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Forum » Cossacks II » Gameplay » Cossacks 2 Build Orders (First thoughts on starting build orders.)
Cossacks 2 Build Orders
FtoomshDate: Saturday, 24/August/2013, 9:03 AM | Message # 1
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The title of my last thread was a bit negative (to say the least). Let's start afresh and look at starting build orders. I will copy across my relevant thoughts from my last thread to start this thread off.

First, a simple theoretical discussion is needed about what is required to win in any RTS (Real Time Strategy Game). Putting it very
simply you require;

(1) more troops and weapons than the enemy (quantity);
(2) better troops and weapons than the enemy (quality);
(3) better tactics and strategies than the enemy (generalship).

As with all problems, I believe in the divide and conquer principle.
Split the problem up into parts and try to solve each part sequentially.
Then we can go on to a holistic or complete solution which combines the parts.

Point 1, how do you get more troops than the enemy? The answer in RTS is to find the most efficient
build path or growth path (these terms mean almost the same thing here) for gaining
the highest quantity of troops possible in a given time. The limiting
factors are resource supply, housing supply and production capacity. Basically, you want no resource shortages, no hitting the population
cap and as many military production sites (barracks, stables etc.) as
soon as possible.

I have been experimenting with build orders. First, I ignore the issue of quality and focus only on quantity. Thus I
produce fusiliers and focus on keeping up the resources and housing
supply so that fusilier production is continuous and without
interruption. I have no trouble getting enough resources to keep
fusilier production continuous. However, I do hit the housing supply
ceiling no matter what build order I try. This is a bit different to
Cossacks 1 OC Mod Balanced where if you pay attention to housing supply
you will never get capped until you have well over 5,000 units.

It seems to be harder in C2 to avoid hitting the population cap. While
dwellings are not all that hard to get (at least the first 5 or so anyway),
the 2nd Town Centre and 2nd barracks are a lot harder to get than they
are in Cossacks 1 OC Mod Balanced. I start hitting the first ceiling at 720 troops. And it takes me a while to build structures that
take my population capacity beyond that. My first question to
experienced players is this. Can you grow your force continuously
without hitting a population cap until say you have at least 2,000 troops?

Hitting a population cap is very bad for force growth. It means
essentially you are flat-lining for the duration of the cap. If the
enemy is not flat-lining, he will rapidly grow a force much larger than
yours. So that is my question. Can you grow your force continuously
without hitting a population cap until say at least 2,000 troops? I mean
even if there are no battles or clashes to drain numbers through
deaths.

Here is a Cossacks 2 BO I have worked out for France. Comments by all means please.

1. Build town centre.
2. Start peons endless to wood.
3. Build barracks.
4. Start fusiliers endless to road.
5. Build dwelling.
6. Build storehouse.
7. Send 5 peons to food.
8. Send 5 peons to stone and hot key to 1.
9. Send 1st Company of 120fusiliers to 2nd MILL. (From now on troop movements not mentioned).
10. Build 2nd dwelling.
11. Capture 2nd MILL. (From now on objective captures not mentioned).
12. Build Academy.
13. Build 3rd dwelling.
14. Build 4th dwelling.
15. Build 1st stables and start cavalry endless to road & move 5 peasants to stone.
16. Build 5th dwelling.
17. Transfer 5 peasants from wood to stone? (Not sure if I need this step now. Need another test.)
18. Build 6th dwelling.
19. Build 2nd Town Centreand endless peasants to stone.
20. Build Blacksmith.
21. Build 7th dwelling.
22. Upgrade 1st mill.
23. Upgrade 1st gold.
24. Upgrade grenades.
25. Build market.
26. Build 1st artillery depot.
27. Build 8th dwelling.
28. Build heavy cavalry stables.

