I don’t really have a standard template, it really depends on what the army tasked with as well as what culture group I’m playing. If I’m playing in Gaul I don’t have access to horse archers at all and an army comprised of heavy infantry and cavalry are going to melt before they can accomplish much of anything. So up there I’ll often rely heavily on light infantry especially for siege armies. My main warhosts are often more oriented around archers with a core of chariots. That completely changes if I’m operating in civilized lands, though, where those armies would get smashed by heavy infantry. If I’m playing a Persian nation I tend to go with a lot more cavalry, especially horse archers.
In terms of tactics, most nations share all the same tactics with one or so being unique to the culture. Barbarians get Hit and Run, Greeks get Phalanx, etc. Mostly you can get an idea of what tactic they will use based on their individual army composition. What they’re using shouldn’t necessarily predicate what you use, though. Countering their tactic with one that your troops can’t take advantage of often won’t do you much good. For example, using Cavalry Skirmish when you’re mostly heavy infantry isn’t going to be a good call even if it counters what they are using, if that makes sense? I might shift my tactic of they are reliably countering me, but mostly I’m looking to boost the effectiveness of my own army first.
Played two hours last night… the patch seems super buggy.
Also, the supply caravans suck. I understand that they’re trying to give more tactical options with warfare, but supply caravans are - to me at least - meaningless micromanagement. I much prefer if they abstract supply more.
I wouldn’t say they are THAT micro, it’s an extra unit you need to bring with you on long campaigns, but once built you don’t actually do much with them other than make sure they are topped up. It needs tweaking but I think it’s a very authentic system.
Hmmm, can you expand a bit more? To me I’d think they would lead to less micro. In a game like EU4, you have to micro your army into smaller individual stacks due to attrition while also keeping them close around so they can ball up whenever a big battle happens. Same held true for Imperator to a degree. With supply trains, you build a few and stick them in your army and now you don’t have to worry about dancing around like that.
There was a small hotfix released today that fixed a couple technical issues (Ironman/auto saves, mouse scrolling, a couple other things).
But if you just stick them with your army and forget about them, then what is the point? I now have to create additional units and monitor a little bar of food, i have to see how much food a province has to contribute to the food of the army, and i don’t have an easy way to see when an army is full of food to continue forth without clicking back on the unit to see how much they have
Before I could just see the attrition in the province and understand whether it was minor and tolerable or major and going to kill my manpower, and I was typically only moving 1 mega-stack and 2 minor stacks who were rarely impacted by attrition anyway.
Maybe I will warm up to it tonight when I get to play again.
Well that’s why it probably needs tweaking, so you pay a bit more attention, but what you’re complaining about is exactly the kind of issues that these guys would have probably had to deal with at the time. Do we have enough food? What food is there in the local area we can use to sustain ourselves? Do we attack now or wait to gather more supplies so we can fight in the field longer? etc…
I’m sorry if realistic logistical problems are boring for you :P
Although I could have sworn food was dealt with in the Army UI screen? You don’t have to look at each unit. The army itself will have a total good bar that will accumulate all the food carried by soldier pops and then any supply wagons. It’s right under the commander portrait, so not that hard to take in at a glance.
Fun Fact: The Romans used to call their supply trains “Impedimenta”.
Meh - I’m not looking for a perfect historical simulation - I’m looking for a fun grand strategy game. Abstracting supply makes more sense to me.
I will say that the micro wasn’t so bad last night, with supply. But does seem super pointless. Build 2 -4 supply caravans and attach them to your army and you basically do not even worry about attrition. Seems overpowered if I’m honest
With every concept added to a strategy game, what matters is whether it adds interesting decisions. The advantage of having supply in a game is that 1. it can then be cut off and 2. it can complicate or make impossible some excursions. If there’s no way to do these things, or if the AI has no idea how to do it, it’s probably pointless.
Personally I think perhaps some kind of limit of 1 or 2 Supply wagons per army would be fair, and then you can perhaps improve their capacity over time?
It’s weird because for the sake of game balancing you should probably limit the operational range, especially of big armies but then in terms of what we know from history, Caesar for example went all over Gaul (which is huugggee in Imperator Rome) during his campaigns.
I started a new Rome campaign last night, and while Rome as always easy, it was MUCH easier this time. Basically used my money for a bunch of HI, and then steam-rolled Etruria with a stack of about 21 cohorts. Ended the war with only losing about 15k in manpower - so I was immediately ready to go to war again in the south.
In the previous version, I had to do a little more dancing to make sure I didn’t drain my manpower from attrition. Used my allies more to soften up the enemy, and was careful to have a siege force that wasn’t going to to suck my manpower to zero when i missed my 42% roll for a year. When I was done my manpower was fairly drained and I needed to wait a little bit for it to recover enough to wage war again - which had given the other italian states the chance to get into a defensive pact
I’m coming to believe that except for some unusual circumstances (isolated armies) historically getting supply was achievable but very expensive. Maintenance and re supplying cost of those trains could be made to be significant.
Logistics is immensely complicated. This was also true in the Ancient world. Operations such as that of Julius Caesar in Gaul are the exception - not the rule - and required a commanding officer and an officer corps of supreme skill (also a loyal and veteran army).
To understand this, it’s actually worthwhile to go to the primary source - Caesar’s Bello Gallica - and read it. If you do, you’ll notice one thing: Caesar is constantly planning around supplies. He writes about food constantly. Almost every decision made, concerns how to get food, or how to keep his army supplies. Battles with the enemy are almost an afterthought; in almost every instance, he worries more about getting his supply lines cut than about actually fighting the enemy. Every single disaster or crisis he runs into with the army, is because he outruns his supplies.
Part of the reason for this is no doubt his celeritas (blitzkrieg) style of warfare - moving fast is generally incompatible with keeping well-supplied. Whenever his lightning strikes on the enemy failed, he got himself into major trouble. Fortunately, he was a master of getting himself out of such situations.
Also - even though he is criticized by many modern historians for the logistical situations he put himself in, it’s worth noting the strong awareness of time he evinces. He might strike for the Rhine and launch a blitzkrieg campaign across the river, but at the end of the year, his Legions are always back in their defensive works, distributed across the region and safe for the winter.
You find the same care for logistics - and balancing on the very edge of disaster - in the campaigns of Alexander the Great (Donald Engels seminal work remains a classic). Meticulous preparations were also a hallmark of the campaigns of Pompeius that earned him the sobriquet of Magnus.
What these men did (even Pompey), is not something any General could do.