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Thread: Autobattles

  1. #1

    Default Autobattles

    Hi guys!

    I was looking in Internet for someone who played a campaign with 100% autobattles. However I found nothing...

    So, I decided to ask directly. Have anybody tried to play a campaign using only autobattles on VH/VH? I tried it a lot...Actually it becomes a different game. Especially, it is very hard with factions like Parthia. On the other hand it is less time consuming then playing battles manually and it becomes faster to conquer the whole map. By some reason (according to Internet and Youtube) this style (100% autobattles) is not popular at all.

    Also I found nothing about mechanics of autobattles. If you know, could you please share the link? I know only that chariots are very operpowered (along with elephants) followed by different urban cohorts.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Autobattles

    Hi there and welcome,

    I find that I will lose autobattles quite often when facing a general with a few stars and my troops have a captain - the AI probabably overpowers difference in command ratings and performance. Similarly attacking a city on autobattle is a recipe for disaster.- my biggest losses occur attacking cities on auto battle. So IMHO going 100% autobattle is either a brave or a foolhardy one. My guess is that the AI simply applies RPSLS (Swords beat Spears beats Horses: Elephants beat most: incendiary pigs beat elephants: most beat incendiary pigs) - Bull warriors are also overpowered in autoresolve. Playing Spain when I got the bull warriors out I autoresolved everything.

  3. #3
    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    Quote Originally Posted by RedKi-rr View Post
    Hi guys!

    I was looking in Internet for someone who played a campaign with 100% autobattles. However I found nothing...

    So, I decided to ask directly. Have anybody tried to play a campaign using only autobattles on VH/VH? I tried it a lot...Actually it becomes a different game. Especially, it is very hard with factions like Parthia. On the other hand it is less time consuming then playing battles manually and it becomes faster to conquer the whole map. By some reason (according to Internet and Youtube) this style (100% autobattles) is not popular at all.

    Also I found nothing about mechanics of autobattles. If you know, could you please share the link? I know only that chariots are very operpowered (along with elephants) followed by different urban cohorts.
    As Rome, or Egypt with Chariots, you can get away with it better than most.

    Auto-resolve is stupid, most of the time. Roman units get huge favors (granted, they are good). Chariots swing auto-resolve in their owner's favor, as do Elephants, and I think War Dogs. With good reason, Spartans and Armoured Hoplites do as well. Stupidly, Bull Warriors do. Many times, I can defeat an enemy where the computer would lose the auto-resolve. I can usually defeat 2:1 odds against me; as Carthage, I recently defeated 3:1 against me in the open field against pre-Marian Rome, with no better infantry than Libyan Spearmen, and no Long Shield Cav, only one or two Round Shields. I thank my one unit of regular Elephants for the victory. I would never have auto-resolved that battle.

    In the city, especially with Roman/Greek Large/Epic Stone walls, I can defeat even lower odds. The walls wipe out at least 25% of the enemies before they even get to me, if I wait at my town center or choke points in the city. Give me a phalanx, and it just increases my strength of victory.

    With experienced Macedonian or Seleucid units, you can usually do fairly well in auto-resolve. Against Rome, you will still not do well at first.
    Last edited by Vincent Butler; 11-15-2017 at 20:35.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

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    As modest stillness and humility:
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    IMHO, auto-resolve is for those too impatient to actually play the game. Every TW game is played at two levels: the strategic level where you develop infrastructure and build an economy; and the tactical level where you test whether your strategy is sound and your battlefield savvy is good. To lop off virtually half the game means to me that you should find a different game to play where it's all about strategy (one of the Civ games, perhaps)

    You can actually play RTW without doing much of anything, if you wish. You can auto-resolve all battles, and you can have the AI auto-manage your economy. Where's the fun in that?

    If you wish to simplify the game, have the AI auto-manage your economy. Battles are the "meat-and-potatoes" of any TW game. I've been playing since Shogun I, and in all that time I cannot remember (in any detail) some economic ploy, or some devious political maneuvering for any of the hundreds of campaigns I've played. But....I remember particular battles (some as far back as 17 yrs ago) where the odds were stacked against me, or I was stuck in a bad starting position on the battlefield, or used the weather to my advantage to win an impossible battle. The battlefield adds emotion to the game. Economics is simply crunching numbers. So whichever is your pleasure...

    p.s.

    When I first started playing Shogun I, I played the tutorials and started in on campaigns. I didn't quite have the knack for pacing and balancing the development of infrastructure with unit training & replacement (in Shogun you only get paid once every year at fall harvest, and with four seasons this is critical). I did ok with the battles but I was frustrated at not being able to grasp the game as a whole and was ready to put the CD on the shelf and move on.

    Then I decided to play a few of the historical battles. The first one I tried was Okehazama and it forever changed my TW experience. The battle starts in a driving thunderstorm with you at the head of a column of Heavy Cavalry. In Shogun, thunderstorms are for real, unlike the wussy event that masquerades as a storm in RTW. Lightning flashes...rain coming down so hard it restricts visibility...crashing peals of thunder.....and I was hooked. I got back into playing the campaigns and have played every release (except ETW/NTW) up to Shogun II.
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 11-16-2017 at 02:10.
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  5. #5
    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    I do autoresolve some battles. For instance, a rebel peasant army is on a road. I dispatch a Roman Cav unit to wipe them out. Yeah, I will sim that battle. Sometimes if I don't feel like commanding an army in a battle the autoresolve will win easily for me, I will autoresolve. I prefer to take tough battles myself, especially if there are favored units against me, such as chariots or Bull Warriors. I always autoresolve my naval battles.

    Agree about the meat and potatoes of the game being the battles. I love the battles; that is a major reason of why I play. Otherwise, I would devote most of my gaming time to Age of Empires instead of Rome.
    Last edited by Vincent Butler; 11-16-2017 at 02:18.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

  6. #6
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    Sometimes if I don't feel like commanding an army in a battle the autoresolve will win easily for me, I will autoresolve
    Agreed, particularly with rebel stacks that are going to run away in any case I detest the pinball auto-resolve system for naval battles, but it is what it is. Much prefer to actually fight them as in Shogun II and RTW II
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  7. #7
    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    Taking a stone-walled city, I tend to autoresolve, unless I need to minimize casualties. It is funny that if you assault without towers, rams, and such, and just autoresolve because it lets you do so with ballistas and onagers, you can still take the town, even if your siege weapons wouldn't be able to breach the defenses if you fought the battle yourself.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

  8. #8

    Default Re: Autobattles

    Hi again!

    First of all, thanks for your answers)

    Recently I did some games using 100% autobattles with some difficult factions like Pontus or Parthia on vh/vh.

    Why do I play with such rule? When I played my first campaings I found out that it is kind of too easy to play normal battles on vh (I mean RomeTW and BI). Cavalry is so good in charging from several directions...And also it takes too much time to conqure all provinces. With 100% autobattles I did the full conquest around 7-8 times I guess. So, now I mostly try to finish the short campaing, and somethimes the long campaing (kind of to come to the point when the conquest of all provinces becomes obvious). Yes, this approach is similar to Civilzation game (in some sense), but it is also a fun game and pretty hardcore. I like to play Civs 1-4 too.

