The disadvantages of limiting battle size

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Antaeus

Veteran
For the most part, I play on a laptop, so to prevent throttling I have to limit battle sizes. 600 is my sweet spot, but as it's summer where I am and it tops 100°F... the sweet spot drops as low as 400 if I really must play on a hot day. There is no aircon strong enough for an XPS in an Australian summer.

I have both questions and discussion points...

The archer dilemma
In a battle where each side has 1000+ units... if I get the upper hand and make slaughter of mine enemies, I will invariably run out of arrows long before my archers are killed (and replaced with fresh reinforcements) and long before the enemy army has been vanquished. So I often run into the situation where I kill so many enemies that I run out of arrows, and their reinforcements come fresh with new arrows for which I now have no answer for. What I end up doing in worst case scenarios is just waiting until I have no arrows left and retreating out of the battle to start fresh - sometimes 3 or 4 times with a large battle. What would solve this would be if we could rotate out our troops - Retreat our exhausted archers and have reinforcement archers spawn.

The drip feed of death
As a general I hand craft my personal party, and the parties in my faction with the finest quality recruits. I come to the field with Legionaries (metaphorically - I'll bring the best I can afford). But as I add other nobles to my army, they bring recruits, militia, peasants and looters. Naturally, if I was to make a battle line, it would be legionaries to the front, recruits in behind so they survive long enough to upgrade. But in a limited battle size, if I bring 100 legionaries to the battle, when the battle loads I'll end up with 98 recruits and 2 legionaries, and my legionary reinforcements will be fed in a small handful at a time - leading to an unacceptable attrition rate amongst both recruits and legionaries. What is the calculation that decides what forces initially spawn? and the order they spawn thereafter in a limited battle?

Where did I leave my horse?
Occasionally find when I bring an army that is 30% horse archers, it will initially spawn with 2 individual horse archers at the start of battle out of maybe 300 units on the field - in no way the right percentage, and my enemy might start with an army of 10% horse archers and start with all their 40 - in this example leading to an Asari death blob circling around my almost cavalry free Khuzait recruits in spite of the initial make up of the armies. So I'm unsure of this spawning ratio. What is the basis for initial armies at the start of a limited battle? Is it percentage of your forces, or percentage of all forces (including enemy)? or is it some other mechanic? Is there some reliable way of ensuring you arrive on the field with adequate variety of forces?

The chaos
I have no other way of describing it. If you gain the upper hand in the opening stages of a battle, enemy reinforcements come thick and fast. But if you're far from their spawn, they tend to all run towards you as individuals. If they're on the offensive, it leads to a scenario where you scan the map in front of you and see hundreds of soldiers scattered across the map with no cohesion. Their infantry all charge your line individually to their doom. On the other hand their archers end up scattered in front of you surprisingly effectively as they're so separated that there's no chance of area of effect catching them and you end up being shot at from all across the map. I'm not sure why this happens, as the enemy units should theoretically be joining existing formations, but when those formations are largely broken up, they just seem to stream across the map.

Defending wins every time.
Battles of limited size can sometimes end up like capture the flag fights. Where there is a distinct advantage to turtling or camping on your spawning point and letting/encouraging your enemy coming to you. Now if only your allied army would do the same thing. If only I could send a messenger to my allied general over there who is running off towards the full strength of the enemy with his 50 recruits. No, one does not communicate with allied armies. No. On the other hand, if an allied commander retreats back up a hill from their spawn, it either leaves you exposed if you don't retreat as well, or your reinforcements exposed in front of your line if you do. Wouldn't it be nice if we could set an initial posture with friendly armies who join the battle, or to know what their initial posture was so we can decline the fight if we think they're idiots. Allied armies should never reposition behind their spawn point. Better yet, respawn points should be at the back of the map.

This thread isn't about whether it is good or bad to have limited battles. It's a great way to allow people who either can't afford (or in my case are not justified in buying) a gaming rig to play the game. Rather, this thread is about how the mechanic works - how it chooses which soldiers to give you and when. And how it affects AI armies. And if possible, to discuss positive solutions to common issues that might be feasible to improve within the current development timeline.

That's about it for now. Feel free to be constructive... advice welcome.
 
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AnandaShanti

Sergeant Knight at Arms
MY number one gripe with over sized battles in my own reinforcement spawn location. We've discusses it a lot, but so often everything is going honky dory and then your guys spawn in the middle of enemies, or spawn and run through them, due to where you have repositioned your forces. Easy fix would be to select to NOT have them spawn. Better fixes would be a command to spawn them, when available, and a flag to position where they spawn.

The arrows running out force me to retreat, AI is just too stupid to attack without ranged cover. You miss out on looting the best units (usually) doing this though, plus troop exp and renown, so it's never a good time. Having a function to pull everyone back to you side of the map and re-supply would be great.

I will avoid fighting with AI allies as much as possible. Your character is the kiss of death to AI allies. They do much better in auto calc and of course cannot actually die without you.

