Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

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GShock112
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Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GShock112 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:35 pm

So, while I'm experimenting with the increased cavalry manouverability and speed (18AP instead of 14), I found myself baiting the AI in Gifu.
The situation is balanced although I have just conquered Osaka and Ueda so the Takeda are short on the economic side. I've only won minor skirmishes so far (no major victories) and I know I have the advantage of quality on top of an advantageous situation to begin with (the Oda roster is more powerful than the Takeda's).

I fell back from Gifu and the unsupplied 20.000 strong Takeda invaded and conquered it. I regrouped and struck them back and this is the AAR of this battle which is likely the biggest I ever fought (the deployment was left as-is, and it was 4 lines deep).

Nothing would have been better than a VIDEO with commentary but I am not equipped for that, so I'll just leave it at the screenshots, which are taken before the beginning of my turn and I will explain what I can here in the forum while adding visual cues with mspaint on the screenshots themselves.

The screenshots come in series of 3... turn by turn and I omitted the initial turns where the AI sent the skirmishers ahead and I advanced compact as usual to get to the best positions by the middle of the field. The first SS is the left flank, the second is the right flank and the third one is the center of the deployment. Map view is diagonal (I like to play looking at the depth of the field).

I will build this thread in multiple posts so please don't post until I'm finished (you'll know I'm finished when you see the victory/defeat screen). :)

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GShock112 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:48 pm

Image

I will use BLUE for the defense lines, red for the attack lines and green for the missile targets.

A view of the field (horizontal) from the Takeda side. I am standing in the best position on the battlefield with archers covered by the woods, a strong musket line on a hill and a bait in the middle between the woods and the hillside. I have 2 defense lines and 1 reserve line.

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Turn 14 - LEFT
The AI is attacking... bad idea because I am VERY strong here and they don't have missiles to bear.
My cavalry and 1 Ashigaru swordsmen will contain/flank on the left but it's a far-sighted thought. The Takeda have at least THREE LINES and there's also a reserve by its Honjin.

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Turn 14 - RIGHT
I have a minor advantage on this flank because I'm closer to my interior lines, I have 2 available cavalry units (1 is hidden on the far right you can barely see its mon) and a major incognita: I have no idea who will come out of those woods.

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Turn 14 - CENTER
The reserves move to block the advance that would cut the defense in the woods and on the hill but will not push. The position in the woods is solid because spears would fight at disadvantage against my sword-archers.

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GShock112 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:26 pm

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Turn 13 - LEFT

My ashigaru swordsmen are instantly routed by the enemy samurai even though they were uphill but they buy time for the missile to pound the flank. The enemy samurai rush headlong and are bound to be obliterated by my second line but luckily this rout didn't affect any of my units. Meanwhile the center of the enemy weak ashigaru are taking hits and show signs of disruption in their advance. My containment will probably not be necessary and I can start pressing the center.

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TURN 13 - RIGHT

Even though It looks like I am poised to win easy, it all rests on that single samurai unit which is being overwhelmed by the expected attack (countered by cavalry flanking manouver) and the UNEXPECTED coming out of the woods of a second unit. This is where if I don't send those monks IMMEDIATELY I will lose the flank. It will take 2 turns to my (modded) cavalry to backcharge that enemy samurai unit and it will also take 2 turns for the monks to get there to further support it. IF ANOTHER UNIT COMES OUT OF THOSE WOODS IT WON'T SUFFICE and my reserves are still far.
My heavies will hold and whover goes near them is targeted by a barrage missiles. The AI has a weaker army (not enough missiles and too few samurai in front line) and it's not correctly deployed for the type of manouver it's trying to perform in the center.

Note how I am sending the ashigaru unit to BLOCK the advance by the woods. Remember, I am flaking the woods from the other side with samurai spears.

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TURN 13 - CENTER

The AI halted by the woods. If they attack at disadvantage they'll also be flanked and if they don't attack, they get pounded at close range by my archers. I'm moving my second line ahead in the center to support a push and moving in their place the third line.

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GShock112 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:39 am

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TURN 12 - LEFT

The cavalry unit has been standing idle from the beginning of the clash and will soon be wiped out by my missle troops. On the far left the flanking manouver proceeds and since the enemy is weak on my left, most of the reserve is committed towards the center.

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TURN 12 - RIGHT

My samurai unit is still holding on the far right but it's beginning to lose while the cavalry (and the monks) is coming to help. Remember... this picture is taken before the next melee phases so I don't know whether I'll make it in time or not. Teppo on the right moves to block the woods and take hits... the unengaged missiles pound on the enemy ashigaru and since they're disrupted, my archers draw swords.
By the woods, the ashigaru spears manage to block the reinforcements ahead but they can't hold for long while those enemy right at the woods' edge are going to be cut out.
Another Ashigaru unit moves in for the pincer move. If the enemy doesn't attack, this time my archers will come out of the woods and pin them to their doom.