This build grows to a population of 720 before it hits its first growth
cap at the level. It also hits a population cap at about 1,200 when the
first artillery depot is built. I cannot find a way to avoid hitting
these population caps which stop growth for a while each time. Other
points of note with this build. The first two companies of fusiliers
have no officer / no drummer. The third and subsequent companies of
fusiliers can have officers and drummers but flag bearers are too
expensive in gold at this stage. The gold is needed for other purposes.
This build order somewhat delays the arrival of full cavalry formations
so the army is infantry heavy and cavalry light for some time. I have
not tried any trading to help the build. The market seems to naturally
arrive rather late at step 25 anyway. Any comments on this build? I
really would love to know if anyone has a build that can grow right
through to say 2,000 or 2,500 without hitting a population cap even with no
battles and no attrition to drain numbers.

Note: I should triple -check this build one more time as my notes were a bit of a scribble in places. But I am going bleary and cross-eyed from checking
builds. Need... a... rest....


Message edited by Ftoomsh - Saturday, 24/August/2013, 11:40 AM
 
NowyDate: Saturday, 24/August/2013, 2:59 PM | Message # 2
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I see that you did not check BO for C2 which I cast here

http://cossacksworld.ucoz.co.uk/forum/27-397-1#3009

That BO allow increase population limit even to 2,500 men without any troubles.

Your BO had some simple glitches.
You have been built too many dwellings, I mean that it were small houses.
Instead so many small houses you could build few big houses and next town centres. These better increase needed dwellings.
You do not need create next peasant in second and next town centres. Peasants overpopulation could crippled military units creation.
Second Barrack and Fort  also could allow build faster and more Fusiliers.
Exploit Market to exchange some resources, this also help you. Then build market faster in your BO.
Change littlel bit units creation order (CO) and start with National Guard. They are very fast create soldiers which allow faster capture next villages.
Then you can create Fusiliers, they are created little bit longer, but they would not push you to build more dwelligs, before you can gather recourses.
Your infantry should immediately march to defend your villages and capture next villages.
You need to capture more villages, this way your economy will produce more resources.
Build Blacksmith faster. This allow better plan your economy and military growth. Few single Chasseurs send in reconnaissance can give you better view in military operations.

Then better BO could looks like that

Skirmish game start with 10 peasants they shoud work effectively from the beginning.

1. Initially only 5 peasants build Town Centre, after that they go to stone.
2. Town Centre start peasants endless to wood. However later you also could send few more peasants to stone.
3. Meanwhile 1 peasant build Storehouse, possible nearly to Food of Gold Villages, then he goes to wood.
4. Next 4 peasants go to build closely to the road Barrack, create 1 National Guard, then Fusiliers squads.
5. Build Black Smith
6. Bulid Small House, Market and exchange all coal on food
7. Make upgrade in first Food Village.
8. Bulid Academy, next Small House and Light Cavalry Stable.
9. Build next Small House, you increase your population limit to 720 men
10. When you create 3rd Fussiler squad, then you can create sappers squad. They could help build next buildings faster.
11. When you create 4th Fusilier squad you also could create Foot Chaccseurs squads. They are not necessary, but they can strengthen your forces.
12. When you create 5th Fusilier squad, you will probably need next House.
13. Build Heavy Cavalry Stable, create Dragoons
14. Build Palace, you will can create Flag Bearers, they increase morale and strenghten your infnatry squads
15. Make upgrade for Grenadiers
16. Build Second Town Centre, possible nearly to Food or Coal Village. You will can faster gather needed recources.
17. Make upgrades in Coal, Iron and second Food Villages. You increase production there.
18. Build second Light Cavalry Stable. This is not necessary if you do not plan play in light cavalry flood tactic.
19. Create Grendiers or optionally Voltigeurs, they will efectivelly reinforce your Fusiliers.
20. Build Second Barrack, this elevate population limit to 1,600 men.
21. Eventually you could build Artillery Depot, only when you will need artillery guns.
22. Now you can organize complex order of battle with various infantry and cavalry squads.
23. You could build next Big Block House and next Town Centres. These increase your population limit above 2,500 men.

More units are harder in command and manoeuvres, and the game could get in lags, but you probably can win before that moment.

