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Thread: Playing cat and mouse with faction remnants (people on the move) ad nauseam

  1. #1

    Default Playing cat and mouse with faction remnants (people on the move) ad nauseam

    I finally decided to root out a faction altogether, something I have not done earlier in my 2.3 Rome campaign. The Numidians were holding the westernmost corner of Africa after losing all other settlerments. They were continuously harassing my African provinces. After conquering their last region it turned out that the leader escaped together with a significant army (that seemed to have materialized out of thin air). That seemed like a cool feature at first, but soon things got weird.

    Now I find myself chasing the remnants forever. After each battle with one of the Numidian stacks they always manage to pay ransom and carry on with almost the same force as the one before the battle. I could just enslave them, but there is a game mechanism that punishes the player diplomatically for not offering the adversary a chance to ransom their troops. I eventually managed to surround one of the runaway armies in a pass and found that I can just ping pong them from one of my armies to the other. I incapacitate almost all of them in battle, they ransom themselves out and escape to my other army. They fight that army, ransom themselves out, and flee only to be intercepted by the original army.

    I am about to fight the same stack for the fifth time now during one turn. Sure, I get money and experience for my units after each confrontation, but this just doesn't feel right nor fun. Has any fix been applied to 2.35? If not, could one be implemented in the next release? Or is there something I am doing wrong here?

  2. #2
    Lusitanio's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: Playing cat and mouse with faction remnants (people on the move) ad nauseam

    There isn't a need to fix that. You even explained why you keep having to fight the same armies over and over, because you always ransom their troops.
    If you want to defeat hordes, what you have to do is kill all their FMs in battle. Usually, you can do that with two or three great battles.
    Instead, what you're doing is probably letting their FMs escape or catch them during battle but then ransom and let them go free. Basically, you're doing it to yourself.

    I've never had any problem with hordes with the method of killing their FMs during battle. Soon enough, no more FMs remain and the faction dies.

    Now, if you're doing battles in auto you will never defeat a horde. There are some hardcore mechanics which allows a hording General to constantly survive battles in auto. One time I wanted to kill a Lugian horde but didn't want to fight the battles, so I sent 5 small Sweboz armies to kill the armies and it took forever!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Playing cat and mouse with faction remnants (people on the move) ad nauseam

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    There isn't a need to fix that. You even explained why you keep having to fight the same armies over and over, because you always ransom their troops.
    Thank you for all the advice! I ransom their troops to avoid having to go to war with multiple factions in northern or eastern Europe just because I did not let some Numidians go in the middle of Africa. I generally try not to initiate violence nor blitz the map as Rome; I develop infrastructure, maintain happiness in all settlements, and use whatever little money is occcasionally left to grow my military strenght. Is the diplomacy penalty a small one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    If you want to defeat hordes, what you have to do is kill all their FMs in battle. Usually, you can do that with two or three great battles. '
    Instead, what you're doing is probably letting their FMs escape or catch them during battle but then ransom and let them go free. Basically, you're doing it to yourself.


    I've never had any problem with hordes with the method of killing their FMs during battle. Soon enough, no more FMs remain and the faction dies.
    For one stack, I eventually killed the FM but the unit kept surviving without the FM. I guess that has to do with the faction leader surviving in another stack.

    My trouble finishing the leader is that the leader also gets ransomed easily (falls during combat but recovers) and the fact that they accompany fast cavalry units, which makes it hard for me to get them. I guess I should commit more cavalry to prevent the routing unit from getting away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lusitanio View Post
    Now, if you're doing battles in auto you will never defeat a horde. There are some hardcore mechanics which allows a hording General to constantly survive battles in auto.
    Okay, that is valuable information. I was thinking of playing the next campaign using only auto-resolve to reduce time spent with battles and to increse difficulty, but evidence keeps mounting that there are issues with resolving battles automatically.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Playing cat and mouse with faction remnants (people on the move) ad nauseam

    I even wish them being stronger, be able to hire mercenaries with their thousands on account. usually they just weaken themselve to a point, when they just roam with few familly members in a stack w/o any units, just waiting to die.

