Huge Army Battles

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Arkyll

Recruit
Im having problems with huge battles, specifically ones led by huge armies.

About halfway through, strategy just falls apart and the battle becomes Warband [F3] levels of chaos with no battle lines or formations or anything.

The two armies prick eachother with reinforcing parties of soldiers slowly trickling into the front line with no discipline or anything.
Again, it looks like a Warband battle basically.

It looks great, and the framerate is really nice without these massive squashes, but it's not really what should be happening.

Is this intentional? Does this happen when the AI lords get downed in battle? (which is often)

Armies to me, seem a bit silly. I lose control of my forces, have to share my food, slow to a crawl on the campaign map, cant recruit forces and often have to rely on the AI to make the right decisions. I haven't led an army of my own since April, so I can't comment on how they feel to control.

As an infantry character, out of a few dozen army battles, I recall being able to commandeer Infantry maybe 3 times in total.
Apart from that I don't really have much to chose from other than like the 12 archers formation in a battle of 500.

I like the idea of formations, but as cool as it might be given orders from a commander and leading a unit of mixed party troops, it would be nice to command my own units, it would be nice to not forfeit all of those troops to dodgy AI, and it would be nice not to have my companions die every single battle because I have no control over them.
(I have had to use a mod to prevent my companions from dying because they die literally every other battle).

I'm not sure what changes could or should be made, but personally I think some things need tweaking if it is preferable to leave the army before a battle and instead reinforce manually so you get command of your own forces.
 

Antaeus

Veteran
I call it the mid-battle-tactical-collapse.

Firstly, I never fight under AI command. That's just going to result in your men in other formations being thrown away by some AI suicide machine.

Sometimes if the tactical situation degrades too much, I just withdraw and reset because it can be hard to assert any control, and reinforcing enemy archers scattered across the map can be really hard to track down and kill, and disturbingly effective at killing horses or regrouping forces.

Enemy cohesion is going to degrade as they lose men. But It can be avoided in your army by being very particular about when and how you use the F3/charge key. Don't just charge and forget. Charge horses through, then regroup, then repeat. Use horse archers carefully, as mobile archers - rather than just letting them run off and circle about, place them in enfilading positions on the map and retreat them manually as needed. Keep your infantry in formation and use them as a meat shield for your archers - if you release your infantry with a charge, you're going to witness chaos as they shotgun blast across the map. Keep your companions in a separate group and keep them on your back - they last much longer if they're used sparingly.

All this could be solved, if we were given the ability to target enemy formations. E.g. Archers, shoot those infantry. Cavalry, charge those archers. To actually command in battle, rather than just oversee.

Ultimately, be the commander both of the army, and of your character's personality. The hardest thing about being a commander, is keeping your sword in it's scabbard - I rarely actually engage in melee myself as a commander. And mostly, be intentional about your commands.
 
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MakinTorf

Veteran
^ exactly that is also my battle plan.

i never will go into an AI controlled army because ... yeah... deathrate is to high among your overall troops. when there is a battle of 2 armies and i want to fight in the battle, i just go in as my own party. so i have full control over my troops but the downside is you maybe just start with 10-20 men of your party.
 

McDadden

Recruit
Agree with several of the others. Keeping control of your formations is the key to surviving the big battles. It would be nice if the ai enemy would try to reform their own ranks and counter attack.
As far a controlling the entire army, the only real ways to do it is either form your own army or be the leader of the faction. The latter is the best way because no matter how many troops are involved or regardless if it's an army or not you will still control everyone. I personally love this feature.
 

Midnitewolf

Sergeant
The biggest issues I find are with the reinforcements and they way they just trickle in. I also hate how the always start trickling in at the original spawn of your army which leave them straggled out across half the damn battlefield. The worse part is that the reinforcement trickle in can be your worst nightmare or your biggest exploit depending how far the armies are away from the original spawn. If the enemy army retreats back to their spawn and starts getting reinforcements, your at a huge disadvantage while if you can bring them back to your spawn your at a huge advantage.

