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Forum » American Conquest » Sword & Arrow: European Wars mod » Understanding the battlefield/combat features of the mod
Understanding the battlefield/combat features of the mod
Fallen_KNiGHT_ACDate: Monday, 2011-07-18, 2:38 PM | Message # 1
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The Sword & Arrow mod will be taking full advantage of the American Conquest battlefield/combat system such as morale, formations, battlefield structures etc. For those who are not familar with the game below is a recap from the manual on what is available in American Conquest:

7.3.3 Formation Advantages
Besides providing greatly increased close-combat abilities and much stronger defensive properties, creating formations makes it simpler for you as a commander to control the masses of troops at your disposal. Further, aligning them in the correct-or incorrect-formation for a specific task can prove critical in your ultimate success. Ordering soldiers into a Rank formation when you are moving them down a road, for instance, can unnecessarily slow down movement and spread out your ranks, leading to greater possibilities of detection by the enemy and unwanted skirmishes.

7.4 Specific Combat Considerations and Special Conditions
Combat in American Conquest: Divided Nation is breathtaking: soldiers fire their rifles and frantically reload their weapons, cavalry officers brandish pistols and wave sabers, artillery crews prime guns and stand back as the muzzle spews out its deadly contents. But amidst all this hubbub you must keep a cool head and remember all the particular abilities of your units. By maximizing their firepower and defensive strengths, you will be able to execute your tactical plans with the greatest chance of success.

7.4.1 Engagement Distance
The Artificial Intelligence (AI) in American Conquest: Divided Nation recreates the tendencies of the individual foot soldier: shoot at the enemy as soon as he is in sight. Because of the inaccuracy of the guns at that time and the time needed to reload, however, it is always a good practice to wait until the enemy is quite close before opening fire. In fact, a successful attack or defense can depend on how well you time your troops' fire and when your order them to forego gunplay and use cold steel to subdue the enemy. Long-range fire is generally ineffective, even with the rifled arms used by the combatants in both the Texas Revolution and Civil War. When facing a large group of enemies, the best tactic is to wait until they close within effective killing range you can see both your troops and the foe onscreen at the same time. Order your men to fire, then click the Action Icon display "Melee Attack Only." When the enemy returns a volley, order your troops to attack-which means they will rush the enemy with bayonets as the enemy forces reload.

7.4.2 Artillery
Artillery can be decisive in battles. The AI in American Conquest: Divided Nation determines what type of ammunition artillery will fire, depending on the range of the target. At long distance an explosive shell is loaded; at close range solid shot is used, and at very close range canister ("grapeshot") is loaded. You can override the AI's decision and fire grapeshot at any time by selecting the artillery piece and then clicking on the "Fire Grapeshot" icon. You may also order artillery to fire at a specific location, even though it is not designated a target. This is highly useful for reducing fortifications. Be aware that artillery typically does not fire without orders unless it is under direct attack. Keep a constant eye on these very valuable units!

7.4.3 The Role of Buildings and Cover
Units in buildings enjoy a large defensive bonus, and can rain fire on attackers with relative impunity. Use this to your advantage by inserting infantry and sharpshooters in houses, farms, storehouses and other structures. To eliminate enemies from buildings, you have three options: You can destroy it with artillery fire, kill all of the defenders with gunfire, or rush the building and engage in hand-to-hand combat. To rush a building, press the CTRL key as you hold the cursor over the building and right-click. Note: If an enemy building is empty, the "sword" icon indicating attack will not appear when you hold the cursor over it. Trees and stonewalls can provide you and the enemy-with fire cover. Keep this in mind as you maneuver your troops, especially if you are planning a defensive battle.