    Eventually, recently I beat the Parthia campaing using autobattles on vh/vh. Overall, I did may be 50 tries Unfortunately, you should choose very narrow strategy in the beginning. And it seems that you must conquer Armenia and Pontus fast enough, otherwise the eastern infantry cannot compete with other troops when everyone becomes advanced. Other problem is to beat Romans, but at this time Parthia should have good economy and can throw masses of cathaphracts into Roman legionaries (here I would point out that Romans are easiest factions to play with autobattles).

    Anyway, with some factions it is pretty fun and challenging. If you like hardcore you should try it. In this mode your economics and strategy must win for you, especially if your faction have weak troops.

    Also I use some minor rules (no reloads, no forts, no spies (except the first one, and it can be used only for observing and not for gate opening), no assasins, no building razing (except temples), no chariots or elephants (they are overpowered), deadline to finish the short campaing is 235 bc (however, now I try to do it before 245-240 bc), no automanaging settlements (so, it is possible to choose only military/cultural/balanced growth and choose buildings and troops). By some reasons I play with small army stacks, but I am not sure how this affect the game and whether it becomes easier or harder. Another rule I would like add, but I think it is too stupid (or too hard?) - settlemens are fully automated without family members. I tried a couple of games like this, but it is too much since AI spends all my money even with saving policy.

    If you you have questions or need specify something, please don't hesitate to write. I will try to answer earlier. This time was is in trip.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    but at this time Parthia should have good economy and can throw masses of cathaphracts into Roman legionaries (here I would point out that Romans are easiest factions to play with autobattles
    I have serious doubts whether one can auto-resolve all battles against Roman factions or Egypt on VH with the insane bonuses given the AI (+7's across the board for morale/attack/defense). I've never empirically tested auto-resolve, but I can cite two examples of how AR works in favor of those two factions.

    First of all, on VH setting for campaign map, the starting composition of all stacks other than your own get some (or mostly all) elite troops. As an example, the SPQR "doomstack" at easier settings will be mostly Principes/Hastatii, a few Triarii, Velites, and a few Equites. On VH, that stack becomes mostly Cohort II, with a few Praetorian and Urbans thrown in, along with Praetorian Cavalry, and Archer Auxillia.....not something one can win on auto-resolve, even at later stages.

    In one of my Armenian campaigns, I fought a series of consecutive battles against the Scipii with a Cataphract army (mixed Heavy Cats & Cat Archers) out in the Libyan Desert. IIRC, there were five full stacks of post-Marian troops thrown against that army by the AI on the same turn. The first four I fought on the battlefield and the result was complete annihilation of the Romans. My own losses were extremely light (I play the battlemap on H setting, the campaign map on VH), maybe 150-200 Cataphracts. Being bored with the game at that point, I opted to auto-resolve the last battle. The result was a close defeat while losing well over half of my army and getting my 10-star general killed. Seriously?

    If one could play the game with the AI controlling all the factions, my guess would be that virtually every time the Romans win the game because all AI battles are auto-resolve. Even the Egyptians lose out rather quickly despite them dominating the Middle East the majority of the time, and even with their elite troops like Pharaoh's Guard/Bowmen, etc.

    Anyway, with some factions it is pretty fun and challenging. If you like hardcore you should try it. In this mode your economics and strategy must win for you, especially if your faction have weak troops.
    If you have weak troops, you'd better be prepared to create endless stacks to throw against the better armies because your troops are going to die by the thousands before you defeat one of those

    But....if you have fun playing the game in this manner, more power to you I just think you miss out on the epic battles that are the backbone of TW games

    BTW, there is an old thread around here where a player, on VH/VH, captured 50 provinces playing as the Greek Cities in 50 turns playing the game by fighting every battle....

    The old link here at the ORG doesn't seem to work anymore. Too bad....there were plenty of screenies showing the players progress. The quickest I've ever seen it done

    (and he didn't fight the SPQR doomstack either...he landed a weak army near the Julii city of Ariminum and lured them far enough away that he could land a second army right next to Rome and take it by assault the first turn)
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 12-05-2017 at 19:08.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Autobattles

    Thank you for you reply!

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    I have serious doubts whether one can auto-resolve all battles against Roman factions or Egypt on VH with the insane bonuses given the AI (+7's across the board for morale/attack/defense). I've never empirically tested auto-resolve, but I can cite two examples of how AR works in favor of those two factions.
    I think it is okay to fight agaist Rome and Egypt. In fact chosen swordsmen doing quite good in temrs of 1 to 1 stack. However, playing with Parthia even 3-5 average stacks are not enough against cohorts (even without exp). There are several reccomendations here:

    -We don't fight face to face with Rome. We are making guerilla war inside Roman territory. We have weak army in general, but it is rather big and we have a lot of stacks. So, we try to avoid most of their forces and aim to their cities which has no defence. Thus, we ruin their economy and loot a lot of money.

    -It is much better to use at least 3-4 star general. Thus, attacking using 2 average stacks against 1 stacks we have somewhat close defeat (if use 3-4 star general) and have clear defeat (if don't use general). This allows to harass their big forces. Also AI has a problem when you aim for theis inner cities and he retreats (usually) his legions from you territory.

    -It is very good to have an elite forces. For example, 1-2 stacks with 8-10 stars general, which consits of cataphracts (well...I don't use elephants since it is kind of similar to chariots, so cataphracts are the best for Parthia) which has 3 exp and silver shield and sword. This army is pretty good and can compete with cohorts. Even if we lose, it is close defeat and then we recharge our army in a city. The biggest problem with cataphracts is that they require 2 turns to be build (so, in my game I mostly used eastern infantry plus persian horse archers)

    -We cannot easily take cities sometimes...Even 1 cohort can protect agaisnt 20 eastern infantries without general. Lol. In this case we need siege the city. Also sieging cities for 4-5 turns is quite common in the start,

    -The first 20 turns should be played nearly perfect (if playing with a weak factions). Then snowball effect will help you much. In my Parthia game I finished short campaing at 240 BC and finished the whole map at 200 BC. In my older games with Pontus I had big problems with green Rome at 200 BC. So, time is playing against us and it is better to start fighting Rome earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    First of all, on VH setting for campaign map, the starting composition of all stacks other than your own get some (or mostly all) elite troops. As an example, the SPQR "doomstack" at easier settings will be mostly Principes/Hastatii, a few Triarii, Velites, and a few Equites. On VH, that stack becomes mostly Cohort II, with a few Praetorian and Urbans thrown in, along with Praetorian Cavalry, and Archer Auxillia.....not something one can win on auto-resolve, even at later stages.

