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Thread: My Gold Code Day report

  1. #1
    Shaidar Haran Senior Member SAM Site Champion Myrddraal's Avatar
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    Default My Gold Code Day report

    Last Wednesday, I attended the M2TW Gold Code day. There were several 'sessions' throughout the day, so unfortunately I didn't see Lusted, but I did meet FrogBeastEgg and shireknight from the .com, as well as Bombasticus Maximus (who was replacing Tibilicus)

    One of the things I wanted to test straight away was the effectiveness of artillery in battle. In the vids I saw cannons wiping out entire units of cavalry in one fell swoop, and I wanted to confirm my hopes that this was exaggerated for effect in the videos.

    So I started a custom battle - Venice Vs Egypt, ford battle.

    The first thing I noticed was the scenery. It really is stunning The water effects as the enemy crossed the ford seemed too good to be true, and the landscape looked life-like.

    The second thing I noticed were the unit graphics. You've all seen the pics, they are great, but what I hadn't realised was how good the idle animations were. In RTW I'd got used to ranks of men rigidly standing to attention, but in M2 the men just moved naturally.


    My hope were confirmed, the cannons weren't killing machines, and now you can tell your crews to drop and pick them up like siege equipment in RTW, a nice feature.

    I won the battle, but then again the armies were balanced and they were attacking across a river.


    Next I played a campaign, I chose Spain and went for Hard campaign, Hard battles. Here are some points that impressed me with the campaign.

    The recruitment system. I like it. It'll take some getting used to. I'm used to building one unit a turn to build up an army, and leaving the production queue empty because I can raise the men later seems odd, but it does make the game more realistic and interesting.

    I then decided to go crush El Cid. First attempt I attacked with a force that was too weak. El Cid sallied and crushed me.

    Second attempt I brought up a larger force, larger than his.

    I decided to assault the castle with 1 ram, 1 siege tower, and three ladders.

    The ram I placed opposite the gate, with a tower and a set of ladders on the walls on either side.

    Another set of ladders I put opposite a section of wall with a corner in it. At the last minute I planned to swing the ladders to the other side of the corner and try to get up the walls before they could react.

    And the last set of ladders I set up far to the left flank.



    I had a fairly cavalry based army, so I was horrified when they burned my Ram! I would not have to storm the heavily defended walls and attempt to open the gate.

    Well the battle for the walls was fierce, and I was particularly impressed when the enemy sallied with some cavalry to attempt to destroy my rams! I've never seen the AI sally in a siege before!

    After a hard fought battle, I finally held the gate (fighting still continued on one side of it). I opened the gate, my cavalry swarmed through, and the battle was soon over.

    Diplomacy. I'm really impressed by this, really. The demeanor box is really helpful, and I managed to make two good deals (trade and alliances) with the moors and portugese. I also gave them map info to sweeten the deal and hopefully gain their favor. They were delighted!

    But that's not what impressed me most. I was planning to betray the Portugese, and so I set up a fort on my side of the border, but near their city in the north of spain. There I gathered my armies, but! once I moved some more men there and the army got big enough to be threatening a message popped up telling me my relations with portugal were suffering! I'm really impressed by that.

    I actually felt I should sent a diplomat to formally call off the alliance before attacking. This upset our mutual allies the moors, but less than betrayal would have, and I feared gaining a reputation as a traitor.

    The missions were fun too. The council of nobles asked me to capture the Cid's town, and gave me money when I did. The pope then informed me that this newly captured province wasn't catholic enough for his liking, and if I got that up to 64% he would give me money. The pope also paid me to build churches in my provinces! He gave me more money for completing the church than the church cost. I did get a 'blockade this port' mission from the nobles, but at least now they say 'for at least three turns', which makes these missions a bit more meaningful.



    Then we played a LAN battle! This was my first MP battle in the tw series ever. It was me and Bombasticus Maximus vs Froggy and shireknight. Bombasticus was deployed up a cliffy hill with a large manor/monastery/big building at the top to my right. shireknight was opposite him and froggy opposite me.

    I showed my lack of MP experience by private chatting with shireknight (thinking he was bombasticus) and telling him that I planned to join him up the hill... That was a laugh!

    Then, soon after the game began, I automatically pressed pause. A message appeared on everyone's screen that the game would only pause if all players paused, much to everyone's amusement.

    Approx deployment of Froggy's and my forces.


