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How are you guys commanding large battles?

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I would like to use some advanced tactics but I find it impossible. I can't micromanage each division, especially cavalry or HA since I have to watch them all the time. I wish I could give orders like the AI generals do (protect the left flank, skirmish etc).

Once I try using more than three divisions I tend to start mashing my control buttons to disastrous effects, such as hitting 'Charge' instead of 'fire at will' for my archers, or accidentally sending my infantry 50 km away because I slipped on my mouse hitting the F1 key. And as I madly try fixing things I'll see my horse archers have come to a stop and are engaging the enemy cavalry while standing still and my cavalry are sitting 30 feet from the enemy archers.

The three division model works with me getting the cav to follow and letting the HA follow their sergeants while commanding the foot soldiers from wherever I am, but I would like to try a bit fancier stuff.

So how do you guys do it?
 

WhiteEyedSh4rk

Sergeant Knight
WBWF&SVC
I would like to use some advanced tactics but I find it impossible. I can't micromanage each division, especially cavalry or HA since I have to watch them all the time. I wish I could give orders like the AI generals do (protect the left flank, skirmish etc).

Once I try using more than three divisions I tend to start mashing my control buttons to disastrous effects, such as hitting 'Charge' instead of 'fire at will' for my archers, or accidentally sending my infantry 50 km away because I slipped on my mouse hitting the F1 key. And as I madly try fixing things I'll see my horse archers have come to a stop and are engaging the enemy cavalry while standing still and my cavalry are sitting 30 feet from the enemy archers.

The three division model works with me getting the cav to follow and letting the HA follow their sergeants while commanding the foot soldiers from wherever I am, but I would like to try a bit fancier stuff.

So how do you guys do it?

I think the key is just to practise it. I advise you to stop the game (go into menu or something like that) and think about your next tactical decisions and the buttons you have to press for that.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
I would like to use some advanced tactics but I find it impossible. I can't micromanage each division, especially cavalry or HA since I have to watch them all the time. I wish I could give orders like the AI generals do (protect the left flank, skirmish etc).

Once I try using more than three divisions I tend to start mashing my control buttons to disastrous effects, such as hitting 'Charge' instead of 'fire at will' for my archers, or accidentally sending my infantry 50 km away because I slipped on my mouse hitting the F1 key. And as I madly try fixing things I'll see my horse archers have come to a stop and are engaging the enemy cavalry while standing still and my cavalry are sitting 30 feet from the enemy archers.

The three division model works with me getting the cav to follow and letting the HA follow their sergeants while commanding the foot soldiers from wherever I am, but I would like to try a bit fancier stuff.

So how do you guys do it?

I usually F6 the horse archers, personally lead the cavalry and try to position the infantry and archers in such a way that they don't need to move or really do anything beyond keep shields up. But I run cav-heavy for all of my parties, occasionally cav-only, so I'm not giving much up if my infantry are inactive.

Most of my cav are either Sturgian jav-cav or Aserai noble jav cav, so I micro their firing commands. If I want to just disrupt the archers, I have them hold onto their javelins. But when I'm looking to hit a flank, I'll slow-charge and release a few volleys, then hold fire again and charge through, reset and repeat.

But if you're having real issues with actual control, there is an RTS mod on the Nexus that allows for TW-style arrangement and control of your forces.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
F6 -delegate command to "sergeants" works very well for me on cavalry. Of both heavy and skirmish variety (horse archers including). managing archers and infantry is not very difficult then.

Typically I split my cavalry force in two and post one on each flank, then once enemy is close, I just tell both to F6. I have never experienced problems with that. Cavalry on F6 does what I expect it to do, tie down enemy cavalry and harass their archers. Meanwhile I engage enemy infantry with my infantry frontally and maneuver my archers to the enemy right flank where they can shoot in to their unshielded side.

Works well.
 

Magnusnyg

Recruit
Check out ItalianSpartacus on youtube- he has a good video on how to use commands. Don’t know if the link will show.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
Check out ItalianSpartacus on youtube- he has a good video on how to use commands. Don’t know if the link will show.

