Rhodoks step up

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Dayve

Regular
Well, I got mods that give every faction cavalry and balance their units out more, so the Rhodoks have a fighting chance, but even when I played vanilla Warband for a month or so the Rhodoks used to always beat the Sarranids, but usually they would get hit pretty hard by the Swadians.
 

Yoshi Murasaki

Knight at Arms
Kettle Black said:
It's about Faction total strength.
Nords have the best infantry line, average but hardy archer line, no cavalry.
Rhodoks have the best archer line, good infantry line, no cav and favorable defensive terrain, esp vs cavalry.

Vaegirs have second best archer line, good cavalry, average infantry.
Swadia has best heavy cavalry line, average archer line with good firepower, average infantry.
Sarranids has good cavalry and fragile but fast archers and infantry.

Khergits are set up differently and require a different approach.

It's all about finding out ways to utilize your troops to maximum effect. You can win with any faction. Any faction can win.

That's all a bunch of BS that says nothing.

"Any faction can win", wow that's informative. Of course that *player* can win with every faction because player is overpowered. That doesn't mean factions have equal strength. Useless words.

What would be useful is
1) tell him which faction is stronger and weaker
2) which troops are stronger and weaker
3) how troops should be used, even weaker ones

Saying any of these would be useful. Saying "Hey Rhodoks have cool ranged and good infantry line" is horrible - because Rhodoks have dreadful infantry line, their entire infantry line (except Sergeants) is worse than Looters, not to even compare to other faction infantry. And you're not going to use Sergeants because you're going to use all-sharpshooter army - everything else is pointless. You either play all-ranged style or go with some other faction.



And just one question - if Vaegirs have "good" cavalry, who has worse cavalry than they do?

Velax said:
Jeez, I'd avoid mirrors then, if I were you.

I'll take that as a compliment. I mean, you're actually quoting me from a previous post. Wanna autograph?

CriticallyAshamed said:
Apart from that, yes they are completely fail because Huscarls are just better in every way. It seems Vaegirs and Rhodocks really got cut short. Both have _decent_ ranged units, but they don't have the raw power of the Huscarl, the mounted strength of Knights or Mamelukes, nor the speed of the Lancers.

That's right.


One thing that needs to be taken into account is also a resource called "player time". With ranged units, the tactic you gotta use is find a hill, camp, wait for enemy to close in, and shoot shoot shoot. Wait for reinforcements (second wave)... wait wait... shoot shoot shoot.
During this time a player with heavy cavalry can finish 5 battles. Heck even a player with Huscarls can finish more. Not to mention that player with heavy cavalry-only troops will get much much more renown as he can more easily beat bigger parties.
 

Old One-Eye

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&S
You're so emotional Yoshi, always throwing your tantrums at anything in sight. Of course the Rhodok infantry line can be useful, you just haven't figured out how yet. And since I'm the one being called on BS, howzabout "their entire infantry line (except Sergeants) is worse than Looters, not to even compare to other faction infantry"? Hardly useful and a bit far into BS territory I would think? Or I can wait until you have conquered Calradia using only Sarranid infantry. No rush, I've got plenty of time. Of course, if I had wanted to say that all factions are equal and perfectly balanced in strength I can assure you that I would have. But I didn't, because they aren't. The player is overpowered. Damn right he is. That's what single player is all about. You choose how and what to play.

Yoshi Murasaki said:
One thing that needs to be taken into account is also a resource called "player time". With ranged units, the tactic you gotta use is find a hill, camp, wait for enemy to close in, and shoot shoot shoot. Wait for reinforcements (second wave)... wait wait... shoot shoot shoot.
During this time a player with heavy cavalry can finish 5 battles. Heck even a player with Huscarls can finish more. Not to mention that player with heavy cavalry-only troops will get much much more renown as he can more easily beat bigger parties.
And so impatient too.  If the only parameter is how many battles you can fight in X amount of playing time then of course the answer is simple. Cavalry, Cavalry, Cavalry. Everyone knows that, so I'm afraid that would also fall under the category marked "not useful".
 
