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Understanding why battles are won or lost

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:44 am
by Bateman1982
Hello all,
I'm trying to get into the ageod games and am trying to understand the various bits of data the game presents me with.
In particular, battle reports.
I've opened this screen to try and determine why I've lost a particular battle but I find myself overwhelmed by it and can't really grasp what it's telling me.

A specific example; I started the Austria Vs Sardinia-Piedmont battle scenario, playing as Austria.

I have a very large army of approximately 180,000 men on the border that are entrenched.
S-P attack it with a numerically inferior force (fewer men, horses and guns), yet I still lose the battle.

What process should I be going through here to understand why I lost?
My general was unactivated which is likely a factor, along with having a poor defensive rating.
I just can't get my head around where the game actually shows me what went wrong for me in a battle.

Re: Understanding why battles are won or lost

Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:53 pm
by Bargus
A couple quick things to check:
What stance was your army in? If it was blue or green, it would try to retreat soon after combat starts.
Were you well-supplied? If your army had little supply/ammo, your army would be much more likely to retreat.
Any idea what your cohesion was? Low cohesion can cause disasters for your army.

Just a couple quick things to check. I'm not very familiar with Pride of Nations, so maybe there's some factors I'm not aware of.

Good luck!

Re: Understanding why battles are won or lost

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:41 am
by Bateman1982
army was well supplied and at full cohesion.
Stance was defensive, standard.

Factors I've picked up that will be influencing things so far are:
1. My general had zero defensive skill, theirs had attacking skill two.
2. My army was deactivated (does this affect defensive battles?)
3. I had a fair few supply wagons, so my count of "men" may have included a fair few non-combatants.

Really I'm just trying to work out what I should be doing to mount a more effective defense.
The French have just turned up with a numerically superior force as well, so I think I'm now outclassed and outgunned.

If I'm now outnumbered/outclassed I'm guessing I should be doing things like:
1.Picking good locations to defend e.g hills, mountains, across rivers.
2.Trying to use leaders with higher defensive skill. (difficult)
3. Using a stance that lets my men retreat after a few rounds rather than fight to the death.
4.Create a fast cavalry force and attempt to cut off their supply where possible.

Any further advice for this scenario gratefully received.
I don't know if I've picked one that's a no-win scenario for Austria.

Re: Understanding why battles are won or lost

Posted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:58 pm
by Durk
I am not sure what you mean by deactivated, but generally a blue/orange stance is good for defense.

Do remember that every battle is a probability event. What I recommend for understanding battle outcomes better is to take any close battle, like you seem to be using for you example:
Make your defense decisions and such
Run the battle
Wind the turn back
Make different defense decision
Run the battle

Actually, rewinding without making any changes is also interesting as it will help you understand there are no certain outcomes. In close battles, the die roll (literally the random number selection on usually a percentile decision matrix) matters. It can fluctuates so much.

Re: Understanding why battles are won or lost

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:44 am
by Bateman1982
Perhaps I'm not taking the randomness factor into account enough, I'll bear that in mind.

Sorry, by "deactivated" I meant that the leader had the brown envelope symbol and was not able to conduct offensive operations.

Re: Understanding why battles are won or lost

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:03 am
by Durk
So a leader who is not active (ie your deactivated) is just fine in defensive battles. That is, he retains all of his combat values.
Yes, it is easy to forget that random rolls matter. This is not chess, it is a probability game.

Re: Understanding why battles are won or lost

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:51 pm
by Citizen X
Additional to the things already mentioned, composing stacks without command penalty helps greatly.

Re: Understanding why battles are won or lost

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:36 am
by Bateman1982
Thanks to everyone who has provided some advice on this.
After watching some let's play videos for other ageod games and even reading some of their manuals, I think I'm starting to get more of an idea as to what the important things to control are.
It does however also seem that sometimes you are facing an enemy with superior troops or a general with a strong attack bonus, which means you will lose despite a numerical advantage.

As a test environment, I've been using the Risorgimento scenario in PoN as the fighting seems to centre across a very narrow front.
The invading Italians were initially defeating my numerically superior force but I'm now doing much better.

I don't know if this accounts for the difference but I've moved the 3 star general out of that area entirely as he had a zero defensive score. Instead I've been using my 2 star general that has a higher defensive score.

I'm still taking heavier losses than the Italians but my stack seems to be holding the province this time even when the battle is showing as an Austrian defeat.

My general with zero defensive score has a decent attack score of 3, so instead of using him to defend I sent him behind the lines and destroyed their rail network just behind the front line :)

Re: Understanding why battles are won or lost

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:43 pm
by Durk
It does sound like you are getting it. You are doing exactly what you should be doing: playing a situation, examining, changing the conditions and variable and replaying.
Bye the way, terrain is a major factor as it not only provides a defense benefit at times, but it also canalizes movement restricting the number of units that can be deployed.

Re: Understanding why battles are won or lost

Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:55 pm
by loki100
late to this, but a couple of things to think of.

the 'stack selection' element in a battle can have substantial impact. If you have multiple corps you may find that sometimes one gets hit hard and breaks - taking the rest of your army with it.

sort of linked to this, you can lose but not retreat fully from the region. often if the enemy was left with low cohesion after their win, also if you had a relatively untouched formation.

In game, I had an instance at Adrianople where a large Turkish army hit my Italians. The battle resolved with one of my armies taking the brunt, being badly beaten but also damaging Turkish cohesion. The next turn, I let that army retreat (green stance) and chucked the other 2 into a counter-attack on the now weakened Turks - and won decisively.

Its a really neat system but you have to have some idea of the target selection (both stack and unit) routines.

you might find this post useful -, technically its for Wars of Napoleon but the key aspects hold for PoN