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Thread: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

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    Carnifex Maximus Member Rebellious Waffle's Avatar
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    Default An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Kobal's guide about generals is very good, but there's more to the story -- another way to develop strong commanders, taking a very different route. You may have heard stories about them: generals whose whole armies were killed, who routed the entire remaining enemy force singlehandedly. Generals who charge with a roar against impossible odds. Generals who can take a ballista bolt to the sternum and laugh it off.

    You, too, can have such generals.


    Here's the basics:


    1) Start with a hale and hearty chap; Healthy (+2 Hit Points), In Good Health (+4 Hit Points), and Bastion of Health (+6 Hit Points, increases the chance of having children) are the ones you want. These are starter traits, so you may want to pick these guys out for special training when you notice the trait.

    2) You have a certain chance of picking up Fine Armour (+4 Hit Points) whenever your governor ends his turn in a settlement with an Armorer or better. Watch out for Ornamental Armour (+1 Authority, -2 Hit Points) which appears under the same conditions. Fine Armour and Ornamental Armour are mutually exclusive, and can't be transferred. If you've got an eye on a Sith Lord general, having at least one Armorer nearby is a must.

    3) Look for traits and ancilliaries that increase your general's movement rate and line of sight. Successful ambushes have a chance of providing the Scout traits (Adopts Scouting, Adept Scout, Reconaissance Expert) which improve line of sight. Repeatedly ending a turn with all the general's movement points exhausted will build up traits like Energetic and Logistician that make you move faster overland. The idea is to be able to see and move over long distances and strike hard, since lone generals aren't suited to taking on whole armies at a time. It also makes your ambushes more deadly, since you can choose a wider array of ambush sites on any given turn.

    4) If your general personally kills 6 or more soldiers in one fight, he has a 10% chance of aquiring a swordbearer (+1 Hit Points). If your general kills that many soldiers and loses more than 80% of his Hit Points, he has a 15% chance of acquiring a shieldbearer (+2 Hit Points). Losing more than 30% of his Hit Points in battle gives him a 30% chance of becoming a Berserker, and increases his Scarred level (+2 Hit Points every time, to a maximum of +8 with Brutally Scarred). Killing lots of units makes him more likely to become Brave, and makes him Fierce in Battle. If Fierce in Battle and a Berserker, losing 30% of his Hit Points makes him Crazy in Battle (+2 Hit Points, +2 Command when attacking, -2 Command when defending, +2 morale for all troops on the battlefield). The moral: pick a small stack and go in swinging. Do it often, and make sure your general's tabard gets bloody. The more troops he kills, the more likely he is to get the traits you want; Bravery becomes more likely when he kills, 7,8,9, and 10+ troops in a battle. This is why it's important to have a long line of sight and lots of movement points -- you want to hit small stacks as soon as they appear, before they merge with larger forces. Rebel mobs are ideal.

    5) Become Dreaded. Chivalry increases your troops' morale, but that's a nonissue for you because you'll quickly become a Brave Berserker who's Crazy in Battle (+9 morale for all troops on the battlefield when you reach the top of those three chains alone!) Your Traits give confidence to your boyos, your Dread terrifies the enemy and you'll rapidly acquire command stars from all the fighting. It's like having maximum Dread and maximum Chivalry at the same time.

    As far as I know, the maximum number of bonus Hit Points a general can have, without unique ancilliaries, is 27. The general starts out with at least 9 Hit Points (the Hypochondriac trait gives the general -8 Hit Points) meaning that a general with all those bonuses has a mininum of 36 Hit Points -- practically a stack by himself. A very mean stack, considering the general's other combat traits. And less vulnerable than a whole stack, too, since the enemy won't be able to bring more than a small fraction of their stack's power to bear on a single dude at any given time. Suppose one unit can be surrounded by eight other units and attacked at once; your general could be hit by at most 8 enemies, whereas a stack of 36 1-HP fighters could be hit by at most 288 enemies. So the effective size of the stack fighting your general is much smaller than the number on the unit card, allowing a Sith Lord General to come out ahead against comically overwhelming odds. This is especially true when he has high Dread, since the enemy will rout faster when they've sustained many casualties.

    Note that certain historical figures and crusader relics can drive your Hit Point total even higher, into the forties or even fifties if by some chance your Sith Lord has got them all at once.