    In one of my Armenian campaigns, I fought a series of consecutive battles against the Scipii with a Cataphract army (mixed Heavy Cats & Cat Archers) out in the Libyan Desert. IIRC, there were five full stacks of post-Marian troops thrown against that army by the AI on the same turn. The first four I fought on the battlefield and the result was complete annihilation of the Romans. My own losses were extremely light (I play the battlemap on H setting, the campaign map on VH), maybe 150-200 Cataphracts. Being bored with the game at that point, I opted to auto-resolve the last battle. The result was a close defeat while losing well over half of my army and getting my 10-star general killed. Seriously?
    I don't usually care about AI's elite troops since I just try overhelm everyone with numbers. But the first two Parthian cataphracts really helps against Armenian. And I am not wonder why you lost in that last autobattles. Now you see why I don't like manual battles. On one hand it is rather easy and you don't need any maneuver at campaing map...on the other hand you fight 30-60 min every turn, especially in Rome-BI, where you fight against hordes. So, I prefer to lose, then to recharge, then to lose again, then recharge these troops again and then win. It would be much faster. Morever, with half of the faction you win first battle instead of the third one and then recharge.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post

    If one could play the game with the AI controlling all the factions, my guess would be that virtually every time the Romans win the game because all AI battles are auto-resolve. Even the Egyptians lose out rather quickly despite them dominating the Middle East the majority of the time, and even with their elite troops like Pharaoh's Guard/Bowmen, etc.



    If you have weak troops, you'd better be prepared to create endless stacks to throw against the better armies because your troops are going to die by the thousands before you defeat one of those
    It is true post Mariyan Rome just smush everything. Moreover, late Egypt doesn't have chariot-general. On the other hand, historically it is quite fair that Rome (usually Red, and may be sometimes Green, and Blue always have just 4 provinces) conquer everything. Lol, need to check it playing with Britons (I did the same in Rome-BI with Celts).

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post

    But....if you have fun playing the game in this manner, more power to you I just think you miss out on the epic battles that are the backbone of TW games
    It is true. But usually with manual battles it takes so much time and not so difficult. By the way, I really like those historical battles in vanilla Rome and won all of them on VH. I wish the game would have more of them, they are really difficult and nice in general. Also, I remember a battle when I played with Rome. I had around stack of around 20 units of early legionaries and was against two full armies of Numidians. I always won it using autobatte and always lost it when did it manually. Lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    BTW, there is an old thread around here where a player, on VH/VH, captured 50 provinces playing as the Greek Cities in 50 turns playing the game by fighting every battle....

    The old link here at the ORG doesn't seem to work anymore. Too bad....there were plenty of screenies showing the players progress. The quickest I've ever seen it done

    (and he didn't fight the SPQR doomstack either...he landed a weak army near the Julii city of Ariminum and lured them far enough away that he could land a second army right next to Rome and take it by assault the first turn)
    50 provinces by 245 BC? Looks pretty nice! Actually, this is another type of challenge and I like it.
    Last edited by RedKi-rr; 12-06-2017 at 15:37.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    But usually with manual battles it takes so much time and not so difficult.
    Maybe so but I play TW games in order to fight those battles, which sometimes can be difficult. My most memorable battle playing Germania came when I got ambushed by two Brittania armies, one directly in front, one directly on my rear. I got stuck in a deep valley between the two so the outlook wasn't good. I decided to take the hill in front by direct assault, double time, with all troops (love those Chosen Archers in melee!), and regroup before the second army could engage my rear. By the time they reached me, I was well entrenched on the hill, leaving them no choice but to climb. Heroic Victory for my general

    I once won a battle as Pontus (with a dozen or so vanilla archer units) against the Greek Cities (about 6 or 7 Armored Hoplites). Another Heroic Victory Had a few of those HV's in Macedonian campaigns against the Romans. Won't bore you with anymore details, but years later I still remember them. Can't recall any epic auto-resolve battles.... (just having a little good-natured fun here).

    on the other hand you fight 30-60 min every turn, especially in Rome-BI, where you fight against hordes. So, I prefer to lose, then to recharge, then to lose again, then recharge these troops again and then win. It would be much faster.
    In Shogun I, epic battles could take 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I loved every minute!

    Thus, we ruin their economy and loot a lot of money.
    Not sure one can actually ruin a Roman economy I've had campaigns where I've blockaded every single Roman port, taken most of their major cities, and yet they continue to send endless stacks against me even though their army upkeep couldn't possibly be sustained by the income they were getting. I've always believed there are built-in monetary perks for Romans, though I can't prove it

    50 provinces by 245 BC?
    Yep. Pretty amazing. Again, it's too bad the old link to that campaign doesn't work anymore. He had lots of screen-shots to document the progress....


    Actually, he outdid himself:

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...ties-Speed-Run

    And then someone outdid him:

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...ht=Greeks+Rule
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 12-06-2017 at 17:39.
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  12. #12
    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    Agree with RS, the battles are the fun part of Rome. Also, you get to test your mettle as a commander. Yes, sometimes I am lazy and let the autoresolve decide, because I look at the enemy army and figure that I don't want to deal with that right now in battle (say it is a lot of Pharaoh's Bowmen and Onagers), unless I feel that my army cannot beat them unless I fight the battle.

    I also can control the losses better, some battles I will fight instead of autoresolve because I know that I can do it with fewer losses than the computer. Example being assaulting a city as a phalanx faction. I do a better job of utilizing the phalanx in the city than the computer would.

    I guess there is a bit of the fantasy side of things in fighting the battles, you get to imagine yourself a good commander, when it is something you will never actually get to do in real life.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

  13. #13
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    I don't usually care about AI's elite troops since I just try overhelm everyone with numbers.
    Spoken like someone who doesn't play barbarian factions much...money is very tight, and you have to do more with less.

    I also can control the losses better, some battles I will fight instead of autoresolve because I know that I can do it with fewer losses than the computer
    Spoken like someone who has played barbarian factions and had to keep losses to a minimum

    So, I prefer to lose, then to recharge, then to lose again, then recharge these troops again and then win
    I'd be real curious to see how you manage this financially, especially on VH setting where you play with a financial handicap. Perhaps some screen-shots to document your progress
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 12-07-2017 at 06:11.
    High Plains Drifter

  14. #14

    Default Re: Autobattles

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Maybe so but I play TW games in order to fight those battles, which sometimes can be difficult. My most memorable battle playing Germania came when I got ambushed by two Brittania armies, one directly in front, one directly on my rear. I got stuck in a deep valley between the two so the outlook wasn't good. I decided to take the hill in front by direct assault, double time, with all troops (love those Chosen Archers in melee!), and regroup before the second army could engage my rear. By the time they reached me, I was well entrenched on the hill, leaving them no choice but to climb. Heroic Victory for my general

    I once won a battle as Pontus (with a dozen or so vanilla archer units) against the Greek Cities (about 6 or 7 Armored Hoplites). Another Heroic Victory Had a few of those HV's in Macedonian campaigns against the Romans. Won't bore you with anymore details, but years later I still remember them. Can't recall any epic auto-resolve battles.... (just having a little good-natured fun here).
    Very unfotunately that difficult battles are very rare. May be that's why I like historical battles.
    And I also still can remember some of my campaing (which I played a lot since saved time using autobattles %) ).
    For exmaple, playing with Gauls I fought on three fronts from the beginning (with their weak economy and undeveloped temples) and eventually won in time. I just sacrifice everything to capture Rome as 15 province...And also was able to recover later.



