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Thread: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

  1. #1

    Default Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    That campaign is being very interesting. I thought KH were the underdogs of the Balkans. I now know I was TERRIBLY wrong. Taking Athens was already a campaign by itself, even with Pyrrhus. I can say he won the early game for me, because other than the KH being a tough bone to chew, all my actual problems started well after his natural death.

    Although I managed to make myself a neat empire, taking over the entire Greek peninsula and starting to grow out, my performance on the battlefield is worse than ever. After disbanding the shambles of what was left of my starting army, and with a good enough economy to build up a new one, I set for a general template for my defensive army (I will just give a descriptive name than to try and fail to get the greek names by head):

    2 Thureos Skirmishers, 2 Thureos Spearmen, 2 Thureos Swordsmen, 5 Mounted Javelineers, 8 Citizen Hoplites

    My plan, at first, was to have 12 Hoplites per defensive army, but after the Thureos reform kicked in, their numbers dwindled significantly, so I had to introduce the new infantry to bolster their numbers. Still, I felt like an overall loss, because Hoplites got much better defensive stats and moral, and are still more available than the Thureos warriors even after the reform (at least in South Greece). Regardless, I had to adjust the composition of my army according to what I could recruit and later reinforce, so that was what I had at the end. Ended up not being too expensive (although more than my Carthaginian defensive armies attempt), and feasible to set up in the future to be shipped off to new theaters. Satisfied, I picked my new FH hopeful and decided to try to grab some rebel provinces around to build up his military experience.

    It was a complete disaster. My hoplites, that seemed such tough nuts to crack when I played Barbarians, spent more time routing than fighting, their performance in the computer's hand being absolutely terrible. The Hippoakontistai (yeah I remember their name better because I was a big KH player) did their best at flanking and attacking skirmishers on the computer's hand, but ultimately would start routing even on seemingly advantageous fights. The battlefield wound soon turn into such a cluster that I wouldn't even bother trying to evaluate the performance of the other units, and in Crete I just won a siege by the skin of my teeth.

    Is my composition that bad? Do my General's Confidence attribute makes that much of a difference? Yes I know, leaving units for the computer to control is generally a terrible idea, but I never had this horrible performance before, and it would always free my cav for flank attacks that would lead to very early victories with 8%-15% casualties.

    Anyway, I plan to integrate some elites to these defensive armies. You can easily get 2 Hyperaspists or 2 Macedonian Peltasts from your capital, so shipping 2 of either to a defensive army wouldn't really be a problem, and I presume they could improve morale. I will also plan to comment on my new offensive army, mostly elites and phalanxes, but I will leave that for when I can grab a screenshot of the composition and try them more with Pergamon.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    If you are fighting all the battles on the battlemap, then I would use even levy phalangites and hammer and anvil. Also, you are the only Greek power than can have artillery at the start of the gam and they are great for sieges. The bolt shooters are even handy for field battles. In terms of command influence - I don't really know, some have posted that command stars make no difference, my own experience is that the better commanders have at least some morale effect. Again, some think the elephants should be disbanded or quickly killed off but despite the costs, I prefer to keep them intact as much as is possible for their morale effect. You'll need plenty of good cavalry for hammer and anvil - but you get it if too - heavy and light. I'm happy to install client rulers to get their good light cavalry but there are also plenty of good mercs. Even after Thureos reforms I prefer to use the minimum thureos troops and generally only for protecting the flanks of the phalanx. I'm happy to stop my whole battle line and let the nemy throw themselves on the pikes if I can smash a flank and get behind them. And then ruthlessly pursue with the LC.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    I know I'm playing the Captain Obvious right now, but on any battle difficulty setting higher than the Medium one the unit is going to be more stubborn and hardy in the enemy AI hands. Might explain the different performance.

    Personally, I'm happily abusing Hoplitai Haploi and Phalangitai Deuteroi as a battle fodder rank filler, but I don't rely on their morale even if I play on Medium battle difficulty. You got to hammer&anvil fast or weaken the enemy with missiles before the clash, left alone to their own devices those levies will break sooner or later.

    Also, the General's stars don't matter much outside of the autoresolving but the Confidence does. If your field commander got a low Confidence stat they you have to plan for it.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; May 12, 2020 at 10:38 AM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.




  4. #4

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    Bear in mind that the standard hoplite unit its a bit of an exceptional unit which can make its performance swing a lot.

    Its a pretty capable line infantry unit stat wise, and quite cost effective specially given that it has free upkeep. But only normal discipline and no hardy trait means that its not that difficult for them to rout if things go poorly.

