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Defeating "doom-stacks"

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:35 pm
by MarshalJean
So, like the subject line indicates, I'm facing a couple of these along my border with a country I foresee going to war with soon. My thought would be to see if they strike out on the offensive, let them come into my territory, flank them and cut off their supply so they will begin to bleed attrition. But, other than this, what would the community recommend in actually engaging such behemoth armies? It's 1861-62 and the two armies are estimated to be around 13000-15000 PWR while my biggest stacks are around 2500 if I don't want to avoid command penalties. I can see that the enemy has some penalties in their stacking, although not the full 35%.

Anyway, any tried and tested methods out there?



Re: Defeating "doom-stacks"

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:27 pm
by loki100
this early in the game the frontage limits are your friend. I defeated a couple of massive Austrian armies by making them attack me in broken terrain so the amount in contact was limited - if you can rotate your armies in/out of the province and the AI will never be able to reinforce so will gradually wear down.

After about 1890 this is less useful as most armies can deploy a lot better in poor terrain.

other than that, make them march, use the green-green stance so your armies fall back quickly but they expend time etc. unless you are sure about being able to stand your ground.

you have a tricky trade off and there is no good answer. I often tried to fight with multiple armies and no or limited command malus. This *usually* worked fine but you run a risk from the stack targetting routines that the huge AI force picks on one of yours and can just wipe it out while your other armies sit around. Sometimes I just created a clump of all my units, accepted the 35% malus as my goal was not to lose the battle decisively. As above, if you can trap the AI into a contested province (that you control) you can wear it down regardless of the actual combat results as it cannot replace its losses and you can.

another trick is to set up a well defended fortress, especially one next to the sea. Again I did this to Austria and was able to rotate units in/out while the fortress rules all helped to reduce frontage and in the end you can win a massive battle of attrition.

Re: Defeating "doom-stacks"

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:36 pm
by MarshalJean
Excellent. This is very helpful, loki. Thanks. I'll be back with questions after I see how it goes. Winter is just beginning and so I don't plan to declare war until spring. Until then, I will build up some key fortresses and solidify some useful political alliances. Thanks again!