    What i don't like about horde AI is, that they have countless of chances and are practicaly immortal. Those european( lugians, sweboz, boii) have it harder due to regions being close to each other, thus defending AI is capable move their armies effectively to protect a cities, but those southern( numidia) and eastern have it easier if they act quickly. I would restric number of possible migration to 4 at best. Then bye bye.
    Last edited by Maroslav; August 04, 2019 at 12:59 PM.

  5. #5
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: Playing cat and mouse with faction remnants (people on the move) ad nauseam

    You have one of two options. Either commit a massive amount of resources in several full-stack armies to chase them down, which will chew up all your attention and time for a while, or just enslave them if they keep accepting a ransom, consequences be damned. Enslaving an army one time barely affects your reputation, it's only when you make a bad habit of it. Also, if you are already a superpower with like a hundred provinces it doesn't even matter. Other factions cower before your might anyway, although just to be fair I ransom armies even though I could just brutally crush everything and never worry much about the consequences for it. I'd rather play with a bit of virtue than be a total sociopath, but that's just me.

    That said, there's at least one player here (*cough* Dooz *cough*) who too openly expresses his fantasies about genocide of little virtual people in video games.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Playing cat and mouse with faction remnants (people on the move) ad nauseam

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    Thank you for all the advice! I ransom their troops to avoid having to go to war with multiple factions in northern or eastern Europe just because I did not let some Numidians go in the middle of Africa. I generally try not to initiate violence nor blitz the map as Rome; I develop infrastructure, maintain happiness in all settlements, and use whatever little money is occcasionally left to grow my military strenght. Is the diplomacy penalty a small one?
    I wouldn't worry about Reputation. Trying to build up your Reputation beyond "Reliable" is impossible, at least in my games. It always glitches out and turns my Reputation rotten. Ultimately, Reputation doesn't matter compared to the AI's priorities, valuable provinces, or loads of money. Enslaving also adds to your income the next turn, so it can be a viable alternative for nations to poor or stingy to pay ransom.

    Historically speaking, enslaving captured foes was common practice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    For one stack, I eventually killed the FM but the unit kept surviving without the FM. I guess that has to do with the faction leader surviving in another stack.

    My trouble finishing the leader is that the leader also gets ransomed easily (falls during combat but recovers) and the fact that they accompany fast cavalry units, which makes it hard for me to get them. I guess I should commit more cavalry to prevent the routing unit from getting away.
    Whatever cash bonuses the AI factions get go for overdrive on Horded factions. If you have a Horded faction running around the map, it's guaranteed they'll be the richest faction in the game (*much* richer than actual established empires), only losing out to factions that have been Horded for longer.

    So Horded factions will always be able to pay off ransoms. To the point you can argue that capturing and ransoming Horded FMs is a cheese tactic.

    I've had poor luck with pursuing fleeing cavalry. My recommendation is to emphasize firepower and slogfests. Firepower especially, projectiles are less likely to make a unit flee than melee combat. This tidbit has made disposing of unwanted FMs easier as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    Okay, that is valuable information. I was thinking of playing the next campaign using only auto-resolve to reduce time spent with battles and to increse difficulty, but evidence keeps mounting that there are issues with resolving battles automatically.
    There are. However, the biggest issues are with small units like Elephants and Chariots. On the Roman campaign especially, I don't think these problems should seriously hamper your immersion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maroslav View Post
    What i don't like about horde AI is, that they have countless of chances and are practicaly immortal. Those european( lugians, sweboz, boii) have it harder due to regions being close to each other, thus defending AI is capable move their armies effectively to protect a cities, but those southern( numidia) and eastern have it easier if they act quickly. I would restric number of possible migration to 4 at best. Then bye bye.
    What really gets me (aside from the wealth and immortality thing) is when an "Allied" faction Hordes...it's only a matter of time before they start gunning for your territory no matter how much you fortify and garrison it. Worst of all, you can't just gift them any ol' land to end it. You can only give them the land that they're gunning for...it's inexplicable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    You have one of two options. Either commit a massive amount of resources in several full-stack armies to chase them down, which will chew up all your attention and time for a while, or just enslave them if they keep accepting a ransom, consequences be damned. Enslaving an army one time barely affects your reputation, it's only when you make a bad habit of it. Also, if you are already a superpower with like a hundred provinces it doesn't even matter. Other factions cower before your might anyway, although just to be fair I ransom armies even though I could just brutally crush everything and never worry much about the consequences for it. I'd rather play with a bit of virtue than be a RED BLOODED MAN, but that's just me.
    You can also send Assassins after them, if you're inclined to play that way. Usually the success rates on FMs are abysmal, so it's best to pursue only if you've already made extensive use of Assassins.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Playing cat and mouse with faction remnants (people on the move) ad nauseam

