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Thread: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

  1. #1

    Default What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    Since my previous campaigns had me being able to steamroll my enemies too easily, I decided to not to start any wars at all unless that faction is down to only 3 cities or less to let the factions expand and give me a good challenge.

    And give me a challenge they do, the Romans have decided to attack me at full force while I was preoccupied with wars against the Germans and the Boii.

    Unlike with the two barbarian factions, the Romans' heavy infantry (They are now in the Polybian Phase) prove to be a tough nut to crack and I lost three full stacks due to being unable to witstand a prolonged fight.

    How do I fight against them when the only heavy infantry that can stand against them are the Nobles/Retainers and they come in short supply when compared to how the Romans can get as many Principes, Triarii and Pedities Extraodinarii as they want?

  2. #2
    QuintusSertorius's Avatar EBII Hod Carrier
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    Default Re: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    What faction are you playing?

    The Romans don't have as many Triarii and Pedites Extraordinarii as they want, both are rare units. They may have been stockpiling them in the time you left them alone. Principes are common.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    You'll have to focus on cavalry. Even not taking into account considered cheap by some hammer and anvil tactics, Romans have terrible cavalry, and Donnoi Eporedoi beat theirs any day of the week.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    Shoot them up, then charge them from the flanks and center. Destroy their cavalry first if you can. I disagree with nvm - Roman cavalry is decent.
    I recommend a pugio rather than a spear, because in close quarters combat, a dagger will serve you better than a spear.

    Rad, 2016.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    In my experience the hammer and anvil / flanking tactic is usually the best battlefield tactic possible. Probably the most anyone can do is to try and apply it more efficiently. One common misconception (imo) is using your own cav to chase away the enemy cav before you peel off and attack the enemy's line. Though this has a certain logical resonance, it's not the best possible way to fight the battle. I get better results when I attack the enemy line with my cav/infantry combined right away, i.e. blitzkrieg attack, and I just peel off a unit or two of infantry to guard against the enemy cav if they try and join in the melee. You'll usually be able to overrun some of the enemy's line units before their wing cav are able to force their way through your couple units of infantry guards

  6. #6

    Default Re: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    1. I'm playing as the Aedui H/H and aside for the Romans having 2 settlements and Massalia, I've managed to unite all of Gaul and extended east of the Germanic and Belgae lands.

    2. That's pretty much my solution against the Romans. The problem is that units like the Principes can inflict instant heavy damage with their pila while at the same time can withstand a few cavalry charges. It's worse if they have Triarii, they can take heavy punishment while strengthening the morale of their fellow troops, they can also tear my cavalry to pieces even for moment.

    With how the Polybian Equites can manage to delay my cavalry, I disagree with that opinion. They can be a match against the Gallic Noble Cavalry.

    With all the above, I find my line collapsing faster than I can expect.
    Last edited by Tactics Mayers; June 04, 2019 at 10:34 AM.

  7. #7
    QuintusSertorius's Avatar EBII Hod Carrier
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    Default Re: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    You're not doing yourself any favours by playing on Hard battle difficulty. That boosts the Romans with better stamina and even more morale.

  8. #8
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beckitz View Post
    In my experience the hammer and anvil / flanking tactic is usually the best battlefield tactic possible. Probably the most anyone can do is to try and apply it more efficiently. One common misconception (imo) is using your own cav to chase away the enemy cav before you peel off and attack the enemy's line. Though this has a certain logical resonance, it's not the best possible way to fight the battle.
    In the EBII battles the H&A tactics is much superior to any other tactics, as discussed here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tactics Mayers View Post
    Since my previous campaigns had me being able to steamroll my enemies too easily, I decided to not to start any wars at all unless that faction is down to only 3 cities or less to let the factions expand and give me a good challenge.
    I think this might be a good decision given that the initial challenge in the EBII is not to be changed, as discussed in the other thread.
    Actually, this is a very good news that the Romans are such a tough nut to crack.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    You won't beat the romans if you fight them on their terms, that is slow footslogging action. Even phalanxes struggle because the roman infantry is at the same time too tough to crack and too numerous to dispose of.

