Syrian War - Hard Level

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tex
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Syrian War - Hard Level

Post by tex » Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:13 pm

Hi all. I have gone through both campaigns on the normal setting and I am now going through on the Hard setting. I am a bit stuck on the Syrian War where the casualties have to be limited to 150. I can achieve over a 2:1 kill ratio but I am not very near destroying all of the enemy when I use up my 150 casualties. Those Elephants are rather tedious!!!
I suspect part of the answer is to kill the enemy General since he is very keen to run straight at me.
Does anyone have any words of wisdom for me? (this must be almost impossible on Very Hard)
Tex

sum1won
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Post by sum1won » Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:46 pm

Hmmm

What kinda army do you run?

Tell us the units and their levels. Equipment not needed, unless it is super equipment like lvl4, or a special item.

honvedseg
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Syrian War

Post by honvedseg » Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:44 pm

I don't know what you're using at that stage, but those missions were pretty much pushovers, even in Very Hard. I believe I took about half the allowable casualties. Softening up the stronger units with ranged fire is very important, as some of them are nearly the equal of your own troops, and their archers will be whittling down your numbers in the mean time. Try to avoid wasting your heavy units' pila on enemy skirmishers, by ordering them to attack a particular enemy unit. Likewise for your archers, weaken the biggest threats, don't waste time and arrows on the scattered pests which your light troops and cavalry can easily massacre.

tex
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Post by tex » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:45 pm

Hi and thanks for the reply.

I have
Legate 15
Militia 20 21 17 16 14 16 18
Nobels 15 15 13 13 9 7
Praetorial 17 15 14 11
Hastate 7
scouts 17 15 (i think)

Simply having been asked about the above made me start thinking, and you have reinforced my thoughts, that i am very weak in ranged weapons! I have to gallop at the enemy or run over and try and hack them to death. Not sensible with elephants about.

I suspect i should go back a few saves and get some archers etc. to replace my Militia. My only defense is that I was lulled into a false sense of superiority by the relative ease of the Normal level.

Thanks honvedseg and sum1won for your replies and any other thoughts you may want to share with me.

Tex

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Post by sum1won » Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:43 pm

Okay

I see your problem.

You have a great deal of cheap, non elite units. Sure, they are a high level, but they are not well armored, no matter what you do. As a result, you will take heavy strategies. You may have to try a new buildup strategy- your current one has rendered much of your army obsolete.
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tex
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Post by tex » Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:34 am

Bogus!

How much will some SAS units cost? ;-)

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Post by ste » Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:40 am

you can unlock Andy McNabb by completing the game on "Uber Elite Bravo Two Zero" setting.

honvedseg
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Syrian War

Post by honvedseg » Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:40 pm

Your army looks to have a very high ratio of fair-to-middling cavalry. I had 3 units of Auxiliary Cav by that battle (I never waste Denarii on nobles), at Levels of roughly 17, 16, and around 10, as opposed to your 6 nobles and 2 scouts. There's a big difference in performance between the two, and aux cav can rack up a lot of easy points by crushing the so-so noble cav that the campaign throws at you constantly. Scouts are all but useless after the first dozen or so battles, so I'd recommend replacing them early in a compaign to allow the REAL mounted troops to start piling up experience and a body count.

I dumped all but one of my militia right from the start, and went with Auxilia, who take far less casualties and can actually hurt something. Their javelins make a big impression on the opposition as well. My lone militia unit was suffering almost as many casualties as the rest of my army combined, and had already been passed in level by my 3 auxilia anyway, so I finally retired the sorry gang of arrow-fodder.

Two units of Aux.Archers were just enough punch in the ranged department until about that point in the campaign, but I had already added 2 fresh ones a battle or two ago. The new ones weren't overly impressive yet, but still contributed to the demise of the Syrian forces. The senior pair consistently scored about as many kills as any of my front-line units throughout the campaign. On the few occasions where an enemy infantry unit actually broke through my front line and mixed it up with my archers, they managed to put up a respectable fight, giving about as well as they got against a bunch of medium-level Warriors, and on one occasion annihilating a ligh-level heavy unit that pursued them into the rough.

I went with Principes for a front line (6 units by the Syrian escapade, various levels ranging from single digits for the newbies to about 20 for the best pair), which seem to offer the most for the least, although a unit or two of high-priced Praetorians anchoring the formation can pull a miracle out of a hat for you every now and then. I went without any Praetorians on this particular run through the campaign.

