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Thread: Reinforcements

  1. #1
    Member Member Obadiah's Avatar
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    Default Reinforcements

    I know there's been a bit of discussion about this, in terms of 1.3 wishlist, but how do people handle reinforcement stacks in the meantime?

    Here's what happpened to me: I was assaulting a citadel (?- the one with three rings of defense), with two stacks. I kept both under my control, which meant that I could only control the reinforcements once a slot freed up from a unit in my primary army. Not ideal, but at least I'm in control. I was having a jolly time, blowing holes in walls, proceeding methodically. Lots of fun b'c it was my first assault on such a high level castle. So much fun, in fact, that as I was about to deliver the final battle,- ding- 'you lose, time expired'! --- I'd forgotten to watch the battle clock. Drat!

    So next turn, I assault again, thinking I'll be mindful of the clock this time (I've never lost a battle b'c of time before), and besides, the AI probably won't have repaired all those holes in the walls. Somehow, however, I must've accidently tagged the box giving AI auto control over my reinforcement stack. So what do they do? Charge straight into the inner keep (interesting aside- the computer HAD repaired all the GATES that I destroyed, but not the holes in walls- what sense does THAT make???) and place my cavalry at the mercy of lots of spears in a tight space. So I try to rescue them, and race my swords in, but they're obviously slower than cavalry. Long story short, I suffered a lot more casualties than I would've if I'd been in full control.

    Point 1- Not being able to control your own reinforcements sucks; and
    Point 2- Does anyone use AI control, on the premise that "more troops now" outweights "more control and fewer troops now"?

  2. #2
    Relentless Bughunter Senior Member FactionHeir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    I always do manual control as otherwise you are wasting needless troops.
    Quite useful for missile heavy armies as you can deplete the ammo and retreat to get the next unit in or if its a low exp unit just charge it in for a suicide so you get your reinforcement faster.
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  3. #3
    Master Procrastinator Member TevashSzat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    Most times I only use manual control but if it is a major battle and the army that the ai will control is not very experienced, I will take as many men to the battle as I can and hope to overwhelm the enemy with numbers.
    "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." - Issac Newton

  4. #4
    has a Senior Member HoreTore's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    For me, it usually depends on where those reinforcements are coming, and what they are made up of. If it's a cav stack coming in behind the enemy, for example, I happily give the AI control.
    Still maintain that crying on the pitch should warrant a 3 match ban

  5. #5

    Default Re: Reinforcements

    It depends on the battle, I don´t trust the AI in sieges, but in field battles I love the sight of a second stack coming down the hill in the back of the enemy.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Senior Member Jambo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    Yeah, the AI charging its general through breaches is a bit of an AI problem in 1.2. In 1.1. the AI cav seemed to wait outside for a period of time while their infantry engaged. Now it seems they all charge as soon as there's a breach or two.
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  7. #7
    Member Member crpcarrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    i dont have the confidene to give a the ai a good star general. isnt the AI supposed to be better if it is under the coommand of a more competent general? has anyone experienced this?
    "Forgiveness is between them and god, my job is to arrange the meeting"

  8. #8
    king of my kingdom Member DVX BELLORVM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    I almost always take control of the reinforcement, even though I can't have them all imidietly ready to join the battle.

    But I few days ago, the Danish army besieged Antwerpen (only 5 spear militia and a few archers in the garrison), and I had a full stack army with 5 stars general right outside the city walls. I decided to let the AI control the reinforcements and almost regret it!

    While my garrison troops were bleeding on the walls, my damn general was taking the sloooow stroll towards the city!

    I'm not even sure how I won . My forces on the ground were almost destroyed, only two units remained fighting on the walls. One enemy unit started to run towards my undefended central plaza, and I thought that's it, I lost...

    Then their leader was killed and they all retreated. I was miraculously saved, but not thanks to the reinforcement. At that time, they didn't even reached the city walls.

    I don't think I'll ever let the AI control my reinforcement...

  9. #9
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    I learnt very early on not to let the AI control my reinforcements.

    Whilst it might seem sensible to get them on the battlefield asap. I find that their value once they are on the battlefield is minimal unless you can control them.

    The same goes for Allies, If I am fighting with a Ally I keep well out of their way and let them do their thing before I let my troops anywhere near them.
    Last edited by Didz; 05-16-2007 at 19:46.
    Didz
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  10. #10
    King Philippe of France Senior Member _Tristan_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    That's exactly the way I do it...

    Always control the reinforcements which are, in most cases, my main fighting force (otherwise why should I need reinforcements ?...)

    Moreover, it helps implement whatever I've decided as an AI-controlled force may or may not do what you wish it to do...

    If I fight a battle, I want to fight it all... Otherwise I would autoresolve (which I never do... or almost never... )

    It was already so in RTW and I think in the previous titles but it's too far since I've played them to remember...
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  11. #11
    Guardian of the Fleet Senior Member Shahed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    I almost never have reinforcements, but when I do naturally I control them myself.
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  12. #12
    Member Member WhiskeyGhost's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    I like giving the AI control of my re-enforcement armies, it makes it as fun as playing Russian Roulette with all the chambers loaded, cept one is a blank


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  13. #13
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    "The AI controls the enemy army, if the AI was another player would you really let him control your troops as well as his own."

