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Thread: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

  1. #1

    Default Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Which units do you believe perform better (in 1.1) in a loose formation than a close formation?

    Some people say spears form a better pinning unit in close, while others say they can attack more often in a loose.

    Or that 2H's (Fixed, with Zxiang's patch) do similar in loose considering the big weapons they are swinging.

    So whats everyone's opinion on Loose vs Close?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Senior Member katank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    When being hit by missiles or receiving a cav charge, use loose. For close quarters combat, close is probably better.

  3. #3
    Fidei Defensor Member metatron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Quote Originally Posted by OMGLAZERS
    Which units do you believe perform better (in 1.1) in a loose formation than a close formation?

    Some people say spears form a better pinning unit in close, while others say they can attack more often in a loose.

    Or that 2H's (Fixed, with Zxiang's patch) do similar in loose considering the big weapons they are swinging.

    So whats everyone's opinion on Loose vs Close?
    Generally, close is preferred unless you're under missile fire.

    Don't know about the two-handers, but I do believe that any unit in loose suffers a morale penalty and I know for a fact that they won't fight as organized or effectively.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Senior Member katank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Note that cav charges absolutely wreck tight units while loose units can interrupt their charging and not take so many casualties. Very counter intuitive but works.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Quote Originally Posted by katank
    Note that cav charges absolutely wreck tight units while loose units can interrupt their charging and not take so many casualties. Very counter intuitive but works.
    And this is why I started the thread :P

    So, have you got a research thread that discusses this?

    I would THINK tight spearmen would be able to resist a cav charge if they were deeper.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Interesting idea. I'm going to test melee match ups with loose formations.

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    Member Member RomoR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    I have made some research on this since day 3 or 4 when the game came out and you can read it at the battle-map research sticky thread. posts 16/17 and 60 https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=72168

    I also made a post in the forums about tight and loose melee fighting but I can't find it, I made it after wining the Historical battle of agincourt 2 times in a row with my whole army set to loose formation, melee units get a moral hit but has moral was upped since rome it doesn'nt make much of a differnece, haven't tried this after the patch though.

    I can tell you that in one on one same unit encounters the loose formation always wins since it gets the flanking bonus, kills any gerneral/captain early and protects yours better.

    Edit found that first post: https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=72422
    Last edited by RomoR; 12-24-2006 at 00:32.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Reading your results totally crushed me.

    It's supposed to be that tight can crush Loose!

    What the heck is going on here? =\
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    Senior Member Senior Member katank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Funky stuff with charging. I've had cases where my perfectly formed formation charges towards the AI who are in some horribly whack formation with a lone guy far out front. My formation proceeds to bend around that one guy like a rubber band and not perform a proper charge, then getting slaughtered.

    I found that funkified formation can mess up charges and now place in front of my lines a couple of spear units 2 deep and in loose. Destroys cav charges every time.

  10. #10
    Guardian of the Fleet Senior Member Shahed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Hey thanks for mentioning that in another thread katank. Forgot to thank you there. I tried it as well and it works. The more you can move, the more you can be disorderly but yet ordered seems to be best. I beat French Lancers using 2 spear militia. The system is messed. They've tried to make many differentiations in classes and status of units but what's happened is quite er... wierd.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Senior Member katank's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    No problem. Yeah, things are a bit weird right now. Spears get pwned by everything (militia spears die to archer militia!). Loose pwns tight etc.

    How'd you win against lancers with 2 spear miltia? Snared them with loose formation in a forest or something? Either way, I'm impressed. Heavy cav often punches clean through lines.

  12. #12
    Guardian of the Fleet Senior Member Shahed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    There was a height advantage, though almost negligible. Map was Saharan Sands or what's it called ?

    I just walked down the hill to meet the Lancers at the bottom. First charge routed the 2 deep loose formation SM in front.
    Charged my General SM in 4 deep loose formation and rallied the other unit. The Lancers started to withdraw, charged both SM into them, they routed. It was mostly the same result, 4-5 times or as many times as it took for me to get through my 2 BigMacs.