I know that author claims that he have info from an internal beta tester, but from my own experience lot of it is not true. For example I have noticed no difference when placing the same units in to different groups. The only thing that defines AI behavior is the equipment. If unit have a bow, arrows and a horse, it will skirmish with the bow even if you will place it in to "heavy cavalry" group.
 

Magnusnyg

Recruit
I know that author claims that he have info from an internal beta tester, but from my own experience lot of it is not true. For example I have noticed no difference when placing the same units in to different groups. The only thing that defines AI behavior is the equipment. If unit have a bow, arrows and a horse, it will skirmish with the bow even if you will place it in to "heavy cavalry" group.

Yeah, I don't think the groups matter - but the commands do. I'm doing a "Djenghis Khan" playthrough, and putting the horse archers on "Charge" instead of "Advance" or F6 helps a lot. The same goes for some orders not working as expected.
For instance, if you're fighting cavalry, try putting your infantry in a Square (F3 - F5) instead of shield-wall, it seems to be very effective against cavalry charges.
Any way - I like that you usually loose control of huge battles as they progress - seems pretty realistic to me. Enjoy your gaming.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Also: setting your archers to loose formation makes them far more effective and less likely to eat an arrow or javelin.

Two-handed infantry in loose formation are better anti-cavalry than spearman.
 

Old One-Eye

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&S
With a mixed army I generally do something like this against most armies, which generally are mainly infantry:

Assign Sturgian skirmishers as Infantry in Party screen.

Decide if you want to Hold Fire.

1. Place Archers in front of Infantry. Spread out (F3-F3). Face Direction, so they don't spin around if skirmish cav circles them. Preferably Archers are on higher ground and with good field of fire. A treeline is also a good place.
2. Infantry - Shield Wall or Square (vs Cav). They are close behind or on the left of Archers (to soak up cavalry attack).
3. Horse Archers - Loose or Scatter Formation - (Fire at will) Charge (unless there is a river or other obstacle they can get bogged down in.)
4. Cavalry - follow me. Lead them to your right flank and move forward.

Let the enemy come to you. If you are outnumbered, they will.

(Archers+Infantry - Fire at will)
Ideally, your HA will draw away flanking enemy cavalry.
When main enemy force (infantry followed by archers) are closing with your Archer line and throwing stuff at them:

1. Infantry - Charge!
2. Cavalry - Charge!

Ideally you want the enemy infantry taking fire from left flank from your HA (who has circled around them), and from the front by your archers and skirmish infantry. At the same time.
You also want your cavalry to charge the following archers, which they will, if those are closest to them. Or you can hold the Charge order and just have them follow you through the archers.

The bulk of the enemy force (not Khuzait or other cav-heavy force) will now take massive casualties in a very short time and will be boxed in. Ideally, the infantry will break and rout. Your infantry will be almost in melee range of remaining archers.

You have several options, depending on the circumstances, reinforcements and terrain etc. Archers can be given either Advance (F1+F4) which makes them fall back if enemy is too close or Charge if you want more arrows in fleeing enemy bodies.

Now really everything depends on your battlesize settings etc. You may need to pull all troops back, regroup and do it all over again. Or not.

Anyway, that is the general idea from which I order around a mixed army.

Edited to add: No mods. Realistic settings plus highest AI setting, except damage to player 2/3. Depending on difficulty of battle I often don't have time to engage too many enemies myself. The timing of the Charge commands (inf and cav) feels crucial.
 
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Nilus

Recruit
With a mixed army I generally do something like this against most armies, which generally are mainly infantry:
,,,
That's a quite good move on actual BL mechanics.

Personally tried to implement some Maneuvers which where viable in VikingConquest but due to the lack of proper move commands (move ten paces forward/ backward) and the initial lack of response of your commands without a move command (up to BL 1.4.1 I think), they wheren't (and some still aren't) possible.

Long story short: In BL with the acutal commands and AI you don't want to manage more than your 4 standard Wings (Inf, Range, Cav, RangeCav) and even then it's sometimes better to F6 (Sergeants take over command) or the simple F1-F3 (charge), especially for the archers which walk around to stay at range towards the enemy (with the F1-F4 Advance command) but don't take a break to fire, rendering the whole unit useless because they don't skirmish properly.
 

Nilus

Recruit
Anyway, that is the general idea from which I order around a mixed army.