    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post

    Not sure one can actually ruin a Roman economy I've had campaigns where I've blockaded every single Roman port, taken most of their major cities, and yet they continue to send endless stacks against me even though their army upkeep couldn't possibly be sustained by the income they were getting. I've always believed there are built-in monetary perks for Romans, though I can't prove it

    Well...may be the reason why they didn't send their stacks because I fight their stacks quite rare. Hence, I capture their cities, but they have to maintain their army. So, instead of beating their stack and then beating a fresh one I try to exhaust their economy first (I mean not ports but I try to campture eeach city which is not defended enough).

    Looking at my previous post...I forgot some nice reccomendation. :)

    -Naval is power. Thus, Parthia here is very powerful. Big navy allows to make sneaky attacks to the port cities. Also when you sink Roman ships..by some reason they try to build new ones (thus they doesn't build land forces).

    -Mercenaries. Try to hire most of them. This will give some army and will deny AIs from getting more troops. Especially this is good in Minor Asia (e.g. for Parthia and Pontus). Also when you loot cities you got a lot of money, mercenaries is a qiute good way to spend it (especially for factions with weak infanrty).

    -Experience shrines are kind of overpowered...Well, Parthia doesn't have them. But if we play fast enough then some cities usual have exp. temples (hello Sparta or Campus Scythe) or +1 to weapon temples. So, it really helps to factions like Parthia.

    -In the beginning (playing with Pathia) it is important to build a couple of farms and srhines. It will give you some income and reduce a corruption (so long distances...).

    -Blacksmith is a very nice thing. And may be very improtant. Even those single brozne sword makes Easern infantry better (may be even much better).

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Yep. Pretty amazing. Again, it's too bad the old link to that campaign doesn't work anymore. He had lots of screen-shots to document the progress....


    Actually, he outdid himself:

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...ties-Speed-Run

    And then someone outdid him:

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...ht=Greeks+Rule

    Thanks a lot for the links! I will check it. :)
    Last edited by RedKi-rr; 12-09-2017 at 22:55.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Autobattles

    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Butler View Post
    Agree with RS, the battles are the fun part of Rome. Also, you get to test your mettle as a commander. Yes, sometimes I am lazy and let the autoresolve decide, because I look at the enemy army and figure that I don't want to deal with that right now in battle (say it is a lot of Pharaoh's Bowmen and Onagers), unless I feel that my army cannot beat them unless I fight the battle.

    I also can control the losses better, some battles I will fight instead of autoresolve because I know that I can do it with fewer losses than the computer. Example being assaulting a city as a phalanx faction. I do a better job of utilizing the phalanx in the city than the computer would.

    I guess there is a bit of the fantasy side of things in fighting the battles, you get to imagine yourself a good commander, when it is something you will never actually get to do in real life.
    I aslo saw a variant of rules where you can fight battles only as a faction leader :) Other battles you have to be resolves. It also can be interesting and kind of a role-play game.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Autobattles

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Spoken like someone who doesn't play barbarian factions much...money is very tight, and you have to do more with less.
    Actually, I played as barbarians as well. :) Money is very tight but forces are very strong and "I don't usually care about AI's elite troops since I just try overhelm everyone with numbers." was referred to Eastern and Carthagian factions. :) Again, it is important to avoid unfavorable battles and try to capture easy cities.




    I don't consider Britons since they are very easy to play. Dacia is also pretty easy (just go with all your forces and capture Macedonian capitol and build chosen swordsmen). I finish the short campaign around 254-253 BC which are pretty good dates for autobattles. I am going to play with Scythe and Spain. So, it is left Gauls and Germans. I usually almost don't build building and try to put all resourses into military (people, temples, blacksmith) and then I conqure AI cities and get money. In particularly, money for retrain with preserving some exp. It more o less worked for Gauls. And about Germans...It is completely useless to fight against Britons...They suffer so much against chariots...So, I build an army and marched towards East. Defeated Dacia and went to Macedonia and Greece with their rich cities.

    So, one of the rules here - war feeds wars. :) And this is main thing before you get around 20 cities.





    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post


    I'd be real curious to see how you manage this financially, especially on VH setting where you play with a financial handicap. Perhaps some screen-shots to document your progress
    This "So, I prefer to lose, then to recharge, then to lose again, then recharge these troops again and then win" about Pathia/Pontus. And it was around middle and late game. In the beginning Eastern infantry can more or less to compete with other troops. :) Also there is one good things about them that they are pretty cheap. :)

    Anyway, I will put some screenshots in the next post. Unfortunately, the earliest save is when I was about finishing the short campaign.
    If you are interested in other dates (earlier or later) then please let me know, I will try to look them in my saves.
    Last edited by RedKi-rr; 12-09-2017 at 22:55.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Autobattles

    At the picture below you see my typical army in the beginning. A little experienced Eastern infantry and some mercs. Also, by some reason I already have armored general. And since this faction heir has so many stars he started to have gold experience. I am not sure how crucial it was for my game.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I already started to build some naval forces. Even if I surrounded by enenmy...even if I will be defeated...I will retrain and regroup and return.
    Attachment 20303


    This is nice temple which made a hald of the game for my Pathia since all streams of my troops retrained here or in Sparta.
    Attachment 20304


    And this is some trade.
    Attachment 20305


    Again, my typical army. Usually I bring two stacks against one. Having Egypt makes the finances much better.
    Attachment 20306


    And this is fight against Rome. You can see how many stacks I did bring with the main forces which have some cavalry as well now. This is the rest of Purple Rome (a couple of turns before I sent and sent my army and then regroup and retrain.
    Attachment 20307
    Last edited by RedKi-rr; 12-15-2017 at 21:31.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    The links do not seem to work

    I've been giving this topic some thought, but first some "set-in-stone" givens:

    1) A player will always take much higher losses using auto-resolve than fighting the battles manually.

    2) On VH campaign map settings, starting stacks (except the players) will often contain several or more elite units for a particular faction making auto-resolve even more difficult at the beginning

    3) On VH battlemap settings, the AI gets a hefty +7 bonus to morale (which essentially means any enemy unit will fight to the death rather than flee) and a +7 to attack (which means peasants will have the same base attack value as Heavy Cataphracts )

    4) On VH campaign map settings, the AI is almost insanely aggressive (even rebel stacks will attack your cities)

    5) On VH campaign map settings, every other faction on the map gets an economic bonus (not sure of the exact amount), while the player not only starts with far less denarii than normal (a 5k starting treasury is trimmed to 2k), but suffers a 10% penalty on all income (farm/tax/trade)

    Given these parameters, I find this statement more than a bit curious:

    Recently I did some games using 100% autobattles with some difficult factions like Pontus or Parthia on vh/vh.
    Any Roman faction, probably any Greek faction, and perhaps Carthage, could thrive using auto-resolve on the battlefield because all of them have a robust starting economy, or at least the possibility of creating one rather quickly (and playing every battle on auto-resolve is an expensive way to play), and decent enough units to survive auto-resolve.

