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Is there a patch that fixes the broken testudo formation in 3k?

IntranetusaIntranetusa Junior MemberRegistered Users Posts: 617
edited October 30 in General Discussion
Testudo formation in the game is basically broken because it has 100% ranged block chance from all angles, so you can shoot at one unit with 19 units of archers and it would do nothing. I read somewhere that a patch resolved this by lowering the maximum range block chance to something more reasonable. Was this in a patch or mod?


Edit: In previous games such as RTW1, RTW2, and Attila, testudo formations were not formations that had 100% missile block from all (4) angles. In the older games, ranged fire could still wear down the formation and wound soldiers even when shooting it from the front. The sides of the testudo formation was also weaker and the rear of the testudo formation was very weak, so shooting a testudo formation from the sides and rear caused more and more casualties.

This meant that the AI and good players had to flank testudo formations with their ranged units to shoot them from more vulnerable side and rear angles - this encourages a larger variety of gameplay tactics compared to the current 3K testudo formation that is totally invulnerable from all sides and makes flanking useless.
Post edited by Intranetusa on
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Comments

  • EmeraldThanatosEmeraldThanatos Registered Users Posts: 732
    I believe this is intended, on legendary the enemy won't fire if range block chance is higher than 95.
    Ranking of all Total War games I've played:
    1. Three kingdoms
    2. Shogun 2
    3. Medieval 2
    4. Warhammer 1/2
    5. Thrones
    6. Attila
    7. Rome 2
    8. Troy



  • mitthrawnuruodomitthrawnuruodo Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,935
    edited October 29
    Not exactly answer to your question, but it is ridiculous to call it broken for doing what it is supposed to do. It has many counters. Use those. It is like asking to remove tactics from a tactical strategy game.

    The only reason to attack testudo units with archers is to make sure they remain in testudo so that they can be destroyed with artillery or melee, like the Parthians did to the Romans.

    Edited to reduce snark.
  • LESAMALESAMA Member Registered Users Posts: 1,742

    Not exactly answer to your question, but it is ridiculous to call it broken for doing what it is supposed to do. It has many counters. Use those. It is like asking to remove tactics from a tactical strategy game.

    The only reason to attack testudo units with archers is to make sure they remain in testudo so that they can be destroyed with artillery or melee, like the Parthians did to the Romans.

    Edited to reduce snark.

    Fully agree. Is working as intended
  • IntranetusaIntranetusa Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 617

    I believe this is intended, on legendary the enemy won't fire if range block chance is higher than 95.

    Any way to change this and AI behavior? eg. Reduce range block to 80, and make it so AI won't fire at anything over 75?
  • IntranetusaIntranetusa Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 617
    edited November 3

    Not exactly answer to your question, but it is ridiculous to call it broken for doing what it is supposed to do. It has many counters. Use those. It is like asking to remove tactics from a tactical strategy game.

    The only reason to attack testudo units with archers is to make sure they remain in testudo so that they can be destroyed with artillery or melee, like the Parthians did to the Romans.

    Edited to reduce snark.

    First, 100% missile block chance is bad game implementation and is what removes tactics from a tactical strategy game.
    NO other Total War game has ever had testudo protect from 100% enemy archer fire. Every other game gave the testudo significant bonuses against arrows, but still allowed them to be eventually whittled down and damaged with enough ranged fire or fire from certain angles.

    In Rome 1, you actually had to position your testudo correctly because the testudo was vulnerable from the rear so enemy in multiplayer can position their archers to shoot into their rear of a testudo. In RTW2, Attila, etc, testudos were also more vulnerable in the rear.

    3K is the ONLY game in the entire series that makes testudo 100% invulnerable from ALL angles, which makes no sense and removes the tactical element from the game by oversimplifying it.

    Second, aesthetically, it doesn't even make sense because the testudo formation in 3K have huge gaps and spacing between the soldiers. It doesn't even resemble the Roman testudo in RTW1 or RTW2 where every significant space is covered by larger shields with men tightly packed together like sardines in a can. The Roman shields in the earlier games are also bigger than the shields in 3K, so it makes even less sense that the smaller shields in testudo here have 100% protection when the larger shields in testudo from earlier games didn't have 100% protection.

