Saturday, August 27, 2011

Total War: When do you use autoresolve?

For me the battles are the highlight of any Total War game with the campaign map being a secondary albeit also enjoyable part of the game. For this reason when I started out I fought every single battle manually. This attitude has changed over time and I now use auto resolve for a signifcant number of battles.

At first it was simply a matter of saving time. On some turns you can have five or six separate battles to fight, many of which are already foregone conclusions because one side (hopefully mine) has an overwhelming superiority. There is nothing particularly edifying about crushing 100 enemy troops with 1000 of yours and yet you can spent quite a long time chasing them around the map to do it. A few experiments convinced me that if one side has an overwhelming advantage (as shown by the red-green relative strength bar) then the random number generator can generally be relied upon to give a reasonable result. Sure you can experience slightly heavier losses than if you fought the battle yourself but on the other hand you are spared the friendly fire incidents that can so easily happen when you have a momentary lapse of attention directing a large number of troops.

For some time then my rule changed from "fight every battle" to "auto resolve the push overs". If numbers were similar and in particular if I was at a disadvantage I still fought manually on the battle map. I'm no military genius but I can certainly do better than the AI when numbers are more or less equal. There have been exceptions to this rule such as when I used auto resolve to play out the last few turns of a Rome campaign  but these were specific unusual circumstances rather than a general change in policy.

Recently however I have started using auto-resolve in a slightly more creative way. I have noticed that while I generally do better fighting manually there are some battles where the random number generator gives better results. Often this is due to the mix of unit types. For example if my force contains only light infantry and I am facing a force of cavalry then I know from experience that it is very hard to avoid a massacre. The auto resolve tends to more kind in these circumstances, perhaps reducing the size of the loss or even avoiding it altogether. I don't do this all the time because it does feel a bit like cheating but it is a handy trick to have up the sleeve none the less.

1 comment:

Jayedub said...

I tend to autoresolve only if I have a far superior force and am fighting a vastly smaller enemy force.

Now if I was the weaker force then I always fight on the battlefield. I know that I will cause a greater loss for the enemy than if I went and autoresolved the battle.