    At least thats my view. But then I a self-confessed control freak.
    Didz
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  14. #14
    Upstanding Member rvg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    I have noticed that if my AI-controlled re-enforcement army consists only of archers/horse archers, they never enter the battlefield, but just shuffle around the edge of the map without ever seeing combat.
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  15. #15
    Member Member WhiskeyGhost's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    Actually, i take that back, the AI does a decent job with the right guys. I played a battle where the Mongols were attacking with 2 stacks, and my re-inforcements were mostly consistant of 8 Muslim Archers, 2 Norman cav units, and like 3 armored sargs units (with a general) and they did surprisingly well. They had really low casualties while dealing some heavy losses on the Mongols, and didnt lose the general in the process (he didn't evne get involved in the battle like the AI does sometimes)


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  16. #16
    Guardian of the Fleet Senior Member Shahed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    Quote Originally Posted by rvg
    I have noticed that if my AI-controlled re-enforcement army consists only of archers/horse archers, they never enter the battlefield, but just shuffle around the edge of the map without ever seeing combat.
    That's because there is a limit to the number of men your system will allow on the field at the same time. It depends on your systemc specs.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Reinforcements

    Reinforcements are useful for modifying the enemy tactic. If they have a stronger force that you they tend to go on the offensive. If, with reinforcements you are stronger than them, then they tend to adopt a defensive strategy. This is useful if your primary army has greater superiority in missile / artillery.

    Having extra troops helps you to win the battle, but can mean your losses could be much higher. A Phyrric victory

    I usually control reinforcements myself especially in sieges. During a siege the AI will try to use the ladders, (you placed on a side wall as a decoy) or charge thought the gates before your artillery has finished destroying the towers. Then wait next to the inner wall and be shot to ribbons before you can take out the next gate / tower / wall etc.

    On the open battlefield reinforcements are usually slowly enter the map. Wait for the whole force to be assembled. Then slowly walk towards the enemy. Reassembly its whole force again, then if you are lucky might attack. This usually results in the general doing a suicide charge, eventually followed by the infantry.
    If the point where they enter the map is too close to the enemy they will have half their force killed before the whole army is on the map and assembled ready to fight.

    Most of the time therefore it is an expensive way to get a bit of extra benefit.

    Occasionally however they can make a big difference.
    When fighting two stacks of Mongols that adopted a defensive stance near the centre of the battlefield, my primary army consisted of a mixture of infantry missile and artillery with my general and two cavalry units. I had a full stack of cavalry reinforcement on the left flank and a half stack of archers and infantry behind them.
    Because I had more troops, the Mongols assumed a defensive stance, giving my artillery time to get to work whilst waiting for my reinforcements to get into position. The archers in the rear took out both the enemy generals and my primary force attacked on the right. As the Mongols turned their force to counter these attacks the reinforcement cavalry smashed into their other flank / rear. Only about 150 escaped and my losses were only about 400.

    Given the right forces, in the right position AI control can make a big difference But don’t expect the AI controlled force to show any intelligent tactics other than to just charge. You have to work your tactics around them.

  18. #18
    King of the Danes Member Gorm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    I had a bridge attack scenario where the reinforcements were AI controlled. It whittled down to me with one archer group against a horse archer unit. The AI kept a large force in the distance and I eventually lost! I wish I could have kicked that general in the butt for his incompetence.
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  19. #19
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    The way I use reinforcements is as replacements for battle weary or expended units from the main army.

    For example: when conducting a seige I occassionally have a main army which is heavy in artillery e.g. 3 x Cannon 4xBallista and a reinforcing army which is infantry heavy.

    I open the seige with a huge bombardment, to take down the enemy walls and towers and reduce the strength of the breach defenders.

    Then as the artillery runs out of ammunition I deliberately rout them from the field and let them get replaced with infantry or crossbowmen to assault to breach.

    Unfortunately this does not work in reverse as routing expended archers/crossbowmen amongst the defenders does not free up a slot in your army for a fresh unit from the reinforcements. Routed units just run to the town square instead of leaving the field. In defence reinforcements can only be brought on to fill slots freed up by the complete annihilation of a defence unit.

    Nevertheless, I do sometimes use reinfording armies to fill up empty slots in the main garrison and to provide replacements for massacred wall archers during the assault. The sudden appearance of artillery or cavalry outside the city walls can cause havoc with a carefully planned assault.
    Last edited by Didz; 05-17-2007 at 09:35.
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  20. #20
    Member Member crpcarrot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    i have a stupid question

    do the reinforcements (when not under ai control) come on automatically or is there a command to be given?

    i had my first battle with multiple stacks last night and i put them in my control but although a coupld of units were completely wiped out and i withdrew a couple of units no reinforemnts came into the field. although i could see both the reinforcement armies in blue at the edge of the map.

    or is it that they just take a while to get there and i finsihed it before they could arrive.
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  21. #21
    Member Member Didz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reinforcements

    @crpcarrot
    Probably the latter. although I have known units in large reinforcement groups to get tangled and stuck without making it onto the map. Thats usually a problem with seige engines and artillery though, rather than normal units.
    Didz
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