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Thread: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

  1. #1
    EB Nitpicker Member oudysseos's Avatar
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    Default Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    I have reached a point in my Antigonid Campaign that I'm sure we're all familiar with: stack after stack (in this case Roman) of low-grade units attacking in waves. In reference to the Happy Cannae Day thread (there's a theme song in there somewhere), I have fought and won 3 or 4 Cannaes and Carrhaes combined, with a Pharsalus and a Marathon thrown in for good measure. My last battle I fought with one small (17 unit) stack of elites against three full roman stacks, almost all leves. I lost 152 kia versus more than 5000 roman dead.

    When will these guys give up? Is there a way through traits or scripts to make major victories decisive and final? I try diplomacy after every major victory but no: "some of you still live".

    I realize that this is not a fault of EB but of the RTW engine, but there's gotta be some way to make military results have political impacts. Any thoughts?
    Last edited by oudysseos; 08-09-2007 at 11:27.
    οἵη περ φύλλων γενεὴ τοίη δὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν.
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  2. #2
    EB annoying hornet Member bovi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    EB uses scripts to assist the mentally challenged AI and provide a challenge. All AI factions receive some extra command stars and monetary aid, as well as a replenishment of the population when they recruit units to avoid them recruiting them dry. The gameplay balance is not finished. If you want battles to be more decisive, you can try the unofficial money/merc modifications, a lot of people are very satisfied with those.

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  3. #3

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    Out of interest: have you taken any Roman city?

    If I inflict such heavy casualties (and generally I do) as to annihilate AI armies, then I find the AI often very eager to accept a no-ties ceasefire treaty.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    Quote Originally Posted by oudysseos
    I have reached a point in my Antigonid Campaign that I'm sure we're all familiar with: stack after stack (in this case Roman) of low-grade units attacking in waves. In reference to the Happy Cannae Day thread (there's a theme song in there somewhere), I have fought and won 3 or 4 Cannaes and Carrhaes combined, with a Pharsalus and a Marathon thrown in for good measure. My last battle I fought with one small (17 unit) stack of elites against three full roman stacks, almost all leves. I lost 152 kia versus more than 5000 roman dead.

    When will these guys give up? Is there a way through traits or scripts to make major victories decisive and final? I try diplomacy after every major victory but no: "some of you still live".

    I realize that this is not a fault of EB but of the RTW engine, but there's gotta be some way to make military results have political impacts. Any thoughts?
    faced the very same issue... like Bovi said, try money/mercenary script. i cannot imagine playing without it. the game still needs farther balancing and script does seem to handle it pretty well.

    i wish it was included in official EB, otherwise all the splendid work put into it gets ruined by tedious, unrealistic game play

    Out of interest: have you taken any Roman city?

    If I inflict such heavy casualties (and generally I do) as to annihilate AI armies, then I find the AI often very eager to accept a no-ties ceasefire treaty.
    that didnt work for me, at least not against AS. in my Bactrian campaign (without script) i managed to reduce them to only a few cities, Ptoleis pushing them hard from the other side, but they would still persistently send stack after stack of high quality mercenaries my way! make very little sense
    hope the issue will be addressed in future releases.

  5. #5
    EB Token Radical Member QwertyMIDX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    If you smack them around but don't take any cities (or offer the cities you took back) they usually take a cease-fire.
    History is for the future not the past. The dead don't read.


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  6. #6

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    Quote Originally Posted by QwertyMIDX
    If you smack them around but don't take any cities (or offer the cities you took back) they usually take a cease-fire.
    yeah, for a turn or two, and then you face the very same problem again
    the only solution that worked for me is an out most aggressive and brutal policy. destroy each army to the last soldier, restlessly push forward conquering their lands and thus reducing their treasury and recruiting pools. but even these dont help to the extend it should since AI gets population, mercenaries, money injections and on VH campaign is suicidally aggressive. ...never ending war.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    The only way your ever gonna stop the AI from mindlessly attacking you is to completely destroy them, just remember that every city you capture is one less place for them to recruit from and one more province they have to trek across to reach your important territories.

