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Thread: defending against wall breaches

  1. #1

    Default defending against wall breaches

    Playing as Seleucids on hard/hard right now, and I'm finding that levy pikemen aren't as great as I thought they were. During sieges in early game, AI will always choose to assault with 2-3 battering rams against your wooden walls. I placed a phalanx of levy pikes in front of every breach and they AI break right into my formation with even relatively weak eastern infantry.
    Found out that if you place 2 phalanxes on each side of the breach with pikes facing each other, the assaulters will never make it through the gauntlet of 18ft. long pikes. Illustration:

    _________ ___________ (wall with breach)
    >>>> > > >

  2. #2

    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    I understand your tactic but your illustration doesn't work. Either that, or I'm completely confused. Your tactc is very good, my friend was the one to introduce it to me.

  3. #3

    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    LOL it worked on my screen don't know why it changed when I post.

    Try one more time:

    WWWWW WWWWWW (wall with breach)
    PPPPPP PPPPPPP
    PPPPPP PPPPPPP
    PPPPPP PPPPPPP (2 phalanx units)
    PPPPPPPPP
    PPPPPPPPP (optional 3rd phalanx)

    hows that? hope it works.....

  4. #4

    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    aaaahhh.....I give up. you know what I mean though

  5. #5
    Robot Unicorn Member Kekvit Irae's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    It's the same tactic used for defending bridge assaults with Phalanx units.



    A single line of phalanx will not prevent the infantry from spilling out to the sides, eventually surrounding your unit. Supporting infantry on both sides will.

  6. #6
    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    yup and the funny thing is, it is in your instinct to do that cuz most players do that while nobody told them

    We do not sow.

  7. #7
    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    and this is good for surroundings

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  8. #8
    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    ah it screwed up but it supposed to be a box

    We do not sow.

  9. #9

    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Yeah, I know it kind of obvious but the important part of it is not actually boxing them in on three sides but to focus on the 2 sides perpendicular to breach or bridge or whatever. The enemy hardly ever makes it to the third "capping" unit.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Senior Member Jacque Schtrapp's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    It is always fun to wait until the enemy has sent his entire army to try and exploit a wall breach and then run your cavalry out the city gates and pile into him from the rear: instant rout.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Senior Member katank's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Ya know, putting the phalanx right next to the wall and enabling phalanx allows the pikes to stick through? You can thus kill many of the enemy men operating the ram. By the time they finish ramming, you likely killed a unit of em already.

    Just make sure to move your guys away when the walls collapse or you'll lose a bunch.

  12. #12

    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    good idea katank. Didn't try it before cuz I guess it didn't "physically" make sense as far as real world physics are concerned. I love game gliches

  13. #13
    Merkismathr of Birka Member PseRamesses's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Two darn annoying things with wall defence:

    1. If I move my defending unit too close to the wall or gate it has difficulties with staying in formation and...
    2. ...my phalanxes doesn┤t hold formation/ position when they┤ve been attacked and the attackers are withdrawing/ routing and breaks formation to go after them... arrgh I do miss the old MTW "hold" command. Any solutions?

  14. #14
    A Barbarian Mercenary Member unseen11's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Quote Originally Posted by PseRamesses
    2. ...my phalanxes doesn┤t hold formation/ position when they┤ve been attacked and the attackers are withdrawing/ routing and breaks formation to go after them... arrgh I do miss the old MTW "hold" command. Any solutions?
    Use Guard mode so they wont chase after the routers when attacked.

  15. #15

    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    I really see no need to defend the breech. Whenever I play a phalanx faction, I find it a lot easier to just defend the street leading to the town square. I am sure a lot of you would agree..

  16. #16
    Member Member dismal's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Quote Originally Posted by Romeus Petrus
    I really see no need to defend the breech. Whenever I play a phalanx faction, I find it a lot easier to just defend the street leading to the town square. I am sure a lot of you would agree..
    I almost always sally out and lure the enemy into a fight in front of the walls. Pikemen/archer combos are excellent for this.

    You don't lose the use of your city that way.

