|Warfare & Tactics in:|
The Battle map, in Total War context, is a discrete playable subdivision of the Total War formula in which battles are resolved, whether it be in a campaign map encounter, a custom battle, or a historical battle.
Components of the Battle Map
Terrain and Objects
Every battle map will usually have its own distinct terrain and feature unique objects. For example, a map in the desert will have little trees and not as many hills and rivers as, say, a map in the mountains. These features often determine the tactics and type of warfare used by belligerents. Consider a battle in the forest; an experienced commander would not risk charging his cavalry about the many disruptive trees and shrubs and attempt to ambush his or her opponent with infantry instead.
Terrain on the battlemap may vary in conjuction with terrain in the campaign map (with the exception of Empire: Total War); if two armies clash on the campaign map in south america, where jungles and hills are shown on the campaign map, such features will likely be represented on the battlemap on a much larger scale. Thus, campaign map play directly influences the appearance of the battle map.
Terrain, once Total War: Shogun 2 is released, will also influence naval warfare. Islands and rock traps force commanders to orient their fleets around such obstacles, just as commanders on land must go around cliffs and boulders.
Weather has been in the Total War formula since the first Shogun: Total War, where heavy rains during abttles could cripple an enemies ability to fire missiles, and with it, his or her morale. Though it is never seen on the campaign map except as a message informing the player of a natural disaster, weather appears on the battlemap either randomly or through settings in the custom battle menu.
Weather can have a profound effect on battles, radically changing the way they are fought. As the most common weather that appears in Total War is sunshine, many commanders adapt their strategies to it. However, if it rains or snows, players will ahve to change their strategies in order to adapt to such weather. Rain can have the effect of smothering missile effectiveness, and snow may induce fatigue in soldiers accustomed to fighting in the sun.
Deployment zones, marked by either red lines or poles, mark the area in which players are allowed to deploy their troops before battle. Such zones may be influenced by the terrain or army positions; either way they generally vary on land battle maps but remain the same in naval battles. In siege battles, deployment zones will usually extend around the fortification for the besiegers. For the besieged deployment zones extend only to the limits of the fortification.