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Thread: Uses of Infantry

  1. #1

    Icon5 Uses of Infantry

    I came across a thread on another site where somebody was ranting on and on about how infantry in 3K is "totally useless" and how he wins all of his battles solely with archers and cavalry. This statement seemed questionable to me, so I figured I'd come over here to see what people think. Just to be clear, I'm not disputing that you can win a battle without any infantry, I'm questioning the idea that infatry are "useless".

  2. #2
    Daruwind's Avatar Citizen
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    Default Re: Uses of Infantry

    Imagine various combinations of Infantry, Cavalry, Archers...which can and cannot work well. Infantry is the most often the weakest of those three. Not always, not for every situation and every characters but there are various end game doom stacks without infantry..
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Uses of Infantry

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruwind View Post
    Imagine various combinations of Infantry, Cavalry, Archers...which can and cannot work well. Infantry is the most often the weakest of those three. Not always, not for every situation and every characters but there are various end game doom stacks without infantry..
    Again, I'm not disputing that it is possible to build a workable army without infatnry (green or purple units). I am disputing the assertion that this is always the best strategy or will work all of the time.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Uses of Infantry

    Infantry in this game generally has low killing power but high staying power. If you have good enough ranged + cavalry play, you don't need to use infantry for much other than pinning the enemy in place, which you can typically do with just a couple of high defense units like Spear Guard. Infantry, even assault infantry, will generally not kill anything fast enough to outpace the cavalry engagement.

    This is one of the bigger balance problems of the game, which is compounded by the AI's overcompensation in the melee department. It'll usually put more melee units into the grind than is effective, thereby leaving its backline open if it loses the cavalry engagement, which it often will, because it rarely builds armies like the player tends to. Most of its armies are infantry heavy, which is period appropriate, but a poor decision in game for the most part. The AI can react to cavalry attacks by peeling units off the line battle, but infantry is usually too slow for this to be an effective countermeasure if the player is paying attention.

    If it kept infantry reserves around its backline, it would be more effective at warding off the player's cavalry attacks, but as it stands, it's main hope is to either win the cavalry engagement, or do enough damage that the player's cavalry is ineffective going forward. Again, this is rare due to the AI's army composition being subpar.

    Now, if you ditch infantry completely or don't bring enough to pin the enemy properly, you could be in trouble. Polearms can brace against cavalry charges very quickly, and if your cavalry get pinned, they'll rout very easily under concentrated fire and infantry attacks due to their low unit count, so having your cavalry be chased by infantry can end up poorly, especially in Records mode due to the fatigue effects. Usually though, a retinue full of high defense units (ideally ones that can use formations) is all you really need to do this.

    The player can make infantry heavy builds work with smart use of unit formations and a good army formation. The AI generally doesn't do these things adequately enough to be a threat with infantry builds. Sometimes, late game infantry under high ranking generals can be borderline unbreakable due to their gigantic morale, and charging them with anything but late game cavalry actually ends up not being very effective. This is usually the only time a decent infantry line will be under threat from the AI infantry, but this is rare.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Uses of Infantry

    Quote Originally Posted by zoner16 View Post
    Infantry in this game generally has low killing power but high staying power. If you have good enough ranged + cavalry play, you don't need to use infantry for much other than pinning the enemy in place, which you can typically do with just a couple of high defense units like Spear Guard. Infantry, even assault infantry, will generally not kill anything fast enough to outpace the cavalry engagement.

    This is one of the bigger balance problems of the game, which is compounded by the AI's overcompensation in the melee department. It'll usually put more melee units into the grind than is effective, thereby leaving its backline open if it loses the cavalry engagement, which it often will, because it rarely builds armies like the player tends to. Most of its armies are infantry heavy, which is period appropriate, but a poor decision in game for the most part. The AI can react to cavalry attacks by peeling units off the line battle, but infantry is usually too slow for this to be an effective countermeasure if the player is paying attention.