    Third, if you want to talk about history, the Parthians were actually able to wound a large number of Romans in testudo formation with their arrows. The Romans didn't have 100% missile block chance from all angles in their historical testudo formation.

    At Carrhae, Parthian arrows were actually partially penetrating Roman shields and riveting the soldier's hands to their shields according to Plutarch in Life of Crassus. "Thus many died, and the survivors also were incapacitated for fighting. And when Publius urged them to charge the enemy's mail-clad horsemen, they showed him that their hands were riveted to their shields and their feet nailed through and through to the ground, so that they were helpless either for flight or for self-defence."

    According to Cassius Dio's "Roman History Book XL," the Parthian arrows were being shot at the Romans from different angles, which wounded many Romans. "The missiles falling thick upon them from all sides at once struck down many by a mortal blow, rendered many useless for battle, and caused distress to all. They flew into their eyes and pierced their hands and all the other parts of their body and, penetrating their armour, deprived them of their protection and compelled them to expose themselves to each new missile..."

    And the Romans were using shields larger than what is portrayed in TW3K. There is no historical reason why 3K soldiers should have 100% missile protection from all angles when the Romans with larger shields didn't even have this in testudo formation.


    In conclusion, 100% missile block chance from all angles actually reduces/oversimplifies the tactics of the game, makes no sense aesthetically, is a giant departure from the testudos of earlier TW games, and makes no sense historically speaking.
    Post edited by Intranetusa on
  • GrandHistorian1GrandHistorian1 Registered Users Posts: 57
    It doesn't make sense that 100% melee defense don't really mean 100% (I believe SeriousTrivia said it topped off at 96% or something), but 100% ranged defense really means 100%. In normal siege battles it allows players to cheese the computer by sending a unit in testudo and having the computer-led army waste all their arrows.

    Plus I agree that it looks weird when such large gaps appear in testudo formation (especially normal spear guards/yellow dragons) yet ranged block chance is 100%.
  • Whiskeyjack_5691Whiskeyjack_5691 Registered Users Posts: 3,788
    Although the 100% ranged block chance isn't a bug, I will agree that it's pretty unbalanced and should be toned down a bit.
  • RewanRewan Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 3,314
    edited October 29
    I think you still take some sort of damage with 100% block chance. (In fact I wonder if it isn't like Melee evasion with a cap at 96% or something)
  • GrandHistorian1GrandHistorian1 Registered Users Posts: 57
    edited October 29
    You actually take no damage at all. I've cheesed the AI hard in siege battles, where I use a single spear guard unit in turtle formation to soak up all their ammunition, several units worth. In the end not even one man in that spear guard unit went down, nor was any health lost.

    It's also weird that imperial sword guards with their obviously larger shields have a ranged block chance of 95% max when in shield wall, whereas spear guards/yellow dragons get 100% despite having much larger gaps in-between shields.

    This is just among a list of aethetics in 3K that don't make much sense. Take the zhanmajian infantry which is decked out head to toe in armor, yet its armor rating is 26. Whereas Defenders of the Empire are depicted with much less armor (both have leather), but have an armor rating of 53. Whereas mercenary infantry have the same armor rating as that of zhanmajian infantry, even though despite having the exact same body armor, the zhanmajians have an iron helmet+leg armor on top of that whereas mercenary infantry do not.
  • Bright_EyesBright_Eyes Registered Users Posts: 498
    I've used it and have sometimes taken no damage and sometimes have.

    Either way, it's blatantly unbalanced. Makes spear guards even more broken.
  • GrandHistorian1GrandHistorian1 Registered Users Posts: 57
    edited October 29
    I think the cases where they take damage despite being in turtle, is because of poisoned arrows or the ability Wisdom of the River. That's my guess, anyhow.
  • IntranetusaIntranetusa Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 617
    edited October 29

    You actually take no damage at all. I've cheesed the AI hard in siege battles, where I use a single spear guard unit in turtle formation to soak up all their ammunition, several units worth. In the end not even one man in that spear guard unit went down, nor was any health lost.

    It's also weird that imperial sword guards with their obviously larger shields have a ranged block chance of 95% max when in shield wall, whereas spear guards/yellow dragons get 100% despite having much larger gaps in-between shields.