Otherwise, if you don't have to deal with reinforcements waves, the battle seem pretty good.

I avoid this by cranking my battle size way up. I can get to 1400 modded without running into crashes and frame rate issues. Fortunately this is large enough that I can usually get the vast majority both armies on the field.
 
It's really quite easy.

You need lots of archers and a hill. Position your archers on the top of the hill and your infantry in a shield wall at the bottom.

Kill all enemy cavalry. Just buy a long glaive and you'll be sweet.

Eventually, they'll march on you. Let your archers wipe them out. Charge your infantry to break their line then immediately regroup.

Keep killing them pieacemeal.

If you run out of arrows, withdraw and reset.
 

Midnitewolf

Sergeant
It's really quite easy.

You need lots of archers and a hill. Position your archers on the top of the hill and your infantry in a shield wall at the bottom.

Kill all enemy cavalry. Just buy a long glaive and you'll be sweet.

Eventually, they'll march on you. Let your archers wipe them out. Charge your infantry to break their line then immediately regroup.

Keep killing them pieacemeal.

If you run out of arrows, withdraw and reset.
Yep. That about sums it up. To be fair though, the combat AI in Bannerlord is 100x better than it was in Warband. All Warband Native knew what to do was charge.

Also, I am not sure what you want the AI to do. If you think about it and think about what you would do if you were in the position the AI is, I am not sure you wouldn't end up doing the same. Maybe the answer is that once the AI goes on defensive, it never chases you but if it doesn't you still could exploit your archers in the same fashion.

I think the only way to remove the archer exploit would be to make it so armies had to buy arrow for their troops and could only carry so many per troop in inventory at a time. That way, even if you retreated, eventually your army would run out of arrows.
 

Kyias

Recruit
My only complaint right now is that none of my groupings matter during sieges. It would be nice if Lords had their own group at the very least.
 

AnandaShanti

Sergeant Knight at Arms
Yeah other people armies or even just assisting AI allies is becoming no no for me. It's just always better to use your own force to it's full ability and let the AI do auto calc battles. If I have to fight with an ally, what I do is put HA and CAV on fallow me and rush ahead and position HA to fire on enemies to cover the AI ally and drag cav around distracting (maybe they hit something once every 100 battles) enemy HA and CAV, then just as the AI versus AI **** show is about to begin........ that's right I TAB and retreat! Because the combat AI is complete 🐮:poop: so it's either run and gun or play a differant ****ing game.
 
Yep. That about sums it up. To be fair though, the combat AI in Bannerlord is 100x better than it was in Warband. All Warband Native knew what to do was charge.

Also, I am not sure what you want the AI to do. If you think about it and think about what you would do if you were in the position the AI is, I am not sure you wouldn't end up doing the same. Maybe the answer is that once the AI goes on defensive, it never chases you but if it doesn't you still could exploit your archers in the same fashion.

I think the only way to remove the archer exploit would be to make it so armies had to buy arrow for their troops and could only carry so many per troop in inventory at a time. That way, even if you retreated, eventually your army would run out of arrows.

I wouldn't call it an archer exploit because that's exactly what the mongol army did.

The AI doesn't really need alot of fixing. It needs to stay in formation. That's actually not too difficult to do imo. Especially if we *cough* have banner men that act as a focal point for the unit. Units should act in packs always. There's strength in numbers.

They just need to address the silly reinforcement model. With the current system, the losing team gets a huge boost from reinforcements which honestly is nonsensical.

There're 2 ways to address this:

1. A dynamic reinforcement point that is x meters away from your primary line of battle.

OR

2. Just forget abt reinforcements and put the pro rata equivalent on the field.

I'd add that they ought to reconsider the tactics skill. In warband, the higher your tactics, the more troops you can field. For example, if A vs B and both had 100 troops but A's tactics is higher, then on load, A would field 120 and B 80.

That makes perfect sense and addresses how able commanders were able to concentrate their forces in a simple and elegant fashion.
 

Midnitewolf

Sergeant
I wouldn't call it an archer exploit because that's exactly what the mongol army did.

