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Thread: Tips and tricks to win vs very hard AI in battles

  1. #1

    Default Tips and tricks to win vs very hard AI in battles

    I would like to start a topic that would be a collection of tips, tricks, guides and tutorials about wining against the battle AI on very hard difficulty. Most of Total War players are veterans but each new game has a new battle AI to fight with. Which means that every time new ways are developed to win against that AI on it's highest setting.

    This is a great way to share battle tactics and strategies and become better generals as we learn from each others ideas. I would like to invite everyone to share their ideas as text, screenshots, sketches or videos.

    I will start with my way of wining against the AI when I am the attacker and the AI is the defender. It is based on using cavalry units with shields to make enemy archers target them instead of my advancing range units which then allows my range using to take up position without getting shot at and take the first shots at the enemy. After this the AI starts using loose formations and I take advantage of this by attacking with cavalry to do great dmg with melee charges. After this the AI is engaged enough for him to attack my infantry line letting me take advantage of his broken formations and wining the battle. I have recorded and example with and explanation.

    With Total war since original Shogun, made my life better!
    My videos about Total War on YouTube :

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tips and tricks to win vs very hard AI in battles

    In the second part of this discussion I would like to cover a novel tactic of battling against the very hard AI. Dividing an attacking army into two parts and then attacking the AI with two parts at the same, or near as same time. The AI doesn't seem capable of creating a defensive response to such an attack. Both parts of the attack have about the same setup, a mix of infantry, range and cavalry.

    There are several advantages to this approach. Bow and Crossbow units can shot at a sharp angle instead of shooting over the heads of friendly units making them more effective. Cavalry units have more room to maneuver and easier time of doing back attack for hammer and anvil tactics.

    It does take a player with faster gameplay ability, but against the AI every player can use the slower time option so even less experienced players can execute this tactics effectively. And it's quite effective as you can watch here:

    I would also add other players tactics:

    " I’ve had lots of experience with TW arena and all I can say is (records): skip archers, use 50:50 infantry and cav, let ai blob into your infantry line, catch enemy flanking cav with your own and send single spear units to mop up. Use remaining cav to micro kite enemy back line, either murderizing hundreds of missiles or causing significant amounts of enemy infantry pulling back from the front. Send shock cavalry into backs of committed infantry on the flanks, mop up, use the relieved infantry to keep enveloping frontline and re-send shock cav into newly forming lines. Been smashing 1200-1500vs 3500+ double stacks regularly this way. Missiles seem like a waste compared to the +300 kills per unit cavalry squads, though I suppose you can spam up some mixed melee/missile infantry units.

    Oh and missile cav is utterly useless, worst unit type in the game"

    " By standard defensive formation is a line of crossbowmen up front, line of glaive infantry behind them, cavalry on both flanks.

    Crossbowmen have a range advantage, so they mess up the enemy ranged units pretty good. Once the enemy archers are in range, glaive infantry go forward to meet the enemy infantry.

    Cavalry on the flanks circle around to attack enemy archers or rear charge the enemy infantry, whichever seems more useful at the time. One unit of cav might be sent to chase down an enemy Strategist "

    Krono, from Steam
    " I recently completed a YT Legendary campaign. Since the skill tree on those idiots was so convoluted I had unreliable access to fire arrows and didn't even bother with trebs.

    The first thing I learned was that raider units can storm a minor settlement and torch down the towers. It will hurt, but a full stack vs a garrison attacking at one point has the numbers to pull it off.

    Second thing I learned is that AI trebs are not nearly as dangerous as player trebs. The AI may or may not have flaming shot and the unit itself will almost always be nowhere near level 10. At max range their fire can even be dodged to a certain degree, negating serious casualties, especially if they have glowy fire prejectiles that are easy to see coming.

    On the field when they are attacking their trebs are slow and lag behind their army as cav bait. Unfortunately for the AI they can become so distracted by the suddenly advancing player army in front of it that they forget to take advantage of the player cav units exposed and all alone behind them...

    Be careful when relying solely on great archers to win battles. Sooner or later the enemy will have a trait that reduces your ammo count, and you will find your trash melee units being routed after your six Archery Masters failed to kill one Guardians of Heaven caught out in the open in ambush...

    Try to avoid fighting battles in snow. It slows everything down and normal tactics like flank with cav can turn into disasters as volleys of arrows rip them apart while they try to run through the drifts. If you must fight in snow, make the enemy tire themselves out under heavy fire charging at you instead of the other way around.

    Horse archers (any cav unit alone or behind them really) give the AI fits. While the HAs themselves are not particularly dangerous the AI may send their cav on suicide missions to try to get rid of them, which can lead those cav units out of sight never to be seen again.

    Guerilla deployment is your friend. Three generals with it means either the enemy army or the enemy reinforcements come in to an entire army right in their face, and a full rout seconds later. "

    Tactician, from Steam
    " Here's a few:

    crossbowmen easily outshoot all but the best bow archers

    concentrate your archers on a single enemy unit until it routs then pick another one

    you can give siege towers a specific target just as you do with bowmen

    any cavalry unit can be used as the hammer in the hammer and anvil tactic. This includes strategist generals in records mode. "

    ArchieGremlin, from Total War forums
    " 6 spearmen + 4 archers + 2 trebs + 6 Cavs usually for me. Normally fight with two stacks like that as soon as possible "

    markp27, from Total War forums
    With Total war since original Shogun, made my life better!
    My videos about Total War on YouTube :

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