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casacerian

Combine Unit?

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The primary reason is to prevent units from being destroyed. For example, if you have a unit that started at a strength of 2,000 and is down to below 1,000, they could get wiped out at any time. Merging them with another unit allows each unit to take additional casualties with less risk. Also, with inexperienced units merging them can give them enough firepower to be competitive against a smaller, more experienced unit. There are downsides, of course - if the combined unit is destroyed, all the constituent units are destroyed as well, and combined units are more likely to get your division commander killed.

Combined units are also useful for leveraging low-availability weapons. If you only have a few hundred of a particular weapon, you can create or convert a "short brigade" equipped with that weapon and then merge them with another unit once on the battlefield. There's quite a number of battles where it is difficult to hit the brigade cap, so every brigade you can get on the field and fighting is helpful. This occurs more often on higher difficulty levels because of the lower salvage rates.

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During development of the game, at one point in time, 'Combine Unit' to form a divisional brigade was a solid strategy to create large units using elite weaponry. 

The tactic has been nerfed since that point, and Aetius' explanation works well in that regard. There are morale and command penalties to a divisional brigade that make it an emergency mesaure rather than a game strat. 

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So it used to be an exploit. Got it. :P

 

How effective is it to combine a brigade with a commander and a brigade without a commander? That is to ask if the net gain in effectiveness outweighs the malice of having 2 small units, and one of those having no commander.

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It's a minor loss to the unit with the leader, and a great benefit to the leaderless unit. Leaderless units are slow to respond, move, and fight, as well as being more likely to retreat and break.

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I just finished Antietam, combined 6 units (creating 3) that were doing gods work at the Burnside Bridge against IX Corp. Worked very well as most commanders were killed early on.

Going to play with it a bit, as it seems like a way to easily manage large troop movements when redeploying across the map.

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14 hours ago, Andre Bolkonsky said:

During development of the game, at one point in time, 'Combine Unit' to form a divisional brigade was a solid strategy to create large units using elite weaponry. 

The tactic has been nerfed since that point, and Aetius' explanation works well in that regard. There are morale and command penalties to a divisional brigade that make it an emergency mesaure rather than a game strat. 

Whatever nerfs there have been aren't really noticeable. Combined divisions will still murder with good weapons on everyone. More importantly, what it still does is let you leverage rookie brigades as journeyman by effectively bolstering them with elites but as a 2500 man unit, which is very deadly.

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Personally, I almost never combine units any more because -after all the game's changes- I think that the combined unit takes the division commander as commander, leaving the rest of the division without a division commander. So, all units in your division suffer from it.

That's a hefty price to pay, just to make one single unit operational again IMO.

Edited by Yogol

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And had anyone noticed that combined units have a cover penalty in play? A combined unit will top out at 75% cover in places that give 100% (I didn't check that with the defender perk on the corp commander tho, as I didn't had one the last time I had to combine units). Thus I do so only when the battle goes really dire for me, and they have to hold no matter the costs.

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3 hours ago, Hussar91 said:

And had anyone noticed that combined units have a cover penalty in play? A combined unit will top out at 75% cover in places that give 100% (I didn't check that with the defender perk on the corp commander tho, as I didn't had one the last time I had to combine units). Thus I do so only when the battle goes really dire for me, and they have to hold no matter the costs.

I doubt there's an intrinsic penalty. It's more likely that the division is just larger and sticks out more compared to the component smaller units that made it up, but I'm willing to admit that I've never tested a 2500 normal Brigade side by side with a 2500 Division to be sure.

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There are plenty of problems this feature has that have not been currently fixed.  There are plenty of gamey usage of this mechanic as well.  Of course you do not need to use these exploits but if you are a min-max player like me here are some tips.

First this feature allows the player to go over the 2500 limit on brigade sizes.  Simply detach skirmishers, combine divisions, then reattach skirmishers.  This tactic, while making the brigade a larger target, skews the AI local strength Calculations, which may discourage the AI from attacking that brigade.  There is a stark difference in AI aggressiveness between facing separate smaller brigades or one large brigade that is larger than the AIs own brigades.  This is especially effective when the AI brigade sizes is less than 1500.  

Second is that all brigade commanders are protected from being wounded or dying while combined together.  As a side note combining brigades does not take away the division commander from the rest of the division.  It just makes the division commander more likely to be killed/wounded.

Third is that you can level up more brigade commanders at once while still only using a single brigade.  Since officer experience is based on brigade stat increase (the Corps and Division officers level up via morale increase only, hence their slow promotions.) having a single brigade obtain large amounts of kills/ stat increases of any kind means all the brigades currently combined receive those stat growths which means all the commanders level up.  Of course this deprives your army of several brigades but when this is done right, you can easily get many high ranking officers quickly. 

And of course there is the weapon exploit which has been explained already...  

There also other exploits which benefits from this feature but those are situational and Ill leave you to find those out yourself...

While divisions are rather cumbersome, using them effectively can give major benefits.  High Risk equals High Reward and all that...

 

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