  17. #17

    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Pharoah bowmen outranges my archers (seleucids). It sucks. Whenever I sally out, they stand off jsut out of range (even with my archers standing on the wall) and shoot the crap out of my phalanx. I always send my army out the side door and form up with the wall protecting one flank and my cav on the other (all elephants and chariots). While the AI moves to engage, they come within range of my walls with all my archers on top Can never seem to find merc cretans, but I heard they were good.

    I stuck a levy pike phalanx on the street once, a 6* general punched through it with his eastern infantry, so I stopped doing that. Maybe my 1* general gave them too much valor discrepancy? The AI also never seems to want to go down the streets I block......hmmm I wonder why that is.

  18. #18
    Vermonter and Seperatist Member Uesugi Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    If I have phalanxes I try to hold the walls if there are stone walls, otherwise I just defend the nice narrow streets. Getting hoplite mercs as Romans is awesome, just put heavy infantry on the walls and phalanxes in the streets.
    "A man's dying is more his survivor's affair than his own."
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  19. #19
    Merkismathr of Birka Member PseRamesses's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Quote Originally Posted by unseen11
    Use Guard mode so they wont chase after the routers when attacked.
    They are on "guard mode" but still breaks formation and regroups or chase the routers. Maybee this has something to do with RTR?

  20. #20
    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Quote Originally Posted by Marquis of Roland
    good idea katank. Didn't try it before cuz I guess it didn't "physically" make sense as far as real world physics are concerned. I love game gliches
    That would be possible with a Maori Fort and it would withstand catapult shots better then a more solid wall as well...
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  21. #21
    Amanuensis Member pezhetairoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Ah BUT! There isn't a faction called 'Maori' in RTW. ;-) Though it'd be cool to see it, instead of the pre-battle speech they would do the Haka.


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  22. #22
    Member Member dismal's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Quote Originally Posted by Marquis of Roland
    Pharoah bowmen outranges my archers (seleucids). It sucks. Whenever I sally out, they stand off jsut out of range (even with my archers standing on the wall) and shoot the crap out of my phalanx. I always send my army out the side door and form up with the wall protecting one flank and my cav on the other (all elephants and chariots). While the AI moves to engage, they come within range of my walls with all my archers on top Can never seem to find merc cretans, but I heard they were good.

    I stuck a levy pike phalanx on the street once, a 6* general punched through it with his eastern infantry, so I stopped doing that. Maybe my 1* general gave them too much valor discrepancy? The AI also never seems to want to go down the streets I block......hmmm I wonder why that is.
    Being outranged is a significant problem for my sally out strategy, but fortunately it seldom happens in a material way. If you know the enemy will have an archer unit that outranges you, it's best to have 2-3 conventional archer unit to engage it with.

    Basically, my plan works something like this:
    3 or so units of archers on arrayed on the walls (or just behind if all you've got is wood)
    3 or so units of pikes just in front of the walls
    2 or so units of archers to taunt the enemy
    1-2 optional units of cav to ride down isolated enemy units/taunt
    Obviously, more is better but the above is usually enough to fend off a stack with minimal losses.

    The general idea is that you set up a kill zone in front of the walls that the enemy won't enter.

    They will pull back. Then you send out your taunting archers to shoot them while they stand there - shooting the general's unit is a good way to taunt the AI.

    The AI will usually get tired of this and send a unit after the archers. Foot units are no problem. Your archers simply out-run them back to the wall. They reach the kill zone, take enormous fire, and head back - giving you some opportunity to put some arrows in their backs with your front archers.

    More often, the AI will send some cav after your taunting archers. This is where the phalanx units come in. You want to try and time it so the archers make it back to the pikes, who take the brunt of the charge. Faced with a row of pikes and a haze of arrows, cav don't last long. Even if they rout your pikes, they are pretty close to the gate and most will survive and be available again.

    There are a few variations of this depending on the mix of troops on both sides. Light/missile Cav can also do a good of taunting. But this basic approach generally gets the 10-1 loss ratio we like to see. Often the enemy gets frustrated and "heads for the hills". Sometimes they simply get weakened to the point where you march out and crush them. Occasionally they will rush their whole stack at you and you run inside your gates and shoot them while they stand there.

