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Post  Life Pilgrim on Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:50 pm

For those who think they need coaching,

Here I copied the stuff I had written before on the clan steam page, it's general tips without delving into details hence may not be very practical directly in game which is what I intended as every battlefield commander needs to find his own style and form. This way I'm not trying to shape any of you but to help open your mind so that you could find your own form and style.

I'll spend time teaching those who think they need some tutoring. It's not really hard to hold on your own in total war series in my opinion. But most recruits forget to devise a plan in battlefield. It's important to devise a plan in battlefield and to adapt them according to the dynamic of battlefield development. However my copy hasn't arrived yet. Meanwhile I'd suggest you guys to keep playing and or to ask fellow clan mates who has the time to teach you with classical battle. It would be faster if it was say a 2 Vs 2 battle than a personalized 1 Vs 1. I'd implore that war council members to spend time teaching new recruits who haven't found their confidence. I really want the clan to work and for that no one should be and will be left behind. As soon as my copy arrived and I adjust to the game(after spending 1 or two days) I'll provide coaching to the best of my ability to those who asked. But meanwhile I really suggest you guys to KEEP on playing multiplayer. Experience is the best teacher.

I want to add that in order to learn from defeats you must not hate losing but appreciate the fact that the enemy might have used a better tactics and thus was a better battlefield commander. In battle there are several important factors that you need to watch(and no this is no bs): the plan, the maneuver(and placing), the execution, flexibility to modify planning, and the timing. It goes without saying that a good battlefield general must try to anticipate his opponent plan, maneuver and timing and to disrupt them when it is necessary or would benefit you greatly WHEN the opportunity arises. That is to say a good battlefield commander needs to see how things would play out before they happen and to be able to see and exploit any weakness in them. Remember the enemy can't be strong everywhere. If he's strong in the center he's weak in the flanks. If his army consists of many cavalry he's vulnerable to spearmen. For example hold out his main force attack for a time while other forces make flanking attack and attack his main force say from behind to demoralize his army.

The plan doesn't have to be wacky or too creative but needs to be effective for the given battlefield situation (terrain, weather though weather seems to have little effect in the game, and own and enemy army composition) and the given battlefield development(to be adapted accordingly when NEEDED). It also involves choosing your army composition and strength and the clever use of terrain to your advantage.

Maneuver involves selecting the best formation while moving and tied to timing or when it's best to start moving and when to stop and adapt to moving to a position ACCORDING to the plan or change of plan.

Execution is tied to timing too. It's the mastery of putting into practice the plan devised in the mind. it involves troops training level in practice but in Shogun 2 since troops have expected level of training it means your mastery of the User Interface and army control both in maneuvering and in combat. :-).

Timing as now you would have guessed is the basis as to when the plan is carried out. It involves starting, stopping and modifying actions at the right time to bring maximum effect to the plan.

Finally don't attack for the sake of attacking without plan or reason, don't move without a reason or plan or for the sake of simply moving. Every unit must be used in concert with the other with an underlying plan. No it doesn't mean mass rushing. And last for now it's much better to lose with a plan than to lose without because at the very least you'll know what went wrong in it :-)

More advance stuff

Play with the enemy too. Disrupt his plans when able. Harass or frustrate to agitate him to make him to commit rash actions if he's camping in good position. Feign retreats when necessary. Make the enemy impatient or feign mistakes to lead to ambush when necessary. Entice him if he's static, guard against him if he's aggressive, bait him if he's impatient. And always try to have the initiative so that your force is engaging the enemy's on your own terms instead of theirs. You can't emphasize more on initiative. Disrupt the enemy initiative, wrestle it from him to disrupt his plan and to force him to change them. Even defensive situation could turn into offensive with a few smart initiatives. Remember the opponent whom you're playing against is another human too and as such he has a psyche and mind that's more or less predictable because it is similar to your own and thus opening the possibility for deception in the battlefield.

Last don't lose your patience and cool when playing since an angry person makes all rash actions that degenerates his combat effectiveness. Besides it would be kind of silly to be angry when playing a game. After all we play games to have fun not to prove ourselves. Enjoy it and take every lesson from it so you can derive more fun the next time you play it. After all it's a game we can afford losing in a game. That's why everybody could make a great armchair general while that's not the case in real life. And never ever give up until the game ends. The battlefield development is such that the tide can turn with just a few actions or situations salvaged just merely by being more careful. So never ever give up in a game until it is over and don't assume it's over until it is really over. Keep up a good fighting spirit throughout to the end. That way you show valor that will win you respect and bring honor to yourself and the clan because the honor is real however little even when the battle is not Wink .

If you have either practical or general battle tips do share them here in this thread Wink
Life Pilgrim
Life Pilgrim

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Post  ari on Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:03 am

Avatar Campaign Build

As you may all know the fund you use for battle depends on the rank of the lowest ranking player in the battle. When that lowest ranking player is a rank 1, you will use small fund. And when the lowest ranking player is rank 10 (all players are rank 10 as it is maximum), you play at ultra fund. That's right, almost unlimited fund except when you have high vet samurai army.