    "Well enough", you might say, "but when are the circumstances to make such a general ever going to arise?" It all depends on how you manage settlements. Keep a town always simmering on the edge of armed revolution. Make your Sith Lord the governor. Pretty quickly, little rebel stacks will appear. Send in your boy and have fun. Governing persistently rebellious provinces will give him the "disciplinarian" trait too, which increases unrest and leads to more rebels. Score!

    Remember that you're not interested in making this chap the world's best administrator: you want him to kill folks by the dozen, not shake their hands. Let him cut his teeth on revolting peasants, then throw him into enemy territory and see if he survives in the wild.

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    Carnifex Maximus Member Rebellious Waffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Other stuff I forgot to mention in the first post:


    Bodyguard Size

    One of the challenges inherent to building up a good warmonger general is making sure he has enough kills for desirable events to trigger. You don't want to attack an enemy group that's so large that your general's life is in serious danger, but a group that's too small has little chance of giving you what you want out of an encounter.

    Suppose your General's Bodyguard has 20 horse, facing off against a rebel stack of 60 peasants. If you charge the peasants, each member of the Bodyguard is going to kill an average of 3 peasants. Since most of the desirable traits for a warmonger only trigger when your general personally kills six or more enemies in one battle, there are statistically long odds against your general getting one of your target traits from of that battle. Suppose, now, that the Bodyguard is comprised of only 10 horse. If you win the fight, the expected number of kills for each member of the Bodyguard is six. By cutting down your unit size, you just considerably increased the chances of getting the traits that you wanted. The flip side is that you also increased the odds that your general will die in the battle, which defeats the purpose of the exercise. As you build up a larger and larger base of Hit Points, you'll be able to fight against a greater and greater numerical disadvantage and still succeed, which in turn gives you a better chance of picking up the line of traits that you want. Building up a warmonger general is a positive feedback loop -- the more you do it, the easier it gets.


    The Hunter's Preserve

    Supposing you want to build up a warmonger general quickly. Ruling a rebellious province isn't fast enough for your taste -- your general needs to be in ship shape and ready for the front within a few turns. How do you do it?

    A very effective method I've found is to emulate old Bond movie villains. Get a wave of peasants going, and release each unit of peasants (alone) into a nearby rebel province. Put your general within stabbing distance of your Plague of Farmers. Pretty quickly the peasants will revolt, joining the rebels in the province. Once that happens, send your general on a merry chase, slaughtering the lonely peasant stacks one at a time until they've all paid the price for their insolence.

    Peasant Paste: helps build strong bones. It's better than milk!

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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebellious Waffle

    A very effective method I've found is to emulate old Bond movie villains. Get a wave of peasants going, and release each unit of peasants (alone) into a nearby rebel province. Put your general within stabbing distance of your Plague of Farmers. Pretty quickly the peasants will revolt, joining the rebels in the province. Once that happens, send your general on a merry chase, slaughtering the lonely peasant stacks one at a time until they've all paid the price for their insolence.

    Peasant Paste: helps build strong bones. It's better than milk!

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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebellious Waffle
    The general starts out with at least 9 Hit Points (the Hypochondriac trait gives the general -8 Hit Points)
    I'm not sure about that. There could be a minimum of one hitpoint so that a general who has 5 and get -8 still has one hitpoint, he just won't gain any if he gets another trait that gives him +2.


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    Carnifex Maximus Member Rebellious Waffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Possibly so; I was conjecturing when I made that statement. I've never fished through the config files to find out the base Hit Points of a general, so that may very well be the case.

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    Member Member Matty's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Excellent stuff. A quick question - how can I tell how many hit points my general has and presumably he recovers any he loses in battle between years?

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    Carnifex Maximus Member Rebellious Waffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    I believe generals recover Hit Points immediately after the battle is over. I've yet to find a way to look in-game at the general's personal Hit Points, since the Hit Points on his unit card refer to that of his Bodyguard and not the the general himself. Bonus Hit Points are listed under the general's Traits on the campaign map, so I tend to keep a running tally of those as the campaign progresses.


    York: A Case Study

    In my experience, taking York on the first turn of an English or Scottish campaign is the best way to rapidly build up the beginnings of a warmonger general. Recently I sent the Scottish faction heir with a unit of border horse to take the settlement, with excellent results.