You can notice that in this BO you can increase you population limit above 2,500 men and you do less steps in that way.
You also can create more complex order of battle.


Message edited by Nowy - Saturday, 24/August/2013, 9:36 PM
 
FtoomshDate: Saturday, 24/August/2013, 9:58 PM | Message # 3
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Well Nowy, I attempted your build and I found it did not work as well as my build. I hit the unit cap earlier (several times, at several points) so my total army grew more slowly. The normal AI rapidly had me in trouble by rushing my base, defeating a formation there at the gold mine and requiring a second formation to hold the gold mine. I also lost a formation at the second mill and required a second formation to save the 2nd mill. In both cases, I used my formations badly that is true because I was fiddling with an unfamiliar build.

However, the point is that I was unit capped earlier, thus having less troops on the field and allowing and even encouraging the AI to rush me.

Do you take my point that a prime goal of an RTS game build is to be able to produce troops continuously and at the highest rate possible? This means;

(1) Never getting population capped (we need more dwellings!) if possible.
(2) Never running out of the resources needed to build units.
(3) Building as many unit producing buildings as possible.

That is why I emphasise staying ahead on dwellings requirements as long as possible. Nevertheless, I take your point that at some stage large dwellings will become more cost effective than small dwellings. This is because of the cost inflation that the C2 game model enforces (just like C1). I need to look at getting sappers and a big blockhouse too. I repeat my basic question. Do you know a build that allows units population to continuously increase without ever hitting a population cap until the final cap of 2,500 or more? Of course, the other side of the equation is that if one uses units poorly like I did in my test then no rate of production will make up for foolish losses.

I do wonder why the makers made it so hard to get resources and keep up dwelling places and gunpowder to the army. I think it goes back to what Ebel_Angel said; great engine, great concept but under-developed and rushed out for sale. I have saying;

With a good RTS game you feel like you are fighting the opponent. With a poor RTS game you feel like you are fighting the game as well as the opponent.

RTS is about growth and opposition. If the opponent is not directly opposing you and engaging you in fights then it should be possible to grow smoothly without the game itself opposing you by having growth bottlenecks that even the best builds can't solve. Now maybe a best build can solve the growth bottlenecks I am having and I just havn't found that best build yet. However, the costs and inflation rates in the game are so savage that I doubt such a best build can be found. To me, the perfect build order is the holy grail although I probably should be more militarily focused I know.

MORE DETAIL.

The reason I put all 10 starting peasants on the Towncentre is to get it finished as fast as possible. I figure the sooner it is finished the sooner I can start growing my worker population. The same reasoning applies to the barracks. The sooner it is finished, the sooner it can start producing Fusiliers and growing my army. I don't bother with militia and I don't know if I am right or wrong there. I figure fusiliers produce fast enough and if militia are weaker than fusiliers then I am not interested in them. As it is, I have had a fusilier company without officer or drummer defeated (once) by those damned "blue constables" as I call them.

I make an early dwelling before the shed because I figure the starting resources allow it so why not? It is best to build up a unit cap buffer as early as possible to allow growth to continue as long as possible. In positioning early buildings I put Town Centre near wood, Barracks next to road and shed near wood and stone. Within those parameters I cluster the buildings as close together as possible. The first reason is travel paths. The less distance the peasants have to walk to each build, the quicker they will get the builds done. In the academic literature such issues are called "shortest path analysis". It's a whole mathematical field and I wish I knew the maths. Really smart AIs, if they actually made smart AIs, would use shortest path analysis to grow the economy. Shortest path analysis is not only about calculating shortest physical paths but also about calculating shortest or rather quickest growth paths. A clever enough person schooled in this field could write a program which could answer questions like, which build order yields the most fusiliers at minute ten or which build path yields the most gold at minute ten or indeed which build path yielding not less than x fusiliers by minute 10 also yields the most gold possible whilst making those x fusiliers? Such questions are algorithmically solvable with a few simplifying assumptions made about physical positioning and physical paths.

