[rel 949 x64] - Military Units Prioritize Wild Game


After playing for a while today I noticed that my military (aside from starving - see my other bug report) had some really “broken” behavior when it came to wild animals. I’m not talking about things that are a threat, like wolves. I’m talking about stuff that should be left to the trapper like deer, rabbits, etc. I should note that this behavior was noticed when my city population was below 10, and continued throughout the game, so it wasn’t due to an overloaded AI.

I’d dispatch my army to an enemy encampment only to suddenly start getting messages that they’re dying. I’d go and check and find out that over half the group was chasing some stupid deer across the map while only a couple actually made it to the encampment, and were not nearly strong enough to take it on alone. Why does the military have such a high priority on wildlife? Yes, if they’re coming to steal supplies, certainly mark them as enemies. But just random wildlife? That stuff should be marked as non-hostile and ignored by military units.

I also noticed that my military units would just randomly leave my city to attack a nearby wildlife animal, again who’s not coming to steal my stuff, and leave my city wide open to a group of enemies approaching from another direction. I’d have to use the “go here” command just to get around the AI’s desire to destroy harmless wildlife.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Create a military unit (archers are best)
  2. Locate a distant target with some wildlife along the route
  3. Send your military using an attack command

Expected Results:

The units will go to the target and only deviate if they run into actual enemy units along the way.

Actual Results:

The units run after wildlife, which should be ignored in this situation.

Version Number and Mods in use:

Revision 949 x64

System Information:

AMD FX8320 @ 3.5Ghz
Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64
GeForce GTX 750 (up to date drivers)

Did a quick video to help display the issues, and do a bit of troubleshooting too;

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Both this “bug” and the other one are related to how you’re playing, and the fact that you’re playing NA.

NA soldiers will hunt animals, that’s one of their perks/unique features and if you manage it well it will immensely help with getting food in the early-game. The key is to make sure your soldiers (especially your melee ones) aren’t being left to randomly chase animals all over the map. You can assign guard zones for them so that they guard specific entries to your town (and if you haven’t built walls/fences/a moat to limit access to your town, you’re going to have a baaaaaad time as NA), and as soon as you can make/buy Spiky Quivers for your archers, you’ll find that animals never manage to run far anymore.

The whole “cleric heals people instead of letting them eat” bug from the other thread you’ve actually got in reverse – if they’re taking damage from hunger then they had nothing to eat to begin with, the cleric only heals them if they’re already taking starvation damage. Hearthlings will only eat raw meats if they’re literally starving; and if the cleric heals them then they will stop considering raw meat… but you really don’t want them eating raw meat anyway, a) because it carries a bunch of penalties, and b) because that means your food production isn’t set up at all and relying on raw meat is just going to snowball out of control.

Playing NA is not meant to be an easy ride, it’s a kingdom designed to invoke the harsh living conditions of an arctic/tundra environment if it was in a permanent semi-winter state. Even “Spring” in the tundra biome is just a short break to let you catch your breath. You need to plan carefully to make sure that your town doesn’t have any weaknesses, because any weakness will quickly snowball/spiral out of control with all the pressures in that biome – even the desert biome is much more forgiving. Keep your hearthlings in town and use defences to keep wandering enemies and animals out, protect your fields against ravaging hordes of critters (this is where your soldiers being able to hunt animals will come in handy), and promote a cook ASAP to start turning all that raw meat into delicious meals… yes you’ll need to level them up a bit first, but NA experiences a massive positive snowball affect in regards to food as soon as their cook can start cooking meat dishes and you’ll find that suddenly half the pressures you’ve been facing will lessen dramatically. That’s when you can easily start doing things like fighting random monster camps, since your soldiers will have eaten hearty/satisfying meals and won’t get hungry in the middle of the fight.

Speaking of getting distracted in the middle of the fight… the “attack here” action is literally a command to walk to the flag and attack any valid targets on sight along the way. If you select a specific enemy to attack, they’ll ignore anything else along the way unless it attacks them first. If they get into combat with something you don’t want them to fight (or you don’t want a specific soldier fighting that thing), you can use a move command to make them disengage. As NA, I tend to keep my footmen as a separate party since otherwise they will run ahead and try to engage enemies without support… so I keep them as a reinforcement wave that I set to a move/guard marker just behind the main fight, and as soon as enemies start trying to engage my archers, I send in the footmen to hold them off. As NA I use far more archers with spiky arrows than I would as other kingdoms, simply because there are more archers in a typical NA party than you would have in other kingdoms so you can afford to put more soldiers into a “crowd control” role rather than DPS/sniping roles with fire arrows.


If you’re using the ACE mod, you can disable hunting on each archer individually.


Watching the video, Yeti, would have helped you immensely. The healing bug actually comes down to the fact that the rabbits weren’t being fed. The cleric was constantly healing the rabbits, starving because of it, and healing himself to keep from starving. Even when standing right beside a bin with food in it, the cleric ignored the fact it was starving in order to heal the rabbits.

The ACTUAL bug is that the rabbits are excluded from being fed the “Animal Fodder”, which states it can be fed to any vegetarian animal. They can only be fed the rabbit food. So either the capability to feed needs corrected, or the tool-tip on Animal Fodder needs better explained.

As for the rest, you’re correct in that I wasn’t aware the NA prioritized attacking wild game. I normally play the Ascendancy or Rayya’s Children, in the NA zone. This was my first actual time playing the NA in the NA zone so the behavior was highly unexpected. I’ll know to watch for it in the future.