    York has two units of archers, two of peasants, and one of spear militia -- a large number of low-powered units, just the sort of stack you want. It's doubly useful since it doesn't have walls, allowing you to charge the gates on the first turn. Seeing this, I let by Border Horse hang back and provide occasional support while my General's Bodyguard did the cleaning. Over the course of the battle, I intentionally shaved by contingent of Bodyguards down to half a dozen men, drawing the militia out and killing undefended stragglers. Rather to my amazement, I pulled off a victory with only one Bodyguard left fighting alongside by General and no surviving border horse. The results for the proud Prince Canmore:

    Maximum experience (three gold chevrons) starting from one bronze chevron.
    Promising Commander (+1 Command)
    Feels Appreciated (+1 Loyalty)
    Fierce in Battle (+1 Dread, +1 morale for all troops on the battlefield, +1 command when attacking, -1 command when defending)
    Wall Taker (+1 Command when assaulting walls)
    Good With Cavalry (+1 Command when commanding cavalry)
    Marks of War (+1 Authority, +2 Hit Points)
    Brave (+1 morale for all troops on the battlefield)
    Swordbearer (+1 personal security, +1 Hit Points)
    Veteran Warrior (+1 personal security, +1 command when commanding infantry)

    Not bad for fifteen minutes' work on the killing field, aye?

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    Member Member Hermann the Lombard's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Especially good to get "Wall Taker" when York had no walls, and "Good With Cavalry" when he lost all the cavalry he had. Perhaps "Brave" should have an enhancement: "Brave But Schtupid."
    I have a mind like a steel sieve.

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    Carnifex Maximus Member Rebellious Waffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Hey, there's nothing wrong with being Lawful Stupid.



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    Carnifex Maximus Member Rebellious Waffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Where to Live

    If you want to build up a warmonger general, it is critical to know which traits you intend on developing. Certain traits and ancilliaries may not be available to you -- Shieldbearers (+2 Hit Points, -1 morale for all troops on the battlefield) are unavailable to Southern Europe, for example, while Runners are unavailable to Norther Europe. I also gather that Swordbearers and Shieldbearers are mutually exclusive, though I recall that one of my generals had both during a pre-patch campaign. Also, certain types of neighbor (particularly neighbors with a fondness for light cavalry) are wholly undesirable for the purpose of building up a warmonger. This again makes England and Scotland good choices, but Denmark and the Holy Roman Empire should not be neglected -- their lands are thick with trees, perfect for a practicing ambusher.


    The Joy of Spying

    Warmongers love to fight in the limelight. Wide-open settlements with small and frail garrisons make perfect targets for whetting your blade. Seldom will you get the opportunity to strike a settlement without walls; but you can do just as well by opening the gates with a flock of spies. The best way to go about this is to sneak your warmonger deep into enemy territory, and get your spies to let him into an interior settlement -- kill the guards, sack the place, pawn the buildings and melt into the shadows before an outraged enemy can exact retribution. The money and soldiers he expends to put the place back together are money and soldiers he doesn't expend on border security. In this way, warmongers can act rather like beefed-up assassins; why sabotage a building when you can completely destroy it and use the proceeds to buy that sorrel destrier you've always wanted?

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    Harbinger of... saliva Member alpaca's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Haha I like your ideas.

    If I recall correctly, a general in RTW had the hitpoints of his bodyguard (two) plus five in addition, or two for captains. If this is still true, you start at 7hp which I think is fairly adequate.

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    Carnifex Maximus Member Rebellious Waffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    If so, then the code for determining General Hit Points is as Husar described -- it wouldn't surprise me, considering all the penalties that heap up after being hit with the curses of a powerful witch.


    Special Delivery

    I mentioned before that warmongers are good at rear area raids. Supposing you sneak into enemy territory and find that you want to do more than snipe at undefended settlements; suppose the bulk of the enemy force is hundreds of miles away and you see an opportunity to do some real damage as long as you're traipsing about.

    Salvation, thy name is Mercenary.