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Of elephants, militia and others

Post by quintusvarus » Thu Jan 26, 2006 4:45 pm

I'm posting this in an idle moment away from the game so I can't recall exactly the senario, but to deal with elephanrts I found the best mix was high value militia and velites both with high level anti-elephant skills. The militia pin the elephants long enough for the Velite javelins to kill them. It is vital however to back them up with heavy troops to keep the enemy light/heavy troops off whilst they finish of the elephants. But don't let your own heavies get caught up with the elephants - you need to keep tight control on them and direct them firmly at the enemy infantry, although letting them chuck a volley of javelins at the elephants in passing can be benificial as long as they don't then run into close contact. As for militia being useless later on its not true; used in the right environment with high value/equipment they can reek havoc on enemy heavies - just make sure that their contact is not open ground - in scree/woodland areas mine see off berserkers, greek heavy infantry, etc.

honvedseg
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Militia

Post by honvedseg » Thu Jan 26, 2006 5:41 pm

The big problem with militia is not what they can do against heavy infantry in bad terrain, it's what the opposing light infantry will do to them in the same spot. A unit of aux will clean house with most of the light units that they face in the rough, as well as munch on any heavy troops that stray into their element. A militia unit may promote faster than an auxilia, but it NEEDS the extra promotions and all the weapons and armor it can get just to survive in the same situation. I don't add any equipment (other than extra ammo and better bows) to my existing units until I've got at least 12 good units. Your militia will need equipment, and suddenly aren't that cheap anymore.

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Militia

Post by quintusvarus » Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:32 am

Point taken, but as I am trying to keep troop types to appropriate time frames I won't be recruiting Auxilia until about 50AD, so up to that point I do rely on "expensive" militia. I did make the point that they had to be protected from enemy light/heavy troops in the open. In conditions where they would meet light troops I am tending to mix them with Hasti who cope reasonably well in broken ground/forest, as long as they are not isolated. I also try to make sure that at any point of conflict the enemy are outnumbered at least 2 to 1 or face troops of vastly superior quality!

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Post by Redpossum » Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:59 pm

Mmmm, I have to politely disagree with the disparaging remarks about Militia.

Properly developed and equipped, they're a match for anything in rough terrain, and I do mean anything.

Buy a Militia and an Auxilia at the same time. Do your best to give them equal time and equipment.

The Auxilia will be ~L30 when the Militia is ~L50.

And no, I am totaly unimpressed with the pila :)

tex
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Post by tex » Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:32 pm

Thanks once again for all your help. There is some good information here. I guess its the stort of stuff that would be in a supporting book if it is ever produced (hint).

I have now sailed through (well perhaps stumbled would be more accurate) the Hard level for both campaigns and have currently got stuck on the Etruscan Treachery in Very Hard. I just need a few more seconds!!!!

I have a couple of Nobles and a couple of Scouts, from the above comments perhaps i should have gone for Auxiliary Cavalry instead. For foot troups I have mostly skirmishers but once again perhaps they would be better as Auxilia. Once again I must thank you for getting me thinking more of troop types than I usually do.

One interesting point (to me anyway) that I have noticed is that if i set out the starting formation and let the balltle run without interference there can be a considerable difference in the results for repeated runs from the same starting point. The first run after a formation change seems to be better than the next two or three! and on the whole (at least for the Treachery one I am currently on) the casualties can range from roughly 150 each to about 200 each with variations in that range for each side. I wonder whether that is too much randomness?

sum1won
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Post by sum1won » Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:20 pm

That could be the case- randomness seems to be especially important with things like missle weapons or trample in battles. With infantry, it does still occur too. Still, I find that randomness will rarely matter unless the battle is already very, very close.
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Post by kongming » Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:22 am

Pointing back to the original question on this thread, I too find Magnesia/Syrian War a very tough battle on very hard., much harder than Dog Heads. I've tried in two different ways (several times each) with unsatisfying results. Mind you I eventually one, but in only the ugliest of ways.

My force is without screening troops, no velites, no skirmishers:
4 legions (18, 17, 14, 6), 3 aux (19, 18, 15), 3 archers (15, 14, 3) & 2 cav (18, 16)

I've tried it lined up against their main force (once with aux in front to take the charge backed up by legions, once with legions biting the bullet)

I've also tried it by engaging on the left flank and trying to force their battle line back around.

Neither method worked well though I did squeak by facing off against their main line with my legions in the front.

Even with three decent archers concentrating their fire on the elephants, these ones took a long time to take down. Combined with the enemies strong heavy infantry and high level archers, this is one of the toughest enemy armies I have seen. They have so many other dinky troops about that it is hard to get my cav at their archers.
“There are only a few notes in the scale.
Yet you can always rearrange them.
You can never hear every song of victory”
- Sun Tzu, the Art of War

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