Thread: How the Combat System Works

1. How the Combat System Works

Combat System:
---------------

Each man has an attack value and defend value used in calculating the chance to kill his opponent on each "strike" in a combat cycle. Each man who is fighting gets one "strike" within a combat cycle, but can parry many times.

chance to kill = 1.9% * 1.2 ^ df
difference factor df = attack - defend + bonus
attack is the attack value of the striker
defend is the defend value of the opponent
bonus is any combat modifier that applies
charge is added in as a combat modifier

Charge (from the Strategy Guide):

Clicking on an enemy unit causes your unit to go to charge speed once it gets close to the enemy unit. It takes 2 or 3 seconds to reach maximum charge speed (presumably from walking speed). A charging soldier makes immediate strikes against all opponents he contacts. Each time he fights a little momentum is lost. When sufficient momentum is lost, the charge ends and the soldier looses the charge bonus. (Note: we know now that running speed is above the momentum threshold for charge bonus. So, men moving at full running speed get the charge bonus if they contact enemy men.)

Pushback:

In an attack, the striker has a chance of pushing back his opponent which gives him a strong combat bonus on the next strike. Factors affecting the chance of pushback are: kill chance, advantage in supporting ranks, mounted vs foot. Charging cavalry always pushes back any foot soldier who is not facing him with a spear, pike or polearm. (Note: v1.1 patch altered spear, pike and polearm pushback so that charging cavalry has a chance to pushback these men even when they are facing the charging cavalryman.)

Combat Modifiers:
-----------------

Formations

+3 atk, -3 def for wedge formation
-2 atk, +2 def for hold formation

Spear/pikes

+1 def per rank (up to 2 for spear, 4 for pike)
+1 atk per 2 ranks when not charging
+1 atk per rank when charging
No rank bonuses in trees

Terrain

+1 atk for camels in sandy desert
-1 atk for camels in lush or temperate
-2 atk, -2 def for cavalry or camel in trees
Bonus to atk for being uphill (amount depends on height difference)
Penalty to atk for being downhill (amount depends on height difference)

Fear of camels

+4 def for camels against horses
+2 atk for camels against horses

Positional

+5 atk for flank attack
+7 atk for rear attack
+2 atk for charging into flank/rear
+6 atk on the following combat cycle after 'pushing back' the enemy
+5 atk when target squeezed too tight (examples: bridge, castle gate, overlapping units)

Exhaustion

-2 atk when quite tired
-3 atk, -1 def very tired
-4 atk, -2 def exhausted
-6 atk, -3 def totally exhausted

Routing

+4 atk against routing enemies
-8 def if routing

Armor Piercing

atk bonus = (target armor - 1)/2
(remove the contribution of the shield and horse to target's armor before making this calculation)

Shield

If striker hits target from the rear:
+2 atk if target is footman with large shield
+1 atk if target is mounted or footman with small shield

Distance and Speed

Archer and teppo open fire range = 100 meters (2.5 tiles)
Normal infantry marching speed is 1.68 m/s (speed 6)

2. Re: How the Combat System Works

o_O
Amazing, absolutely stunning.
You must've put heaps of effort into getting this info. How did you get it all, and the info about morale?

3. Re: How the Combat System Works

Luckily CA provided the community with a detailed list of morale modifiers and how combat works.

CBR

4. Re: How the Combat System Works

Fighting on these big maps, fatigue can be a real issue. It almost seems that if you opponent stays put, and you have to walk-the-field, by the time you get there your men are already at a disadvantage.

What are the relationships between distance, speed of travel, or level of activity, and exhaustion levels?

It seems that I have seen troops reach total exhaustion in very short amount of time sometimes.

Thanks

5. Re: How the Combat System Works

Originally Posted by Tomisama
What are the relationships between distance, speed of travel, or level of activity, and exhaustion levels?
Fatigue is calculated on an individual man basis, and then averaged over the whole unit. A unit in hold formation with only some of its men fighting will fatigue slower than one in engage-at-will where typically most of the men are fighting. The combat and morale penalties for each fatigue state are applied to the whole unit. There are different fatigue rates for standing, marching, marching quickly, marching very quickly (charging), fighting and shooting. There is a recovery rate that increases for lower fatigue states. The recovery rate equals the standing fatigue rate in the quite tired (2 bar) range. Armor increases these fatigue rates in adverse conditions such as desert, rain storms and snow storms. In these conditions, the recovery rate won't be enough to get a standing unit back up to quite tired (2 bar) level.

