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AI skirmish mode ruining battles

ExarchExarch Posts: 575Registered Users
I've just come back to thrones for the first time since the Alleigence update, and the campaign improvements look really nice, and I'm loving the manouvering on the campaign map and tough choices with suboptimal armies and slow recruitment that thrones brings.

But... I'm finding myself dreading the actual battles. Skirmish mode always being on the AI units is way too abusable.

Enemy have skirmish cav? Put your own skirmish cav in melee mode and chase. They will run into the open while taking javelins to the back. AI have missile infantry? Fake a charge or series of charges with the lightest of cavalry and they will stop shooting and run into the open, even if they were perfectly safely standing among their own missile units.

The AI is not great generally (far too much indecisive reformation of ranks, never attacks if it is the defender, even to stop you linking with reinforcements), but this is really bad in a game where cav is generally rare, allowing the player to easily gain the advantage.

Comments

  • MarkroxMarkrox Posts: 176Registered Users
    Counter with your own ranged. Basic archers are cheap, plentiful and have much longer range than skirmish cavalry. Without them, you will be forced to either shieldwall until all their ammunition is used, or chase them down with slower units, both options opening the possibility for considerable casualties for your men.

    Change in composition required sir.
    Playing Total War since 2000

    Waiting on Total War: Three Kingdoms
  • ExarchExarch Posts: 575Registered Users
    Sorry @Markox , I may not have been clear. My point was is that AI having skirmish mode always on makes the battles too easy if you have the cavalry advantage. Skirmish mode overrides all the other AI positioning instructions, so it can be ised to

    The AI is quite good at keeping their foot ranged close to their infantry to protect them, so it would be suicide to actually charge the ranged units with cav. But by feigning charges it's easy to chase them into open field and kill them. This also means that AI archers do not counter player skirmish cav, as all you need to do is pretend to charge the enemy ranged and they will stop shooting and run away, even if they were perfectly safe.


    In the skirmish cav vs skirmish cav battle, skirmish mode is terrible for the AI, because skirmish cav in thrones can fire on the move, but only in the forward direction. So if you chase the AI skirmish cav with your own, they will run away and let you kill them by throwing javelins in their backs.
  • MarkroxMarkrox Posts: 176Registered Users
    I see. Never been a fan of skirmish mode either. If a unit can skirmish, it will skirmish, which often doesn't synchronise with the rest of the composition.

    Unfortunately I doubt that CA will mess with Battle AI, it seems rather fragile.
    Playing Total War since 2000

    Waiting on Total War: Three Kingdoms
  • ExarchExarch Posts: 575Registered Users
    Unfortunately true... I think it just seems worse in thrones, because the infantry focus means that cavalry dominance is much easier for the player to achieve. Plus the lower general range of archers in the game.

    It's a shame, because I rather like the campaign gameplay, but the poor ranged-cav dynamic in this infantry game makes the battles get old quickly.
  • harngersteinharngerstein Posts: 804Registered Users
    OP: I've noticed this too. And while it is certainly not a new issue, it's definitely worse in ToB than in Rome 2, which I play concurrently.

    One super cool exploit that Ive learned is that you can, without fail, always screen out enemy skirmish cav with a single skirmish unit. Take any lowly jav unit, tell it to shoot any skirmish cav and you can forget about it for the whole battle. They will toss at the cav and the cav will always run into range and then immediately get chased away. They will never charge the skirmisher. This will occur until the cav is routed, always.
  • ExarchExarch Posts: 575Registered Users

    OP: I've noticed this too. And while it is certainly not a new issue, it's definitely worse in ToB than in Rome 2, which I play concurrently.

    One super cool exploit that Ive learned is that you can, without fail, always screen out enemy skirmish cav with a single skirmish unit. Take any lowly jav unit, tell it to shoot any skirmish cav and you can forget about it for the whole battle. They will toss at the cav and the cav will always run into range and then immediately get chased away. They will never charge the skirmisher. This will occur until the cav is routed, always.

    Yes, some combination of range changes, AI formations, unit speed and lack of enemy cav in thrones has a very unfortunate effect.

    That exploit tallies with my experience... ToB battle AI feels really underdeveloped.

  • sunshinetroopersunshinetrooper Posts: 68Registered Users
    Yeah, it feels like lazy design but atleast it means the enemy will attempt to keep it self alive. Not that their skirmshers do much anyway - as you either charge your main line in, or they trade with your skirms or the worst, you sit in shieldcastle and 5 enemy AI's waste all their ammunition getting 4 kills on my 100 strong general.
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