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Tactics to use in gun battles?

georgiebestgeorgiebest MemberRegistered Users Posts: 63
Hi, I've played every Total war game besides Empire. Started playing Fall of the samurai after I loved playing S2, and i'm finding it great.

Obviously with all of the total war games I have played, conventional warfare is melee and cavalry based, with missile troops providing a supporting/skirmishing role. In Fots, Line infantry are going to be my primary troops, but how do I uuse them?

At the moment I put them as thin as possible, to get the most amount of people shooting, as only the front line shoot (I don't have kneel fire yet.) But what do I do when the enemy closes the gap for Melee combat? This is where I seem to take most of my losses, and where my troops begin to rout. What normally happens is I have an exceptionally long front line, and this naturally envelops the enemy as they crash into my middle, meaning my flanks wrap around and shoot into their sides, whilst my cavalry flank and charge into their rear. But then they charge my centre, which eventually folds and creates lots of casualties. I have tried putting my best troops in the middle, and this results in my best troops taking the most casualties. I have a few spear levies in my army on the flanks to protect against the enemy cav, should I have much more and then retreat the line infantry behind them? That seems counter intuitive to the whole gun warfare style.
Post edited by georgiebest on

Comments

  • easytargeteasytarget Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 2,428
    edited March 2013
    The solution for this one is relatively easy to solve, include melee units in your stack. There are a variety of ways to implement this, I'll admit I don't tend to over think it much, so I put the line infantry in the first line, so they are closest to the enemy and therefore start shooting as soon as range contact is made, and then I keep say 5 or 6 melee units behind the line infantry. When the enemy comes at me for some melee fun, I bring the 2nd line of melee units forward to engage and stop them before they reach my line infantry.

    So, it's just a question of putting together a better stack mix.

    I spend most of FOTS with say 10 or so line infantry, 2 cav, 2 arty and 6 melee. Everyone probably mixes this in a slightly different way of course, and they'll no doubt be along shortly to chime in, but for me, I've had no trouble conquering FOTS from either Shogunate or Imperial side on difficulties through VH using pretty much this stack against whatever the AI comes up with.
    This space intentionally left blank.
  • jimglotjimglot Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,023
    edited March 2013
    I tend to keep my main infantry line at about 4 deep and not spread into such a long line. They seem to be able to absorb the incoming melee attack much better. I will put 2 or 3 line in skirmish to draw the enemy in faster. Then, the units disengage and fall back behind the main line and become my ready reserves. I use them to support the main line where the melee attacks are happening. When stretched out in a long line it seems that the units do not support each other so well and its more difficult for rapid flanking maneuvers. I only take a few melee troops and do the same as easytaget does. Throw them past the line and into the enemy’s charge, or flank support depending on the attack.
    Even without suppression fire and kneel and fire, some experience and upgrades can make line infantry stand toe to toe with “most” melee units if supported.
    By mid game I have no melee in my main armies at all. I replace it all with arty. 5 to 7 units

    It's still rock, paper scissors. But I prefer to throw my scissors
    Regards
    There are only two types of ships. Submarines and Targets!

    "Even the bloody queen don't rate cocoa!"
    Exclaimed by a young British submariner riding Crevalle (SS 291) when offered a cup of cocoa by the crew
  • georgiebestgeorgiebest Member Registered Users Posts: 63
    edited March 2013
    Thanks for the quick replies guys.
    @Easytarget
    I normally have 2-4 units of levy spears in my army, as a cost effective counter to cavalry charges. This guys go behind my flanking Line Infantry. I feel it may be a waste to use so many spots on melee, and would reduce the overall effectiveness of the army. The benefit I get with my Line Infantry heavy armies is the sheer firepower means that although the units that get stuck in melee will have losses, there are plenty that just use flanking fire to rack up the kills.

