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Thread: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

  1. #41

    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Quote Originally Posted by Beckitz View Post
    I think the in-game system is fine, yes I've seen that any kind of victory is a contributor to skill increase, but ironically I haven't noticed an especial rate of growth from fighting against the odds. As to the epistemology, I wouldn't contest your point about the battles; of course underdog wins are the most impressive, but if the modus cogitandi of the team is that longshot wins are a conduit to greatness, I only want to introduce a companion point: amassing huge resources and using them effectively is also a path to greatness, and I'm not convinced it would make sense for the former to endow a special bonus to an aspiring commander whereas he gets no special experience from having put together and deployed a giant army?
    You made some good points Beckitz, however, I don't find that impressive for a General to put together and deploy a giant army. In fact, there are plenty of examples were numerous armies were soundly defeated and the Generals commanding them did not have any special commanding abilities. For example, in the battle of Himera, a giant Carthaginian army of around 100k troops (historians say 300k but its clear a great exageration) was defeated by a greek army of around 50k troops. Scipio in the second punic war defeated a huge combined army of Carthaginians and Numidians, also the battle of Cannae...
    Finally, Anthony war on Parthia when he invaded Parthia with around 100k troops and the campaign ended in a disastrous defeat, and the battle of Arausio were 80k Roman soldiers were killed.

    This is to explain that amassing huge armies wasn't such an amazing and unusual feat in that time (China even beats this numbers by a lot) and usually, in Europe, it didn't ended well for those Generals...

  2. #42
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    You made some good points Beckitz, however, I don't find that impressive for a General to put together and deploy a giant army. In fact, there are plenty of examples were numerous armies were soundly defeated and the Generals commanding them did not have any special commanding abilities. For example, in the battle of Himera, a giant Carthaginian army of around 100k troops (historians say 300k but its clear a great exageration) was defeated by a greek army of around 50k troops. Scipio in the second punic war defeated a huge combined army of Carthaginians and Numidians, also the battle of Cannae...
    Finally, Anthony war on Parthia when he invaded Parthia with around 100k troops and the campaign ended in a disastrous defeat, and the battle of Arausio were 80k Roman soldiers were killed.

    This is to explain that amassing huge armies wasn't such an amazing and unusual feat in that time (China even beats this numbers by a lot) and usually, in Europe, it didn't ended well for those Generals...
    As a side point: I don't think we should trust almost any number presented in the historical sources from that time. Maybe in a few cases, the numbers presented in the Roman sources are correct, and perhaps rather towards the end of the ancient times (eg. in Ammianus Marcellinus). Otherwise, they usually all mean just "many". Logistically it'd be impossible to field 100k army in any campaign...

  3. #43

    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    As a side point: I don't think we should trust almost any number presented in the historical sources from that time. Maybe in a few cases, the numbers presented in the Roman sources are correct, and perhaps rather towards the end of the ancient times (eg. in Ammianus Marcellinus). Otherwise, they usually all mean just "many". Logistically it'd be impossible to field 100k army in any campaign...
    Yes, we shouldn't give much trust on the numbers ancient historians give, Himera for example was a great battle but some modern historians estimate the Carthaginian army at around 30k. It could be a lot more but there's no way to probe that...

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    The only problem I wonder with the current system is that if it is mainly rewarding for the canonical "civilized" general against the "barbarian" horde. In a battle against another good general where the odds are not unbalanced, winning won't be really rewarding isn't it? For example, a battle like Cynoscephalae and Pydna is less rewarding than a battle like Vesontio and Bibracte (58 BC). Is the game taking in account only the odds of the battle?
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  5. #45

