From the original thread. I am condensing individual posts. This thread contains selected posts of the accompany discussion on War College Thread. Selection was based on the on-topic-ness and informativeness of individual posts. (I'm doing this to save labour and won't do a perfect or unbiased job, so sue me... I saved the original thread from the old Ezboard/Yuku board so you can ask for the original if you want...)
Originally started by King Haggard
, holder of the Takeda Distinguished Chair of Advanced YS & Calvary Study, while co-appointed as the head of the School of Naginata Winter Tactics.
killemall54 (03/06/03) [Re: Basic principles of tactical combat/Naginitas]
Nags are good on the defensive to state the obvious. What is less obvious is that until upgraded they are relatively low quality and when the province is upgraded you will prefer to turn out nag cav or YS or YC, so I produce them every third or fourth slot.
Since they are so slow, don't stack them in your offensive armies. Leave that to WM and ND. Deploy them to guard river provinces and the front lines where you defend close to shore/ports. If attacked they will defend in any waether and and terrain. Acc.u.mulate them there and build honor in the fortune of defense along with missile units.
Then when you need to attack a river province and there are only a few: Chikugo, B.i.t.c.h.u, Awa, Kawachi, Owari, Mushashi, Shimosa and Echigo they are there to be your spearhead assault troops.
That's nine of 60 provinces and add three for defensive provinces likey to be attacked. A total of 1/5 provinces where they can be effectively deployed in any campaign. And they don't come onstream until later.
Overall, arrows/Missiles are 25 to 50%,YS, and WM 25 to 50%. ND and cav and Nag 20/25%. For mid game bridge cross battles nags can be 50% and archers 50% diluted by kensai, BN, YA and cav.
The nag weapon is lethal, the ability to use it lessens the utlity. No more than 12.5% of total forces available should be nag inf and the actual is half that because of the opportunity to use them correctly. As the human player, you are on the offensive so there is no need to overproduce them.
Tomago (03/11/03) [Warrior Monks]
They are amazingly superior. I often try to build balanced armies per your suggestions: a unit or units for every variable the enemy might throw at you. But recently, I found myself going against Takeda, playing as Mori, and defending Kai as I was moving fresh units of WMs up from one of my ports.
I found myself against 1200+ archers, YS, YA, CA and others. (I am always amazed at how fast the AI can heap together an army on the "Hard" setting) I was not expecting an attack and had five units of WM, one unit of YC, and one unit of YS. My Monks were fully loaded with Armor, Weapons and Honour.
I rushed them down the hill at this massive army and Takeda freaked (and suffered massive casualties).
laughin****igaru (03/13/03) [Bridge Crossings]
Now how did bridge crossings fail to enter the war college?
The most casualties of any attack/defense are bridge crossings. I tend to play to reduce as much death as possible, bridge fortifications tend to make me attack during winter when it's foggy, I leave 60% of my army behind and send the remainder to force the opposition to attack over the bridge and rout, the ensuing chase by the enemy leads them into a fresh balanced unit.
When the enemy routs, I chase them with the fresh unit, and march the remaining 40% back over to the bridge to defend against a second wave of enemy attackers should they appear.
While a mad rush over the brdge with arrows and yari appear nice, I lose too many men that way.
Anybody got any ideas on bridge crossings with minimal casualties?
King Haggard (03/13/03) [Re: Bridge Crossings]
There used to be a lot of threads on that, from cheap tactics like luring the AI with an ashigaru unit and depleting the enemy arrows with a naginata unit (or worse, with many ashigaru units) to tricks of what assault units are best to cross a bridge and pessimistic advice on the casualties you can expect. I wrote a bit myself but didn't save it. I hoped to write some more basic tactics before getting to bridge crossings, though I am aware that they are troublesome to most people.
Turchigawa (03/13/03) [Re: Bridges]
Not that I'm an expert, but the only real successful bridge crossing I did as an attacker was with the Takeda. I sent three calvary archer units across before the Ueseugi could cover it. Then I charged one unit of heavy calvary and naginata calvary after another. I was surprised but it worked out that I only suffered a few casualties.