    @Jimglot
    The reason I stretch them out so much is purely for fire power reasons. Until you unlock kneel fire, pretty much only the first rank of any unit will be firing onto the enemy. Just as an example, imagine if you have two units with a width of about 50 metres, and are 3-5 ranks deep. Then imagine a single unit taking up the same width, but only 2 ranks deep. Both of them would bring the same amount of guns to bear on the enemy, but using a single unit means you can have another flanking/firing on something else. This has being true in all total war games. More width gives you a greater fighting front, and makes you more difficult to flank, and thus more easy for you to flank, but it means that less ranks can move into the meat grinder when you sustain casualties. I understand what you mean about a deeper formation taking charges better, but if you consider that spreading the front line as thin as possible means the greatest amount of guns are tearing the charging unit apart, that seems like a much better trade off.

    I haven't really tested this, but how effective are gun powder units at shooting through friendlies who are in melee in front of them? Will they rack up a respectable amount of kills, will they refuse to fire at all, or will they just shred my own units? I ask this because in shogun 2, matchlock ashigaru were good enough to pull behind yari ashigaru, and still get a decent amount of kills.
  • groundwalkergroundwalker Member Registered Users Posts: 54
    edited March 2013
    They're several ways to counter this. Some methods are quite useful even in mulitplayer matches.
    (1)As said above, bring some melee components, no matter they're cavalry or infantry. When you decide to bring melee infantry, you can either put them behind your line and move them forward when the enemy closes in, or on your flank so you can have a nice flank charge. If you have cavalry, then it depends on what your enemy have:
    (a)If they have shooter infantry or cavalry, take them out first. Most of the time it's higher priority, but not always.
    (b)If they primary rely on melee infantry, charge their flank or rear. But if their melee infantries are sword infantries, you can also make frontal charge. Of course, flank and rear are usually better choices.

    (2)Put your line infantry in two (or more)lines. Then you have two options:
    (a)Kite and kite(b)Let your second line shoot when your first line is in melee combat.
    If you choose option (a), make sure you have some room to retreat. If you choose option (b), put your inferior infantry in the first line--after all, they will suffer heavy casualty from both enemy and friendly. It's worth noting in multiplayer unupgraded redbears
    can do this job well since they are cheap and not bad at melee.
    No matter which option you select, it's always better to have terrain advantage, and leave some gap between units so your second line can have clearer line of fire and you can use as few units as possible to absorb their melee charge and delay them.

    (3)Let those stupid samurais experience the power and will of modern firearms! Well, it's possible, but not always viable. Choose where to fight wisely.

    It's also possible to use a hybrid tactics. It all depends on what you have at hand, what your opponent brings, how he reacts, and the terrain.
  • jimglotjimglot Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,023
    edited March 2013
    klc123 wrote: »
    Thanks for the quick replies guys.
    <snip>

    @Jimglot
    The reason I stretch them out so much is purely for fire power reasons. Until you unlock kneel fire, pretty much only the first rank of any unit will be firing onto the enemy. Just as an example, imagine if you have two units with a width of about 50 metres, and are 3-5 ranks deep. Then imagine a single unit taking up the same width, but only 2 ranks deep. Both of them would bring the same amount of guns to bear on the enemy, but using a single unit means you can have another flanking/firing on something else. This has being true in all total war games. More width gives you a greater fighting front, and makes you more difficult to flank, and thus more easy for you to flank, but it means that less ranks can move into the meat grinder when you sustain casualties. I understand what you mean about a deeper formation taking charges better, but if you consider that spreading the front line as thin as possible means the greatest amount of guns are tearing the charging unit apart, that seems like a much better trade off.
    I just don't like having my line so thin. And it sure appears that more then one rank fires. I think kneel and fire just enhances it. That being said, I still think its just play style and what works for you. On a side note, I did start a new VH co-op last night and really got my azz handed to me in one battle. AI had almost all cav and Yari samurai. He gave me a mud stomping.<grin> I regroup and adjusted the army, then came back and crushed him.
    There are only two types of ships. Submarines and Targets!

    "Even the bloody queen don't rate cocoa!"
    Exclaimed by a young British submariner riding Crevalle (SS 291) when offered a cup of cocoa by the crew
  • tephrostephros Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 6
    edited March 2013
    Thin lines are better when your enemy is more gun heavy. Not just firepower but also makes bullets that miss not just hit the guy behind him. Thin lines require melee support nearby as they are vulnerable to melee.
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