    The game was great fun. I beat Froggy (yay), but shireknight beat Bombasticus. The survivors regrouped and raced to the top of the hill. I had a tiny force left (about 30 cav, 20/25 inf and 40 archers maybe). Bombasticus tipped me off that his cavalry were the main threat, so as soon as he moved his cavalry towards my archers, I committed everything to his isolated horse units before the infantry could catch up. The casualties were mainly cavalry, his were almost all killed or routed, his general killed, mine were almost all gone (my general had about 5, and a couple of other units had 1 or 2).

    There was then a more protracted fight between his surviving infantry and cavalry and my depleted infantry. I decided to throw my archers into the melee, but couldn't work out how to turn skirmish off! (perhaps that would have won me the day )

    Meanwhile about 4 infantry and my 5 generals bodyguard snuck around the back of the smaller building and attacked his archers. After routing one unit I charged into the back of the main melee.

    At this point my general died and his unit was eliminated. It seemed like it might be over, my units were all routing (apart from one who had rallied further back).

    Then there was a brief struggle between in which those surviving 10 or so infantry defeated a group of his stragglers. In heroic style, then then charged his main force, arrows flying about them, never flinching till they were all dead with about 50 arrows in the each.

    By this time I had managed to rally a small force (I'm talking small, maybe 12 archers), and there was a final shootout where his final two surviving archer units beat mine.

    He won, with about 12 infantry, and two units of archer of about 15 to 20 each. Close!

    However, I claim the moral victory, I had more kills than him at the end

    Great fun.

    Then we had some time to ask a few questions. My main questions were modding related. I asked if there were any plans to release utilities such as CAS or Pack extractors. They said there was talk of doing so, but nothing official etc.

    If I think of anything else, I'll post again, but my main impressions of the game were very promising. I might have to play some more MP

  2. #2
    blaaaaaaaaaarg! Senior Member Lusted's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Gold Code Day report

    Nice report Myddraal, good to see you enjoying the game(though my reports better! )

  3. #3

    Default Re: My Gold Code Day report

    "couldn't work out how to turn skirmish off!"

    Same hotkey as Rome, "S" :P

    "I might have to play some more MP"

    :D

    Glad you had fun :)

  4. #4
    Enlightened Despot Member Vladimir's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Gold Code Day report

    That's amazing! Talk about small unit tactics.


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  5. #5

    Default Re: My Gold Code Day report

    Thanks Myrddraal for the detailed LAN battle report. It appears that troop morale was quite high towards the end of the battle with these small units fighting to the last man even after the generals were dead. This might be due to battlefield upgrades. If you can recall details of the battle earlier when fighting Froggy, I'd be interested in hearing about that.
    Last edited by Puzz3D; 11-09-2006 at 16:52.

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  6. #6
    Shaidar Haran Senior Member SAM Site Champion Myrddraal's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Gold Code Day report

    I can recal some details.


    That wasn't actually our initial deployment. I started down the hill. When the battle began I marched all of my army up the hill to the positions you see there, with three units of cavarly provinding a temporary and fast moving line to stop froggy rushing my rear.

    As I marched, Froggy moved forward. I was intending to make it as far as the buildings (marked in grey) to regroup with my ally, but my three units of heavily armoured halberdiers were holding me up and Froggy was bringing up her archers, so I about faced and set up in the position you see above.

    The circles are cavalry, and the lines infantry. The first line of infantry were archers, placed up the hill, with the unit furthest to the right almost on top of the cliff. The second rank were spearmen of some kind, and swordsmen (there were actually 6 units, not 3 as I've shown, three spear, three sword I think). I kept my tired haldberdiers in reserve.

    I deployed one unit of light cavalry up the cliff, and the remainder of my cavalry (which must have been 4 units, not three) on the left flank. My General is the dot at the back.


    Because of my superior position, my archers were able to loose at Froggy's troops before she could fire back, so Froggy advanced towards me. She charged with a unit of cavalry and most of her infantry into my infantry line, and sent cavalry to tie down my cavalry on the left.

    I responded by bringing some halberdiers into the battle, charging my general to tip the cavalry battle on the left into my favour, and attempt to flank with my remaining cavalry man.

    This worked, my cavalry got behind and rode up the back of Froggy's line in an attempt to cause a rout. I then charged the unprotected archers. I also commited all my halberdiers.

    Some archers routed, and Froggy's general was killed. Mass rout occured amonst the infantry. The cavalry lasted a bit longer, and killed a lot of mine.

    I make it sound like it was easy, but it wasn't. I'd lost a lot of men. When I checked up on my ally, I got confused with the flags. I thought my ally was winning, so indulged in a bit of router hunting, and that was that.

