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Thread: When Fighting The Spanish?

  1. #1

    Default When Fighting The Spanish?

    hey. i've been playing as the Julii and i am having moderate success against the Gaul, gowever The Spaniard are really presenting a difficulty. as soon as my units engage, they seem to rout almost immediately, and this ends in a slaughter. i just lost Osca in this way. are there any tips for dealing with them?

    also, i hear a lot of talk of 'unit depth'. now does this mean how many men are in one paticular unit (if so, how do you change this?) or how many units you use behind one another (i.e. 4 units of hastati, one behind the other, would give a unit depth of 4)?

    PS anyone that was involved with my 'crashes on startup' thread may like to know that it *was* a heat problem. my fan was dying. so thanks for all your help in that thread.

  2. #2
    Elephant Master Member Conqueror's Avatar
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    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    What exactly is happening to your units when they start to rout? I don't recall the spanish being very tough to take on with romans.

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    Member Member *Ringo*'s Avatar
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    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    I also didn't have a problem with the Spanish, like most barbarians they seem to be weak against the power of the Roman military machine. What type of units are you up against & what units did you take? Were you fighting uphill, under missile fire, being flanked? All these things have an effect on morale & a soon as poor quality troops see their mates beaten to a pulp, they don't stick around. Try taking one of your better Generals and keep him in close support of your weakest troops.

    Unit depth refers to the number of men deep each unit is. For example an 80 man unit of Hastati could be formed up 20 men wide by 4 men deep. In this case the unit depth would be 4! So unit depth can be useful when preparing to accept a cavalry charge or not so useful when in hand-to-hand melee (men at the back of the formation cannot hit anyone).
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    Scourge of God Member Count Belisarius's Avatar
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    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garik
    hey. i've been playing as the Julii and i am having moderate success against the Gaul, gowever The Spaniard are really presenting a difficulty. as soon as my units engage, they seem to rout almost immediately, and this ends in a slaughter.

    also, i hear a lot of talk of 'unit depth'. now does this mean how many men are in one paticular unit (if so, how do you change this?) or how many units you use behind one another (i.e. 4 units of hastati, one behind the other, would give a unit depth of 4)?
    Hmmm. Interesting. I have never had any trouble handling the Iberians absent significant Roman numerical inferiority. Unless the Spanish collapse around the flanks with overwhelming numbers, my Romans almost always crush the Spanish fairly easily. Even early "light" Roman hastati have little trouble holding their own against main-line Iberian Infantry. The Naked Fanatics are very vulnerable to missile fire, and are not much of a threat unless you allow them to get among your missile troops unmolested.

    Not knowing more about your troop mix, tactics, and game settings, I am shooting in the dark here, but . . .

    One possible explanation is a lack of adequate cavalry and/or anti-cavalry support. The traditional Roman troop mix emphasizes infantry over cavalry; and if the often-numerous Spanish cavalry scatters your skirmishers and routs your cavalry, you will be in real trouble. My Roman armies typically have at least a 6:2 infantry to cavalry ratio, and even the base Roman cavalry - if deployed in sufficient numbers - will serve to protect the infantry, which is the real killing machine of the Roman army. If you are short on cavalry, placing spearmen (Samnite mercenaries, triarii, or auxilia) on the flanks should suffice to fend off those pesky, swarming Round Shield Cavalrymen (or Light Lancers or Greek Cavalry or Barbarian Cavalry, etc.).

    Another possible explanation for your routing problem is a failure to include a decent general in your army stack, or using a general who has character traits that decrease morale. Placing even an average general close behind your main line should keep your men from routing so quickly.

    The issue of unit depth was addressed by a previous poster while I was typing this, so I've edited that part out.

    On H difficulty, a single line of Roman infantry (deployed 4 deep) with one or two units in reserve usually will do the job. That way, you can extend your line beyond the enemy's flanks (this is especially effective against pike phalanx units that have limited frontage), and execute a single or even double envelopment. Your first line of infantry only needs to hold long enough for you to deal with enemy cavalry or skirmisher flankers, and for you then to envelop one or both of the enemy's flanks. If you protect your own flanks, once you are running amok in the enemy's rear, he should rout in fairly short order.

