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All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [Napoleonics] >> Empire in Arms the Napoleonic Wars of 1805 - 1815 >> Land Combat Stuff Page: [1]
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Land Combat Stuff - 2/10/2008 3:50:22 AM   
pzgndr

 

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Sitting through a long divisional swim meet today, I took along Phillip Hanson's "Campaigning in Arms" article and also Bruce Milligan's "Grand and Grandiose Strategy Playing Empires in Arms" article to reread. Where some of this stuff was virtually incomprehensible a couple months ago, it is becoming more clear over time. However, understanding all the nuances of land combat remains challenging.

As a possible future interface enhancement, it would be helpful to provide more information about the possible chit selections. A mouse-over popup or some other info box showing combat table information for each chit selection based on current strength, leader abilities, terrain and other bonuses, etc. would help players assess their options. There is also very limited information presented about enemy forces once you start to resolve combat, whereas you already know who the enemy leaders are in the are you enter and how many corps are present. There could be a FOW feature that roughly identifies which corps are present and what their last known strength was. Players may know this already; why not provide a bookkeeping function to keep track? There could also be an AI-assist feature where favorable and unfavorable chit options are indicated.

I still want to learn these nuances myself and ultimately make my own decisions, so I'm not suggesting having the computer overdo things. But where helpful and objective information and tips can be presented, that would be a nice enhancement. I would expect other newbies are dealing with the same challenges. A land combat primer article would be nice.
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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 2/10/2008 6:24:26 AM   
timewalker03

 

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It is funny that you bring up chit picking. I used to play FtF with a guy who took 10 minutes to pick his chit on every combat. Beads of sweat would be rolling down his face and the stress of the die roll next would almost give him a stroke. It was funny to watch. The one rule that I always go by is if a leader has a 1 Strategic rating then out flank is out and reinforcing is subject to insanity. Also if John is ever on the board, Declare war instantly on Austria and laugh quietly as you kick the crap out of them.

Seriously you are correct with the need for some extra info on chit picks and if there are any land modifiers that would affect the chit pick. Crossing river/ Mountains etc.

(in reply to pzgndr)
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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 2/13/2008 12:16:52 AM   
delatbabel


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I must relate a story from my FTF game last night. If Mario's watching (hi Mario!) he can give his side of it.

1792 game, 9 combined GB/Prussian/German minor corps including the British and Prussian guard corps and the Hanover corps at morale 4, arriving in Amsterdam to face off 6 French corps. British leadership zero, French 2. I had cav superiority. I knew I would out-morale and out-number him but this was the big one, and we both sweated and sweated on the chit picks. He'd outpicked me 2 times out of 3 in smaller battles before this one.

I went the morale route, and picked Echelon. He went for Outflank, having a strategic rating 3, so pretty good chance of bringing the outflank in. I was doomed and knew it.

However the dice smiled on me. My first two combat rolls were 5 and 6, his were 2 and 3. Not only that, but he failed the outflank roll both first time (3 in 6) and second time (5 in 6). In the last round I had the luxury of committing the Prussian guards for a +1 shift to take me to the 3-3 table, guaranteed break (just as well as I rolled a 1 in the last round) and he had another low roll, French broke, British cavalry went in pursuit, crippling losses, French leader executed for failure, and the war was all over.

So it's not *all* about the chit picks, having 100+ factors with 20+ cavalry at morale 3.8 helps, but it is certainly pretty sweet when you realise you've picked echelon over someone else's defend, or escalated assault vs cordon. Or on the defensive side when you've picked cordon vs outflank, or defend vs assault.


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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 2/13/2008 11:41:03 AM   
Killerduck

 

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This game is full of stories like that.
Most common "incredible" result is, I think, when Napoleon is terribly outchitted and goes on to win. Sometimes decisively.

For those still learning the basics:
I am afraid there is only one way to master the combat system - stare at the tables a lot. They will explain it all to you and it's not _that_ time consuming.

A (really) quick guide to chits(best counter chit):

Probe - You are better and you know it. Safety play. (Esc. counterattack)
Assault - Win or lose, you want blood. (Defend)
Esc. Assault - like assault, but more risky and rewarding (Defend)
Echelon - Results depend a lot on what opponent picks (Cordon/Outflank)
Outflank - you need to roll strategic ability of the commander. If you can, this is a great chit to choose.(cordon)

Defend - Avoid casualities (Outflank/Echelon)
Cordon - Catch those sneaky outflankers off guard! (Esc. Assault/Assault/Probe)
(Esc) Counterattack - Seize the initiative! Blood! (Echelon/Outflank)
Outflank - Popular "pro" chit on the defense. Expect Napoleon to spring a lot of these. (Probe)
Withdraw - roll strategic rating or die (Esc. Assault)

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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 2/13/2008 12:23:31 PM   
delatbabel


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This is all perfectly true but there are layers on layers of subtlety.