    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Again, unequal battles aren't the only triggers. Go browse the EDCT for "Effect Command".
    It began on seven hills - a historical house-ruled Romani AAR
    Heirs to Lysimachos - a semi-historical Epeiros-as-Pergamon AAR
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  6. #46
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    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    As a side point: I don't think we should trust almost any number presented in the historical sources from that time. Maybe in a few cases, the numbers presented in the Roman sources are correct, and perhaps rather towards the end of the ancient times (eg. in Ammianus Marcellinus). Otherwise, they usually all mean just "many". Logistically it'd be impossible to field 100k army in any campaign...
    Not quite true. Depending on where the battle was it would be quite possible to field 100k men and over. For instance, the danube as it flows out to sea near Constantinople has a capacity to supply over 200 soldiers with water. This would be the kind of calculations any general would be able to do in order to find how many men he could field. If you don't need to worry about water supplies you can use your cargo capacity to just bring food and other supplies. Lines of communication are another issue but if you had multiple routes to get to the same point you could split your army in 2 or 3 parts and each using a different route. That makes the marching column a lot more manageable and again, in places like asia Minor wjere plenty of well developed settlements exist this would not be an impossible task. It depends of where the campaign is and how developed and rich is the surrounding land. One related issue that I would definitely would like to study is the existance of great cities as an indicator to the capacity of a nation to field such massive armies. Basically if you have the logistical know how to support a 500k strong city then you should be able to field a very large army.


  7. #47

    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    As a side point: I don't think we should trust almost any number presented in the historical sources from that time. Maybe in a few cases, the numbers presented in the Roman sources are correct, and perhaps rather towards the end of the ancient times (eg. in Ammianus Marcellinus). Otherwise, they usually all mean just "many".

    Logistically it'd be impossible to field 100k army in any campaign...
    Am curious, how would you know?

    Anyway, there's plenty of legitimate records throughout history of battles of that scale or bigger. An example would be in ancient/classical China.

    btw, great discussion
    Last edited by qwertykov; November 27, 2018 at 11:25 AM.

  8. #48

    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Quote Originally Posted by qwertykov View Post
    Am curious, how would you know?
    Well apparently modern historians know better than the ones who lived at the time go figure It's like people saying it was impossible for human beings build things like pyramids so it might have been aliens. Some years ago everyone believed dinossaurs were all reptiles, now they say some were birds, the truth is they don't have any idea, it's all theories and everyone wants their theories to be facts.

    Also the only way a commander with everything at his favour would lose a battle, would be by his own incompetence not because of the geniality of his opponent.
    Last edited by MagusCaligula; November 27, 2018 at 01:54 PM.

  9. #49

    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Quote Originally Posted by qwertykov View Post
    Am curious, how would you know?

    Anyway, there's plenty of legitimate records throughout history of battles of that scale or bigger. An example would be in ancient/classical China.

    btw, great discussion
    Well, let's say that a lot of historians from ancient times did not do it for the history but to exalt a determined people/leader and what would sound better, winning a battle against 10k or against 25k? Of course 25k sounds better and since most of the times it was almost impossible to check the truth, they would put those numbers...
    Also it wasn't easy to calculate the exact numbers on armies that's why many historians write different numbers too.
    Modern historians check the terrain and the logistic capabilities and with other factors, calculate the numbers that would be present in those battles, while not exact, it is closer to the truth

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I actually expected discussion on this. From my reading of historical research, I conclude that the number of combatants it extremely inflated in the historical sources. One article on medieval warfare is attached. I see little reason that there's a sufficient logistics that would allow to have 10-times bigger armies in ancient times. To my mind, until the advent of the French great system of the Napoleonic times (matched soon by the other side, to be sure) and then of the railroads in the 19th century, there's no way to systematically support really big armies.
    And I don't trust the official documents like those from the Roman Empire times. The number of soldiers existing on the paper has been high in all bureaucratic systems given that it was the best way to embezzle the money.

    Another case of the inflated figures in the ancient sources are the numbers of city-dwellers. A great book on this topic is the Colin McEvedy's one, even if he might be on the extreme side of deflating the figures. Again, apart from very exceptional cases (great river and closeness of the good sources of grain and somehow stable social-political system) - China probably excelled in this respect), there're no logistical possibilities to provide them with food and other amenities.
    And the writers of that time we've got stories from, they didn't have much clue of the numbers (but some professional ones, like Ammianus Marcellinus). Many are many, so perhaps dozens of thousands. If you read the reports from 15 century in Spain on the far-away battle of Tannenberg (1410) it seems there're 7 million warriors involved...
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; November 28, 2018 at 06:34 AM.