    If it kept infantry reserves around its backline, it would be more effective at warding off the player's cavalry attacks, but as it stands, it's main hope is to either win the cavalry engagement, or do enough damage that the player's cavalry is ineffective going forward. Again, this is rare due to the AI's army composition being subpar.

    Now, if you ditch infantry completely or don't bring enough to pin the enemy properly, you could be in trouble. Polearms can brace against cavalry charges very quickly, and if your cavalry get pinned, they'll rout very easily under concentrated fire and infantry attacks due to their low unit count, so having your cavalry be chased by infantry can end up poorly, especially in Records mode due to the fatigue effects. Usually though, a retinue full of high defense units (ideally ones that can use formations) is all you really need to do this.

    The player can make infantry heavy builds work with smart use of unit formations and a good army formation. The AI generally doesn't do these things adequately enough to be a threat with infantry builds. Sometimes, late game infantry under high ranking generals can be borderline unbreakable due to their gigantic morale, and charging them with anything but late game cavalry actually ends up not being very effective. This is usually the only time a decent infantry line will be under threat from the AI infantry, but this is rare.
    So the issue is more so the AI managing units poorly than infantry being inherently bad?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Uses of Infantry

    The standard AI tactics are not good for an infantry centric build. It doesn't keep reserves, it has trouble using formations properly, and its army composition is poor. It's got good micro, but that's less important in an infantry heavy engagement, and mostly suits using cavalry and missiles.

    The moment it commits its melee troops, it's backline becomes easy pickings for cavalry, and then it's melee line becomes vulnerable to cycle charging. This isn't something it has much chance of dealing with until it unlocks imperial units in the endgame. Even then though, cataphracts and imperial lancer cavalry can still do enough killing to counteract its newfound resilience.

    For the most part, it's strengths are most effective if it built armies like a lot of players do, with about equivalent balance of cavalry, infantry, and missiles. Most of the time though, it's way too heavy on the infantry.

    Infantry builds require depth, use of formations, and constant cycling of units. Players can do this; the AI usually can't.
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  7. #7
    Anna_Gein's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: Uses of Infantry

    In this game I only ever use spearmen/hallerdiers as my anvil to lock the AI while my archers and my cavalry defeat the enemy. Infantry is not totally useless and I sure need some of them but it is definitively not the class I use pro-actively to defeat my opponent.

    I only ever use swords & axes infantry for immersion and so my armies are not all the same. Imho the restriction put on unit recruitment harmed a lot the army composition for the AI and for the player. In the end, it severely limits the quality of the battles.

    While in the game like Rome II I could tweak my armies composition and make some tactical experimentations with 1 or 2 units, in Three Kingdoms I am only ever allowed to choose between 6 sword & shield cavalry or 6 lance cavalry, 6 archers or 6 crossbowmen, etc. My armies are always composed of 6 cavalry + 6 infantry + 6 ranged troops.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Uses of Infantry

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna_Gein View Post
    In this game I only ever use spearmen/hallerdiers as my anvil to lock the AI while my archers and my cavalry defeat the enemy. Infantry is not totally useless and I sure need some of them but it is definitively not the class I use pro-actively to defeat my opponent.

    I only ever use swords & axes infantry for immersion and so my armies are not all the same. Imho the restriction put on unit recruitment harmed a lot the army composition for the AI and for the player. In the end, it severely limits the quality of the battles.

    While in the game like Rome II I could tweak my armies composition and make some tactical experimentations with 1 or 2 units, in Three Kingdoms I am only ever allowed to choose between 6 sword & shield cavalry or 6 lance cavalry, 6 archers or 6 crossbowmen, etc. My armies are always composed of 6 cavalry + 6 infantry + 6 ranged troops.
    Agreed, the new army composition system can be somewhat constricting at times. It also seems to overwhelm the AI, cuasing to fall back on making disorganized mobs of militia units well into mid-game.

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