  7. #7

    Default Re: My Gold Code Day report

    Yes, do come and play some MP, Myddraal. I want a rematch

    To add my own 2 pence on the lan battle, I'll start by saying it's been something like a year since I've played any TW game, excepting a tiny dabble with GothMod BI and one playthrough of the original demo. Two effects from that: my skills are very rusty, and it's hard to compare directly to old memories. That said, I'll try and add something useful.

    The game definitely felt closer to the few MP MTW games I played than RTW. One thing which played a major part in my tactics and defeat demonstrates this excellently: my halbard heavy infantry was so slow it couldn't keep up with the rest of my army properly. I kept having to halt my march for it to catch up, it didn't tie in with my infantry assault properly (it lagged behind the dismounted knights, meaning I hit in one solid wave and 3 straggling units which then broke quickly), and it wasn't suited to marching up a lot of steep hills under missile fire to fight enemy heavy infantry. Bad news for my assault; good news for the game IMO. In RTW I wouldn't have cared about having ultra heavy infantry in my army; in MTW I would never, ever have selected a unit like that for the task ahead of me. I'd have picked infantry with the best balance of speed, armour, morale and attack, something like the old men at arms series of units. The armies were presets; we couldn't pick our units.

    Another such detail was the effect of the extra height on Myrddraal's archers. Again in RTW I wouldn't have cared much. In MTW I'd have searched for any other possible way to approach, and failing that I'd have prevented much missile usage by engaging swiftly. The map left me no choice but to slog up the steep hill along preset trails. I did try a brief bit of missile dueling, but was pleased to find it was futile. I was out-ranged, taking more damage and dealing out less. Height matters. Sort of reminded me of good old Shogun.

    Cavalry don't disengage so easily. In RTW I could have pulled back and charged in again quite a few times. Not so here. Getting an effective charge also appears much harder. Cavalry requires much more thought now. Good.

    The pace was fine. I'm so out of practice my preference I'd have kept to a small army, 10 -14 units, but still I managed to keep up with my massive force.

    If I hadn't had those halbards slowing me down I'd have rushed forward and tried to hit Myddraal at a certain point when he was marching; we'd have been on fairly equal ground then, and I might have caught him in disorder. I thought it too risky to try that when I'd have been leaving half my infantry (1/4 of my melee force) behind, fighting against an army which was the same size as mine and with what appears to be similar units.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  8. #8

    Default Re: My Gold Code Day report

    Quote Originally Posted by frogbeastegg
    The armies were presets; we couldn't pick our units.
    Do you think your units had upgrades? I'm wondering if morale is high enough that multiplayer can be played without upgrades. Palamedes said the game was designed to be played at 10k so that the money limits the number of elite units that can be purchased..


    Quote Originally Posted by frogbeastegg
    The game definitely felt closer to the few MP MTW games I played than RTW. One thing which played a major part in my tactics and defeat demonstrates this excellently: my halbard heavy infantry was so slow it couldn't keep up with the rest of my army properly.
    I suppose you could have tried skirmishing the enemy archers to deplete their ammo. Then you could advance slowly with your infantry and use an anti-cav infantry unit to help your cavalry win on the flank. If you can win on the flank, your cav could then attack the rear of Myrddraal's battleline, while it is engaged with your infantry frontally, and possible rout his battleline.

    Thanks for the battle reports.

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  9. #9
    blaaaaaaaaaarg! Senior Member Lusted's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Gold Code Day report

    Do you think your units had upgrades? I'm wondering if morale is high enough that multiplayer can be played without upgrades. Palamedes said the game was designed to be played at 10k so that the money limits the number of elite units that can be purchased..
    Definitely, in the LAN battle i played at the event morale was definitely good enough for long drawn out combat.

  10. #10

    Default Re: My Gold Code Day report

    Quote Originally Posted by Puzz3D
    Do you think your units had upgrades?
    I confess I don't recall precisely what upgrades and valour they had; I'm so exhausted by the last few days that much of Wednesday is a fuzzy blur. My not remembering anything indicates upgrades were either not present or not remarkable; I'm sure I'd remember another hyped up Agincourt style army. Also a hyped up army like that would have behaved differently; I wouldn't have seen my infantry wavering as soon as I did if they were high valour. NB, they wavered and didn't run for a good time, and they wavered in very fitting circumstances.
    Frogbeastegg's Guide to Total War: Shogun II. Please note that the guide is not up-to-date for the latest patch.


  11. #11
    Shaidar Haran Senior Member SAM Site Champion Myrddraal's Avatar
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    Default Re: My Gold Code Day report

    I don't think there were any upgrades...

    @Froggy. A rematch it is then! I haven't actually played since the day, but a new computer is on it's way. Soon...
    Last edited by Myrddraal; 11-11-2006 at 01:31.

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