Field and Movement orders: How not to trip on your foot

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Field and Movement orders: How not to trip on your foot

Postby Woah » Sat Oct 31, 2009 4:42 pm

Moving/ordering armies around in Almansur is one of the most complex, but at the same time rewarding, aspects of the game. Depending on the territory you fight upon, your standing order and your movement order your armies will win/lose status, battle readiness and can win experience as well.

There are four field orders and four movement orders that you can give your army (it will automatically assume Panic speed when defeated in a battle and your capital’s fortress starts with an garrison order army inside that you can bolster or disband as the game goes on but never move or change field order). Quoting the Almansur wiki:

Field Orders:

Order......Exp...... Status......Battle_Readiness
Train.......+++..........0..................--
Rest.........0..........+++................---
Battle........0...........+.................+++
Conquer....+...........--..................--
Garrison....+...........+................+++++ (as in, fortress bonus to defenders plus race home turf advantage)


Movement Orders:

Speed........Movement.......Battle_Readiness
Slow...............50%.................+
Cautious.........75%..................0
Normal...........100%.................-
Forced...........150%...............---
Panic.............200%...............---

It is very important to note that the field orders only apply after your army arrived in the territory it was moving to and only the field order it was moving with applies for that turn. That essentially means that moving an army around in forced speed with rest orders will only make it more tired, until it reaches its destination territory and stops to rest. It also means that if you give an army a forced speed + rest field order followed by a battle order in preparation for an incoming invasion your army will be in rest mode for the remainder of the turn which might have disastrous battle results!

Also, the only army that you will ever have on garrison order is the one you start with on your capital’s fortress and which you cannot move or change order. This garrison army gets insane bonuses when fighting off armies who are trying to conquer your territory so usually you want to keep it (and NOT disband it or cancel its garrison order) and recruit more men into it when an attack into your capital is incoming (you should recruit those men directly into this army and NOT into the territory if you want them to defend at the fortress/garrison bonus, however).

As the table shows, the slower your army moves the more prepared it is to face enemy armies standing in the territory it is moving to, although even if you move it on the slowest possible speed, it will never be as close as prepared as the battle field order waiting army would be (+++ VS + is a huge difference in Almansur!).

This essentially means that you need to predict your opponent’s moves in order to counter them. Let’s say one enemy army is advancing through your territory, and you want to stop him at territory XY12. That leaves you two options, either advance slowly on the territory which will make you arrive there late but well prepared for countering him if he is conquering the territory and thus standing with a conquer field order (at a – battle disadvantage) or advance as fast as possible in order to have your army in XY12 with a battle field order by the time the enemy arrives there (which ensures you always have at least ++ over your opponent, assuming he was moving at the slowest speed).

The outcome of these options depends on what your opponent does and the composition of your armies, there being four possibilities:

1) If both defending and attacking armies move fast (as in, not slow or cautious) to the territory, the faster moving army will have a big advantage, as it will arrive slightly before the other, assume a field order (usually battle for the defender, conquer for the attacker) and fight off the other army battle/conquer field order VS forced move order, which is terrible for the slowest army, especially if it is the attacker’s one against defender’s battle order army.
2) If the attacking army moves in slow mode, the battle will be decided by whoever has the best army on the territory as the battle readiness difference between battle and slow speed modes are small (but still significant so the defending army is at an advantage), but even if the conquering army wins it will probably not have enough time left in the turn to conquer many more territories.
3) If the defending army moves in slow mode and catches the enemy army under conquer order (this usually happens when the attacking army is conquering a large territory or is a small army and thus takes a significant amount of days to conquer the territory), the defending army will have a large advantage as well, as slow movement is a much better battle order than conquer. There is the danger of losing the territory by the time the defender arrives, though, even if the enemy army is defeated in quick succession.
4) If the defending army moves in slow mode and the enemy was a large army moving fast to conquer, most likely the territory will be conquered by the enemy by the time the defenders arrive, and so will be further territories in the back of XY12 that the attacker had queued up for conquest during his turn.

Therefore it is very important to predict how the opponent will be moving his armies around and react accordingly. Usually as a defender it is a good idea to try and rush the territory you want to defend with your defending army.

You should only consider defending territories your army has an advantage on (which means no cavalry on mountains for example or infantry in plains when the enemy has a lot of cavalry on his army) and as such in general your army will be the best prepared to defend the given territory and arrive there first, for the same movement order as the opponent’s.

Even if the attacker arrives first, he will usually be in conquest order and as such you can still get a decently fair fight even at somewhat of a disadvantage from if you had arrived first.

On the other hand, an attacker has a lot to win (can conquer several territories in one turn) if he sends his attacking army in forced speed, but also a lot to lose if he is caught during movement, and he will be losing a lot of status, which will lead to him having a lot of very low status contingents who are easy pray for the defending player’s counterattack.

It is therefore usually in his best interest to try and conquer potentially defended/”deep into the enemy lines” territories in a steady and slow fashion, unless he already knows they are poorly / not defended at all (which is often the case when the defending player is fighting multiple players at the same time).

A useful thing to know when moving armies deep inside enemy territory while having enemy armies on your back is to always leave a small separate contingent of at least three men in that territory in battle order, as that will force a marauding enemy army to engage in a battle with your own army using its movement order.

Movement orders don’t force battles between armies (only battle and conquer orders do when activated), which means that if the enemy came in a faster speed than your army could leave the territory and issues an battle order you will be forced to fight his army with your movement speed against his battle order, which usually means a big disadvantage!

Also, in the situation of “surprise” attacks (as in, war declarations made slightly before a turn ends) the attacking player should strive to conquer an important enemy territory where the attacker’s army has an field advantage and hold it in battle mode in preparation for deflecting the incoming counter-attack.

A special case of this strategy is the case of an enemy who left his capital wide open (as in, the only significant armies there are armies in training and/or the garrison).

An winning, and quite nasty strategy you can employ then is to simply move your large attacking army into it in battle mode and simply camp it until you conquer the remaining territories with your remaining army, as your enemy will be unable to recruit any reinforcements from his capital (which is 99,9% of the cases the place where there are high level ironworks and recruitment centres) and thus be completely at your mercy while your army outside his capital grows every turn.

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