7.4.4 Special Situations, Units and Structures
The breadth of American Conquest: Divided Nation means it is not possible to discuss every single combat possibility in depth. The situations/structures described below, however, could be frequently encountered and deserve special attention. Passing Broken Fences
In many battles you will need to guide formations through gaps in fences. If a unit's movement takes them though a broken fence, do not click on the final movement point and assume they will all file through the gap in the fence. Instead, order the formation to gather on one side of the gap in the fence, use the "Assume Formation" command (see above) to gather them into a single unit, and then resume the march toward the objective. Grenadiers
In some battles you will be commanding grenadiers. They are able to toss grenades as well as fire their rifles and engage in melee combat. Small Arms with Magazines
Some missions will give you control over units with Gatling guns or officers with pistols (both can be developed in some Random Map and DeathMatch games). Such units will have special advantages in close-quarters battle. Demolition Charges
Pioneer (sapper) units are able to set demolition charges. These can be used destroy entrenched positions, fortifications, or even ambush enemy movements. To set a demolition charge, choose the appropriate icon from the Action Icon display for sappers and click on the spot on the main map display where you want to place it. To detonate the charge, press the "Delete" key on your keyboard to start a timer. Note: Demolition charges can be captured by enemy troops before they are detonated. Munitions Depots
Depots built by sappers require no occupants to produce ammunition, but in some missions you will be given Level 2 Munitions Depots that require occupants. Be aware of the difference and be sure to send troops into the higher-level depots to manufacture much-needed gunpowder and ordnance. Field Kitchens
Constructed by pioneers. Field kitchens produce food automatically for your troops. Be sure to build enough to sustain your fighting force! Field Hospitals
Field Hospitals, built by sappers, create medics that can treat soldiers in the field, enabling them to continue the fight. You can determine where they will go in the field by using the Rally Point icon or by clicking on the Field Hospital, pressing the CTRL key and clicking the right-mouse button on the place you want them to assemble. Headquarters
Headquarters buildings, constructed by sappers, enable you to produce higher ranking officers as well as rally routed troops that would otherwise leave the field of battle. Capturing Guns and Wagons
If you fail to protect you guns or wagons, they can be captured and used-rather than simply being destroyed-by the opposing force. To capture an enemy gun or wagon that is not protected by troops, just move your troops beside it: they will automatically claim it as their own.

7.5 Line of Sight
Troops in American Conquest: Divided Nation do no have omnipresence: they can only attack and respond to units they see. Their field of vision is determined by the landscape and the direction in which they are facing. Although they can sometime see enemies at a great distance, you should monitor their reactions to ensure they do not waste resources by firing at a range that makes their efforts essentially useless.

7.6 Morale and Its Effects
Every single unit in American Conquest: Divided Nation has a rating for how it individually responds to certain combat stressors, but other factors will affect its performance. These include:
o Fatigue
o Loss of subdivision command
o Encirclement
o Attack from the rear
o Flank attacks
o Loss of subdivision banner
o Loss of over 30% of subdivision soldiers
o Low combat experience
o Retreat or loss of command headquarters
o Simultaneous death of a large number of fellow soldiers
o Proximity to encampment (the closer troops are to their own camp, the higher their morale).
o Fire in response (a squad that assaults the enemy and does not receive fire in response has a higher morale than that of a squad engaging in a fire duel. Such a situation is possible when the enemy does not have a ranged attacker, or the range of the shooters' fire is not sufficient, or when the enemy fires at another object).
o Commander's authority (soldiers under a commander who has gained numerous victories, have higher morale, attack, and defense than those led by a less successful commander).
o Retreat or defeat of one of the friendly squads within the field of vision (retreat or defeat of an enemy squad within the field of vision increases morale).
o Bad location of your troops (for example, artillery not covered by infantry comes under cavalry attack: here artillerists can start fleeing the battlefield and will not shoot pointblank at the enemy. In case the artillery is covered by infantry from behind, gunmen will fire a barrage at the enemy and will retreat behind the cover of infantry).
o Insufficient stock of provisions, equipment, and low payment to soldiers (the higher the soldiers' wages, the higher their morale and perseverance).
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