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Old 07-09-2012, 09:05 PM   #71
Wicky
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I'm not sure whether expert or difficult is harder to beat. Granted, the AI gets the same amount of realism as you do, but as human player you can adapt better.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:17 AM   #72
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I'm not sure whether expert or difficult is harder to beat. Granted, the AI gets the same amount of realism as you do, but as human player you can adapt better.
Any stages when you play defense is generally easier on Expert than in Difficult, because the enemy has fewer chances to level up their heavy artillery to the point where the geometric growth starts to have an effect. The best example is Anturox ("The Attack"). On Expert, concealment and ballistic rules are so realistic and powerful that despite having 1 artillery for every 5 the enemy has, you have nearly no risk of losing if you set up a tight defense with adequate radar cover and do not be tempted to leeroy into the enemy's territory. Once you have the UX-2 missiles, it becomes a slaughter. I managed to win that stage despite actually leeroyed into the enemy on turn 18 and nearly got all of my tanks killed...

The only obvious rule that I have deduced is that the faction that is defending, but has terrain advantage (difficult terrain between him and the attackers) is the most powerful in Expert.

That's why to me the most difficult stage by far on Expert is Woringa, which I won by a combination of luck and unorthodox strategy. Second most difficult was Britigi. And third was Hasenol.

The easiest two are Anturox (you are the defender, and you have terrain on your side! The enemy stood no chance.) and Dronnox (attack across flat ground, and you have the capability to make jammer tanks!)
                       
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:41 AM   #73
citizen_lion
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Default Bronnox

Playing Bronnox (the "Brit is suicidal" mission) now. I confirmed that the terrain concealment on Expert applies not only for mountains and hills, but also for other type of terrain, though to a lesser degree. I can't believe that I am opening up the fog of war so quickly on this completely flat stage! Since I am trained in other stages never to rely on seeing anything, and always maximize vision/radar coverage, this stage (at least the first two turns) feels really easy. I'll update on my progress during the weekends

By the way, one thing that I probably do differently from most other players is that I rarely use the buggy for its actual offensive capability. I use it strictly as a recon vehicle too. Stretching your precious recon capabilities is key...
                       
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:51 AM   #74
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Well, as a fan I feel obliged now to beat the entire campaign on expert too, after finishing my current one on difficult.

But I'm stuck on the next map ahead of you, DURDERO where a vehicle of the enemy is stuck outside the visible map on turn 50 something. When you reach it, try to attack the main isle in the lower left corner first, even though that seems far more impossible. If you ever run across the bug where the game bugs with the AI repeatedly starting turn and ending it forever, this is an indicator that a vehicle moved outside the map.
So, if that bug (turn started.. turn ended.. turn started.. turn ended.. turn started... etc) ever happens, reload a savegame from the last turn and hope that he doesn't drive outside the map, otherwise you'll have problems to kill the last vehicle at the end.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:48 AM   #75
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Default Brit is well... full of courage but devoid of sense

Ok, I just failed the first time on Bronnox. Brit does NOT retreat in my game even when her health went down to 1, she stood still and forfeited her turn instead... while my units were waiting down at the bridge to block her after she returns.

Other than that my other front is having a difficult time too. I found another bug where if you moved north a bit too much from your seige front, the enemy ionstars on the island to the far north will attack you multiple times. Either that or there really was 10 ionstars on that island... Any unit that strays a bit too far north is immediately destroyed by a barrage of 8-10 ionstar shots...

I'll reload now, but sleep first Then work, then more BI2 over the weekends!
                       
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:22 PM   #76
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She does not retreat, but you don't need her to reach the port - It's enough if you capture the eastern and northeastern town by yourself. She will however retreat as soon as her Sinus is dead for the nearest town. In other words: As long as the Sinus is alive, she'll keep pushing forward, and only stop to wait for repairs.

You don't need Brit nor the upper left corner, where the AI has 8 ion-cannons. Don't try to attack the ion-cannons, because if you do suddenly 12 aircraft appear in the middle of the map triggered by this event.
Good luck!
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:22 AM   #77
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She does not retreat, but you don't need her to reach the port - It's enough if you capture the eastern and northeastern town by yourself. She will however retreat as soon as her Sinus is dead for the nearest town. In other words: As long as the Sinus is alive, she'll keep pushing forward, and only stop to wait for repairs.

You don't need Brit nor the upper left corner, where the AI has 8 ion-cannons. Don't try to attack the ion-cannons, because if you do suddenly 12 aircraft appear in the middle of the map triggered by this event.
Good luck!
I'll try again on Sunday. Gotta get back to working, haha I gave up on blocking Brit. She won't retreat until she is dead. So tomorrow I'll try the tactic of deliberately ignoring the western front and concentrate all the units to break through the force in the eastern part of the seige line, in order to get to Brit and reinforce her and break into the two target cities as well.

From my feel of this battle so far, there is no point defending the factory or even the cities along the seige line, because you won't have enough time nor energy to do proper repair, and lingering there will only delay your annihilation, not stopping it. So it's best to simply abandon that front.

The thing I like the most about BI2 is that a) there are more than one strategy to win a battle and b) you have to know and be ready to come up with a vast array of strategy and style of warfare that often had parallels in history.

So far I have used:

Commando strike delivered by hovercraft under u-boat escort and radar cover by patrol boats: my method of winning hasenol.

Air superiority, commando attack delivered by aircraft, and island hopping: Woringa

Creeping artillery with mass radar jammers: various stages

Overwhelm the enemy with superior logistics (Soviet style waves and waves of cheap but decent tanks versus a smaller number of really good tanks): Britigi

Anturox is such a beautiful example of 300-style choke-point defense...
                       
