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Topic Subject: Help with Tactical Combat, please
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posted 08-19-01 06:15 AM EDT (US)   
I am a bit of a TC “virgin”, and have some fairly basic questions that I want help with, please:

ROUND ATTACK: I was using an Orc Warlord in TC. I found that if I used Round Attack I seemed to end up worse off than if I just clicked on the enemy and sent the Warlord to attack without selecting Round Attack. Why? Did I imagine it? Is Round Attack only effective against certain types of unit? Am I going crazy?

RANGED ATTACKS 1: I often use a stack that combines cavalry and archers/priests/heroes. I try to put the ranged attacks out on the flanks, and the cavalry in the middle, so that the cavalry don’t obstruct the ranged attacks. What arrangements work well for you guys

RANGED ATTACKS 2: I notice that boxes pop up with numbers in them if there is a possible obstruction. If the box has 100 in it, does it mean there is no point in firing the ranged attack at that target, as there is 100% probability of hitting the obstruction? I could probably find out from reading the instructions, I guess

RANGED ATTACKS 3: If my archers are next to an enemy wall, with enemy units just inside the wall, I seem to be unable to hit them. Is there a way to attack enemy units just inside the wall with archers?

Don’t just yell, run like hell! I expected to do better in TC than I would in FC, and some results have certainly been spectacularly good. An added bonus that I did not expect was that if I initiate an attack, then see that I am receiving a good kicking, I can make a run for the exit. FC doesn’t give you that option, except for battering rams. I can see this being particularly useful for heroes, who tend to have high move points, so more chance of running away

May your TCs be totally cool

Replies:
posted 08-19-01 06:36 AM EDT (US)     1 / 46  
ROUND ATTACK: The round attack attacks all non-flying units standing next to the Warlord, even your own! It gives you only one slash with the sword, but the opponents can't retaliate. Your normal attack gives you two slashes on the opponent, but he will be able to retaliate (and if he has first strike, he will hit your Warlord first).

RANGED ATTACKS 1: I'll sneak away from this question by saying that "it depends on what units are on the battlefield"...

RANGED ATTACKS 2: Your assumption is correct, it's the percentatge chance/risk of hitting the obstacle.

RANGED ATTACKS 3: If your archers are standing next to the wall, you should have a 50% chance of passing the wall with your arrows (if your not aiming too diagonal along the wall, but the percentage numbers shows that). Once an arrow is passed the wall, it has the normal chance of hitting its target. It your target has a high defence, you'll have problems taking him out...

Don’t just yell, run like hell! Right! Just remember that when you run away from an enemy that stands next to you, it gets a free strike on the running unit. The reason that the Rams retreats in FC is that there are no units they can cause damage to. If you attack a Wraith with units that only does physical damage, they too will retreat in FC.

posted 08-19-01 06:49 AM EDT (US)     2 / 46  
Thanks for those, Nojd. Regarding your evasion of Ranged Attack 1, one of the challenges that I want to learn to overcome is how to avoid your "physical attack" units obstructing the aim of your "ranged attack" units. They say there's no match for experience, and I'm working hard to catch up there regarding TC, but in the meantime I'm looking for any tips I can scrounge

May your ranged attackers have ready access

posted 08-19-01 07:35 AM EDT (US)     3 / 46  
Well, if you place your archer immediately behind one of your melee units, the archer won't be obstructed. The enemy (that usually is eager to take out range attackers early) will have to march a long way around your shielding melee unit to avoid suffering from a free strike when walking by next to a sword.

You know about the F5 key to toggle the hex grid on and off, don't you? It makes it a lot easier to position your units well, and calculate ranges for your ranged attacks.

posted 08-19-01 07:59 AM EDT (US)     4 / 46  
Tactical formation.

Footsoldiers and archers in the middle, cavalry on the flanks.

This tactic was used many times in the middle ages and always worked well.I use this tactic in AOW.

