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Galen
17th Mar 2003, 06:19
Having read over this site;

http://webpages.charter.net/brueggeman/table-of-contents.html

and playing the game for a couple of days, would like to discuss strategy with other players.

The first question, in my mind, is the right formation for march. Ideally, the moving column should be flexible enough to adjust for sudden encounters, but coherent enough to control.

The march, for the Romans, was different from the battle formations, see the above link. However, we need to keep our troops in battle formation for different kinds of enemies.

What are your favorites for different situations? I guess I am looking for us to compile a strategy guide of some sort here.

Here are some of my ideas, playing as Roman so far;

a. skirmishers in the front of hte pack, expendables who can absorb the first hit and reduce the ranks, for this aux. soldiers if u can spare them

b. spearmen, with archers assigned to protect them

c. legionairres, assigned to protect spearman

d. second wave of 2 units of archers moving together, with a right or left flank spearman unit protecting them

e. my heavy MUSCLE, 2-4 legionaire groups

f. the rear guard, aux fighters and spearman

I will insert an additional aux fighter group in the center of the column to build structures with.

The column I describe closely resembles the march used to approach combat by the Romans as clear as I understand it.

Now of course, gladitors and cavalry have differet uses, etc...

So lets get the ball rolling. How do you like to set up your troops?

By the way; this game is bloody fantastic. I picked it up on a lark returning some used games and,...well, I am hooked.

Lets roll!

Galen of Cos; Physican to the Gladiators

Galen
17th Mar 2003, 06:31
There is also great discussion on the appropriate time for legions to throw their prjoctile weapons. Accordint to historical account. these were thrown during a rush. There was much speculation on how the throws were timed, as the legion columns were several ranks deep.

One thing is certain, no Roman soldier fought for more than 5-10 minutes, they were rapidly rotated off the field to the rear and replaced. In all simulations to date, no person is capable of sustaining hand to hand combat for more then a few minutes.

So I beleive one strategy that must be incorporated is withdrawal of the front line troops after each engagement. The physician can be therefore placed in the mid point of the column as it advances, so that wounded troops move back to be healed, rather than bringing him forward to heal after each encounter. This opens up a host of tactical possiblities, using each succssive legion or spearman group to rush to opponent.

The one sticking point is the game's ability to let us withdraw troops after engagement. After reading extensively on this, this simulation is quite accurate, it is impossible to disengage from hand to hand encounters. However, the troop rotation was based on footwork, rather than retreat, and we need to somehow brining this element into the game.

I am just hoping the game designers read their history. LOL, or this will be another warcraft minus building.

Cheers

Galen, Physician to the Gladiators

Destraex
17th Mar 2003, 08:10
Galen have you played any of the demo?

No large formations are possible. And the individual units you have very little control over. It seems two formations is the maximum for any unit.

You cant even make them stay in order during march as the faster ones quickly overtake the slower units unless you fusspot over making them guard each other.

http://www.milartgl.com/Images_b/b_a.d._61.jpg

Telemach
17th Mar 2003, 11:04
I just move from one area to another, each time "grouping up" in clear areas, with:

spearmen (kneeling if taking an assult)
legions (holding position, or they'll rush the enemy)
archers (DEFINITELY kneeling)
cavalry (ready to rush lone groups of archers/catapults)

And that's basically how I work. Never let my archers overtake the front ranks when marching, and keep an eye on my cavalry so that they only charge weak enemies.

loki
17th Mar 2003, 13:20
Although I can understand the need to have basic formations patterns while the troops are stationary, I don't have the slightest idea why I would need complicated formations while moving. Here's why : you should always know where you are going, that's what scouts are for. Don't take the chance to advance in open field without knowing what is waiting for you. Then you have two situations : either the enemy is waiting for you, either no one is! If no one is waiting for you, then double click and march to your next waypoint :D
If enemies are ambushed, study the terrain, the devs are not stupid, they always provide a way to counter the enemy ambushes : that's what makes this game fun! Build a catapult, move your archers to a top position, put your spearmen on hold, turtle your legionnaires to take out the enemy archers in the woods...etc Have fun! There are no "killer" formations, they all depend on the troops you are facing, and the position you are holding on the map.

loki

Eksadiss
21st Mar 2003, 08:08
LOL you guys sure know this stuff, I need to learn some more stragety from you guys

RogueImpaler
23rd Mar 2003, 17:56
something i tried (single player only)

Have 9 sets of legionaires stand in a cube form.
send sets of archers in that cube and line em up nicely.
Have your centurion and three medics in the middle and line em up.spearmen can form in the cube too.
Now give all of these troops a ctrl key assignment...
start marching....start laughin.
Its awesome to see what happens if you get rushed with this mega formation and you go to turtle formation.

