User:General Baker/Sandbox/Land warfare strategy & tactics

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  • Strategy
    • Planning / Estimates
    • Offensive war
    • Defensive war
  • Tactics
    • Guerrilla /
    • Besieging / Blanket sieging
    • Encirclement / eliminating armies / hunterkiller

(To Army#Composition)

Standing or Situational Army

  • A standing army contains a number of troops with this number only changing slightly, usually being near the force limit.
    • A standing army has the advantage of a military deterrence. Nations which can field fewer troops than this army will be much less likely to attack.
    • Even though the number of troops is not the only point of accessible reference for warfare capabilities, it's the most obvious.
    • Even when kept at low moral, with low land maintenance spending, a standing army will be battle ready much faster than troops which have to be recruited first.
    • If revolt risk is high and rebels are spawning continually, a standing army will most likely be cheaper than recruiting and disbanding troops repeatedly.
    • Recruiting regular troops costs manpower. After the standing army is created, the manpower reserve can refill.
  • A situational army contains only small numbers of troops, and will recruit additional regiments when needed.
    • Maintenance for nonexistent regiments is even lower, 0 each month, than for standing regiments with the minimum funding.
    • Hostile nations will possibly misjudge the military capabilities, thus could be baited into a war they can not win.
    • With Administrative ideas and Innovative ideas, cost of mercenaries are competitive to regular troops, with recruiting time extremely short and no consumption of manpower. This makes them ideal troops for this strategy.



Existing resources from land warfare

Strategies and tactics

Defensive wars

  • Defending territory is easier than conquering it, and the smaller the battlefield is the easier it is to hold.
  • Your enemies want to besiege and conquer your provinces.
  • The more the border is fortified, the better. Higher level forts means longer-lasting sieges, more men needed to assault/siege and more attrition.
  • If the border is narrow (1/2 provinces) a March might be worth building. March, Severe Winter and Scorched Earth can cause an outstanding attrition (see Attrition on land) that can easily burn the enemy manpower pool, especially if the province demands a long travel time to adjacent provinces, if the province has a low base tax (and corresponding low supply limit), and if the province has high defensiveness and a large fort.
  • Sometimes an enemy will also use hunter-killer armies to destroy your armies and protect its sieges.
  • Disturbing the enemy's siege will reset the siege timer. Even though damage dealt will still stay, the siege timer is the main factor in winning a siege.
  • If your main army is bigger than the enemy's hunter army, destroy that army and then hunt the siege armies. Most of them will flee, but you can often catch them.
  • If your forces are inferior to your enemy's hunter army, evade that army and focus on killing siege armies. This will force the enemy to split up its forces to replace the siege armies.
  • If the enemy is concentrating its forces in one province or in a few neighboring ones, attacking the massed force can be dangerous.
    • But for as long as the enemy ties its forces to specific provinces, those forces will not be able to respond to a mobile threat.
    • Besiege the enemy's land instead, while spreading out your forces. Starting with comparable forces, the side that more widely disperses its armies will be able to besiege and loot more provinces than the side that concentrates its forces.
    • If the enemy sends troops while continuing its siege, destroy this army rather than continuing your siege.
      • If the forces the enemy sends are too big to be destroyed, evade them and attack the siege armies instead.
  • Use Scorched Earth on your territories. This effect lasts for six months and increases attrition in a province at the cost of reducing tax income.
    • Scorched Earth reduces Tax efficiency in the province by -75%. The penalty is the equivalent of the province's being blockaded.
    • Scorched Earth reduces Production efficiency in the province by -33%.
    • Scorched Earth increases the supply weight of a besieging army by 5 and maximum attrition by 5%.
    • High attrition makes even standing in this province a deadly undertaking and will burn your enemy's manpower very fast.
    • Besieging such a province is practically impossible.
    • Try to control your enemy's movement and lure the enemy into these scorched provinces.

Standing or Situational Army

  • A standing army contains a number of troops with this number only changing slightly, usually being near the force limit.
    • A standing army has the advantage of a military deterrence. Nations which can field fewer troops than this army will be much less likely to attack.
    • Even though the number of troops is not the only point of accessible reference for warfare capabilities, it's the most obvious.
    • Even when kept at low moral, with low land maintenance spending, a standing army will be battle ready much faster than troops which have to be recruited first.
    • If revolt risk is high and rebels are spawning continually, a standing army will most likely be cheaper than recruiting and disbanding troops repeatedly.
    • Recruiting regular troops costs manpower. After the standing army is created, the manpower reserve can refill.
  • A situational army contains only small numbers of troops, and will recruit additional regiments when needed.
    • Maintenance for nonexistent regiments is even lower, 0 each month, than for standing regiments with the minimum funding.
    • Hostile nations will possibly misjudge the military capabilities, thus could be baited into a war they can not win.
    • With Administrative ideas and Innovative ideas, cost of mercenaries are competitive to regular troops, with recruiting time extremely short and no consumption of manpower. This makes them ideal troops for this strategy.

Assessing the Enemies Strength

Correctly assessing the enemies capability for warfare is essential for good preparation and thus decisions, and there are multiple indicators which allow deducing it:

  • Number of troops. This most direct indicator tells the minimum strength of a nation. Only very rarely will a nation use all available resources to conduct a total war, but the possibility still exists.
  • Military technology. More troops does not necessarily mean victory. How advanced are these troops matters too.
  • Tech group. Usually Western troops, especially late game, are always better than Eastern/Ottomans/Muslim group.
  • Idea groups. The opponent's ideas, if focused towards the Army and/or Navy, can be decisive. Also, many nations have ideas boosting their troops (France, Ottoman Empire and so on).

Sieging

For fastest sieging:

  • Bring lots of artillery if finances permit.
  • Siege as many provinces as is safe to do so ("carpet sieging").
  • Distribute one artillery to each province being sieged---one artillery will give a +1 bonus regardless of Fort Level.
  • If any artillery is left over, concentrate it with the best siege leader---in terms of successful sieges per length of time, each point of bonus is worth more than the last.

Others

  • Use a small portion of your army to lure the enemy into attacking it, then come in with your main army and crush the enemy.
  • Pay attention to the terrain. While river crossing are often only a minor inconvenience, a much lower combat width due to mountains or forests can hugely shift the outcome of a battle.
  • Use leaders. Even a bad one is worth using.
  • As long as you are in allied territory, you can instantaneously move your leader from army to army. This way you use one good leader to virtually fight all battles, saving you military monarch points.
  • Armies of relatively the same size will often retreat with no or very low morale. Often chasing them down and annihilating them is possible and should be done. Be careful however when chasing an retreating army too far - this can get you into an unfavourable strategic position.
  • Attrition is deadly - your manpower is your most limited resource. Avoid it as much as possible. A 10,000 men army with 5% attrition will burn 500 men each month from your manpower pool.