    We will either find a way, or make one.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    Well I found a way that will probably allow me to make better use of their infantry in general: position everyone, when the line clashes, put the cavalry and lighter infantry on the computer, and micro the infantry. The one big issue I have with the auto control is that they usually put the infantry to chase after routers, which is a terrible waste of their potential, specially hoplites, who are not very quick to begin with. That has shown some promise in a small skirmish and hopefully will solve my problems with the greeks.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    I'm not sure to this day just which of the command stats matters more, but I can confirm there's a huge diffference in morale depending on whether a general is Green or Grizzled. Also units not having allies nearby or just enemy numerical superiority will reduce their morale even if they aren't being flanked yet. And where one unit breaks, more may follow. Try to track under which circumstances an unit of yours breaks and see how you may be able to prevent that with units you do not control. If all else fails, your general is not good enough. As a rule, Veterans are the point where they start being somewhat reliable.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    Abuse, abuse, abuse phalangitai. A unit of anything better than Deuteroi-and even those, when not facing a good professional or elite unit-will, when put on guard mode, keep enemy in front of it on pike's length, exhausting and pinning it without taking or dealing significant casualties. Due to their size, they can easily pin down multiple enemy units. Just don't give them attack order, just keep them in your line and let enemy run into them. The mob that forms in front of them is easily abusable. Soften them up with artillery or flanking ranged troops, or just leave them alone exhausting themselves while you use the numerical advantage they brought you by pinning multiple units down elsewhere on the battlefield, and when the time comes to take out that mob, put the phalangitai off guard mode as you charge with other units and watch the enemy get chewed up from all directions.

    Edit: and never let your cavalry be caught in long melee with infantry. Charge, pull back and repeat. In EBII the cavalry morale is balanced so they rout quickly in melee, but often recover from routing.

    And make use of non-Greek troops. I especially recommend Thracian units available in large quantities in northern Balkans and as mercenaries all around eastern Mediterranean. Peltenai are IMO best reserve troops in game-excellent skirmishers and light shock infantry. They pack AP swords, so they're more effective in melee than they appear on first glance. Just make sure you always give them attack order when engaging in melee to make them bunch up from their naturally loose formation. Raskumezenai are perfect all-purpose medium cavalry-cheap, abundant and effective enough to be sent into any situation without thinking twice if you can replace the losses. Esvanai, when you can get them, are basically improved Hippakontistai at same cost.

    And forget about letting AI control your troops. Have a main defensive line on guard mode and either provoke enemy to attack you with artillery, ranged troops or cavalry or simply march your line close enough to make them attack anyway. This ties up majority of units on both sides and allows you to focus on controlling only reserve, cavalry and flankers. And if you're feeling overwhelmed anyway, just pause, look around, get your bearings and figure what to do next.
    Last edited by Sar1n; May 12, 2020 at 05:44 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    I was a bit confused at why your Hoplitai were performing so poorly, but if you are leaving them in the hands of an AI assistant that explains everything. The AI assistant is utterly awful. It's better to trade in your cheaper units for a smaller, better trained army to reduce micro or literally just leave them standing in line close to the enemy. At least in that last option the infantry have time to ready themselves for combat, I imagine the AI kept them marching on contact with the enemy and getting them cut down like a movie.


    You could try refused flank tactics or duplex acies to prevent flanking, letting you concentrate on your decisive thrust. I prefer refused flank but that does require micro, especially if you're using Phalangitai. Duplex or triplex acies is probably the most macro-friendly formation in the game, recently I've managed to reduce my frustrations with fighting nomads with these tactics (though the nomad AI wasn't pulling genius plays there.)


    The General's Confidence and Command stats can also make a difference. Generals high in both are an utter pain to fight, and reduce fights to a slugfest regardless of much I flank or hammer & anvil. When I get around to writing about my Hellas Triumvirate playthrough I'll detail about how having Pyrrhus in command allowed me to pull off moves I couldn't with most generals (though much of that was way back in 2.2b.) Funnily enough I never got to experience AI Pyrrhus in all his cheesy glory, he keeps needing to reposition his army which leads to me catching his army in transit, cutting Pyrrhus off, and killing him. So much for the great Eagle.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    I had some success with keeping the line in a hard, HARD fight with my Illyrian army. I had quite a few of their phalangites (man those spears were short) keeping the line, on manual control, microed my other infantry at first to take flankers, left them on the AI, and microed the cavalry for massed charges. It worked. It was bloody and quite a few routed, but I did win. If Illyrians managed to pull that fight off (numerical disadvantage, lower quality army), Greeks would have as well.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    Illyrian thureophoroi and hoplites are good. Not sure about their phalanxes, I never had a need for using them. Thinking about it... Most of the auxilias on my flanks are either Illyrian or Thracian.
    Last edited by Satapatiš; May 14, 2020 at 09:33 AM.
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.