Some people here have to stop thinking in binaries. Just because a unit line isn't the absolute best doesn't automatically mean that it's useless. :???:

One thing that I've noticed is that the Rhodoks tend to have competent marshals more often than not. In every game that I've played, the Rhodok marshal is often actively on campaign with large numbers of lords, and they actually get **** done. I'm on day 162 in my current game, and the Rhodoks have gotten their grubby hands on Uxhal, Halmar (nicked from the Sarranids) and a large number of castles, including Weyyah and Haringoth. 
 

yugop

Knight
Well this is largely random it seems, in the 2 somewhat advanced games I had, rhodoks had a completely different behaviour, same for every factions (except swadians feasting in their besieged castles, then running away ofc).
Though Yoshi should learn some manners, I agree with him. Rhodoks in native suck. Sergeants are hard to train and weaker than all other top tier infantry units. Spearmen get killed easily by very weak infantry because they can't use their spears. Well the player isn't really forced to hire only troops from one faction, but a full rhodok army is completely fail.
Yoshi, if you want to have some fun with Rhodoks only, play the Pike and Blade mod, not native. The rhodok troop tree is really, really broken, and I think the devs would change it if there was not this stoopid save compatibility. Pike and Blade is awesome for Rhodoks : it's still more challenging, you still have to carefully command your troops and prepare before battle, the difference is ... It WORKS. Troops are diversified enough to let you use some strategy, and you're at last rewarded for it.
 

Old One-Eye

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&S
yugop said:
Spearmen get killed easily by very weak infantry because they can't use their spears.
That's a key quote for understanding Rhodok tactics.

And the main reason Rhodoks sucked prior to the latest the patch was that The Creators had forgotten to give the returning Vet Spearmen proper armor, specifically headgear. As they stand now they will do what they were designed to do.
 

yugop

Knight
Well enlighten me please, because I never managed to use spearmen efficiently, as much for defense as offense, no matter the numbers, clustered or spread out. It always ends the same : the spearmen land an attack that gets parried most of the time, then try to slice whatever they have to fight with invisible daggers.
They do work in very small dedicated groups however, but you can't do that in native since you can't really control what gear your troops will have.
 

Hidziro

Recruit
Yoshi vaegirs have knights. I dont distribute knights to power level, for me they all the same, but get at least 20 of them no matter which faction knights and you own everyone. Which cavarly is worser than Vaegirs? -Answer is easy, the only one faction which have cavalry but dont have knights - Khergits.
 

Old One-Eye

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&S
yugop said:
Well enlighten me please, because I never managed to use spearmen efficiently, as much for defense as offense, no matter the numbers, clustered or spread out.
The Rhodok spearmen has one purpose - to keep the enemy from their crossbowmen. The crossbowmen are the ones supposed to do the killing. Crossbowmen is the primary unit of the Rhodoks, spearmen are a support unit. The unit that has the greatest potential to reach the crossbows is cavalry and the Rhodoks can make that much more difficult (note that I don't say impossible) by hindering the cavalry to reach the crossbowmen. The big mistake that I believe most players do is that they think of Rhodok spearmen as just another infantry line, ie equally good (or bad) at offense and defense, and send them in against other infantry. Unless they mainly consist of sergeants - they die. Against a pure infantry or infantry/archer enemy the spearmen serve little purpose other than to catch enemy missiles with their board shields, since the crossbowmen should kill most enemies before they reach Rhodok lines. Rhodoks get crossbows at their second tier and can put a tremendous amount of bolts in the air at little cost, plus even that lowly second tier has powerstrike. So your army composition should reflect what foe you're facing. Against Nords you can throw in a sprinkling of sergeants but having superior firepower is the only way you can win, so bring as many crossbows as you can. Against Khergits you need a mass of spearmen and forget about thinking 1:1 odds is good, they're not. Charge (everyone, including crossbowmen) the second their charge hits your tightly packed mob. You will take losses.

To sum up:
The spearmen are primarily an anti-cavalry unit and Rhodok tactics rely on large forces and superior firepower. They are not suited for assaults, unlike Nords.
 

waggywags

Recruit
Just started a new game playing my typical skirmisher(Cav robe, sar-war-helm, L-leather boots) plus some one handers(pick, shield, javelin). The Rhodoks decided to march on to Shariz instantly, too, though it was provoked; They took our castle.

By the way, as to how you use Rhodok troops, my philosophy is simple enough:
Why bother having to pay a HELLUVALOT in denars for a couple of spearmen or sergeants when an army made of crossbowmen costing 5 denars each was ten times as deadly?

But really. Rhodoks upgraded to crossbowman, just plain crossbowman, and I've yet to meet an army that withstood my 50 strong company. Might help I fight on plains intentionally, or in the desert. My only adversary is calvary, which is the time those spearmen are useful: Meattank there, get crossbowmen to follow somewhere away they still can shoot from, ???, PROFIT!