    But Parthia? I'm highly skeptical, which is why I asked for screenies. I've played every faction that RTW has to offer many multiple times (mostly at the VH/H setting) and IMHO, Parthia's economy is the most difficult to get up and running of any faction, including the barbarians. Starting provinces are extremely poor, there's no port provinces for quite some ways, and on the VH setting, Parthia will be at war with Armenia, Scythia, and Seleucia all within the first 5 years (or less).

    On VH campaign setting, you start with 2k denarii, and army upkeep (including the diplomat, spy, family members, and solitary bireme) is going to run nearly 3k/turn. You have 17 cavalry units (4 generals, 2 Cataphracts, and 11 Horse Archers), 4 Slingers, and 1 Peasant unit. Only the family members and the two heavy Cats would auto-resolve with any chance for success. The Horse Archers get slaughtered, as do your slingers and peasant. Seeing as your primary enemy (Seleucia) has boat-loads of Militia Hoplites (and the family member parked in Seleucia is the six-star faction leader), AR with Seleucia is looking like suicide.

    If you build a road in Media province (400 denarii), and put a wooden palisade around Arsakia (another 400 denarii, IIRC), and recruit 3 Eastern Infantry, all in the first turn, you've just spent 1790 of your starting 2000 denarii, and army upkeep went up 450 denarii/turn for the EI. Expansion better happen quickly or the budget won't be able to keep up. Phraaspa is no help as it's dirt poor, doesn't even have a basic wooden palisade, no road, and will quickly get you into a war with Armenia (which, even if you mange to eliminate them, gains you two provinces just as poor as the three you started with, and extends your borders invitingly for Pontus and Seleucia.

    Does anyone else agree with my dismal take on auto-resolving battles at the start of a Parthian campaign? The only way to survive, IMHO, lies in fighting battles on the field using horse archer tactics. In fact, the only way I've ever taken Seleucia was to siege it, wait for an outside relief force to attack me, and win the battle in the open, where the HA's do what they do, and the Cataphracts are used for killing enemy generals.

    IMO, it's near impossible to do (for Parthia, and probably every barbarian faction) on VH setting. Only detailed screenies, particularly the faction financial screen (taken every 2 turns), will convince me otherwise

    [edit]
    At the picture below you see my typical army in the beginning. A little experienced Eastern infantry and some mercs.
    Also, by some reason I already have armored general. And since this faction heir has so many stars he started to have gold experience
    In vanilla RTW v1.5, Parthia doesn't have any Eastern Infantry to start (according to the descr_strat directory) and no starting family member has any weapon/armor upgrades, and mercs would bust the Parthian economy rather quickly. So what version of RTW are you referring to?

    Again, it is important to avoid unfavorable battles and try to capture easy cities.
    The only "easy" city to capture as Parthia is Phraaspa, which helps little as it's population is only 800 or so. Parthia needs the city of Seleucia, and auto-resolve ends your campaign rather quickly on the banks of the Tigris River, IMO

    [edit]
    And about Germans...It is completely useless to fight against Britons...They suffer so much against chariots...So, I build an army and marched towards East
    I've played Germania more than any other barbarian faction, and you simply don't have a choice but to fight Britannia. Their starting stack in Belgica province makes a beeline for the nearest Germania town virtually every time, as do the Gauls. In fact, in just about every one of my Germania campaigns, Gaul and Britannia form an alliance (normally they are at each others throats) and you must get a minimal sized navy going to stop Britannia reinforcements from Londinium landing in Belgica. Germania can fight either one, but not both...you just don't have enough money to keep up.

    Marching east is simply not an option, IMHO
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 12-15-2017 at 13:33.
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  19. #19
    Member Member LordK9's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    Doesn't the AI consider archers of all sorts to be front line troops in auto resolve (ie, no arrows are shot)? That would make Parthia practically useless.

  20. #20
    Requin Member Vincent Butler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    Quote Originally Posted by LordK9 View Post
    Doesn't the AI consider archers of all sorts to be front line troops in auto resolve (ie, no arrows are shot)? That would make Parthia practically useless.
    It does seem that way. If fighting a lot of archers I tend to autoresolve, because I don't feel like dealing with my guys getting shot to pieces, and it seems the AI does not utilize their archers as such.

    A player will always take much higher losses using auto-resolve than fighting the battles manually.
    Usually. I had two gold sword, gold shield, one experience Spartans lose several men to two or three Barbarian Peasants.
    Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight: Psalm 144:1

    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    -Henry V by William Shakespeare

  21. #21
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    Everything you ever wanted to know (and, like me, probably never knew in the first place ) about the EDU (export_descr_unit) which is the directory the AI uses to calculate auto-resolve:

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...lete-EDU-Guide

    Then there's this:

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...-it-be-changed

    And this: [go to pg 3, post #71]

    https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showt...ide-Discussion

    And after reading through all of that, it seems there is actually one instance where auto-resolve might win a battle for a player that he/she more often loses....castle assault. Not every castle assault, but often the ones where the attacker has a lot of onagers. Seems auto-resolve doesn't take fortifications into consideration, nor castle defenses like arrow towers, boiling oil, etc, so the onagers use their attack values against the garrison and it's assumed they fire off all of their ammunition.

    As a sidebar, the discussion of long pikes and short spears (1st link) is quite fascinating. Something I was never aware of

    Still doesn't change my opinion about auto-resolve campaigns for Eastern factions or Barbarians...
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 12-16-2017 at 04:14.
    High Plains Drifter

  22. #22

    Default Re: Autobattles

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Everything you ever wanted to know (and, like me, probably never knew in the first place ) about the EDU (export_descr_unit) which is the directory the AI uses to calculate auto-resolve:

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...lete-EDU-Guide

    Then there's this:

    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...-it-be-changed

    And this: [go to pg 3, post #71]

    https://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showt...ide-Discussion

    And after reading through all of that, it seems there is actually one instance where auto-resolve might win a battle for a player that he/she more often loses....castle assault. Not every castle assault, but often the ones where the attacker has a lot of onagers. Seems auto-resolve doesn't take fortifications into consideration, nor castle defenses like arrow towers, boiling oil, etc, so the onagers use their attack values against the garrison and it's assumed they fire off all of their ammunition.

    As a sidebar, the discussion of long pikes and short spears (1st link) is quite fascinating. Something I was never aware of

    Still doesn't change my opinion about auto-resolve campaigns for Eastern factions or Barbarians...
    Thanks a lot for you replies! I really appreciate it.:) And these links...they are the thing what I was looking for.

    A couple of days ago I did some tests and I think that I found out the point why we have so opposite opinions about autobattles.