The ability of your archers to set fire to grass is awesome,would like to see more things about that.You can use it for numerous tactics.
I still believe you have to be fluid with your strategies,as on a battlefield its never the same.

Athos
23rd Mar 2003, 18:13
I think the best use of formations in this game (as in army formation, not troop) is when it comes to luring the enemy upon your stationary army.
3 spearmen troops up front, with 2 ballistas on each flank, then legionaries behind in standard formation, with archers in front of the legionaries and behind the spearmen in stationary position, then catapults behind all that with medics and leader. Cavalry to the right or left to sweep behind enemy assault for archers or artillery (so they don't take out your stationary spearmen). If youve positioned your army at the right distance, when you move your archers up right behind the spearmen, they should start firing and make the enemy attack......

poor enemy.....

So lets hear some town defense strategies?
I'm interested to hear how you deal with those situations.
Especcially when you get stuck in MP on the losing end, and have to defend against 2 or more enemies all by yourself.....(if you're bad enough to get into that situation.......ahem, like i do......ahem...)
I'd go into a lengthy depiction, but right now my favorite tactic is a few towers with legionaries behind them, with spearmen gaurding the ramps with ballistas to bust up the turtle formations that theyll throw at you

Eksadiss
24th Mar 2003, 00:04
Originally posted by RogueImpaler
something i tried (single player only)

Have 9 sets of legionaires stand in a cube form.
send sets of archers in that cube and line em up nicely.
Have your centurion and three medics in the middle and line em up.spearmen can form in the cube too.
Now give all of these troops a ctrl key assignment...
start marching....start laughin.
Its awesome to see what happens if you get rushed with this mega formation and you go to turtle formation.

The ability of your archers to set fire to grass is awesome,would like to see more things about that.You can use it for numerous tactics.
I still believe you have to be fluid with your strategies,as on a battlefield its never the same.

Is the CTRL assignment to troops the way of making them march where the archers dont go run in frnt of the legionaries? if so then how do you do this

Athos
24th Mar 2003, 06:35
Most of the time if you have a group with archers, legionaries and spearmen, and the archers are in the back, they wont get ahead of the main troops when you move.

LordJohnDrinksalot
18th Apr 2003, 17:10
I'm enjoying the game (I feel obligated to say) but...

Having finished the campaign and having played dozens of single-player skirmish battles - and maybe I'll play multi-player games soon - I don't feel Praetorians is particularly suited for much deep tactical or strategic gameplay. The game's pace is just a bit too fast.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying tactics don't matter. They matter - I've seen enemy archers cut to pieces in melee combat without a loss to friendly legionaires and ballistas decimate an advancing legion company - but they pale in significance to the same old RTS "recruit troops quicker than the enemy" tactic.

This is obviously less true for the campaigns (you have to employ tactics), but very true for the skirmish battles (you have to capture villages quicker). Again, tactics help, tactics can be the difference between victory and defeat especially if the competitors are closely matched, but the game just plays too fast for someone to really wait in ambush for the enemy or to do complex tactical arrangement of troop formations.

I'm playing against the AI on hard and winning seems to be more about capturing villages quicker and recruiting faster. What happens (half the time anyway) is that I am able to match the AI on those terms while additionally having a lower casualty rate that results with both of us having very depleted villages and one of us with a larger army.

It all happens very quickly. I hotkey my melee troops, ranged troops, healers, comanders, so I can approximately get the legions in front, ranged units behind, etc. but this is just quick and dirty tactics. I'd have fought two or three battles in the time it's taken to read this. (Assuming anyone ever does.) This is a still at heart, a clickfest of an RTS.

One poster asked the original poster if he'd actually played the game. I'd have to agree with the question. One reason we're not having big tactical discussions is that this game is not Medieval: Total War or Rome: Total War; what's the point of ambushes or carefully guarding your flanks or trying to move in formation when your slower troops are outpaced by your physicians or commanders or cavalry? While I'm trying to cleverly ambush the AI, the AI is grabbing another village.

Frankly, grabbing villages quicker than your enemy seems to be 80% of the game, and everything else is a distant second place consideration.

Love the game - as an RTS, not as a tactical sim.