    The AI has a thing against recruiting mercenaries. When you strike deep into the heartland of the foe, there are often comically many soldiers lounging about and looking for jobs. A good warmonger will frequently have high ranks in traits that improve speed of movement, as well as traveling in an all-cavalry force (by himself as often as not) allowing you to slip right up to the enemy's doorstep, suddenly hire a massive fighting force, and knock down his economic heartland before he has the time to shout




    Under normal circumstances it's just easier to send a normal army, but this sort of surprise conquest can let you wreak tremendous damage to the enemy's cashflow in a short time. The mercenaries are expendable -- when the armies of retribution come calling, make the sellswords earn their keep by softening the enemy's defense forces for the real invasion.

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    Know the dark side Member Askthepizzaguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebellious Waffle
    Possibly so; I was conjecturing when I made that statement. I've never fished through the config files to find out the base Hit Points of a general, so that may very well be the case.
    base hp is either one or two for a general.

    Ive never seen a noob general take more than one or two hits before dying, and as with morale bonus and other traits, you dont start with a lot just because you can lose more than you apparently have.

    You can have -4 morale bonus and not start with that many.
    #Winstontoostrong
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    Carnifex Maximus Member Rebellious Waffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    That's true for morale bonuses, but I'd figured it might be different with Hit Points because a General who loses more Hit Points than he has, dies. If the general isn't dead, he hasn't lost more Hit Points than he has, and I've had a Hypochondriac General who didn't die instantly upon acquiring the trait, ergo he had more Hit Points than he lost.

    'Course, I hadn't considered the possibility that there might be a special subroutine that automatically adjusts the Hit Point total upwards if the penalties become greater than the bonuses -- a rather more sensible approach to the problem. I'd assumed the Generals' base Hit Points were very high because my unmodified Generals seem to stick around a lot longer than their bodyguards.

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    Know the dark side Member Askthepizzaguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebellious Waffle
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    That's true for morale bonuses, but I'd figured it might be different with Hit Points because a General who loses more Hit Points than he has, dies. If the general isn't dead, he hasn't lost more Hit Points than he has, and I've had a Hypochondriac General who didn't die instantly upon acquiring the trait, ergo he had more Hit Points than he lost.

    'Course, I hadn't considered the possibility that there might be a special subroutine that automatically adjusts the Hit Point total upwards if the penalties become greater than the bonuses -- a rather more sensible approach to the problem. I'd assumed the Generals' base Hit Points were very high because my unmodified Generals seem to stick around a lot longer than their bodyguards
    .
    Rebellious, the reasoning is flawed. When you lose through a trait more hp than you have, that doesn't mean you die. It means it stays at one hit point. Also, the general doesn't usually die because he does usually have a bunch of bodyguards around him, and naturally has better stats than the lowly peasants he is fighting.

    Hp is different from stats, if you watch closely during battle, most soldiers block or shrug off blows that don't deal more attack damage than their defensive stat. Hence a peasant with 1 attack can stab a knight a bunch of times and not kill him, but the knight has only 1 hit point. Same is true for generals. Don't let it fool you.

    I can't prove what I say through the game's stat files, but I do think it makes sense, based upon observation. I've watched very closely those knife fights between my general and whoever he is fighting. He tends to get smacked around a lot by those weaklings before he dies, but a mounted knight might kill him with one charge attack, and a unit of heavy infantry or heavy spear might kill him instantly. All because you don't start with 9 hit points, otherwise you would be able to take 9 spears to the chest before you die in all cases without hypochondriac, and that simply isnt the case at all.
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    Carnifex Maximus Member Rebellious Waffle's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by askthepizzaguy
    Rebellious, the reasoning is flawed. When you lose through a trait more hp than you have, that doesn't mean you die. It means it stays at one hit point. Also, the general doesn't usually die because he does usually have a bunch of bodyguards around him, and naturally has better stats than the lowly peasants he is fighting.


    I'm aware. That's why I made the post -- I'd made a faulty implicit assumption, and stated it explicitly once I'd realized it was faulty.

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    Guest Gaius Terentius Varro's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Brilliant Rbellious and you're totally right about the 2 hp + 5 for general as starting HP:that's why the biggest penalty to HP is -6 through traits leaving them at one.

