Battle tactics

Discussion in 'The Acropolis' started by Asjo, Jul 18, 2011.

Share This Page

  1. Asjo

    Asjo New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    75
    I thought it would be interesting to reminisce a bit about the different battle tactics and their use in the game. Or maybe "battle tricks" would be a better wording.

    Below are the few that I can think of, but I'm very new to the game, so there are probably some I overlooked (since I haven't been fighting much).

    Return attack [Less viable due to anti-timing - read comments in thread]: When someone attacks you, you will know exactly how long it takes to get from their city to yours if you have the same ship speed (meaning you are similar in terms of Lighthouse and Cartography). Thus, you will also know how long it takes for them to get back. The game will show you exactly when the attack arrives (in 2.0, that is, in 1.26 worlds you can use my incoming attack tool to aid your calculations), so all you have to do is to add the time it takes to travel between you city and the attacker's. For ease of calculation, you can use my incoming attack tool (which was made for another game, but works just as well. Once you have the specific time, you can launch an attack from another city to hit just a few seconds after the attacker's fleet gets back (once again, you can use the incoming attack tool to more easily calculate exactly when you should launch your attack to arrive at the right time). You can send the attack from your defending city as well, this just requires you to time the return of your offensive units to your city just after the attack arrives so that you can send them right away to catch the attacker.

    Catching light ships in defense is some of the easier and cheapest battle points you will earn in this game since there are hardly any modifiers to help the light ships defend properly. Catching offensive land units can be really good as well, if they are not behind a big city wall and supported by a big defense.

    Timing snipe: Not really much of a trick about this. You make sure to time the return of your defensive units to snipe the conquering attack containing the colony ship (you can send out your units and calculate at what time to withdraw using my recall tool), avoid all the others. If you spot it in time, it should be easy to recognize which one is the attack with the colony ship as it will be five times slower than a normal attack with fast transport ships coming from that location (2,5 times slower than normal transports, if the attacker normally uses those).

    Offensive snipe [Conquest only]: If you are outgunned and have to use your offensive units to break a conquest attempt, you leave your defensive units to defend while you send your offensive units out. You make sure to time the return of your offensive units to arrive back at your city before any support of the attacker gets there. So, if the support for the conquest arrives five seconds after the attack, you should time the return to around three seconds after the attack (accounting for possible server lag).

    Colonize defend [Morale only]: Whenever you notice that a player is attacking a much smaller inactive player regularly, you can make use of this to gain some cheap battle points by colonizing that city, supporting it, and then breaking the siege (since you don't want the city). The colony ship gives you vision of incoming attacks besieging the city allows you to gain defensive battle points.

    If it's a juicy inactive farm, the player might be sending 250 horsemen every time he attacks. Meanwhile, he might be attacking at 40% morale. So, if you send 600 hoplites to defend, you can kill 250 horsemen (180.000 resources) for the cost of 267 hoplites (60.075). If you send 200 chariots, it's even cheaper, only losing you 59 chariots (56.640 resources). You can minimize risk of bad composition by sending a mixed group of defenders (or Athena's Wisdom, if you prefer), depending on your experiences with the player. It's a great way to set up a rival.

    Spell protection: I might be mistaken about this one (maybe I misread in-game message), but from what I have noticed only one divine power can be enacted on any moving troop. So, if you are sending an attack and fear that the defender might cast Sea Storm og Zeus' Rage on it, make sure to cast a spell on it right away, before the defender has a chance. This also makes sure that the defender cannot cast Wisdom on your attack and see what you're attacking with, allowing you to make diversion attacks (where you attack several targets with a minimum of units) before attacking a big target.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  2. sploggo

    sploggo New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    654
    Likes Received:
    88
    your return attack idea won't work due to the fact that the antitiming would be in effect on both attacks, yours when it left and theirs when it started to return. much better to send it a few minutes before it hits and then you know you will dodge it.
     
  3. Asjo

    Asjo New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    75
    Ah, I see. Something new I hadn't encountered as of yet. So, with every attack sent a certain amount of seconds (or is it percentage? I read up to 30 seconds) will be randomly added or subtracted from the attack time.

    I had no idea. That sure ruins the only element of "skill" available in this game (good timing sense/quick fingers). Even if you resend a few time to get lucky and get a better time, you will have no idea when the attacker gets back. That's sad :(
     
  4. Thomas The Magnificent

    Thomas The Magnificent New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    2,600
    Likes Received:
    256
    My personal battle tactic; kill.
     