    And it is...stack size! Usually I play with the smallest stack sizes (i.e., 6 general bodyguards, 13 cavalries, 30 peasants). Don't ask me why. :) I just don't remember. At some point I started to play with it and then continued. Thus, now I started with Parthia on vh/vh with the largest stask sizes (i.e., 48 general bodyguars, 108 cavalries, 240 peasnats) and was very surpised when I was not able to take the first Armenian city! With the smallest stack size I usually succeed with it. Morevover, playing with Romans with huge stack size I had quite a big problems too! Moreveor, you usually have so many losses that sometimes don't have enough population to replace it! Actually, developers did a big mistake when put the option about stack size into Video options. It should be somewhere near battle/campaign difficulty. It really changes game!

    So, please consider all my words in this threads taking into account small stack size. And then it becomes quite interesting game (at least up to short campaign which takes just 1-2 hours). I would compare the autobattle question with the one in Heroes of Might and Magic 3. I would never play it with autobattles, however at some point people played tournaments with autobattles. At least it was viable.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    The links do not seem to work I've been giving this topic some thought, but first some "set-in-stone" givens:

    1) A player will always take much higher losses using auto-resolve than fighting the battles manually.

    By some reason all pictures dissapeared...I uploaded them using just standard tools of the forum. Now I reuploaded one of them, thus you can see the stack size. Also by "the beginning" I mean a different thing. :)



    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    2) On VH campaign map settings, starting stacks (except the players) will often contain several or more elite units for a particular faction making auto-resolve even more difficult at the beginning

    3) On VH battlemap settings, the AI gets a hefty +7 bonus to morale (which essentially means any enemy unit will fight to the death rather than flee) and a +7 to attack (which means peasants will have the same base attack value as Heavy Cataphracts )

    4) On VH campaign map settings, the AI is almost insanely aggressive (even rebel stacks will attack your cities)
    Hm...I didn't noticed many elite Armenian troops. They usually have 1 cataphract. May be others just go somewhere else?

    Rebels are annoying, but it is fine. Once you have enough military power they don't attack so bravely.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    5) On VH campaign map settings, every other faction on the map gets an economic bonus (not sure of the exact amount), while the player not only starts with far less denarii than normal (a 5k starting treasury is trimmed to 2k), but suffers a 10% penalty on all income (farm/tax/trade)
    And here I have a question...I noted that farm/tax/trade are worse at vh. Also public order looks worse. However, I didn't noticed that starting treasury are 2k, it is always 5k. I play vanilla Rome Total War, patch 1.5 (actually it is the same in 1.3), also in some youtube videos on vh/vh they have 5k. Do I play a wrong version?...Or is 2k just from mod?...


    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    Given these parameters, I find this statement more than a bit curious:

    Recently I did some games using 100% autobattles with some difficult factions like Pontus or Parthia on vh/vh. Any Roman faction, probably any Greek faction, and perhaps Carthage, could thrive using auto-resolve on the battlefield because all of them have a robust starting economy, or at least the possibility of creating one rather quickly (and playing every battle on auto-resolve is an expensive way to play), and decent enough units to survive auto-resolve.

    But Parthia? I'm highly skeptical, which is why I asked for screenies. I've played every faction that RTW has to offer many multiple times (mostly at the VH/H setting) and IMHO, Parthia's economy is the most difficult to get up and running of any faction, including the barbarians. Starting provinces are extremely poor, there's no port provinces for quite some ways, and on the VH setting, Parthia will be at war with Armenia, Scythia, and Seleucia all within the first 5 years (or less).
    I see. I will try to start a new game with Parthia at vh/vh with small stack size and will do more early saves. The old one doesn't have that easly saves (the easliest one is 240 BC, and I considered it as the beginning since I played until whole conquer). Now I see that you are interested in the initial part of the game. So, I try to do in around the next weekend (with pictures :) ).



    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    On VH campaign setting, you start with 2k denarii, and army upkeep (including the diplomat, spy, family members, and solitary bireme) is going to run nearly 3k/turn. You have 17 cavalry units (4 generals, 2 Cataphracts, and 11 Horse Archers), 4 Slingers, and 1 Peasant unit. Only the family members and the two heavy Cats would auto-resolve with any chance for success. The Horse Archers get slaughtered, as do your slingers and peasant. Seeing as your primary enemy (Seleucia) has boat-loads of Militia Hoplites (and the family member parked in Seleucia is the six-star faction leader), AR with Seleucia is looking like suicide.

    If you build a road in Media province (400 denarii), and put a wooden palisade around Arsakia (another 400 denarii, IIRC), and recruit 3 Eastern Infantry, all in the first turn, you've just spent 1790 of your starting 2000 denarii, and army upkeep went up 450 denarii/turn for the EI. Expansion better happen quickly or the budget won't be able to keep up. Phraaspa is no help as it's dirt poor, doesn't even have a basic wooden palisade, no road, and will quickly get you into a war with Armenia (which, even if you mange to eliminate them, gains you two provinces just as poor as the three you started with, and extends your borders invitingly for Pontus and Seleucia.

    Does anyone else agree with my dismal take on auto-resolving battles at the start of a Parthian campaign? The only way to survive, IMHO, lies in fighting battles on the field using horse archer tactics. In fact, the only way I've ever taken Seleucia was to siege it, wait for an outside relief force to attack me, and win the battle in the open, where the HA's do what they do, and the Cataphracts are used for killing enemy generals.

    IMO, it's near impossible to do (for Parthia, and probably every barbarian faction) on VH setting. Only detailed screenies, particularly the faction financial screen (taken every 2 turns), will convince me otherwise

    My strategy usually is as follows: at the second turn I try to take Phraaspa and then to build a farm here. It is not great, but it is better then nothing. Then with the whole South army I try to take the first Armenian city. Very often they often they move their forces somewhere, and sometimes they start war with Seleucia. With small stack size you usually able to defeat their general which has also a couple of infanty. It will give you some loot money. If you march immediately to the second city you can be lucky to take it with a few forces. Anyway, using these loot money I would recommend to build blacksmith in Campus Shakae or in Susa and then to build a several Eastern Infanty. Campus Allani is good fort against Sckythe and from Susa you can attack lightly defended Hanging Gardens (Seleucia usually are at war with Egypt at this point). All these things will give you some gold to train and army of Eastern Infanrty with bronze swords. The next goal should be Pontus with a lot of mercenaries in Minor Asia. I would repeat once more...This should work at least for smallest stack size.

    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    "At the picture below you see my typical army in the beginning. A little experienced Eastern infantry and some mercs. Also, by some reason I already have armored general. And since this faction heir has so many stars he started to have gold experience"

    In vanilla RTW v1.5, Parthia doesn't have any Eastern Infantry to start (according to the descr_strat directory) and no starting family member has any weapon/armor upgrades, and mercs would bust the Parthian economy rather quickly. So what version of RTW are you referring to?
    As I mentioned. By "the beginning" I meant the end of short campaign (240 BC) since I played untial the whole conquest. So, it is not really the beginning at 270 BC where we don't have an Eastern Infantry. I play RWT v1.5 (and v1.3) vanilla versions.