  11. #51
    Genava's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	John_France.jpg 
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ID:	356046
    I actually expected discussion on this. From my reading of historical research, I conclude that the number of combatants it extremely inflated in the historical sources. One article on medieval warfare is attached. I see little reason what kind of logistics would allow to have 10-times bigger armies in ancient times. To my mind, until the advent of the French logistics of the Napoleonic times and then of the railroads, there's no way systematically support really big armies.
    Another case of inflated figures in the ancient sources are the number of city-dwellers. A great book on this topic is the Colin McEvedy's one, even if he might be on the extreme side of deflating the figures.
    King Cetshwayo during the Anglo-Zulu war had an army of 35'000 men while their population is only about 250000 in 1828, thus it is possible for less complex societies to rise huge armies. Therefore, I am not sure medieval examples will contradict ancient historical accounts. Probably because the logistics in ancient times is far better than the logistics in medieval times and because the societies are totally different. Ancient societies are really more bellicists than their medieval counterparts.
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  12. #52
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    I'm glad that it's you, Genava, reacting to this, for I really appreciate your opinions (not that I don't appreciate the others' opinions, it's just I could read the scientific papers info from you - eg. on the Celts and Barry Cunliffe - and they were really worth reading).

    Concerning this one: why do you think the logistics in the ancient times was better than in the medieval period? I may imagine that the logistics in the Roman state (the late republic and the empire) and in China were superior but what about - in case of Europe - the earlier times and the other parts of the oikumene? Soldiers had to eat irrespectively, and if there're no markets, few roads and no administration (or social systems able to fulfil this role) to organize everything for tens of thousands of people, how would they do it?

    And what do you think about the numbers of inhabitants of the cities? Eg. I'm just reading about ancient Aquileia. The Wikipedia says it reached 100k inhabitants while McEvedy claims 10k as the most (given that the inhabited area was 100 ha at the most even in its heyday of 4th century AD). What do you think is credible?

  13. #53

    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Fielding a force in excess of 100k, naturally proves the state's ability to provide and manage the logistics and planning no?

    It's not at all surprising, given massive population, territorial size as well as administrative sophistication and longevity of many empires and dynasties throughout human history. The Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Qin, Han, Tang dynasties are but a few.

    How would the Persians manage their empire from Europe to Afghanistan without excellent administrative capabilities? These are the people who build the Pyramids, the Grand Canal, the Great Wall.

    Also on a side note, it is not impossible for the nomadic Mongols or the various nomadic Steppe hordes to have a 100k army. The mobility of their army of horse riders meant it is possible they did not need a massive baggage train as compared to an infantry heavy army.

  14. #54

    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    why do you think the logistics in the ancient times was better than in the medieval period?
    Would make a good thesis subject

  15. #55
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Quote Originally Posted by qwertykov View Post
    Fielding a force in excess of 100k, naturally proves the state's ability to provide and manage the logistics and planning no?
    Yes, indeed. If you can prove the existence of such armies then it'd imply the logistics was in place. But how do you know they fielded 100k - besides those scriptures made by people hundred years after the event (just have a look where do have information about the Persians - and forget the Achaemenids, just those very close to us: the Sassanids)?

    Quote Originally Posted by qwertykov View Post
    It's not at all surprising, given massive population, territorial size as well as administrative sophistication and longevity of many empires and dynasties throughout human history. The Persians, Macedonians, Romans, Qin, Han, Tang dynasties are but a few.

    How would the Persians manage their empire from Europe to Afghanistan without excellent administrative capabilities?
    Romans and Chinese and Sassanids - perhaps yes. But still, the Roman Empire fielded armies were much lower in numbers, even at the height of their capabilities (I think the Julian's expedition was the most numerous we know of.)

    The Macedonians and the Persians before 3rd century AD - their ascendancy was indeed very loose and there's no administration but the local one. Even the Roman empire had no real administration in the empire before the 4th century AD - all was based on the local people. And they even didn't have army units larger than 6k - this was rather a federation of the legions linked only by the political appointments in Rome, the supreme commander (the emperor) and the law structures governing various facets of the army.