My favorite river defender story is when I foolishly left two (2) units arquibieusers (sp?) alone in a river provice (Chikuzen, I think). The Shimazu attacked with two (2) units of warrior monks a unit of yari calvary, archers and yari samurai. I ordered the gunners to hold formation and watched as they annihilated any unit as it exposed itself as it crossed the river. I remember a lone monk rapidly approaching my line while they reloaded and fired at the last second. I even had the calvary running away! Of course, using guns effectively is an entirely different story.
Asua (03/26/03) [bridge attacks]
I just spent a hour composing this post and it came out so truncated that I hope that no one pays any attention to it. I am so frustrated that with my self for not clicking the right thing that I can't even begin to rewrite it now. *slaps himself in the forehead*:lol
I guess it really does hold true that the first casulty of war is the plan, even if it is one as dimunitive as planning to post a reply on a message board.
(name of poster is lost) (03/27/03) [On to Bridge defense]
This is the easiest defense in the game, personally I tend to have a sort of set pattern for units whereby the Ashigaru line the entrance to the bridge protecting a few ranks of archers and the No-Dachi in wedge formations await the enemies crossings, they tend to send their Ashigaru or Yari Samurai accross first...
The rest is predictable enough.
Anyway this works for me very well but I'm not saying it's the best tactic by any means.
Turchigawa (03/31/03) [Bridge strategies]
OK, I'm sure you already know both of these but:
1. if you have a calvary-rich army: race the cal. archers across and have them flank and pick at infantry units. Then charge heavy calvary against archers and naginata calvary against other infantry units. That was the biggest bridge slaughter I've ever accomplished.
2. if you have two (2) bridges. Leave one completely undefended and put your slow units on a hill. Then march your calvary units across their less-well defended bridge taking that side. They should start crossing the first bridge with their better units. Annihilate their slow moving units on the far bank, then take the remainder out at your leisure.
DriverX (04/14/03) [Defensive Bridge strat., and a question.]
I used to try to defend bridges, but my casualties were always pretty high (not as high as the attackers, but plenty high) so now i just usually put my units on a hill behind the bridge, defending it like a normal province. The bridge then makes it easy to block off the escape route, so i can ensure that they take heavy casualties when they rout. Calvary archers can be used to harrass the enemy as they cros the bridge as well.
As for a question, i recently bought the Warlord Edition (i've had the first shogun for over a year now) and in the manual it says emisarries can bribe armies, and i've seen computer emisaries with the mission of offering bribes, but i can't figure out how to do it myself. (i haven't found out how in the manual either) perhaps this is something you could add to the War College post
(KH's answer: Just drop the emissary on the army to bribe.)
You can check the BFN attack and defence values in game during battle, by pressing F1. Same with Kensai's. Basically, the kensai is about 20 times stronger than the average YS (Comparing 2 attk to 20 attk that is) and the Kensai also has a very large defnece value. BFN follow along the same lines, slightly weaker in defence and offence (according to those values that is)
Well just like the fact that the AI always move after you do, I guess its only resonable for the AI to know exactly where your daimyo is.
I think the rebel cheat was .conan, but it only works in the unpatched version of the game, and I don't know if it works in WE or MI.
(from a poster whose name is lost: .conan. does work with MI.)
(MT's note: the stats can be found in troopstats.txt inside the STW folder. Open it with notepad or your favourite text editor.)
Superchief (08/18/03) [AI strat interesting]
I have noticed that whenever I attack a bridge province the AI always stands back from the bridge and waits until I start crossing before attacking.
They usually meet me right after my first set of troops have completly crossed the bridge or when a few of my men have crossed.
So far their strategy has cost them the province every time.
I usually have two archer units - one on each side of the bridge entrance - to fire on the enemy.
Then I send in my foot soldiers. The only thing I NEVER do is attack with only YA - I always team them with another foot soldier type.
I send the other unit (a YS or ND or WM) across the bridge, then take my next unit - switch to wedge - and attack right when the first unit it halfway across the bridge. This way if the enemy has a large force waiting for my 1st unit the second will (hopefully) increase the moral of the 1st unit and scare the enemey a little.
If I have any YA I usually use them last because they like to run. Also using them last is a good way to stop the first units from routing.
Perihelion (08/19/03) [AI strat interesting]
I think the AI is programmed to follow the Art of War, that is to start attacking 'when the enemy is half way across the bridge'. How the AI executes it is a mystery to me, most of the time they do meet the troops just as they have passed the bridge, but if the AI has strong troops it is a very effective strategy to beat off any attacker.