  11. #11

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    Quote Originally Posted by Satapatiš View Post
    Illyrian thureophoroi and hoplites are good. Not sure about their phalanxes, I never had a need for using them. Thinking about it... Most of the auxilias on my flanks are either Illyrian or Thracian.
    I've made a habit of recruiting weaker, fully locally sourced armies to deal with rebels and help protect settlements against weaker enemy armies, and Illyrians are perfect for that.Their phalangitai are alternative to deuteroi/pantadapoi that would fill same role. Thracians tend to provide higher quality troops that are great for main field armies, but they have some decent lower quality ones too.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    Illryrian Peltastai are their stand out unit for me, as far as missile units go in Eastern Europe they have high damage. Unlike Romani or Iberian infantry, they have skirmishing tactics and lethal projectiles in bulk.

    Their imitation Phalangitai are also useful for filling in the gaps and holding the line. Wish they were faster though.

    Armies in the Classical Hellenic style should be better than Illyrians on an infantry basis, if only because they have better armour.

    In Epeirote playthroughs Illyrians become a staple in my armies, if only because they have good, flexible pools with cheaper investment compared to Hellenic colonization.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    Their imitation Phalangitai are also useful for filling in the gaps and holding the line. Wish they were faster though.
    They are already notably faster than Deuteroi Phalangitai. 0.85 vs 0.75 I believe.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    Huh, guess that flew over my head. I suppose those short spears make their superior speed less dramatic than elite and professional Phalangitai.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    Quote Originally Posted by BailianSteel View Post
    Huh, guess that flew over my head. I suppose those short spears make their superior speed less dramatic than elite and professional Phalangitai.
    Have you tried taking them out of defensive/phalanx mode when moving? Phalanx units will actually move faster than a lot of regular ones, even are able to run I believe, with one or both of those modes turned off (I forget which.. maybe test in custom battle). [Edit: tested in a 2.35 custom battle. Just taking out of Guard mode will get them moving significantly faster, toggling Phalanx mode didn't seem to make a difference.]

    Not so much about the relative speeds of different units, but far as wishing these were faster in general, it's pretty good for maneuvering at the beginning of battle. Can be risky though if the enemy is aggressive and catches you out before you've settled into your line and fully back into defensive/phalanx mode.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    My numbers were actually wrong, they move at 0.65 while Deuteroi are at 0.55. Still, it is an improvement. Wish they add Illyrian faction soon, would be neat to see that full roster in action.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    Quote Originally Posted by Dooz View Post
    Have you tried taking them out of defensive/phalanx mode when moving? Phalanx units will actually move faster than a lot of regular ones, even are able to run I believe, with one or both of those modes turned off (I forget which.. maybe test in custom battle). [Edit: tested in a 2.35 custom battle. Just taking out of Guard mode will get them moving significantly faster, toggling Phalanx mode didn't seem to make a difference.]

    Not so much about the relative speeds of different units, but far as wishing these were faster in general, it's pretty good for maneuvering at the beginning of battle. Can be risky though if the enemy is aggressive and catches you out before you've settled into your line and fully back into defensive/phalanx mode.
    I haven't tried that. Sometimes I disable Phalanx mode and get them to run, but ultimately I take it slow if I have a core of Phalangitai. I find that if I let my line get too disorderly, my Phalangitai usually get flanked take a whole bunch of unnecessary losses.

    Quote Originally Posted by RodriguesSting View Post
    My numbers were actually wrong, they move at 0.65 while Deuteroi are at 0.55. Still, it is an improvement. Wish they add Illyrian faction soon, would be neat to see that full roster in action.
    That corner of the world also has a good amount of space, it'd be interesting to see how an Illyrian faction effects the greater strategic map.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    Why did you say you wish they were faster if you don't want to use their ability to be faster?

  19. #19

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    Call it a slip of the tongue. That part of my brain that wants convenience wants them to be faster, even if the historical and game-balance part of my brain tells me this all makes sense. All of my brain's in agreement that it's a bit tedious making sure the Phalangitai are all in a solid line, especially when I'm on a timetable IRL.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Epirus - Tactical Advice Required

    The biggest reward for progressing with Epeiros is also what makes you appreciate your Hellenic troops less.

    Once you'll get those Samnites and they're simply better than anything you have save for the top tier Hellenic infantry...
    Furthermore, I believe that Rome must be destroyed.




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