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post



    You can also send Assassins after them, if you're inclined to play that way. Usually the success rates on FMs are abysmal, so it's best to pursue only if you've already made extensive use of Assassins.
    It is ok. just kill with your masters of dagger those common fms. then kill king and heir in combat if attempts fail. 1 turn if planned well and attempts passes.

  8. #8
    Roma_Victrix's Avatar Gatorade, is it in you?
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    Default Re: Playing cat and mouse with faction remnants (people on the move) ad nauseam

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    RED BLOODED MAN
    Or rather a red-toned man with horns and a pitchfork. Calm down there, Satan.

    You can also send Assassins after them, if you're inclined to play that way. Usually the success rates on FMs are abysmal, so it's best to pursue only if you've already made extensive use of Assassins.
    Yeah, they get the job done sometimes, and they're not incredibly expensive, although I honestly hate using them aside from infrastructure sabotage or defending settlements from other agents. I only really use them when a particular faction irks me and is just asking for it by being a petty little punk. That's pretty rare for me, though, perhaps only a few times in an entire campaign of hundreds of turns.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Playing cat and mouse with faction remnants (people on the move) ad nauseam

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    Enslaving an army one time barely affects your reputation, it's only when you make a bad habit of it.
    Very useful information, thanks. I have not been aware that one can see ones own reputation and have not kept track of what affects it. I just hate having everyone gang up on me, trying to run my Wimpodite faction peacefully and hone my pillow fight skills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    Other factions cower before your might anyway
    The other factions keep sheep that do not cower before my might.

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    I wouldn't worry about Reputation. Trying to build up your Reputation beyond "Reliable" is impossible, at least in my games. It always glitches out and turns my Reputation rotten. Ultimately, Reputation doesn't matter compared to the AI's priorities, valuable provinces, or loads of money. Enslaving also adds to your income the next turn, so it can be a viable alternative for nations to poor or stingy to pay ransom.
    Thank you too. That helps out a lot and now I actually realize that I can check my own reputation on the diplomacy scroll by hovering on top of my emblem. I did not know that. I am a bit confused to see myself as "dubious" although I have not played dirty against the other factions. Well, it kind of sucks that the AI can do hostile maneuvers such as as send armies next to my settlements without declaring war, and if I react using force, it is considered a transgression on my part.

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    Historically speaking, enslaving captured foes was common practice.
    Right you are. The Romans also viewed cowardice very negatively and I have understood that the most inhumane treatment (including dying on the arena or working the mines) was typically reserved for captured foes who had betrayed their own out of fright.


    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    So Horded factions will always be able to pay off ransoms. To the point you can argue that capturing and ransoming Horded FMs is a cheese tactic.

    I've had poor luck with pursuing fleeing cavalry. My recommendation is to emphasize firepower and slogfests. Firepower especially, projectiles are less likely to make a unit flee than melee combat. This tidbit has made disposing of unwanted FMs easier as well.
    I wonder why it has to be this way that they always have money. Maybe it is designed to help out reestablishing the faction after conquering a region. At any rate, this is the flavor of cheese I would gladly skip, so I'll just enslave the next time. Thank you for pointing out the missile thing, too. I did not know that.