Crash

posted 08-19-01 08:06 AM EDT (US)     5 / 46  
Thanks for that, Crash, I'll give that idea a try

I have tried a pincer formation, trying to send the ranged attacks out onto one flank, bringing the cavalry round the other side, and sending swordsmen/warlords up the middle. The idea being that the cavalry could attack the enemy on one side, with the ranged attacks having free access from the other side. This didn't work as well as I expected, as I didn't want to waste the extra move points of the cavalry

What I am tending to do is press F5, move the cavalry to just outside the range of enemy archers, then next go hitting the archers with the cavalry

May your archers be anticipated

posted 08-19-01 11:45 AM EDT (US)     6 / 46  
Sorry I didnt finish my post but I was called away on an urgent mission.

Light cavalry on the flanks to out manouver the enemy and attack the archers possibly.

Heavy cavalry will be fine in the middle as they will just charge straight ahead and bulldoze whatever is in their way.

But Im talking real life battles here.

In AoW TC vs the computer you line up your archers,send an expendable unit towards the enemy to get them moving towards you and pepper them with arrows, use heavy melee units to finish.

Crash

[This message has been edited by Sir Crashalot (edited 08-19-2001 @ 11:46 AM).]

posted 08-19-01 11:50 AM EDT (US)     7 / 46  
And if you want to exploit the AI, make sure to attack from more than one hex (adjacent hex rule). If you do, you won't have to send forward an "expendable unit" to get the AI to came running towards your archers. It charges immediatly anyway.
posted 08-19-01 01:13 PM EDT (US)     8 / 46  
The best formation is to put your archers directly behind a melee unit so they do not block the ranged attack. The absolute best is to have some kind of long range attack unit like shoot javelin or hurl boulder in the mix that will force the ai to rush you without having to get inside their archer range.

Here is my best tactic. The ai will usually line their troops up to face you. Take all your troops and move them all to one side. Stay outside of attack range and the ai will stay in formation. Then attack from the side and the ai will have several units that are out of position and you will have gained a numerical advantage for the first exchange of attacks.

Going up against a warlord or other heavy hitter, I would not attack with my melee units. I would keep them in front of the archers. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a swordsmen by moving the swordsman next to the heavy hitter but do not attack. That would only get the swordsman killed and allow the heavy hitter to attack something else. This way the heavy hitter has to use his movement to kill the swordsman and your archers get another round of shots in.

Against weaker units just let them rush your formation. Do not attack with your melee troops and let your range attack units do the work. Being a defender against melee attack is not so bad since you do get counterstrikes. Of course units with charge should attack if they have a good shot at finishing a weakened unit off in the first strike. You can assess that after your archers have shot all their shots.

posted 08-19-01 02:22 PM EDT (US)     9 / 46  
Thanks for that Frogman, very useful; I'll experiment . The adjacent hex rule that Nojd mentioned is really useful too. I had often been intrigued in FC at how moving some troops onto different adjacent hexes could make a big difference to the outcome, and never really understood how to maximise that potential advantage. Maybe using TC will give me a better insight

May your adjacents be advantageous

posted 08-20-01 11:21 PM EDT (US)     10 / 46  
My turn for some pointers I suppose...

First off, the best advantage of TC is probably that you can perform 'surgical strikes'. Basically, you send in your fliers, kill everything that they can handle, then run away without any of 'em dying.

When you're using level one units, probably the best unit to use as a sacrafice is the Battering Ram... here's how it goes.

1. Battering ram comes in reach of 1 enemy melee unit
2. That unit runs up and attacks the Ram (Battering Rams are suprisingly tough, that's why they're good for this)
3. The other enemy melee units approach but can't reach anything.
4. The enemy archers, seeing one of their units in range of your archers, run up close enough range to attack the nearest archer (This archer should be right behind the battering ram)
5. Your archer behind the ram lets off two shots at the leading melee unit.
6. The rest of your archers shoot this melee unit too, but you'll probably have to move the Battering Ram since it'll be blocking (Again, the Ram can handle the free hit your enemy gets, it's tough)
7. If this unit dies, your melee units run up and chop up the archers (They will be close enough if they were like half a hex above the Ram)
8. Ram goes back in front of archer.