    Finally, you may want to look at what game difficulty you are playing. A VH battlefield difficulty setting makes your troops weaker and more likely to rout (I THINK), and the AI troops correspondingly stronger. On VH difficulty, you will need to shorten your frontage and deploy more men in reserve. Keep an eye on your first line's status; and when they start to get tired or uncertain, send your reserves charging into the fray.
    Last edited by Count Belisarius; 03-29-2005 at 15:05.
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    Just another genius Member aw89's Avatar
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    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    actually, M is hardest, the bonus to attack (positive bonus) and moral (negative bonus) both the ai AND you get... so this results in short battles were the strongest units wins VERY fast. (results in chain rout quickly)


  6. #6

    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Garik
    also, i hear a lot of talk of 'unit depth'. now does this mean how many men are in one paticular unit (if so, how do you change this?) or how many units you use behind one another (i.e. 4 units of hastati, one behind the other, would give a unit depth of 4)?
    I'm pretty sure by "unit depth" people mean number of ranks in a unit (ie a hastati unit of six ranks deep).
    'Hannibal had been the victor at Cannae, and as if the Romans had good cause to boast that you have only strength enough for one blow, and that like a bee that has left its sting you are now inert and powerless.'

  7. #7
    Senior member Senior Member Dutch_guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    the only unit I've ever experianced trouble with are those Bull Warriors, the rest of the units are just crap, you should alway's have a good general with your army , and if you can, build those principes ! they are way better than those hastati, not due to their stats, but they just have better morale
    other than that you could try and field cav. heavy army's that should probably solve your problems with Spain ( never had a cav. all army, wouldn't know for sure if it's way better )
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  8. #8

    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    I know you can change unit depth by clicking and dragging on the unit. But is there a way to change unit depth "permanently" (at least until you tell them different) so they'll stay in that setup while you move them around?

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    Member Member dismal's Avatar
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    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    You almost can't even begin to discuss a question like this without specifying the degree of difficulty you're using.

    On VH, it doesn't take much for your line to collapse. I've lost whole armies of decent Roman troops to barbarian hordes even when not outnumbered or outflanked. An 8-star enemy general versus a captain, and you got problems.

    The mix of armies you have and they have is important too. Off the top of my head, the only thing special about the Spanish the Bull Warriors. They're probably going to beat more roman units straight up than any other barbarian infantry. The Spanish seem quite fond of javelins as well, but if you've mixed your troops that shouldn't be a big issue. At least you don't have to worry about snow.

  10. #10

    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    sorry, i'm playing medium/medium.

    Quote Originally Posted by Count Belisarius
    One possible explanation is a lack of adequate cavalry and/or anti-cavalry support. The traditional Roman troop mix emphasizes infantry over cavalry; and if the often-numerous Spanish cavalry scatters your skirmishers and routs your cavalry, you will be in real trouble. My Roman armies typically have at least a 6:2 infantry to cavalry ratio, and even the base Roman cavalry - if deployed in sufficient numbers - will serve to protect the infantry, which is the real killing machine of the Roman army. If you are short on cavalry, placing spearmen (Samnite mercenaries, triarii, or auxilia) on the flanks should suffice to fend off those pesky, swarming Round Shield Cavalrymen (or Light Lancers or Greek Cavalry or Barbarian Cavalry, etc.).
    i think this is my main problem.

  11. #11

    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rapidly
    I know you can change unit depth by clicking and dragging on the unit. But is there a way to change unit depth "permanently" (at least until you tell them different) so they'll stay in that setup while you move them around?
    My understanding is that a unit form does not change with movement, at least for the duration of battle. So maybe we are not on the same page here and I am missing something. What kind of a problem are you encountering with a unit? It should not shift shape on its own unless it is depleted due to loss of men.
    'Hannibal had been the victor at Cannae, and as if the Romans had good cause to boast that you have only strength enough for one blow, and that like a bee that has left its sting you are now inert and powerless.'