    This is just among a list of aethetics in 3K that don't make much sense. Take the zhanmajian infantry which is decked out head to toe in armor, yet its armor rating is 26. Whereas Defenders of the Empire are depicted with much less armor (both have leather), but have an armor rating of 53. Whereas mercenary infantry have the same armor rating as that of zhanmajian infantry, even though despite having the exact same body armor, the zhanmajians have an iron helmet+leg armor on top of that whereas mercenary infantry do not.

    Another big aesthetics problem where the unit model doesn't correspond with units status is the seemingly arbitrary missile block chance stats for some units.

    In this SeriousTrivia's video about Yellow Turban units, some units with no shields have the same range block chance as units with shields. Some units with the same shield models have drastically different range block chance.

    For example, the "no shield" cavalry unit has almost the same range block chance as shielded units, and the other shield block values seem to be arbitrarily assigned with little to no correlation to the unit models. At 13:45 - the Light sword cavalry "messengers of heaven" have 40% missile block chance despite having no shields. I was comparing it to the jian swordsmen in the base game that has a shield but only 45% ranged block chance. So a light cavalry with no shield has 40% range block but an infantry with an actual shield only has 45% ranged block. As for the other inconsistencies, at 11:30 - "Jiazi Raiders" and at 15:15 - "Mounted saber defectors" have 80% and 85% respective missile block chance despite only having a small-medium sized round shields. Then the "righteous cavalry" (11:22) right next to them with the same shield size only has a 45% missile block chance. Compare this to the heavy spear infantry "stalwart shields" (26:30) who carry giant tower shields and literally has "shields" in their unit name. This giant shield infantry unit only has 80% missile block chance....so the giant tower shields infantry has a lower missile block chance than the small shield cavalry unit.



  • 39821739175248623982173917524862 Registered Users Posts: 1,132
    Even if you use it on legendary where the AI will ignore units with high block chance, you can pretty much toggle it on and off to get the AI to fire at you with pretty much zero casualties. It simply shouldn't be 100% and have weaknesses like being shot from the side, back or with fire, since they use wooden shields after all.
  • DreadedFate7DreadedFate7 Registered Users Posts: 23
    I remember there being a patch which include a reduced turtle formation ranged blocked chance that was 85%. They must have reverted it back to 100% during the latest patch or the one before it.
  • TheGreatPamphletTheGreatPamphlet Registered Users Posts: 661
    It's not a bug, it's just bad design and should be fixed. It's unbalanced and unrealistic, so I really don't see how some defend it.
    Nestor.

    Allah, Suriya, Bashar w Bas!
  • EmeraldThanatosEmeraldThanatos Registered Users Posts: 732

    It's not a bug, it's just bad design and should be fixed. It's unbalanced and unrealistic, so I really don't see how some defend it.

    It's actually quite balance, any axe or sword unit will make mince meat out of turtled shield guard. So will cavalry if they're not braced.
    Ranking of all Total War games I've played:
    1. Three kingdoms
    2. Shogun 2
    3. Medieval 2
    4. Warhammer 1/2
    5. Thrones
    6. Attila
    7. Rome 2
    8. Troy



  • ComradCommodoreComradCommodore Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 551

    It's not a bug, it's just bad design and should be fixed. It's unbalanced and unrealistic, so I really don't see how some defend it.

    It's actually quite balance, any axe or sword unit will make mince meat out of turtled shield guard. So will cavalry if they're not braced.
    100% resistance to anything is balanced bro lol , specially a game like this.

    Countering it with axe infantry isn't the point. The fact you can have 18 divisions of archers and target a single unit of shield infantry in said formation, and they take 0 casualties is a problem

    Volound would be proud of this entire discussion 😂
  • EmeraldThanatosEmeraldThanatos Registered Users Posts: 732

    It's not a bug, it's just bad design and should be fixed. It's unbalanced and unrealistic, so I really don't see how some defend it.

    It's actually quite balance, any axe or sword unit will make mince meat out of turtled shield guard. So will cavalry if they're not braced.
    100% resistance to anything is balanced bro lol , specially a game like this.

