What to try rather than Camping/Turtling

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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nyczar
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What to try rather than Camping/Turtling

Post by nyczar » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:31 am

I'm starting this thread in the the hopes that players will contribute their thinking on ways to keep the game fun whether the match be "friendly" or in a league/tournament. While the debate currently underway in the forum now on turtling has included ways to recode the game, since that would take time, we need some guidelines and principles one can do now, given the existing coding, to avoid using game play that assumes your opponent will willingly assault at (hugely) unfavorable odds. My hope is that we can get a practical list of ideas together that would benefit new or less experienced players; if someone deliberately chooses this style of game play nothing one can really influence that decision.

Here are my thoughts to start,with no ranking, just what comes to mind first; I hope others contribute to this so we can promote viable play alternatives:

1. Chose a list (with allies this is now much more possible) so that you have many options despite the terrain
2. Be sure to have a skirmisher option so you may force your opponent off their game plan and/or defend your own
3. Maneuver. When faced with a formidable foe, maneuvering with your list can create opportunities that may be exploited. To do this, be sure to get maneuverable troops and make sure to keep your C-in-C out of battle as long as possible to preserve your free 45 degree turn
4. Invest in mobility, let your crap units die holding your enemy in place while you scout for flanks, nothing is more satisfying than seeing a chain rout caused by a cav unit

Schweetness101
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Re: What to try rather than Camping/Turtling

Post by Schweetness101 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:21 am

I think this is a good thread. It would be great to retain more new players (like me! sort of) who would otherwise get discouraged by losing too many multiplayer battles in a row. I did buy the game years ago, but put it down without having played much. Then, I got really into it this summer after FOGE came out. I did a lot of browsing around the forums, and badly losing MP games when I started, and picked up a lot of hints and tips here and there, but probably the most important concept I've found is something like this:

You only need to rout 40%-60% of the enemy army to win, and the fewer of your own units you lose, the lower end of that spectrum you can win on, and furthermore that percent does not scale in any way with unit quality, just with outright number of men. So, you should maneuver to align as many and as good of your troops as possible with the worst of the enemy's troops (which will often be at least 40% of their army), while simultaneously trying to tie up the enemy best troops with as few units as possible to prevent their best from inflicting many casualties before you've won.

You simply can't do that if you camp. You hand all of the initiative to your opponent, and they can line up the matchups on the micro level, and execute their overall plan on the macro level, however they like.

As for some more specific tactics...You first have the list of ways to tie up more, and better enemy troops with fewer, and worse friendly troops:
  • 1) simply delay with time and space. Keep your weaker flank more tiles back from the enemy, and even begin to back up as the enemy approaches
  • 2) Melee enemy skirmishers with your skirmishers if they deploy skirmishers in a big line. roughly equal skirmisher units might fight for a long time, blocking the straight avenue of approach. Don't do this if you have few and scattered skirmishers because then they might just get caught up in a melee with enemy line troops and be quickly routed.
  • 3) occupy the most disordering difficult terrain (forests, marshes, difficult streams especially etc...) with light troops if it is between you and your opponent, in which even excellent enemy medium and especially heavy troops will take a long time to rout them. Works especially well with difficult streams like I did here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W1M_4fxwdo
  • 4) occupy disordering terrain with cheap infantry if faced with enemy higher quality infantry of the same type. For example, raw heavy foot spearmen in severely disordering forest terrain will hold out much longer against superior quality enemy heavy foot that has to attack them, and is thus also severely disordered by the forest they attack into, than they would in open terrain. That is, both sides being disordered decreases the relative disadvantage suffered by the lower quality unit, even more so when both are severely disordered.
  • 5) if the enemy has good medium foot posted up in rough terrain, a stream etc...expecting you to attack them, then move mediocre heavy foot over to defend the open terrain 1 square away, and on your side of that rough terrain. This forces him to either let his medium foot sit there doing nothing (good for you if they are high quality mediums against your cheap heavies) or charge you at disadvantage in open against heavies. Paired with some range this can force them to attack at disadvantage. Keep in mind though that it's just a -2 net CT roll disadvantage of mediums vs heavies in open terrain, that is the mediums are more likely to fail the cohesion test if taken, but not that likely to even take the test in the first place if of much higher quality. A lot of people don't seem to know that though, and so will still be hesitant to send high quality mediums against low quality heavies in the open. Also the +1 CT advantage of heavies vs mediums in open terrain will be removed from raw heavies next patch I think.
  • 6) use cheap but maneuverable spear units, whether medium spears, or cheaper, but high quality, and small size heavies like triarii, to deny enemy cavalry flanks. A few cheap spearmen hanging out on the side and in reserve, and benefiting from interior lines, can hold off a lot of cav at least for awhile, especially with some skirmisher complement. Especially important to learn about how to use ZoC to tie up a large area with as few men as possible.
  • 7) using a long line of lancers to park in front of the enemy line, especially in front of their best troops, ZoC locking them, giving them the option to either sit there doing nothing (great if it's enemy high quality troops) or attack at disadvantage on impact against lancers who will inflict casualties, then backup, then can be moved back into position on your next turn. Be careful not to place units behind them though!
  • 8 ) any other terrain advantages that can help cheaper units hold out against better ones just a few more turns, like a small uphill advantage, are of course also nice to help delay awhile
think about the points disparity, perhaps even add it up. If you are able to hold off 200 points of expensive cavalry with 150 points of relatively cheaper spears and skirmishers, or some elite infantry with mediocre lancers, that's actually a nice tradeoff points-wise that could mean you have one extra unit for flanking elsewhere. That's nothing to scoff at, as it could be the beginning of wrapping up a whole line.