There are two components to fatigue: a non-recoverable component and a recoverable one. Non-recoverable fatigue is associated with "standing" and affects all unit types equally. Recoverable fatigue is associated with walking, running, charging, fighting and shooting. It affects all units equally in good weather, but in stormy weather fatigue increases with armor. Off hand, I don't remember if snow covered ground on an otherwise fine day affects any of these fatigue rates. Cold by itself doesn't do anything as far as I remember.

The fatigue rate for standing changes with weather condition, but comes to equilibrium in the quite tired fatigue level regardless of weather. This standing fatigue represents a ceiling which can never be exceeded during a battle, and you can never recover from it.

Fine day:
All units ---> quite fresh at 19:45 min
All units ---> quite tired at 39:30 min

Heavy rain:
All units ---> quite fresh at 9:40 min
All units ---> quite tired at 25:40 min

The fatigue rates for walking, running, charging, fighting and shooting are all different and higher than the fatigue rate for standing, and there is a recovery rate applied which increases as the fatigue level gets worse. If you stop the activity causing the fatigue, the unit will eventually recover back to the limit that the standing fatigue imposes. Slower units incur more fatigue getting somewhere because it takes them longer to get there. Likewise, moving up an incline results in greater fatigue because units slow down and take longer to get to the top. A few numbers from tests I have done in stw and mtw (fatigue rates are the same in both games except for running cav which has 10% less fatigue rate in mtw) are:

fine day, fresh unit:
quite fresh at 4:40 min of walking
quite tired at 11:15 min of walking
very tired at 30:45 min of walking
quite fresh at 0:55 sec of running
quite tired at 2:00 min of running
very tired at 3:45 min of running

I think the recovery rate in the very tired range is about equal to the walking fatigue rate, and in the exhausted range it exceedes the walking fatigue rate. It also appears to me that running fatigue rate is about 5 times the walking fatigue rate. You should be able to get back to quite tired in arid climate where it doesn't rain, but it will take quite a while of standing motionless. Even then, you won't be very far into quite tired, and will drop back to very tired fairly quickly once you start moving again. I don't have any numbers for fighting and shooting fatigue rates.

I was very surprised to see standing fatigue be the same for all units in the test I ran in heavy rain because I remember running some tests in STW where armor made a difference in standing fatigue and the final fatigue level.

I did a multiplayer fatigue test in MTW back in May 2003:

Steppe06 (large map with a 1000 x 1000 meter playable area), arid, fine day. Two spearmen units each set at the back of their zone. One (attacker) marches to just outside archer range (100 meters) of the other unit (defender) and stops.

It took 6 minutes to march 600 meters at 1.68 m/s (speed 6) from the starting point to 100 meters away from the other unit. The attacker was "quite fresh" when it got there, and the defender was "fresh". After 3 minutes the attacker recovered to "fresh". After another 10 minutes both attacker and defender dropped to "quite fresh" at the same time. This shows that the fatigue rates are the same for attacker and defender. After another 20 min both attacker and defender dropped to "quite tired". I didn't go further because I know from my custom tests that the units won't drop below "quite tired" in dry weather. This multiplayer test was consistent with custom battle tests that I've run.

6. Re: How the Combat System Works

I did a multiplayer fatigue test in MTW back in May 2003:
I remember some previous discussions. But don’t believe I ever heard about the two components of fatigue. Absolutely fascinating, and very well presented.

Super valuable stuff, thank you

Now maybe just one (read two) more explanation(s).

What are the differences in shooting downhill, level, and uphill?

I am a an avid proponent for “level or better” fighting , where some folks don’t seem to value the high ground like I do. Am I giving it too much importance?

7. Re: How the Combat System Works

Originally Posted by Tomisama
What are the differences in shooting downhill, level, and uphill?
When shooting downhill archers have increased range and accuracy. I'm not sure what happens when archers shoot uphill, but it seems to me they are less effective. We do know from testing on flat ground that when archers are shooting toward the attacker's side of the map they are 20% more effective. This advantage disappears when shooting in any other direction, and it doesn't apply to teppo. I'm not sure what advantage teppo get on higher ground, but it seems to me that there is some advantage.

Originally Posted by Tomisama
I am a an avid proponent for “level or better” fighting , where some folks don’t seem to value the high ground like I do. Am I giving it too much importance?
High ground gives your men +2 morale, a melee combat advantage and a shooting advantage, and the enemy will incur higher fatigue when moving uphill to attack than they would on flat ground. So, fighting from higher ground is important.

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