Dealing with large numbers of light infantry

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
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kvnrthr
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Dealing with large numbers of light infantry

Post by kvnrthr » Sun May 12, 2019 4:50 am

This problem doesn't come up at all in multiplayer but quite often in higher difficulty single player modes.

Sometimes I face a particular army list that bring a staggering amount of light infantry (e.g. medium republican romans with velites, aetolians with light javelins). Unlike medium/heavy foot where you can outmaneuver the AI, the evasion and movement speed of light troops means that they can turn around and react very quickly. It's meaningless to flank them or concentrate on one side since they'll match your maneuver in the next turn.

My inferior numbers of light troops get swamped most of the time. If I send cavalry, they have the frustrating tendency to charge at one unit, but instead of following it as it evades, it changes charge target and tries to hit another unit which is at full AP. Then they tend to get surrounded and pelted to death in the next turn.

Any tips on how to clear out these massive hordes? I usually play with the Macedonian list which really lacks many light troops.

Dux Limitis
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Re: Dealing with large numbers of light infantry

Post by Dux Limitis » Sun May 12, 2019 7:08 am

If you have many light cavalries you will catch and deal with them easily.Purchase all the light cavalries in your army list when you will face large numbers of light infantry.

MVP7
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Re: Dealing with large numbers of light infantry

Post by MVP7 » Sun May 12, 2019 6:32 pm

Massed cavalry attack on one flank usually works best for me. Try to make the enemy evade into predictable direction, use the farthest possible units first so that the enemy wastes its evade and then attack them with the nearer units if possible. It's also good to have some light infantry and cavalry in the mix just to draw enemy fire and force the enemy missiles into melee until the proper cavalry gets there.

kvnrthr
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Re: Dealing with large numbers of light infantry

Post by kvnrthr » Mon May 13, 2019 9:58 pm

MVP7 wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 6:32 pm
Massed cavalry attack on one flank usually works best for me. Try to make the enemy evade into predictable direction, use the farthest possible units first so that the enemy wastes its evade and then attack them with the nearer units if possible. It's also good to have some light infantry and cavalry in the mix just to draw enemy fire and force the enemy missiles into melee until the proper cavalry gets there.
Hmm, I should probably try to do this. I've mostly been sending light troops to deal with light troops and non-light cavalry to flank. Isolated cavalry tends to get beaten but I should have better luck with multiple units together. One issue is that they tend to chase light troops pretty far so they're unable to help my main line for many turns.

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Re: Dealing with large numbers of light infantry

Post by MVP7 » Tue May 14, 2019 11:40 am

kvnrthr wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 9:58 pm
mm, I should probably try to do this. I've mostly been sending light troops to deal with light troops and non-light cavalry to flank. Isolated cavalry tends to get beaten but I should have better luck with multiple units together. One issue is that they tend to chase light troops pretty far so they're unable to help my main line for many turns.
That's the enemy lights doing their job :D . The main purpose of light units is to disturb and delay the opponent's maneuvers and prevent the opponent from disturbing your's. Massed and concentrated enveloping attack aimed at the flank of the enemy skirmishers is usually the fastest way to deal with lights. Using lesser (or even equal) number of unsupported lights against enemy lights will just see those units destroyed fruitlessly, never do this unless you are desperate for the small delay. A small, unsupported, cavalry or infantry force attacking the enemy lights frontally will struggle to make contact while receiving the full firepower of the enemy and will almost certainly not make it back to the front in time (presuming it does not get broken by the enemy lights in the first place). If you simply lack the resources to defeat the enemy lights then, rather than fighting them, try pulling them away from the main force with sacrificial unit, armoured cavalry is good for this role (this obviously only really works with the AI).


Here's a couple more gamey tips to help dealing with enemy lights (You are probably aware of these but I'm writing them down in case some new player is interested):

Avoid stopping into a shooting enemy's front sector and/or effective range whenever possible. Try to make sure that the enemy units has to at least turn 45 degrees to shoot you with full effect so he loses the damage bonus from not moving before shooting. Never stop a javelin unit at 2 squares distance from enemy bows or slingers so they have to move or take a long distance shot. These tricks won't win you the fight but it should keep the enemy lights tied down for a couple more turns.

When fighting lights with lights try to attack and envelope a flank rather than meeting them in line battle. This forces the enemy lights to break their formation, losing some of their firepower to moving before shooting and to blocked lines of sight. Try to predict the enemy movements so that you can get shots without movement penalty yourself. Always concentrate fire: Attack the same enemy light units with 2-4 of your own (even if it doesn't give you the best total damage for each shot) since this gives you the best chance of disrupting the enemy formation. If enemy unit holds firm after the first cohesion check from being shot at, take one more shot at it but if that doesn't disrupt, move on to the next enemy and try again next turn. Never shoot at an enemy that has already lost cohesion from shooting during the same turn. Prioritize disrupting as many of the enemy lights as possible over destroying them one by one: This will quickly reduce the total enemy firepower and make breaking them more economic in the long run.

kvnrthr
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Re: Dealing with large numbers of light infantry

Post by kvnrthr » Wed May 15, 2019 7:44 pm

Thanks for the tips. Does the tip about shooting only two times have something to do with cohesion checks? I assume that means cohesion won't drop after you've tried a fixed number of times.

About the distraction unit, it's not directly relevant to the Macedonian list but the cheap 15 point mobs are great at that, at least against AI.

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Re: Dealing with large numbers of light infantry

Post by MVP7 » Thu May 16, 2019 11:56 am

kvnrthr wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:44 pm
Thanks for the tips. Does the tip about shooting only two times have something to do with cohesion checks? I assume that means cohesion won't drop after you've tried a fixed number of times.

About the distraction unit, it's not directly relevant to the Macedonian list but the cheap 15 point mobs are great at that, at least against AI.
Shooting cohesion test is rolled only once per turn for a unit. The best chance of causing a drop is when the test is first rolled and after that all you can do the same turn is add more cohesion test penalties with casualties that are compared to the original roll. In my experience, when you get the first cohesion test (typically after 2 or 3 salvos from units with ammunition) there's often some other cohesion test penalty threshold nearby so taking one more shot often results in additional penalty which may be enough to push the penalties past the cohesion test roll.

On the other hand there's always the possibility that the cohesion roll is so high that no matter how much you shoot it won't drop cohesion that turn. In terms of raw probability you would allegedly have the best chance of causing most cohesion tests and drops by switching target immediately after the unit holds firm (haven't done the math though). However, there should always be a reason for why you were targeting that specific unit in the first place so taking that one more shot to increase the chance of disrupting that specific unit is usually worth it. One shot after the test is just where I typically cut my losses due to the diminishing potential returns for the committed shots.

There are some clear exceptions to the tip though: If you only have one shooting unit remaining after taking the one-more-shot, there's a chance that yet another shot gives the necessary penalties, while taking a single shot at another (fresh) unit is unlikely to cause cohesion test on its own. Taking one-more-shot usually isn't worth wasting a shot with no penalty from moving either. Sometimes there might just be a really dangerous unit (like elephants) that is worth shooting with all your weapon just for the raw casualties alone and/or to push the unit to auto-break.

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