Some attacking advice:
  • 1) probably don't use super wide flanks. They can certainly work really well sometimes, but often if you advance your mainline at the same pace as you are going on a super wide flank, the flanking force might not arrive in time to help. Instead, a few cavalry right on your infantry's flank, as in one or two tiles away, can both protect that infantry from enemy flanks, and take flanks that are unprotected, and a cavalry unit right behind your line can take mid line flanks as they open up from routs and pushbacks.
  • 2) Your very best troops might only be 4-5 units. Try to get them into combat quickly so you can take advantage as much as possible of their superior melee ability (assuming not a horse archer army). They are too valuable to just sit around. That's what cheap troops are for.
  • 3) Concentrate ranged fire. Dispersed range fire that causes damage, but no CT drops, is close to useless most of the time. The great thing about superiority in ranged troops and lights, is that if you have enough to tie up the enemy lights with some left over, you can use those to concentrate fire on the point you want to attack. Again, just a few good routs at some point of the enemy line can be the beginning of a huge chain rout if it lets you break through with a flanking force. You can flank from the middle as it were if you can break through and send troops through the gap. The first step in that process is often disrupting a cheap enemy unit with ranged fire, and following up with a charge from a superior quality unit, which could cause a break in 2-3 turns, or more rarely even a double drop on the charge.
  • a) It's very important to note that once a unit has passed the cohesion test from being fired at (says 'Held Firm' above it) it will not fail another CT that turn from shooting, unless some additional modifier to the CT is added. The initial test is taken at 10% (of original unit size) ranged losses on one turn, and additional CT modifiers include taking 16% losses total on that turn, or also being hit with artillery on the same turn, and other things. That is, much of the time, continuing to fire at a unit that has already passed a CT test from ranged fire that turn is probably a waste of ammo. Try to look at how much damage the tooltip says you might do and guess if you have a reasonable chance of getting up to 10% casualties from the available shooting units, if not then don't shoot (probably)
  • i) which brings up another important point, save ammo! (while not on low). Don't fire just because you can, fire because you can hit an enemy at maximum ranged effect to trigger a cohesion drop. Ranged units are most effective when they have not moved or turned that turn, and when in close range if applicable (for light foot archers, and also good to note that bowmen I think get a malus to shooting if enemies are too close, not sure about that one, I think it is within two spaces though). Try to anticipate where your opponent will be on the next turn, so you can arrange your ranged unit in such a way that they can shoot without moving on that next turn. For example, place javelinmen facing enemy advancing infantry troops with two squares between then at the end of the turn, so that if your opponent wants to keep advancing at full speed they will have to walk right up to those javelinmen, who can then shoot on the next turn without moving.
  • 4) try to maximize poa advantages at the crucial point where you attack, and again don't scoff at small advantages. A small uphill advantage, a small quality advantage, a small impact advantage, a small armor advantage (not taken into account on impact) and the advantage of having a general in a unit, and more things, can, all stacked together, make for an overwhelming net POA advantage and a quick rout.
  • 5) have a reserve of maneuverable infantry or cavalry to move in and exploit flanks as they open up from pushbacks and routs (kind of covered earlier)
  • 6) if you are more mobile, you can take your faster troops on what looks like a wide flank maneuver, let the enemy slower infantry commit to following you for a few turns, and then wheel back to the other side to concentrate most of your forces in one spot, while your enemy's slower infantry are now half way across the map and many turns away from being able to support
  • 7) There is something to be said for spamming an immense number of medium foot for a beginner. It is a bit simpler than more well balanced armies, and by virtue of the fact that you have more men you are often able to get in 'free' flanks.
  • 8 ) you can try starting out the deployment with your whole force, at least your non light troops, in a kind of block in the middle, or offset a bit, so that you can a) move the whole army to another position faster than your opponent, enabling you to react to any weird enemy deployment quickly and/or b) move your whole army collectively at a kind of 45 degree angle to your opponent for the first few turns, throwing them off and leaving one of their flanks far away so that on the initial clash you have more units in the melee combat.