Basically ensures that you get first attack and all of your units get in on this attack.

posted 08-21-01 00:20 AM EDT (US)     11 / 46  
On round attack, I have said this before (the Round Attack thread), but it seems to be a common misperception that it allows only one attack. This is not so. Round attack attacks all adjacent units once, except for the primary target. The primary target is hit twice.

I have seen this happen in a game. A friend of mine was using a titan (really boosted up, it had stone skin, enchant weapon, dark gift and bless on it). In one fight the titan took out an AI doom priest, ignoring a warlord who round attacked the titan because it couldn't reach anything else. Imagine our consternation when the titan had all of three hit points left of its fifteen, when the damage rating of a warlord is six.

Granted, most of the time you do less damage with a round attack, but sometimes both attacks against the primary target hit and do maximum damage.

Another one for your little known gameplay tips, Draco?

Edi

posted 08-21-01 03:20 AM EDT (US)     12 / 46  
I refused to belive in Edi's "Round Attack with Double Hit on Primary Target" theory, so I mad a test map to try it out. I let my Warlords round attack some Titans, and there were no signs of double attacks.

Since the Titan's defence is rather high and therefore the double hit could be hard to notice, I made another test where I attacked Battering Rams instead. Still no signs of double attacks.

I believe you're wrong this time, Edi. If you haven't seen that effect many times, I'm pretty sure you've stumbled upon a rare bug. Maybe something that occurs when you round attack and have a certain combination of boosting spells?

posted 08-21-01 03:41 AM EDT (US)     13 / 46  
It actually says in the manual that the primary target is attacked twice, and the incident I described isn't isolated. I've seen it happen a couple of times. The main problem with people not noticing it is that round attacks tend to do very little damage compared to the potential, typically half or so. And the hit chance is usually lower, despite what it says in that little window that lists attack, damage and types of damage. Often the second attack on the primary target misses. I've consistently seen warlords and titans do twice the damage when attacking normally instead of using round attack. And they hit more often with normal attacks. In that case, it was easier to notice because the titans had a defense of something like 9 or 10, so the warlord would do max damage on a hit.

We'd have to check with Josh and Arno to make sure, but I'm quite certain the manual says its primary twice, everyone else once. Will check when I get home.

Edi

posted 08-21-01 03:11 PM EDT (US)     14 / 46  
I'll be ... !!!

I didn't find anything about it in the manual, but Josh answered Edi's question and said that it does attack the initial target twice:
http://aow.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=10,196,1,20

Almost two years of playing, and I haven't noticed that! I'm getting Round Attack in the next hero upgrade.

Yes, definitely a "little known tips" for the Strategy section!

posted 08-21-01 07:37 PM EDT (US)     15 / 46  
He he, I have just made a test that shows that Josh and Edi are wrong!
Round attack will NOT hit twice!

Read about it here: http://aow.heavengames.com/cgi-bin/forums/display.cgi?action=ct&f=10,196,1,20

Kris


posted 08-22-01 01:22 AM EDT (US)     16 / 46  
After having killed about 70 or so battering rams myself, I sat down and worked the numbers...

If the Warlords do use 7Attk/6Dam on both swings of their round attack on the unit targetted, then the battering ram targeted should flat out die about 20% of the time. The odds of killing 70 battering rams without one instantly dying is practically impossible. Just attacking the rams like normal has the same effect, a pracitce which would make it pretty obvious how often these rams should be dropping.

Even if both swings don't both use 7Att/6Dam, I've reason to believe the ram would still die at least 3% of the time, in which case killing 70 battering rams without one instantly dying is 10%.

I'm very skeptical to the idea that Round attack hits it's target twice, and I'm certainly hopeful that it doesn't.

posted 08-22-01 01:42 AM EDT (US)     17 / 46  
Thanks Kris and QC! I feel so much better now!

