The "circle around archers" formation is utterly suicidal (and infuriating)

Currently viewing this thread:

Yertyl

Veteran
I have witnessed this in two huge Vlandian battles now, with absolutely devastating effect each time:
Theory (I assume): Archers can shoot while protected by a shield wall
Practice: Archers do not shoot at all while infantry, often recruits, just stand there being melted by enemy archers.

This formation manages to effectively incapacitate both infantry (who do not move) and archers (who do not attack). Both types of units just sit there waiting to be slaughtered. Even riders that crush directly into the middle of the formation are often barely attacked. I have a really hard time thinking of any worse way to utilize troops.

Since I do not see an easy fix for this -- I assume this would require changing the way archer shots are blocked -- could Taleworlds please just remove this AI routine? As it is, it is extremely frustrating to see hundreds of troops die because they refuse to do anything but stand perfectly still for ten minutes.
 

Ling*

Knight at Arms
You should provide a video clip of this happening so you can give the devs a nice visual for this particular problematic ai behavior, im sure it would be extremely helpful and they might be able to more easily identify the problem.
 
It’s interesting that the circle formation is a higher tier of unlockable tactics for AI lords. It feels like the circle formation should be a basic one that inexperienced tacticians should employ (simulating panic) and unlock something else higher up. Like shieldwall or another thing.

Just seems backwards at present.
 

Yertyl

Veteran
It’s interesting that the circle formation is a higher tier of unlockable tactics for AI lords. It feels like the circle formation should be a basic one that inexperienced tacticians should employ (simulating panic) and unlock something else higher up. Like shieldwall or another thing.

Just seems backwards at present.
I am pretty sure the idea was that archers would be able to shoot from within the circle, which would make this a pretty good formation, in particular against riders. This just does not happen in practice, which results in this "tactic" being utterly horrible.
 

flarebright

Recruit
In theory I can see that formation being good if you are parked with the center of your infantry being on top of the hill. Then there would be elevation difference between archers and surrounding shield wall. In practice this formation is almost never used on top of hill by AI and sometimes I noticed weird things like AI walking into the middle of river and circle formation there.... This maybe more of an issue of AI not utilising terrain in the best way than formation itself.

That said this formation looks to be a little too tight. The archers in center stacked up like sardines in the can and they block each other's line of fire even if you take away infantry around them. Maybe devs could experiment with making infantry circle around archers wider so it's a bit more like donut then entirely filled in. Maybe the mental image of tasty tasty donuts with sprinkles on top would be memorable to developers reading this post.
 
The circle formation with archers in the middle doesn't work beneficial. A bit counter intuitive, but I had succes with the archers on the outside and infantry in the middle. The archers could 360 shoot at the Horse Archers and whenever cavalry charged, the would get stuck on the infantry and get killed.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
I think the logic of the formation is they are supposed to post up on high ground and ride out the arrow storm, then go in as usual once most of the archers are out of shafts. It only triggers in case of anwide disparity in ranged power and it seems to work to limit my archers' kills in comparison to other formations, at least when they don't place themselves somewhere dumb, like in a stream.
 

Pentagathoos

Regular
I think the logic of the formation is they are supposed to post up on high ground and ride out the arrow storm, then go in as usual once most of the archers are out of shafts. It only triggers in case of anwide disparity in ranged power and it seems to work to limit my archers' kills in comparison to other formations, at least when they don't place themselves somewhere dumb, like in a stream.
Then why not just have a shield wall with archers behind the wall? The infantry with shields get hit in their backs when in a circle formation, it make no sense at all. I suppose the AI using shieldwall would still screw it up if their enemy had horse archers though since the formations seem to turn their facing towards the closest enemy division regardless of how many troops are actually in said division.
 

Apocal

Grandmaster Knight
Then why not just have a shield wall with archers behind the wall? The infantry with shields get hit in their backs when in a circle formation, it make no sense at all. I suppose the AI using shieldwall would still screw it up if their enemy had horse archers though since the formations seem to turn their facing towards the closest enemy division regardless of how many troops are actually in said division.
Because the shieldwall only protects one side, maybe two if you're lucky. So it is really easy to just get on one flank and rain hurt on them.

You can't do that against circle formation on a hilltop. Anything you can see is a shielded.
 

Pentagathoos

Regular
Ah I see, you mean when the formation is on a flat hilltop , I thought you meant on a slope. Unfortunately I'm pretty sure there are no maps in the game right now where you actually have a plateau that isn't overlooked by higher ground elsewhere on the map.
 

caledoni

Sergeant
I notice the Ai doing this when they 'think' they are outnumbered.

I will join a battle between a smaller friendly army and a larger enemy army. Combined our armies will far outnumber the enemy but my ally seems to ignore this and sets up in the circle formation.

The formation only makes sense to small parties (<50) that are overwhelmingly outnumbered and want to make some sort or heroic last stand. Armies of hundreds doing this is basically suicidal. They would fare much better by lining up conventionally.
 

flarebright

Recruit
I notice the Ai doing this when they 'think' they are outnumbered.

I will join a battle between a smaller friendly army and a larger enemy army. Combined our armies will far outnumber the enemy but my ally seems to ignore this and sets up in the circle formation.

The formation only makes sense to small parties (<50) that are overwhelmingly outnumbered and want to make some sort or heroic last stand. Armies of hundreds doing this is basically suicidal. They would fare much better by lining up conventionally.
I love it when my AI ally circles up in situations like that. I park my archers/horse archers in loose line right behind the circle. My Archers do DPS while AI soaks up the casualties. Works out great for me (less great for the allied AI thought)

Works much better then when AI mindlessly charges into opponent army and over extends. Because then I have a hard choice between allowing allied troops to die off or following them and fighting in not optimal terrain/over extended from reinforcement line.
 
The formation only makes sense to small parties (<50) that are overwhelmingly outnumbered and want to make some sort or heroic last stand. Armies of hundreds doing this is basically suicidal. They would fare much better by lining up conventionally.
A circle formation rarely makes sense. You put troops where the threats are coming from, not everywhere.
Typically a line with both refused flanks would be more appropriate against flank attacks when outnumbered.
WWNnWYx.png
 
Top Bottom