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TURN 12 - CENTER

Pretty self-explanatory.

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GShock112 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:56 am

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TURN 11 - LEFT

As expected the attack never came on my left. That isolated cavalry unit is now fragmented, pumped with led and pierced by arrows 3 turns in a row.
The whole left side of the field now belongs to my cavalry and my Ashigaru can converge. The other part of my missiles focus on a front line missile unit which also is isolated.

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TURN 11 - RIGHT

My samurai spears stood the 2vs1 and my cavalry and monks broke the enemy. The whole enemy army is crumbling now.

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TURN 11- CENTER

The units in the woods charge and the center is also mine now.
I've marked in yellow some of the enemy units which never participated to the battle. There are 4 more enemy units which did not participate and are now engaging my pursuers.

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GShock112 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:03 am

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TURN 10

The battle is over, they are on the run.

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It was a major disaster for Takeda.

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So we're looking at multiple armies merged into each other to build the previous engagement and I am poised to attack again given my superior numbers AND quality. The only question here is whether I should split to build a small army to just plunder the countryside of Takayama or not. If Ichiodani falls in one turn of siege, the campaign is over.

Tactical considerations in the next (final) post.

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle Daimyo level (Modded)

Post by GShock112 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:21 am

So,
The Takeda did not stand a chance for several reasons:

1) The ODA roster is stronger (as per history).
We know the Takeda had to fight this battle (it was now or never) but perhaps they were fooled by the Fog of War. In any case their army was suffering from lack of supply in Gifu so AGAIN they had to fight anyway but when looking at the Takeda catastrophe, keep in mind I was extremely advantaged (partly manufactured, I really did plan this battle in Gifu, partly coming from previous success in skirmish battles which made my quality better and part because the Oda are stronger in the Tenka Fubu. Believe me it's a completely different story when I play with the Takeda vs Oda and I will show you).

2) The strategic situation of the campaign is not implemented in the game concepts.
The AI was being attacked in Gifu and should have made ME attack instead of attacking me with a weaker army. This battle, as well as the WHOLE GAME would be a completely different thing is the Attack-Defense was properly implemented. I don't think it's a good idea to just leave the battlefield resolution to the mere numbers of routed units but it could still work as long as the game is conceived around the strategic situation that develops in the campaign prior to the battle. If Takeda is defending Gifu, they must defend and it's Oda that must rout them from the field... which means Oda must lunge forward and eat the missiles. What happened here is the opposite, the Takeda were defending and they attacked me in a much stronger position. The result was totally expected and the battle itself lasted just 3 turns as you see.

3) The AI attack pattern was rather disorganized.
Several units were not committed (especially the cavalry that should prioritize flank rushes). I think about 10 total units never even engaged and that's 1/3rd of the total army. If you consider the Takeda moved to attack (which is wrong as I explained), this is a CAPITAL problem. When you attack you must hold nothing back. You can use reserves to fill the holes but they can't be that far (yellow circles) and we're again at the same music: The game does NOT ALLOW you to fight unbalanced battles. The AI or the player will mostly NEVER have sufficient numbers to have a reserve or a major advantage that allows splitting and flanking in groups (some units may but not GROUPS). and that means the side who's attacking in the battlefield (in this case Takeda) must commit EVERYTHING to the attack.

4) I've mentioned a couple of times that war is not the environment in which you can sit idle in front of an enemy unit. Aside from not committing EVERYTHING, the AI also idled in the front line.
As I've shown you, the Takeda advanced to me and then HALTED both on the left flank and in the center by the woods. This is a top priority fix: units idling so close to my missile are certain to be destroyed and every time a unit is wrecked it affects all the other units nearby.

Conclusion: all in all this was a very expected result for the ODA. In this case the modded cavalry was successful in one instance and BARELY (because of terrain it arrived just in time) but I see no reason why the AI should keep its cavalry in the back or... in the center, swamped among friendly units.

I'll carry on this campaign and then redo it with the Takeda, which is a LOT harder, where I hope I can have a big battle to build another AAR soon. :)

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by rbodleyscott » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:10 am

So, while I'm experimenting with the increased cavalry manouverability and speed (18AP instead of 14)
The default cavalry AP is in fact 16.
Richard Bodley Scott

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GShock112 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 10:49 am

d'oh... lol

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by rbodleyscott » Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:00 am

GShock112 wrote:d'oh... lol
It is not that bad. Giving them 18AP is enough to allow them to include one diagonal step in a 4 square move, which may in fact be enough to give them the extra manoeuvrability you want them to have, without unbalancing the relationship between foot archers and cavalry.
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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GShock112 » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:43 pm

It's what I am looking for without having to rebalance 20 more things and so far it worked.
The AAR shows clearly the 2 problems with the strategic situational-awareness missing (ai attacking when it should defend), the idleness of units who move forward but then do not attack indefinitely (destroyed by missile) and the AI still needing a tweak with committing really EVERYTHING when it attacks (2nd and 3rd lines too far). It's gonna be a totally different story with the Takeda.