If you want a simple answer, and you have high morale, then lean towards echelon. If you have lots of troops and want to cause many casualties (on both sides) then think about escalated assault.

Do you have Wellington in command? Strategic rating 5, so he can usually pull off a withdraw, in fact 100% of the time if Napoleon comes after you with outflank or echelon (his two best picks). Then, just to try to pin you down he puts in an escalated assault to take away the +1 withdraw bonus, and at the same time you pull a "defend" chit and give him a "Jolly good thrashing" as Wellington would say himself. An outnumbered Kutuzov can try the same trick, sure it's only a 3 in 6 chance of pulling off the withdraw but if they do try an assault on you and you pick a "defend" chit then your entire side's morale goes up by 1.0 as well as being on the better tables, and suddenly the enemy are taking big casualties.

Charles could try the same trick, aiming for the withdraw 4 or 5 times out of 6. Does the French player look like throwing in an echelon to use his superior morale if he catches you? Then go after him with a cordon and get that +1 die roll bonus for the Austrian leader. Even Napoleon's outflank starts to look pretty weak against your cordon if you can catch him with it.

Esc assault can make a defender's outflank look pretty sick too, especially if you can roll well on the first round and he doesn't come in with his outflanking force straight away. I managed this once as Prussia with Blucher in command against the Turks, committed the guards on the 2nd round to get to the 4-4 table and there wasn't a third round. 22 combined Austrian and Prussian cavalry and a pursuit die roll of 6 +1 for Blucher = 7, and the Turkish army melted.

Also, if you really know the defender's going to throw in an outflank then your best pick is of course "outflank". Go eat their baggage, let them eat yours, and meet again in the middle. At least make sure you can hold your own in morale, as it's a high morale loss battle.


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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 2/13/2008 2:42:49 PM   
pzgndr

 

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Killerduck, thanks for the quick guide.  I'm at the point where I need to study the combat system in greater detail.  Some things are obvious, but as delatbabel says there are layers of subtlety. 

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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 2/15/2008 3:56:39 PM   
Killerduck

 

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When playing against other people (and not the AI) you can use tactics you know from football.
For example, if you are French you can Probe a lot and it wont hurt so much, even when you are outguessed.
"Use the Probe to setup the outflank (or echelon)" = "Use the run to setup the pass."

Turkish version would be "use the assault to setup the outflank."

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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 2/15/2008 5:20:44 PM   
Jimmer

 

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One thing to watch out for with Escalated Assault vs. "normal" Assault (or the same two "Counter-Attack" choices): The tables are NOT better for the person picking esc. At best, they are one casualty level higher for BOTH parties. However, there are several opposing choices for which the other guy gets a better table, but the person picking esc. does not.

There are still times when esc. is the right: When the expected morale changes greatly favor you (France vs. Turkey, for example), or when you have a huge numerical advantage.

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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 2/22/2008 4:23:39 AM   
Ralegh


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This is a great discussion.  CAN SOMEONE PLEASE STICKY IT?

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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 2/25/2008 10:10:22 AM   
Killerduck

 

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An old article published locally

http://www.dlc.fi/~hurmavi/empires4.html

It has some errors, once the author says "escalated outflank" while meaning "escalated counterattack". Also, it focuses on Napoleon vs Kutusov battle only.
Maybe someone will find it usefull though.

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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 9/3/2008 12:26:38 PM   
iamspamus

 

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All of KillerDuck's and delatbabel's advice is great. The next step is knowing what you and your opponent should pick and then trying to figure out whether a) they know what they should pick or b) you should just pick something that isn't optimum, but will confound them.

I remember in one game, I was consistantly outpicked by a guy. If I went traditional (ie. the "best" pick for the situation), he would pick the counter. If I would pick a different one (usually discounting outflank and withdrawal due to poor leaders), he would luckily guess the counter for that. The trick that eventually won it was when I would take out withdrawal and then randomly pick one. He HATED that. It was great. I started to stomp him at that point.

This won't help for the computer game as there is no random. Also, I would sometimes line them up and know where the pick I wanted was located.... But I think that this throws in the idea of doing something out of the ordinary. So, learn the charts and that will help you in doing the "right thing" as well as learning, more intuitively, when to try something else.

Jason

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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 9/3/2008 1:06:51 PM   
iamspamus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Killerduck

An old article published locally

http://www.dlc.fi/~hurmavi/empires4.html

It has some errors, once the author says "escalated outflank" while meaning "escalated counterattack". Also, it focuses on Napoleon vs Kutusov battle only.
Maybe someone will find it usefull though.



Yeah, I noticed that mistake about escalated outflank. The author, Risto, has written a whole new set of random events for the Europa Universalis boardgame. It needed it.