The second reason for close clustering of buildings is to create alleys and chokes which assist in the defence of the home village. It's harder for the enemy to attack through narrow chokes.

I build an Academy early because I like to get officers/drummers for the third fusilier company. It means there are only two companies out there without officers/drummers. I assume I could even make the extra officers and drummers and send them to join the companies out there. The cost structure also seems to facilitate a fairly early Academy. I also don't see the point in your build in getting a Black Smith before the Academy, particularly when you get the blacksmith at step 5 but dont make upgrade for grenadiers until step 15. No point getting a building and then not using it for so long.


Message edited by Ftoomsh - Saturday, 24/August/2013, 10:29 PM
 
NowyDate: Sunday, 25/August/2013, 3:03 PM | Message # 4
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I see that you present too much theory and too little practice.

RTS gameplay include more aspects than simple BO with a goal to be able to produce troops continously and the highest as possible.

You can not take into account only simple quantities growth while you do not include other important things. You should recognize "gold mixture" of quantity, guality and general ship. Economy growth and warfare needs proper actions and reactions. Battle tactics and strategy require proper operations and good timing.

In your BO you were focused too much on small dwellings and Fusiliers. You tried only fast grow quantity, but you forget about other important aspects.
This way you lost oportunity to find better ways. You could see wider and father. Rapid quantitative growth only crippled other options in economy and warfare strategy.
You should predict how you can grow your economy effectively, how properly led military operations and how win the game. All these things in the game you should do in right time.

Therefore you could notice these things:
* When French 10 starting peasants work all together, they lost opportunity to work in few groups which can build buildings faster. You focused too much on Town Centre, while you lost oportunity to build in proper locations Barrack and Store at the same time. Maybe in your BO you can gain few peasnats eariler, but initially you lost momentum to build faster next buildings and next units.
* 1st National Guard squad is formed faster than Fusiliers. You can faster defend your territory and can faster capture next villages. This way you can faster grow your economy.
* Blacksmith allow create few foot Chasseurs. You can send them for reconnaissance. They can fast move and cover in key points. This give you better sight of view. Then you can better plan your operations and better predict enemy actions. Blacksmith also unlock other buildings.
* Market allo exchange needed resources. In early stage of gameplay you do not need coal, but you need more other resources e.g. food, wood, stone. Each nation has little bit different needs in that matter. Take a look how Daddio exploit market for British.
* Buildings locations close to Villages or stone and wood are important for better resources transportation. This way you gain short travel paths and pack horses will travel at less distance. Then you will gain more and faster next resorces.
* Close clustering buildings in the game do not give you better defence opportunity. This even rise some problems. Enemy could destroy your buildings locate one to next one with artillery bombardment. When you build buildings in few far locations then it is harder to destroy them. Artillery guns are slow and limited.
* Too many small houses drained you economy too much. You can build these dwellings and create more Fusiliers, but you lost momentum for more important operations and better growth. This way you will:
- built other important buildings later
- exchange less or later some resources needed in right moments
- make upgrades later and you lost opportunity to gain more resourses earlier

You could build more small houses and create more Fusiliers earlier, but you get into troubles. Soon you had resources, ammunition and operational problems. You delayed actions, delayed cavalry and sharpshooters support, delayed trade, delayed territorial gains etc.

AI can aggressively attack as rusher, then you fought a lot and even you captured 3/4 map and captured 3/4 villages you felt that game was stalemate.
Then yout BO was not optimal, while I was based on practical tests made by players.
You was focused too much on quantities and you stick to much with engineering.

However you should remember that RTS gameplay and warfare strategy has to do more with an art than with simple math or science. War principles are simple, almost everyone can learn them, but their practical implementation require skills and reflections.

Great commanders recognized situations when one priciple could led to victory and other equally important could led to stalemete or callopse.

Then everybody should look for his own way to victory, but everybody should take into account that building order is only part of art of war.