I will wait for a big battle to present itself before posting the next AAR and I have a feeling I'll be smothered by the AI because despite the needed tweaks, I really started with a much stronger army. :)

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GiveWarAchance » Sat Dec 31, 2016 9:39 pm

Thank you for this report.
I like the colored arrows showing your combat moves.
What difficulty level did you set it to?
You said much about the AI's mistakes, but in my games recently, the AI is smarter than most humans and is a tactical beast. Most probably the update made the AI much more powerful since you posted this report.
Along with the nice graphics and battle design, this game has a very impressive AI now.

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GShock112 » Sun Jan 01, 2017 9:30 am

It does.
I just wish the cavalry was easier to manouver and displayed the speed it had. While it is fast enough, the problem of ZOC and terrain basically render it extremely hard to be successful with. Increasing their AP did the trick. This game is all about AI and fortunately the DEVs have already addressed many issues. True, it's much improved but it still can improve. :-)

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GiveWarAchance » Mon Jan 02, 2017 2:34 am

Are you going to do another AAR? You said you want to play as Takeda in a campaign versus the oppressive Oda. Now with the big update to the game, you will have to put your brain in low gear to avoid a shameful loss.

I don't know if Oda is stronger than Takeda in units as you said cause Oda was very much an Ashigaru + arquebus type of army versus Takeda who really liked cavalry, especially the heavily armed swordsmen on horses. Takeda will need to put in flank attacks to avoid the anti-horse defense of the Yari ashigarus. Historically the Takeda cavalry charged straight into the packed spears and guns of the Oda plus Oda's troops were behind a wood fence for extra defense. The real Takeda Shingen daimyo was killed by a rifleman while out scouting (according to some) so the next daimyo Takeda Katsuyori lacked the original Takeda's wisdom and so a frontal charge was all he had to offer.

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GShock112 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:58 am

I've done a hundred battles but it takes longer to do an AAR, sure I'll do it just give me the time pretty busy atm with real life events.
The problem of cavalry is the one that gives me problems with this system of mechanics which I like very much. It is balanced as is but I think it needs to give cavalry an advantage in speed that is missing because you lose AP due to low maneuverability and ZoCs.

In game I think both armies are balanced. The anti-Oda alliance has powerful monks and if used properly even the peasants can give serious problems if not countered. They have low morale and skill but great numbers. I think the problems of a campaign still need to actually be built in the game, as I said many times already... nothing that can't be fixed and I hope they address it. Diplomacy, events and the never ending struggle for power with treasons that just really lack in this game (as in many others). The DEVs focused on the battle to use their winning mechanics but if the campaign is addressed this game will grow 100 fold.

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GiveWarAchance » Mon Jan 02, 2017 4:42 pm

The company is small and has done well with this game design. If they were bigger and had more programming time, they could probably add more depth to the campaign but the battles are difficult and complex which is the meat of the game.
The horses can move quite far if you use them for flanking instead of getting stuck in the general melee, especially the light cavalry which can cover a lot of distance and then pour arrow fire into the backsides of the badguys, overrun support and run down fragmented battalions so they can't rally.

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GShock112 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 8:14 pm

I know but if you put an infantry unit beside a cavalry unit in the open and push them forward as far as they can go you can see the distance covered is too short for a cavalry unit... and cavalry also needs to take care of ZoCs and terrain penalties. In 10 seconds a walking man can walk 7 meters (more or less, you get my point), in those 10 seconds, a walking cavalry can walk 25... and this is not even running/charging where cavalry would go in excess of 40km/h while a charging man can barely get to 13km/h (considering armor, weapons, formation etc, for both cases). That's the problem.

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GiveWarAchance » Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:52 am

Did you have a look at my AAR? I used my light cavalry very skillfully.
Most probably horses could do with an extra 2 AP and reduced ZOC penalty but I'm not worried about it.
Cavalry don't do well in messy melee so the best way to avoid ZOC is don't get stuck in the foot soldiers' slugfest unless it's using horses in reserve to block off enemy breakthroughs.

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Re: Tenka Fubu ODA major battle (Modded)

Post by GShock112 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:11 pm

We're not talking of melee, we're talking of free movement. It moves too slow compared to foot and takes penalties that further make the foot more advantageous.
Put them side by side in the open... cav may go farther, but only slightly... that advantage in combat is lost due to terrain and ZoC. It's small to start with and too small when the battle begins.

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