    Plus, if you sally out before the enemy has siege equipment the worst you can get is a draw.

  23. #23
    Hǫr­ar Member Viking's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Quote Originally Posted by Romeus Petrus
    I really see no need to defend the breech. Whenever I play a phalanx faction, I find it a lot easier to just defend the street leading to the town square. I am sure a lot of you would agree..
    It`s scary how I recognise using this method defending my settlements.

    Imagine if the AI could do this, that`s even more scary!
    Actually the AI would be challenging.
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  24. #24
    Elephant Master Member Conqueror's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Nah it would be very easy to counter it. Just get some archers/slingers and shoot the phalanx to pieces. What is sad is that the AI is too dumb to figure out and use this counter. Usually it just runs all of it's units into the pikewall.

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  25. #25

    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Dismal, I agree with what you're saying, in fact I already use your strategy when it applies. My problem is that the Pharoah bowmen outranges my archers SO much that they're shooting them off the walls when my archers on the walls STILL aren't in range of them.
    I play on huge unit size, so it takes awhile to run any kind of unit in and out of the gates. If I run my phalanx out there first, they'll take tremendous arrow fire from their pharoah bowmen before they can even set up into a phalanx. This arrow fire will last for a couple volleys, and then they'll attempt to rush my still unformed phalanx line with everything they've got to try to surround and flank my bottleneck at the gate. Regular phalanx pikes can survive such an attack: levy pikes or worse militia hoplites tend not to.
    If I send my bowmen out there as skirmishers (which I don't have a lot of, I usually don't use them in my attacking armies and when I take over a settlement I usually build only 2-3 archer units for defense) they'll get shot up and possibly charged by his cav, and they won't be able to run back in because my phalanxes are all trying to run out.
    That's my problem right now, the eggy's archers are outranging everything I have, even my wall defenses.

  26. #26
    Member Member lilljonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Marquis: outshooting the eggies is hopeless. Also, sallying out with cavalry is a Bad Idea (tm), since they'll most often just kill you without effort with combined chariots and desert cavalry. Instead, pull back and slay them in the streets with the phalanxes, and hope that they don't bring too many axemen.
    G˘tt mos, Lennart.

  27. #27
    Member Member lilljonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    However, in my games, the eggies tend to (stupidly enough) venture within range as long as they have towers and rams, as if escorting their friends towards a cold and slingshot induced death. Just remember to keep some good troops on the walls, as even their spearmen will kill most ranged units in a fight.

    Typically, all infantry will march towards the walls with their equipment, while the cavalry and chariots sit absolutely still for the entire siege at the deployment area.
    G˘tt mos, Lennart.

  28. #28
    Member Member dismal's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Quote Originally Posted by Marquis of Roland
    Dismal, I agree with what you're saying, in fact I already use your strategy when it applies. My problem is that the Pharoah bowmen outranges my archers SO much that they're shooting them off the walls when my archers on the walls STILL aren't in range of them.
    I never experienced this. I'm in a VH/VH Seleucid campaign and conquered Egpyt without ever seeing more than a few units of Pharoah's bowmen.

    When I did get one, the AI would pullthe p-bowmen back with the rest of the units out of range of the walls. I never had trouble getting my units out.

    Then, I'd basically just outnumber it. I'd bring out maybe 3 units of archers, set them to spread, and double click on the P-bowmen. This'd cost a half a unit or so of archers but it got the job done.


    I play on huge unit size, so it takes awhile to run any kind of unit in and out of the gates. If I run my phalanx out there first, they'll take tremendous arrow fire from their pharoah bowmen before they can even set up into a phalanx. This arrow fire will last for a couple volleys, and then they'll attempt to rush my still unformed phalanx line with everything they've got to try to surround and flank my bottleneck at the gate. Regular phalanx pikes can survive such an attack: levy pikes or worse militia hoplites tend not to.
    Hmmm. This just doesn't sound right to me. With enough archers up on the walls, they'll generally back off fast. What you may want to try is sending out a single unit as a sacrifice. If they all rush it, you have them in arrow range. I had a lot of success with this against barbarians. Your general makes pretty good bait.