Message edited by Nowy - Monday, 26/August/2013, 9:04 AM
 
DaddioDate: Sunday, 25/August/2013, 7:37 PM | Message # 5
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I think your biggest problem is that you are applying C1 concepts to C2. Nowy has given you some excellent tips. and a very good build order for France. His and mine are different, But it is hard to say which would be better.

My concept is this.
    I make only a couple of formations of basic troops. these are expendable and I make them without officers. I use these to gather villages and they go after them as fast as possible. once one is taken, head for the next. There is a big bonus to the player who takes the village first.

    Next you need to get your palace up as soon as you can. like C1 gold is the key to progress in the game. Buildings use it, troops need it to make elite troops. and it has a great exchange rate if it comes to that.

    And I cant stress it enough, Calvary is the absolute key to the game. get your first stable up as fast as you can because if you opponent has Calvary and you do not you will loose. It is that simple. And the player who gets his second stable up first has a big advantage. I place so much importance on Calvary that I will stop production on barracks completely to make more Calvary.

    I will very rarely make a second barrack. instead I will make fortress's. These take far less gold to make, and can produce troops, and have cannons to defend themselves, and even harass you opponent. Make these at a point in the map where you expect to do a lot of fighting, troops will gather here when they are broke, and will not need to travel all the way back to your barracks. The large one has the added bonus of producing super elite guard units.

It is a complex game, and totally different than C1, but the payoff is a much better, I think gaming experience.

It is a shame that the makers did not finish the game. There are a lot of things that could be improved. People have written books on this, lol.

I have often, and even started to make a mod to balance the nations and game. But at this point so few play anymore that I did not think it worth the effort. primarily since the new windows systems have seemed to pass this game by. I am sure that a patch could be made to fix it. but it is way beyond my ability s.

But overall it is by far my favorite game.

Hope some of this helps.

Happy gaming!

Daddio


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FtoomshDate: Sunday, 25/August/2013, 11:48 PM | Message # 6
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Yes, I think Nowy is right. I presented too much theory and too little practice. The game model, even in build order, is not as linear as I thought it was. There were also factors I could not predict. I had no idea the Palace made gold. This is an odd effect considering that in real life palaces COST the nation gold. it's hard to come to a totally unfamliar game and work out build orders from scratch without the experience of practical play. Initially, general theory is all one has to go on.

The tactical functioning is odd. For all its seeming realism, it implements many unrealistic features in my opinion. I won't list them all because that would be pointless. The game is what it is and my opinions won't change the existing game model.

I played someone on the net. Luckily he wasn't as good as Daddio but I was still losing in the long run when the game froze at his end and I got an undeserved victory. I felt though that I could have won legitimately if I had been able to execute a scorched earth policy. I took 3/4 of the map and knew I was going to lose 1/4 back to him. The map had a natural front line of river and marsh with few crossings. If I could have destroyed the villages I took on his side before I had to decamp my army from there, I could have perhaps starved him out. It seems odd that village structures can't be targeted. At least, I couldn't target them later with artillery. I would make village structures destroyable but also rebuildable at a cost. That could add interest.

I have had great trouble with grenades. My enemies seem to be able to throw them from the boundary of yellow and green or also to close as for cold steel and then throw them at point blank range. These grenades do enormous damage to formations. On the other hand, I cannot control grenades. My troops wont throw them from distance and when they close they throw maybe 1 or 2 grendades whereas opponents seem to throw 6 to 12 grenades. What are the secrets to using grenades on personnel?

Numbers (quantity) seem almost useless in this game. Quality and tactics seem to be everything. That said, the nation with the best quality troops (Britain?) must be the best in the long run.

Cavalry seems definitely overpowered in this game. Squares should repel cavalry more than they do again in my opinion. The only antidote is to have equal cavalry oneself.
 
NowyDate: Monday, 26/August/2013, 12:20 PM | Message # 7
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C1 and C2 are different games also in therms of strategy gampley. Therefore quantitative concepts from C1 did not work in C2.
However quantity is very important in both these games. C1 has shorter units rooster, therefore strategy and battle tactics in this game depended on fast created units supported with dragoons or other overpowered units. There ruled crowded masses of clones.
 