**a lot of this does not really go for horse archer armies. Although if you are going with a horse archer army you aren't likely camping anyway. Massed archer armies also play a bit different.

I could add a lot more stuff but this post is already over long.
Last edited by Schweetness101 on Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

rbodleyscott
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Re: What to try rather than Camping/Turtling

Post by rbodleyscott » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:28 am

Very nice post.
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Geffalrus
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Re: What to try rather than Camping/Turtling

Post by Geffalrus » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:09 pm

Good post Schweetness. +1

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Re: What to try rather than Camping/Turtling

Post by TimDee58 » Wed Oct 23, 2019 4:22 am

+1 for the thread

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Re: What to try rather than Camping/Turtling

Post by jomni » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:45 am

Good tips.

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Re: What to try rather than Camping/Turtling

Post by SLancaster » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:13 am

Some great tips. I think really learning about flank attacks and pushbacks is important in order to become a half decent player. Learn how to get units in place or how to move others out of the way so that you can get a good flank attack going...

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Re: What to try rather than Camping/Turtling

Post by Geffalrus » Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:21 pm

Every tactic or strategy has a counter. And luck can counter anything. ;-)

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Re: What to try rather than Camping/Turtling

Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:31 pm

Geffalrus wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:21 pm
Every tactic or strategy has a counter. And luck can counter anything. ;-)
But should never be relied upon to do so. (Not even "average" luck)
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Geffalrus
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Re: What to try rather than Camping/Turtling

Post by Geffalrus » Thu Oct 31, 2019 5:37 pm

rbodleyscott wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 3:31 pm
But should never be relied upon to do so. (Not even "average" luck)
Gods no. I always assume that my units will double drop at a moment's notice. That way I'm perpetually pleasantly surprised when they don't.

Strategy is all about putting your opponent in a position where he/she - NEEDS - extremely lucky rolls to survive, and you do not. Strategic skill is thus a measure of how effective you are at doing that to your opponent and avoiding them doing it to you. :lol:

nyczar
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Re: What to try rather than Camping/Turtling

Post by nyczar » Thu Oct 31, 2019 5:58 pm

While there are of course double drop exceptions, I have always been in the camp that luck is manufactured/denied.

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Re: What to try rather than Camping/Turtling

Post by Geffalrus » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:05 pm

I think general deaths are one of the things that seems closest to bad luck deciding a battle. The potential to remove +50 POA, force units to take cohesion tests, and remove the cohesion bonus can be quite decisive. Of course, this is one of the most supported results in history where hundreds of battles were decided by the lucky/unlucky death of a leader on the battlefield. So it hurts real bad when it happens to you........but it's not unreasonable (unless it happens a few too many times in a row).

nyczar
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Re: What to try rather than Camping/Turtling

Post by nyczar » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:20 pm

Geffalrus wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:05 pm
I think general deaths are one of the things that seems closest to bad luck deciding a battle. The potential to remove +50 POA, force units to take cohesion tests, and remove the cohesion bonus can be quite decisive. Of course, this is one of the most supported results in history where hundreds of battles were decided by the lucky/unlucky death of a leader on the battlefield. So it hurts real bad when it happens to you........but it's not unreasonable (unless it happens a few too many times in a row).
Yes, this is another instance where fortune is king. And this is another tid-bit that points to the key role of reserves, including the C in C.

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