  12. #12

    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    Correction: Yes, it does shift shape as you move multiple units to a location, sometimes. I also found that frustrating after spending a good amount of time setting up my formation, and when I click on a location for the formation of units to move, they decide to disobey my orders.
    Last edited by BeeSting; 03-29-2005 at 20:55.
    'Hannibal had been the victor at Cannae, and as if the Romans had good cause to boast that you have only strength enough for one blow, and that like a bee that has left its sting you are now inert and powerless.'

  13. #13

    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    Thanks Bee, that's what I meant, they seem to go back to their default ranks when moving in groups. Would hate to have to micromanage every unit if there's no way to keep 'em in the formation I want. Oh well...

  14. #14

    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    I've found 2 basic reasons for insta rout. The first one is throwing troops with zero experience at hordes of barbarians who have some experience, and the second is fighting large battles with only a 1 or 2 star general means the radius of his anti rout effect is very small, and troops panic easily. Try to keep your general close to your infantry when things are thick. Also try to give your infantry adequate missile and cavalry support so they don't feel isolated out there.
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  15. #15
    Don't mess with the Beef, FOOL Member Beefy's Avatar
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    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    lol i steam rolled the iberians off the map
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  16. #16

    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rapidly
    Thanks Bee, that's what I meant, they seem to go back to their default ranks when moving in groups. Would hate to have to micromanage every unit if there's no way to keep 'em in the formation I want. Oh well...
    Well, when this happens, I move the army in piecemeal by groups (less micro managing but micro managing nonetheless). Or pause the battle, select a group, and then draw the entire group on its destination. But this means depleted units in that group will have less depth than the non-depleted ones. So this is my last resort and I settle for the "ctrl" plus left click, which will pretty much guarantee at least that groups will line up in similar angles.

    Ha ha

    You are right; you can't avoid micro managing in this game. That's part of the fun until you get tired of it really quick. And I lost the point of keeping my battle line tidy since the AI opponent has a habit of opening up gaps all over its line.
    'Hannibal had been the victor at Cannae, and as if the Romans had good cause to boast that you have only strength enough for one blow, and that like a bee that has left its sting you are now inert and powerless.'

  17. #17
    Member Member Benny Moore's Avatar
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    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    After you have a formation the way you want it, make it a group, or ungroup it and regroup it if it already is, and they will stay in that group for the rest of the battle. Actaully, they may fall out of the group on the way there (for example the cavalry will outrun the infantry), but whenever you order them somewhere, the group will end up in the same formation.

    They should have explained this in the manual.

  18. #18
    Member Member *Ringo*'s Avatar
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    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    I believe there is some information in the manual about grouping and unit facing but i can't be sure.

    In terms of adjusting unit depth you can click and drag obviously but i prefer to use the + & - keys. (dunno if it's different keys on other keyboards but mine is a UK one, check the manual) Remember though if you grouped the units before you change their depth, once moved, they will return to their original formation. What i do to get around this is select the group, adjust unit depth (using + & -), select a formation (shift-1 for example), then press "G" twice. This will un-group then group them in the new formation & unit depth. I have become quite adept at maneuvering infantry, most of my generals now have the Infantry Commander of Genius trait.

    Hope this helps.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    My experiece against the Spanish wasnt realy troublesome at all.

    They had large numbers and thats about it. They ended up becoming my protectorate.
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  20. #20

    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeSting
    Ha ha

    You are right; you can't avoid micro managing in this game. That's part of the fun until you get tired of it really quick. And I lost the point of keeping my battle line tidy since the AI opponent has a habit of opening up gaps all over its line.
    What's wrong with micro-managing? I almost always do it.
    It doesn't particularly annoy me.

  21. #21
    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    the spanish are pretty tough their scutarri are better then your priceps though not in defence and when they get devotio/bull warriors you're screwed

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  22. #22

    Default Re: When Fighting The Spanish?

    Bull Warriors are an excellent infantry, easily the best Spanish unit.. good luck with them.

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