  5. berserxes

    berserxes New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    31
    i like the luck element and the return attack can and does "sometimes" work, you just need to be good and lucky :)
     
  6. Asjo

    Asjo New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    75
    I think you understate the luck element. Anything more than a five second windows for someone to dodge your attack will likely mean you have failed (ie. your opponent will react in time and send his ships away). And we are operating with a discrepancy of 0-120 seconds (accounting for addition and subtraction for both attacks), meaning that there is only 4,1% chance a return attack will succeed. Quite disheartening, and would make it much less likely that people will try it since there are also other risk elements to consider (spells getting cast at you, losing too many ships that you need for later, provoking hostilities). So, while you are saying that it simply introduces the luck element it very much limits the "skill" element.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  7. Asjo

    Asjo New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    75
    Or wait a minute ... have we overlooked something here? Just because an attack has been affected by the anti-timer doesn't mean that this affects the time it takes to return to the city, does it? I mean, it affects the time it takes to get there, but isn't the return speed the same?

    So, if someone attacks, the process should still be the following:

    1. Take screenshot that has both server time and time for incoming attack. Input this data into the Ninjatool incoming attack timer. Now you have the time where the attack arrives. If you play in 2.0, you already have the specific arrival time.

    2. Using the arrival time, calculate the return time using the Ninjatool incoming attack timer, plot in the arrival as "current time" and the time it takes to return as the "time until fleet arrives". This should calculate the time when the attacking fleet returns to its city.

    3. Using the time for the return of the attacking fleet, now time your own attack. Say that you have calculated that the attacking fleet will return at 13:45:22 (1:45:22 PM), you send an attack a few seconds before you would hit this timing. If it is delayed by anything between 3-8 seconds, you are in the clear and the attack is good. If it's not, you withdraw instantly and try to hit the timing again, keeping in mind that you should now mentally subtract a few seconds to the desired time of your attack to still hit the same timing. This is still quite random, but should give you 4-5 decent attempts where you can get lucky. You know the exact time where your opponent gets back, but you just have to get lucky and hit that time (with 4-5 attempts the luck factor at least becomes diminished a bit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  8. sploggo

    sploggo New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    654
    Likes Received:
    88
    the return time is affected by the antitimer as well.
     
  9. Pythagorus

    Pythagorus New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,434
    Likes Received:
    412
    the return journey is counted as a new trip and will thus get an anti-timing adjustment of its own. the only return journeys that get no anti-timing are cancelled attacks/support since those do not count as a new trip.
     
  10. berserxes

    berserxes New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    31
    the anti timer isnt that bad, im pretty sure ive never seen it go more than 15 seconds either way and even then the chances are slim of it being that far

    and ive seen return attack executed, though it is hard enough to brag about it when it works out :)

    and consequences? (spells getting cast at you, losing too many ships that you need for later, provoking hostilities). ....realy?? the guys attacking you otherwise you catnt counter i think its a bit late to worry :)
     
  11. Asjo

    Asjo New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    75
    Well, the way I understand it, the chance of a 30 second delay should be as big as the chance for a 15 second delay, so I'm not sure I buy into your anecdotal evidence. Others might have experience to support you in claiming that the anti-timer formula has a bias towards small changes in attack time, though.

    When I talk about consequences (risk factors):

    1) If you attack someone, you take the chance that he will cast Zeus' Rage on your ships and destroy up to a third of them (and if you cast spells on your own ships to prevent this, you run the risk of wasting your favor points). This is not a chance that you want to take too often, so if a return attack only has around 4% of succeeding, you will most likely not want to risk getting your ships killed without any likelihood of a potential benefit.

    2) While you still get decent battle points if your light ships end up fighting biremes and dying, you might need the light ships for other attacks, which means that the chance of being intercepted by biremes can act as an opportunity cost, making you less likely to want to do the attack.

    3) People who attack you might just be opportunists looking for some easy battle points. They might never escalate, but might be provoked by a return attack and step up hostile activities, causing you to lose many more resources worth than you would have otherwise. Therefore, that is another risk fact.
     