In addition to the alredy nice tactic you use there... try to place your range units slightly or entirely on your left flank and if available a skirmish unit (throwing weapons with anti-shield bonus) on your right.
This works wonders because all shield infantry wears the shields on the left hand side (your right if attack from front) and/or in front of them.
The skirmish units destroy the shields while the range units shoot them on unprotected side.
I use this setup mainly on flat terrain because having a hill in the back to place the range unit on is at the current state of mechanics still the "most reliable"
 

Old One-Eye

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&S
Long story short: In BL with the acutal commands and AI you don't want to manage more than your 4 standard Wings (Inf, Range, Cav, RangeCav) and even then it's sometimes better to F6 (Sergeants take over command) or the simple F1-F3 (charge), especially for the archers which walk around to stay at range towards the enemy (with the F1-F4 Advance command) but don't take a break to fire, rendering the whole unit useless because they don't skirmish properly.
Thanks. I probably should have added that you use L-ALT to check if enemy is maneuvering toward you, setting up a defensive position or just bullrushing. But mainly, you have time to do these simple tactics even on small maps with enemy coming at you fast. And then just improvise and adapt, think of your archer line as a fire base if that helps.

Against Khuzait (and Beni Zilal etc) you want to deny enemy HA to circle you with free lines of fire. But OP was asking about how to command in large battles so I should probably leave specific tactics out.
 

TheCalradian

Recruit
There is no battlefield tactics.
There is no charge in formation.
There is no focusing to rout individual enemy formation.
There is no maneuvering.
There is no distance management.

There is nothing to "practice" to be had except to use the current lack of implementation to your benefit.

You spread out archers and create as thin line as possible to make sure that you get maximum utility of every archer and maxiumum exposure of enemy units. You let them approach and then you either "advance" or "charge" (LOL) your melee fighters to fend them off when they get close.

Then the enemy turns and you go back to formation.

If the total war series attempted this, then it would not be successful. It's a long time since first-person novelty worn off, so I don't think M&B2 has any excuse. The campaign is still interesting, but the battle feels like a big exploit.

The sandbox kingdom is hampered by the AI being aimless. It doesn't want anything. There is no flavour to the factions. Merely units and colors. It's just red/blue/green NPC players of risk.
 
I would like to use some advanced tactics but I find it impossible. I can't micromanage each division, especially cavalry or HA since I have to watch them all the time. I wish I could give orders like the AI generals do (protect the left flank, skirmish etc).

Once I try using more than three divisions I tend to start mashing my control buttons to disastrous effects, such as hitting 'Charge' instead of 'fire at will' for my archers, or accidentally sending my infantry 50 km away because I slipped on my mouse hitting the F1 key. And as I madly try fixing things I'll see my horse archers have come to a stop and are engaging the enemy cavalry while standing still and my cavalry are sitting 30 feet from the enemy archers.

The three division model works with me getting the cav to follow and letting the HA follow their sergeants while commanding the foot soldiers from wherever I am, but I would like to try a bit fancier stuff.

So how do you guys do it?
bro, I wrote about this topic, look: https://forums.taleworlds.com/index...estions-improved-troop-control-system.424851/
 

eritchie

Recruit
I would like to use some advanced tactics but I find it impossible. I can't micromanage each division, especially cavalry or HA since I have to watch them all the time. I wish I could give orders like the AI generals do (protect the left flank, skirmish etc).

Once I try using more than three divisions I tend to start mashing my control buttons to disastrous effects, such as hitting 'Charge' instead of 'fire at will' for my archers, or accidentally sending my infantry 50 km away because I slipped on my mouse hitting the F1 key. And as I madly try fixing things I'll see my horse archers have come to a stop and are engaging the enemy cavalry while standing still and my cavalry are sitting 30 feet from the enemy archers.

The three division model works with me getting the cav to follow and letting the HA follow their sergeants while commanding the foot soldiers from wherever I am, but I would like to try a bit fancier stuff.

So how do you guys do it?

I line the archers up in front of infantry in a long line then charge infantry when the enemy is a few metres from my archers. I use drag and drop for cavalry. If i do charge them I never let them off the leash for long as they will ride off in all directions.