If the AI has you in a pocket just after you cross the bridge, shouldn't you be at a disadvantage? The AI has projectiles pouring on top of you, plus if the bridge head is wide, the AI can attack you from 3 sides.
I'm amazed that your troops don't flee at the sight and engagement of a large AI force waiting for you...
On a side note, I don't think YA fleeing effects any other unit's morale, because the samurai's saw them as lowly peasants and 'are not worried by them routing.'
Unless, you have guns in your army.
Viscount (08/19/03) [Speaking of guns,]
After a few sharp defeats for my preferred "New Model" army (polearms and muskets at a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio w/ cavalry support) I've rethought a few of my stances on muskets (again):\|I .
4 ranks deep is preferable to 3 when a prolonged missile engagement is forseen as casualties can be replaced to keep up the rate of fire. Once an enemy musket unit losses it's frontage and is reduced to two ranks, their rate of fire drops severly. Occupying a smaller frontage means the units are easier to cover with pikes as well.
When four musket units are well supported by pikes it can be useful to deploy two units 3 or 4 deep and the other two in two ranks. The idea being that the deeper units will cover the thiner lines who, every 20-24 seconds or so will each deliver a crushing single salvo to add to the fire of the volley-fire units.
Something like this:
Y= yari, m= muskets
YYYYYYYY mmmmmmmm YYYYYYYY
YYYYYYYY mmmmmmmm YYYYYYYY
YYYYYYYY mmmmmmmm YYYYYYYY
Shinano (08/19/03) [Re: Speaking of guns,]
Viscount I think you'll find that three ranks is best, even in a prolonged missile duel. Sure the rate of fire will drop when they get reduced to 2 ranks but you can every so often reform them into 3, just after they have fires so that you don't lose any time.
It looks to me like you would get a lot of Freindly Fire casualties from that setup...I usually use something like
With some yari cav and cav archers on the flanks. And actually I prefer to bring a mix of ND and YS as this gives you more h2h power.
Viscount (08/21/03) [Re: Speaking of guns,]
Three ranks *does* give optimum fire output and and I still deploy them so quite frequently. Four ranks merely makes for a tighter formation (less likely to get chewed up on it's flanks by stray enemy troops).
Friendly fire isn't too bad if all musket units are in line one behind the other. The formation gets dense, sure but the front ranks all line up more or less.
If only they could fire by platoons........
Perihelion (08/21/03) [Re: Speaking of guns,]
I think what Shinano meant by the friendly fire was that the YS standing in front of those muskets in the back would get shot in the back.
(name of poster lost) (08/21/03) [Re: Speaking of guns,]
I would think that the guns would shoot the guns in front of them as well...I played a game with someone in a castle assault and he had several units of guns firing at my troops from inside the castle...he had over 300 freindly fire casualties...
(name of poster lost) (08/31/03)
About the guns and freindly fire casaulties...if the guns don't have a clear line of sight the won't fire...so if you put several guns in front of eachother you won't get the optimum rate of fire, though freindly fire casualties are low. If you want to know how to use guns read through some of the threads in the STW archives at the org...guns are used in MP alot and there is much more MP discussion there then here. This particular bit of information was from a post by MizuYuuki at the org.
King Haggard (09/10/03)
Usually I leave one or two shinobi. You can leave ashigaru as well if it's a border province or with particularly low loyalty. I prefer shinobi since the ashigaru won't counterspy.
The game counts the number of men. Leave at least one full unit to start with.
Equipment doesn't have any effect on loyalty that I've noticed.
The border fort acts a counterspy in its own province. More shinobi will provide added security. It will provide spy information on adjacent enemy provinces. If you have a province with border forts next to one of your provinces without, it won't give you any benefit in the second province.
Much more economical to just train many shinobi though, if defense is the idea.
I think I read in the manual for STW (the original) that the populance of a newly conquered province could be kept from rebelling when you place Ashigaru units there (I guess the thinking is that since the Ashigaru - who are in the same heirarchy economicaly as the local peasants - are guarding and defending the newly won province the populance can relate to them; keeping resistance to a minimum).
King Haggard (09/10/03)
I am pretty sure that just means that ashigaru are the cheapest unit, and province loyalty depends on number of troops, not quality. Provinces with a unit of battlefield ninja will rebel every turn, but the same provinces with two units of ashigaru will not rebel. (Ten times as many men, a third of the cost.)