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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    I've checked through the files, here are the traits and ancilaries for max HP :
    Traits :
    Berserker 3 : HitPoints 4
    HaleAndHearty 3 : HitPoints 6
    BattleScarred 4 : HitPoints 8
    Ancilaries :
    holy_grail : HitPoints 5
    apothecary : HitPoints 4
    armour_custom : HitPoints 4
    arnold_von_winkelried : HitPoints 4
    paracelsus : HitPoints 4
    johannes_faustes : HitPoints 4
    alchemist : HitPoints 2
    shieldbearer : HitPoints 2
    swordbearer : HitPoints 1
    iron_crown_of_lombardy : HitPoints 1
    bridle_of_constantine : HitPoints 1
    (Can have only 10 Ancilaries so one of the +1 hp must be discarded)

    total traits = 4 + 6 + 8 = 18
    total ancilaries = 5 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 = 31
    Total bonus hp = 49
    So even with a 1 hp base general that makes 50 ...
    Prety decent.
    The question is : can a general with all this could be one shot by a flaming arrow ? (or siege weapon etc ...)

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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    I do believe that the Gen has more base hp than his bodyguards. Besides from countless experiences of even a vanilla general being the sole survivor of his unit, it makes sense from a game balance perspective to prevent every battle from degenerating into a "who can kill the enemy general with the first missile volley" contest.
    I tested a custom battle a few times using my General vs 3 Scots Pike Militia, AI put 2 in long spearwall with their captain in back. I charged the enemy's left (my right) unit so my general would land on pikes instead of around the edge of their formation. With bodyguards in 2x10 formation, over half the front row usually died on impact, but never the general, presumably because he has more hp. Using Scot Noble Pikemen instead of militia version, my general usually died on impact along with most of the guards. This seems to support that the militia could kill the guards on impact but not the general because of his higher hp, instead of some weird "the general himself doesn't have a lance so isn't actually charging onto the pikes" type thing going on.

    I have also observed in-campaign AI general (with maybe an extra hp or 2 but nothing special) defending his town square and surviving massive amounts of arrows being fired directly at him after the rest of his guard shrugged off only a few arrows each instead of 50 before dying.

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    Guest Gaius Terentius Varro's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Of course there is the "Fatality" option and then it don't matter how may HP's he has...(note the exit wound)

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    {GrailKnights} Member hoetje's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    hahhahahah.... a good one !

    but did he actually died because of it? (I doubt it ^^)
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    H°vedsmann i Leidangen Member Zajuts149's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Do kings and Heirs get additional HP, or just extra bodyguards through increased security?
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    Know the dark side Member Askthepizzaguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    Quote Originally Posted by ReiseReise
    I do believe that the Gen has more base hp than his bodyguards. Besides from countless experiences of even a vanilla general being the sole survivor of his unit, it makes sense from a game balance perspective to prevent every battle from degenerating into a "who can kill the enemy general with the first missile volley" contest.
    I tested a custom battle a few times using my General vs 3 Scots Pike Militia, AI put 2 in long spearwall with their captain in back. I charged the enemy's left (my right) unit so my general would land on pikes instead of around the edge of their formation. With bodyguards in 2x10 formation, over half the front row usually died on impact, but never the general, presumably because he has more hp. Using Scot Noble Pikemen instead of militia version, my general usually died on impact along with most of the guards. This seems to support that the militia could kill the guards on impact but not the general because of his higher hp, instead of some weird "the general himself doesn't have a lance so isn't actually charging onto the pikes" type thing going on.

    I have also observed in-campaign AI general (with maybe an extra hp or 2 but nothing special) defending his town square and surviving massive amounts of arrows being fired directly at him after the rest of his guard shrugged off only a few arrows each instead of 50 before dying.
    I still believe we are wrong about something here. It seems to me that we are overlooking the possibility that higher defense means the ability to deflect glancing blows. Even if an arrow or a spear makes contact with the general, he is an armored beast. So no HP would be lost. I think the game figures a probability of lost HP for every hit, and with higher defense, fewer hits cause a loss of hit points.

    But I am no expert on the mechanics of the game. That's just my thesis.
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    Member Member Crash's Avatar
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    Default Re: An Army of One: Waffle's Guide to Killer Generals

    In RTW I always "Continued" the battle after it was won so that my General could run down all the fleeing enemy troops and get plenty of killing experience. That seemed to work well because my Generals all became high "dread" rated, even bloody/bloodthirsty.

    Does it work the same in M2TW? So far it seems to in my brief amount of time playing it...

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