    Quote Originally Posted by qwertykov View Post
    Also on a side note, it is not impossible for the nomadic Mongols or the various nomadic Steppe hordes to have a 100k army. The mobility of their army of horse riders meant it is possible they did not need a massive baggage train as compared to an infantry heavy army.
    This might be true and this is also underscored in the John France page I've uploaded. It was possible for a short period of time there's a political ascendancy of a central power - Huns, Mongols, but also Avars and Khazars. But the Hun and the Avar cases show how short-lived it was.
    Last edited by Jurand of Cracow; November 28, 2018 at 09:49 AM.

  16. #56

    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Well logistics was likely better during Antiquity than during the Medieval period due to the social structure of those period, even Bronze age civilizations were likely more organized than early/high medieval societies in most places. Lots of those civilizations had long seasonal campaigns, could assault multiple fortified cities/town a year, maintained large (whether you believe they were in the tens or up to the hundreds of thousands), professional armies, deported or moved large populations as settlers, had central economic control, large bureaucracies, and complex record systems we can still find/interpret. As an example, during the campaign against Judah, the Assyrians besiege a large fortified city, lost 1500 troops in an assault, and then went on to take a claimed 46 other lesser fortified cities in a single campaign, and then began another major siege at Jerusalem before being either driven off by plague or bribed to leave by the king of Judah Hezekiah in a single campaign. Whether these numbers are accurate or not, the ability to engage in multiple sieges a year, take large fortified settlements, regularly over distances of hundred of miles all point to superior logistics to medieval societies.

    The same applies to societies in the hellenistic period, there are regular instances of nations engaging in actions over hundreds or even thousands of miles from their centers of power, while in the medieval period this is much more the exception than the rule (mostly in the eastern muslim world which is clearly separated from the European sphere of influence and the Normans), especially with large numbers of troops (tens of thousands or more). Even if the numbers involved in these campaigns are exaggerated/distorted the distances involved can't be. This ability only seems to return by the late medieval period and mostly with powerful lords/second sons rather than kings engaging in campaigns during the crusades and other events even then only with large local support and relatively poorly.

    As a little push back against the point that the Roman Empire only having military units of 6,000 men, aren't full legions with auxiliaries supposed to be around 10,000 men? Also limiting the size is likely due to a combination of the fact that they spent most of their time (especially in the imperial period) as garrisons against/deterrents to invasion, emperors actively avoided creating larger centers of power and wouldn't have wanted to make huge military units (unless they really wanted to die in a bloody coup I guess), and had to be flexible. Even modern states only have a couple of larger military units (like divisions and corps) before you just hit full armies.

    Also, aren't there armies with over 100k men involved in the Bar Kochba Revolt on both sides even in conservative modern estimates? I'm pretty sure the modern numbers are like 200k Jewish troops though I'm not certain about that.

  17. #57

    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    A "proper" Roman consular army was two legions and two alae - coming to about 20,000 men all told. That was a basic army, not exceptional in size by any means.

    Bear in mind also that the smallest tactical unit in a Hellenistic army's line was the syntagma, which was 256 men. That again implies armies in the tens of thousands were not an unusual thing.
    It began on seven hills - a historical house-ruled Romani AAR
    Heirs to Lysimachos - a semi-historical Epeiros-as-Pergamon AAR
    Philetairos' Gift - a second attempt at an Epeiros-as-Pergamon AAR


  18. #58

    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    I simply see no way that there could be 100k men in the Bar Kochba revolt at any given point. I mean that's as many men as the IDF actually deployed in the Six-Day War.
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  19. #59

    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    This was supposed to be tips for new players...

  20. #60

    Default Re: Tips and Tricks - For new EBII players

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Priest View Post
    This was supposed to be tips for new players...
    And later it evolved to other thing, don't worry, the first page is already full with plenty of tips for new and even experienced players. If any more thing comes up I can edit my comment and add it

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