In big battles reinforcements can be a problem so I usually pull back infantry and cav after they crush the first wave. I then use the archers again until the enemy is weak enough for an all out charge. I sometimes need to pull back 2-4 times depending on how big the battle is because if you push too far your reinforcements will have to travel for a long time to reach the frontline and this can cause big casualties.
 
I line the archers up in front of infantry in a long line then charge infantry when the enemy is a few metres from my archers. I use drag and drop for cavalry. If i do charge them I never let them off the leash for long as they will ride off in all directions.

In big battles reinforcements can be a problem so I usually pull back infantry and cav after they crush the first wave. I then use the archers again until the enemy is weak enough for an all out charge. I sometimes need to pull back 2-4 times depending on how big the battle is because if you push too far your reinforcements will have to travel for a long time to reach the frontline and this can cause big casualties.
The best, as I think, is to have cavalry on the flanks, the infantry of Sturgia and the crossbowmen Vlandia and Fian Battania. If someone comes to my infantry, then they will get another 2-3 javelin. So far, at this time, the cavalry rushes from two sides on them.
 

HotPie

Recruit
I tend to try and make the enemy always come to me, even when I have a larger force (unless I'm trying to upgrade specific troops. There's a pretty simple tactic I use that I've used since the beginning of the game that rarely fails and tends to result in few casualties.

I normally make my army up of 50% infantry, 25% archers and 25% cavalry or there abouts. As soon as the battle starts I set everyone to follow me and find the nearest hill, it doesn't have to be huge but just so long as your archers can shoot from behind your infantry. I set my archers on the hill and in loose formation, then a little further in front I set my infantry to shield wall. I use 50% infantry to 25% archers as it means they can more or less cover the entire line of archers when they're in loose formation, if not you can adjust how long the line is by pressing F1 and holding left click to drag out a unit's position to how you see fit, total war style. Then I press F2 and adjust the way my archers and infantry face so they are looking down the hill and directly at the enemy. Do not press 'face enemy' as this means they will start spinning around as soon as cav/horse archers come near which makes them open to archer/javelin fire.

Then I have my cav set to follow me and I intercept incoming enemy cav/horse archers, you need not wipe them out, just distract them from your main army. Then once the enemy infantry is within a good range of your archers i manoeuvre my cav just behind their main line of infantry. This causes them to turn around and have their backs to your archers. I've won entire 1000 vs 1000 battles without the enemy reaching my lines as my archers just rain hell down upon them. If they do reach my lines their numbers will be much smaller and I set my inf to charge to pick off the rest, as well as having my cav pick off any retreating.

In very large battles, do not chase the enemy as they will spawn in reinforcements. Hold your position and repeat then give them chase once you're sure another wave won't come. Using battanian fians, this tactic is devastating even when hugely outnumbered and on realistic. I also use this tactic because it is so easy and very maintenance free, I've tried messing about with different unit types like skirmishers and spear men behind the archer line but honestly it's too much hassle, can be buggy in the current build and inf without shields just seem to die way too easy even when fully upgraded.

Hope this helped
 

eritchie

Recruit
I tend to try and make the enemy always come to me, even when I have a larger force (unless I'm trying to upgrade specific troops. There's a pretty simple tactic I use that I've used since the beginning of the game that rarely fails and tends to result in few casualties.

I normally make my army up of 50% infantry, 25% archers and 25% cavalry or there abouts. As soon as the battle starts I set everyone to follow me and find the nearest hill, it doesn't have to be huge but just so long as your archers can shoot from behind your infantry. I set my archers on the hill and in loose formation, then a little further in front I set my infantry to shield wall. I use 50% infantry to 25% archers as it means they can more or less cover the entire line of archers when they're in loose formation, if not you can adjust how long the line is by pressing F1 and holding left click to drag out a unit's position to how you see fit, total war style. Then I press F2 and adjust the way my archers and infantry face so they are looking down the hill and directly at the enemy. Do not press 'face enemy' as this means they will start spinning around as soon as cav/horse archers come near which makes them open to archer/javelin fire.

Hope this helped

Just a tip if you didn't know you can just press 2 for archers then use the mouse to pull out the line of archers as far as you want left to right. Its quicker than using the F buttons.
 
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