The AI doesn't really need alot of fixing. It needs to stay in formation. That's actually not too difficult to do imo. Especially if we *cough* have banner men that act as a focal point for the unit. Units should act in packs always. There's strength in numbers.

They just need to address the silly reinforcement model. With the current system, the losing team gets a huge boost from reinforcements which honestly is nonsensical.

There're 2 ways to address this:

1. A dynamic reinforcement point that is x meters away from your primary line of battle.

OR

2. Just forget abt reinforcements and put the pro rata equivalent on the field.

I'd add that they ought to reconsider the tactics skill. In warband, the higher your tactics, the more troops you can field. For example, if A vs B and both had 100 troops but A's tactics is higher, then on load, A would field 120 and B 80.

That makes perfect sense and addresses how able commanders were able to concentrate their forces in a simple and elegant fashion.

Well technically that is what war is all about, "exploiting" your opponents weakness. I just describe it as an exploit because the poster was basically describing how posting archers on a hill was the OP tactic of this game. It not a exploit, it is just a tactic that works and works well. The issue is most of the tactics used in game, actually would work just as well in real life. I mean placing your archers on an elevated position behind your front defensive line where they can rain arrows down on the enemy, would be just as devastating in real life as in the game. Same with how horse archers are used. They were used EXACTLY how we use them in real life with much the same results. There is a reason why the Mongols were so successful and so many armies the had contracted with them, adopted horse archers into their army rosters in some form or fashion.

If I have to be honest, the AI actually does try to use these tactics too but they just aren't as good at it as we are and never will be which is why we can bait enemy armies to react the way we want them to react and take advantage of results. Honestly I might have said this earlier but I really don't have too many issues with the AI. My issue is the reinforcements and they way they trickle into the game in ones and twos sometimes having to travel the entire map.

Personally I think they should act more like real reinforcements. They should come in as a 2nd wave, form up en masse and then advance or maybe even go into a defense if the first wave got beaten up. I mean think about it this way, if your winning a battle and beat the first wave, your soldiers are tired, wounded and might have exhausted all their ammo. Then "Fresh" reinforcements arrive and now you have to engage them with tired, wounded troops with no ammo. That give the "Fresh" reinforcement an advantage and you might have to fall back or rely on your own reinforcements to come in. Lets say you take enough losses to trigger your own reinforcement wave. Well they spawn in maybe 200-300m behind your armies current position and form up. You retreat your now battered first wave and bring up your fresh troops to finish off the enemy.

Another option would be to have all battles have pre-determined waves. For example you have it set that each wave of yours is 300 troops and if you have 1200 troops that means you would have 4 waves of 300 troops. Your opponent has it set up for 400 troop waves and would get 3 waves of 400 troops. Then have it so you can retreat a wave at any time but once you retreat those units are out of the fight for the rest of the battle. This would make setting up your armies require a whole lot of strategic and tactical thinking. Hell it would be cool if once the battle is over, there was a time out period where the two armies couldn't re-engage so any troops you retreated, could actually try to escape or at least fight a delaying action until help arrives. This would eliminate the "All or Nothing" battle outcomes were one sides army is total eliminated or captures and make the game more immersive. I mean while it did happen, rarely were battles fought to the death and none of the enemy army every retreated or avoided capture.

Anyway, I feel fixing reinforcements would fix at least 75% of the issues with large battles and a few tweaks to the AI would probably fix the rest.
 

MakinTorf

Veteran
Another option would be to have all battles have pre-determined waves. For example you have it set that each wave of yours is 300 troops and if you have 1200 troops that means you would have 4 waves of 300 troops. Your opponent has it set up for 400 troop waves and would get 3 waves of 400 troops.
i see a problem here.
some people dont have the good setup to have the hole 1000 man at once on the battlefield. for example: if you just have 300 at once in the options, there are 150 per side. if you army then looses 100 men and the other army just lost 30 men there is an advantage of 120 vs 50 men to get the reinforcement. in the time the reinforcement arrives another 40 men in your party will definitley die before the reinforcement will arrive. so in the end you only have the 110 vs 140 disadvantage on the field.
to tweak that problem with army size at once and do the reinforcements you suggest on the battle is a hard thing to set.
 