    Roman units are too costly to kill on a man per man basis, becuase their shield and armour values are over the top. Engaging in a grind with them is a hopeless match they always win due to numbers and quality. Your strategy should focus around attacking their morale first and foremost, and that means tiring them (using a denied flank makes their footsloggers run to you), and attacking their infantry only in the rear and flank.

    The only way to negate their advantage, is to force an asymmetrical combat. The best tactic is through the use of units like horse archers, but the classical hammer and anvil tactic works too. The important thing is that before attempting it, you need to negate their infantry advantage.

    This means using cheap and defensive infantry that can hold the line, a good amount of cavalry that can deal with the roman one, and missile units that can concentrate fire in the spot you wish to break or on their cavalry.
    If you can hold their heavy infantry in place or strand them in a useless spot in the battlefield, while destroying their cavalry/skirmishers/general, then you gain the upper hand - as they can't bring their strenght to bear. Hannibal used tactics like these, as he knew that on a even match his infantry was outmatched - he always tried to create an asymmetrical situation where the roman infantry could not make use of their full weight.
    Last edited by Hellenikon; June 04, 2019 at 01:06 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tactics Mayers View Post
    The problem is that units like the Principes can inflict instant heavy damage with their pila
    Do you use at least 3-4 light skirmisher units to screen your advance and take the brunt of the enemy missiles? It won't solve all your problems, but sparing heavier units for the melee will help.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    Outnumber them. If they bring a full flag, I need to bring one and half flag.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    Quote Originally Posted by tentaku View Post
    Outnumber them.
    That is dishonorabru!

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    I do that every time I get a chance to.
    I recommend a pugio rather than a spear, because in close quarters combat, a dagger will serve you better than a spear.

    Rad, 2016.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    with the armor upgrades bataroi are a fair match v. polybian principes. go to cisalpine gallia and pick up some lancetai and... another very strong skirmisher unit in the slovenia region whose name escapes me. those missile units are a strong pairing with the keltic cavalry of trans/cisalpine gallia. the roster available to you is more than sufficient to take on the romans 1:1 on H/H or VH/VH. cav, merc skirm/LI, bataroi line infantry!

  14. #14

    Default Re: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    Fighting the Romans in pitched open battle is suicide. Start peace negotiations immediately. Send emissaries to neighboring tribes to join your cause. Fight a guerrilla war and harass their supply lines. Attempt to assassinate their leadership. Get your population to flee from their borders and destroy any towns that may fall into Roman hands. May god be with you.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What are your tactics/strategies when fighting the Romans?

    I played Chartage H/H and I wanted to give the romans time to expand, but after conquering the rebel african cities I was bored so when the war eventually broke out I was happy to take them on. I thought they would be a challenge because they had most of Italy, so I was disappointed when I steamrolled them. Granted, I took heavy casualties and I had to recruit like mad but in the end the usual hammer and anvil tactics and an aggressive playstyle work as good as ever. I fought Camillan units though, probably Polibyan romans are much stronger. I love celtic factions but currently their regular infantry can't stand against the romans because of:
    1) light or no armor and that's fine
    2) very weak javelins, fine for the devs but not really convinced this is how it should be personally.
    3) ineffective charge despite high values, and I believe the team acknowledge this and is currently looking for a fix IIRC.

    P.S. Hammer and anvil doesn't necessarily mean "drown them in cavalry waves", just find a way to deal with at least one of their flanks before encircling their center, this is usually enough to start a mass rout even on Hard. In Normal units flee if you look them scary, some initial sieges were such a joke I had to restart on Hard, that's the sweetspot for me. About how to flank, historical examples can work and are a lot of fun to recreate, though I had not much luck with ambushes on the tactical map, it seems the enemy can see my units even when concealed sometimes.

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