  8. #8
    EB TRIBVNVS PLEBIS Member MarcusAureliusAntoninus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    You could try the 'force deplomacy' mod.

    Also, when I face this kind of situation in campaigns that I'm not too serious about, I'll cheat. I usually hire an all merc army then march it into enemy territory using 'character_reset' and 'auto_win attacker' to kill ever single enemy army in sight. Once you destroy 90% of their army, they will give up and leave you alone for a decade or so. I always end my war with them (at least ignore them) until they rebuild so that I don't consider it too much cheating. But I only use this in campaigns that I would quit otherwise or I wasn't too serious about to begin with.


  9. #9

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    The force diplomacy doesnt work, they'll just attack you again the next turn.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    how about this......


    TRAIN 2 STACKS AND INVADE THE ROMANS!!!!


    if thier cities are destroyed they can't send troops after you, plus you will get $$$ out of pillagin. If you don't want the cities you can give them to your allies, or leave a few leves in it while ur army sacks the other cities. THEN you pick up and leave, and let the cities rebel back. This will cut the "stack and after stack" issue by 80% for a few years. Eventually you WILL have to kill the Romans.
    Last edited by NeoSpartan; 08-10-2007 at 00:20.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarkiss
    yeah, for a turn or two, and then you face the very same problem again
    the only solution that worked for me is an out most aggressive and brutal policy. destroy each army to the last soldier, restlessly push forward conquering their lands and thus reducing their treasury and recruiting pools. but even these dont help to the extend it should since AI gets population, mercenaries, money injections and on VH campaign is suicidally aggressive. ...never ending war.
    naw dude... the war DOES end.


    ....as soon as you destroy the faction one question though... Why is that so hard to do????????

  12. #12
    Member Megas Methuselah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    What's this "force diplomacy" mod that was mentioned. Never heard of it, and it sounds quite useful.

    Can anyone gimme some info? thx in advance.

  13. #13
    EB TRIBVNVS PLEBIS Member MarcusAureliusAntoninus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    It adds a non-conflicting script that makes the AI accept your offers, no matter what.
    Details and download here:
    https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=80763


  14. #14

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    It would be nice to open a discussion on the developer side on how to slow down the later development of both player and AI...
    No matter what has been tried here or in other mods having a medium/large sized empire results in the ability of recovering quickly even from crushing defeats.

    If you can recruit the equivalent of a professional (if not elite) army in 5 turns you will be never able to expect more than short term peace...
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarax
    It would be nice to open a discussion on the developer side on how to slow down the later development of both player and AI...
    No matter what has been tried here or in other mods having a medium/large sized empire results in the ability of recovering quickly even from crushing defeats.

    ...
    well..... isn't that what happens when you have a large empire??? The ability to raise large armies in a few turns. Besides, single desicive battles RARELY occur when a large empire is well managed. Battles became Decisive when the king was killed, or there the empire was already in the brink of collapse.


    But.... I do agree that the late game needs to be worked out a little better, especially with Squalor, and the ever increasing populations that makes cities imposible to govern. All else, is fine in my book.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    That was often the exception rather than the rule...

    Historically:

    - Achmeneid persia: 3 major battles to cripple decisively their army

    - Seleucid Empire : A bit more comples, but Raphia and Magnesia were pretty bad hits and they never recovered from those

    - Carthage: it was long but after the first punic war (in which after two major naval losses they capitulated) it took less than 10 losses (baecula, dertosa, ilipa, great plain, metaurus and zama, might be a couple more) to reduce them to little more than a city state

    - Ptolemies: a long survivor but for the longest part of their history they were little more than a client state of Rome

    The point is: even if you have a huge empire professional soldiers aren't going to be very abundant. You can recruit huge armies composed of levies but everybody knows what happens when levies faces veterans...

    Rome was the exception mostly because they found a way to turn their levies into an effective fighting machine and had a more efficent training system.
    This is especially true in our game timeframe, where Rome won more than a couple wars through attrition...
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    sorry I messed up my message wrong word choice and word order.

    here it goes again:

    well..... isn't that what happens when you have a large empire??? The ability to raise large armies in a few turns. Besides, single desicive battles RARELY caused the downfall of an empire when such an empire was well managed. Battles became Decisive when the king was killed, or the empire was already in the brink of collapse.