    Also, you can get them in place faster by setting phalanx off and running them out.

    If this fails, Cretan archers can be found near Sardis, Rhodes, and of course Crete.

    If I send my bowmen out there as skirmishers (which I don't have a lot of, I usually don't use them in my attacking armies and when I take over a settlement I usually build only 2-3 archer units for defense) they'll get shot up and possibly charged by his cav, and they won't be able to run back in because my phalanxes are all trying to run out.
    That's my problem right now, the eggy's archers are outranging everything I have, even my wall defenses.
    Ah, see, my strategy uses a solid 5 units of archers. There needs to be withering arrow fire in the zone in front of the walls. My basic Seleucid army has been a general and pikes/archers in a 2-to-1 ratio or so, and probably a couple militia cav or mercs in the mix. This is an army that can both take and defend cities very effectively. (My offensive and defensive armies are almost always basically the same, since whatever defense I play is usually of a city I recently took.)

  29. #29

    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Hey Dismal.

    OK, number one I think the way the wall was shaped might have had something to do with it. The gateway I was guarding had the walls on either side DIAGONAL to the gatway, like so \__/.

    I put my archers on the diagonal walls (2 units only) thinking to get their rushing units into enfilading fire, and the egys had 3 p-bowmen units (I know, I've never seen more than 1 or 2 before either. I guess I should be thankful they don't send too much). The 2 p-bowmen units on their flanks had range on my archers on the walls, and my archers couldn't shoot back. Possible due to the angle of the wall? But if I put them on fire at will shouldn't the few that are IN range be shooting?

    The big problem I had again was they were shooting up my archers on top of the wall while my archers didn't have range (which is crazy they're standing up on a 50ft wall for cry out loud hahaha).

    I will try using my general as bait, but when I said I ran my phalanx out there I meant that they RAN, meaning they were in standard formation (sorry didn't clarify). I always try to keep my pikes in standard until the enemy is relatively close, then I order them into phalanx. I heard somewhere that they get tired more if they're in phalanx the whole time (dunno if its true or not).

    When I rushed out my levy pikes, they rushed their entire army of desert axemen and cav from 3 different directions to crush my now-forming bottleneck at the door. All this time their bowmen are shooting up my tightly packed pikes trying to get out of the door. My 2 archer units couldn't faze them charging full tilt at the gateway. Luckily, I had some real pikemen (phalanx pikes) behind the levies, and when the levies broke and couldn't run back in, they fought to the death. Eventually the sheer volume and density of pikes coming out of the door broke their army, but not before most of my four leading levy units were pretty much wasted.

    Now using 5 archer units would probably have broken up their charge. I usually don't like to have too many archers in single player because of the micromanagment involved but will definitely try it out. Right now (in my late game) my "silver shield" armies consist of:

    1 generals unit
    1 companion cav
    2 cataphracts
    4 armored elephants (for flanking missile support)
    6 silver shield pikes
    4 silver shield legionnaires (to protect phalanx flanks)
    2 cretan archers

    Shall I take out 2 armored elephants for 2 more cretan archers?

  30. #30
    Amanuensis Member pezhetairoi's Avatar
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    Default Re: defending against wall breaches

    Usually my defensive strategy is not to defend at all, but to strike the enemy with a mobile army in relief. This is because my garrisons rarely consist of anything more than a mercenary unit depleted in the storming of the city (I play Scythian, see.), so needless to say it's pretty useless as a defence against a fullstack. Besides, my HA do more damage in the field, and I can't afford to keep any HA as garrisons because I need every bow in the field where the fate of factions are decided. But this is also generally true of all the other factions I play. I hate to defend a city unless it functions as a fort, like when I was playing Germania invading Italy, and I needed to keep a strong 8-unit garrison in Mediolanium to hold off all invading Gaulish armies.


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