But it's scary that Josh (and Edi) can be wrong...

posted 08-22-01 02:05 AM EDT (US)     18 / 46  
if it was tested in warlocks rules warlock gave rams physical protection so warlords max damage on the target would still be 6 if it hit twice meaning the most it could do in one swing is 3......but if it was TS 1.36 hmm I dont know what to say heh still a chance though extremely odd...but a chance

People follow the light, blinded by just cause, but what has the light brought them? It has only caused me pain, while the darkness embraced me and kept me deep within its shadows away from my pursuers and made them suffer for their crimes against me

Into darkness, into night, amoungst the shadows we shall fight

posted 08-22-01 03:40 AM EDT (US)     19 / 46  
Like I said before, it's rare, but it does happen. In the two years of playing AoW, I've seen the max damage double hits happen less than half a dozen times total, and you can calculate yourself how many round attacks that makes that I've witnessed. Besides the titan I've spoken of above, I've seen warlord vs warlord where mine (gold medal) blasted the AI warlord for 13 points while completely obliterating the swordsmen next to it. Means that I got 6 and 7 on two rolls of 1-7. That 70 targets you guys used for testing needs another three or four zeros in it to become meaningful given the frequency of occurrence.

Even if a warlord is 7att/6dmg, it means that on a round attack against a primary target it is usually 2 hits at 7 attack with a damage of 1-6 each. Given that often the second attack misses, or even if both hit they do maybe half of the maximum damage, you still end up with an average damage of 6. I've used round attack extensively on some maps, and even with a hero's damage stat at 8 or 9, it often fails to take out more three of five surrounding swordsmen. This is because the damage inflicted is so rarely the maximum possible.

If you really want to test this, use the dwarf berserker against leprechauns or some other unit with a defense of 8 or more. Or did the berserker have 5 attack? If so, make that target defense 9 or 10. That way every time you hit, it's automatic max damage, which would be 8 on a double hit.

I don't know if the second strike is with a lowered attack value, but anyhow, I'm taking Josh's word and my own experiences for it. If I'm wrong, well, you guys have a good laugh at my expense!

Edi

posted 08-22-01 04:19 AM EDT (US)     20 / 46  
Well, considering I´ve seen a single computer controlled, gold medal, Warlord take out my 10 def leader with a single round attack I´m pretty sure the round attack hits the primary target more than once...
posted 08-22-01 05:35 AM EDT (US)     21 / 46  
I was just about to set up the Berserker vs Leper test yseterday, but I realized it would be way to much work to test it. If it does strike twice at the primary target, there would only be 1% chance of hitting it twice. I wouldn't be convinced that Josh was wrong before I had witnessed 1000 failed attempts in a row...

Hmm, I think I'll play around with Zippy's unit editor tonight, and create a unit with Round Attack, 10 Attack and 1 Damage. He should quickly be able to do 2 damage to a low defence unit if round attack strikes twice.

Sorry, but I still refuce to believe it until I see it happend.

posted 08-22-01 06:43 AM EDT (US)     22 / 46  
I don't know if there is something I have seriously misunderstood here. According to my calculations a ram have a 26% (!) percent chance of dying if it is attacked twice by a warlord. I agree with QuestionC, attacking 70 rams without one fatality is not possible.

The chances of scoring seven or more then points of damage in two attacks (see Kris experiments in the other thread) should be roughly 66%.

PS. Does units with round attack always use this ability in FC? I've always wondered about that.

[This message has been edited by Fisenflycht (edited 08-22-2001 @ 07:55 AM).]

posted 08-22-01 08:40 AM EDT (US)     23 / 46  
I just started a new thread about damage calculations. Fisenflycht, how did you get that 26% figure?

Here's my calculation:
Warlord: 7 attack, 6 damage
Ram: 2 defence, 10 hits

7-2=5, which is a big enough difference to get 90% chance of hitting. For two hits in a row, we get 90% * 90% = 81% chance.

The maximum damage for each hit is 6.

The minimum damage for each hit is 1 (since it is "only" 5 point difference between attack and defence).

