I equipped 7 journeymen with a full 6 stars in combat with pistols and went into the town watch thingie. I just cannot get those morons to shoot. Eventually, when one of the guards is in their face slashing away, I can get them to fire, but it seems my commands have little to nothing to do with what happens.
One time they will all cower at the side of the screen refusing to do anything, then the screen pops up showing I won, with only one fatality. Reload, and they will stand their ground, and, again one dies. Reload and they wander around, and again, I win with one fatality. I'm not sure I'm doing anything differently, and though the results come out the same, the way it gets there is baffling.
How the blazes does this combat system work? I love the builder part, and the intrigue (so many ways of changing favor) but the combat is so frustrating!
Thanks in advance.
Don't sweat it - the pathfinding in the combat sections is atrocious. I have my guys get stuck in place getting slashed and doing nothing about it at least once (or more) every time I try it.
I think that if you select one of your guys and then click on a bad guy, he's SUPPOSED to attack him continuously, but if he looks like he's stuck I'd click on an empty space where you think he might have a better shot, wait till he gets there, and then try to get him to attack the enemy.
For this reason I wouldn't use bombs - yes you can use them, but only as the thief as you may or may not have figured out. The problem is the idiots will plant the bomb and then just stand there, blowing themselves away! Idiots...
Also if you have a weapon that can "counter-attack", I think that this means they'll automatically attack someone that attacks them (in melee range). Maybe. At any rate, with thieves I tend to give half rapiers and half pistols. I send the rapier guys in close range, and peg them with the others while they're distracted.
If a sword-swinging dude (or dagger-wielding dude) gets too close to your pistol-wielder, the pistol-wielder will be screwed (and probably won't be able to return fire, since he has to reload his pistol after every shot, and that took a while back in those days) - so ensure at least some of your guys (probably half - try whatever works for you) are equipped with melee weapons. Personally I choose rapiers (for thieves) since they can counter-attack whereas daggers apparently can not, so in theory it should be less micro-management. That and I've had much more success with rapiers than anything else (except as town watch - then I'd go for broadswords).
Finally, note that the pistol dudes have only six rounds of ammo (less if their skill is less, I think it's supposed to be equal to their combat stat). So there's a good chance that they'll run out of ammo before the fight is up, at which point they'll be useless - another reason to ensure you have lots of swordsmen to back them up.