    See in this case you should really have to use dedicated halberds, gunpowder, or strong spears i.e DSLs, Armored Sargents etc. But as it is now SM can do the trick if used "improperly". Giving sub classes to units can be interesting, but then you have to go all the way.
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  13. #13
    Confiscator of Swords Member dopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinan
    There was a height advantage, though almost negligible. Map was Saharan Sands or what's it called ?

    I just walked down the hill to meet the Lancers at the bottom. First charge routed the 2 deep loose formation SM in front.
    Charged my General SM in 4 deep loose formation and rallied the other unit. The Lancers started to withdraw, charged both SM into them, they routed. It was mostly the same result, 4-5 times or as many times as it took for me to get through my 2 BigMacs.

    See in this case you should really have to use dedicated halberds, gunpowder, or strong spears i.e DSLs, Armored Sargents etc. But as it is now SM can do the trick if used "improperly". Giving sub classes to units can be interesting, but then you have to go all the way.
    The morale penalty for loose formation should be set much higher, enough to send the whole unit packing when anything formed up even approaches. That will solve the cavalry charge problem somewhat, because the archers/skirmishers will rout almost immediately and the charge will turn into a chase.

  14. #14
    Guardian of the Fleet Senior Member Shahed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    That's a good idea. It would have to be accompanied by a spear fix of course to compensate that you'd now lose your only spear defence against charge i.e loose formation.

    They usually do rout instantly most of the times I've seen. I always use 2 or 3 cavalry vs one archer unit -> bagging -> insta rout.
    Last edited by Shahed; 12-24-2006 at 02:53.
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    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Quote Originally Posted by dopp
    The morale penalty for loose formation should be set much higher, enough to send the whole unit packing when anything formed up even approaches. That will solve the cavalry charge problem somewhat, because the archers/skirmishers will rout almost immediately and the charge will turn into a chase.
    It would make sense if the uber-morale penalty should apply only to formation units like pikes/spears and the not-so-uber morale penalty for swords, horsies, elephants, and halberds... etc. Imagine elephants in loose going amok when something formed up approaches.
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



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  16. #16
    Guardian of the Fleet Senior Member Shahed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Sorry to go so Off Topic.....

    Actually now that I think about it, I'm surprised I did'nt repeat myself earlier.

    The main push should be to fix the units that are not working as they "should":

    -Pikes
    -Spears
    -2Hs

    Having community patches is fantastic but finally, and ultimately the basic fixes should come from the developers. If for no other reason than for the sake of corporate responsibility.

    Salute !
    Last edited by Shahed; 12-24-2006 at 04:43.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinan
    Having community patches is fantastic but finally, and ultimately the basic fixes should come from the developers. If for no other reason than for the sake of corporate responsibility.


    As if.
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    Guardian of the Fleet Senior Member Shahed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Yeap, that what's Creative Assembly's reputation has come down to.

    If you've read many of my posts, you know that I'm not expecting anything, but at the same time, I'm not going to just accept the view that the customers have to fix a product that they bought.
    Last edited by Shahed; 12-24-2006 at 06:44.
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    So where can mod the morale penalty for formations? Is that in the EDU file?

  20. #20
    Fidei Defensor Member metatron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Quote Originally Posted by OMGLAZERS
    Reading your results totally crushed me.

    It's supposed to be that tight can crush Loose!

    What the heck is going on here? =\
    Exactly, there's a bug here folks...
    [War's] glory is all moonshine; even success most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families.
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  21. #21
    Fidei Defensor Member metatron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinan
    Yeap, that what's Creative Assembly's reputation has come down to.

    If you've read many of my posts, you know that I'm not expecting anything, but at the same time, I'm not going to just accept the view that the customers have to fix a product that they bought.
    I'm entirely of the opinion that they've resorted to shipping an engine and letting the modders rework everything.

    Maybe the Rome mods finally broke their spirit...
    [War's] glory is all moonshine; even success most brilliant is over dead and mangled bodies, with the anguish and lamentations of distant families.
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Quote Originally Posted by metatron
    I'm entirely of the opinion that they've resorted to shipping an engine and letting the modders rework everything.

    Maybe the Rome mods finally broke their spirit...
    I can imagine it now.

    A bunch of CA coders grumbling about how people are 'messing' with the game.

    They practically **** themselves when they saw all the Rome mods, i'm sure.