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    There are. However, the biggest issues are with small units like Elephants and Chariots. On the Roman campaign especially, I don't think these problems should seriously hamper your immersion.
    That is good to know. I don't abandon the idea quite yet then. I find the battles too easy and slightly repetitive (although often fun). However, I am unwilling to increase battle difficulty, because I detest the idea that pitting two equal units against each other on level ground would always work in AI's favor and make me lose. That breaks immersion and cries out that this is just a game.

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    What really gets me (aside from the wealth and immortality thing) is when an "Allied" faction Hordes...it's only a matter of time before they start gunning for your territory no matter how much you fortify and garrison it. Worst of all, you can't just gift them any ol' land to end it. You can only give them the land that they're gunning for...it's inexplicable.
    Ah, that sucks. I find allies hard to make but I've had one loyal ally for almost 300 turns now. I have given them land before and I will probably give them more if they end up in dire straits. Too bad the diplomacy system gives you a serious reputation penalty if you ever conquer that land again, even if your ally no longer holds it.

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    You can also send Assassins after them, if you're inclined to play that way. Usually the success rates on FMs are abysmal, so it's best to pursue only if you've already made extensive use of Assassins.
    I only use assassins for killing enemy assassins. Somehow the assassin aspect of the game does not feel attractive.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Playing cat and mouse with faction remnants (people on the move) ad nauseam

    Quote Originally Posted by Maroslav View Post
    It is ok. just kill with your masters of dagger those common fms. then kill king and heir in combat if attempts fail. 1 turn if planned well and attempts passes.
    Now that you mention it, I forgot that other FMs have better chances of being assassinated. Sometimes Opfor FMs pop out of the ground like whack-a-moles, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roma_Victrix View Post
    Or rather a red-toned man with horns and a pitchfork. Calm down there, Satan.

    Yeah, they get the job done sometimes, and they're not incredibly expensive, although I honestly hate using them aside from infrastructure sabotage or defending settlements from other agents. I only really use them when a particular faction irks me and is just asking for it by being a petty little punk. That's pretty rare for me, though, perhaps only a few times in an entire campaign of hundreds of turns.
    I can only be calmed by baptism in enemy blood, and being painted by enemies-made-slaves.

    Though now that you mention tone, I find it pretty weird the skin paint on my statue is China Doll white.

    One of the things Empire-Rome 2 did better than M2TW is agents. Working with agents in this TW is a pain in the ass compared to future games. One slip up, and your veteran agent gets neutered/killed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    Very useful information, thanks. I have not been aware that one can see ones own reputation and have not kept track of what affects it. I just hate having everyone gang up on me, trying to run my Wimpodite faction peacefully and hone my pillow fight skills.
    That is probably a hold-over from the old Medieval 2 AI, even if the EBII team has managed to soften it's edge. I remember Vanilla MTW2 AI, no patches...I was at war with Milan every time.

    Every. Time. (Stable borders, large factions, and alliances should help with your problem.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    Thank you too. That helps out a lot and now I actually realize that I can check my own reputation on the diplomacy scroll by hovering on top of my emblem. I did not know that. I am a bit confused to see myself as "dubious" although I have not played dirty against the other factions. Well, it kind of sucks that the AI can do hostile maneuvers such as as send armies next to my settlements without declaring war, and if I react using force, it is considered a transgression on my part.
    That's almost certainly a part of the glitch I described. It's seems like you're on your way to crawling back from a drop. "Dubious" is Level -1, I believe the drop takes you all the way to Level -6 or something.