Also, TLDR: What Kettle said, and TLDR of that:
1) Get crossbowmen to kill
2) Get spearmen to meattank
3) ???
4) PROFIT

And I'd like to expand on Kettle's point. Against calvary, you should get yourself a war horse, and use it as a living shield against the charge. Once the charge stops, the crossbowmen have a good party; Did that and it was great to watch. Or you can always get the spearmen to charge, hold position when they're in a dense mass, and get the crossbowmen to fire at the horsemen... But TLDR of this: Why move  yourself when you can move the mountain?
 

Yoshi Murasaki

Knight at Arms
Kettle Black said:
Of course the Rhodok infantry line can be useful, you just haven't figured out how yet.

Don't be so mysterious, tell us, how are they useful :smile:

And the main reason Rhodoks sucked prior to the latest the patch was that The Creators had forgotten to give the returning Vet Spearmen proper armor

No, the main reason was that they do zero damage because AI can't use spears properly.

and forget about thinking 1:1 odds is good, they're not

Teeheehee :smile:

The Rhodok spearmen has one purpose - to keep the enemy from their crossbowmen.

Using more crossbowmen to keep enemy from other crossbowmen is better than using spearmen.

Ok, say, cavalry is charging. They are about to hit your ranks. Almost there. Your spearmen line prepares to thrust their pikes and ... here they go.. thrusting... no hold on! They are not thrusting anything. Cavalry clashes into your spearmen and now battle begins. Mamluke horse armor of 100 vs spearmen point blank spear damage of zero. A tough battle rages on, spearmen are getting slaughtered while few Mamlukes die of boredom and old age.

Meanwhile, if you have a lot of spearmen compared to crossbowmen, you're overall less effective, and if you have few spearmen compared to xbowmen you can't make a thick wall so Mamlukes penetrate further and xbowmen have to switch to melee weapons. You're about to be annihilated but lo and behold! Crossbowmen take out military hammers and kill the cavalry.

Unfortunately by that time enemy infantry and ranged units have already arrived and slash poor xbowmen who now have -10 body armor in newest patch.



Meanwhile, ingenious general Yoshi leads his all-sharpshooter army to Sarranid desert to fight the most challenging enemy - Mamlukes. To win without a fight is best, recalls he the wise worlds of his Asian fellow. When enemy lord scouts him, this tactical master, this Yoshi, feints retreat and heads for that mountain on the border of a desert, with enemy lord following him. Reaching the highest peak he turns around and attacks the infidels. The battle starts. Hill is his castle, steep cliff his cannon fodder. Sharpshooters rain bolts on Mamlukes and decimate the enemy without a single wounded or killed man.

waggywags said:
Or you can always get the spearmen to charge

Exactly, you can always keep daydreaming about charging spearmen teehee and how spearmen are good against cavalry teehee. I mean, why let harsh reality stop you? :smile: Onward my mental spearmen!
 

Old One-Eye

Sergeant at Arms
M&BWBWF&S
Yoshi Murasaki said:
Meanwhile, ingenious general Yoshi leads his all-sharpshooter army to Sarranid desert to fight the most challenging enemy - Mamlukes.
Oooh, I can't tell you how happy I am for you. Both using the terrain and winning with an all-top-tier army against the AI, well done! I'm sure we'll make a top Rhodok General out of you yet. Don't forget to write!
 

Yoshi Murasaki

Knight at Arms
Wait till you hear about my 10+4 Engineer skill and roaming around doing guerrilla attacks on enemy castles :smile:

Sadly, I realized that enemy doesn't lose anything.. since they come up with 500 troops and retake the castle and miraculously have new troops in it again :sad: sniff :sad:

Is there any way to actually reduce enemy lord / garrison troops without capturing lords? Killing just makes them respawn. I cry "foul" but they say "all's fair in love and war".
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
No, the main reason was that they do zero damage because AI can't use spears properly.
You probably newer tried to charge spear armed opponent yourself did you? I did and learned to stay well clear of them.

AI use spears properly, almost too properly. Unfortunately it can not fight in ranks and that is why spearmen are so ineffective.

AI do not need to be taught to use spears properly, it need to be taught to fight in ranks. Spearman fighting alone is no match to horseman. Spearman formed in formation with other spearmen is what historically was able to stop cavalry. AI in Warband fights individually and only individually. (Which it does quit well).