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Old 09-09-2012, 08:43 AM   #78
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Woohoo! Progress! No I have not beaten the stage yet, but apparently the tactic of abandoning the eastern front works like a charm. I executed the strategy terribly (detailed coming) but I still managed to capture the eastern town and kept Brit alive until the newly established position in the eastern town got overrun. This sort of tactics is not uncommon in history, and was used by the Soviet in World War 2 and the Vietnamese against the Mongolians, two examples that come to my mind right now.

The theory of this stage is that you are fighting a defensive battle on open ground, against a force which both outnumbers you and outclasses you in terms of individual unit strength. The enemy's supply line is also much more ample than yours, and they have better, pre-established radar cover. (Thank god they don't have a bunch of jammers)

That means you will lose utterly unless you change the nature of the battle.

Right at the beginning of the stage, I have a planum flatten a piece of rough ground surrounding the enemy's Vision drone, and have a Snake swoop in to kill it before it has a chance to ascend. This robs the enemy of radar coverage of the western front. It has a radar tank on the North West, but the range of that does not extend far enough. The effect of this is that the enemy no longer see where your forces are. They only know that you have a city and a factory in the South, and they will move in to capture it, encountering no resistance.

Build two Nashorn tanks. After turn 1, move your Nashorns out, do the "capture and recapture" trick, and then move the Nashorns back in. This will be your harassment force, which will be left behind to sell their lives as dearly as they could. Save your energy from here. Every repair counts from this point onward. For 3 turns after this, train the Nashorns and the troll you just captured to bring them to level 12. Once they reach level 12, immediately release and let them pursue the main force without radar cover, run into anything and fight them blind if need to.

As for your main force, move them due east at top speed. Do not stop to fight even a single battle, except to finish off extremely weak (<= 3 health) units, and even then try to stage the move so that the fighters always attack at the end of its movement range. Keep your buggies and stings handy to kamikaze any archimedes that you have a clear path to. This particular strategy maximize the utility of your artillery while minimize theirs. Ballistics is almost useless at low levels, so unless the archimedes have infantry to shoot at and kill decisively to level up, it will rain shells ineffectively on your armour column. While you will use your mobile artillery in close range to compensate for the fact that your units are green and won't hit the side of a barn from afar.

For the first two turns, while you still can, stay away from the enemy's vision range even as you are moving. You are enticing them to run into ambushes to minimize damage done.

Capture the city to the south East with a snake, and move the radar tank up North but back west instead of east, to provide extra radar cover for your main force. You should have two radar tank inside your eastern most town while the mainforce is executing the fighting retreat.

Do not be tempted to outflank the enemy by moving anything North too early. Just go due East, and only start veering North near the fortifications of your Eastern most town.

What I did wrong was executing this strategy, but at some point becoming overconfident since I had diverted most of the enemy's heavy tanks into my empty territory without any lost, I lingered near my Eastern most town in an attempt to move North and capture the towns due North to the seige line, instead of keep moving East. I lost nearly half of my forces here, and was delayed for long enough that some of the Nashorns from the East caught up.
                       
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:09 AM   #79
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Abandoning the *Western* front, I mean. I confused East and West a few times in the last post, but I think the meaning of what I wrote was clear enough. I really should sleep. But the great strategist Val Haris cannot sleep, while the people of Drullian still have to watch the horrendously scripted shows on STAG!

As for Brit, you really don't need to worry much about her. If the fighting retreat is executed quickly, you should meet her right after her first repair. Now your forces would still be outnumbered and outgunned, but much less so than before, since it will take a long time for the heavy tanks and artillery that were lured into the (empty) Western territory to catch up, and some of them may not ever catch up since they would run out of fuel trying to find you.

But most importantly, you now have some sort of territory to defend from! Not a choke point, but just a narrower front. The nature of the battle had changed.
                       
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:03 AM   #80
citizen_lion
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Default The BI2 Titan's Legacy AI truly impresses me

So I finished Bronnox using the "abandoned cities" strategy, but with a slight refinement. The retreat was not as fast as possible, but done as fast as one can while keeping order, forming a "testudo" formation with the heavier and healthier units outside, weaker ones and artillery in the second row, and the two radars being protected in the core. This is to minimize the advantage the enemy has in terms of adjacency rule and vision rule during a skirmish. If the enemy caught one of your units in the open, not surrounded by friendlies, and not painted over several times with radar, the advantage will be overwhelming (like 8 level 2 trolls dying in one hit to a level 1 Sting while only manage to kill one in return, or 7 level 2 Stings die in one hit to 5 level 1 technotraxes).

But as I approach the town due East, and captured the town to the North East, the enemy realized that it was in danger on a strategic sense, and began to pour all of its resources to manufacture units from that one tank factory beside the target town! A literal deluge of Sting, rangers, and buggies began to pour forth, and I had to order all of my elite units to sell their lives dearly by just barging into the only path leading on to the island.

I thought I knew this game. I have played it for years... but this time it surprised me. I have never seen a battle so close, a tiny island with one small town and one factory that seems to only produce Stings and Buggies and rangers, being won with so many deaths from both sides...

Some screenshots:

Midpoint: where my rearguard sold their lives dearly while the archimedes held its ground and kept weakening the enemy's tanks until it reached level 12, before being crushed by a Samurai 2 unit. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/10989907/ra...archimedes.png

Endgame: the harbour of corpses. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/10989907/ra...%20corpses.png
                       
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