In C2 we can use more complex strategy and tactics which include many realistic things. Therefore quantity elone is not a king in this game.
There you can use more squads and exploit "golded mixture" quantity, quality and general ship. Comlpex order of battle, proper battle tactics, infantry, cavalry and artillery cooperation, support and manouvres are very important. 
 
Cavalry in the game is strong, how it was in history at that period. Infantry can stopped cavalry only in fully formed square formation.
When they delayed or changed formation during charge than infantry often was destroyed. Then cavalry in the game is not overpowered.
Infantry should use properly and timely tactical formations. Their timely and accurate delivered volleys aslo are very deadly.
Cavalry in the game of course has some gliches in formation types, movements, charges, melee and in fire tactics.
But it still works far better than in other games.
 
Quantity in C2 is not useless it also is important. Take a look on Russian case. Initially they create masses of units (Opolchenie or Musketeers) with poor quality and Russia simply depend on quantity. Russia can faster bulid even 3rd Barrack. Then masses of fast created infantry supported with strong Grenadiers are dangerous.
 
Russian strenght also is related to fast created masses of light cavalry Uhlans or Cossacks. Additionally Russian heavy cavalry can form even 3 different types of units squads and they are quite stong. Then Russia also could exploit quality.
 
These mean that in gameplay Russia could prevail nations which relaied only on quality. However well led forces can defeat Russian masses.
Then British or other nations with better quality colud win as well could lost.
 
All nations in the game represent different tactics e.g.
* Austria initially can use medium infantry and light cavlary. Poor Landwehr units also could help. In pitched combats they could suffer many casualties.
  Then Austrian needs Grenadiers and heavy cavalry support. However these stronger Austrian units have different skills than present other nation.
* Britain can exploit well trained infantry, Musketters supported with Highlanders and Hussars. However British use only one type of heavy cavalry.
* Egypt initially rely on masses of poor Yatagans, supported with Archers and Janissaries. They also can exploit few types of cavalry.
   Egyptian also can execute another tactics using dadly flood of Bedouins or Camel Cavalry.
* France initially rely on Fusiliers, Hussars, Uhlans or Horse Chasseurs. Soon they also use Foot Chasseurs and Dragoons.
   French heavy cavalry is very strong and they can chose even 4 types of heavy cavalry differently used in battles. 
* Prussia initially relay on Musketeers and Light Dragoons, but soon they can attack with Grenadiers and Hussars. Their Black Legion has special skills. 
* Russia relay on masses of Opolchene and Musketeers, soon they can get masses of light cavalry support. Later strong Grenadiers and heavy cavalry
   also can strenghten Russian masses.
* Poland rely on medium quality of Fusiliers and fast created quantity of Uhlans. They aslo can use Voltigeurs and Grenadiers in support.
* Rhine also can exploit medium Fusilers and Lancers, however they also can start with fast created Musketeers and later use different cavalry units.
* Spain rely on cheap and fast created Gueriilas supported with Cassadors or Hussars. Later they also can use medium Dragoons and heavy cavalry.
 
All these mean that each nation in the game can exploit their own strategy and battle tactics.
National units rooster was better developed, each nation has their specific units and their creation order. These give more variety in tactical use.
Their BO and units creation order and use also are slightly different and gameplay require sometimes some changes in strategy.
 
Nevertheless C2 still could looks too linear, becouse you can not build all buildings and create all units at once. You everytime use somehow BO and CO.
Additionally we got fixed, indestructible Villages and roads system. Battle tactics too much require line formations and small maps makes it difficult to use bigger and complex battle order.
 
All these makes gameplay too linear and soon can bore.
 
Nevertheless I agree with Daddio that C2 is complex game, totaly different than C1, but the payoff is much better. 
Makers realized not finished product, therefore this game needs many imporvements. However it have great potential.
 
What a pity tthat GSC abandon this game and there no modders interested to realize bigger improvments.
 
But overall it is still my favorite game.
 
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