    Yeah, the AI has gotten very annoying with moving armies through my territory in my recent Boioi campaign. Worse still, they're often Romans moving through the Po Valley... /sweatdrop. I've managed to nail two birds with one stone for this, I've stationed expendable units at every entry point to the Alps, ensuring that they can't move their units through there. Plus, these units occasionally rebel, sparing powerful units and FMs. It's not perfect, the Romans often march up to my stationed units, then they awkwardly shuffle off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    Right you are. The Romans also viewed cowardice very negatively and I have understood that the most inhumane treatment (including dying on the arena or working the mines) was typically reserved for captured foes who had betrayed their own out of fright.
    You know what they say, people never love a loser unless he also dramatically loses his life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    I wonder why it has to be this way that they always have money. Maybe it is designed to help out reestablishing the faction after conquering a region. At any rate, this is the flavor of cheese I would gladly skip, so I'll just enslave the next time. Thank you for pointing out the missile thing, too. I did not know that.
    Without money, they can't do anything at all, they'd be dead in the water. On top of that, the AI can't manage the economy, so when they do take land, they'll either sit down until they have funds, or they'll start a war they can't win.

    You're welcome about the missiles. I should note it will take some time before the missiles can strike a killing blow to your target, and it assumes the target also won't charge your army before that happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    That is good to know. I don't abandon the idea quite yet then. I find the battles too easy and slightly repetitive (although often fun). However, I am unwilling to increase battle difficulty, because I detest the idea that pitting two equal units against each other on level ground would always work in AI's favor and make me lose. That breaks immersion and cries out that this is just a game.
    Yeah, the gameplay of Total War can be something of a double edged sword. I hope someday CA will consider trying to apply fixed orders to their formula like Legion: Gold, instead of screwing around trying to imitate Koei.

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    Ah, that sucks. I find allies hard to make but I've had one loyal ally for almost 300 turns now. I have given them land before and I will probably give them more if they end up in dire straits. Too bad the diplomacy system gives you a serious reputation penalty if you ever conquer that land again, even if your ally no longer holds it.
    It's better that allies are hard to make. You shouldn't have too many, lest you be forced to choose between them. I just had to pick between the Sauromatae and Makedon despite it being very unlikely they can hit each other hard, or even profit much from taking each other's territory.

    Didn't know you get penalized for taking territory formerly owned by an ally. That's inconvenient.

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    I only use assassins for killing enemy assassins. Somehow the assassin aspect of the game does not feel attractive.
    The point-and-click nature of it plays a big part for me. That, and EBII isn't as reactive as vanilla M2TW with Assassins. No "Basileus Jong the Killer" here.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Playing cat and mouse with faction remnants (people on the move) ad nauseam

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    One slip up, and your veteran agent gets neutered/killed.
    Neutered?!

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    I've managed to nail two birds with one stone for this, I've stationed expendable units at every entry point to the Alps, ensuring that they can't move their units through there.
    Haha, I remember doing that in RTW and the Alpine passes.

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    It's better that allies are hard to make. You shouldn't have too many, lest you be forced to choose between them. I just had to pick between the Sauromatae and Makedon despite it being very unlikely they can hit each other hard, or even profit much from taking each other's territory.

    Didn't know you get penalized for taking territory formerly owned by an ally. That's inconvenient.
    Good point about having multiple allies with possible conflicts. What I meant is that yhou can never take back land that you have gifted another faction even if it is no longer theirs. Any other lands formerly held by an ally are fair game, unless I am wrong.

    EDIT: Now that you brought the glitch to my knowledge, I'll start caring less about reputation. Not really worth it to limit oneself too much if reputation takes hits on its own anyway.
    Last edited by Septentrionalis; August 06, 2019 at 01:15 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Playing cat and mouse with faction remnants (people on the move) ad nauseam

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    Neutered?!
    There might be...slight exaggeration involved. But all agents in the game take hits to their skill if they fail in an endeavor. It might make sense, but it's very annoying, and it's too easy to fail diplomatic events. Every rejection brings skill down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    Good point about having multiple allies with possible conflicts. What I meant is that yhou can never take back land that you have gifted another faction even if it is no longer theirs. Any other lands formerly held by an ally are fair game, unless I am wrong.
    Huh. I wonder if that's a glitch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Septentrionalis View Post
    EDIT: Now that you brought the glitch to my knowledge, I'll start caring less about reputation. Not really worth it to limit oneself too much if reputation takes hits on its own anyway.
    Yeah, it would be nice if it's functional. Fortunately it's easy enough to ignore.

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