Togakure OJonin (09/13/03) [Attacking Bridge Provinces w/ fewer Casualties]
Ah ... this is so fun. 6-8 archers, 6-8 spear, no more than 2 of the spear ashi. Attacker? nothing else necessary against 960 or less defenders - no matter what they are. No naganita required, though they help a little in soaking up arrow fire if you've got 'em. Use them first, but remember they're slower that spear, and quite a bit slower than ashi.
March archers to river's edge. Arrange in two-row deep formations, one unit directly behind the other, on each side of the bridge if terrain allows. First two units on each side are set to fire at will. Others behind them set to hold fire until ordered.
Spearmen are arranged in long columns, only 4 wide, close formation, and set to hold formation. Arrange these behind the archers. Yes, you will lose some spearmen (so before you attack the province, have replacements ready in an adjacent province).
Take one spearman and position directly in front of bridge. If you have Ashi, use them first to soak up arrowfire. Order them to march to the otherside. Click just in front of the enemy archers. When the archers start to fire at them, order them to run. Enemy spear/horse/monks will rush them at a certain point. Pay close attention to the attacker's speed, and a little before they're engaged, order them to RUN back across the bridge. The enemy will follow, and your archers will tear them up. Yes, your one ashi unit got hit pretty bad by the enemy archers, but so what?
Make sure to stop the ashi just on the other side of the bridge in case monks/horse make it all the way across without running because of the arrow fire and heavy casualties (this rarely happens--they run back out of range). If the ashi flee, move another spear unit up to block the bridge on your side. The enemy will reassume positions behind their archers.
Move the damaged spear unit to the back of your army and let them rest (if they weren't decimated so bad that they flee the field). If they did, no biggie. Select the next spear unit. Repeat the process, one spear unit at a time, until all but the enemy's archers have been severely reduced by your arrow fire. Remember though, position each spear unit right in front of the bridge before ordering them to march across so they're aligned with it in a 4-man wide formation. This way they don't get hung up on the narrow bridge as much.
Two things to keep in consideration regarding your archers. 1) If the enemy flees back to its original position sometimes some units will straggle just within range to draw your fire. Order your archers to cease fire if this happens. You don't want to run out of ammo. 2) if the enemy general charges the bring, order ALL of your archers, including those you originally ordered to hold fire, to fire. DO NOT order them to fire at anything specifically as this often triggers them to try and march across the bridge. Just select them and click on the fire-at-will button and let them do their thing.
If your archers in the front two rows on each side of the bridge run out of ammo, move them behind the reserve archers, and move the reserve archers up to the river edge and set them to fire at will.
If horse charge across the bridge, turn your spearmen back around and immediately attack them when they have reached YOUR side of the bridge, and reverse the choke point on them! Double whammy--archers AND spear nailing them. Major enemy casualties. If they're monks, they're history.
At a point after repating this process 4-5 times it will be obvious that the remaining non-archer enemies will not be able to hold your remaining spearmen. Leave the archers where they are to provide cover fire, select all ground units, and have them CHARGE across the bridge. If any enemy units try to block the bridge, charge them at this point. They are so reduced in numbers, morale, and endurance that you will crush them no matter what they are (the monks are all dead or fled by now from the arrow fire). When you reach the enemy side of the bridge, select ALL units and charge the archers, changing to loose formation until you are about to close with them. The entire enemy army will route. Stay on their butts to assure they flee the field.
This method works for me EVERY time, on expert level. Yeah, I lose about half my spear (but those that live gain honor). And if they have Cav archers, sometimes I'll lose a few of the archers closest to the shore.
But if you were to autocalculate a bridge province battle as the attacker, you better have 3 to 4 times the troop strength as the enemy, or you WILL lose. However, an equal number of troops can take the province using this method I've described, and you will have FEWER casualties than the enemy in what is supposed to be a defender's paradise (bridge crossing).
Fortunately, the AI doesn't use this attack method, so when YOU defend the province, autocalculate and you will win against attacks of up to 4 times your troop strength!!
Just remember to really watch the timing when the enemy attacks your single spear "bait" units ... turn them around and run them back at just the right time. The enemy should be right on their heels, but should not engage them. That's the only tricky part really. That and not running out of arrows.