In the end, I find that his analysis is sound, but I would disagree with his constraints. As Russia, I'd work to get 12 corps vs. Napoleon's 6. Yep, you give up the +1/-1, but you can take A LOT of Frenchmen with you when you die. Those extra 4 corps add a lot of punch.

Sometimes, you can't make up the 12 corps by yourself, so there the allies are very helpful ...duh!!! I've even done two adjacent stacks of 8 each with Kutusov and Charles as you advance into France. 16 is even better than 12! It's expensive to supply (give over the dough, England!), but worth it.

As impossible as this sounds, Napoleon often can't get 6 full corps together while being pin-****ed elsewhere. If he has the ability to get 6+ together and you have 12 or 16, then he has to decide to have more than 6 in his stack. It becomes bad for him. Or he could break down his stacks into smaller ones lead by decent leaders. The trick then is for the allies to reduce down to three adjacent stacks or whatever as needed. This becomes a dance of death, where Nap consolidates to hit you, hoping that your reinforcing stacks don't make it.

The trick here is to be striking at his soft underbelly. Use the Prussian model in 1813-1814. Strike where Nap is not. One or two crap corps each from RU, AU, PR and maybe even EN taking over minors and French provincial capitals while the big stacks either duke it out or are staring each other down, does wonders for draining French strength and attention.

Finally, the real killer in the French army is Davout! Ugh. In charge of one or even two corps, he's a bear to face. (Have you noticed that in EIA I LOOOOOOVVVVEEEE killing the French...usually as the Russian. Oh and making Poland! )

Well, all for now.
Jason

< Message edited by iamspamus -- 9/3/2008 1:13:05 PM >

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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 9/3/2008 5:48:54 PM   
sw30

 

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There's a lot more than just a chit pick, you have to look at your situation too.

An obvious example would be outflank, either defensive or offensive. It all depends on the strategic rating of your leader. Don't try it with John. (Heck, don't fight with John. The only reason that you'd want to place him on the board is to give your friend 2 free PPs. See below.)

For example. Echelon beats a Defend, right? Not necessarily, try it as a Turk with feudals and the Syrian corps vs a defend by the Russians, Austrians, heck, anyone. You're toast. Turkey should never pick Echelon.

Esc. Assault/Assault vs. Defend is bad, right? Sort of. If you know that the opponent has a low # of factors, Esc. Assault still gives the most casualties in the first 2 rounds. If you are guaranteed elimination (or close enough,) then it doesn't matter that you are virtually guaranteed to break.

Oh yeah, that trick with John? Place him with a 1 factor corp. Go in to battle with a friend (obviously, you can't be allied,) make sure that it's an overwhelming battle. Trivial combats do not give PPs (haven't tried this with EiANW, not sure if this statement is true.) you lose nothing, he captures John. Then he releases him for 2 PP, for free! Do this over and over again for fun and profit.

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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 9/3/2008 5:55:55 PM   
NeverMan

 

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I disagree with sw30 on two accounts:

1. It's ok to pick Echelon with Turkey as long as you know what you are getting into.
2. John essentially negates the -1 with two corps, so he's good if he's going about attacking lone corps or taking minors, etc. Just be careful where you place him (aka, not in range of any large good stacks).

Otherwise though, sw30 is right, it totally depends on your situation and what you are comfortable with. It's almost like gambling. If you are a low reward low risk player then some chits aren't for you in some situations. If you are a high reward high risk player than go for it. I usually try and play somewhere in between or a little of both.

And like sw30 said, always look at your situation (leaders/terrain/country bonuses/etc).

ALSO: The part about giving your friend free PP is a great way to not get invited back to play with that group, just an FYI.

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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 6/24/2013 3:31:22 PM   
Agathosdaimon

 

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who is John in the game? bought it tonight and would like to figure it out a bit more - i dont understand why i cant place counters in certain lands i own - it lets me put them there but then the turn wont end until i remove them and inevitably lose them - i think they were reinforcements that managed to buy somewhere somehow - not sure how that even happened.
the ingame information does not explain how i actually purchase counters - in what screen, and phase? nor does it say what may restrictions for place them are

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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 6/24/2013 9:14:34 PM   
pzgndr

 

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Agathosdaimon, welcome. John is an Austrian leader.

For starters, check out Murat's old tutorial in the War Room. Lots of other good stuff there too. Also, check out the updated User Manual for v1.08 in the \Data\docs directory - lots of good player notes and strategy tips in the back. Good luck and enjoy!

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RE: Land Combat Stuff - 6/25/2013 11:32:11 AM   
Agathosdaimon

 

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Thank you very much, i apologise for the shortness of my last message. I will read through the Murat tutorial. There are a number of you tube videos on the game too that might be helpful

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