Midnitewolf

Sergeant
i see a problem here.
some people dont have the good setup to have the hole 1000 man at once on the battlefield. for example: if you just have 300 at once in the options, there are 150 per side. if you army then looses 100 men and the other army just lost 30 men there is an advantage of 120 vs 50 men to get the reinforcement. in the time the reinforcement arrives another 40 men in your party will definitley die before the reinforcement will arrive. so in the end you only have the 110 vs 140 disadvantage on the field.
to tweak that problem with army size at once and do the reinforcements you suggest on the battle is a hard thing to set.
Personally the simpler solution would be just to make it so that a reinforcement wave happens when you lose say 50% of your army and then it only spawns in up to the maximum amount that it can based on the battle size.

For example.

If I have my battle size at 300, my army is 500 and the enemy army is 400 it would work like this.

Both sides spawn in 150 each for the initial battle. Once either side drops to 75 total units, another reinforcement wave spawns in with an additional 75 units. My army would see 6 waves. The initial wave of 150, then 4 waves of 75 followed by a wave of 50 if need.. The other army would see 5 waves. The initial wave of 150, then a 3 waves of 75 followed by a last wave of 25 if need.

The numbers could be tweaked and maybe the magic number is 80% losses to trigger another wave instead of 50% but the key is that the reinforcement enter as a complete wave with their own formations separate from the original waves orders and they should also spawn in relatively close proximity to the core of their respective armies.

As far as my other method where you would determine the size of your waves, it is complex but that is because your setting up your strategy. You could very well pick a wave size that causes you to fail, that is where the strategy part comes in. However, as I mention above, I don't think that is the solution. Sometimes your just adding complexity for complexity sake and the result is a less fun experience. However I do believe the current reinforcement system we have currently is also a less fun experience and can be deeply improved with just some tweaking.
 
For example.

If I have my battle size at 300, my army is 500 and the enemy army is 400 it would work like this.

Both sides spawn in 150 each for the initial battle. Once either side drops to 75 total units, another reinforcement wave spawns in with an additional 75 units. My army would see 6 waves. The initial wave of 150, then 4 waves of 75 followed by a wave of 50 if need.. The other army would see 5 waves. The initial wave of 150, then a 3 waves of 75 followed by a last wave of 25 if need.

I'm sort of ok with the waves if the spawn point is dynamic, and if the reinforcements are limited by tactics.

There're 2 ways to address this:

1. A dynamic reinforcement point that is x meters away from your primary line of battle.

OR

2. Just forget abt reinforcements and put the pro rata equivalent on the field.

I'd add that they ought to reconsider the tactics skill. In warband, the higher your tactics, the more troops you can field. For example, if A vs B and both had 100 troops but A's tactics is higher, then on load, A would field 120 and B 80.

That makes perfect sense and addresses how able commanders were able to concentrate their forces in a simple and elegant fashion.

On the other matter,
Well technically that is what war is all about, "exploiting" your opponents weakness.

True, but in gaming terms it has negative connotations and is often associated with calls for nerfing.

If I have to be honest, the AI actually does try to use these tactics too but they just aren't as good at it as we are and never will be which is why we can bait enemy armies to react the way we want them to react and take advantage of results. Honestly I might have said this earlier but I really don't have too many issues with the AI. My issue is the reinforcements and they way they trickle into the game in ones and twos sometimes having to travel the entire map.

<snip>

Anyway, I feel fixing reinforcements would fix at least 75% of the issues with large battles and a few tweaks to the AI would probably fix the rest.

My sentiments exactly:

The AI doesn't really need alot of fixing. It needs to stay in formation. That's actually not too difficult to do imo. Especially if we *cough* have banner men that act as a focal point for the unit. Units should act in packs always. There's strength in numbers.

They just need to address the silly reinforcement model. With the current system, the losing team gets a huge boost from reinforcements which honestly is nonsensical.
 
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