    Quote Originally Posted by ReluctantSamurai View Post
    "And about Germans...It is completely useless to fight against Britons...They suffer so much against chariots...So, I build an army and marched towards East"

    I've played Germania more than any other barbarian faction, and you simply don't have a choice but to fight Britannia. Their starting stack in Belgica province makes a beeline for the nearest Germania town virtually every time, as do the Gauls. In fact, in just about every one of my Germania campaigns, Gaul and Britannia form an alliance (normally they are at each others throats) and you must get a minimal sized navy going to stop Britannia reinforcements from Londinium landing in Belgica. Germania can fight either one, but not both...you just don't have enough money to keep up. Marching east is simply not an option, IMHO


    Well...but you just cannot fight against Britons at autobattles...Even with small stacks...So, I just had a deffensive army there. And the rest of the army went to Dacia and to Sckythe (moreover you must defeat them in short campaign). If you don't play short campaigns then probably you can concentrate at Britons and Gauls. Do you usually play with this option on or off? :)


    P.S. Why my messages always completely dissappeares when I am trying to answer to the second quote in the same window?...I already lost a couple of messages...It is because of my old browser? :)
    Last edited by RedKi-rr; 12-16-2017 at 16:26.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    A couple of days ago I did some tests and I think that I found out the point why we have so opposite opinions about autobattles
    No, not unit size....economics. As I said, Romans, Greeks, and Carthage are probably viable. Eastern factions and barbarians, I'm skeptical.

    Also by "the beginning" I mean a different thing.
    Beginning to me means 270BC

    When I play VH campaign map setting, starting denarii is 2k. Maybe someone else who plays the same setting can chime in

    Now I see that you are interested in the initial part of the game
    Yep. It's more the financial screens that I'm interested in, and maybe major battles...

    So, I just had a deffensive army there
    You can only hold them off for so long. Sooner or later Britannia's faction leader shows up with major reinforcements from Londinium, and he's an 8-star general (IIRC) with loads of chariots. Then what? And Gaul is also busy hammering at you, and if they form an alliance (as they usually do on VH), what happens when you have to fight an army from each faction in the same battle?

    This is spoken from experience, as I have played Germania many, many times at the VH campaign setting. I learned the hard way to stifle Britannia's reinforcements with a small navy that sinks everything that tries to leave Londinium port. Gaul is still a handful, but without their ally, Germania's better unit roster prevails. I consider myself a pretty decent battlefield commander, and I found I could not fight both Britannia and Gaul together. I cannot imagine that auto-resolve will help matters any

    If you don't play short campaigns then probably you can concentrate at Britons and Gauls. Do you usually play with this option on or off?
    After playing so many full campaigns, they got boring after one reaches 30 or 35 provinces. I played many more short campaigns, which you can continue playing after the victory conditions are met, and with certain factions like Macedonia, Armenia, Scipii, and Carthage, I would continue into a full campaign.

    Campus Allani is good fort against Sckythe and from Susa you can attack lightly defended Hanging Gardens (Seleucia usually are at war with Egypt at this point)
    I never hang on to Campus Sakae for very long (pretty sure that's what you were referring to). It's too far away from where I want to go, and becomes a public order headache later on. I disband the useless slingers and peasants, put the remaining troops on a boat and bring them home where they become far more useful than defending a far-flung outpost that means nothing.

    Trouble with Seleucia on VH is that most of the time (not every) they make peace with Egypt and concentrate on Parthia, which is why the city of Seleucia is so important. Parthia needs the more advanced barracks that Seleucia has, and the +4 to farming to boost population growth in Susa, which btw, should be the Parthian capital (it was historically, Arsakia was just a summer palace). Horse Archers and Eastern Infantry will not auto-resolve well with militia hoplites, IMHO
    High Plains Drifter

  24. #24

    Default Re: Autobattles

    "Also I found nothing about mechanics of autobattles."

    Years ago when trying (and failing) to make the AI work the way I wanted I used to play games 100% on auto resolve as I was mainly interested in watching when and where the AI faction's stack's path finding got stuck. Anyway I've been redoing my personal mod over the last few days as I fancied an RTW nostalgia trip and so have the numbers handy.

    To a reasonable first approximation autocalc strength is: soldiers x melee attack x hit points so for example (vanilla stats, large size)
    barb peasants 120x1=120
    barb archers 80x3=240
    barb peltasts 80x6 = 480
    barb spear warband 120x7 = 840
    barb sword warband 80x10 = 800
    (nb swordsman unlikely to be built->lots of larger size warbands->depleted population)
    (nb i reduce spear warband to standard size for that reason)
    barb chosen swords 80x13 = 1040
    barb cavalry 54x8 = 432
    barb noble cavalry 54x9 = 486
    (nb missiles relatively weak cos low melee attack)
    (nb cavalry units relatively weak cos smaller unit size)
    horse archers 54x3 = 162
    (nb horse archers get double weakness - they're only slightly better than peasants)

    it's quite useful to know for modders as it's one reason why some factions expand easily and some don't e.g. horse archer factions like scythia have a hard time expanding.

    there will be other factors like walls and command stars but i assume they act as a multiplier of the base autocalc strength so the base strength is key

    the real kicker is units with extra hit points
    standard general's bodyguard (2 hit points) is 24 soldiers so 24x12x2 = 576
    faction leader bodyguard (2 hit points) is 44 soldiers so 44x12x2 = 1056
    nb number of soldiers in bodyguard unit increases with influence (up to 64 IIRC)
    nb generals can also get extra hp and chevron through traits
    e.g. a faction leader general with 64 soldiers, +3 exp chevrons and +3hp -> autocalc score of 64x15x5 = 4800 (i.e. roughly 30 horse archer units)

    (nb your main stack general will get lots of command stars and lots of scars. i assume the command stars help autocalc and scar traits definitely do as scar traits give extra hp)

    the biggest kicker of all however is chariots (probably elephants too but they don't appear in numbers till later whereas chariots are there in numbers early on for some factions)

    britons
    light chariot(2hp) 36x10x2=720
    heavy chariot(3hp) 36x13x3=1404
    standard general heavy chariot (5hp) 36x13x5 = 2340
    faction leader hvy chariot (5hp) 60x13x5 = 3,900!
    (nb this is before extra soldiers for increased influence or extra exp or extra hit points)

    egypt
    chariot archers (2hp) 54x9x2 = 972
    hvy chariots (3hp) 54x12x3 = 1944
    general chariot archers (5hp) 24x12x5 = 1440
    faction leader chariot archers (5hp) 46x12x5 = 2760

    chariot generals is why britons and egypt nearly always win their corners of the map.

    the easiest way to win on autocalc as a player is collect all your generals together in a big stack with some infantry units as padding to soak up casualties and then go on a rampage.

    parthia and pontus have relatively weak autocalc units but if you hit the harder (in autocalc terms) factions either early (before they're very strong) or late (when your general is uber) i imagine you could do it with any faction - just easiest with chariot factions.

    (nb with retraining your main killer stacks will be gold chevroned after a while which is +7 to +9 to melee attack and don't forget blacksmith and shrines can add another +3)

    one easy way to make a weakly expanding faction do better at the start without altering the entire game is give one of their elderly generals a powerful bodyguard unit so it disappears when they die.