If you do not trust me, just mount heavy charger, find group of tundra bandits and charge one of them with light lance head on. You will find your horse with his forward legs up in the air and in the next moment sharpened end of lance in your face or over your head.

However the same spearman lined in ranks with his fellows in another situation will prepare to meet charge ...and will utterly fail. But why if he is so good when standing against me one on one? I do not know exactly but probably because all of them will target the same horse ...probably one at the head of charge or something like that. Or perhaps their reaction radius is too small against quick moving horse. When AI is told to hold position it will react only if enemy gets close. That might work well against footmen but might as well fail against fast moving horsemen. Especially since lance, spear or pike needs to be used at the distance to be really effective.
 

hruza

Knight at Arms
I did try to look at the problem by playing few custom battles. Some 20+- of them in total. Me with 51 Rhotok footsoldiers against 51 Saranid or Swadian or Vaegir horseman. Map was oasis and starting position was on slight slope so my infantry was at advantageous position. I ordered my men 3x close and hold ground. Once initial attack was over, I ordered charge. Result was always slaughter of my troops with 51/8-20 end score.

First thing that struck me was that my soldiers were NEWER EVER using spears. Not a single one of them. Second thing was that they did not hold ranks and chased after closest enemy, turning their backs to all those enemies who followed.

Still results were much worst than I was expecting. I observed that footman have problems to effectively use their weapons once mixed with lot of horses in tight quarters. And horses seems to absorb lot of damage which would otherwise be dealt to their riders so effectively rising their masters hitpoints.

So my observation is that once horsemen brake ranks of infantry, it is game over for footmen (which is what I would expect so this part is ok). And AI seems to do anything to keep those horsemen at the distance and it do not hold ranks.

As for spears themself, Rhodok AI is not using them at all so it is impossible to judge their effectiveness.

Please do try it as well, it does not take too much time to set up such custom battle.

B.t.w: I tried Nord infantry and they did not fare very good either.
 

Big_Mac

Grandmaster Knight
WBM&BNW
Yoshi Murasaki said:
Is there any way to actually reduce enemy lord / garrison troops without capturing lords? Killing just makes them respawn. I cry "foul" but they say "all's fair in love and war".
Constantly raid their villages, you'll notice the troops in their parties get effected. Doesn't work for garrisons though.
 

Yoshi Murasaki

Knight at Arms
Big_Mac said:
Constantly raid their villages, you'll notice the troops in their parties get effected. Doesn't work for garrisons though.

What, that would be like violation of Geneva Convention. No sir, can't do.

hruza said:
Unfortunately it can not fight in ranks and that is why spearmen are so ineffective.

So they are great except this slight failing of theirs.

Teeheehee :smile:


But what you said is strangely in accordance with my observation too. 5 scattered spearmen have some chance of taking horses down, but 20 spearmen in a line do nothing as I watch them face cavalry charge.

Please do try it as well, it does not take too much time to set up such custom battle.

Perhaps later, but I do confirm your findings although it's nice that you went to actually test it.

What I noticed myself while playing on foot is that a lot of your attacks will just bounce off heavily armored horse. By that I don't mean you will do zero damage, but that your attack won't even hit - the effect is same as if you try to hit the wall.
 

munchiepoo

Sergeant at Arms
In most of my games I play Rhodoks and hardly EVER go near Vaegir Land/Nord beucase...I never need to but Im playing nord atm...but anyway usualy as Rhodok we start with war against saranaids,no castles/towns are taken from either side UNLESS I get to be a vassal/merceneray fast or I start with noble start and then they make peace with them,and then make war with swadaians and NON of the Rhodok castles or towns are ever taken,attacked but not taken.
 

Yoshi Murasaki

Knight at Arms
munchiepoo said:
In most of my games I play Rhodoks and hardly EVER go near Vaegir Land/Nord beucase...I never need to but Im playing nord atm...but anyway usualy as Rhodok we start with war against saranaids,no castles/towns are taken from either side UNLESS I get to be a vassal/merceneray fast or I start with noble start and then they make peace with them,and then make war with swadaians and NON of the Rhodok castles or towns are ever taken,attacked but not taken.

That's a nice story. I'll compress it a bit:

"Rhodok AI vs Swadia AI > autocalculate > throw dice which has nothing to do with any actual stats and performance > random win/loss/draw"


If AI actually fought battles the way they fight when player is around, which usually means "Charge!" and troops actually fighting, Rhodoks would not exists after Month1 of anyones game, followed by Nords shortly after.
 
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