    Countering it with axe infantry isn't the point. The fact you can have 18 divisions of archers and target a single unit of shield infantry in said formation, and they take 0 casualties is a problem

    Volound would be proud of this entire discussion 😂
    There is a reason that there is a rock paper scissors mechanic
    Ranking of all Total War games I've played:
    1. Three kingdoms
    2. Shogun 2
    3. Medieval 2
    4. Warhammer 1/2
    5. Thrones
    6. Attila
    7. Rome 2
    8. Troy



  • UnconcernedUnconcerned Registered Users Posts: 71

    It's not a bug, it's just bad design and should be fixed. It's unbalanced and unrealistic, so I really don't see how some defend it.

    It's actually quite balance, any axe or sword unit will make mince meat out of turtled shield guard. So will cavalry if they're not braced.
    100% resistance to anything is balanced bro lol , specially a game like this.

    Countering it with axe infantry isn't the point. The fact you can have 18 divisions of archers and target a single unit of shield infantry in said formation, and they take 0 casualties is a problem

    Volound would be proud of this entire discussion 😂
    There is a reason that there is a rock paper scissors mechanic
    That mechanic used to exist in Total War games. Haven’t seen it in quite some time - definitely not in Three Kingdoms.
  • ComradCommodoreComradCommodore Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 551

    It's not a bug, it's just bad design and should be fixed. It's unbalanced and unrealistic, so I really don't see how some defend it.

    It's actually quite balance, any axe or sword unit will make mince meat out of turtled shield guard. So will cavalry if they're not braced.
    100% resistance to anything is balanced bro lol , specially a game like this.

    Countering it with axe infantry isn't the point. The fact you can have 18 divisions of archers and target a single unit of shield infantry in said formation, and they take 0 casualties is a problem

    Volound would be proud of this entire discussion 😂
    There is a reason that there is a rock paper scissors mechanic
    Again, missing the point lol

    100% resistance is ridiculous

    Of all the things within TK as a game, this is not the hill y'all should be dieing on
  • caocaothedecievercaocaothedeciever Registered Users Posts: 143
    I don't mind it- until missile damage gets a nerf, I find it to be nearly necessary considering shield wall feels incredibly ineffective in comparison- particularly when storming cities.

    Once missile damage gets nerfed, then I fully agree with OP.
  • mitthrawnuruodomitthrawnuruodo Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,935
    edited November 1
    Up next: Walls are unbalanced because you can't destroy it with swordsmen. Ships are broken because you can't attack them with cavalry.

    Players should be punished if they ignore tactics in a tactical strategy game. If the AI is open to exploits, then that is an issue with the AI and should be fixed there.

    This game is designed around dramatic balancing. Hence we have both devastating charges, and devastating charge reversal. We have brutal ranged fire, and formation that brushes it off entirely. Surprise attacks that take away massive numerical advantages. This is good, because 1. it exponentially rewards correct use of tactics and strategy, and 2. it enables the possibility of often dramatic historical results such as a few thousand Greeks holding off a Persian army of hundreds of thousands, or 6000 Polish Hussars defeating 35,000 Russians, or 10,000 Parthians destroying 50,000 Romans.

    I would understand impenetrable ranged defense being unrealistic for small shields. But last I checked, the turtle was only possible for units carrying tower shields, that too only under specific circumstances. That is neither broken nor unrealistic. If changing 100% to 99% makes people feel better, by all means go ahead. Should be easy to mod and try out. But the overall effect of ranged fire being useless against testudos should remain as it is.

    The premise of this question "why can't I kill testudo with xx archers" is what is truly broken.

    Post edited by mitthrawnuruodo on
  • TheGreatPamphletTheGreatPamphlet Registered Users Posts: 661
    Except that horses marching on sea Jesus-style defies reality and natural laws. Same with the swords against walls. That's not true, however, with testudo formation, which never offered complete immunity to arrows. Rome I had it most realistically, as shields negated arrows, but there were still some small vulnerable corners, where the arrow could hit the legionaries. No polar bears will perish, if you admit that CA might have designed a feature a tad lazily.

    Also, lol'd hard at the suggestion that Xerxes' army numbered hundreds of thousands. By the way, one reason the Parthians defeated the numerically superior Romans was that testudo did not offer divine invulnerability.
    Nestor.

