How to fight huge battles without getting all my men killed?

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BarnardStar

Recruit
I play on easy so that may be why I do well. My army comp is 50 shielded imperial troops, 40 archers, 20 cav (not archers). I use all imperial troops. Shields are a must for infantry, put them in shield wall formation. If there is a hill I put inf at top of hill and archers behind in skirmish (F1 F4) Once the enemy get close. Send cav in immediately to head off the enemy and give you time to set up. Once inf and archers are close to where you want them call the cav back. Put the cav in a position so that when the two inf lines meet the cav can charge in from behind, or attack enemy archers if they’re doing a lot of dmg. DONT charge with inf in shield wall, it breaks up the formation and makes them more vulnerable. Advancing is okay but preferably keep your inf still and use your archers and cav to bring the enemy to your inf line Once inf lines meet I like to move the archers to a 90 degree angle from my inf line so they have better angles to shoot the enemy. I typically stay with the archers to protect them from enemy cav. Then send in my cav to wreck the enemies back lines.

Like I said I play on easy cus I’m looking for entertainment not a challenge; but following this formula I will destroy an equal force with maybe 1-3 losses. I might lose around 5-10 if fighting an enemy twice my size.

When I go into the massive pitched battles, I do the exact same thing. The only difference is I typically don’t get to choose where to set my inf line. I have to match my ally AIs starting line and they typically “advance” until they meet the enemy. So archers get immediately place on skirmish, inf shield wall then advance, cav: charge, slow down enemy inf, fallback. I may lose 5-10 troops in an equal size pitched battle, a few more against superior numbers and considerably less against weaker foes.

Again, I’m playing on easy so that will make a considerable difference but if it cheeses the AI that well on easy, surely it’ll work on realistic with only a few more casualties. (Or perhaps that’s just naïveté)
Those are good tactics. I play on realistic and your tactics would work in a normal battle (That's pretty much my normal plan, in fact). The problem comes when you get huge battles with one or two waves of reinforcements. Since your troops have just taken too much damage over the whole battle, they start to die off. The result is that you end up losing loads of high tier troops that you just wouldn't lose in a battle with the same odds but smaller numbers.
 

Sepone

Regular
I can keep all my elite infantry back while my cannon fodder (or even better, my allies' troops!) soften up the enemy and then send in the elites to break the enemy.
Well said, like a true Imperial Noble! 🤣
I could already cook breakfast on my laptop while I'm playing, so upping the battle count probably isn't an option,
That is not a bad thing, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I'm awaiting my brand-new 16GB ram at any day now. Exclusive investment for Bannerlord, the game is so much fun I finally forced myself to pimp my PC. I hope I can boost the troop count and finally see all soldiers on the battlefield at once. *fingers crossed*
 

Kniggit

Squire
WB
If I have command over my forces, I have no problems. If someone else is in command (If I join another's army rather than leading my own) my forces take way more losses.

My current go-to strategy.
- 2, F1, F1, F3, F3 (Select Archers, Stand Ground, Spread out)
- 1, F1, F1 (Select Infantry, Stand ground (behind archers))
- 3, F1, F2 (Select Cavalry, Follow Me)

I take my Cav over to the left, if the enemy has Cavalry that are rushing at me, I intercept them with my Cavalry, and my Archers make quick work of them. By this point enemy infantry should be getting closer to my line, I give the order for Infantry to charge (1, F1, F3)

80% of fights this works beautifully with minimal losses. The other 20% are large scale battles where the enemy attacks in waves. Once I've decimated/routed the first wave I delegate command (0, F6) and the AI takes over and quickly regroups my troops, once they're not spread out across the map, I repeat my commands (Setting Archers in a line, Infantry behind them, Cav to me) and repeat the strategy.

Edit: I'm a very Archer heavy player, I typically have 50% or more Archers, 30-40% infantry, 10% Cav
 

kalarhan

Python Saint
Count
WBNWVCWF&S
Just remember that retreat and reorganize your formation is a basic strategy when facing armies with [incoming reinforcements], you dont need to let yourself be ambushed.
 

LordKaien

Regular
Dont go to ennemy's renforcements spot ! ! ! !

Put your archers in a nice place, near your spot (high ground, clear view). Your infantry near, better if you can hide them a little (tree, hill). During the battle, you will have fresh troups fast and ennemy will come in small group.

What if ennemy stay away ? So you have time for make a good placement for your troup, then, you go with your compagnons (no loss in the worst case) and use bow to shoot them. After 5-6 kills, all army will rush you and that will be easy.
 

Midnitewolf

Sergeant
I find that I start losing a lot of troops about 2/3 of the way into a battle with reinforcements. The problem often is that their infantry are dying but their archers are staying safe, and eventually they have a horde of archers. Then, my infantry formation decides that a random pack of cavalry are the main target so their formation turns their back on the enemy archers and the archers tear them apart.

My solution for this is I start by ordering my infantry to attack in formation (f1-f4), and then once the enemy starts to retreat I order my cavalry onto the enemy archers position and I give them the attack in formation command as well this gets the cavalry to attack the archers, but keeps them together. After that I give my infantry the charge command (f1-f3) followed by ordering my archers to charge as well.

The important thing is that the f1-f4 command keeps all the infantry together and works really well at the start of the battle, but towards the end that formation has a hard time deciding where they should be advancing too. If I just order the infantry to charge, they break up formation and go all different directions which lets the enemy archers do a bunch of damage. By getting the cavalry into the archers before I order the infantry charge I distract the archers, which lets enough random infantry get to the archers to kill them without horrible losses.