  12. berserxes

    berserxes New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    31
    he who dares wins....theres no time to worry about what ifs, otherwise your neighbors will gain mass bp while your thinking "should i attack" and when they convert it into more ports theyre gonna come for you. :D
     
  13. Asjo

    Asjo New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    75
    No, statistically, with these odds, who dares certainly loses. No doubt about that.
     
  14. Pythagorus

    Pythagorus New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,434
    Likes Received:
    412
    i'm not sure where you get the 4% success statistic from, if the attack is a short distance one then i'd say they are probably a 50/50 bet for success.

    to add to what berserxes said, although i don't know the formula the anti-timer does work on +- up to 30s and in my experience it does tend to be in the -15<->+15 range far more often than in the compliment. whether that's extreme coincidence or a non-uniform distribution over the possible deviations is anybody's guess really, but i know where i'd put my money!
     
  15. Asjo

    Asjo New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    75
    Could you explain the reasoning behind this? Should the anti-timer somehow be affected that it's a "short" attack? How would you calculate it as a 50% chance? I don't get it. Do you mean based on your practical experience with how the anti-timer actually works and not how it has been established to work in theory on these forums?

    I get my four percent looking at the fact that +/- 30 seconds for each player is 60 seconds of deviation, adding up to a total deviation range of 0-120. As far as I can see, there is specific deviation in terms of seconds that is more likely to be the result than any other. Since we can only tolerate a maximum of five seconds delay (ie. 0-5 in the 0-60 spectrum of possible delay) with how we're attacking (we're attacking with the correct timing, hoping for, at most, as small delay), that means that only five of the possible 120 deviations would end up in result. Thus the math:

    (5/120)*100 = 4,16%

    I'm not great a probability math, but at least this makes some sense to me :)
     
  16. Pythagorus

    Pythagorus New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,434
    Likes Received:
    412
    of course! in short attacks there is a higher chance of your opponent being offline for the duration of your attack and therefore not dodging. the 50/50 that a pulled out is just an estimate of my past success on short-range follow-back attacks.

    your probability is fine assuming that your assumption are correct, which is where i would digress since there are a lot of factors involved. firstly, there is no evidence to suggest that anti-timing follows a uniform distribution from -30s to +30s, in fact just going on experience i would say that the chances are pretty good that it is geared to smaller deviations. also, a 5s window may not be necessary depending on the opponent, the travel time, and probably quite a few other factors. quite often even a 1m gap will be fine (e.g. when a player sends overnight attack at you and is not awake to see them return to his harbour), which would raise that probability of success by quite a lot.

    i don't think anybody can put a number on it tbh, but if you know you enemy and you know the game then you can maximise your chances of getting it to work for you :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  17. Asjo

    Asjo New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    75
    Well, you hardly need to do any timing attack against someone who isn't even online when their attack hits you or their troops return. I'm talking about this as a tactic to be able to hit active players in spite of themselves. Yes, I'm certain that any hit against a not very active player has a good chance of success. Couldn't really be said to require much skill.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  18. Pythagorus

    Pythagorus New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,434
    Likes Received:
    412
    well against an online player with a 4hr+ journey i would say there is basically no point in doing this since even if you do manage to get your LS hitting 1s after their return (which i would say is far more luck than skill since you don't actually know exactly when theirs return) they still have time to move in a few hundred biremes to thwart your plans.

    if that is the skill you are talking about then it's prob not really worth having on a list of cool battle tactics since it's more often a bad move than a good one.
     
  19. Asjo

    Asjo New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    75
    Which was my point exactly when describing the risks to berserxes to explain why the anti-timer ruins return attacks. It's really not very viable when the luck factor is so dominant. Of course, it need not be four hours away, it could easily be just an hour away, but as I listed, losing your ships to defensive birimes is just another risk factor to consider.

    Of course, you never know whether your opponent will be online when his attack hits, although this is quite likely. I have edited my original post to make it clear that this is often not really an attractive option most of the time (even though in very specific situations, it might make sense).
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  20. Pythagorus

    Pythagorus New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    3,434
    Likes Received:
    412
    fair enough, although i'd say it's not the anti-timer that ruins this tactic, it's more an online enemy that ruins this tactic. where it is successful if when you know that there will be 250LS (as an eg) rerning to city xyz between 14:00:00 and 14:01:00 so you send an attack to land shorty after in the hope that the opponent is either offline or not very smart at all :p
     
    KingAragon likes this.