    Allah, Suriya, Bashar w Bas!
  • mitthrawnuruodomitthrawnuruodo Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,935
    edited November 1
    Arrows killing someone hiding under a giant wooden shield also defies reality and natural law.

    You can "lol" as much as you want, does not change the fact that even modern estimates go as high as 300,000.
  • TheGreatPamphletTheGreatPamphlet Registered Users Posts: 661
    Yeah, I forgot, always hiding 100% under a shield is perfectly feasible for non-robots. Anything more than 100.000 soldiers is pure fantasy, they would have starved to death. In reality, the numbers never surpassed 60-70.000 maximum.

    Again, admitting that CA implemented a feature somewhat lazily will not lead to any unnecessary loss of species threatened by extinction.
    Nestor.

    Allah, Suriya, Bashar w Bas!
  • ComradCommodoreComradCommodore Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 551
    edited November 1

    Up next: Walls are unbalanced because you can't destroy it with swordsmen. Ships are broken because you can't attack them with cavalry.

    Players should be punished if they ignore tactics in a tactical strategy game. If the AI is open to exploits, then that is an issue with the AI and should be fixed there.

    This game is designed around dramatic balancing. Hence we have both devastating charges, and devastating charge reversal. We have brutal ranged fire, and formation that brushes it off entirely. Surprise attacks that take away massive numerical advantages. This is good, because 1. it exponentially rewards correct use of tactics and strategy, and 2. it enables the possibility of often dramatic historical results such as a few thousand Greeks holding off a Persian army of hundreds of thousands, or 6000 Polish Hussars defeating 35,000 Russians, or 10,000 Parthians destroying 50,000 Romans.

    I would understand impenetrable ranged defense being unrealistic for small shields. But last I checked, the turtle was only possible for units carrying tower shields, that too only under specific circumstances. That is neither broken nor unrealistic. If changing 100% to 99% makes people feel better, by all means go ahead. Should be easy to mod and try out. But the overall effect of ranged fire being useless against testudos should remain as it is.

    The premise of this question "why can't I kill testudo with xx archers" is what is truly broken.

    There are giant gaps in the TK testudo....arrows go into those gaps and bounce off my units head but because they have 100% resistance they don't die...and idk what your going on about with walls being unbalanced because swordmen can't break them down with swords lol , as if that is anything close to what is being discussed here

    If you wanna put that crap in Romance mode fine. But Records mode? Naw bruh
    Post edited by ComradCommodore on
  • IchonIchon Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 5,199
    Testudo is at 100% mostly so the AI won't target it and waste arrows which is meh. CA could have set it at 95% and lowered the AI threshold but due to some stacking buffs that would also make the AI not target some other stuff and CA would have to change those numbers... and re-change with every DLC apparently.

    YouTube, it takes over your mind and guides you to strange places like tutorials on how to talk to a giraffe.
  • mitthrawnuruodomitthrawnuruodo Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,935

    Yeah, I forgot, always hiding 100% under a shield is perfectly feasible for non-robots.

    Robots are actually quite a good analogy for trained soldiers.

    Anything more than 100.000 soldiers is pure fantasy, they would have starved to death. In reality, the numbers never surpassed 60-70.000 maximum.

    Of course... random video gamer #634671 knows better than historians.


    Again, admitting that CA implemented a feature somewhat lazily will not lead to any unnecessary loss of species threatened by extinction.

    Dumbing down strategies because you can't handle anything more complex than big-blob-beat-small-blob is what's lazy.
  • TheGreatPamphletTheGreatPamphlet Registered Users Posts: 661
    Lmao modern historians don't accept the 300.000 and no, trained soldiers are not robots. You know, stamina and stuff.

    So, please explain how reducing the missile fire invulnerability is dumbing down.
    I'll wait patiently.
    Nestor.

    Allah, Suriya, Bashar w Bas!
  • mitthrawnuruodomitthrawnuruodo Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,935
    I understand if some people have issue purely with the absolutism of 100%. I agree that is usually not a realistic choice. However it fits in with the general extreme dramatic balancing philosophy of this game. Also, reducing it to 80% and 90% does not make much difference. I tested today. A few soldiers died under massed archer fire - negligible on the overall scale of things. It certainly won't satisfy people who think testudo being invulnerable to archer fire is "broken".
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