    But.... I do agree that the late game needs to be worked out a little better, especially with Squalor, and the ever increasing populations that makes cities imposible to govern. All else, is fine in my book.
    Last edited by NeoSpartan; 08-11-2007 at 02:25.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    I see your point better now....

    But the Seleucids where in deep internal trouble when its battles with Rome came around, and so was Macedonia before them. The Aeudi/Arverni were even wrost.

    I don't know about the others though, my history doesn't go that far.

    Now.... I think what your trying to get will be better addressed in EB2 since MTWII has some new features about recruitment that limit the number of elites. (at least thats what I read, I haven't played the game yet)

  19. #19
    Krusader's Nemesis Member abou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarax
    - Seleucid Empire : A bit more comples, but Raphia and Magnesia were pretty bad hits and they never recovered from those
    Well, they certainly recovered from Raphia. Immediately afterward Antiochos was busy campaigning again throughout Asia and Asia Minor. He certainly could have continued fighting after Magnesia as well, but for several reasons decided not to. I could go into more detail if you would like, but it gets complicated. In short, it was Antiochos' death that started the decline of the Seleukid empire, which was resurgent and significantly powerful again with Antiochos IV. Then again very briefly under Antiochos VII.

    The biggest problem of the Seleukids was their constant dynastic feuding in the latter half of the 2nd century BC, which left openings for other states surrounding them to easily expand. The Roman victory at Magnesia could hardly be considered a crippling blow.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    Quote Originally Posted by abou
    I could go into more detail if you would like, but it gets complicated.
    If you don't mind, please do, I would love to hear more about Seleukia than what wiki and EB show.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    Quote Originally Posted by abou
    Well, they certainly recovered from Raphia. Immediately afterward Antiochos was busy campaigning again throughout Asia and Asia Minor. He certainly could have continued fighting after Magnesia as well, but for several reasons decided not to. I could go into more detail if you would like, but it gets complicated. In short, it was Antiochos' death that started the decline of the Seleukid empire, which was resurgent and significantly powerful again with Antiochos IV. Then again very briefly under Antiochos VII.

    The biggest problem of the Seleukids was their constant dynastic feuding in the latter half of the 2nd century BC, which left openings for other states surrounding them to easily expand. The Roman victory at Magnesia could hardly be considered a crippling blow.
    I stand corrected in this case.

    However, both Raphia and Magnesia marked the end of the two respective wars at least for more than a short while (in this case all Anthiochos' life) and that's what remains pretty impossible to represent in TW (harcoded and all).

    Besides, my point was that a large empire can raise large amounts of troops but after a crippling defeat they would be mostly levies, hardly an effective army...
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    Quote Originally Posted by abou
    He certainly could have continued fighting after Magnesia as well, but for several reasons decided not to.
    interesting. so loosing lands, money, influence for good was more reasonable option at a time than raise a new army and come back? i'd love to hear more details on that please, until i get "the Roman war o Antichos the great".
    thanks

  23. #23

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    He could try to duke it out with the romans at least another time but then he had two other fronts (egypt and the parthians) open, meaning that it would have been suicidal.
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  24. #24
    One of the Undutchables Member The Stranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    THe romans beg me for ceasefire always after a few navaldefeats and one big crushing defeat on land and a few blocked ports.... usually can ask 10000 for a ceasefire.

    anyways... i was going through some textsfiles and stumbled on some traits... regarding battlepoints. I have a question about it:"What does it do???

    I think but correct me if wrong, that if you win you gain battlepoints, more battlepoints mean harder battles... am i right? because I also saw traits like hard_battle_trait and very_hard_battle_trait which were triggered by battlepoints and victories.

    I want to know this because gaining traits such as good attacker and stuff is incredibly hard, you barely gain stars while the AI has 9 star generals all the time. but im not sure wether to mess with battlepoints since i dont know what it does.

    We do not sow.