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  25. #25
    Member Member LordK9's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    One quick question to nikolai1962: Do spear/phalanx units get a 2x multiplier vs cavalry/chariots in auto battles? Just wondering because in the vanilla game when one is fighting battles manually, the AI has a bad habit of charging their generals into them and getting annihilated.

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    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    @ nikolai

    Welcome home. Your research on AI pathfinding was beautiful It prompted me to play games with FOW turned off so that I could observe AI behavior. Saw much of what you had described, especially how even minor changes in terrain or eliminating sharp turns in roads could enhance AI movement. There was one statement you made that was curious to me:

    I think CA needs to move to hexagons
    I've always wondered why CA never did this as there are so many strategy games that use hexagons. Did you ever revise your thinking on this, and would it have made AI pathfinding better or just more complicated?

    And this was the reason I stopped playing TW games starting with RTW II:

    I must admit i was pretty surprised to see the MTW map was so full of the same problems and to see the AI still stalling after retreats etc. As you say some of these flaws (like Tribus Sakae) should be so obvious it's baffling they weren't looked at. I guess it all comes down to the strategic aspect of the TW games being designed more as battle generators than a strategy game. It seems it is not a priority compared to the tactical side
    CA seemed to care less about making a good game, in its' entirety, and more about mass appeal...ie the younger crowd who'll buy the game, play it for awhile, then move on. Heck, I still play Shogun I after all these years

    Back to the topic. You also made this statement:

    Numbers count for a lot. Large units are important and cav units are generally smaller. Also it seems high missile attack ratings are wieghted much lower than high melee attack ratings. What this means is that horse archer type factions have a huge differential between how strong their stacks are for auto-calc compared with how strong they are when a player uses them in a battle
    So cavalry-heavy armies and especially horse-archer factions will be extremely passive unless you give them infantry units too or make the cavalry units much larger etc
    Which is kind of what the OP has done if you look at the army in his first screenie...only a single horse archer unit.

    Also...how does unit size play into the equation? RedKi-rr seems to have gotten different results using huge unit size vs small unit size, or is that just random effect outcomes? I would assume that a general unit becomes more prominent at smaller sizes because proportionately his unit is reduced less than an Eastern Infantry unit, for example?
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 12-17-2017 at 14:58.
    High Plains Drifter

  27. #27

    Default Re: Autobattles

    @LordK9

    My testing of this has been

    1) hundreds of hours autocalcing but only as a sideline while watching AI pathing problems so I mostly only noticed when i attacked a seemingly weak AI stack who had a chariot general or massively upgraded regular general and I got slaughtered

    and

    2) a few hours here and there of very quick and dirty testing to confirm that soldiers x melee attack x hit points was predictive of autocalc strength most of the time

    so all i can say for sure is soldiers x melee attack x hitpoints is very predictive on its own and I doubt phalanx are treated differently but I can't say for sure as I haven't specifically tested it. However I don't recall having any noticeable problems with Macedon or Seleucids in my old autocalc games (apart from the bigger unit size).

    Yeah, the AI generals' suicide charge in battle is one of the biggest AI flaws (and is probably partly related to giving the general unit strong stats for autocalc) but I haven't looked at the battle side of the AI much as I could never fully fix the pathing - which is what I was a bit obsessed with. I turn the generals bodyguard unit into infantry (or missile cav for some factions) so they don't do it.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Autobattles

    @ReluctantSamurai

    Welcome home.
    Thanks :)

    Your research on AI pathfinding was beautiful It prompted me to play games with FOW turned off so that I could observe AI behavior. Saw much of what you had described, especially how even minor changes in terrain or eliminating sharp turns in roads could enhance AI movement.
    Ty - unfortunately not being able to fix it completely always put me off the TW games for a while but maybe this time will be different.

    There was one statement you made that was curious to me: "I think CA needs to move to hexagons." I've always wondered why CA never did this as there are so many strategy games that use hexagons. Did you ever revise your thinking on this, and would it have made AI pathfinding better or just more complicated?
    Yes, I revised my thinking on that. I think the core problem is/was more a case of computational load than faulty path finding (although there are diagonal path-finding bugs as well). You could see this in MTW2 where an AI stack that was stuck somewhere would suddenly move when it was made into a crusade army and got a load more movement points. I think the path finding is/was deliberately constricted by slow movement cos otherwise the game would grind to a halt during the AI turn with all the calculations. It was okay in MTW2 with crusade stacks cos there was only ever a few of them at a time.

    Increasing the base movement rate of all units helps path-finding for the same reason (as long as the map size isn't increased by a larger proportion) and similarly factions with the most movement traits (e.g. Romans) get stuck less often. So my guess now is hexagons would actually make this issue worse rather than better. There would be more complex path finding and combined with TW's very high number of actors it would likely make the AI turn too slow.

    And this was the reason I stopped playing TW games starting with RTW II - CA seemed to care less about making a good game, in its' entirety
    same, although I've mellowed enough on it to have another bash.

    Also...how does unit size play into the equation?
    good question which i don't know the answer to as i did all my testing on large sizes - as you say any difference will likely be related to a difference in the proportions of multi-hp units versus the rest (if nay).
    Last edited by nikolai1962; 12-17-2017 at 17:44.

  29. #29
    Senior Member Senior Member ReluctantSamurai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Autobattles

    Increasing the base movement rate of all units helps path-finding
    And it also helps in the realm of reality. The movement of a unit (land or sea) from point A to point B on the map might take a year or two, whereas in real life, said unit could make the trip in days or weeks.

    It seems that reducing the HP value used in auto-resolve for certain units might help lessen the impact of unfavorable results, but...messing with a single number or stat often has unintended consequences in other areas. I believe the stat_sec file (as mentioned by Aradan) also greatly impacts auto-resolve in the way of casualties sustained, and changing those values do not affect manual battles. That post # 71 in the third link above, nails it, I think

    One of the ways I dealt with chariots was to eliminate them from the game. The Celts still had them in the time frame of the game, so I let Britannia keep theirs, but Egypt lose theirs (and Egypt was poorly done to begin with, ie. The Mummy skins, and should have been historically represented as Ptolemaic Greeks). The last recorded use of them in battle in the Middle East was in Alexanders time, and the javelin was quickly making them obsolete, in any case.

    there will be other factors like walls and command stars
    According to Aradan [second link in post #21]:

    Experience shows that auto-resolve ignores fortifications completely, so probably that's why that happened. And yes, command plays a major part in it, as does experience level.
    And after reading the accounts of players who auto-resolve siege battles, it seems to be the case that the AI ignores fortifications

    MasterOfNone had this partial solution:

    The best you can do is set up a SiegeStarter trait that, when it detects siege battles, gives a -10 command to the attacker and a +10 command to the defender.
    Last edited by ReluctantSamurai; 12-17-2017 at 20:08.
    High Plains Drifter

  30. #30

    Default Re: Autobattles

    @Reluctant Samurai

    yep, all good points

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