost my idea here but I just didnt want to open a whole new thread to give my opinion. so that there isnt a jumble of threads on.

    And second, you are correct once again. Naptha is used by Byzantines, Turks, Egyptians, Almohads ..Im not quite sure if they are used in other factions. So my strategy rather works if you're one of these factions(which in MP you can choose). Sorry if I caused a dissettle mate

  17. #17
    Senior Member Senior Member econ21's Avatar
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    I find bridge assaults very hard, especially in STW for some reason. Not sure I ever cracked it. One cheesy solution is to go in with overwhelming force. If you are lucky, the AI will not contest the province. If it does contest it, I seem to recall the autoresolve often did better than I do. (Kinda like castle assaults in MTW before VI).

  18. #18
    Floating Man Member Wilbo's Avatar
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    I did a bridge cross on Shogun the other day...

    Enemy had Yari Samurai waiting on the other side, so I had a good go with some Yari Ashigaru, who got a pretty good panning, so I purposely routed em, and the Samurai follwed

    I enclosed my forces as the Saumrai came off the bridge, and ripped 'em apart

    I then sent my own Yari Samurai across and into the waiting Yari Cavalry, who I *barely* beat back (should have tried the rout again&#33, and Hey Preesto Im across

    Great Game.

  19. #19
    For TosaInu and the Org Senior Member The_Emperor's Avatar
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    Congratulations on your successful crossing.

    As i said a fake retreat is good to draw the enemy out of their position and invites them to pursue... To their deaths.

    My Understanding is that historically the Mongols used a similar tactic in many battles. But generally its a very effective strategy on bridges.
    "Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it."

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