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av93

Melee cavalry useless?

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Well, I hadn't play the game a lot since the last 2 alphas, but I wanted to ask if somebody uses sword and spear cavalry (not champions). IRC, They die very easily to ranged (specially when massed), so it doesn't make really sense to train them. Buff them should also make spear and pike units more useful.

Any thoughts ?

Edited by av93

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8 hours ago, sphyrth said:

I always assumed that melee cavs better at hunting than the ranged cavs.

According to the structure tree, they all have a 5 gather rate for food. Persian chariots are probably the best for hunting wild animals as they have a carrying capacity of 50.

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I almost never build non champion sword cav, but very often build regular spear cav when they are available.

It all depends on your opponent, but in many games the spear cav are very useful for raiding even later in a game, since they are very cheap and tough enough. Early game, they can be well worth the investment. One does need to scout to decide whether to use them early on, of course, which means I rarely make them too soon unless there is plentiful hunting.

I think the upcoming changes to champs in general will make them more useful since the "class difference" between citizen soldiers and champions will narrow a bit.

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Mostly agree. Didn't see sword cav since they were OP in alpha 17. Perhaps their use wasn't found yet. Champion melee cavalry is usually used to kill trade carts, citizen soliders and to lure enemies away from the next attack point. So perhaps sword cavalry could be used as cheap, disposable trade/siege killers.  (Since one receives the resources trade carts carried, the profit depends on the size of the enemies traderoute.) Would have to check the numbers again to see if they are profitable. Also I think most mercenaries are too expensive. Historically, cavalry had typically been used to charge attack.

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Well, my humble opinion is that melee cav should be anti ranged infantry. Sword cav could overall better while spear cav won't be so useful against buildings, other cav, trade, but better against ranged infantry. Maybe they need both better armour against pierce.

Tomorrow I would make some test, but seems that aren't cost-effective against ranged infantry. Killing rams and trade seems a very little role to a unit that I think that should have more presence in the battlefield.

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Perhaps they could be made more interesting if they were given an attack bonus/counter, e.g.:

Cavalry swordsman: 1.5× vs siege weapons
Cavalry archer: 1.5× vs cavalry swordsman
Cavalry spearman: 1.5× vs cavalry archer
Cavalry skirmisher: 1.5× vs chariots

(For comparison, spearman have a 3× attack vs all cavalry)

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Well the patch won't work since trampling was designed there as an aura and the aura's got moved to .json files in the mean time. Also trampling might need an own component (which copies a lot of the aura code). So it  would need a rebase and partial rewrite.

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The question should be, what kind of trampling aims 0 a.d? IRC, area damage (aoe2 cataphract style) it's currently implemented. LOTR Trampling style, wouldn't require charging?

Meanwhile, what function could have melee cavalry? In my test, they are successful against 1 to 1 skirmishers, but loose against 2 to 1. The problem is that they are cost-effective. I suggest giving them some more  piercing armour to them (and raise spear infantry if necessary to compensate).

I know that cavalry in ancient times weren't used in frontal charges, but the problem in 0 a.d is that we can't use cavalry as in Total war, where they are fragile but deadly when attacking by rear or unprotected ranged units. (In 0 a.d, ranged units have no minimum range, they don't change into melee mode when in contact with the enemy, there's no charge/trampling system, moral, etc.) So my approach are making them more durable (At least for now)

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On 1.9.2016 at 0:57 AM, av93 said:

In 0 a.d, ranged units have no minimum range, they don't change into melee mode when in contact with the enemy, there's no charge/trampling system, moral, etc.

Then maybe ranged units should get a minimum range

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4 hours ago, Imarok said:

Then maybe ranged units should get a minimum range

I was just pointing the differences. IRC they used to have but was removed, but I think it's a bad idea cause the units spread and make a mess.

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And the hunting behaviour was some what bizarre running away form prey animals pivoting and throwing/shooting almost sending the pathfinder into repeat mode.

Enjoy the Choice :)

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Well the more pressing problem is what to do with spear cav.  Even companions get mowed down instantly, and for factions like Rome and the Seleucids, where cavalry was a major part of their army (maybe not the largest part of their army, but they relied heavily on it) spears need to be able to last longer. Possibly more armour like what was suggested above.  I mean, at least for the Seleucids, it was the reason they won the few battles that they won.  I believe a battle that Antiochus the III fought was widely regarded as a treatise on how to use cav, and was studied by nations for years until cav came out of favor.  But yeah, either a charge bonus (which would be nice for all unit types) or increased armour would be nice.

Edited by SeleucidKing

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Melee cavs have an added usefulness in Regicide mode. They can hunt down, chase, and harass low-health Heroes.

(Assuming that the hero isn't a cavarly/chariot unit as well)

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In single player mode I would rush to have melee cavalry as my priority. Spear cavalry has lesser accuracy while melee cavalry always inflict a damage every smack even if the enemy is moving. Although it seems that AI spear cavalry has more accuracy than a human spear cavalry when the target is not moving.

0AD AIs are not really intelligent because once they see one target (raider target) they focused on trying to take an action on to that single unit. Or in general the first enemy an AI unit see will be the main and only target it will concentrate on attacking. AI will even attack a CC just to flush out that target unit. So in this case a melee cavalry is more effective by implicating damage on a dumb AI who won't care about anything except the first enemy he saw. AI even prioritize a boar than an enemy unit because it's the first enemy it spotted. 

 

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