Patrolls And Patrolling

by [Berry]Geenberry
Entire guide created and tested by Geenberry/Ares/Lawliet (whatever you know him as). I take no credit for any of this, just posting what he likes to share. I have included a huge game pack of his showing his patrols being used in a simple map like CBA, so you'll be able to get a good grasp of it.
Contents:

Introduction



Why patrol?
To begin this it’s best by asking this question:
Q. What’s the main difference between 40 ranged and 40 close combat units?
A. The 40 ranged all attack at the same time.

On the other hand, the 40 close combat units will all wander and try to attack, but only those that are next to their enemy will be able to.

What patrolling does is make units go “on top” of each other. That way on the same space you can have 3, 4, even 5 close combat units, attacking the same 1 enemy unit. Put simply, using patrol makes your close combat units much more effective.


Patrolls


Patrolling is accomplished via pressing the “patrol” button in unit commands, and then left clicking on the location you want your units to patrol to.
The default hot key for patrolling is ‘Z’.


Patrolling In Practice


Patrolled units will generally “target” the first enemy unit that “attacks” them. That’s why sometimes you will see patrols go by each other – the units simply did not detect the enemy, and therefore did not target anyone.

There are 4 stances that units have :
Aggressive
Defensive
Stand Ground
No Attack.
You can patrol units using any of these stances.

In order of strength, patrolling goes like this:
Aggressive
Defensive
Stand Ground
No Attack.

Therefore, aggressive is the main stance that you will use in most of your gaming.

Defensive patrolling you can use when you want your units to stay around one general spot on the map BUT if they see an enemy, they will chase after him anyway, so this one is not pointless, just hard to explain and takes practice to know when to use.

Stand Ground patrolling is how I first discovered patrols. I thought it was the only way you can patrol until I accidentally changed stances.
When I was beginning 1v1 CBA wars, I started to think that it was useless: Every time I used it vs any other stance I would get raped. Later however, I found a really cool way in which to use it.


Patrolling Finer Points


And now, we reach the finer aspects of patrolling, of which I think there are only two.
1] Runners.
2] Stand Ground patrolling

1] Runners are units used solely for the purpose of distraction. In close combat wars, they “lure” the enemy units away to give you a numbers advantage. In ranged wars, they are used by taking advantage of the bad accuracy of ranged units. A few runners are patrolled in between your army and the enemy, and are replaced when they die.
All runners use No Attack stance.

[No Attack patrolling was also my COUNTER to runners, when they started being used against me.
I would use No Attack stance, patrol with all my men, and when I got past the runner, and close to enemy, I would switch to aggressive stance.]

This still remains as one very effective way in which you can use it.

The second point is:
2] Stand Ground patrolling, which has three uses.

a) Instead of No Attack, I later began using Stand Ground stance. The reason for this is – in stand ground, your units still “target” the enemy units. So when you change them to aggressive, they already KNOW who to attack, where as in No Attack stance they must first target something.

b) Since they don’t attack until you tell them to, you can get more units closer to the enemy before you switch stances. This is just advanced micro; with time most should begin to see it.

c) This is a continuation of b, but here goes:
If my ally needs help, I will send my units(close combat) to him on stand ground patrol. This way they don’t get distracted by every single enemy unit along the way, AND if they get ambushed, they are already on patrol, so it’s simple to switch to just switch to aggressive and get the most effective use out of them, even in a situation where they will die anyway.



Attacking

When chasing enemy, but your units on stand ground stance, and constantly re patrol. This will make the units even more clumped, and they will move more smoothly (WITHOUT REGROUPING WHICH SLOWS YOUR CHASE DOWN).

Stand ground stance is for them noticing/attacking less things such as docks (which keeps them more ordered), and every time they DO attack something meaningless, or even say 1 enemy ship, re patrol right away to keep them moving forward.

The anti-ballistics trick I showed you works here too.
Another anti-ballistics trick is: Micro one boat on the side. When the enemy boats fire, RIGHT AWAY you move the boat into a different direction, causing them to miss.

The reason why ballistics can be countered is: it predicts where the unit will go based on it's current path. Next it sends a arrow/cannon ball TO THE PREDICTED point. If you move your unit back, when they shoot 2 tiles forward, you'll make the arrows miss.

Defending

When defending do really tight close patrols, by patrolling units close together. Do 15 re-patrols like so: (U = units, X = re patrol point)

UUUU X (this kind of distance, in game)

When you do this, move them so that they will be facing the most likely enemy attack front. Ie, don't do something like this: (E = enemy)

||| EEEEEEEEEEEE |||
VV EEEEEEEEEEEE VV

_______UU
_______UU
_______UU
_______UU
_______UU
_______UU
_______UU

In the above situation, your units will get raped as he will have more vs less, EVEN THOUGH you have the same starting #'s.

Retreating

1. STOP your units (X hotkey for me)
2. put units on NO ATTACK STANCE (O hotkey for me)
Then just click wherever you want then to go to.

Patrolled units go to the point you PATROLLED them to. Stopping them releases the units from this "obligation". They no longer do anything and wait for next order.
No Attack Stance - Sometimes units will fight back if attacked. Probably a bug in AoC. No Attack Stance prevents that.


My Fighting Guide


1. Make all your battles More vs Less.

if you have 40 champs vs enemy 30 champs, and you fight, you will have 20 CHAMPS REMAINING, NOT 10. Numbers are EVERYTHING.

Say you have 20 boats. he has 10 boats by your 20, and another 30 coming in support a screen away, FIGHT THE 10, then gb as soon as you see the larger army.

In big fights, try to come in from the front, las shown above. 40 vs 40, make it 40 vs 20. IF only for 5 seconds. that will give you the win.

2. If you think you lost, GB.

NEVER fight losing battles.
ALWAYS save units.
Each unit you save can then be later used to outnumber the enemy.

Keep this in mind:
When the enemy is fighting you, it's because of
(a) he thinks he has won
or
(b) he has no other choice [protecting his and pockets fish; his villagers, etc]
IF it's [a], think about GB. UNLESS you think you won the fight.

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Last updated on 4 October 2014 - 5:00 am by +kitt