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Empire: Total War - Land Battle Discussion
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Topic Subject: Does Elevation Make a Difference?
posted 04-11-10 10:58 AM EDT (US)   
Does Elevation Make a Difference?

If your troops are positioned on top of a hill does it actually make a difference?
It's supposded to increase your range but I don't see a difference or any other difference.

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posted 04-11-10 01:36 PM EDT (US)     1 / 8  
Makes a huge difference. Also, if you position your men correctly you can have cannons positioned behind you men and not hitting them with friendly fire.
posted 04-11-10 03:30 PM EDT (US)     2 / 8  
When you got men on hight you get some range, but more importanly you are harder to kill. And your soldiers get some moral bonuses.

I remember one match where i was russia and him Austria. After i defeated his army he had one unit left, a life regiment. I attacked it and he routed 2 units of mine life inf before i got him with a cav charge from behind.

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posted 04-11-10 08:35 PM EDT (US)     3 / 8  
Summary + More:
Elevation Pros
-It gives a morale bonus to soldiers on higher ground, enticing them to fight longer and charging melee enemies won't cause as much morale shock as it does in other circumstances.

- Depending on the slope of the hill, infantry can get increased range and even a protection bonus if the height is great enough.

- Positioning on a high hill can allow ranks to stack behind each other. If the soldier stands high enough that their firing height (torso) is above the man in front of them, they can give fire without friendly casualties.

-Cannons also work if their barrel points at least a meter above the men's heads. Foot artillery need somewhat higher elevation whilst howitzers can function on lower hills, even flat if they're far enough.

- High elevation can blunt a cavalry charge by slowing the horses down.

Elevation Cons:
-Traversing up elevation tires out units nearly twice as fast and can be bad if your units are not set up in time and they're tired to boot.

- Infantry on hills tend to be prime targets for enemy artillery because there is no additional terrain to cover them (trees, foliage, rocks).

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[This message has been edited by BurningSushi460 (edited 04-11-2010 @ 08:36 PM).]

posted 04-12-10 02:40 AM EDT (US)     4 / 8  
Elevation does definitely make a difference, like BurningSushi described.

posted 04-12-10 10:43 AM EDT (US)     5 / 8  
There is one downside one possible downside though. Having the cannon higher up than the infantry it is shooting at can make its canister shots innefective. Be careful with that.

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posted 05-14-10 04:49 AM EDT (US)     6 / 8  
I generally place my cannon units in my battleline with my line infantry to prevent friendly fire, also allows me to use Canister to maximum effect.

I've won several battles I should not have been able to because I deployed on a hill and pounded the enemy with Mortars until they were forced to attack me in my secure location. A downhill lancer charge is a thing to behold.

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posted 05-15-10 00:16 AM EDT (US)     7 / 8  
With all units, regardless of type, being positioned on a hill offers a morale boost. In my opinion, hills are more defensible than forts, especially if you are outgunned. The following are effects hills have on each unit type, and how you can maximize these effects.

With infantry: Generally, only two things should decide where you place your infantry on a hill:
2) skirmishers and any units with longer range belong behind line infantry. This protects them as well as gives you the ability to give double the normal firepower on an enemy while not damaging your own units.
2) if your enemy outguns you cannon-wise, give up the hill. The elevated ground will act like a massive trench wall protecting you from their cannon and even mortars, in most cases.

With cavalry: Having your cavalry positioned on a hill does two things:
1) exposes them to cannon fire, and
2) gives them increased charge bonus.
TIPS: Generally, I try to keep my cavalry off hills simply because they are directly in the way of cannon balls. Try to keep them just behind the apex of the hill, then try to time the enemy's approach with the moment you give the order to charge. This way, you remove problem (1) and retain your charge bonus.

With artillery: Always try to put your artillery at the apex of the hill, again for four reasons:
1) increased range,
2) anywhere else causes your cannons' trajectories to go all over the place (i.e., if positioned in the middle of the hill, they will be pointed down and will just hit your own men),
3) it's the highest point, so enemies tire out and slow down trying to reach you, and
4) at the apex they will likely be sheltered by your own men lower down on the hill, and because they are not in deep lines like infantry and cavalry, the entire unit can stretch out along the apex. This provides excellent shelter from cannon fire because the enemy cannons will have to literally hit them with a perfectly precise shot in order to take them out - any higher or lower and the ball sails over or smacks the dirt and stops.
TIPS: When the apex is unavailable (i.e., outside the battle-map) just make sure your cannon are as high as they can get.

Of course, there are inherent risks and problems to hillside combat. It makes perfect sense that soldiers will tire out when marching uphill; my suggestion is to fix this problem on the campaign map, when possible. By that I mean to position your armies on hill slopes visible in the campaign map. Obviously, it's not always possible, but when it is an option, it is definitely ideal. I use hills all the time in every one of my battles, as I am a defensive expert. I am hardly ever the aggressor in battles because I know that I can more than halve my losses when defending, as compared to attacking.

To be honest, I wouldn't know very well how to assault hills since I am better at defending them, but I certainly know that when defending, cannon, especially those with shrapnel, are the biggest threat If you leave the enemy cannon to keep firing will, you will lose very quickly. So my suggestion when fighting an enemy that has dug into a hill: get cannon, and lots of it.

At any rate, I hope this helps you in deciding how to conduct your elevated battles.

[This message has been edited by TKwarrior17 (edited 05-15-2010 @ 00:32 AM).]

posted 05-17-10 01:50 PM EDT (US)     8 / 8  
While I agree with what the others have previously said I want to add that;
1) Higher ground increases your lines melee stats.
2) While this isn't certain I think they take fewer casualty's from musket fire.
3) On very steep hills I have found that regular cannons shot cannot point far enough downhill and end up with their shot just firing uselessly overhead (This is on campaign maps).
4) Normal cannons cannot fire up hill very effectivly.
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