The essence of Combined-Arms Tactics can be defined as having different troop types fighting together in a coordinated manner to achieve a better result than if they fought without proper organization. A well executed combined-arms attack can allow a force to weaken, envelope and decisively crush the enemy army while taking minimal losses. When used defensively, Combined-Arms Tactics can significantly reduce casualties and enable a well ordered retreat.
When applying combined-arms tactics to ancient warfare, heavy infantry form a battleline to advance and engage the enemy in melee combat while light infantry use missile fire to lower morale and disrupt the enemy ranks. Cavalry protect the flanks and threaten to surround the enemy and pursue after victory. Catapults can be added to support river crossings, counter enemy siege defenses or to weaken the enemy in field battles. Effective combined-arms is all about coordinating the various troop types available for each battle.
In Hegemony: Philip of Macedon we make it easy to conduct combined-arms tactics. Brigades can be grouped to approach enemies in ordered formations and can be given complex movement paths with precise adjustments available to maximize their effectiveness. Your heavy infantry will maintain proper contact with other brigades in their battleline group while you select and peel off light infantry to skirmish and support. You can also easily plot maneuvers for your cavalry to flank or envelop your enemies.
A major feature in Hegemony: Philip of Macedon is that battles aren't defined by a fixed start and endpoint. Battles are simply the point on the map where any clash of arms occurs. In this context, most of your battles will be conducted by small raiding parties, reconnaissance units or advance-forces probing to establish forward bases. Large battles will evolve over time as the conduct of war brings your forces into further contact with the enemy.
When invading an enemy controlled region, larger battles will occur where the enemy chooses to (or is forced to) make a stand. Enemy response will vary. For example, an enemy that refuses battle and retreats when your advancing force is larger may choose to fight when their harvest is threatened. Conversely, when defending your own territory, do you fight at the first opportunity or do you skirmish and pull back until you've gained the high-ground or have gathered a larger force?
Siege warfare in Hegemony: Philip of Macedon involves more than just attacking an enemy fortification. A siege can be viewed as a greatly prolonged battle occurring at a predefined location requiring support troops to control an entire region for the duration of combat. Some of the important decisions when planning a siege include:
* How do I maintain adequate food for my besieging forces while preventing the enemy from replenishing his city?
* How much reconnaissance do I need to watch for other enemy armies?
* How many patrols will I need to defend my supply lines with?
* What if the enemy sorties out from their city?
* How many troops will it take to seal the enemy in without having so many that feeding them becomes a problem?
* Can I shorten the siege with a few well placed bribes?
* What kind of response will the faction controlling this city have to my bribe attempt?
Beyond the battle and the siege, general strategic questions include:
* Should I mount a full invasion and conquer that region to secure resources?
* When I invade, how can I get more food into the region so that I can bring in more troops?
* Can I get some of that food from the enemy by raiding or attacking their harvest?
* Is it better to send in an advance-force to secure a base of operations and stockpile supply or should I risk a lightning campaign with more tenuous supply?
* When I conduct any large-scale campaign, how will I protect my other frontiers from enemy raids or invasion?
Finally, how does strategy tie into combined-arms tactics and vice-versa?
In Hegemony: Philip of Macedon , if you arrange enough food and the right mix of troop types in a given region you can organize and execute effective campaigns utilizing combined-arms tactics. Conversely, effective tactics will result in fewer losses, enabling you to conduct your strategic plans without undue interruption