I'm really not a fan of battles over 200 X 200 or so. If I can't really manage and supervise the whole thing it's not interesting to me at all. I personally dislike the prevalence on armies in bannerlord. I think they should much be rarer. I play on max size but I really think twice about anything bigger the about 700 on field. Not only is it not fun, but I've noticed more crashes during battles beyond a certain size, versus basically no battle crashes in 600 and under battles since very early versions.
 

Antaeus

Veteran
Don't get me wrong. I really enjoy the larger battles - and certainly much prefer having a character on the field to manage (as opposed to the Total War eye of god style approach where you command every battle irrespective of who is leading the army).

I love the way you have to manage a large force realistically, you have to see the landscape, see the enemy, ensure your own safety etc...

My laptop can technically handle larger battles and I'd love to have 1000 under command. But Dell will be Dell and my laptop will throttle hard. Most of my discussion points would be null for me if I could justify a new computer (read: could talk my partner into believing I need a new laptop for work), and I also understand we're past the point in EA of actually managing a lot of these discussion points.

You're right tho. I've cost myself a lot of good troops trying to make sure an ally doesn't die on the field, and making sure your combined strength can be used to defeat an enemy. Sometimes I turn sociopath and park just behind them - using them as a forlorn hope to blunt the enemy.
 

Hndzm

Recruit
I've tested a lot of different battle sizes, as far as choosing which troops enter combat when you have more troops available than battle size, troops are drawn in from the top of your party screen to the bottom. Put weak campaign map companions (surgeon, scout, engineer, trader, etc) at the bottom of the list (and I group them with archers), and your main troops at the top. This is tricky when you have a lot of one troop, for example, tier 2 archers. They often make up a third of my army, so I opt to put the higher tier of archers at the top of the list, and the tier 2 near the bottom, so they are drawn in as filler. This is another way to control your parties XP gain in larger battles. Put the low tier infantry troops up first so they can soften up enemies, and get more XP, preserving your higher tier troops.

With the looters/random bandits you'll have to manage in armies, I try to get one of them in my party at some point, and now that formation changes save permanently in game, put them in the 'Skirmisher' group. Use them to screen your archers from cavalry, or have them follow right behind you as you lead a cav charge, to tie up your enemies.

In massive battles, (talking ~1000v~1000, if I am in command I try to opt for a prodding strategy. Take a good place 1/3 or 1/2 way from your spawn to the enemy, use arrow fire, skirmishers, cav, or bring infantry close to bait them, horse archer skirmish and flank them, fight until they break, fall back to your original line, and wait for their push. They do get messy, since all of the infantry/archers are controlled as single blocks even in these massive battles, where they should really be split into multiple groups for the AI to command.
 

lukkyb

Sergeant
One of the devs said people didnt know how much it effcted perfomace when they maxed out the slider and they were fed up of people being like ("HUURRRR MY GAME IS RUNNING BADLY DEVS PLZ FIX") and the devs finding the person wacked the slider to max

like sure its not the best solution but it allows people to know how it will effect there game perfomace
 

Antaeus

Veteran
One of the devs said people didnt know how much it effcted perfomace when they maxed out the slider and they were fed up of people being like ("HUURRRR MY GAME IS RUNNING BADLY DEVS PLZ FIX") and the devs finding the person wacked the slider to max

like sure its not the best solution but it allows people to know how it will effect there game perfomace
Totally.

This thread isn't about whether it is good or bad to have limited battles. It's a great way to allow people who either can't afford (or in my case are not justified in buying) a gaming rig to play the game.

Rather, this thread is about how the mechanic works - how it chooses which soldiers to give you and when. And how it affects AI armies. And if possible, to discuss positive solutions to common issues that might be feasible to improve within the current development timeline.

@Hndzm, thanks for the advice re unit loading order. That does seem to marry up to my experience. I often keep my companions and a handful of rare to obtain mounted units in group VIII to act as a mobile reserve, on the party screen I keep them at the top thanks to my OCD hierarchy managing and the group always seems to have a higher % of units start a battle. I'll do some experimenting.

What I really want is a second archer party to provide enfilading fire - I keep them in the skirmisher group. Often when I do it I end up getting 3 out of 50 show up. As opposed to when I do this when my party is alone and I get a perfect archer split. But now that I think about it, I usually OCD my archers to the bottom of my party screen. So there's something else for me to consider.
 
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Gricken

Regular
I agree with this. If we are not given the option of deciding which units to bring into battle first, then a more balanced spread of units being given what whatever algorithm manages these things is a must.

I would like to hear from devs on the points brought up in this thread. Understanding why they have made the choices they have would help us provide better criticism and suggestions on something that is vital to making the battles engaging and exciting.
 
Replacing the slider with a dropdown to help their support problems, which prevents the player from fine-tuning the optimal battle size, is just plain wrong.
Who makes these calls and why isn't he stopped by the rest?
 
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