I don't know how likely each damage value is to occur, but I guess eiter of these two must be correct:
1: 10%
2: 25%
3: 25%
4: 25%
5: 25%
6: 10%

1: 16.7%
2: 16.7%
3: 16.7%
4: 16.7%
5: 16.7%
6: 16.7%

Ok, so we have 81% chance of getting 2 hits in, but I think I'd better leave the rest of the calculations to someone with a bit fresher math knowledge...

Math assignment 1: Given the fact that we will get 2 hits, how likely is it that the total damage will be at least 7?

Math assignment 2: Given the fact that we will get 2 hits, how likely is it that the total damage will be at least 10 (so that the Ram "dies"?

Then I'm capable of taking 81% of the result of each of the two assignments to get the probability of achieving the desired result.

posted 08-22-01 09:41 AM EDT (US)     24 / 46  
I did the test with Zippy's Unit Editor, and changed the Berserker to have 10 attack and 1 damage.

I set up a fight with 8 of these modified Berserkers vs 8 normal Battering Rams (they have 2 defence and 10 hits).

10-2=8, so they have 90% chance of hitting their target. Each hit deals 1 damage, so a double hit gives 2 damage. If they have the same chance of hitting with the second swing during their Round Attack, they should have 81% chance of hitting with both swings.

It didn't happend, so I still refuse to believe that Round Attack gives two attacks on the primary target. Each of the 8 Berserkers round attacked until "their" ram was down to 1 HP. Never did any of them deal 2 damage, and the test lasted about 100 attacks!

posted 08-22-01 12:48 PM EDT (US)     25 / 46  
Math assignment 1: Given the fact that we will get 2 hits, how likely is it that the total damage will be at least 7?

Combinations of attack calculation:

C*C 1%
C*N 8% = 17% will always do more than 6 damage
N*C 8%

N*N 64% = 64% will somtimes do more than 6 damage

C*M 1%
M*C 1%
N*M 8% = 19% will never do more than 6 damage
M*N 8%
M+M 1%

C: critical hit = 10%
N: normal hit = 80%
M: miss = 10%

Because the attack is 5 higher than defense, minimum damage of a normal hit will be 2 (not 1)
So damage of a normal hit will be:
2: 20%
3: 20%
4: 20%
5: 20%
6: 20%

With 2 strikes there will be 5 x 5 = 25 possible combinations of this numbers with 6 of them will doing 6 or less damage (2+2, 2+3, 3+2, 3+3, 2+4, 4+2). so the chance to do more than 6 damage with a normal hit is 64% x (25-6)/25 = 48.64 %

The chance that total damage will be at least 7 is: 48.64% + 17% = 65.64%
The chance of doing 6 or less damage is of course 34.36%

The chance of NOT doing 7 or more damage 70 times is 0.00000000000000000000000000000003339803 % !!! (that's very VERY close to impossible)

Kris


posted 08-22-01 01:17 PM EDT (US)     26 / 46  
Thanks Kris!

Does this mean that we can do as Edi suggests, i.e. have a good laugh at his expense?

posted 08-23-01 02:35 AM EDT (US)     27 / 46  
I'd prefer a good beer at his expense, because I understand in Scandinavia beer is:

1) good

2) expensive

posted 08-23-01 02:45 AM EDT (US)     28 / 46  
Unfortunately this doesn't exclude the possibility that Edi (and Josh) might be right. There might be something we don't know, either with the round attack or with combat mechanics in general. But I agree that it doesn't look that way so maybe I should go and get a beer after all
posted 08-23-01 02:52 AM EDT (US)     29 / 46  
Hmmm, if that´s correct I must have had one beer too many when my leader was slain...I´m pretty sure the warlord took him out...

...odd...

Well, If you show up on my doorstep looking thirsty, Unicorn, I´ll get you more than one beer...

...and any laughs on my behalf are most welcome...

posted 08-23-01 09:09 AM EDT (US)     30 / 46  
That's very kind of you, Mr. Jerk, sir, I am very practised at looking thirsty and consuming multiple beers, but not very often found in your neck of the woods. But you never know....
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