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I just lost a full stack of highly trained, highly upgraded elite infantry with full artillery support without them firing a shot. They were in a besieged castle town surrounded by five stacks of enemy troops. When you have many troops surrounding a castle, for some dumb reason the army that is besieged can not sally! This is a bug that I'm sure will never be fixed. There's a rule that an army can't enter an enemy's control circle without attacking that army, but when you are besieged, you can only attack the besieging army, and if that army is not the one with the overlapping control zone, your choice is inglorious surrender.
No use complaining about something that will never change, but how did 5 stacks of enemy troops come to besiege my castle? The answer is that the AI refuses to engage even a small army with Gatling guns. This really slows the game down a great deal. My army had attacked every one that came near, and as it was lugging around heavy Gatling guns, could not catch any enemy stack before they all eventually converged on the castle.
I suppose that the solution to this problem is to preserve the army over the castle, and let the enemy take it while I chase down the other stacks, but still, there are considerations like winter attrition to take in to account.
If you have more than one stack in a province, so that one can defend the castle and the other chase enemy stacks, the AI will bypass the whole province and attack behind your lines! It's a good strategy, but it really eats up the turns as the map is so huge it takes multiple turns to cross a province. At that point the AI is no longer trying to win, and completely devoted to making the player run out of time.
I'm wondering whether Gatling guns are just not worth the hassle. They can work if paired with a high level ninja, but otherwise they create problems.