  25. #25
    Krusader's Nemesis Member abou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    No problem guys. Seleukid history isn't nearly as well known as it could be so this stuff isn't as available as other histories.

    Due to Raphia, Antiochos had lost several thousand men, but not nearly as many as what happens in RTW games. This is what Polybios reports:
    Quote Originally Posted by Polybios 5.86
    His [Antiochos'] loss amounted to nearly ten thousand infantry and three hundred cavalry killed, and four thousand taken prisoners. Three elephants were killed on the field, and two died afterwards of their wounds. On Ptolemy's side the losses were fifteen hundred infantry killed and seven hundred cavalry: sixteen of his elephants were killed, and most of the others captured.
    So, not that bad. Still a loss, but could have been much worse. Most of those kills that Antiochos' army had taken would have been on his left wing too when it had routed - that wing was mostly local levies except for the elephants and and cavalry. Antiochos found it best to sue for peace and the treaty meant that neither state could attack the other until one of the participants in the signing died (standard Hellenic practice) - not because one or the other couldn't fight for lack of manpower.

    Now, It is important to stress just how deep the Seleukid pool for recruiting is. Normal army size for this period is about 30,000 men. Raphia, Panion, and Magnesia were all larger, but at varying sizes. The bulk of the extra men could be filled with either locals or Greeks. The year after the loss at Raphia, Antiochos was campaigning in Asia Minor against his relative Achaios.

    Achaios was sent by Antiochos to retake Asia Minor from Attalos of Pergamon in 223. It is safe to assume that Achaios would probably have a second royal army of about 30,000. Achaios seems to have pushed Attalos back into Pergamon relatively easy because he felt very secure in revolting and taking everything west of the Tauros Mt. with him. The only reason he didn't descend into Syria was because his troops refused. Now though, on top of the army he had when he marched into Asia Minor, he now had access to all the military settlements that were still there - an estimated strength of 10,000 at least, which he could add to his army.

    For Antiochos to take back Asia Minor he would need to assemble another army of at least 30,000. The fighting lasted four years and ended in the year-long siege of Sardis, which probably involved a lot of artillery. There is no way that army could have been levy or lesser quality troops. That type of army wouldn't have lasted for so long.

    After Magnesia, Antiochos had plenty of time to raise a new army. One estimate could have placed it at 50,000 - much of which would have been klerouchikoi phalangitai because of the relatively untapped military settlements (only 16,000 phalangites were at Magnesia and some of those would have been permanent soldiers). Also, his son Seleukos was still in Asia Minor in a fortress city with a sizable army of Magnesian survivors.

    The losses at Magnesia were several times less than what Livy wrote. The Roman army was of a much larger size than what Livy stated and their losses much, much more than what Livy wrote. By all means, Antiochos could have continued the fighting and won (he never made the same mistake twice, btw, and Rome was full of terrible generals.). Rome was quite over extended too with fighting all over the Mediterranean. To add to this, Antiochos still had an alliance with the Galatians and Kappadokians - regions which Rome attacked in a dick move, and could have then only spurred them on to fight more against the invaders. As to why Antiochos didn't...

    In my opinion, Antiochos was probably tired. He was quite old by now and had been campaigning constantly since he ascended to the Seleukid throne. Only two people come even close to this: Alexander, who didn't live very long, and Caesar who took many months on a vacation sailing on the Nile with Kleopatra probably due to exhaustion. Antiochos was also aware of the what damage the four years of fighting with Achaios had caused to the region. In the end, he went with the Treaty of Apameia, which had its pros and cons for both sides and was a far more peaceful solution.