Yeah I have this issue as well. I really wish my infantry would face the largest mass of enemy, not the nearest enemy. Also for me the biggest issue in a large battle is the stupid reinforcements. For some reason they are always archers and always spread out across half the damn map trickling in. This makes it suicide for cavalry since the archers are far enough apart that they have plenty to time to shoot my Cavalry as it engages each single archer in front of them. Also since it is almost always archers reinforcing, they have a near constant stream of arrows coming my way, while my archers have long run dry. This is because I have usually cleaned up their infantry without losing much of my own. It is only after their fresh archers have decimated my forces, that I get my reinforcement wave of fresh archers then they with their fresh arrows finally clean up the rest of the enemy. By this time though, I have lost most of my elite cavalry and infantry.

I wonder if reinforcements work like with Warband where those at the top of your party list come in first, if so it might make more sense to put fodder troops and about half the archers at the top of the list, followed by elite troops and the rest of your archers to clean up.....or maybe I just need to set my battle size to 1000 and see if my computer can handle it (also if your computer can handle it, a mod raising the cap to 1500 or even 2000 might be nice).
 

Deer

Sergeant at Arms
Have you gotten a good healer on your team? They (should?) increase the survival rate of your men. Haven't actually tested it VS not having a healer, but most of my men survive with miss Willowbark in the party.

Other than that, don't let your men charge an enemy in formation. The archers will decimate you and when your men arrive their loose charge gets hacked into pieces by the enemy holding a more tight line.
Set up your own infantry and archers, at best on a hill, and try to bait the enemy with horse archers and cavalry. If you shoot enough at them, or get into a skirmish with their cav, they usually charge.
 

DocShotgun

Regular
WBM&BWF&SNWVC
I definitely prefer fighting on my side of the map in large battles that have reserves - due to the aforementioned issues of the enemy 2nd wave coming in and killing your already damaged 1st wave troops. Sometimes they like to just sit on their side and wait for me, but I can usually draw them out by going myself with a few troops to poke them.
 

Carnith

Recruit
I play with a mix of Vlandia and Empire front line with Empire and Fian's as a bow line with cav on the side. Find some secure land with a raised spot for archers. Archers will murder from afar as infantry hold the line and kill any stragglers. Then to stop the archer vs archer fight, cav goes in and breaks them up. The next group of reinforcements come in and you can rinse and repeat.
 

FBohler

Knight
WBNWWF&S
Beware, a lot of people are playing with reduced damage and com to the forum acting like they're very good in the game.
 

Deer

Sergeant at Arms
Beware, a lot of people are playing with reduced damage and com to the forum acting like they're very good in the game.
Nah, got it all on realistic. But spend most of my MnB time playing Prophecy of Pendor. That mod is like vanilla on steroids, so you have to consider tactics. Simply steamrolling with hvy cav is not an option.
 
a good healer is key, that and tactics. try to use the terrain to your advantage, give your archers a clear shot, hide your infantry behind hills to deny their archers shots and ambush them. Also realize where and when to charge in your cavalry, the morale hit is big if the charge goes well, but if you just charge them in willy nilly you can end up getting them all killed for almost nothing.

Of course, having a better army than the opponent is usually the best option, but even in an underdog situation you can fight your way out.
 

robstew500

Recruit
You can always just retreat after peppering them with arrows until they are all dead, not very realistic or fair though haha. Or you can build up relation with villages to quickly collect a bunch of tier four troops after you inevitably lose them in combat.
 

lukinhasb

Recruit
hey man, I've just recorded a video of a battle 400 vs 700 Realistic Damage, maybe the tactics there might help you:
 

DocShotgun

Regular
WBM&BWF&SNWVC
Beware, a lot of people are playing with reduced damage and com to the forum acting like they're very good in the game.
I play with reduced damage to myself and allied troops and I still feel like I'm trash and can't prevent my faction from losing settlements out the wazoo lol. But some of that might be the macro game since I largely win my battles.
 

BarnardStar

Recruit
hey man, I've just recorded a video of a battle 400 vs 700 Realistic Damage, maybe the tactics there might help you:
Awesome vid! Some good stuff in there, Especially the repeated cavalry charges. It does seem that for everyone, the problems come when the archers run out of ammo. I'm still trying to avoid big battles for now. Even using loads of tactics, at the moment the pain of losing so many troops isn't worth the benefits. i.e. very little good loot and no real change in the enemy's overall strength.
 

BarnardStar

Recruit
Well said, like a true Imperial Noble! 🤣

That is not a bad thing, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I'm awaiting my brand-new 16GB ram at any day now. Exclusive investment for Bannerlord, the game is so much fun I finally forced myself to pimp my PC. I hope I can boost the troop count and finally see all soldiers on the battlefield at once. *fingers crossed*
I upgraded to 16GB for Bannerlord and it was well worth it. The difference in performance (from 8GB) was huge, it went from barely playable to pretty smooth even on high settings (medium in big battles and sieges).
 

Sepone

Regular
I upgraded to 16GB for Bannerlord and it was well worth it. The difference in performance (from 8GB) was huge, it went from barely playable to pretty smooth even on high settings (medium in big battles and sieges).
Ahh, I just can't wait! The shipping date said between 14th and 16th of April. Today is the 16th, so maybe... (16GB on 16th, that would be fitting xD)
 

karijus

Regular
You have to keep your troops organized. So far I was mostly just using Battanian archers as my main damage dealers, so you put them on a hill, put infantry in front, and do cavalry flanking or whatever you want. At some point you will want to engage with your infantry and cav while archers are firing, but once enemy starts retreating you HAVE to call your troops back and take a good position again.

This applies to any kind of army setup. I got rekt by reinforcements in warband while rushing so many times, that I have learned the hard way lol. Was playing the LOTR mod and my tactics were basically - "have a lot of cav, charge with the cav". Kept losing a lot of troops like that on realistic damage, but staying organized and using your troops in coordinated manner does wonders.
 
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