I played someone who obliterated me on medium fund, but his army would've done much better on ultra fund. Here's his build.

Retainer Effects:
+3 sword melee attack (Blade master)
+2 sword melee attack
-5 enemy spear infantry defense

Army Composition:
A lot of Katana Samurai (use loan swords on smaller funds)
A few cavalry units, both yari and katana (use light cavalry on smaller funds)

Unit Stats in battle:
Rank 3 katana samurais at 23 melee attack.
Rank 6 katana samurais at 29 melee attack with 20 clan point expenditure.
Rank 3 Loan Sword Ashigaru at 20 melee attack.

Yari Cavalry shadows enemy cavalry and keep all these swords from being charged repeatedly.
When the two armies are about to engage in missile exchange, katana cavalry charge in and occupy the enemy missile units, and swordsmen rush in.

This build is simple and the most powerful that I've encountered. He had at least one katana samurai at probably 29 melee attack (12 base + 5 from the two retainers + 3x4 from vet upgrades.) These katana samurai have 4 times as many soldier per unit than katana hero and is much cheaper.

I knew I had to avoid melee contact but it's really hard to completely avoid touching his army when he has the cavalry to tie me down from running. Even 20 seconds was enough. His swordsmen reach my formation and everything melted away so fast.

The key to the statistical advantage of this build is firstly, sword wielders receive +3 from melee upgrades, rather than spear and naginatas +2 per upgrade, and they can get 4 upgrades, 2 of which requiring clan points. Secondly, there's no other additional retainer that gives +3 melee attack to a whole type of troops like the blademaster. This +3 melee effect stacks with the +2 regular retainer for a total of +5 to sword infantry. Of course you could put in another retainer that gives +1 melee attack to all infantry, but that slot may be better used on other things.

Also in this game engine, all fighting is between 2 individual soldiers, a swordsman that's in a killing animation against one of your naginatas cannot be attacked by another one of your naginatas until the animation finishes, upon which the swordsman probably moves on to kill another one first. Hence at really high melee attack, they suffer very low casualties in melee too.

What can an opponent do about these katana samurai that fight like katana heroes for half the price and at 4x the unit size? Matchlocks and cavalry charges. Matchlocks can still break the morale of katana samurai from range. Cavalry won't be making many charges against these sword infantry, because they'll be chopped down if the katana samurai don't break immediately. While at the base stats, katana cavalry counter katana samurai with 18 melee attack to 12 melee attack. That was a significant difference that always ensured the katana cavalry was the clear winner. But in avatar campaign, that little difference is easily submerged under the effect of veterancy and retainer bonuses. So either charge and run or don't engage in melee at all.

If a player using this swordsmen melee-attack stacking build also fields some cavalry of his own to tie up opponents matchlocks and bows for the half a minute necessary to get these swordsmen into melee, it becomes very difficult for another army that didn't stack sword bonuses and mass swordsmen to defeat this build. And even knowing if an opponent was going to use this build, the best way of dealing with it is to do the same. While mass horses may beat this build in the open, if you do go that route you'd have one player camping in forest and one player camping in plains forever in these TWS2 battlefields without victory conditions.

I hope this writing brought both the current state of game balance to your attention and perhaps save you some time in choosing what unit veterancies to work on.


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Post  Arclight on Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:20 am

I'm thinking horse archers. Katana infantry has the lowest armour, compared to yari and naginata troops, and so they are vulnerable to archers.

Naginata have good defense and armour. Personally I try to pin down their infantry with naginata and then send in katana to do the actual killing. At the same time, use the fact he's heavy on katana against him by positioning archers to fire into melee and use yari cavalry to deliver charges.

Horse archers would be ideal; keep your distance while harrasing his infantry. Don't try to kill off a unit, switch targets and wear them all down. Once the melee starts, the numbers are less in his favor, and the continued harrasing fire and cavalry charges will break them much faster since you already softened them up.


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Post  ari on Wed Apr 06, 2011 2:50 pm

Yes I should've gotten horse cavalry instead of foot archers. Having to save foot archers by block swordsmen off with my own spears or naginata was a bad idea. While a unit of ashigaru in spear wall beats a unit of katana samurai that charges into it from it the front when both are unupgraded, in that battle my ashigaru melted just so fast. Anything that touches those samurai in melee is much like what touches normal katana heroes.... just melts away.

This will go to mass horses though. A lot of horse archers, enough missiles to shoot the foot samurai opponent off of a forested hill and then continue shooting until enough casualties had been inflicted that they can be routed. In the mean time, rest of the army as yari and light cavalry to protect the horse archers. Perhaps 1 or 2 matchlocks to set the tone of battle whenever there's a stationary engagement.

Thanks. I'll go try some mass horse archer in auto 2v2 and practice with the micro.... so many friendly fires expected.


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