  26. #26
    Krusader's Nemesis Member abou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zarax
    He could try to duke it out with the romans at least another time but then he had two other fronts (egypt and the parthians) open, meaning that it would have been suicidal.
    The Parthians had been cowed into a treaty and submission when Antiochos defeated them during his anabasis. Their expansion didn't really happen until ~170 BC, which was well after the death of Antiochos. The Ptolemies would have been a problem, but there were several city-fortresses in Antiochos control throughout the area, which would have meant a long time before Egyptian forces could have been actively fighting against Antiochos. Also, considering the sheer size of the native revolt, which continued for about five more years, and the losses at Panion, I think think that the Ptolemies could probably only send the most modest of troops.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    I guess I misinterpreted the historical events, I stand corrected.
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  28. #28
    Member Member DeathEmperor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    Well if a thread was going to be hijacked by another topic it was very fortunate that it was this one (that is about the wars of Antiochus the Great). I'm glad that abou has posted quite a bit in here as well. I hold you with much respect as a fellow admirer of the Seleukids abou


    Now regarding Magnesia I feel it gets overrated all too often as an overwhelming victory of the Romans over the Seleukids. The casualties, as abou pointed out, are also too often exaggerated on the Seleukid side and far too diminished on the Roman side. Antiochus had led a cavalry charge comprised of, from what is described in [I]The House of Seleucus: Volume 2[I], "Iranian cavalry" against the left flank of the Roman army. Most likely this cavalry force was comprised of the Kataphractoi and Agema heavy cavalry. The charge itself broke the Roman left and sent it into a rout that was closely pursued by Antiochus and his cavalry all the way to the Roman camp. Now the casualties of the Romans given by Livy as a little over 300 are far too low to reflect this, therefore I believe he chose to almost completely ignore this part of the battle and paint the Romans in the most seemingly invincible light.


    After Magnesia and the end of the Roman/Seleukid War, and the treaty of Apamea Antiochus still ruled a large and powerful empire. True he had lost Asia Minor, but then again it was never truly absorbed into the empire even after the defeat of Acheus. The distant parts of the empire, specifically Armenia, Parthia, and Bactria, did rebel when news of Antiochus' defeat reached them, but these could've been brought back fairly easily under Seleukid control if Antiochus launched a second Eastern campaign. What was important was that Antiochus still held the core parts of the empire namely Syria, Babylonia, and Persia each of which had immense recruiting potential for the royal army and possessed great wealth and the potential for more in themselves. In addition to this he had added Cilicia and Coele-Syria to his realm and their potential riches and soldiers along with them.

    Rome was hesitant at the prospect of a clash with the Seleukids before and even after their victorious war with them. They dreaded the near-mythical wealth and seemingly limitless manpower of the East in general, and despite constant exaggeration over the centuries the rumor of these resources were not completely unfounded and Antiochus alone was in a position to possess them. The Romans were reluctant, perhaps terrified, of going anywhere past the Taurus Mountain range even with the goding of their Greek allies most notably the Rhodians. If Antiochus had chosen to reconquer the East yet again, and perhaps go south and finish the Ptolemies off for good it is doubtful they would have tried to stop him.


    On the whole it is easy to overlook the genius that was Antiochus the Great, and perhaps easier to accept that after their clash with the Romans the Seleukid Empire was broken, but if anyone did so they would be making a grave mistake. Antiochus III is perhaps one of the most brilliant, but underestimated military leaders of the Ancient World and his Empire was the only one that had access to resources that could outmatch Rome's. It is an unfortunate truth, that so many things throughout history have been distorted by either time or biased sources.


    "I fought with all that I had, but at the end I was left wounded, bloodied, and broken and asking myself, "Why?"."

  29. #29

    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    Magnesia is a puzzle in many ways.
    One of the misteries is why Anthiochius didn't employ Hannibal properly, using him as admiral instead of a general.
    Between the two generals and the available resources there was enough potential to kick in a huge war.

    There are some fantasy scenarios in a few games that represents Magnesia as Hannibals' revenge, pitting him against Scipio once more.
    Ironically both great generals were absent from battle, one apparently mistrusted by the seleucids and the other one sick in camp.
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  30. #30
    American since 2012 Senior Member AntiochusIII's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is there any way to make battles more strategically decisive?

    A thread unto my own heart *looks at his screen name*

    I ought to learn more about my internet namesake. The resources on the web are awfully inadequate -- holes that go by years and little in detail. Apart from this touted The Roman War of Antiochus the Great can anyone suggest me other resources? I'll soon be off to college and that is going to both be a boon and a downer, boon since I'd probably get access to a decent library, downer because I can't possibly afford those expensive academic books.

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