Try it ... it's awesome, and once you've taken the river province, all you need to leave there is and evenly distributed army of SA/YS, about 2/3 the number you'd leave to defend a a non-river province. Of course, the honor level of your troops should be about the same or better on average as the enemy's. River provinces are great choke points on the strategy map, as AI enemies will often launch massive attacks against them again and again AND LOSE if you autocalculate(Musashi and Owari in particular because of the wealth and strategic defense value they represent.
Owari's a bit trickier with two bridges, but easier actually ... . But enough for now.
The US military uses this tactic often today with modern "ranged" weapons and ground troops (though armor usually handles the baiting).
Togakure OJonin (09/13/03) [Re: On Backwater Garrisons]
I leave 1 ashigaru and 1 shinobi in backwater provinces, unless it's a port province. In port provinces I leave the above, plus and additional shinobi and a ninja. The ninja is there to immediately assassinate any emmisaries that come through and stay for more than one season.
[Then again, I tend to just produce shinobi in my strategic agent production centers every turn no matter what. By mid-game I've got so many that I can put two or three in every province if I wanted to. I don't usuallly though--I throw massive shinobi parties in enemy provinces and just move the rave each turn to the least garrisoned province accessible. These raves are so popular with the locals that they'll most often join the party--and rebel like crazy! When the enemy channels troops away from the front to deal with the ravers, wonderful opportunities for front line expansion tend to present themselves.]
I also build Border Watchtowers in every province (eventually, koku allowing). I generally don't build Border Forts (except maybe in Owari). Too expensive when you consider how cheap spies are.
I keep taxes at punitive to maximize koku (necessitating more robust garrisons, but ashigaru are cheap), and sometimes use the star system defense on Expert if the enemy is attempting port jumps. The star system defense is where you maintain small garrisions in most provinces but identify central provinces in each area. I keep a larger army in the central province that can move into any of the adjacent provinces under its protection to deal with an invader or a rebellion. I usually garrison the central province with 2 SA, 2 YS, and 2 ND (or BMs, if I've got the cash). Because of their expense, vulnerability in the woods, and capacity increase in castles, I don't use Cav for garrisons, generally. Besides, I need them on the front.
Togakure OJonin (09/13/03) [Re: Battlefield Ninja]
I luv these guys. Great port raiders, as the enemy doesn't realize their troop type and responds to a port jump raid with just a few troops. If you fight the battle (not autocalculate), your BFN will win easily, gain a victory for the general, and honor for themselves.
But the thing I do is make a 16-unit stack of nothing but BFN, with a 1-star BFN general to start with. BFN generate fear big time, so if you position well (head for high ground, manuever around the enemy in order to cut off retreat) the enemy will almost always flee--even if they outnumber you 6-1.
By the time your BFN general hits 5- 6-star rank, his troops are 3-4 honor on their own. Now you've got a stack of 5-6 honor BFN--the best port raiders I've ever seen.
Note on BFN battlefield tactics. In a stack with only BFN in it, only the Taisho (Banner-bearing unit) can be seen and attacked (until you order your other units to attack). I split the stack into 3 groups of 5 units, plus the taisho. I flank the enemy on both sides, and send the third unit behind them. It is easy to lure them out, because they gun for the taisho, who is all they can see. I use him to lure them where I want them to be.
When they're in an ideal position, I KILL THEM ALL, while my taisho stands up on a distant hill, smoking a cigar.
Togakure OJonin (09/13/03) [Apologies to the King]
Sorry for posting the detailed bait-and-lure tactic description--didn't realize that you'd requested not to hear about it.
Sounds like a pet peave ... hmmm. As I mentioned, it is a tactic that our modern-day troops use frequently with great effectiveness.
True, a 'live' player will not respond like the AI does. I'm curious to fight a bridge battle with a human opponent to explore this. Something to look into.
I've never fought on-line battles against another human before--my bigtime Achilles heel. I've played every period and every clan on Expert so many times now that its gotten somewhat boring, so I guess it's time to move into the VR world and start focusing on deep battlefield tactical skill development instead of campaign map invincibility.
King Haggard (09/13/03)
I'm going to have to review all that tomorrow (kind of late here,) and probably ask you to copy them to the main War College thread.
About the geisha: late in the game I make every province with precious metals produce those. Since they already have a fortess, it's a small step from there to +2 shinobi, battlefield ninja, and giesha factories.