    If I worked at CA, i'd be mighty upset a bunch of yokles with text files are making a game work that they, a company full of computer programmers, can't seem to solve.

    And whats hillarious is that if all this stuff is simple enough for some yutzes like the community to fix with text files, why can't CA?

    Gah.

    I wouldn't be suprised if the next patch is pretty much an inclusion of all the fixes that the community found.. and thats it. Who would be? It'll have a 2H fix, a towers fix, and a VnV fix. They will all look oddly similar to the community published ones as well... Hrmm.
    Last edited by econ21; 12-24-2006 at 17:06.
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  23. #23
    Confiscator of Swords Member dopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Quote Originally Posted by antisocialmunky
    It would make sense if the uber-morale penalty should apply only to formation units like pikes/spears and the not-so-uber morale penalty for swords, horsies, elephants, and halberds... etc. Imagine elephants in loose going amok when something formed up approaches.
    Eh, I think it should apply quite evenly across all unit types, lest we are treated to the spectacle of skirmishers making heavy infantry irrelevant. Open formation is to avoid missile fire, tight is to absorb charges and to fight melee.

    Loose formation being better at absorbing charges is not only counter-intuitive, it's incredibly stupid. Total War doesn't have to be the most historical wargame of all time, but it really does need to make sense on occasion.

    I suspect a lot of all this stuff being out of whack is because they tried to balance things differently, given player feedback from RTW. Phalanxes too strong, horsemen too strong, horsemen too tough, plus they have to add new unit types like halberds (somewhere between pikes and swords), muskets and crossbows. And then of course they wanted to introduce more fluid fight sequences (which I actually like). So we end up with 'buggy' horsemen, weak pikemen and worthless halberds, causing us to scream for a return to comforting RTW standards.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Senior Member econ21's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Cavalry can have a big problem with loose formations even in RTW - you can see it in realism mods like RTR and EB, when heavy cavalry charge skirmishers in loose order. They often suffer awfully.

    Apparently it's worse in M2TW. In RTW, the problem seemed to be specific to skirmishers - skirmishers trying to avoid cavalry by their skirmish ability switched the cavalry from charging to purusing and cost them their charge bonus. I never heard anyone recommend meeting a RTW cavalry charge in loose formation.

    For M2TW, I agree it needs to be fixed (as do spears, IMO). But CA bashing won't make that any more likely (in fact, I suspect it will make it less likely, as CA staff will just switch off from a thread with abusive posts), so people should take care to discuss this maturely and not with insulting language.

    At the moment, I will just try to ignore this bug. I could not bear to use a two row deep loose formation of spearmen to fight AI knights. Thankfully the AI plays in an equally naive manner.

  25. #25
    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Does the 'double-click behind' work at all in M2TW against loose?
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.



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  26. #26
    Guardian of the Fleet Senior Member Shahed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Never tried that, yet, specifically. But loose tends to favor the unit in that formation, in a 1vs1 duel.

    I agree with econ21. I'd like to add.

    If you want any hope of anything getting done you have to apply the correct measure of helpfullness and (if necessary) the correct form of public/social pressure.
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Double click behind does work (sort-of) but it won't be a proper charge. You end up having to run into your target and then as they are in contact to order them to attack or they will just try to ride through. That's been my experience anyways. It is pretty annoying that you can't charge routers or skirmishers properly.

    Neat tip on the loose formation spears. I'll have to give it a try as spears are just about useless unless fighting Mongols (spear + shield > pikes) or in a siege situation as the schiltron is excellent at countering an enemy push at a gate as it is so dense.

  28. #28
    Confiscator of Swords Member dopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Loose vs Close; Which to Use When

    Quote Originally Posted by Sinan
    If you want any hope of anything getting done you have to apply the correct measure of helpfullness and (if necessary) the correct form of public/social pressure.
    It's not exactly CA's fault, you know, they were working on our feedback when they tried to tweak the cavalry charges and phalanxes. It just didn't turn out quite the way everyone wanted it. Read the notes for update 2 and it really sounds like they are heading back towards RTW in terms of charge mechanics, which I at least never had a problem with.

    It's hardly CA bashing when one tries to point out why people are complaining (and there have been complaints, it's impossible to deny that).

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